Wise vs Revolut: Which One is Better?

If you’re in the market for a new way to send, spend or receive a range of foreign currencies, you might be wondering about the respective benefits of Wise (formerly TransferWise) vs Revolut. This guide has you covered, with all you need to know when choosing between Wise or Revolut accounts.

Wise (formerly TransferWise) vs Revolut - The Important Bits

Wise

Safety: Based in the UK, licensed and well backed

Rates: Mid-market rate (real exchange rate)

Fees: Percentage based fee

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Currency conversion: Instant

Trustpilot rating: 133,796 reviews. Score 4.6/5 - Excellent 

Revolut

Safety: Based in UK, fully licensed

Rates: Mid-market rate to 1,000 USD/month (standard plan)

Fees: Up to 6 USD/ transfer, based on destination and currency

Speed: Depends on the currency, country and payment method

Currency conversion: Instant

Trustpilot rating: 94,999 reviews. Score 4.4/5 - Excellent 

Learn more about Wise

Learn more about Revolut

Wise vs Revolut in three important ways:

 

  1. Mid-market exchange rate for the currency conversions offered by both services. Revolut is limited by the amount sent but paid plan holders have more flexibility.
  2. Wise can be more expensive during a regular working day; Revolut has different fee plans during weekends, when the service becomes more expensive.
  3. Revolut offers more features than Wise for domestic banking; Wise is specialised in providing you with international money transfer solutions.

Wise and Revolut features in more detail

Wise features

Revolut features

Fast online money transfers direct to your recipient’s bank accountFast online money transfers direct to your recipient’s bank account
Free multi-currency accounts to hold 50+ currencies3 tiers of multi-currency account, from free Standard plan to 16.99/month Metal plan
Send money to 80+ countriesHold and exchange 28+ fiat currencies plus crypto
Spend with your Wise Mastercard in 200 countriesLinked Revolut card for easy spending
Get local receiving accounts for 30+ countriesSpend in 140 currencies
Accounts available for business or personal useFree in network ATM withdrawals, with up to 1,200 USD/month of free out of network withdrawals
Set up exchange rate alerts and target rates to transfer when the time is right for youEarn interest on savings - level varies by account package
Secure, fully regulated payment serviceSecure, fully regulated payment service
Website, app and support in 14 languagesService currently available in Europe, the US, Australia, Japan and Singapore

Wise vs Revolut - Features Conclusions

Wise offers international payments and multi-currency accounts for personal and business users and is an excellent choice for small and medium businesses that trade internationally. Revolut is an online banking service with a range of account products for businesses, individuals and even kids. 

Wise

Wise uses local receiving accounts to get your money where it needs to be for less. You pay in your home currency to a local account, and then Wise transfers the money required to your recipient from another local account in the destination country. Wise offers both low cost international payments and multi-currency account products, for businesses and individuals. All currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees.

Revolut

Revolut launched in the UK in 2015, and is now available throughout Europe and the US, as well as other select markets. Revolut differs from Wise in a few ways - although you can get a Revolut Standard account for free, you can also upgrade for a monthly fee to access more product features and get more services without a transaction fee. Revolut accounts don’t have as full a range of currencies available as Wise - but you can also trade crypto currencies, open accounts for your kids, and earn interest on savings.

Overall, Revolut has more features than Wise. But more features doesn't necessarily mean that you are interested in using all. Either way, both are great providers, it's more what's best for your international money transfer needs.

Wise (TransferWise)

Pros

  • It’s really easy to open an account, and you can get one in minutes
  • They have a ton of helpful digital services, even with the free plan
  • You get a linked debit card, for easier spending
  • Money transfers are normally fast, simple, and cheap
  • They provide the “Interbank” mid-market foreign exchange rate, which is the best you can get

Cons

  • Online and mobile service only
  • Transfer fees vary by destination and payment method
  • International transfers can’t be made in cash, or for cash collection
  • Accounts are not interest bearing
  • No cryptocurrency services

Revolut

Pros

  • Cryptocurrency trading available
  • Transfers to 30+ countries
  • Some free transactions available - details vary according to account plan
  • Earn interest on savings
  • Revolut Junior accounts for kids

Cons

  • More expensive during weekends
  • Accounts are not available globally
  • To get the full range of features you’ll need to pay a monthly fee of 16.99 USD
  • Accounts can hold and manage only around 28 currencies - check the ones you need are available

Wise vs Revolut fees and exchange rates

Now for an overview of the account fees, transaction charges and exchange costs of Revolut vs Wise. We will look at the exchange rates in more detail in a moment, as both providers take a different approach to the way that rates are set. Here’s an overview to help build a picture of using a Wise account compared to choosing Revolut.

