Wise Account Review: Fees and Features 
Wise was launched in 2011 and makes it cheaper, faster and easier to send international transfers, thanks to a radical new payment model.
Today, Wise serves over 13 million personal and business customers with cross-border payments, and the multi-currency Wise Account – the world’s most international account. If you receive, send or spend foreign currencies, the Wise Account can help you save money with low, transparent fees and the real exchange rate.
This guide covers all you need to know about the Wise Account to help you decide if it’s right for you.
Wise Account: Key points
- Hold and exchange 50+ currencies
- An incredibly low fee structure the account has no set up fees, no monthly fees, and no receiving fees
- Spend and withdraw in 170+ countries with your linked debit card
- Send money within New Zealand and to 80+ countries
- Receive money fee free from 30 countries with your own local bank details
- See account balances in a glance, and manage your account in the Wise app
- Instant transaction notifications for security
- Price: No monthly fee, and low transaction charges – often the cheapest option available
- Exchange rate: No exchange rate markup or foreign transaction fee applied
- Speed: 90% of payments arrive within 24 hours and 50% of the total are instant
- Convenience: make payments online or in the Wise app in just a few clicks
- Transparency: full visibility on all fees, plus a delivery estimate when you make a payment
- Security: Regulated by bodies around the world, and overseen by the Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand
- Wise is not a bank – not all features you’d expect from a bank account are available
- You can’t pay in cash to your account
- No credit or overdrafts available
- No branch network – service available online, in-app and by phone only
Overall: The multi-currency Wise Account has a broad range of features, with no ongoing charges or minimum balance. Hold and exchange 50+ currencies, send payments to 80+ countries, and spend all over the world with the mid-market exchange rate using your linked Wise card. Unlike banks, Wise offers international payments and currency conversion with low, transparent fees and no exchange rate markup.
Learn more about the Wise multi-currency Account
What is the Wise Borderless Account and how does it work?
The multi-currency Wise Account is an easy, low-cost way to receive, exchange and send foreign currency payments.
You can also spend and make cash withdrawals with your Wise international debit card, which is Google Pay and Apple Pay compatible for mobile payments around the world. Because Wise offers the mid-market exchange rate without markups, and without foreign transaction fees, you’ll often find the overall costs are market beating – and significantly cheaper than a regular bank.
Receive money with Wise
When you open your Wise Account you’ll be able to access local bank account details for up to 10 currencies including NZD, GBP, USD, EUR, AUD and CAD. Give these account details to people who want to send you money from overseas, to receive payments into your Wise Account fee free from 30 different countries.
Hold money with Wise
You can use your Wise Account to hold 50+ different currencies, and you’ll see all your balances in a glance on the Wise app or by logging into your account online. It’s always free to spend any currency you hold with your Wise international debit card, and you can also exchange between currencies with the mid-market rate and low, transparent fees as and when you need to, in just a few clicks.
Wise is overseen by regulatory bodies around the world, which means your funds are safeguarded for security – no matter what currency you’re holding.
Spend with a Wise card
Spend and withdraw in 170+ countries with no foreign transaction fees, with a Wise international debit card. You can order your physical card for a one time fee of 14 NZD, and get started transacting right away with a Wise virtual card. Add your card to Google Pay or Apple Pay for easy mobile payments.
Smart auto-convert technology means that you’ll always pay in the local currency wherever you are. If you don’t hold the right balance your card can convert it for you in the cheapest possible way, to make sure you don’t get caught out by hidden fees applied by merchants using dynamic currency conversion. You’ll also get instant transaction notifications when you spend and you can freeze and unfreeze your card in the Wise mobile app for security.
Transfer from your account
If you hold a Wise balance you can withdraw it to a local account or make international payments to 80+ countries. If you don’t have the currency you need for your transfer, you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate when you send your payment, with low, transparent transfer fees. Simply log into your account and tap Send money to get started.
Convert money on Wise
Within your Wise Borderless Account you can convert between 50+ currencies instantly using the mid-market exchange rate with no markup. You’ll just pay a low currency conversion fee which starts from 0.41% of the value of the transaction.
Wise multi currency account and debit card fees
Here are the key fees you’ll want to know about when you open a multi-currency Wise Account:
|Open your multi-currency Wise Account||Free|
|Hold 50+ currencies||Free|
|Get local bank details for up to 10 currencies||Free|
|Order a Wise debit card||14 NZD|
|Spend currencies you hold using your card||Free|
|First 2 ATM withdrawals up to 350 NZD/month||Free|
|ATM withdrawals over 350 NZD/month||1.75%|
|Over 2 ATM withdrawals/month||1.5 NZD/withdrawal|
|Convert a currency using your card||Low free from 0.41%|
|Receive money in EUR, GBP, AUD, NZD, RON, HUF, CAD, TRY & SGD||Free|
|Receive USD by ACH or bank debit||Free|
|Receive USD by wire||4.14 USD|
|Send international payments||Low free from 0.41%|
Is it safe to keep money in Wise?
