Wise Review [2023] – 7 Must Knows

I have used Wise for many years and found it is like a financial Swiss army knife for international people and small to medium businesses.

wise reviews

Their primary focus is on facilitating fast and efficient money transfers – without charging a markup on exchange rates.

When compared to their competitors, Wise stands out as being highly competitive in terms of total fees.

Also, they are at the top of their game when it comes to the speed for bank-to-bank transfers. Wise also has a lot additional features that quite frankly – could be a big step up for you or your business.

But they are not for everyone!

Even I don’t use them for everything. And for this review, we categorised hundreds of 3rd party Wise reviews and found that while their customer service works great for smaller transfers, it is not what is needed for larger transfers and you can’t send cash.

But don’t worry, I will show you some great alternatives and also how to get the most out of Wise if you do ends up choosing to use them.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which may save you and do not cost any more. For more information, see my about here.

1. Low Down

On Trustpilot, Wise money transfers has a rating of 4.4/5 with over 186,000 reviews, which is considered “Excellent”. Of these, 93% are positive with reviewers indicating Wise is easy to use, has fast transfers and low fees.

>> But do not miss What do Wise Customers Say? (including Negative Reviews) ⬇️

💳 Payment optionsBank account (ACH, SWIFT or wire transfer), debit card, credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay.
🚚 Delivery OptionsBank account only
🚧 Transfer LimitsMinimums vary depending on destination but can be as little as the equivalent of $1 USD.
Americans are $15,000 per day using ACH and $1.6 million per international transfer when funded with a bank wire transfer.
🏦 Established2010 in London, UK
💁 ClientsPersonal and Business (Worldwide)
💱 CurrenciesMany to and from many places
🏛️ Physical OfficesUnited Kingdom, United States, Australia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore
💻 AvailabilityOnline and mobile
⚖️ RegulationRegulated in Europe, USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong
🔒 SecurityFraud Team, Security Team, 2FA
⭐ Reviews“Excellent” – 4.4/5 from over 186,000 reviews on TrustPilot (Feb 2023)
💰 FeesTotal Fees Average – 0.61% (Very Competitive)
🌐 Official WebsiteVisit Wise

Wise (formerly TransferWise) transfers are our top pick for money transfers below $7000 USD (£4500 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD AUD) if you want to send money from one bank to another and are happy doing almost everything online.

Over the years they have proven themselves to be true to their mission: “money without borders – instant, convenient, transparent and eventually free.”

2. When Wise Works

Wise Review

Wise keeps fees low and transparent, make transfers as fast as possible and they have excellent online customer support.

But don’t take our word for it – try for yourself:

Using the Wise calculator (no sign up required) you can see the fees and when it will arrive for the amount and currencies you want to transfer.

The truth is, that while others claim “no fees” and then build healthy fees into the exchange rate, Wise avoids the usual smoke and mirrors.

Instead they use the mid-market rate and then show you the fees upfront.

The mid-market exchange rate, is the rate used by banks to exchange currencies, to calculate the cost of currency exchange. This rate is also known as the “real” exchange rate and is the average between the buy and sell rates. By using the mid-market rate, Wise ensures that customers avoid bank markups and get the best possible rate for their currency exchange.

In contrast, banks and the competitors of Wise include a fee in the exchange rate plus they often add on another fee. When comparing Wise with other options, it’s crucial to consider the total fees involved.

To sign up follow these steps:

Initial sign up for a Wise money transfer (formerly TransferWise) can be done in two ways:

3. When Wise Doesn’t Work + Alternatives

There are situations where Wise doesn’t work:

  • Cash Transfers
  • Large Transfers
  • Customer Support

Cash Transfers

Cash transfers require middle men and that means extra cost which is usually passed on to you. Wise doesn’t offer cash transfers because it goes against their mission of “money without borders – instant, convenient, transparent and eventually free.”

Meanwhile old-school services like Western Union, Ria and Moneygram have traditionally filled this gap which is enabled by large fees and maybe even a horse-drawn cart or two.

Thankfully, there is a middle ground, and services such as Remitly offer a solution where the recipient can pick up cash or even have their mobile topped-up.

These companies are able to keep fees low by utilizing their online efficiencies while still providing cash pickup services through partnerships with local banks and money transfer agents.

Wise Vs Remitly

Wise Vs Remitly are important to compare because they are both great at international money transfers, but they differ in important ways.

