With a presence in over 77 countries and the ability to hold more than 50 currencies in its multi-currency accounts, Wise has become a household name in the money transfer industry.
However, like any service, Wise has its limitations. That’s why we’re here to introduce you to apps like Wise that might better suit your needs.
In this article, we’ll provide money transfer services that address Wise’s shortcomings. We’ll explore their features, fees, and unique offerings.
Let’s dive in.
What is Wise and why people might want to look for alternatives
Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, was founded in 2011. The company aimed to change traditional banking by lowering the transfer fees and offering better exchange rates.
It operates on a peer-to-peer model.
Its strength lies in its transparent and affordable pricing, multicurrency accounts, mid-market exchange rates, its Wise card, and user-friendly app.
See our review of Wise.
On the downside, Wise has no branch network, so you can’t deposit cash payments. The company also doesn’t offer home delivery or cash pickup services.
Though the service is relatively cheap compared to banks, the rate and restrictions of transfers can vary depending on the destination country. The company has limited customer support that you can only reach during weekday business hours.
With over 77 countries available, Wise isn’t as widely available across the world as other money transfer services
If you find any of these drawbacks a deal-breaker for using Wise, here are some alternatives.
Apps like Wise
- Revolut – best for availability and multi-currency travel card
- Remitly – best for cash pick-up availability (350,000 locations)
- WorldRemit – best for availability and instant payments
- CurrencyFair – best for currency exchange marketplace
- OFX – best exchange rates for large transfers and no fees over $5,000
Revolut is a fintech company founded in 2015. Like Wise, Revolut offers a debit card to make payments and withdrawals. Wise only offers a MasterCard, while Revolut offers an extra Maestro card option. With over 200 sending countries and more than 150 supported currencies, Revolut offers more availability than Wise.
For U.S. customers, transfers between Revolut-linked banks are free. Transfers between the U.K. and Europe are also free. There are no charges for in-network ATM withdrawals, while out-of-network ATM withdrawals are free up to $1200 for US users. This is limited to £200/€200 in other countries.
Wise allows two free withdrawals per month up to £200 (or the currency equivalent). Exceeding this limit results in a £0.50 fixed fee and a 1.75% fee of the amount withdrawn.
Card payments and payments between Revolut-linked banks are instant, while other transfers can take up to 30 minutes. International transfers can take up to 3-5 business days.
Revolut offers more features than Wise, like <18 accounts, a vault system, cryptocurrency investment, stock investment, budgeting options, and no transfer limits for most currencies.
- You can invest in cryptocurrency and stocks.
- Available in 200 countries.
- Fast transfers.
- You can only contact their customer support via live chat.
See our review of Revolut.
Remitly was founded in 2011 to help immigrants send money back home at lower transfer fees. With Remitly, you can transfer money from 28 sending countries to over 100 receiving countries. The company also offers regular incentives like bonuses, discounts, promotional rates, etc.
The company has 350,000 agent locations all over the world for cash deposits and pick-ups. It also offers home delivery options which is something that Wise lacks.
Generally, Wise has faster transfers with most being completed within 24 hours and others being completed within 1-2 days. However, if you need to make an urgent transfer, Remitly has an Express transfer option to transfer your payment in minutes.
This is a paid service but it provides users with the reassurance that their transfers are going to be complete within minutes. Whilst Wise has fast delivery times, this isn’t something that can always be guaranteed as there’s no speedy transfer option.
- 24/7 customer support.
- Offers express transfers for urgent payment transfers.
- It has 350,000 agent locations for cash pickup.
- A home delivery option is available.
- The exchange rate includes a markup of 0.5% to 3.0%.
WorldRemit was founded in 2010 and now has over 5.7 million global users. The company deals in 70 currencies and lets you transfer money to over 130 countries. Unlike Wise, WorldRemit supports airtime top-ups and mobile money accounts.
WorldRemit offers new customer incentives, such as cash vouchers when you refer a friend to sign up. The company also offers cash collection and home delivery services, making it stand out compared to Wise.
The transfer fees of both Wise and WorldRemit depend on the destination country, payment method, and currencies involved. Wise beats WorldRemit’s undisclosed exchange rate margin with a markup-free exchange rate, but WorldRemit offers instant transfers.
- 95% of WorldRemit’s payments transfer in minutes with no extra fee for the transfer speed.
- 24/7 customer support.
- Wide range of payment options, including debit/credit cards, bank transfers, Apple Pay, and Mobile Money.
- No multi-currency accounts.
- No debit card option.
See our review of WorldRemit.
CurrencyFair is a Dublin-based money transfer company founded in 2009 and offers money transfers to over 150 countries in 20 currencies. The company provides both business and personal accounts for its users.
Wise has cheaper transfer and exchange rates because of zero markups, but CurrencyFair’s currency marketplace makes it stand out. This currency marketplace is excellent for exchanging your currencies at a desired exchange rate.
You can set your desired exchange rate, and the service will alert you as soon as someone else agrees to exchange their currency with you at that rate.
- A currency marketplace is available.
- Available in 150 countries.
- Fast transfer speeds.
- Do not offer their own debit card like Wise.
- The exchange rates include markups.
OFX, formerly known as OzForex, is a popular foreign exchange and payment transfer company. It’s available in over 170 countries and supports more than 50 currencies. The company has a 24/7 customer support system and uses educational tools to educate customers about foreign exchange.
Though Wise can hold more currencies in its multicurrency accounts, OFX offers limitless transfers and broader availability worldwide.
Both OFX and Wise have alerts that let you know when your desired foreign exchange rate is available.
OFX includes a markup on their exchange rate but doesn’t charge a transfer fee for payments above $5,000. The Wise transfer fee is percentage based, so it can add up for large transfers.
- No-limit transfers.
- Free transfers above $5,000.
- Available in 150 countries.
- The exchange rate includes a markup.
Alternatives to the Wise card for traveling
The Wise debit card is one of the company’s biggest PROs. The card lets you trade in more than 50 currencies. You can use the card to make purchases in over 200 countries and withdraw money from over 2.5 million ATMs worldwide.
However, there are alternatives to the Wise debit card that you may want to consider.
See our review of Wise card.
Revolut converts money into the currency of your travel destination at the mid-market rate to reduce foreign transaction fees. You can fund the card using your bank debit card or a bank transfer.
With a PayPal debit card you can earn cash back in stores on eligible purchases. You don’t have to worry about any minimum limit, monthly fee, or credit check. You can use the card to withdraw money at over 37,000 ATMs for a fee or for free at MoneyPass ATMs in the US.
N26 Mastercard debit cards are accepted worldwide and don’t charge any transaction fees for foreign spending. Their exchange rates also don’t include a markup. With their N26 You and Metal account, you can withdraw money for free.
See our review of N26.
Things to keep in mind when choosing an alternative
Exchange Rates: Though exchange rates vary according to the currencies involved in the transfer, money transfer companies often apply a markup. To save money on international transfers, opt for companies with no markups or smaller markups on the exchange rate.
Availability: You should consider whether your chosen service allows for money transfers in your country and the countries you’d like to transfer money to and from. The number of currencies that are supported is also important to make sure that you can transfer money in your currency.
Transfer Speed: If you require instant transfers, you should opt for a company that offers reliably fast transfer speeds or a specific fast transfer option.
Transfer Fees: A percentage-based transfer fee is not beneficial if you mainly transfer large amounts of money. Consider low, fixed transfer fee options or ones that don’t charge transfers above a specific transfer amount limit, such as OFX.
Safety: Ensure that legitimate financial organizations regulate the company of your choice. Also, review each company’s security measures to protect your transactions and financial information.