Banking and Finance

How to Use a TransferWise Multi Currency Account

July 27, 2021

Did you know that there are a total of 180 currencies in the world as recognized by the United Nations? Wow. With that many different currencies circulating around, it’s easy to see why multicurrency accounts are becoming so popular and necessary, isn’t it?

What is a multicurrency account? Rather than opening a bank account in various countries where you’re looking to send and receive money in the local currency, a multicurrency account is a type of account that allows you to hold, send, and receive more than one currency. This type of account is particularly helpful for expats and business owners with international clients.

What are your options when it comes to opening a multicurrency account? You’ve got plenty of them! However, the TransferWise multicurrency account (now known as just the Wise multicurrency account as they recently changed their brand name) is one of the most popular.

What is a Wise Multicurrency Account?

As mentioned above, multicurrency accounts allow you to hold numerous different currencies in one account. In most cases, this also means that they allow you to withdraw money in local currencies, send and receive payments, access your funds via an app, and, in some cases, earn interest on your account

However, most multicurrency accounts are basic accounts that don’t offer the same perks that savings or checking accounts do.

When it comes to the Wise multicurrency account, you’ll be pleased to learn that it’s totally free to create an account! Depending on the country you create your account in, Wise offers different perks and features. In general, you can:

  • Send money at the real exchange rate to and from international bank accounts
  • Receive payments like a local in various currencies
  • Convert and hold up to 50+ currencies in your Wise account
  • Spend abroad with the Wise debit card that you can connect to both Apple Pay and Google Pay (this feature is one that’s not as common in the majority of countries)

In most countries, you’re able to avoid foreign transaction fees and bank markups by using Wise instead. Plus, it also allows you to receive international payments with ease.

What is a Borderless Account?

You might hear the term “borderless account” thrown around a lot in relation to multicurrency accounts, Wise, and other international payment transfer platforms. So, what exactly is a borderless account? It’s the same as a multicurrency account!

In this context, “borderless” refers to the idea that not only are you able to open the account from anywhere without a physical address, but you’re also able to spend as if there were no borders and no currency restrictions.

This means that borderless accounts allow you to not only send, receive, and send money in the local currency but also allow you to basically have a “local” presence in foreign countries. With Wise, for example, opening a Wise multicurrency account allows you to have a routing or IBAN number for accounts in the UK, Australia, and other parts of the world without ever stepping foot in the country.

Using the Wise Multicurrency Features

Think that a borderless/multicurrency account makes sense for you? Great! Click here to learn how to create a Wise account. Then, head back here to learn how to send money internationally with Wise and also how to receive money internationally with Wise.

How to Send Money Internationally with Wise

To send money with Wise, you actually don’t even need to have a Wise card. Likewise, you don’t need to have money in your Wise account. You simply need to have created an account successfully following the instructions in the guide above.

Now, you’ll go to the Wise homepage and take a look at their transfer calculator. It’s super helpful in determining how much you’ll pay on transfer fees and exchange rates (which Wise is well-known for as they’re dedicated to never charging more than the standard rate).

Be sure to enter the currency which you’ll be sending from (the currency that your bank account is in usually) and then select the currency that the recipient will receive. The calculator will then tell you what your options are in terms of transfers. There are generally four options when it comes to payment methods, which include:

  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Bank debit (ACH)
  • Wire transfer

Each of those methods comes with its own fee, and bank debit (ACH) transfers are often the cheapest and fastest.

How to Receive Money Internationally with Wise

Receiving money via Wise is even easier than sending money is, and that’s saying a lot! To receive money internationally with Wise, all you have to do is create a free multicurrency account if you haven’t already. 

Be sure to connect a bank account or card so that you are able to send the funds you receive to somewhere safe. If you don’t have a US bank account or a bank account in the local currency, you’ll be able to get those details once you’ve created your account. Currently, Wise offers bank account details such as routing numbers for receiving money in GBP, EUR, AUD, NZD, PLN and USD.

Depending on who is sending you money, simply give them those details so that they can initiate the transfer. Likewise, if someone abroad is trying to pay you for a service or send you cash in general, you can simply give them your Wise account email and they should be able to initiate the transfer.

Do note, however, that if you are able to give someone bank details for the country where they are located, it will allow you both to avoid transfer fees as it will appear as if they’re making the transfer to another local bank account.

The Best Debit Card Without Fees

If you find yourself in frequent need of a multicurrency account because you’re sending and receiving lots of international payments from various different countries, a Wise multicurrency account just makes sense.

However, if you’re just an international student in the US or are looking for a simple debit card option without the fees, the Cheese Debit Card is the best solution. Why? Well, for quite a few reasons, but primarily, Cheese waives one incoming wire transfer fee each calendar year.

Let’s say you are an immigrant or international student and want to pay in local US dollars but don’t have a US bank account. It’s a catch-22, right, because you also can’t traditionally open a bank account in the US without being a citizen.

That all changed with Cheese! We allow you to create an account with just an established US address, passport, and valid visa. And, on top of that, we also offer these perks:

❌ No Monthly Fee                                    🧀️ $5 cash bonus    

❌ No ATM Fee                                          🧀️ Up to 10% cashback with every purchase/transaction

❌ No Overdraft Fee                                 🧀️ No SSN Required

❌ No Insufficient Fund Fee                     🧀️ Up to 3% Saving Bonus

❌ No Minimum Balance Requirement    🧀️ Early Paycheck

❌ No Int. Incoming Wire Transfer Fee    🔐 FDIC Insured

Download the Cheese mobile banking app for either iOS or Android to get started.