Wise is slightly more transparent and has a simple fee structure for its transfers.

On the other hand, Remitly offers Express or Economy transfers, and delivery through bank, cash pickup, mobile money, or home delivery.

Remitly can only send money from these 17 countries: United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Singapore, and Sweden.

Wise on the other hand can send money from almost any country in the world with high limits on the amount you can send and transfers are bank-to-bank although you can fund the transfer in many ways.

Wise Vs Revolut

Revolut Vs Wise is a great comparison because both offer multi-currency accounts and cards, great money transfers, and the ability to hold balances in different currencies.

While they share many similarities, Wise is generally considered simpler and more straight forward to use.

On the other hand, Revolut offers more features geared towards frequent travelers and digital banking. The costs of using each service are also different, but generally Revolut is more complex.

Click here to check if Revolut is available for you here (personal) and here (business)

Wise Vs PayPal

Wise Vs PayPal is also an important comparison because both offer international transfers. However Wise is more specialized in international transfers while PayPal is designed for more suitable for e-commerce transactions.

For transfers, Wise has transparent fees and competitive exchange rates and is usually the better choice if you need to make international transfers frequently and want to save on fees.

In contrast, PayPal international transfer generally means higher and more complex fees for international transfers, making Wise the better choice.

Amounts Above $7000 USD

(Approximately £4500 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD AUD)

When it comes to making larger money transfers, financial institutions such including money transfer services must follow tougher anti-terrorism and money laundering regulations once the amount reaches about $7000 USD.

This typically means more ID is required. In the meantime, your account can be frozen or transfers delayed.

To avoid these issues, it’s best to use services that specialize in handling larger amounts of money.

These services may require more information during the sign-up process, but they typically offer better support, ideally 24/7 telephone assistance. And having 24/7 phone support can be a huge benefit, as it allows for any bottlenecks to be resolved quickly even when the banks involved operate on different time zones and have different transfer limits.

Additionally, services that handle larger transfers tend to charge progressively lower fees as a percentage of the total amount.

Wise Vs OFX

Wise Vs OFX is important to compare because are both great services for transfers to a bank account anywhere in the world, but for different amounts.

So that OFX can make money on smaller transfers they sometimes add a $15 fee (below $10,000) however we organised to have this fee removed (opens a new tab) so you can avoid this fees all together – if applicable.

OFX offers a combination of online and offline customer support including 24/7 phone support, it is best for transferring larger amounts over $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD.

Where the OFX online experience is simple yet effective, the Wise experience provides many more options and a great user experience.

This means Wise is be better for smaller transfer and their optional multi currency account and card can be very useful.

So while both score around 4.4/5 on Trustpilot (excellent) we score them 4.9/5 if you use them as intended.

While we are on the subject of large transfers with excellent customer service, Currencies Direct (review) (USA/Canada) and their sister service TorFX (review) (UK/Australia) both have a very customer driven approach and score incredibly well on Trustpilot with a 4.9/5 each. But if you like doing things online stick with Wise or OFX (compared).

To be clear: Wise can make large money transfers and they even discuss the extra requirements here. Wise even charge lower fees if you send large sums of money (over the equivalent of £100,000 per transaction in U.S. dollars) meanwhile OFX automatically reduces the % fees the charge as amounts increase.

» Want more options? Check out the best ways to transfer money internationally

4. Wise Transfer Costs (+ Hidden Fees?)

The fees Wise charges for transferring money vary depending on factors such as the amount being sent, the currency of the recipient, and the chosen payment method.

Here are some total fees comparisons:

Here are two examples:

Sending $1,000 USD from the U.S. to Mexico (with the recipient getting Mexican Pesos)
Transfer MethodAmount that ArrivesNotes
Wise18,230.96 MXNAll fees included. Total fee includes $2 ACH fee.
Remitly – Economy18,190 MXN
Remitly – Express17,790 MXN
OFX18,111.39 MXNAs amounts increase OFX becomes even more cometitive
Bank Wire17,399.01 MXNAdditional fees from receiver bank

Sending $10,000 USD from the U.S. to the U.K. (with the recipient getting British Pounds)

In addition to this there is a $2 ACH fee which goes up to $41.23 if you use a credit card, but these fees are mostly passed on to 3rd parties like the credit card issuer like Visa or Mastercard.

