Wise is a company that in the beginning was developed for making international money transfers easy and affordable, but step by step, it expanded its products to become a true online bank, offering various financial services and products.
The Wise Card is one of these products, and we are going to analyze it in detail in this review.
What is Wise Card?
As simple and as powerful as that.
But let’s find out some more details about this card.
Is Wise a visa card?
The physical Wise Card is not VISA, but Mastercard.
However, the company lets you get a virtual/digital card, and that one is a VISA one.
Is Wise a credit card?
The Wise Card is a debit card, which means that you can only spend the money you have in the Multi-currency account.
Is the Wise card compatible with Apple Pay?
Both the Physical and the Digital Wise Cards are fully compatible with Apple Pay, so you’ll be able to add them to your Wallet App, and use them to pay with your Apple watch.
Is the Wise card compatible with Google Play?
Yes, if you are an Android user, you’ll be able to use any Wise Card to pay online.
What are the benefits of the Wise Card?
So far, this card doesn’t look anything spectacular.
Let’s see what makes the Wise card among my favorites for travel, for Digital Nomads, or for everyday spending.
Top notch security
Even if you don’t care about security, knowing that your money is safe at all times is a huge peace-of-mind advantage.
First of all, you can freeze any Wise card (physical or digital) from your smartphone or the web app with just a tap / click.
Is so easy and fast that you could even have your digital card frozen, and just defrost it by the time you want to use it.
You’ll easily see if any of your cards are frozen because the pic appears as such!
Payment Methods Management
We are creatures of habit.
If, for example, you always use your physical Wise Card to pay in stores, and you are afraid that someone will steal your data to make online purchases, simply deactivate this payment method!
You can do this with every payment method:
- ATM Withdrawals
- Online Payments
- Chip and PIN transactions
- Mobile Wallets
- Contactless transactions
- And Magnetic Stripe transactions
You can do this also from the app or from the website, and it will take you literally 10 seconds.
Note that by their nature, in digital cards, you won’t have for example the option to disable ATM Withdrawals or Chip and Pin Transactions.
Detailed Spending Limits
In addition to the above, in Wise you can also easily adjust the limits depending on the payment method.
In particular, you can adjust the limit for:
- ATM withdrawals: there is a limit of ~$1,000 you can withdraw in one go. Besides that, you can alternate among:
- Default amount: daily limit of ~$1,500 and ~$3,000 monthly.
- Maximum amount: daily limit of ~$1,500 and ~$4,000 monthly.
- Chip and PIN and mobile wallets: there is a limit of ~$2,500 you can spend in one go. Besides that, you can alternate among:
- Default amount: daily limit of ~$3,000 and ~$10,000 monthly.
- Maximum amount: daily limit of ~$10,000 and ~$30,000 monthly.
- Contactless transactions: there is a limit of ~$5,00 you can spend in one go. Besides that, you can alternate among:
- Default amount: daily limit of ~$500 and ~$4,000 monthly.
- Maximum amount: daily limit of ~$1,000 and ~$4,000 monthly.
- Magnetic Stripe transactions: there is a limit of ~$3,00 you can spend in one go. Besides that, you can alternate among:
- Default amount: daily limit of ~$400 and ~$1,200 monthly.
- Maximum amount: daily limit of ~$1,200 and ~$6,000 monthly.
- Online payments: there is a limit of ~$1,000 you can spend in one go. Besides that, you can alternate among:
- Default amount: daily limit of ~$1,000 and ~$2,000 monthly.
- Maximum amount: daily limit of ~$10,000 and ~$30,000 monthly.
The monthly limits refresh on the 1st of each month, and the daily after 11:59 pm, so it’s very easy to know when you’ll be back to square one.
IMPORTANT: Note that these are, indeed, account limits, NOT CARD LIMITS.
This means that if you pay online with the virtual card at one merchant, and at another merchant you pay with the physical card, both expenses will add up to the limit.
This is not a Card feature, but a Wise one.
As you can easily change all the security parameters from the app or website, you should know that you can easily activate a 2step login for your account.
So even if someone knows your password, it will be impossible for them to access your account.
Up to 3 Wise Digital Cards (Apple Pay and Google Play compatible)
Virtual cards work in much the same way as physical cards, the only difference being that they don’t physically exist.
But other than that, you will have a fully functional card: with a number, expiration date, and security code.
You can create up to 3 of these cards, FOR FREE! and just with one click!
