Wise Fees Explained: How to Avoid Costly Surprises?

Last Updated on May, 2024

Need to send or receive money from overseas but TIRED of EXPENSIVE HIDDEN FEES?

Wise is here to change all that!

Why Wise? On average, Wise customers save up to 8x compared to banks and up to 3x compared to other money transfer companies.

With Wise, you’ll always know exactly how much you’re paying upfront, so you can make informed decisions about your transfers.

So, this article is your go-to resource. We’ll explore Wise’s different types of fees and what determines Wise transfer fees. We will also offer valuable tips to help you minimize costs and get the most out of your international transfers.

Quick Summary

Wise offers low-cost and transparent money transfer services compared to banks and other money transfer companies.

Factors that determine Wise fees include the amount of the transfer, transfer speed options, payment method, and destination and currency.

Strategies for managing and reducing Wise fees include transferring large amounts of money, using bank transfers instead of credit card payments, and taking advantage of rate alerts and guaranteed rates.

Wise Services and Fee Structure Overview

wise online money transfer

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a popular choice for individuals and businesses looking for low-cost and transparent money transfer services.

Understanding the fees associated with international money transfers is vital for making cost-effective choices. Let’s explore the overview of Wise’s services and fee structure through this detailed table breakdown.

Fee Type/ServiceWise Fee
Open a Wise personal accountFree 
Open a Wise business accountFree or pay 31 USD to access all business features
Get local bank details for ten currenciesFree
Transfer Wise payments internationalFrom 0.43% currency conversion fee + transaction fixed fee, which differs by currency
Receive USD by Wire4.14 USD
Receive USD by ACH or bank debitFree
Ordering a Wise debit card9 USD one-time fee
ATM withdrawalsFree for first 2 ATM withdrawals up to 100 USD/month (+2% applies if exceeded 100 USD)
After this, a fee of 1.5 USD/per withdrawal 
Wise currency conversion fees by cardFrom 0.41%
Send large amounts of money internationallyDiscounts of up to 0.17% on payments exceeding the equivalent of 100,000 GBP per month

Please visit wise.com for the latest fee updates, as they may be subject to change.

How Wise Money Transfer Services Work?

a screenshot of the currencies that are supported in wise

When it comes to the most cost-effective money transfers, Wise dominates the competition and leaves other transfer providers behind.

Have you ever wondered how they manage to keep their fees so low? Well, It’s because Wise transfers technically don’t travel across borders. Let me explain Wise’s unique business model to you using an example.

Let’s assume you’re sending money from the US to Canada using Wise. Your money doesn’t actually travel across borders. Instead, the transferred amount will be received by Wise locally in the US. 

Wise then only takes a small fee and applies the real or mid-market exchange rate without any markups, which is shown in Google search. Best part? Then Wise pays the transfer amount from their local Canada bank account to your recipient. 

In a nutshell, Wise has a payment network of thousands of bank accounts worldwide, allowing for much faster and cost-effective money transfers.

Read more about how does the Wise platform works here. And if you want to learn all about this platform, read our Wise review here.

Factors Influencing Wise Fees

a screenshot of the wise fee page

When transferring money overseas with Wise, various factors might determine the fees linked with your transfer. Understanding these factors can help you in making more informed decisions and reducing expenses:

  • Amount of the transfer: 

Wise charges a percentage-based fee on the overall transfer amount, which usually decreases as the transfer amount increases, making it more cost-effective for larger transfers. You can check the exact rates on Wise’s pricing page.

  • Transfer speed options: 

Wise has several transfer speeds, including standard and more rapid options. Higher fees are usually associated with faster international transfers to satisfy users’ urgency. If you’re not in a hurry, opting for standard transfers can help save you on Wise’s fees.

  • Payment method:

Wise transfer fees can be influenced by the payment option used. Users may be charged different fees depending on whether they pay with a credit card, debit card, or bank transfer. You can be charged more if you pay with a card, although bank transfers often have cheaper rates.

