Wise Fees: A full review

Wise (TransferWise) was built to make international payments cheaper, faster and more transparent. The way Wise moves money is different compared to banks and traditional money transfer companies – and Wise also takes a radically different approach when it comes to charging for its services.

To make it easy to see exactly what you’re paying for every transaction, Wise splits out all its fees – unlike many providers which bundle costs together or hide fees in the exchange rates used. You’ll only ever pay for the services you need, and you’ll always see in advance any costs involved.

This guide covers all you need to know about Wise’s fees, how they’re structured, and how they compare.

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TransferWise fees: an overview

Wise is on a mission to make it easier and cheaper to transact internationally. That means Wise fees are designed to be fair, transparent, and get lower over time.

Because of this commitment, Wise won’t try to hide the fees you pay for services.

That means you’ll see a breakdown of the fees you’ll pay before you confirm a transaction – no surprises and no sneaky extra costs.

Here are the key Wise fees you’ll want to know about.

Service Wise fee
Open your Wise multi-currency account
  • Free for personal customers
  • Business customers can open an account for free, or pay 22 AUD for full feature access
Hold 54 currencies Free
Get local bank details for 10 currencies Free
Hold a high value balance Hold up to a fixed amount per currency free – limits vary by currency – for example:

  • AUD — 23,000
  • EUR — 15,000
  • GBP — 13,000
  • USD — 18,000

If you hold above this amount in a personal account you’ll pay the equivalent of 1.6%/year, or 0.00437% daily

Order a Wise debit card 10 AUD for personal customers
Free for business customers
Spend currencies you hold using your card Free
First 2 ATM withdrawals up to 350 AUD/month Free
ATM withdrawals over 350 AUD/month 1.75%
Over 2 ATM withdrawals/month 1.50 AUD/withdrawal
Convert a currency using your card Low fee – around 0.45 % is common for major currencies
Receive money in EUR, GBP, AUD, NZD, RON, HUF & SGD Free
Receive USD by ACH or bank debit Free
Receive USD by wire 7.50 USD
Send international payments Low currency conversion fee – around 0.45 % is common for major currencies + fixed fee which varies by currency
Send high value international payments Volume discounts of up to 0.17% on payments of the currency equivalent of over 100,000 GBP/month (around 190,000 AUD)
AUD, GBP and EUR direct debits Free

TransferWise currency conversion fee

Traditional banks and money transfer services often add a markup – an extra fee – onto the exchange rate they pass on to customers. This lets them make great headline statements like ‘zero commission’ or ‘fee free transfers’ while still making a profit – but it also makes it hard to see what you’re really paying for your international transfer.

Customers are often surprised to know that an exchange rate markup can make a big difference to the cost of their international payment. Bank markups are often

around 3% – which pushes up the costs of a transfer significantly, especially over higher value payments. Here’s how a 3% margin would mount up over a few different transfer values:

  • Sending 1,000 AUD – the exchange rate markup adds 30 AUD to the total
  • Sending 5,000 AUD – the exchange rate markup adds 150 AUD to the total
  • Sending 50,000 AUD – the exchange rate markup adds 1,500 AUD to the total

Wise takes a different approach. All Wise currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with the conversion fee you pay split out so it’s easy for you to see if you’re getting a good deal.

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Wise transfer fees

When you make a Wise international transfer you’ll pay couple of different transparent costs:

  • Fixed fee: covering the fixed costs associated with the transaction. For major currencies this is usually $0.5 – $1
  • Variable fee: covering the cost of the currency exchange. For major currencies this is typically around 0.45% of the transfer value

The total fee you’ll pay is always displayed before you confirm the transaction. Let’s look at the Wise transfer fees for 5 popular world currencies as an example:

Sending 1,000 AUD to Variable fee (AUD) Fixed fee (AUD) Total fee (AUD)
EUR 4.48 (0.45%) 0.52 5.00
USD 4.48 (0.45%) 0.78 5.46
GBP 4.48 (0.45%) 0.66 5.14
CAD 4.58 (0.46%) 0.72 5.30
SGD 4.57 (0.46%) 1.03 5.60

