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Wise money transfer review [2023]

Updated: Mar 1

As an expat myself in Germany since 2016, I have used Wise, formerly known as Transferwise, to send money home. Now that there are a handful of online money transfer services available, is Wise still up to par?

In the past, I have used the international money transfer service offered by my bank in India to send money home and to my non-resident Indian (NRI) bank account when I moved to Germany to work. However, the service was miserable and sometimes took up to more than a week to get the transferred amount credited in the bank account in India. This usually happened during the holiday seasons.

Wise, formally TransferWise was suggested to me by one of my cousins who lived in the UK back then and ever since I started using it, I never had to look for another money transfer service.

What is Wise?

Wise was founded in 2011 with the aim of making international money transfers cheap, fair and easy. Today, their multi-currency account is helping millions of people and businesses manage their money around the world.

If you are interested, you can read a more detailed story about how, why and who built Wise on their website.

Who needs a Wise account?

Anybody who needs to transfer money to an international bank account can open an account on Wise.

Your German bank may provide international money transfer service as an ad-on to your account. However, Wise claims to provide the cheapest and the fastest money transfer service. They are brave enough to list the live comparison on Wise money transfer rates with other major services on the homepage of their website.

What services does Wise offer?

While Wise focuses on international money transfer, they are also a registered payment institution in Europe. Which basically means that you can use a Wise account as your salary account, and use it the same way you use your German bank account.

With Wise, you can hold and convert money in 50+ currencies. It only takes a few seconds to open a new account in the currency you need. Additionally, You can use the money in your multi-currency account to send to around 80 countries; all with just one account!

The most attractive feature about wise is, it’s completely free! No subscription required.

Our experience with Wise

As mentioned above, I have been using Wise since 2016 and my wife uses it since 2018. We both never had any issues with wise until today.

Every month, I transfer money to home using Wise and with most banks in India, it only takes just a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes to get the amount credited in the recipient bank account in India.

In the last six years, I only had one issue with Wise. I transferred some money on 23rd of December and the amount was credited after the New year. As I recall, this incident happened back in 2017.

Their transaction fees are also cheaper. In one instance, I sent a 12000€ payment to my sister in Dubai for a fee less than 80€, and it arrived the next day!

Advantages with Wise money transfer

Wise so far is the best money transfer service I have used. Whenever I travel to a country with a currency other than Euro, I use Wise to make payments and cash withdrawals. The fact that Wise does not charge a fee for transactions in the same currency always makes it a good choice while traveling.

Additionally, Wise is a better choice due to its

  • Record faster transfer times

  • Cheap transfer fees

  • English customer care

  • Very user friendly, easy to use futuristic web, iOS and Android apps

  • Convenience to hold multiple currencies at the same time

  • No fee for same currency transactions

  • Provision to hold multiple digital debit cards at no additional cost

  • Transparency

Moreover, with Wise, you can get an overview about your expenses. With the Wise app, you can easily see where your money really goes by getting an overview of your expenses.

Each expense can be tagged with a custom tag to create a new category for your convenience.

Disadvantages of Wise

Honestly, my wife and I took a minute to think about the disadvantages of Wise and we couldn’t really find any.

However, some people mention that the transfer to the US is slower than other providers. Nevertheless, we never had to transfer money to the US. Therefore, we do not know whether it was just the matter of a couple of transactions at a specific time period or all transactions have the same problem.

Anyway, we think that there are a couple of more features which Wise could provide such as cashback for each transaction, point collection on each penny spent, investment options such as the ones services like Revolut provides, etc.

If you already use Wise and identified any disadvantages of it, please comment below to help other expats.

Wise referral program

If you already have a Wise account, you can create a referral link from your Wise app and share with your friends. If 3 of your friends join Wise with the link you shared and transfer over 250€, you can get 90€ as a referral bonus instantly in your Wise account.

Additionally, every friend that you invite to Wise will get a discount on their first transfer. Wise will also reward you for inviting a bunch of friends

Finally, in our experience, Wise is one of the best money transfer services that we rely on in our daily life. With its transparent, cheaper and comparatively faster service, Wise keeps their users loyal to the company.

We ask, however, that you understand how exchange rates work and how to find the best rate that works for your specific needs. Before making a transfer, check the rates on other providers as well and choose the best one in terms of fees as well as transfer time.

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