Wise is regulated by authorities around the world. It’s also overseen by the Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand. There are many different manual and automatic processes in place to keep customers and their money safe, including:
- Customer funds are safeguarded and kept separately from Wise’s own funds
- Wise holds a fixed level of capital on hand at all times
- Regular stress testing exercises to check plans and processes are robust
- 24 hour support with dedicated anti fraud teams and technology
- Account verification processes and 2 factor authentication
- Instant transaction alerts, with the option to freeze your card in the Wise app
Is TransferWise a bank?
Wise is not a bank, but for the services they offer, they’re just as safe as a bank.
In New Zealand, Wise operates as a foreign entity, overseen by the Department of Internal Affairs. As a global business, Wise is also regulated by bodies around the world like the FCA in the UK and FinCEN in the US – much in the same way banks are. That means they’re subject to the same regulations as other financial services providers, both in New Zealand and in all the other countries they operate in. And as a financial technology company, Wise has built its services and platforms with security in mind, to keep customers safe while offering an intuitive way of managing your money.
- Hold 50+ currencies and see them all at a glance
- Mid-market exchange rate and low transparent fees when you send or convert
- Spend and withdraw with your physical or virtual Wise card
- Get paid like a local from 30 countries
- Overseas payments to 80+ countries
- Safe and regulated provider
- No branch service – online, in-app and by phone only
- No cash deposits
- Transaction fees may apply
- No interest on Wise Account balances
Who is the Wise multi currency account for?
The multi-currency Wise Account can be opened by both personal and business customers, and suits a broad range of people.
Wise personal multi-currency accounts may suit customers who:
- Travel often, and need to pay for goods and services in foreign currencies
- Shop online with international retailers
- Get paid from overseas – freelancers and contractors for example
- Pay regular bills internationally, like an overseas mortgage on a holiday home
- Manage their money online and on the move
Wise business accounts may suit customers who:
- Pay suppliers and contractors based abroad
- Manage payroll internationally through one off or batch payments
- Receive money from customers and clients based overseas
- Withdraw in foreign currencies from PSPs like Stripe or marketplaces like Amazon
- Want to reconcile their international account with cloud-based accounting software
- Need international debit cards for their team and want to set and manage user permissions
How to open an account
Opening a multi-currency Wise Account is easy and can be done entirely online.
- Open the Wise homepage or app
- Click Register
- Follow the prompts to enter your personal details
- Get verified
- You’re ready to go
What documents you’ll need
To comply with the law in New Zealand and around the world, you’ll need to get verified to open a Wise Account. This helps keep customers and their money safe by preventing fraudulent or criminal use of accounts. The exact steps you need to take will depend a little on the account type you’re opening, and the information you provide – but a member of the Wise team will always guide you through if you need help. You can also save and exit the process if you don’t have everything on hand at first.
To open a personal multi-currency Wise Account you’ll usually need to provide:
- Proof of your identity – like a passport or driving licence
- Proof of address – like a bank statement or utility bill in your name.
You may be asked to take a selfie with your documents to show your identity matches your paperwork.
Customers looking to open a Wise business multi-currency account will need to provide business documentation which can vary based on entity type, as well as the names, date of birth, and country of residence for any directors and shareholders who own 25% or more of the business.
How long does verification take
Account verification can happen on the same day or even instantly for many customers. The Wise service team aims to have all accounts verified within 2 days and will be in touch if any more information or documentation is needed to get your account up and running.
Wise (TransferWise) limits
Both individuals and businesses around the world trust Wise with high value international payments. As such, the Wise transfer limits are set fairly high, at the equivalent of about 1 million GBP per transaction for most currencies. If you need to send more you can always contact the customer service team for guidance.
Here are the Wise transfer limits for a few major currencies as an example:
|NZD||2 million NZD|
|EUR||1.2 million EUR|
|USD||1.6 million USD|
|AUD||1.8 million AUD|
|SGD||2 million SGD|
The multi-currency Wise Account offers flexible, low cost ways to hold, send and receive foreign currencies. Because Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate and low fees, the overall costs are often the cheapest on the market for international payments – and thanks to Wise’s modern approach to processing payments, they’re often among the fastest, too.
The Wise Account is available to individuals, business owners and freelancers who need to pay and get paid internationally, and can make it cheaper and easier to manage money across borders.
How much does Wise cost?
There’s no cost to open a personal Wise Account, and no monthly fees to pay. Some transaction charges do apply, which are low and transparent.
How long does Wise take to transfer funds?
Many Wise transfers are instant or arrive within 24 hours. You’ll see a delivery estimate when you arrange your payment.
Is Wise safe?
Wise is a safe and fully regulated provider. In New Zealand Wise is overseen by the Department of Internal Affairs, and is also covered by a range of other regulatory bodies overseas for enhanced consumer protection.
How does Wise apply exchange rates?
All currency exchange with Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with a low conversion fee from 0.41%.
Does Wise have a mobile app?
Yes. Get the Wise app on both Apple and Android phones.
How does Wise work?
Open a Wise Account online or in the mobile app to hold, send and receive foreign currencies. You can also get a linked Wise debit card to spend and make withdrawals around the world.
How many currencies does Wise support?
Send payments to 80+ countries, hold 50+ currencies, and get bank details to get paid like a local in 10 currencies to your multi-currency Wise Account.