Wise Review 2021: Is It Worth Using? (formerly TransferWise)

Originally published at: Wise Review 2021: Is It Worth Using? (formerly Transferwise)

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Wise Review 2021: Is It Worth Using? (formerly TransferWise)


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 If you frequently need to make money transfers to a foreign country, look no further. 

Sending money internationally can be painful.  It is time-consuming, expensive, bureaucratic, and inefficient. That’s about to change with Wise (formerly known as Transferwise). 

Wise is an online platform for sending and receiving money internationally. It’s easy, transparent, and cheap.

In this article, you will find a comprehensive review of Wise.  

As a bonus, I also checked out the Wise reviews across different authority review platforms and summarized each of their takes towards the end of the article.

Without further ado, let’s Wise it up!

What is Wise, Formerly TransferWise?

  • Wise, formerly TransferWise, is an international money transfer service
  • It’s easy to set up an account, log in, and make a transfer
  • It has very competitive exchange rates with no rate markups
  • It has low transfer fees
  • Wise cost calculator makes it easy and transparent to see rates and fees
  • You can send money to over 80 countries
  • Delivery of the funds may be slow or quick depending on service preference
    • Quick transfer is possible, using a debit or a credit card
    • Transfer funded with bank accounts can take a few days
  • Well-organized FAW page and good support
    • Phone support is limited to regular business hours

Is Wise Good for Transfer Money Abroad?

In short, yes. Wise is an excellent choice for sending money internationally.

International money transfers make up a big part of the bank user complaints. Banks and intermediaries never miss a chance to charge high fees when sending and receiving money from other countries.

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, allows the transfer procedures to be carried out without bureaucracy.  Furthermore, you can transparently get the most competitive currency exchange rates, and it is very affordable and easy to carry out the transfer.

How Does Wise Work? 

Wise is simple and intuitive, not much of a secret behind how it works.

It was created in 2011 in the UK. The platform functions as a financial institution for sending money internationally. 

Once you create an account and log in, Wise lets you simulate the transfer.  You simply choose the currency and the amount you want to send, as well as the currency you would like to convert to, and it will provide you with the best available currency exchange rate, as well as the transfer fee.

The use is safe, easy and transparent. Unlike traditional banks, the fintech allows you to have very competitive rates with very low transfer fees.

How to Open a Wise Account

You simply go to Wise website and register for free.  It will ask you for an email address and a password, and voila, your account is open!

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You can find more details and a step-by-step guide on the process in our article on How to Open a Wise Account and Send Money.

Also, make sure and check out our Wise Borderless Account Review.

Pros and Cons of Wise

Advantages of Wise: Pros

Wise makes it easy and fast to send money abroad to friends, family, or even to make international purchases. Here are the advantages of the platform in a quick look:

  • Safe to use
  • No bureaucracy
  • Low Currency Exchange Rates
  • Low fees
  • Easy to use
  • Wide coverage

Let’s delve into some of these advantages.

Safe to Use: 100% secure

Sometimes, our community members ask “Is Wise (TransferWise) Safe to Use?” Our answer is yes. Wise is a licensed electronic financial institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK.  Both entities provide institutional-level security and encryption (256-bit SSL data w/ 2048-bit key).

Additionally, consumer account funds are kept separate from those of corporate accounts.  In the event of financial difficulties or bankruptcy, the consumer funds are protected. 

The transfer process is notified via email or the Wise app in order to ensure transparency and security. Receiving money through Wise is also possible even if the recipient doesn’t have a Wise account.

Low Currency Exchange Rates

The actual market rate for currency exchanges is the average of sell-side and buy-side rates of a given currency.  The actual rate fluctuates all the time.

Although banks do not advertise the actual rate, it can be found on the internet. This is the fairest rate to be passed on to the consumer. 

Wise provides you with a chart of the actual rate transparently. It clearly shows what this fair value is and what fees you should expect for the exchange and the transfer.