This is super-useful for online purchases if you don’t trust the merchant because, after the payment, you can simply delete the digital card or replace it to get other card details.
You can replace and/or delete the cards as many times as you want, but take into account that this is a manual process.
Wise does not yet have single-use digital cards (which are automatically destroyed when used)
If you live in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, EEA, Brazil or Canada, you can start using Wise Digital Cards.
As mentioned above, the Wise card is linked to the Wise Multi-currency Account .
This means that you will be able to hold and pay with more than 50 different currencies: EUR, USD, GBP…
This is very useful for traveling!
The Wise Card is FREE
Although ordering the card costs about $9 for shipping and handling, mainly (and $5 if at some point you have to order a replacement physical card) that’s all the money you’ll have to pay to have the Wise card operational.
However, you should be aware that if you keep large amounts of money in some currencies on your multicurrency account, you may incur additional charges.
As an example, after €3,000, there is a monthly fee of 0.07% (only for the balance exceeding that limit)
It’s not much, but you should take it into account.
This limit depends on the currency, so be sure to check before storing large sums.
Still, I do not recommend Wise as your main bank, but as a travel and money transfer bank, so this should not be a problem for you either.
Ultra-Low Fees when paying in another currency
You have already seen that keeping your Wise card operational is free of charge.
Spending money with it, through the contactless, online, chip, or any other method is also free if you have the currency in your account.
If not, Wise will charge you a very small fee for converting your money.
This is the same fee that applies if you decide for example to use the service to send money internationally with currency exchange included.
For instance, if you travel to Europe and you want to pay a 100€ item, you’ll pay about $107.82.
The exchange rate applied is the actual exchange rate, and Wise only charges a transfer of less than $0.45 for a payment of more than $100, not bad.
What about Wise Withdrawal fee?
Understanding Wise Card Withdrawal fees are much easier to understand.
You can get up to $100 per month divided into up to 2 withdrawals for free.
After that, each additional withdrawal will cost you a flat rate of $1.5.
Can you withdraw money in a different currency than the one in your account?
The most complicated scenario is if for example, you have 250 dollars in your account, and you want to get 200 euros during your trip in Europe.
But to understand it better, you really just have to think that Wise converts the money for you before you withdraw it.
- If for instance, you first withdraw 90€ (less than 100$), you are still in the free $100 withdraw monthly limit, so the only cost associated with this operation will be the ones convert the ~$100 to 90€, as you have previously seen, about $0,45.
From this point on, the mechanics are similar.
When you are withdrawing from ATMs, think of it as paying with a card, only WIse is charging you a small fee of $1.5 per withdrawal if you have already exceeded your limits.
Currently, it’s possible to open Wise Multi-currency Account for your business.
And that means that it is also possible to get Wise cards for your business, physical and digital, with all the advantages you have just seen.
How do I add Money to my Wise Card?
Remember that technically you are not adding money to your card, but to one of the associated multi-currency accounts.
And this is something very easy to do:
- You could receive payments from a company on your account (on USD, EUR, GBP…)
- You could convert the balance you have to the currency you want to spend.
- You could request money with a link.
- Or you could just simply add money from another bank account you have
Depending on the currency, methods may vary.
For example in my case, to add Euros, I also have available PayPal, Apple Pay, Trustly, Local Transfer, iDeal, and SOFORT by Klarna.
Wise Card wrap up, pros and cons, is it worth it?
The Wise Card is completely worth it, not only for the card itself, but especially for everything associated with it.
Being able to have different account numbers for different currencies makes it really easy (and inexpensive) to have a 100% international bank to work and travel with.
The card is very secure, and I feel completely safe traveling with it or shopping online knowing that I can freeze it at any time with a simple touch, or that no one can access my account with my password thanks to 2FA.
Commissions for withdrawals from ATMs or currency exchanges are so low that you can practically use it as if you were just another local in the country.
At least in my case, if I have to pay or withdraw money, I never think about the commission that Wise is going to charge me, I just pay and forget about it.
It’s much more convenient and faster than looking for a Currency Exchange Office, and as a bonus, I don’t have the feeling of being ripped off!
In my opinion, the only con of the card is not of the card itself but of the multicurrency account, and that is the small commission you are charged if you keep high amounts in certain currencies.
Although in my case this is not a problem, since I use the card and account as a place to pass through, and not as the main bank where I keep my savings.
But other than that, the Wise Card is 100% recommended, and you won’t regret getting it.