Wise (Formerly TransferWise) Fees + How to Use Wise in 2021
Did you know that the amount of transactions made via digital money transfers around the world is expected to reach a total of $143 million by 2023? That’s quite a lot of money that’ll be exchanging hands. In fact, you probably already use one of these services to easily send money to friends and family.
Yeah, we’re talking about apps such as PayPal, Zelle, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and even Cash App and Venmo! You’ve probably heard of all of them and likely even have an account with at least one of them, right? Digital money transfers are becoming increasingly more popular, especially as we’ve had to learn to live in a remote, contactless world these past couple of years.
However, we’ve yet to mention one of the most popular and widely-used money transfer platforms: Wise! You might know it as Transferwise, which was the previous brand name up until this year. What’s different about Wise is that it lets you send and receive money in different currencies. But, we’ll get into all of that below. Read on to find out more about how to use wise in 2021.
How to Use Wise (Formerly TransferWise)
Creating a Wise (Formerly TransferWise) account is super simple. In fact, you can create an account in just three simple steps:
- Visit the Wise homepage here and click on Register.
- Enter your email or sign up via the other methods available.
- Connect a bank account or credit card account.
And, you’re done! Really, it’s that simple. What might take the longest will be connecting your bank account or credit card information to the platform as you’ll need to have your personal information and numbers on hand. This includes everything from your address and perhaps even your social security number to your account numbers and routing numbers.
We suggest gathering all of that beforehand or at least having your online bank account platform pulled up so that you can easily access that information and those numbers. Wise is helpful with the setup process, though, and will let you know what you need every step of the way.
If you need to add funds to your Cheese Debit Card so that you can link your card to Wise, read up on how to do that here.
If you’re not sure what a routing number is or how to find it, check out this helpful guide here.
Is Wise (Formerly TransferWise) Safe?
In general, performing wire transfers is a lot safer than sending cash through third-parties such as Western Union or MoneyGram. We’re not saying that those companies aren’t safe (that actually isn’t what we’re saying at all!). It’s just generally a lot easier to send money via a wire transfer because your bank is able to track, manage, and help you with the transaction.
And, when it comes to Wise (Formerly TransferWise) , it’s absolutely safe, yes! How safe is Wise exactly? Well, for starters, they use HTTPS encryption and two-factor authentication when you initiatie transfers via their website platform. Everytime you log into the app or website and every time you make a transfer, Wise (Formerly TransferWise) asks you to verify your identity. This helps ensure that nobody can access your account and send funds to someone else without your authorization.
On top of that, Wise (Formerly TransferWise) is safe simply due to the fact that the company is so large that it’s regulated around the world by various financial institutions. In the United States, for example, it is registered with and regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The company is also registered with numerous other financial entities similar to the one mentioned above in countries around the world.
What about what happens to your money if you’ve got it stored in your Wise account (in the case that you have a debit card with them that allows you to pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay)? It’s protected! Due to the registration with the FinCEN, they’re required by law to keep your money in safe bank accounts that are insured.
Read more about what it means when an account is FDIC-insured here.
What is the Wise (Formerly TransferWise) Exchange Rate?
This is actually one of the biggest benefits of using Wise compared to other money transfer platforms such as Western Union, Xoom, and PayPal. In fact, they state on their website that:
“Wise never hides fees in the exchange rate. We give you the real rate, independently provided by Reuters. Compare our rate and fee with Western Union, ICICI Bank, WorldRemit and more, and see the difference for yourself.”
And, in fact, they actually do never hide fees in the exchange rate! Just take a look at their currency converter to see. What usually happens when you initiate a money transfer via your bank, for example, is that the bank will look at the current exchange rate that day and then mark it up just a bit more so that they can take a fee from that markup. This absolutely isn’t the case with Wise (Formerly TransferWise).
For example, the current exchange rate from USD to Euros on Wise is 0.841900, which is noted as a mid-market rate. Compare this to other exchange rates charged from major money transfer companies:
- PayPal: 0.809265
- Western Union: 0.824324
- Xoom: 0.827862
While the differences between those exchange rates might look minimal, it adds up to a lot of savings on larger transfers, especially if you make money transfers quite often.
Wise (Formerly TransferWise) Card Fees
Now that you know that Wise (Formerly TransferWise) exchange rates are some of the best around, what about the Wise (Formerly TransferWise) ? Do you get charged for connecting a card to the platform? No! But, there is a fee associated with whichever payment method you opt for when initiating a money transfer.
If you visit the Wise homepage, you’re able to view what these fees might be without having to create an account. Basically, 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. For example, when we currently go to try and send $300 from a US bank account to someone in China with an account in Chinese Yuan, the fees for each are:
- Debit card = $3.38 USD
- Credit card = $11.23 USD
- Bank debit (ACH) = $0.48 USD
- Wire transfer = $4.14 USD
On top of that fee, Wise charges a small fee for their own service as well. This fee can vary depending on how much you’re sending. For the $300 transfer mentioned above, that fee was listed as $4.37.
So, in total, assuming that you choose the cheapest payment method option above (the ACH transfer), your fee for sending $300 to China would only be $4.85. What a steal! Wise estimates that that’s a total savings of over $14 on that one transfer alone.
Need a Debit Card to Use Wise?
Yep, we called it Wise! We’re just helping you transition over to using the new name, too. And, we’re also here to help you if you need a debit card that you can use to connect to Wise in order to send and receive payments.
You do? Great! Check out the Cheese Debit Card. Aside from being easy to get (we allow you to create an account with just an established US address, passport, and valid visa), we offer cashback perks and other cash bonuses just because we believe that your money should work for you.
Check out some of the features we offer when you use a Cheese Debit Card:
❌ 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
While you’ll still need to use Wise to transfer money abroad, you can link your Cheese Debit Card to your Wise account and enjoy cashback offers while you spend.