Wise Debit Card – A solution to crippling exchange rates
Analysing Wise Borderless Services
The Debit Card
Using the mid-market exchange rate, the Wise, formerly TransferWise, debit card simplifies the management of your money. Whether you are overseas short or long term, Wise assists you with the many aspects as I elaborate below. The article contains affiliate links; I am a Wise affiliate and, having discovered their benefits, I want to inform others.
- Using and withdrawing money – the card works in over 200 countries at 2.3 million ATMs with no mark ups. Tap or swipe anywhere and use Google Pay and Apple Pay in supported countries. See withdrawal limits.
- Shopping with overseas online stores – spend in local currency and escape Dynamic Currency Conversion Fees. If the currency is not in your account, the card converts to it from the cheapest balance. See spending limits.
- Safety of your money – freeze and unfreeze your card at any time and authorise transactions with 3-D Secure authentication. Further, with PIN reminders and instant notifications you can ensure your activity is secure.
The Multi-Currency Account
The multi-currency account, of which the debit card is a feature, assists you with:
- Receiving payments like locallly – obtain your own bank details in up to 10 currencies, and the option to link platforms like Amazon, PayPal and Stripe. Additionally, manage and receive all your earnings for free in one account.
- Moving funds between countries/currencies – send money to 70 countries and avoid bank exchange markups. Similarly, Direct Debits in the UK, Europe and US, and paying bills are effortless and low cost.
- Converting payments and holding currencies in one place – receive payments from around the world. Instantly convert them to 55 currencies or balances, always with low and transparent fees.
Which countries can have the Debit Card?
The debit card is accessible for customers in the US, UK, Eurozone, Australia, Singapore, Japan and New Zealand (full list here). Being British, the Wise UK card is the one I use, therefore in this article I mainly refer to GBP currency. Any resident or business registered in the qualifying countries are able to order the card. Furthermore, there’s no subscription or annual fee. For those countries not on the list, Wise is planning to enlarge the number of countries. If you would like the card in your country then join the waiting list here.
How do you add money to your account for debit card use?
Once your card arrives your PIN will be enclosed and you can add funds to your account. The options are bank transfer (free), debit or credit card (£1.20 fee) or SWIFT transfer (possible bank fees). Note all of these are instant and you can make payments in any currency for free if you hold that balance. However, for a balance you don’t hold there are fees, generally between 0.24% and 3.6%. Though luckily, Wise will automatically convert the currency with the least conversion fee. For online spending, sellers may set their own conversion fee and this may occur even if you hold that currency. To bypass this, I recommend asking the seller to charge you in your preferred currency.
Which groups of people is the Debit Card useful for?
Digital Nomads or people living in multiple countries
People moving to another country don’t need to open a local bank account in each country. If you work with international clients receiving money from various currencies, you’ll want this to be easy and inexpensive. Wise provides bank details to share with clients, employers and friends, and receive payments in one account. Certainly this is much cheaper than receiving and converting money with your normal bank.
Most people encounter the dilemma of extensive conversion fees and ATM charges when travelling. Beforehand, there may be expenses in foreign currencies such as local expeditions, retreats or accommodation. Convert money before you travel at the mid-market rate and with a small fee, again more economical than your bank. When arriving at your destination, spend with your debit card or withdraw in 40 currencies at local ATMs.
Keen online shoppers often experience the obstacle of paying in a non-local currency. Whenever you buy from a foreign company or purchase a hotel, you save by using the debit card in over 40 currencies. In addition, pay remotely from your local currency with minimal conversion costs and no hidden fees. Traditional banks trap our money within borders, meaning globalisation is more problematic and overpriced than is necessary.
People who move abroad after retiring receive pensions in different currencies. As with Digital Nomads and expats, the multi-currency account allows them to receive pensions conveniently and cheaply. The money can be converted into local currency and spent on your card or be sent to your local bank at no extra cost. With minimal conversion fees, Wise is an economical way to transfer money, on average 7x cheaper than banks.
Want to become a Wise Affiliate partner?
If like myself you are grateful for and enjoy promoting products of value, you should consider the Wise affiliate scheme. To use the debit card users need to add money to their account, the majority of which will pre-convert funds prior to spending. These cross-currency conversions are actions that affiliates can earn £10 commission from. Additionally, you earn £10 commission (or equivalent currency) for users who perform cross currency actions on the card for the first time. For example, a user opens an account and adds GBP before travelling to Europe to spend in EUR. They enable this conversion action to occur automatically as payment is with a different currency to what they hold.
My present opinion is that Wise is one of the best ways to send, receive and convert money internationally. Having a Wise UK card helps me avoid continuously being stung by ATM fees overseas. The multi-currency account has doubtless saved me thousands of pounds whilst living in South East Asia and Australia. I was suitably reminded by email of the exact savings I made in 2020, these were impressive statistics. Having had an account since 2016, I’ve followed the development of Wise and partnered with them as an affiliate marketer. Above all, I’m particularly grateful for the innovation Wise provides with regards the international money system. See Wise Borderless – the smart route for cross-currency savings for further reading.