Wise (formerly Transferwise) Explained: Currency Exchange Platform For Frequent Travelers — And Not Only

Natalia B
4 min readMay 5, 2021
Author: Crafttheway.com

For travel enthusiasts who dedicate a considerable part of their life to explore the wonders that the world has to offer, traveling overseas, interacting with people, getting to know more about their culture and immerse into it is what excites them intensely.

While getting engrossed in our wanderlust, it’s easy to sometimes forget not only to keep a track of our expenses regularly, but also to focus on savings in order to allocate the budget even better.

I am mainly pointing towards the troubles of currency exchange. Exchange rates, banking commissions, credit card fees, foreign transaction fees — if you are a frequent overseas traveler, you are completely aware of such concerns. The currency exchange process comes with a lot of transfer fees for sending and receiving money — it can be overwhelming and above all costly.

Trying to find the best solution to keep the expenses on track, I’ve come across a variety of platforms and services for frequent travelers and people who send and receive money in foreign currencies. In this article, I will summarize a few main insights about Wise (Transferiwse) which is probably one of the biggest and most popular cross-border payment provider. This is not a sponsored post and I hope it will help you choose the right currency exchange service for yourself.

If you decide to check Wise out, feel free to register through my affiliate link to get a free international transfer of up to C$800.

Wise (Transferwise): why you may want to use it

As a borderless payment application, Wise (Transferwise) allows you to make your transactions in more than 50 currencies with a minimum transfer fee. As the platform states to use 8 times cheaper rates than most banks, it is safe to say that traveling with Wise (Transferwise) may be a “wise” decision!

Think about withdrawing cash abroad — we have all been there when our bank charges an unexpected fee on withdrawal, and the exchange rate is also enormously high. Sometimes dealing with banks across multiple borders can be tricky. You inform them about your voyage abroad, and they might still block your card for security reasons. Speaking of food, have you ever overpaid for your meal just because you could not pay in the local currency? Well, the exchange commission can ruin your experience. In fact, your entire travel budget can get affected because of these ever-increasing exchange charges.

Wise (Transferwise) for frequent travelers

Once you open a Wise Borderless account, you can ask for a contactless debit card in your local currency that lets you spend anywhere in the world. The account is free to open and use. Wise (Transferwise) declares to utilize the real exchange rate, keep conversion fees low and include zero transaction fees.

Wise (Transferwise) for sending and receiving money

At the same time, when opening a Borderless account with Wise (Transferwise), you can send or receive money from more than 30 countries, including the US, the UK, Europe or Australia, with a lower exchange cost than most banks. In many cases it works like a regular bank account, allowing you to hold, send, receive and convert currencies — all in one platform. Wise declares to use the mid-market exchange rate which is showcased in advance all together with any applicable fees.

Main benefits of Wise (Transferwise)

1. Transparent functioning

Wise (Transferwise) sustains total transparency. You get access to the preview of the transaction or your invoice instantly, where you can tally the fees charged directly.

2. It’s fast and easy

The app is designed to ease out the money transferring and receiving procedure, and it surely delivers on this promise thanks to its user-friendly experience. Wise becomes extremely fast and easy to use once you get the hang of it.

3. One card multiple currencies

With Wise (Transferwise), you can access 50 plus currencies in one card.

5. Easy to keep track of expenses

Wise (Transferwise) retains all the transaction history and with this feature, tracking your expenses becomes a lot easier. All you need is to ask for your payment history. Budget is one click away with Wise.

6. Responsive customer service

The customer service team has provided me with complete assistance so far whenever I contacted them, addressing queries quickly with utmost ease. This is oftentimes highly appreciated when using similar services.

Wise (Transferwise) vs PayPal

Both Wise (Transferwise) and PayPal are popular online money transfer platforms. However, they do have some key differences. PayPal fees range from 2.5–4.5% of the actual amount whereas on Wise, this fee ranges from 0.33–3.56% of the transaction value. Transferwise is simply more budget-friendly.

How to open your Wise account?

If you want to try Wise for yourself, head over to their website (if you sign up through my affiliate link, you get a free international transfer of up to C$800) and start entering your details. After the acceptance of your account, you can ask for the wise card. You have to submit an ID, a photo of you holding the ID, and address proof.

The accessibility to the Wise (Transferwise) services spans across most major countries including the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Singapore, and EEA. It seems Wise is a budget-friendly solution with first-class user experience and usability for everyone who need a dependable partner to help them with the recurring payments.

The article was originally published at: crafttheway.com.



Natalia B

As a Marketing Strategist, I help startups and companies develop lead generation activities. Remote Work Advocate. Photographer, Traveler.