Wise (Formerly TransferWise) Review – How It Works, Fees, Rates, Debit Card

SingSaver team

SingSaver team

Last updated 10 February, 2022

Wise enables you to change currencies and transfer funds overseas at a low cost. We take a closer look to determine what this bargain entails.

Wise is currently one of the cheapest options for sending funds across borders, and also functions as a digital multi-currency wallet. However, how does its service measure up? We examine how it works, and its fees, rates and debit card, and evaluate if Wise is the safest and best option for your needs.

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a multi-currency e-wallet which also allows users to send money from Singapore and other countries with ease. Getting started only takes one small step – simply sign up. Create your profile by providing all necessary information such as bank account details or credit card numbers.

Looking to maximise your savings? Besides spotting good currency conversion rates through the likes of Wise, you can also apply for a credit card today from your preferred provider through SingSaver for cashback and rewards.

If you're looking for a straightforward way to transfer money from your bank account, Wise is worth checking out. The website offers an easy-to-navigate homepage with a cost calculator and comprehensive FAQ section. Wise provides guaranteed rates once it has set up the process, making transfers more accessible than ever before.

Users rave about its iOS or Android app's high-quality login procedure as well – so don't hesitate any longer if these options suit your mobile device.

Wise key features

  • Wise accounts can contain over 50 different currencies.
  • You can convert currencies on the move and save money compared to banks and money changers.
  • When travelling, you can spend using your Wise MasterCard debit card, which also allows you to withdraw S$350 from foreign ATMs for free every 30 days.

Wise is often less expensive than traditional money changers, and you can also track prices and exchange your cash when the exchange rate is most favourable to you.

Wise fees

Wise offers a free account opening and maintenance service with no monthly costs. You can hold 50 plus currency balances for free. However, if you have more than €15,000 in your EUR balance, the annual charge will be 0.4%.

You can order the Wise debit card for S$10, and use it to buy products and services in more than 200 countries.

You also get two free ATM withdrawals globally of up to S$350 every month (any withdrawals over that amount will be charged a 1.75% fee, and any withdrawal over the two will be charged S$1.50).

If you travel often or shop for products online from other countries or live overseas, the card could save you a small fortune in fees. This is because the currency conversion costs are generally the most expensive of all the expenses that a bank-issued card can charge.

Spending money in the same currency is free when you have a Wise card linked to your multi-currency account. You'll incur a minimal conversion fee that starts from 0.35% when you pay in a different currency.

Money transfer fee

Wise claims its fees for exchanging and transferring funds are around seven times cheaper than banks and PayPal. Again, the conversion fee starts from 0.35%.

Fees for exchanging SGD into several widely used currencies and transferring it to a recipient are as follows:

CurrencyFixed FeeVariable Fee
SGD to EURS$0.360.44%
SGD to GBPS$0.500.44%
SGD to USDS$0.620.44%

How Wise works out the cost of a transfer

Wise determines the cost of a transfer based on three factors: the amount sent, the method of payment, and the exchange rate.

  • The amount sent – Your transfer costs increase as the amount of money you send increases, since Wise’s variable fee is calculated as a percentage of the money you're transferring. The proportion varies by currency, and you can find out more about it on its pricing page. The only exception is if you're sending a small amount of cash, in which case only a low fixed fee applies.
  • The payment method – Depending on the country you're sending to, payment can take various forms. When you set up your transfer, you'll see how much each payment method or type of transfer costs.
  • The exchange rate – You'll always get the mid-market rate, which banks use to trade among themselves. Because Wise does not mark up this rate, your recipient receives more money.

When you send your funds through Wise, there's no need to worry about the mid-market exchange rate moving. This company gives you a guaranteed rate, as long as your transfer is received in 24 hours or 48 hours depending on which option you choose.

What your fees pay for

Ordinary businesses aren't always quite front about their expenses and profits. However, Wise believes in honesty and transparency.

Here's what your fees pay for across the company's global operations.

  • Offices and other overheads account for about 12% of the total.
  • Teams in charge of operations and customer service account for 14% of the total.
  • 18% goes to the margin and expansion of the company.
  •  20% – Improving and constructing Wise buildings.
  • 36% – Money-moving charges and banking partners.

How to send money with Wise

This is what you must do:

  1. Sign up for a free account.
  2. Set up your transfer and check the amount of money that will arrive in your foreign bank account.
  3. Verify your identity by sending digital copies of your ID.
  4. Provide the bank account information for the individual receiving your payments.
  5. Review the summary provided by Wise and click the 'Confirm' button.
  6. Pay for the international money transfer and keep track of it.

Wise payment methods

Internet banking is the most convenient way to fund your Wise account. To do so, go to the Wise app or website and create a currency transfer, specifying the amount you want to send.

You'll need to enter your online banking account’s details and set up a Wise transfer.

After that, you may easily send money to Wise using your internet banking account.

Is Wise safe?

Yes, Wise is safe. Wise has served over 8 million consumers since 2011 and moves over S$6.7 billion every month. Wise makes every effort to keep these consumers and their funds safe.

How Wise keeps your money safe

For every jurisdiction it operates in, Wise follows a stringent set of standards set by regulatory agencies – such as by the Monetary Authority of Singapore here.

Wise also has data security that rivals a bank and won’t sell your information.

In addition, it has a specialised security team to keep Wise secure. The team goes through training regularly and is always reviewing Wise's operations. Wise is on the cutting edge of financial security due to these efforts.


Wise is taking the world of money transfers by storm. With low and transparent rates as well as secure transactions under its belt, it's no wonder Wise has become such a popular option in recent years for sending funds internationally and domestically.

Wise is also a reasonably priced multi-currency account that is a smart choice for casual travellers. You'll almost certainly get a better deal than you would at a currency exchange. However, Wise isn't the cheapest for multi-currency e-wallets. It is less cost-effective than other systems that do not impose currency conversion costs.

Looking to maximise your savings? Apply for a credit card today from your preferred provider through SingSaver for cashback and rewards.

Read these next:
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American Express True Cashback Card Review (2021): 1.5% Cashback On Just About Everything
Citi Cash Back+ Mastercard® Card Review: 1.6% Cashback On All Spend

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