Wise Multi-Currency Account Review

Wise Borderless Account Review 2022

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 12 million personal and business customers with cross-border payments, and the Wise multi-currency 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 multi-currency account to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Multi-Currency Account is good for

  • People who travel regularly and need foreign currency
  • Fast currency exchange at the market rate you see online
  • Card has no international fees online or in person
  • Free monthly ATM withdrawals

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Wise Account Key Points

Key features:

  • 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: 80% of payments arrive within 24 hours and 45% 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: Globally regulated, with manual and automatic anti-fraud processes
Wise Multi-Currency Account with Wise Debit Card

Pros and cons of Wise Multi-Currency Account

  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies and see them all at a glance
  • Spend and withdraw in 200+ countries with your Wise debit card
  • Send money to 80+ countries
  • Get local bank details in 10 different currencies including EUR, GBP and CAD
  • 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
  • Safe and regulated provider in the US and overseas
  • Wise is not a bank - not all features you’d expect from a bank account are available
  • No cash deposits - You can’t pay in cash to your account
  • No credit or overdrafts available
  • No interest on funds held in your Wise account
  • No branch network - service available online, in-app and by phone only
  • Transaction fees may apply

Overall: The Wise multi-currency 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 - so you can save up to 3x. Exiap readers can also get an exclusive, fee-free Wise promo code to bring down the costs even further.

 

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What is the Wise multi currency account and how does it work?

The Wise multi-currency 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 - up to 3x 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 10 currencies including USD, GBP, EUR, AUD and NZD. 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 53 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 a fully authorized and regulated provider, which means your funds are safeguarded for security - no matter what currency you’re holding.

Wise Multi Currency Account Supported Currencies

You can hold money in any of the following currencies in your Wise account:

Europe
  • British Pound
  • Bulgarian Lev
  • Croatian Kuna
  • Czech Koruna
  • Danish Krone
  • Euro
  • Georgian Lari
  • Hungarian Forint
  • Norwegian Krone
  • Polish Zloty
  • Romanian Leu
  • Russian Ruble
  • Swedish Krona
  • Swiss Franc
  • Turkish Lira
  • Ukrainian Hryvnia
Americas
  • Argentine Peso
  • Canadian Dollar
  • Chilean Peso
  • Costa Rican Colón
  • Mexican Peso
  • Peruvian Sol
  • Uruguayan Peso
Oceania
  • Australian dollar
  • New Zealand dollar
East Asia
  • Bangladeshi Taka
  • Chinese Yuan
  • Indian Rupee
  • Japanese Yen
  • Nepalese Rupee
  • Pakistani Rupee
  • South Korean Won
  • Sri Lankan Rupee
Southeast Asia
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
Middle East
  • Israel
  • UAE
Africa
  • Botswana Pula
  • Egyptian Pound
  • Ghanaian Cedi
  • Kenyan Shilling
  • Moroccan Dirham
  • Nigerian Naira
  • South African Rand
  • Tanzanian Shilling
  • Ugandan Shilling
  • Zambian Kwacha
  • West African Franc

Spend with a Wise card

Spend and withdraw in 200 countries with no foreign transaction fees, with a Wise international debit card. You can order your card for a one time fee of 9 USD, and add it 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. Read more in our full Wise debit card review.

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 account you can convert between 50+ currencies instantly using the mid-market exchange rate with no markup. You’ll just pay a small currency conversion fee which can be as low as 0.41% of the value of the transaction for major currencies.

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Wise multi currency account and debit card fees

Here are the key Wise fees you’ll want to know about when you open a Wise multi-currency account:

ServiceWise fee
Open your Wise multi-currency accountFree
Hold 53 currenciesFree
Get local bank details for 10 currenciesFree
Hold a balance of over 3,000 EUR0.07%
Order a Wise debit card9 USD
Spend currencies you hold using your cardFree
First 2 ATM withdrawals up to 100 USD/monthFree
ATM withdrawals over 100 USD/month2%
Over 2 ATM withdrawals/month1.5 USD/withdrawal
Convert a currency using your cardLow fee from 0.41%
Receive money in AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD and TRYFree
Receive USD by ACH or bank debitFree
Receive USD by wire4.14 USD
Send international paymentsLow currency conversion fee from 0.41% + fixed fee which varies by currency

Get a full rundown of the Wise multi-currency account and debit card fees here.

 

Is it safe to keep money in Wise?

Wise is FinCEN registered and licensed to operate in most US states. In other US locations, Wise offers services through a partnership with Community Federal Savings Bank. As a global business, Wise is also covered by regulatory authorities around the world. 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

Read more about Wise safety here.

Is Wise a bank?

Wise is not a bank, but for the services they offer, they’re just as safe as a bank.

Wise is authorized to operate in the US independently, or through a partner, just like your normal bank will be. That means it’s subject to the same regulations as other financial services providers, both in the US and in all the other countries it operates 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.

 

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Who is the Wise multi currency account for?

The Wise multi-currency 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

The Wise business account 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

 

How to open an account

Opening a Wise multi-currency account is easy and can be done entirely online. 

  1. Open the Wise homepage or app
  2. Click Register
  3. Follow the prompts to enter your personal details
  4. Get verified
  5. You’re ready to go

 

What documents you'll need

To comply with the law in the US 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 Wise multi-currency account you’ll usually need to provide your SSN or ITIN if you’re a US resident. If you don’t have an SSN you may also choose to upload an image of your personal ID document, such as a non-US issued passport, National ID card or driving license.

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 Transfer 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:

Sending Maximum payment
EUR1.2 million EUR
USD1.6 million USD
AUD1.8 million AUD
CADNo limit
SGD2 million SGD

 

Conclusion

The Wise multi-currency 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.

 

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FAQ

1. How much does Wise cost?

There’s no cost to open a Wise personal account, and no monthly fees to pay. Some transaction charges do apply, which are low and transparent.

2. 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.

3. Is Wise safe?

Wise is a safe and fully regulated provider, registered with FinCEN and covered by a range of regulatory bodies overseas for enhanced consumer protection.

4. How does Wise apply exchange rates?

All currency exchange with Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with a low conversion fee. This can be as low as 0.41% for major currencies.

5. Does Wise have a mobile app?

Yes. Get the Wise app on both Apple and Android phones. It's free to download.

6. 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.

7. 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 Wise multi-currency account.

8. How much money can I keep in my Wise account?

A limit may apply to the amount of money you can receive into and hold in your Wise account. However, even where a limit applies, it is set fairly high to allow customers to transact as much as they like. For example, if your Wise personal account has a routing number starting with 026, this may mean you can only receive up to 1 million USD per transfer.

9. Is Wise an international account?

Yes. Wise offers a multi-currency account which allows customers to hold, exchange, send and spend in a broad range of currencies.

10. Is Wise a foreign account?

With the Wise multi-currency account you can get local bank details for 10 countries including the US, the UK, Australia and Eurozone to receive payments fee-free from 30+ countries.

 

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By Justin Rampono Updated August 12th, 2022