Wise Debit Card Review

Wise launched in 2011 with a mission to challenge the banks and make transacting internationally cheaper, faster, and easier - with no hidden charges or sneaky exchange rate hikes.

Wise offers a range of products including instant low fee international payments, multi-currency accounts, and Wise international debit cards for easy spending and withdrawals around the world.

This Wise debit card review covers all you need to know about the Wise card features, fees, availability and more.

Quick summary

There’s an in-depth Wise debit card review coming up - first let's look at the key features, pros and cons of the Wise debit card.

What is the Wise Debit Card?

The Wise card is a debit card - not a credit card - that’s linked to a Wise multi-currency account. It’s great for spending and making cash withdrawals, online, at home and abroad - and best of all, you’ll get currency conversion using the real mid-market exchange rate whenever you choose to spend in a foreign currency. 

Wise card features

  • Hold and exchange 50+ currencies in your Wise account
  • Spend in 200+ countries, withdraw at 2.3 million ATMs
  • Convert currencies in your account with the mid-market exchange rate and low fees 
  • View and manage your account in the Wise app
  • Freeze and unfreeze your card instantly
  • Spend any currency you hold in the account for free
  • Auto convert feature makes sure you always pay the lowest possible fee when spending currencies you don’t hold in your account
  • Check your balance in the app - and get instant transaction notifications for security
  • Debit card - making it easier to manage your budget without running up debts or incurring credit charges
  • Wise is authorized to operate in most US states - in the other states, Wise operates through its partnership with Community Federal Savings Bank 

Pros of the Wise Debit Card

Cons of the Wise Debit Card

  • No ongoing card charges to pay - it’s also free to spend any currency you hold in your account
  • Auto convert function to cut costs even if you don’t have the currency you need
  • 2 free ATM withdrawals, to the value of 100 USD per month, with low fees after that
  • Not a credit card - no risk of interest charges creeping in
  • As a global company, Wise is US authorized and overseen by authorities all over the world.
  • One time 9 USD fee to get your card in the first place
  • Some ATM fees apply when you make 3 or more withdrawals, worth more than 100 USD/month
  • Daily and monthly limits based on spend category
  • Top up account online or in app only - no cash or cheque options
  • No credit facilities

Learn more about the Wise Debit Card

Who is the Wise debit card for?

The Wise debit card is available in the US for anyone with a Wise multi-currency personal account, which means it can be a great way for lots of people to manage their money conveniently - and cut transaction costs at the same time. The Wise debit card is great for:

  • Travellers looking to make contactless or mobile payments
  • Anyone on holiday who wants to withdraw cash cheaply from local ATMs
  • People who love to shop online with international retailers
  • Anyone who wants a low cost, secure account with an easy to use linked debit card 

 

Is the Wise debit card a good option?

The Wise debit card can be a great way to make spending in foreign currencies cheaper and more convenient.

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

How does the Wise debit card work?

The Wise international debit card is linked to a Wise multi-currency account, which lets you hold, exchange, receive and send payments in 50+ currencies. Order a linked Wise debit card to make it easier to spend and make cash withdrawals from your Wise account balance, all over the world.

It’s always free to spend currencies you hold in your account. And if you don’t have the currency you need in your account, the Wise debit card can automatically convert the amount for you from whichever available currency account has the cheapest conversion fee. That means that there’s no need to worry about converting money before traveling, because you’ll always know you’re getting the best available deal every time.

Let’s look at an example: you’ve taken a trip to France for work, and you’ve chosen to use your Wise debit card for spending and withdrawals to cut your costs while you’re there. In your Wise account you have a balance in euros, plus balances in US dollars and British pounds. 

The first payments and withdrawals you make will be deducted from your euro balance. However, if you need to spend more than you have in euros, you can still pay as usual, and the card will deduct the funds from either your USD or GBP balance, depending on which comes with a lower fee. No hassle - and you can trust you’ll always get the best available deal.

Who is the Wise debit card for?

The Wise multi-currency account, and Wise debit card, are really simple and convenient to use. But they’re pretty revolutionary compared to other foreign currency accounts and travel cards available from regular banks and currency services.

Foreign currency accounts can be opened with some major banks - but they’re typically pretty restrictive in terms of the currencies available, with high fees and minimum balance requirements. You’ll also often find there’s no linked debit card, making day to day spending when you travel all but impossible. 

There are also a range of prepaid travel cards on the market which allow customers to top up funds and spend or withdraw internationally. However, these also often come with fees to add money, exchange rate markups and a selection of other costs.

The Wise debit card was created to make it easier for customers to hold and exchange a really wide range of currencies, top up easily and on the go, and get currency exchange with no hidden fees or sneaky markups. As there’s no minimum balance or monthly fee, you can use your card as much or as little as you want - safe in the knowledge you’ll only ever pay a low, transparent fee for the services you use. 

Wise card limits

Your Wise card comes with default set limits which you can change if you would like to. Daily and monthly limits apply - daily limits refresh each day at midnight, while monthly limits restart on the first day of each calendar month. If you’re not happy with the default limits it’s easy to change them to suit you - just log into your account on the Wise app or desktop site.

 

Transaction typeSingle transaction limitDaily limitMonthly limit
Chip and PIN Default: 1,000 USD

Maximum: 2,000 USD

Default: 1,000 USD

Maximum: 2,000 USD

Default: 5,000 USD

Maximum: 10,000 USD

ATM withdrawalDefault: 250 USD

Maximum: 1,000 USD

Default: 250 USD

Maximum: 1,000 USD

Default: 1,500 USD

Maximum: 4,000 USD

Mobile wallet like Apple Pay or Google PayDefault: 200 USD

Maximum: 400 USD

Default: 500 USD

Maximum: 1,000 USD

Default: 1,500 USD

Maximum: 4,000 USD

Magnetic stripeDefault: 1,000 USD

Maximum: 1,500 USD

Default: 1,000 USD

Maximum: 1,500 USD

Default: 1,500 USD

Maximum: 6,000 USD

Online purchaseDefault: 1,000 USD

Maximum: 2,000 USD

Default: 1,000 USD

Maximum: 2,000 USD

Default: 2,000 USD

Maximum: 10,000 USD

How much does it cost?