ServicesWiseRevolut
Setting up an account:
  • Personal users: Free
  • Business users: 31 USD
  • Free accounts available, or pay a monthly fee for more features. 
International money transfer
  • Fees: Small fee, varies by currency
  • Exchange rate: Mid-market exchange rate
  • Fees: Up to 6 USD/ transfer, based on destination and currency. Currency exchange fees may also apply, depending on your account plan
  • Exchange rate: Mid-market exchange rate with no conversion fee to 1,000 USD/month for standard plan holders. Unlimited free conversion for paid plan holders - out of hours and exotic currency fees may apply
Card fees
  • Request a card: 9 USD 
  • ATM withdrawals: 2 withdrawals, to a value of 100 USD free/month; 2% + 1.50 USD per withdrawal fee after that
  • Online payment fees: Free to spend any currency you hold
  • Request a card: free
  • ATM withdrawals: Free in network withdrawals, out of network withdrawals free to 1,200 USD/month; 2% fee after that
  • Online payment fees: Free to spend any currency you hold
Multi-currency account fees
  • Open an account: Free
  • Monthly fees: Free
  • Open an account: Free, monthly fees may apply
  • Monthly fees: Personal plans cost up to 16.99 USD/month, business plans can be up to 149.99 USD/month

Which provider offers a better exchange rate?

Wise uses the same exchange rate for all account holders - the mid-market exchange rate.

Revolut offers currency exchange with the mid-market rate up to certain limits which may vary by plan type. We’ll look at the way it works for a standard Revolut plan here - check out the limit and options for other plans online to compare them.

Wise

All Wise currency exchange uses the mid-market rate with no markup or margin. That applies when you send money, convert within your Wise account, or spend with your Wise card.

Revolut

Revolut currency exchange is worked out in a slightly different way. Standard plan holders can convert up to 1,000 USD a month with the mid-market exchange rate. After that a fair usage fee of 0.5% applies. 

Out of hours currency exchange attracts a surcharge of 1% for fiat currencies, and 2.5% for crypto. If you’re trading TBH or UAH there’s also an extra 1% fee at all times.

Cryptocurrency exchange is subject to different limits. You can exchange up to 200,000 USD in value with no crypto commission - after that a fee of 2.5% applies for standard plan customers.

A case study - sending 2,000 USD-GBP

To show how the Wise vs Revolut exchange costs work in real life, let’s work through an example - sending 2,000 USD to a friend in the UK, to be received in GBP.

Revolut - 2,000 USD-GBPWise - 2,000 USD-GBP
Fees:
  • Working days: 10 USD
  • Weekends: 30 USD
  • 8.80 USD
Exchange rate:      
  • Mid market rate
  • Mid market rate

Sending 2,000 USD to the UK with Wise

Wise has only one account plan for personal users. There is just one fee, percentage based and it doesn’t charge for transactions made during the weekend

Wise uses the real mid-market exchange rate, 24/7, with a simple fee based on your payment method. Sending 2,000 USD from a Wise account to someone in the UK will cost a total of 8.80 USD in charges, with no exchange rate markup.

Sending 2,000 USD to the UK with Revolut

The exact cost of this will depend a little on your Revolut plan type. Let’s assume you have a Standard plan, you’ve not sent any money yet, and you’re using a USD balance to send to GBP.  In this case you’ll be able to send 1,000 USD without any extra costs, but as you’d exceed the fair usage amount for the month, you’d pay a 1% fee on the remaining 1,000 USD. That would mean a charge of around 10 USD.

However, if you arrange the payment out of hours, you’ll need to pay an extra charge - 1% on the full amount - bringing your total cost to 30 USD

The verdict: As a conclusion, Wise offers a simpler way to calculate the costs of currency exchange and international transfers. There’s no markup on the rate for out of hours transactions or exotic currencies, and you can easily model the payment you’re making to check the costs overall.

Learn more about Wise

Learn more about Revolut

Can I open a business account with Wise or Revolut?

Yes, both Wise and Revolut providers have services for business holders. They both offer international business payments, as well as debit cards linked to the multi-currency accounts.

