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Wise vs Revolut

Wise is better for international money transfers.

by
Maja Nagelj
updated:
April 6, 2022

This article is our detailed comparison of two of the most popular players in providing banking solutions for sending and receiving money abroad, Wise (formerly Transferwise) vs. Revolut. Both are fintech banks.

A big part of being a digital nomad is finding the best banking solution focusing on affordable international transfers, safety, and a good credit card that enables international withdrawals.

We have been using Wise and Revolut for several years, and they are our to-go solutions for international money transfers. However, there are some pros and cons when using both, and that's why we decided to put these two UK-based companies against each other and help you choose your best one.

Let's dive into it!

Revolut

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Pros

+ Free and fast transfers
+ Transparent fees
+ Virtual cards
+ Supports Cryptocurrencies
+ Insurance options with higher planes
+Revolut Bank

Cons

- Higher fees during the weekends
- Can freeze accounts temporarily due to security reasons

Wise

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✔ Pros

  • You can keep 50+ currencies in your account
  • Low fees and quick transfers
  • Local Account Details in AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, NZD, MYR, PLN, SGD, USD, RON, HUF, TRY
  • Multicurrency Card

✘ Cons

  • No loans or overdrafts
  • Processing times can differ in different countries/currencies
  • No live chat support
  • Can freeze accounts temporarily due to security reasons

At a Glance

Wise Revolut
Countries where the card is available UK, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Malaysia, most of the EEA, and the US. EEA Australia, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, the US.
Number of supported currencies 56 31
ATM limit 1500 GBP (or currency equivalent) per day 3,000 GBP (or currency equivalent) per day
3D Secure payments Yes Yes
Virtual cards Yes Yes
Disposable Virtual Card No Yes
Type of card Mastercard Visa and Mastercard (Plastic and Metal)
Number of Pricing plans 1 4
Card contactless payments Yes Yes
Google Pay and Apple Pay Yes Yes
Number of physical cards/account 1 3
Number of virtual cards/account 3 5
Crypto Trading No Yes
Commodities Trading No Yes
Stock Trading No Yes
Split Bills No Yes
Customer Support Channels Email, Phone In-app chat

A quick overview: Wise vs Revolut

Wise

Image Credit: wise.com

Wise, formerly Transferwise, was founded in January 2011 by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus.

With Wise, you can set up your account in different currencies, enabling you to send and receive money globally and use the Wise Debit Card to withdraw the funds in local currency.

They offer a business account, which can be one of the more basic solutions when opening a US LLC business as a foreigner, and paying your overseas freelancers and contractors.

A multi-currency account, previously known as a borderless account, is a fantastic option for all who require local bank details in different countries. They offer low fees and reliable services, making them one of the top solutions for international transfers.

They support Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Revolut

Image Credit: revolut.com

Revolut is another popular fintech bank founded in 2015 in London by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko.

Revolut's digital banking alternative quickly grew and became one of the most recognizable bank solutions for international businesses and digital nomads. The card supports multi-currencies which helps you to exchange your money quickly, in the app, withdrawing from ATM, or via card payments.

You can quickly transfer money to other bank accounts and other Revolut accounts in just seconds. In addition, they offer a business account for any business transfers.

Besides prepaid debit cards, currency exchanges, international transfers, and easy money transfers between peers, they also offer cryptocurrency exchange (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and 30+ other currencies) and investments in stock and commodities.

They support Google and Apple Pay.

They offer four pricing plans with four connected cards, so the fees and benefits vary based on your selected plan. One is free; the rest are paid.

Main features: Wise vs Revolut

International transfers

This is the feature of Revolut and Wise that we love the most. They simplified the international transfers with low fees, making it easier to send the money around and not spend too much on fees. Usually, the funds arrive very fast, which is fascinating, as, with regular banks, you need to wait at least a couple of days; with Transferwise 2 days tops.

The availability of both varies depending on the offered service. Additionally, both are constantly adding new locations, so you should refer to their websites for the most up-to-date regarding your location.

Wise offers different ways to transfer your money internationally via Direct Debit, Bank Transfer, Debit Card, Credit Card.

Revolut gives you some cool features like:

  • instant and free transfers between Revolut friends,
  • sending payment links or flash QR codes,
  • requesting money from friends and family around the world, so they can pay with a tap using Apple or Google Pay (no fees),
  • split bills with your friends, even if they're not on Revolut.