Here’s a rundown of all the fees you can expect to meet when ordering and using your Wise multi-currency debit card:

ServiceWise debit card fee
One time card order fee9 USD
Order a new card5 USD
Replace an expiring cardFree - Wise will remind you when you need a new card for convenience
Spend currencies you hold in your accountFree
Spend in currencies you don’t have in your accountWise will auto convert the balance you have to the currency you need, using the mid-market exchange rate and the lowest available fees
First 2 ATM withdrawals a month, up to the value of 100 USDFree
Additional withdrawals, over the value of 100 USD/month1.5 USD per withdrawal + 2% of the withdrawal value

Wise exchange rate

Wise was created with a mission to make currency conversion cheaper and more transparent. Every time you switch currencies with Wise you’ll get the mid-market rate with no hidden markup - when you spend with your Wise debit card, convert currencies within your Wise account, or send an international payment.

This is different to banks and most other international card providers. Typically, the exchange rates you get from other providers will include a markup which is added onto the exchange rate used. That’s an extra fee, but it’s hard to spot and pushes up the prices you pay without you necessarily knowing it. To avoid this tricky fee, Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate and splits out the full costs of currency conversion for transparency. You’ll be able to see the full fees you pay when you switch currencies within your account - and if you use the card’s auto convert feature, you can be sure the transaction will be processed with the lowest fee possible.

 

 

Learn more about the Wise Debit Card

How to get your debit card

Here’s how to get your Wise international debit card in just a few simple steps:

  • Open a Wise account online in just a few minutes
  • Top up your Wise account in the currency of your choice
  • Order your Wise card for a one time 9 USD fee
  • Complete the verification step, uploading an image of your ID document and entering your SSN
  • Your physical card will arrive in the post in a few days 

If you don’t already have a Wise multi-currency account it’s good to know you can register in just a few minutes using your email address, Facebook, Apple or Google ID. 

How to activate your Wise card

Once your physical card arrives in the post you’ll need to activate it. This is done simply by making taking the following steps:

  1. Log into to your Wise account
  2. If you’re on the website, go to Debit card. If you’re on the app, go to Account, then click the card icon at the top of the screen
  3. Enter the 6-digit code that’s on the card below your name

You can only activate your card if you’re in the US, so do remember to take this step before you travel.

How to top up your Wise card

Your Wise debit card is linked to your Wise multi-currency account. To add funds to your Wise account you’ll need to take the following steps:

  • Log into your Wise account online or in the Wise app
  • Select the currency balance you want to top up
  • Tap Add
  • Confirm the currency you want to pay with
  • Enter the amount you want to top up and select a payment method
  • Check everything over, confirm and follow the prompts to complete the payment

Learn more about the Wise Debit Card

Where is it Available?

If you have a Wise account and are a resident of any of the following countries and regions, you can apply for a Wise debit card:

  • The US
  • The EU and EEA
  • The UK
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Brazil

Is Wise Card safe to use?

Yes. The Wise card is safe to use. As a company, Wise is covered by regulatory bodies all over the world. That means that no matter what currencies you hold on your Wise debit card, you know your money is kept safely and in accordance with global laws and best practices. 

Wise accounts have a range of security features including thorough verification processes, 2 factor authentication and a 24/7 fraud prevention protocol. Additionally, Wise debit cards can be frozen instantly in the Wise app if you’re concerned about security, with real time transaction notifications and the option to check your balance and account history in a glance in the app. 

You can read our full review about Wise's safety here: Is Wise Safe?

Conclusion: is the Wise card worth it?

The Wise debit card can make life easier - and help you save money - if you travel often, shop with international ecommerce stores, or want to be able to manage your money and spending across currencies more flexibly. 

Wise currency exchange always uses the real mid-market exchange rate with no markup and no hidden fees - and with the Wise debit card’s smart auto convert feature you don’t even need to switch currencies before you travel. Leave the Wise card to switch to the currencies you need, when you need them, with the lowest possible fee every time.

Learn more about the Wise Debit Card

FAQ

Can I use my Wise card abroad?

Yes. In fact, the Wise card can help you cut the costs of currency conversion when you spend and make withdrawals in over 200 countries around the world.

Is the Wise card contactless?

Yes. The Wise international debit card is contactless for convenient spending. It’s worth noting that older versions of the Wise debit card may not have contactless functionality - but any cards issued since December 2019 will have this option.

Is Wise card a credit card?

The Wise card is not a credit card. It’s a debit card which is linked to your Wise multi-currency account. That means you can spend all over the world with no worries about blowing your budget or hitting unexpected credit fees.

How long does it take to get a Wise debit card?

Your Wise card will be delivered in 5 - 9 business days once you’ve ordered it and completed the required verification check.

Is Wise card free?

There’s a one time 9 USD fee to get your Wise debit card - with no ongoing fees after that.

How much can you withdraw with Wise?

You can set your own withdrawal limits within the Wise app - these run to 1,000 USD per day, and 4,000 USD per month.

Is Wise a prepaid card?

The Wise debit card is linked to a Wise multi-currency account. To use your Wise card you’ll need to top up your Wise account with USD - or another eligible currency of your choice. Adding funds is easy and can be done online or in the Wise app.

Learn more about the Wise Debit Card

By Justin Rampono Updated June 23rd, 2022