The benefits of Wise for digital nomads
Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is an incredibly effective financial tool for digital nomads traveling and living around the world. Wise allows nomads to use and get paid in multiple currencies. The benefits of Wise are unmatched by any competitor, as one of the biggest challenges for nomads is financial planning. Since nomads are continuously operating in multiple currencies, working with clients from various countries, and receiving international payments, Wise helps make this simple.
Gone are the days of huge bank fees, poor conversion rates, and confusing transfers. Say hello to Wise – your newest obsession. A card to spend in over 40 currencies in over 150 countries. Check out the top 8 benefits of using Wise as a digital nomad.
What is Wise?
TransferWise was founded in 2011 by two friends who thought it should be easier and cheaper to move money between countries and currencies. As popularity grew, the founders realized that there was demand beyond money transfers, so they rebranded to Wise, which now includes multi-currency accounts, a debit card, and business accounts. Although they have continued to grow and adapt, the main mission stays the same: move money internationally quickly and transparently.
How does Wise work?
The technicalities can get a little confusing, but when you transfer money through Wise, you are not sending it directly to the recipient. Instead, you use your local currency to transfer into Wise’s account, which then gets sent to the recipient in their local currency. Although it feels much like Venmo or PayPal to the user, more is happening behind the scenes to make the process as seamless as possible.
Wise makes money through fees attached to these transfers, but these fees are clearly laid out upfront and are not hidden like many other transfer services. They also use
Reuters to calculate the exchange rate, so you can trust that it is always fair. You just need your bank info and your recipient’s bank info to send the money. You can currently send money to 160 countries. You can now set up an international business account with Wise, which is great news for freelancers and business owners that are digital nomads. You can pay employees, get money from clients, and manage accounts in various countries. It is approximately 6x cheaper than traditional banks and 19x cheaper than PayPal to use Wise Business.
The benefits of using Wise as a digital nomad
You can hold over 40 currencies
You can add money to your account in 21 currencies, including USD, EUR, and GBP. You can hold 40 currencies in your account and convert between them using the real exchange rate. These currencies include the Argentine Peso, Hong Kong dollar, Australian dollar, and more. You can then receive money in 12 different currencies.
For digital nomads this is very beneficial for working with international clients, as well as sending or receiving funds to or from friends from different countries. It makes it easy not only for the sender, but also for the recipient.
Fees with Wise are where the company really shines. Most international transfers from your bank account can cost 5% or more. With Wise, the fees are clearly laid out, and you only pay for what you need. Opening an account is free, and sending money has a fee starting at 0.41%, but it depends on the currency. Getting the Wise debit card costs $9 USD, but has no subscription fees. Holding money in 40+ currencies in your account is free up to 3,000 EUR, and then you get charged a mere 0.07% that accrues daily. Receiving wire payments has a fixed fee of $4.14 USD, but non-wire payments for 10 currencies are completely free to receive.
You will get the most bang for your buck when transferring between Wise accounts, so try to avoid using a credit card to send money if at all possible. These fees are higher and you might get stuck with double fees, as many credit cards will charge cash advance fees for using the service.
Favorable conversion rates
Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate from Reuters. They typically have the best conversion rates of any transfer service. Similarly, you are able to calculate conversion rates and fees in real time before you send a payment. They will let you know if they are the cheapest option, and if they are not, they will tell you. However, even if they are not the cheapest, they are typically the most fair or the fastest.
These mid-market exchange rates fluctuate every minute, so keep an eye on them to know when the best time to transfer is. You do not have to worry about a conversion rate markup that many services include.
Fast money transfers to international accounts
Usually, international transfers will take between 3 days to well over a week. With Wise, you can typically get the money on the same day or next day. When using a debit or credit card with Wise, your recipient can get the money within minutes.
Wise Visa card
Just like Venmo, Wise has a physical card that you can use around the world to pay for things in the local currency. If you do not hold any of the local currency in your Wise account, it will automatically pull from the account with the most favorable conversion rate at the time.
The cost of the card is only $9, and you can save up to 5x when you spend internationally. You can also take out up to $100 per month from ATMs for free.
One of the biggest mentions in reviews for Wise is how easy the platform is to use. Both the website and the mobile app are straightforward and guide you through the process of sending money between currencies. They have all the fees listed out for you to see, so you never have to guess.
Instant fund transfer to others with Wise
Venmo has been the primary money transfer service in the United States, but it can only be used by US citizens with US bank accounts. Wise is the perfect alternative for digital nomads because you can pay a friend back instantly, regardless of nationality. Encourage your friends to sign up for Wise so this can be your go-to way of payment. Also, fees are lowest when you transfer between Wise accounts.
When it comes to money, little is more important than security. No one wants to misplace or misuse money, no matter how much. Wise is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA provides detailed information on Wise as a company, so you should feel very comfortable using it. The website itself and the app are as secure as any other online banking system. Wise never sells user data.
Wise is also registered with FinCEN, the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
How to set up your Wise account
If you are ready to get started on Wise, here is what you need to know. First, you can sign up online or through the Wise app by clicking “Register” and input an email address or a Google, Facebook, or Apple account. Fill in all the required information. To receive money or order a card, you need to verify your identity through your government ID. Add money to your account by using your bank account, Apple Pay, or a credit/debit card. You can then share your account details to get paid or spend with your debit card.
Should you use Wise as a digital nomad?
The resounding answer of whether or not Wise is beneficial for digital nomads is yes. The fees are low, the conversion rates are great, and it is fast and easy to use. Wise wanted to solve a problem, and they did just that. No matter where you are, you can trust Wise to help you send and convert money. As digital nomads, this is an absolute lifesaver. Rather than having to learn a new banking system and process in each country you visit, you can continue using the same resource over and over.
You can get started today by heading to Wise.com. Now that you have your finances taken care of, you can start looking for your next destination. If you need help figuring out