Low Fees: Cheaper Than The Bank

Most traditional banks, financial institutions, and exchange offices charge up to 5% in hidden fees when you are making a currency exchange and an international money transfer.  Additionally, both the sender and the recipient pay an additional fee for the transfer.

Wise fees are much cheaper than the above traditional alternatives. Furthermore, it’s all transparent.

Wide Coverage

Few platforms offer as wide a coverage as Wise does. You can send money to 80 different countries in more than 50 currencies. 

Disadvantages of Wise: Cons

It’s not all roses and butterflies. Wise also has its shortcomings, here are some:

  • Transfers can be slow
  • Phone support is limited

Slow Transfers

Well, let’s be fair. Wise money transfers can either be quite fast or slow, depending on how the transfer is funded.  If the transfer is funded through bank accounts (as opposed to debit cards or credit cards), the journey can take a few days, or even over a week at times.  Why? Because it takes time for Wise to receive, convert, and then deliver your money abroad.  

We have tested it for the United Kingdom, Germany, and Portugal. The average transfer money took three days when funded from a bank account.

Limited Phone Support

You can only reach customer service by phone during the weekdays, within the regular work hours.  This is also standard for most financial institutions, but nevertheless, it’s worth pointing out.

Wise Rates & Fees

Before using Wise to send money abroad, it’s best for you to understand how currency conversion works and what fees are involved.


Wise uses the real exchange rate for the transfer, as opposed to the tourist exchange rate, which is more expensive. TransferWise costs between 1% to 2.5% for the transfer.

Hidden Fees

There are no hidden fees at Wise.  

However, there are fees that add up to the real exchange rate.  The difference is, Wise transparently informs the users of what fees are involved line by line, as opposed to other financial institutions that keep all these fees hidden.

Who is Wise Right for?

It’s right for individuals and institutions that transfer money internationally.  As far as individuals go, Wise is ideal for:

  • Sending money to family and friends abroad
  • Sending money between your bank accounts in different countries

Wise (TransferWise) Reviews

We went through different trustworthy review platforms to see what they thought of Wise.  Here it goes;

TrustPilot Wise (formerly TransferWise) Review

TrustPilot is an international platform for evaluating companies and services.

Wise received close to 130,000 reviews on TrustPilot and got an overall score of 4.6 out of 5. 85% of the reviews marked the service as “excellent”, while 4% marked it “bad”. 

Most of the positive reviews focused on the ease of use of the website, as well as the app.  Secondly, the low fees and affordability of the platform were also praised by users. The lack of hidden fees and the lack of bureaucracy were often mentioned. Contrary to our review, there were quite a few users, who pointed out that they found the transfer speed to be very good. 

Monito Wise (formerly TransferWise) Review

Monito is a user review platform of digital transfer services.

Wise received an 9.5 out of 10 in Monito. It is considered as one of the most accessible and easy-to-use options in the market for transfer money through online services.

Fees & Exchange Rates received 9.2/10

Credibility & Security received 10/10

Services & Coverage received 9/10

Customer Satisfaction received 9.7/10

Customer Support received 9.5/10 and

Transparency received 10/10

Users pointed out that the downside of the platform is the need to have actual bank accounts in order to be able to proceed with the transfer.

The Verdict: Is It Worth Opening an Account at Wise?

If you regularly make international money transfers, then the answer is yes. It definitely is worth it.

Wise is a great choice for international money transfers. Advantages of Wise include ease-of-use, transparency, low fees, and great customer service.

From an easy sign-up process to efficient transfers, Wise provides an excellent user experience.  It is a true disruptor of the traditional money transfer model. For comparisons, check out our Wise VS Western UnionWise VS PayPal, Wise VS MoneyGram, and Wise VS Revolut Articles.

If you want to use Wise services for your business, you can check out our Wise Business article

If you’d like to learn more about the platform and open an account, click here.

We hope you enjoy our Wise Review 2021 article. Thank you for reading!

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