Revolut and Wise made the international transfers very easy, which is excellent for us digital nomads and people with businesses overseas.

Business accounts

Both Wise and Revolut are offering business accounts besides personal ones. Of course, it depends on the type of business, but Wise's solution is suitable for paying freelancers, contractors, and overseas payments with low transfer fees.

Revolut Business account is currently available for companies and sole traders registered in and physically present in the US, EEA, and Switzerland. At the same time, Wise is available for sole traders and freelancers, limited and public companies, partnerships. And also charities and trusts in the European Economic Area (EEA), Canada, US, UK, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand.

When we opened a Transferwise account for our business, the representative from Wise also contacted us to verify details about the company before activating the account.

While Revolut offers four different business packages for companies and 3 for freelances (one free account and three/two paid membership plans with extra features and fewer fees), Wise offers one.

Cards

Wise currently provides Mastercard, while Revolut offers Visa and Mastercard; depending on your location, you will receive one or another.

Revolut offers four different pricing plans and cards related to them. In addition, they offer plastic and metal cards. Depending on the package you select, you can pimp up your account with additional benefits like Overseas medical insurance, Crypto Withdrawal, Delayed baggage, flight insurance, etc. You can compare their packages here.

Image Credit: revolut.com

The Wise card is available to residents of the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, EEA, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland. Revolut, on the other hand, ships its cards to EEA, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, the UK, and the US.

Both don't have any transaction fees, and the conversion fees are very good.

There are limits on how much you can withdraw every month for free:

  • Wise has a bit more complicated scheme, as it depends on the country where the card was issued. You can read all the details per country here.
  • With Revolut, you can withdraw $300 for free each month (on a Standard plan) via their network of 55,000+ surcharge-free ATMs.

When using Revolut or Wise for online payments, you will, in most cases, need to verify the payment via their app, a call, or SMS, depending on your setup.

All cards support contactless payments.

Besides the physical cards, they both offer virtual cards for online purchases. Revolut also has a one-time use, a disposable card that can be regenerated as many times as you require under a new card number each time.

You can activate up to five virtual cards with Revolut and three active physical cards; disposable ones do not count towards this quota, with Wise one physical card and up to three virtual ones.

Supported Currencies

Revolut and Wise support major currencies.

Wise offers you to add money to your account in 21 currencies: AUD, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HRK, HUF, JPY, MYR, NOK, NZD, PLN, RON, SEK, SGD, TRY and USD.

Besides that, you can keep 50+ currencies in your multi-currency account. You can convert money with the real exchange rate.

With Revolut, you can hold and exchange these currencies: AED, AUD, BGN, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, ILS, ISK, JPY, MAD, MXN, NOK, NZD, PLN, QAR, RON, RSD, RUB, SAR, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, ZAR.

Wise supports more currencies and has way greater coverage in over 200 countries. This makes it a better choice for digital nomads since we spend time in different parts of the world.

Mobile App

Both offer desktop and mobile apps. Both are easy to navigate and intuitively designed. The sign-up process for new customers is straightforward and fast.

Reviews are pointing out the advanced Revolut app, which offers many features and enables you to access everything within the app. To be honest. While I use the Wise desktop app for my business account, I never used the Revolut desktop; I always go through the app.

Revolut has a bill splitting feature that helps you easily send or request money. And as a big meme fan, you can add a meme when sending your money to your peers to their Revolut account. How cool is that?

Investment Opportunities

Revolut offers different investment opportunities. For example, you can buy, sell, send cryptocurrencies, and invest in stocks and precious metals like gold and silver. At the moment, you can buy and sell around 60 coins with Revolut, but they are adding new ones regularly.

Wise, for now, supports only fiat money.

Both have budgeting features that can be accessed in their mobile applications; at Wise, it's called Jars, while Revolut calls it Vaults.

Exchange rates and fees: Transferwise vs Revolut

Wise Revolut
Price for opening personal account Free Free
Personal account bank details fee Free Free
Price for opening a business account Free Free
Business account bank details fee A one-time fee 16–21 EUR (or equivalent in your local currency). Free
Currency exchange fee 0.24–3.69% No cost up to 1000 EUR (or currency equivalent) per month; anything over is charged 0.5% + for the weekends +0.5% on Standard and Plus accounts
Withdrawing money from ATM fee Free up to 200 EUR (or currency equivalent), after that 1.75% fee applies. Fees depend on the country. Free up to 200 EUR (or currency equivalent), after that 2% fee applies.
The annual fee for holding the EUR balance 0.4% if you hold 15,000 EUR (personal account) and 70,000 EUR (business account) No Fees
Fee for card payments No Fee No Fee

Revolut would be a more affordable choice for smaller amounts, but when it comes to more significant transactions, Wise is a winner with lower fees.