  • Destination and Currency:

Wise supports over 160 countries and 40+ currencies. Depending on the destination and the currency conversion, there may be varying fees. Some countries sometimes have higher Wise fees than others due to market conditions or regulatory requirements.

It’s advisable to visit the Wise website or use their fee calculator to get an overview of the rates for your specific transfer.

Wise International Money Transfer Fees

international money transfers with wise

The fees for sending money vary based on the amount, the currency you’re transferring money to, and your payment method. 

Usually, the fee for sending funds includes two types of transparent fees:

  • Fixed Fee: A low fixed fee covering the costs associated with the ongoing transaction.
  • Variable Fee: Covering the cost of the currency exchange. This is typically around 0.43% – 0.47% of the transfer value for major currencies.

For example, if you’re sending 1000 GBP to Italy, the Wise variable fee would be 0.43% (4.30 GBP), and a fixed fee of 0.21 GBP applies. After these fees, the recipient would receive 995.51 GBP in their account.

Best part? Wise uses the real mid-market exchange rate with no markup. This means you get the best possible rate, unlike traditional banks that add hidden third-party fees.

Real-Time Wise Fee Calculator

Wise is a platform known for its transparency and convenience. With the Wise real-time fee calculator, you can easily break down your transfer fees without creating a Wise account. 

The calculator allows users to see fixed and variable fees, total costs, exchange rates, and the actual amount the recipient will receive before initiating a Wise transfer. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Visit the Wise Fee Calculator tool page or mobile app to access the calculator directly.
  • Select the currency you’re sending from and the currency you’re sending to. 
  • Based on your urgency, select a transfer method after comparing fees. 
  • Wise instantly calculates the fixed and variable fees, giving you a clear picture of the total transfer cost.
a screenshot of the wise fee calculator

Wise Multi-Currency Account Fees

Wise multi-currency account offers various features, such as holding and managing funds in 40+ currencies. Making it easier to send, spend and receive money internationally with transparent fees. 

Here are the critical fees related to using Wise’s currency account:

  • Fees to Fund Wise Account:

Adding money in the same currency (e.g., EUR to EUR) via a bank transfer is free of charge. However, fees vary according to the currency pair and transfer method if you need to convert currencies.

To find out the exact fees, use the Wise calculator available here.

  • Wise Fee for Receiving Money: 

Wise charges a fixed fee of USD 4.14 for receiving US dollar wire transfers into your Wise account. Additionally, receive overseas money in 10 currencies (AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD, TRY, USD) for free using local account details (non-wire). (Learn more about receiving money through Wise.)

  • Wise to Wise Transfer Fees:

Money transfers from one Wise account to another in the same currency are free. However, if you transfer funds between Wise accounts in different currencies, there will be a small conversion fee. 

  • Fees for Holding Money in a Wise Account: 

Wise supports 50+ currencies, and holding money in your account is free.

Wise International Debit Card Fees

a screenshot of how much wise saves money during a money transfer to abroad

Wise International Debit Card is an ideal choice for frequent travelers for spending and ATM withdrawals in 170+ countries on the move.

The fees for using a Wise debit card overseas vary depending on the specific transactions and destination.

Here is a summary of the essential fees:

  • Card Ordering Fee: The debit card can be ordered for a one-time fee of USD 9 (no monthly or annual subscription fees).
  • Monthly ATM Withdrawals & Limit: No fee for the first two monthly withdrawals totaling less than USD 100. After the first two, the fee is 1.50 USD per withdrawal + 2% if you withdraw more than USD 100 in total.
  • Currency Conversion Fee: There are no fees When you spend a currency you hold in your account. However, If you don’t hold the currency in your account, the card will automatically convert the amount for you, taking the cheapest conversion fee, which usually ranges from 0.41%.

Managing and Reducing Wise Fees

While Wise already offers competitive and transparent fees, there are strategies you can utilize to manage further and reduce your Wise transfer fees.