*Fees correct at time of research 23rd February 2022

TransferWise fee calculator

To make sure you can easily check and compare the costs of sending money, Wise has a handy fee calculator, which you can access online or in the Wise app. Just enter your payment details to instantly see the full cost, the exchange rate available, and the estimated delivery time. Here’s how:

  1. Select the currency you’re sending to and from
  2. Confirm how much you want to send, or how much you want the recipient to get
  3. Choose how you’ll pay for the transfer

With the Wise fee calculator you can see the variable fee as a percentage and a total, the fixed fee, and the total cost. It also shows exactly what your recipient will receive, and when it’s likely to arrive in their account.

Check out the Wise fee calculator here, to start saving on your international transfers today.

How does TransferWise pricing work?

Wise has its own payment network which lets it arrange international transfers faster and for a lower cost compared to banks and money transfer services which rely on the outdated SWIFT network. With this new approach, Wise is changing the way the international payment market works – and offering new approaches to pricing too.

As we mentioned earlier, Wise’s commitments include:

  • Being radically transparent about costs
  • Charging as little as possible – and lowering fees over time
  • Using fair pricing so you only pay for the services you use

How much you pay with Wise will depend on the service you’re using, how you want to pay, and the currencies involved. However, you’ll always see the full fee upfront, with no sneaky hidden fees to worry about.

Sending large amounts with Wise

Wise is a safe provider which is already trusted by 12 million+ customers around the world, and overseen by global regulatory bodies everywhere it operates. That makes it a very safe provider to choose for high value international transfers. Even better, you can even get a discount on your costs if you regularly send Wise payments for yourself or your business.

If you send more than the currency equivalent of 100,000 GBP a month (around 190,000 AUD) you could get an automatic discount of up to 0.17%. There’s no need to pre-arrange the fee, which means everyone gets the best possible deal, every time. Here’s how the Wise high value payment discounts break down:

Payment volume (GBP) Discount
Under 100,000/month 0
100,000 – 300,000/month 0.1%
300,000 – 500,000/month 0.15%
500,000 – 1million/month 0.16%
1 million+/month 0.17%

How does Wise pricing compare?

Using a specialist provider for your cross border payment is almost always cheaper than using a traditional bank. However, even some specialist providers hide fees in the exchange rate they use. That means you’ll need to look carefully at the overall costs to find the cheapest provider for your payment.

At Exiap you can compare providers transparently, to find the best money transfer service for your needs based on both the fees and exchange rates available.

Conclusion

Wise is different to traditional banks and international money transfer services – both in the way its services work, and the way it charges for them.

With Wise you’ll only ever pay for the services you need, and you’ll always see the full cost upfront before you commit. There are no sneaky hidden charges or exchange rate markups to worry about, and you’ll see exactly what your recipient will get in the end, too.

That’s more transparent than bundling costs or hiding a charge in the exchange rate, like many other providers – and it means you can check you’re getting good value, too.

Overall, Wise’s low fees and transparent approach to pricing makes it a market beating service for many customers.

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FAQs

How much does Wise cost?

Wises fees vary by service, how you’re paying and the currencies you’re sending to and from. However, you’ll always be able to see the full cost upfront before you arrange your payment.

What are Wise currency conversion fees?

Wise uses the real mid-market exchange rate with no markup. When you convert between currencies you’ll pay a low, transparent fee which you can see before you make payment.

What are Wise transfer fees?

Wise transfer fees include a low fixed fee (often $0.50 – $1), covering the costs associated with the transaction, and a variable fee covering the cost of the currency exchange. For major currencies this is typically around 0.45% of the transfer value.

How does Wise compare?

Wise currency conversion and international payments use the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees. This means they’re often among the cheapest – if not the cheapest – provider available.

By Ileana Ionescu Updated March 29th, 2022