Transfer MethodAmount That ArrivesNotes
Wise£8,304.52All fees included. Total fee includes $2 ACH fee the sending bank charges.
OFX£8,266.85All fees included.
Bank Wire£8,060.38Additional fees from receiver bank.

As you can see the amount and countries can change the fees.
To Check the Fees for Your Transfer:

Simply open the Wise, widget (opens in a new tab) or use widget below:

However, when you compare hundreds of different currency pairs and amounts you will find that Wise is very competitive.

According to their recent mission update, the average fee increased to 0.61% which is also excellent. Remember for many transfers where currencies are common like USD, GBP, AUD, CAD this average fee is usually quite a lot lower – often below 0.4%. The truely awesome thing about the mission update is that they highlight the bad just as much as the good!

However some fees can be no so obvious and even hidden. To ensure the most money arrives it is important to understand there are four main fees:

4 Main Fees

  1. Sending Fee: This is a payment processing fee which is applied to the payment method used to fund the transfer, such as credit or debit card fees.
    Wise gives you many options at this step which can help to speed up the transfer or reduce the fees.
  2. Transfer Fee: This is the fee charged by the service provider for sending the money from one country to another.
    The main fee Wise charges is a percentage of the amount based on the country countries you are sending to and currencies.
  3. Exchange Rate Margin: This fee is based on the difference between the mid-market exchange rate (the rate banks use to trade currencies with each other) and the exchange rate offered by the money transfer service.
    Wise uses the mid-market rate but this is where other services build in fees.
  4. Receiving Fee: Banks will usually charge a fee to receive the money if it comes from an overseas source.
    Wise and other popular services can usually eliminate this fee by using local bank accounts. Beware though, this fee can be at significant cost to the receiver with fees of $10 – $50 USD.

Total of 4 Fees (typical)

As you can see, Wise is at the low end of the best money transfer services.

Saving the Most Money

When it comes to smaller transfers one the easiest ways you stand to save the most money is to be aware of the four fees and especially the receiving fee which often goes unnoticed.

In almost all cases, Wise eliminates the receiving fee by having a local bank account in the country of the receiver.

Rates Guarantee

Most folks miss this, but another way Wise helps is to guarantee your rate after you lock in a transfer.

Wise guarantees the rate for 2 to 72 hours. The time depends on the country you are sending from and is based on how quickly it takes for funds you are sending to arrive at Wise from your bank. Weekends or public holidays when banks don’t transact are added to the time the guarantee the rate.

Some services do not guarantee the rate. This means you are at the mercy of exchange rate fluctuations which can go either way quite easily by 1% or more each day.

This gives your bank time to get the money to them.

They say, “If your money doesn’t reach us in time, we’ll still convert and send it as soon as possible. But we’ll use the mid-market rate instead.”

But in real world transfers, we found that Wise is more than good on its promise.

For example, I once transacted Saturday morning knowing my bank would take at least 48 hours from Monday morning to send them the money. In the 4 days or so it took for them to get the money, the exchange rate had moved slightly against them, but they gave me the rate we originally locked in.

5. Wise Transfer Speeds

When it comes to transfer speeds for bank-to-bank transfers, we have found Wise is top of its game.

Wise also has become good at showing you in advance when money will arrive.

But speeds vary considerably.

Speed of Money Transfers

They are pretty vague on their website here because international wire transfers can literally take “1-5 business days”.

However they are dedicated to speeding up transfers and we have noticed improvements over the years. As they said in a recent update “50% of transfers were completed in under 20 seconds”.

Wise50% are less than 20 seconds
can take 1-5 days
Larger transfers can be slowed by additional checks
Remitly (Economy)3-5 days
Remitly (Express)Usually within minutes
RevolutInstant to other Revolut users. Can take 1-5 days
PayPalInstant to other PayPal usersCan take additional days if you compare bank to bank
OFX1-5 daysLess chance of additional due diligence checks for large transfers

Wise is very proactive in trying to reduce transfer speeds through efficiency and partnerships.

Wise does not have an Express option like Remitly, but the express option Remitly offers does increase the costs significantly. Wise instead shows the different ways you can fund the transfer which in turn changes the speed and cost.

To compare Wise to Revolut and PayPal you have to consider that additional time may be required to move money between bank accounts.

When you consider the balance between keeping costs low and fast transfers bank to bank, Wise comes out on top but without the option to just pay more for additional speed.