#01 Sending Large Amounts of Money with Wise

When transferring large amounts of money with Wise, you can expect to benefit from Wise cost-effective fees and exchange rates. Wise automatically applies discounts for large transfers when you send over 100,000 GBP (or equivalent in your currency) over a calendar month.

The Wise’s low fees apply to one-time or many completed transfers within the same month. This discount will only be applied when a conversion occurs.

Note: It does not apply if you send transfers in the same currency (e.g., GBP to GBP).

The following tiered list shows monthly volume and fee discount:

  • Tier 1: Spend up to 100k GBP and receive no discount
  • Tier 2: Spend between 100k and 300k GBP to save 0.1%
  • Tier 3: Spend between 300k and 500k GBP and enjoy a 0.15% discount
  • Tier 4: Spend between 500k and 1m GBP to get 0.16% off
  • Tier 5: Spend over 1m GBP and receive the maximum discount of 0.17%

Pro Tip: Using the Wise large amounts calculator, you can get the average fee (with discounts) and total fees for how much you plan to send monthly.

#02 Sending Transfer Money Using Bank Transfer

If you wish to transfer money abroad, the cheapest method to do it with Wise is to fund it using a bank transfer. This option is usually slower but less expensive than debit or credit card payments.

Wise accepts Visa, MasterCard, and certain Maestro cards; however, credit card payments are typically more expensive than bank transfers.

#03 Stay Informed With Wise Rate Alerts and Guaranteed Rates

Sign up for Wise rate alerts to receive notifications when the mid-market exchange rate changes. This feature is helpful for individuals and businesses who want to convert currencies at a specific rate or when the exchange rate is most advantageous.

Wise also provides guaranteed rates for specific currencies and transfer amounts. By selecting a guaranteed rate, you avoid the risk of exchange rate fluctuations throughout the chosen period. This is especially useful when you need to make a money transfer at a specified rate, saving minimal fees.

Wise is an excellent option for individuals and businesses trying to reduce their expenses associated with overseas transfers.

Wise Fees: Frequently Asked Questions

Wise enables fee-free transfers between accounts with the same currency. Newly registered users or invited users by existing users can also receive a one-time fee waiver. However, when transferring to a different currency, a small fee for currency conversion may apply. It is possible to receive free or discounted transfers through referral links or promo codes. It is advised to verify the current terms for up-to-date information.

Wise has no hidden fees. They offer fair rates with a Pay As You Go policy, meaning you only pay for the services you use. There are no subscription, monthly, or annual charges. They are transparent about their fees and always show the full fee upfront, without any sneaky hidden fees to worry about.

Wise earns money through transaction fees, currency conversion fees, ATM withdrawal fees, and holding fees. These fees cover the costs of the transaction and currency exchange, which are displayed upfront for transparent and cost-effective transfers.”

Yes, Wise generally offers lower costs for international transfers with minimal upfront fees and transparent pricing, potentially saving users 2-4% compared to traditional banks. However, exact fees may vary depending on the destination, currency, and amount sent. Unlike some banks, Wise does not add extra fees by marking up the exchange rate for profit.

Final Thoughts

Sending money internationally doesn’t have to be expensive and complicated. With Wise, you can enjoy competitive and transparent fees for international money transfers, currency accounts, and debit card services.

The overview Wise fees structure consists of fixed costs plus a currency conversion fee, which differs according to the amount, destination, and payment method. With Wise, customers can calculate upfront fees in real-time using their built-in fee calculator.

Strategies for managing and reducing Wise fee include transferring big sums of money, utilizing bank transfers, and taking advantage of rate alerts and guaranteed rates.

Overall, Wise offers cost-effective and seamless international money transfer services, often better than other providers and banks.

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Author
Allen Morning
I'm Allen Morning, with a background spanning over 15 years in international finance and education from Harvard and Stanford. I founded Currenciap with a vision to demystify and streamline global financial transactions. My journey in finance has fueled my commitment to creating a platform that is both user-friendly and efficient, making international finance accessible to everyone. You can find more about me here.

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