Transferwise review: service, app & card


02 February 2020

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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!


Exchanging money and international transfers can be extremely expensive. It can quickly add up and represent a big portion of your travel budget.


This is why I used Transferwise.


To give you a bit of background, I am from France. I went backpacking for a year in Australia and Asia. I currently live in the UK (for the past 4 years). I worked for 3 months in the USA. I travel to a foreign country about once a month.

Long story short, I need to juggle between currencies a lot.

I used two main currencies (GBP and Euro), two minor currencies (AUD and USD) and punctual currencies for my travels (ZLY, DHR…).


Exchanging currency has always been an issue and a big deal for me. This is why I reviewed every single way to exchange and transfer international money.

To me, Transferwise is the best option available which is why I wrote this Transferwise review.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!



What is Transferwise?


Transferwise is a British online money transfer service founded in 2011 by two Estonian chaps.

Transferwise provides cost efficient international money transfers and currency exchange services with pre-paid debit card.


What’s their story?


Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus created Transferwise because of their own needs. Back then, one was paid in GBP and needed Euros, the other one was paid in Euros and needed GBP. They realised that they were saving way more money by exchanging these currencies between themselves rather than going through the normal process. For the same amount of their original currency, they would get way more of the other.

This is how Transferwise was created.


How does it work?


Transferwise has bank accounts in various countries. They have bank accounts in over 50 currencies.

Instead of actually exchanging the money, which is what banks do, they move money in a smarter way and never exchange it per se.


The user (you), transfer money onto an account located in your country and currency. Then Transferwise send you the money from their bank account in the wanted currency onto the bank account your indicated.


Alternatively, they also offer a free MasterCard debit card where you can add wallets in different currencies and store your money. This comes particularly handy when you travel.


How is Transferwise debit card?


With your Transferwise account, you can get a free MasterCard debit card.

You just fill in the information required and your debit card will be delivered a few days later.


This card is connected to your Transferwise account but more importantly the Transferwise mobile app. You can add wallets on it with as many currencies as you want.

You load these wallets using the normal transfer. Once you are abroad, the card will automatically pay or withdraw money into the relevant currency. This will save you a lot of fees onsite.


The app is extremely good too. There are live updates. You get a notification as soon as you pay with the updated credit on your card.

The good thing about it too is that you can have many wallets and transfer the money left from one wallet to another with ease.

That way you don’t end up having to spend your money left or re-exchange it at a high rate.

You can re-exchange it at the best rate.


Last thing, you can move every single penny. Generally when you exchange money, you can only exchange bank notes. In this case you can transfer the exact amount you have left.


How much are the fees with Transferwise?


Transferwise obviously charges you some fees. They do need to make money somewhere.

However the fees are nowhere as much as with normal banks.

First of all, the exchange rate Transferwise offers is the best on the market. Although not quite equal to the rate of the day, it’s very close to that.


In terms of fees themselves, they are up to 10 times less high than with your bank.

This comes to the fact that unlike normal banks, they don’t actually change the money.


Here is an example of transfer with Transferwise:

Let’s say you want to send £1000 and get euros.


transferwise send 1000 pounds


Today’s official rate is 1.19026 (as you can see below).


exchange rate pounds to euro


With Transferwise, you will get an exchange rate of 1.19019

This is from far the best rate you can get compared to the other providers.

Transfer does charge you £1.84 in fees. Depending on what kind of accounts you have in your bank, you might have no fees or way higher fees (such as £20).

But even with that small fee, your guaranteed exchange rate is so good compared to the others that it will save you at least £50!


transferwise fees comparison



Is Transferwise safe?


This is a question that is often ask and the answer is yes! Transferwise is 100% safe!

They developed a very different concept compared to what was on the market. Technically speaking, we send the money to them and wait for them to send it back so it’s normal to wonder whether they will do that or keep it. But that’s something you have nothing to worry about.

Transferwise is fully licensed and authorised. They follow a strict set of rules set by regulatory agencies in every single country we operate in, from the FCA in the UK to FinCen in the US.

All of that in order to keep your money safe!

Transferwise has over 6 million customers and every single one of them can attest how safe Transferwise is.


What about businesses?


If you are a freelancer and want to be able to pay and be paid in other currencies, Transferwise is ideal! You can open a borderless account. This business multi-currency account is perfect to avoid fees and manage your money easily.


What do I love about Transferwise?


  • Best exchange rate on the market
  • Very little fees
  • Quick and easy to use (only takes a few minutes to get the money)
  • Spectacular user experience
  • Safe & secure
  • No need to go anywhere, I can exchange my money from the comfort of home
  • Great mobile app
  • Live updates on my expenses
  • Easy to carry as many currencies as we want
  • Free Master card debit card
  • Reliable
  • Easy to re-exchange money
  • No need to worry about how much I spend as I can add and remove money as I want
  • No need to carry around a lot of money in cash


This is my honest review of Transferwise. If you use this link, you will get a free first transfer and I will get a small commission. This keeps my blog going and the commission is not the reason why I recommend Transferwise.

I travelled a lot in my life and I was so sick of giving money away to banks to exchange money. Transferwise was a game changer and I want to give you the possibility to experience that as well! 🙂

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