For larger transfers (over $7000 USD) transfer are usually slower regardless of who you use but speed can be slowed by additional checks of ID. These additional checks can often be avoided by using services that are intended for larger transfers like OFX. However this usually means more checks when you sign up.

It can help to understand what causes speeds to vary because there are things you can do to speed things up.

Main Factors

  1. The way you fund the transfer
  2. Country you are sending to
  3. Time of day you transact

(1) The way you fund the transfer has a big impact on speed. Most money transfer services are pretty limited in this regard but where possible Wise offers a number of options, which for a small fee can speed things up.

These options vary based on the sending country but you can see the options available to you here. (See A in image)

Screenshot of a recent transfer AUS to USA
Total time – 6 minutes
Most of this time was us funding the transfer!

(2) The country you are sending money to is usually not something you can change, but this does make a big difference. This is because of many factors including if SWIFT or SEPA and other factors can mean this time can range from instantaneous to 2 days.

Fortunately, Wise has a trick up its sleeve.

Wise reduces the time transfers take by having local bank accounts around the world which means it can make many transfers as fast as possible and sometimes instantaneous. (See C in image) The alternative banks and many others use, often involves the SWIFT system – which usually takes days.

(3) The time of day you transact and the time of week can greatly affect when money arrives. The banks at either end of the transfer don’t work on weekends, holidays and they tend to close around 4pm or 5pm each day.

6. What do Wise Customers Say (including Negative Reviews)?

No matter which review site you look at, you will find the majority of Wise reviews are very complimentary, but not all.

For example, Trustpilot averages the reviews and finds Wise to be “excellent” with a 4.4/5 rating based on over 186,000 reviews.

What about the negative reviews?

It can be insightful to dig into what these reviews are saying – particularly those with one or two stars.

Why not simply read them, you might ask?

Well, if you’re anything like us, sifting through hundreds of reviews is often unhelpful and a waste of time (unless, of course, you categorize them).

This is because different individuals, currencies, countries, amounts, and banks can all result in vastly different experiences.

However when you understand what the issues might be you can organize them and get a view of the bigger picture.

And there is a wealth of valuable information.

What the Wise Reviews Really Show

So we analyzed 100s, so that you can learn from it. It is important to keep the negative reviews in perspective, as they account for about 5% of customer reviews.

The Good

  • Easy of use
  • Fast transfers
  • Low fees

Here’s what 2 users had to say on Trustpilot:

“I have a personal & business account on Wise.
– easy to use
– Fees are transparent
– Smooth general experience
– Simple way to hold multiple currencies
– Jar functionality is extremely useful !”


“I use it all the time, easy, fast and trustworthy.
The conversion rates are always the best i can find and the fee is reasonable
There are also many many ways to pay which is great”

Fehmy Eldeeb

The Bad

  • Accounts Deactivated After a Transfer

Wise can and sometimes does deactivate accounts with money inside or during transfers.

No doubt this is related to meeting regulations, but can understandably be very upsetting and frustrating.

Truth is, this is a challenge faced by all money transfer services and you will almost always get your money back.

The bigger issue is that in order to get your money back it seems that telephone based customer service for troubleshooting could be a challenge.

However it must be said, for the vast majority of people, this will not be an issue.

  • Money Transfer Delays

A significant number issues relate to the money being delayed. Some believe the money has been lost and some even think Wise might be a scam or fraudulent.

This seems like a big problem but in almost all cases what we found has nothing to do with Wise at all, and is more about the banks at both ends who take time to process transactions.

For example, on public holidays and weekends banks at either end of the transaction will usually wait until the next business day.

As we discuss above in “When Wise Doesn’t Works + Alternatives” using a service set up for large transfers is our recommendation for smooth transfers and phone based customer service. Smaller transfers typically do not run into as many issues.

Bottom Line

A rating of 4.4/5 on over 186,000 reviews is icing on the cake for what we have found to be an exceptional service over the years.

But the negative reviews do uncover some important issues.

To minimise potential issues, we suggest limiting transfers to smaller amounts and limiting the amounts held in your multi-currency account (it is not a real bank).

7. Wise Features

  1. Wise Multi Currency Account
  2. Wise Debit Card
  3. Wise Business Account

7.1 Wise Multi-currency Account

For some people and businesses choosing a great multi currency account can make managing money far easier, cheaper and save a lot of time.