Wise uses the mid-market rate, the midpoint between the current buy and sell prices of any two currencies, while Revolut uses the real exchange rate.

They are very transparent with their fees, and Wise, for example, doesn't have higher fees during the weekend like Revolut, which is also one plus.

Reputation and User Reviews: Wise vs Revolut

We were looking into reviews and ratings on TrustPilot for Wise and Revolut.

Wise

Image Credit: trustpilot.com

Wise has 144,980 reviews at the moment with an overall score of 4.7, which is a great result, considering that it's a bank and people usually have high expectations of them.

Their customers praise fast and reliable customer service, transparent fees, reasonable exchange rates, and are concerned about random deactivation of the accounts, holding transfers for sometimes unknown reasons, and canceled transactions.

Revolut

Image Credit: trustpilot.com

Revolut has 103,228 reviews at the moment with an overall score of 4.4, which is slightly worse than Wise but still falls into the category of Excellent.

Customers are giving kudos to ease of use and their mobile app, numerous supported features, and fast transfers. However, they are unhappy about the slow customer support, higher rates during the weekend, being locked out from accounts, and occasional bugs.

They are, however, actively addressing all the reviews and complaints on TrustPilot.

Wise has a slightly better reputation and a more positive user experience based on the reviews.

Safety: Wise vs Revolut

However, we would advise you to manage your funds with care on both and not use it as your primary or only account. It's not recommended to leave more considerable amounts of your wealth in the accounts. One of the reasons is what we mentioned in the previous paragraph, that you could be, without reason, locked from your account, or your whole account can be put into revision for no reason.

Both are holding all clients' money in separate accounts with their global banking partners, which would protect the funds in bankruptcy.

Wise and Revolut are authorized by the FCA; card payments are protected from fraud, loss, and theft under the scheme rules for Visa or MasterCard.

They use 2-factor authentication.

The bottom line is that both Wise and Revolut are considered safe. However, it would help if you kept in mind that these are not traditional banks, and they are safeguarding your money, and your money isn't FSCS protected.

Customer support

Revolut and Wise have a very detailed help section, where you can find much helpful information regarding the services they offer and fees.

If you need to reach out, the way is to reach Wise is via email or a call (Mon to Fri), Revolut via in-app chat.

Our verdict: Wise vs Revolut

Here we are; even when writing this review down, I had trouble picking my favorite. Revolut and Wise offer reliable services, and there are some differences between them. I hope that my review will help you choose the best solution for your use-case and mostly your location, as the services they both provide differ based on location.

Wise is a clear winner in transparency and its low-cost services, making them a go-to option for transferring money abroad, especially for more considerable sums of money. However, they don't offer shiny and multiple features like Revolut, and they are focused on mastering one.

Revolut is stronger in a different niche and a great option when traveling abroad and making your life easier with impressive additional features that help you budget and track your spending better.

Bill splitting is also an excellent way to travel in a group and easily split expenses between your friends.

Both accounts are easy to sign up for and have very straightforward mobile apps. Revolut offers more features.

Wise is available in more countries; Revolut is great if you are located in Europe.

If you are looking to start investing outside of fiat money, Revolut is your choice, as they offer buying/selling cryptocurrencies, stock trading, and commodities trading like gold and silver. Wise supports only fiat currencies as of now.

Revolut offers higher limits, but Wise has lower fees.

Based on your own situation, location, and needs, you can choose one or another. They are both safe (still fintech banks, don't forget), so you can't go wrong with any of them. Or nothing is speaking against opening accounts with Wise AND Revolut and using the best features of both. After all, the accounts are free.

Best Card for Occasional Travelers

Pros

+ Free and fast transfers
+ Transparent fees
+ Virtual cards
+ Supports Cryptocurrencies
+ Insurance options with higher planes
+Revolut Bank

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Best for International Transfers

✔ Pros

  • You can keep 50+ currencies in your account
  • Low fees and quick transfers
  • Local Account Details in AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, NZD, MYR, PLN, SGD, USD, RON, HUF, TRY
  • Multicurrency Card
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