Wise Review  Money Transfer Reviews
Picture this: it’s the holiday season and your family abroad is counting on your next paycheck to help tide them over through the New Year. Other money transfer services have caused you delays, cost you high fees or both! You’re thinking about how you’ll send money without an extra hit to your wallet.
And you’re not alone. Worldwide money transfers are forecasted to total $840 billion this year.
But many services come with surprise fees and fluctuating exchange rates. Luckily, Wise is transparent about how it operates.
In this in-depth Wise review, I’ll explain what Wise is, how it works, the pros and cons, and more.
What is Wise?
Wise, formerly known as “TransferWise,” is a fintech firm that provides an economical solution for sending money from the United States to more than 160 countries in 40 different currencies.
The company has been revolutionizing the way people send money across borders since its founding in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann. The mission of Wise is clear: building money without borders. The company aims to make international money transfers cheaper, faster, and more transparent by offering a fair exchange rate and eliminating hidden fees.
Wise has gained a solid reputation and trust from millions of users worldwide for its commitment to providing a better way to transfer money internationally. With a user-friendly mobile app that provides fair and transparent fees with no surprises, their service is one of the most competitive on the market today.
Check out the screenshot below, which shows an example of the Wise app dashboard.
How Does Wise Work?
Wise is a peer-to-peer payment system that allows you to send money to another country via a simple and clear in-app currency exchange. You’ll see exactly how much the recipient will receive in their currency, as well as any fees you’ll pay before you click the send button — it’s pretty great!
Here’s how Wise works step-by-step.
- Create an account. Sign up for a Wise account on their website or through the mobile app.
- Provide transfer details. Enter the amount you want to send and the recipient’s details, and select the destination currency.
- Fund your transfer. Choose how you want to pay for your transfer, whether it’s via bank transfer, debit card, or credit card.
- Check the exact exchange rate. Wise provides you with the real exchange rate, ensuring complete transparency and no hidden fees. It’s often the case that their exchange rates are more favorable than what traditional banks are offering.
- Receive the transfer confirmation. After confirming all the details, you’ll receive a confirmation of your transfer.
- Recipient receives payment. Once Wise receives your funds, they will transfer the money to the recipient’s bank account. The recipient doesn’t even need a Wise account of their own to receive the funds – how convenient is that!
Take a look at the screenshot below, which shows an example of an actual money transfer via the Wise app.
Is Wise Legit?
Wise is totally legit. Wise has earned a solid reputation in the financial industry and has garnered trust from millions of users worldwide.
Wise is known for its transparency in providing the real exchange rate and disclosing all fees upfront, which contributes to its legitimacy. The average 4.2-star ratings on Trustpilot don’t lie.
Is Wise Safe?
Safety and security are of paramount importance when it comes to handling and managing money, and Wise takes this very seriously.
The platform safeguards your money by holding it in dedicated bank accounts or high-quality liquid assets. Even better, Wise has a specialized in-house team that’s dedicated to security. If a whole security team isn’t enough, I don’t know what is!
Pros and Cons of Wise
Let’s talk a little bit about both the upsides and downsides of using Wise for money transfers.
- Transparent fees. Wise provides a clear breakdown of fees, ensuring you know exactly what you’re paying for.
- Excellent exchange rates. Users benefit from competitive exchange rates, often better than those offered by banks.
- Wide currency support. Wise supports a wide range of currencies (40 in total), making it suitable for various international transactions.
- Not ideal for large transfers. While great for smaller to medium-sized transfers, Wise transfer fees become less competitive for very large transactions (transfer fees vary based on the amount being sent, how it’s paid, and the current exchange rates).
- Limited transfer speed. While transfer times can be fast for some transactions, others may take a day or two for funds to reach the recipient.
- Limited customer service. Based on many customer reviews and ratings, support can be limited in the event you need help with a transaction issue.
Be sure to take your time to consider all of these points and weigh your options before making a decision about whether Wise is right for you.
Wise Money Transfer Reviews
With an average 4.2-star rating on Trustpilot based on over 194K reviews, it’s clear that Wise has a positive reputation across the board.
In a 5-star review on Trustpilot, one user commented, “They are excellent and there is never a problem.” These are the kinds of reviews you want to see when choosing a financial service.
