If you're familiar with Wise (previously TransferWise) you will know that it's possibly the cheapest way to transfer money between countries. Wise can help you to avoid bank fees and gives you the REAL exchange rate for the day.
TransferWise change their name to Wise the first quarter of 2021 as they feel they have progressed beyond their original scope of merely offering cheap transfers across currencies. Their updated mission is to offer "the world’s most international account". Wise wants to make your money borderless — with instant, super-cheap money transfers, a debit card to spend in any currency, account details to get paid in 30+ countries, balances to hold your money safely in 50+ different currencies, multi-currency direct debits, and other revolutionary features.
Exploring the world is an incredible, life-changing experience that will open your mind and create amazing memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life. However, overseas banking can be a very frustrating experience, especially when it comes to working out currency conversion rates and the real value of transaction fees.
Accessing your money when abroad is far more complicated than just putting your card into an ATM machine and withdrawing the cash. You need to think about foreign bank fees and charges on top of currency exchange rates. Put simply, travelling around can be an expensive enough business so it's important to avoid wasting money on unnecessary costs.
The good news is that there are now a number of options available to meet the needs of frequent travellers and digital nomads. Choosing the right account means that it’s possible to save a considerable amount of money and avoid getting those unpleasant surprises in your monthly statement.
The Wise Multi-Currency Account is a prime example.
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Wise products and associated fees is dependent on your country of residence. The values used in this article is for illustrative purposes only and you should check the Wise website for the latest.
What is the Wise Multi-Currency Account?
If you travel regularly or earn money in other currencies, there’s a feature of Wise that’s particularly useful: the “borderless” account. This multi-currency account is free and easy to set up once you’ve created your Wise account.
A borderless account is a bit like having local bank accounts all over the world. It's a multi-currency account that lets you keep money in 40+ currencies, and you are able to convert between them at the real exchange rate whenever you need.
The borderless account gives you ACTUAL bank account details in a number of currencies (including USD, GBP, EUR and AUD). So even if you don't live in the US or UK, Australia or Europe, you will effectively have a bank account there.
Receive payments like a local in 9 currencies. Get your own UK account number, Euro IBAN, US routing number, and more.
You can hold dozens of other currencies in your borderless account as well, and it’s easy to switch money between them. You can also see the current balance in each account, all on one page. Wise uses its usual mid-market rate when moving money around, and charges a percentage on the conversion.
How Does the Wise Multi-Currency Account Work?
We all know the struggle of withdrawing and exchanging foreign currency, trying to make sure you’re not getting screwed over by your bank on the one hand, or the bureau de change on the other.
Wise states that instead of one international transfer taking place when doing the conversion, two local transfers are made instead. In doing so, it simply bypasses most international fees.
For example, if you want to switch Pounds to Euros, Wise will send your Pounds to their sterling account in the UK, and your Euros from their Euro account in Germany. This saves the company money as the converted cash hasn’t travelled internationally, and it passes those savings on to you.
Even better, Wise uses the real, mid-market exchange rate — the same rate that banks use to trade between themselves.
If you’ve never used Wise before, you can see how it all works before needing to set up an account. Just go to the website and plugin how much money you want to transfer, and into which currency. You’ll then see how exactly what the converted amount will be, along with the transparent fee.
The Wise Multi-Currency Debit Card
The majority of people can get a borderless account right now, but Wise is still rolling out the debit card to a number of countries.
Along with the debit card the borderless account truly comes into its own for travel. With your Wise debit card, you can spend in the local currency — wherever you are. It's accepted anywhere that takes Mastercard or Visa. You can spend on your Wise debit card in any currency, and they will auto-convert it with the lowest possible fee. You'll always get the real exchange rate.