Sending money abroad can be slow, complicated, and expensive, Wise promises to solve this problem. Nowadays, there are many platforms for transferring money abroad, more or less efficient. If you are reading this article, you know that with the advent of new banks, new alternatives have emerged…
For 2 years, I have been using and evaluating the Wise bank card (Transferwise) and the associated “Borderless” account. It is a platform that can be used from many countries in the world, including Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, and many more!
Official website: https://www.wise.com
What is Wise?
Created in London, UK, the financial institution innovated by allowing transactions at cheaper exchange rates than traditional banks, without bureaucracy.
The euro, dollar, pound and other currencies of different countries are enabled for transfers. The website interface is intuitive, convenient, and you can make your transfer in just a few clicks.
In the summer of 2018, Wise (formerly Transferwise) had 3 million users transferring €2.19 billion per month.
By 2019, Wise already had more than 6 million people transferring €4.38 billion every month. This represents a saving of €1.1 billion per year compared to banking with a traditional bank.
Wise is a good choice in the market for cost, convenience, and time. And the Borderless Wise card offers a solution tailored to everyday needs. Whether for travel or even a simple bank transfer between friends or family.
Among its main competitors, Wise stands out for its reliability and good reviews on Trustpilot.
How does Wise work?
The Wise solution allows you to transfer money quickly and cheaply. In a short period of time, Wise has become a popular choice for travellers and digital nomads.
Transfers are made in euros, dollars and other currencies. The website interface is intuitive, practical and allows you to do everything in a few clicks.
If you travel a lot or live abroad part of the time, Wise is definitely a money-saving banking solution for you.
Wise offers an intuitive and comprehensive interface for managing bank transfers.
Wise’s low-cost prices are its main features.
In fact, Wise’s Borderless account offers lower terms and fees than any other traditional bank:
Multi-currency account (40 currencies)
UK IBAN account number
Routing and Wiring Number in the USA
IBAN account in Europe
BSB account and code in Australia
New Zealand Account Number
Flat fee for sending money (varies according to currency)
Receive money in EUR, USD, GBP, PLN, AUD and NZD
Deposit money into accounts
Wise Bank Card
Pay with the Borderless Card
Convert a currency using the card
ATM withdrawals up to €240 per month
ATM withdrawals of more than €240 /month
2% of the value
Guide to transferring money with Wise
First, it is important to take precautions when filling in your details. Especially the correct spelling of your names and your personal information to avoid future problems in your transactions.
Step 1: Choose the quantity to send (Click on the option)
Step 2: Enter your details. Once you have logged in and confirmed your email address, you can start your first transfer! Choose the amount you wish to transfer.
Step 3: Choose the type of transfer in the box below the amount.
There are two options:
- Fast: by bank transfer
- Default: send money by bank payment
Step 4: Select who you want to send money to.
You must enter the full name of the account holder and the bank details with IBAN (international bank account number). If you do not know it, please contact your bank.
Step 5: Confirm the transfer details.
Step 6: Choose how you wish to pay (invoice, bank transfer or debit/credit card).
Step 7: Confirm payment and you’re done.
Advantages of Wise according to profile
- Students: bank charges are reduced, and ATM withdrawals are free (240 euros/month).
- Expatriates: transfers are free of charge if the associated multicurrency account has the bank details of your country of residence.
- Digital nomads and travellers: Transferwise allows you to control the balance of your accounts in multiple currencies. This allows you to save on currency exchange when travelling to another country.
- Business travellers: the multi-currency account allows you to convert and spend the exact amounts you need when you travel, so you no longer have excess currency to exchange when you return.
Wise Borderless Bank Card
In addition to allowing international bank transfers at the best price, Wise also offers a multi-currency digital account.
This account allows you to receive transactions in different currencies from all over the world (Euro, US Dollar, Australian Dollar and British Pound).
When you open your account, you are also entitled to apply for the Wise Card.
Advantages of the Borderless Card
- Reduced exchange rate: the Borderless card allows you to benefit from a real exchange rate up to 8 times cheaper than conventional banks.
- Free withdrawals: up to €240 per month
- Prepaid card: To use the Borderless card, you must top it up because it is not linked to the multi-currency account, so in case of theft or loss, it is impossible for the thief to access your accounts and withdraw money.
Best of all: it’s totally free.
For now, the digital account and card are not available in all countries around the world, but it is an excellent option for those living abroad who want to move money, make online payments or purchases.
The Wise Borderless card is without permanence.
How to order a Borderless Card?
Step 1: You must create a Wise account
Once created, you will find in the navigation menu the option “Borderless Account”.
Step 2: A debit card option (Borderless card) is available and, as mentioned above, is only available for some countries.
Step 3: Confirm your details (you need a fixed address).
Step 4: To receive your Borderless card, you must deposit a minimum of 20 euros (or equivalent in the currency of the country you live in). This money will not be charged to you, you can use it when you receive your card.
Step 5: Activate your card in the Transferwise application.
Step 6: Once enabled, the application will create the secret PIN for your Borderless card.
That’s it! Now you can use your Mastercard.
Frequently asked questions about Wise
How much does Wise charge?
Sending money from your account to someone else with Transferwise is much cheaper than with a traditional bank.
Typically, traditional banks charge fees of between 7 and 10% of the total amount, while Transferwise charges between 1.5% and 3%.
However, these fees are already included in the amount shown on the Transferwise website or application.
When completing your transfer amounts, the total shown for each currency is the final amount, with no hidden fees or fine print.
What are Wise’s payment methods?
Transferwise offers three options for sending money between different countries:
- Bank transfer:
Simply choose whether the transfer will be made by phone, online or by bank. When you select the latter option, you have to enter your Transferwise details and transfer directly from your online bank.
- Debit or credit card:
In foreign currency, payment can be made by Visa, Mastercard or another type of card depending on your country of origin
Can I cancel my transfer from Wise?
Yes, sending money abroad can be cancelled, but this will depend on the progress of the bank transfer.
If the payment has not yet been made, simply log in to your profile, click on “Activity”, select the transfer and click on the “Cancel transfer” button.
If the payment has been made, it is still possible to cancel the transfer in progress or even if the money is already with Transferwise.
In this case, the “Cancel transfer” option may no longer appear in your profile, and you will need to contact the institution.
The transaction cannot be cancelled only when the money is already in the beneficiary’s account.
Do I have to declare taxes?
If your bank transfers are to cover educational expenses (exchange, university, master’s, doctorate, etc.) they are exempt from income tax, i.e. you do not need to declare them.
However, if you send money to cover your living expenses abroad, the amount of tax is 6%.
How long does it take for the money to reach the account?
It all depends on the type of transaction you choose.
Usually, it can take 2-4 working days, but in my experience when sending money from Europe to Brazil, for example, it only takes a few hours.
Bank transfer is often the fastest option!
Is Wise safe, and will my money be deposited?
Transferwise is secure. All transactions are reported to the Central Bank of the country of residence, which guarantees the security of international transfers.
I have been using Transferwise since I moved to Europe and have never had a problem with the platform.
Transferwise is the preferred solution for travellers, exchange students or people living abroad who still have a current account in their home country.