And the Wise multi-currency account has lots of bank account like features plus much of the the usability of PayPal minus many of the expensive and complex fees PayPal and banks can charge.

With their multi currency account you can:

  • Receive your salary, pension, tax benefits, etc.
  • Hold over 55 currencies and spend like a local when relocating or travelling abroad
  • Pay your utility bills or mortgage without the currency conversion fee
  • Get paid like a local with international bank details in 10 currencies (USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, NZD, SGD (Singapore dollars), TRY (Turkish lira), RON (Romanian lei), and HUF (Hungarian Forint)
  • Spend online without foreign exchange fees
  • Get an optional international prepaid debit card that can be used in 200+ countries for travel, or simply paying for things and services without the crazy fees.

However, unlike a bank account, Wise is 6 to 8x cheaper for conversions within the account, but there are things you can’t do:

  • You can’t opt for an overdraft
  • You won’t earn interest on money you’ve stored in Wise multi currency account’s “Money Jars”
  • Your money is protected and safeguarded, but not guaranteed under government financial protection schemes
  • Accounts are subject to regulations which can cause accounts to be frozen.

Also, the account number and sorting code you receive for your multi-currency account are “electronic destinations” (think reference numbers) for your money and not actual, full service current or savings bank accounts.

Generally these “electronic destinations” work just fine, but they do introduce potential for human error which can result in delays.

The reality for many people is that these are small drawbacks compared to the b

7.2 Wise Debit Card

You can apply for the Wise debit card in most EEA countries, the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Singapore – which covers about 70% of the countries they serve.

>> See if the card is available in your country.

The Wise debit card is powered by MasterCard and can be an inexpensive tool for travel or simply buying goods and services in 200+ countries.

You also get free ATM withdrawals worldwide up to £200 GBP/ $250 USD or equivalent per month (over that amount, you’ll pay a 2% fee per withdrawal).

For comparison Wise says, “Prepaid travel cards, depending on the provider, can come with different fees such as initial load fees, ATM fees, reload fees and inactivity fees. The Wise debit card allows you to add money to your card without fees.”

The card can save a small fortune in fees if you’re travelling or have moved abroad or for online shopping.

Of all the fees a bank issued card can load on the biggest is often the currency conversion fees.

With a Wise card connected to your multi-currency account, spending money in the same currency is free.

And if you’re spending in a different currency, you’ll pay a small conversion fee between 0.35% and 2.85% when you convert money.

For common currency conversions, fees are usually at the low end below 1%.

We have a review of the Wise Card you might like or our Revolut Vs. Wise comparison.

7.3 Wise Business Account

You can sign up for the Wise business account from pretty much anywhere in the world, which is extremely convenient for expanding your global footprint.

With the Wise business account you can;

  1. Pay your overseas employees
  2. Receive payments from clients
  3. Get debit cards for spending in any currency
  4. Integrate Wise in your online store
  5. Get debit cards for spending in any currency

They say, “Everything you need to grow your business and operate internationally — without the high fees, hefty admin, and headache of a local bank.

Get all the features you need to bank in another country — regardless of where you’re located. With zero hassle and a one-time fee…”

The cost to get access to the international bank details in the Eurozone, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain for example is just $31 USD, £16 GBP, $42 CAD, € 21 EUR, $22 AUD or $40 NZD respectively.


Seeing the fees you pay on Wise for overseas transfers, upfront without signing up is a good sign of what Wise is all about.

For small transfers, Wise is our top choice (and has been for many years running) but nothing speaks louder than the fact that we use them ourselves personally for personal transfers and business.

And Wise is like a box of chocolates.

Like their Multi-currency account and debit card could be game changers in your life or business.

However, as we discussed in What do Wise Customers Say? (including Negative Reviews) ⬆️, if you need to speak to human at critical times, or want to transfer larger amounts we think other services may be better.

Check out our money transfer comparison for larger amounts or more telephone based services.

But if you are like most people, with Wise you might find your whole world of managing money just got a lot better.

Is Wise Safe?

Yes, Wise (formerly TransferWise) is a safe and trustworthy company. The company is authorized by financial regulators in various countries, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the US. Wise uses advanced security measures like as two-factor authentication.

Is Wise Inexpensive?

When you consider 3rd party fees banks charge at each end, Wise has significantly lower total fees compared to banks, PayPal, remittance companies and many other services.

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