Wise business features

  • Hold 54 currencies and send payments around the world
  • 31 USD one time set up fee for full account access, then no monthly charge
  • Payments can be 6x cheaper than regular banks and 19x cheaper than PayPal
  • 50% of payments are instant or arrive in an hour
  • Invoice to local receiving accounts in 10 currencies to get paid easily from around the world
  • Cut admin time with batch payments
  • Integrate with QuickBooks or Xero accounting software
  • Give team members access

Revolut business features

  • Hold and manage 28 currencies
  • Local receiving accounts in USD and GBP
  • Get linked physical and virtual cards for your team, to spend in 150 currencies
  • Choose from 4 tiers of account from a free standard plan to a custom made Enterprise plan - monthly fees apply for all but the standard option
  • Account funds are FDIC insured to 250,000 USD
  • Integrate with QuickBooks, Free Agent or Xero accounting software
  • Give team members access and manage permissions centrally

Speed

Feature

Wise speed

Revolut speed

Open an accountVerification usually takes about 2 working daysVerification can take 24 hours
Transfer timeExact time depends on the currency and country - transfers on popular routes may be instantTransfer time depends on the currency and country, and the type of payment selected
Converts moneyInstantInstant

Supported currencies

Wise

Revolut

Wise accounts can hold 54 currencies, and receive local payments in 10 currenciesRevolut supports the following currencies to hold and exchange
Payments supported to 80 countries - check the types of transfer available by country on the Wise website or appAED, AUD, BGN, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, ILS, JPY, MXN, NOK, NZD, PLN, QAR, RON, RUB, SAR, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, ZAR

How each provider works

Both Wise and Revolut accounts are opened and operated entirely online or using the provider’s mobile app. To get started you’ll need to register your account and provide some ID for verification. Exactly what you need will depend on the account type you open, and the types of transactions you make. 

For example, you may not need to provide proof of address to get started with Wise, but it’s possible you’ll be asked at a later stage to upload a valid document for verification. Some countries and currencies also require ID every time a transfer is made, or need additional information about the source of funds being transferred.

Whichever provider you select, you’ll be guided through the account opening process and can then manage your account in the app or online for convenience.

Availability

Wise services are available to users in most countries around the world. There’s a handy tool on the Wise website which lets you select the country you’re in and check exactly what types of accounts and transfers are available there.

Revolut accounts are currently available for users in Europe, the US, Australia, Japan and Singapore.

Which service is the safest - Wise or Revolut?

On safety, there’s really nothing to choose between then 2 providers. Both Wise and Revolut are fully regulated in the countries they operate in. They both have advanced anti-fraud measures in place and use protections like 2-factor authentication to help you keep your money safe.

Revolut uses Metropolitan Commercial Bank to hold its money, which includes FDIC insurance to protect customer funds up to a total of 250,000 USD. Wise holds customer funds with major banks too, and has safeguarding steps in place to make sure money is safe no matter when currencies it is held in.

Payment options

You can top up your Revolut and Wise accounts with a range of payment options:

With Wise you can top-up your accounts and fund your money transfer either by using a Bank transfer, Debit or credit card or Apple Pay and Google Pay.

With Revolut you can transfer money to your account and pay for your transfer with a Bank transfer, Debit or credit card, Direct deposit or International ACH.

Min & Max Amounts

Wise

  • Transfer money abroad - The general limit is £1m GBP equivalent. Individual countries may impose limits, model your payment online or in the app to check
  • Receive money - unlimited in most cases. Some users will have a 1,000,000 USD/day receiving limit
  • ATM withdrawals - set and manage your own limits in the Wise app
  • Card payments - set and manage your own limits in the Wise app

Revolut

  • Transfer money abroad - individual countries may impose limits, model your payment online or in the app to check
  • Receive money - unlimited in most cases
  • ATM withdrawals - 3,000 USD/24 hour period
  • Card payments - set and manage your own limits in the Revolut app

Customer support Wise and Revolut

Wise

Service: 27/7

Phone: Phone lines available

Live In-App chat support available

Website help: www.wise.com/help/

Website contact: www.wise.com

Revolut

Support: 24/7

Toll-free: +1 (844) 744-3512

Live In-App chat support available

Website help: www.revolut.com/help

Website contact: www.revolut.com

Wise vs Revolut - which one is better?

Both Wise and Revolut have strong product offerings which can suit different customer needs. The one which suits you best will depend on where you are in the world, what types of transactions you need to make, and how often you’ll use your account.

Final verdict:

Wise accounts are free for personal customers, and only charge a low one off fee for business customers. Currency exchange always uses the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees. This makes it easy to see exactly what you’re paying with no changes to the costs for transactions on weekends or in the evening.

Overall, Wise is probably best for simplicity of service, and the most currency options available.

Revolut may suit you if you’re only looking to exchange or transfer small amounts per month, and can work within the limits of a free account. You’ll need to keep an eye on the time, though, to make sure you don’t fall foul of the out of hours fees. It could also be a winner if you want access to a broader range of banking services, like savings accounts and junior products for the family.

Use this guide to weigh up the overall costs, convenience and usefulness of Wise and Revolut, to see which will work best for you.

Learn more about Wise

Learn more about Revolut

More about Wise and Revolut

Wise Review

Revolut Review

By Ileana Ionescu Updated November 10th, 2021