TransferWise Debit Card Review

 The TransferWise Debit card, works with the Borderless Account to give customers an easy way to spend their balances in multiple countries. With interbank rates and low fees, this product almost sounds good to be true.

So, is it?

What is the TransferWise Debit Card?

The TransferWise Debit card is attached to your Borderless Account and can be used to make purchases internationally. It's just like having a local card in overseas locations. It makes it easier to spend money internationally, even if you don't have the currency you need in your account.

Pros and cons of the TransferWise Debit Card

  • Allows you to make payments and withdrawals wherever you are in the world.
  • $0 international ATM fees up to £200 per month.
  • Easily convert between currencies either within the account, or automatically when spending.
  • Even it if isn't yet available in your country, you can sign up and TransferWise will let you know when it's available.
  • Only currently available in the UK and Europe.
  • Can't always access local technical support depending on where you are.
  • Must load £20, or you currency equivalent to your account when you sign up.

Learn more about the Borderless Account Debit Card

How does the TransferWise Debit Card Work?

You use the TransferWise Debit Card in the same way you would use any debit card. You can withdraw money from it, and make purchases in shops, restaurants and any place that accepts card. If you have the balance of the currency for the country you're in, it will simple deduct the amount from your account. If you don't have any of that currency, TransferWise will convert the currency for you, at the best rate so that you can make your purchase or withdrawal. Simple!

 

Example:

Samantha lives in the UK but is currently in Berlin for work. She has a Borderless Account and recently received her debit card. In her account she has US dollars, Euros and Pounds. When she first gets to Berlin, she uses her card to make purchases and they are deducted straight from her balance of Euros. However, towards the end of the trip she runs out of Euros. When Samantha goes to make a purchase, TransferWise automatically calculate the best rate and convert one of the other currencies to Euros so that she can complete the purchase.

How is this Different?

This is unique to both Foreign Currency Accounts and travel cards. Generally, foreign currency accounts are opened in the country in which you live, and allow you to hold currencies different to that of your home currency. Usually it is not possible to access these funds via a card.

When it comes to travel cards, they are generally a prepaid option. Which means you need to load the card with the currency you need, there are high conversion fees, and once you have used up the funds on the card the only option is to top it up.

The Borderless Account and TransferWise Debit Card, allows you to directly access the funds you are holding in the account. Even if you don't have enough of the currency you need, TransferWise will efficiently convert it for you at the best rate.

Where is it Available?

The Borderless Account is available in:

  • Europe
  • The UK
  • Australia
  • United States.

However, the debit card is currently only available in the UK and Europe. We would hope to see it become available in more countries by the end of the year. See a full list of the countries it is currently available here.

How Much Does it Cost?

While it is free to create a Borderless Account, and to get a TransferWise Debit Card, there are some fees you need to be aware of:

  1. When you're converting currency within the Borderless, there is a percentage based fee you will be charged. This depends on the currency, you can find out more here.
  2. When you're withdrawing money with the card for free, up to £200 and above that amount you get charged 2% of the withdrawal size.
  3. When you first open the account, you must load £20 (or your currency equivalent) to verify your identity.

To read more about TransferWise fees, you can click here.

Is the TransferWise Debit Card a Good Option?

If you want to easily access the funds you're holding with TransferWise, it is a great option. It is a cheap, and easy way to spend and withdraw money internationally.

The Currency Shop says:

  • The TransferWise Debit Card is an efficient and cheap way to spend money overseas.
  • Even if you need to convert between currencies, their rates are unbeatable as they offer the mid market rate at the time you convert.
  • Use our comparison table to compare foreign exchange rates, fees and services of other providers.
  • You can read our full review of the TransferWise Borderless Account here.

Learn more about the Borderless Account