Wise Review 2023: I saved £122 per year on commissions! (My experience)
Have you heard about Wise before, but you don’t know precisely what it is and what its main advantages are? Do not worry, after reading this article, you will find out both the services it provides and its advantages. Learn how Wise provides a cheaper, faster way to send money abroad – lowering its commissions to the maximum. How is that even possible? The reason is that Wise exchange rates are much lower than you will find in other banks. Plus, you can handle all payments conveniently from your phone or over the Internet. Are you ready?
Wise = Cheap, safe, and fast way to send your money abroad
Wise offers you more! Send money to a foreign account – in the currency you need. Pay for your online purchases by card in a foreign currency. Convert British pounds to dollars or euros. Of course, you can do all of these through your current bank account – but let’s face the truth – you will end up spending a fortune on fees and exchange rates.
I am suggesting to you an easy solution: Using and getting to know Wise. Although you also pay the transfer fee and the exchange rate difference compared to a traditional bank, it is significantly lower. Why? Because unlike most banks, Transferwise uses the mid-market exchange rate. That is the most real as well as fair rate out there. Wise was founded by Taavet Hinrikus, the first Skype employee.
Wise fees are lower than those at a traditional bank
Imagine that you need to send £200 to a foreign euro account. With Wise you can easily calculate the commission for such a transaction online – in this case, it would be £1.49. If you decide to send the same amount to Ukraine, Wise will charge you £5.12 for such a transaction. For comparison, if you want to do the same through a traditional bank, for example, Lloyds Bank charges you £9.50. Plus you are required to pay a correspondent bank fee which can be as much as £20.
The exchange rate is also more advantageous. When you receive money to your account or pay with a card in a foreign currency, the Wise exchange rate is more favorable compared to most banks. You keep asking yourself: How is this possible?
One of the reasons is that Wise has lower operating costs. Unlike traditional banks, it does not have expensive offices full of employees. The entire Wise infrastructure works electronically via mobile devices or websites, which brings bigger savings. With the growing number of clients, its costs are decreasing.
However, Wise achieves the biggest savings on international transfers. And this is how they do it. Wise has opened a bank account in each country in which it operates. So instead of paying high costs for such a transfer, it sends the money from its account in the local country – which is much cheaper. In Great Britain, for example, Wise has an account at HSBC, Barclays, or Halifax.
Creating an account with Wise is FREE
Creating an account with Wise is free, the whole process takes just a couple of minutes. Nothing is stopping you from trying the service, and if it does not suit you for whatever reason, you can stop using it at any time without worrying about extra fees.
To get familiar with Wise, the very first transfer is free!
Wise will be linked to your email, which afterward serves as a bank account number. When sending money, just fill in the recipient’s email – that’s all you need to do. If the recipient does not have a Wise account, he/she will be simply asked to complete the required information.
Before sending money for the first time, you will be asked to verify your identity by sending a copy of your ID or passport through a secure server – all to ensure greater security of the service.
Make purchases with your own Wise debit card
The Mastercard is available for all UK residents. Request the card via the mobile application or internet banking, it will be sent to you by mail. Depending on how much you use your account, you can get the card for free or for a fee of around £5.
The Wise debit card offers a wide range of benefits. I will mention some of them later in the text.
Payments in different currencies for free
All payments in the currencies in which you have an account are commission-free. You can use the card for online purchases and while traveling for payments in shops or restaurants.
Payments in foreign currency with a low fee and no hidden fees
Compared to traditional banks, Wise tends to have a more favorable exchange rate. If you have an account in euros, but you pay in dollars, you will save money. The commission for paying in foreign currency in Wise ranges from 0.35% to 1%.
Withdrawals from ATMs up to £200 per month – no fees!
With Wise you can withdraw up to £200 each month for free.
Wise guarantees you great security, plus it protects the money in your current account
Once you set up your free Wise account and your debit card arrives, all your money is protected. All you have to do is send the required amount to your Wise account and your savings will remain separate in a current account.
You can use the Wise account for many more transactions in your day-to-day life. For example, when paying for various services on the Internet, where there is a risk that the operator will start deducting money himself. Or you can pay for your YouTube Premium account in Turkish lira, which saves you extra money.
Although Wise is a modern electronic service, it is still under the supervision of government agencies and service regulators. In the UK, it is supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and in the US by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen).
The security, fairness, and professionalism of Wise are supported by its good ratings: It has a score of 4.5/5 out of 104,841 ratings in Google Play, 4.7/5 out of 20,700 reviews in the Apple Store, and it also achieved the same TrustPilot score out of a total 111,507 reviews!
My experience with Wise: I saved £122 per year!
I use Wise to transfer money in Czech crowns abroad, especially to Ukraine. The undoubted advantage is the significantly lower fees compared to other Czech banks. In 2020, I saved 3,610 CZK (about £122) on 33 payments compared to a traditional bank, which means an average saving of 109 CZK = £3.70 per transaction.
When you are sending your money, you can choose from two options: The money is either sent express with a higher fee or in the standard way with a lower fee. I always choose the second option.
I would also like to recommend the Wise payment card. I separate my money from the current bank account, and I use the card for trial payments of services such as Netflix or Spotify. Another advantage of the Wise card is that you can add it to your Google or Apple Pay.
Wise 2023 Review: What do you need to know?
Advantages of Wise
- Favorable exchange rates
Compared to a traditional bank at Wise you get a better exchange rate. Wise does not actually send money abroad but uses their bank accounts in each of the countries where they operate. It also uses the actual exchange rate for the conversion. You can calculate your savings directly on the Wise website.
- Avoid high transaction fees and high bank exchange rates
The transfer fee at Wise consists of a fixed part and a percentage of the transferred amount. Wise has bank accounts all over the world, so it doesn’t have to actually send money “abroad”. Thanks to this, the rate is significantly lower than what a traditional bank can offer.
- A free multi-currency account
You can have your Wise account in multiple currencies at the same time. This becomes a useful advantage, especially if you receive income in different currencies or if you travel abroad frequently.
- High account security
Operations and transactions of Wise are supervised by national authorities in various countries. Both the mobile application and the website are secured against misuse and an extra level of protection can be provided by the user. The user himself can increase the level of security – separating one’s money from the current account.
- Transfer your money without knowing the account number
You can send money to anyone without knowing their account number. You only need to fill out the recipient’s email address. If the person does not yet have a Wise account, he/she will be asked to fill in some required information.
Disadvantages of Wise
- The transfer is not instant
If you decide to send money to a foreign bank account, for example, during the weekend, you will have to wait until Monday. Wise is not directly responsible for the delay, but the bank in the destination country.
- Wise is not available in all languages
For some, the problem may be that Wise is not yet available in all languages. However, it is translated into the most frequent ones such as Spanish, English, German, French, Chinese, Italian, and others.