In a 4-star review on Trustpilot, one user commented that “ the application freezes periodically.” Another part of their complaint is that exchange rates change too often, meaning that a freeze might result in an incorrect exchange rate at the time that the transaction actually goes through.
A 3-star Trustpilot review mentions that they’ve been pretty happy with the service for several years, but also points out that two of their transfers were delayed.
Wise indicates that some transfers may take longer than expected (depending on the form of payment used), but delays on two different transfers seems kind of excessive.
In this recent 1-star Trustpilot review, this user explains their “terrible customer service experience,” including a days-long wait to get an email response. They also mentioned that “phone customer service is only open 6 hours a day.”
As with any platform or service, there are always kinks to work out. And someone will inevitably have a negative experience here and there.
Wise Reviews Reddit
I discovered a Reddit thread with several Wise reviews where someone asked people if they’ve used Wise to send a large sum of money abroad.
One user responded that they had an overall positive experience, sending issue-free “5-figure” transfers to the EU, Malaysia, Japan, and Thailand.
Another user explained their issue with a $2-3K CAD money transfer that was “stuck” in limbo for almost a year! After this experience, this user doesn’t trust Wise anymore for any sort of large money transfer. Personally, I don’t blame them.
Wise Review BBB
Wise is not currently accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but there are several “complaints” posted from users. Check out a few of them below.
It’s worth noting that Wise seems to have responded to each of these three negative complaints, either allaying concerns or with some sort of resolve.
One Wise user had trouble when their account was unexpectedly deactivated and permanently closed.
Another Wise user was very frustrated when they were asked to verify their documents multiple times, which ultimately led to an incorrect money transfer.
One other Wise user expressed serious frustration after two large money transfers did not clear even after 20 days! This is pretty crazy if you ask me.
Wise App Review
If you’re wondering if the Wise app works well, you’d be right. The Wise app is highly reviewed on multiple platforms:
- App Store: An average 4.6-star review based on 29.9K ratings.
- Google Play Store: An average 4.7-star review based on 559K ratings. The app has also been downloaded more than 10 million times!
- Trustpilot: An average 4.2-star rating, based on over 194K ratings, with 83% of all reviews at a 5-star rating.
With overall positive Wise reviews like these, you can rest assured that using Wise will be a breeze.
Wise Bank Review
When you open a Wise account, you can receive interest on your USD balance by opting into their new “interest feature.”
You can earn up to 4.33% APY interest on your USD balance (rate valid at the time of this publication). You’ll also have instant access to your money and passthrough FDIC insurance up to $250,000 through Wise’s program bank, currently JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
So, not only can you send money abroad quickly and easily, but you can also make money on your money!
Is Wise Worth It?
Wise is definitely worth considering for frequent international money transfers with predictable and affordable fees. Having a reliable money transfer service like Wise provides peace of mind that your loved ones abroad are taken care of.
It’s important to note that you’ll have to consider which state you reside in before deciding to sign up for Wise. Currently, Wise operates in all but 1 U.S. state: Nevada. They also operate in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.
Commonly Asked Questions About Wise
What are Alternatives to Wise?
Wise is a top choice for money transfers, but if you’re exploring alternatives, you can also consider the following options:
- MoneyGram (read full MoneyGram review here)
- Cash App
- Pangea Money Transfer (read full Pangea Money Transfer review here)
It’s essential to assess your specific requirements and compare Wise with other options.
Is Wise a Scam?
Wise is certainly not a scam. It has an average 4.2-star rating on Trustpilot and supports 160 countries and 40 different currencies. Wise has gained trust through its commitment to transparency and fair fees. Rest assured, you won’t be scammed out of your money by using Wise.
What is The Catch With Wise?
There’s no “catch” with Wise, but here are a few drawbacks when it comes to transfer limits:
- Wire transfers are limited to $1,000,000 USD per transfer.
- ACH payments are limited to $15,000 USD per 24 hours.
- Debit/credit card transfers are limited to $2,000 USD per transfer and $8,000 USD per week.
Is Wise Money Trusted?
Absolutely! A strong rating on Trustpilot plus these points prove that Wise should be trusted:
- Wise is a licensed money transmitter.
- Wise is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the U.S.