Why I love WISE money tool

Are you travelling internationally soon? Or later this year?

I am a huge fan of WISE which used to be called Transfer Wise. They have become so indispensable for me that I have been astounded recently, to find people who don’t know about them. (If you do sign up, please use this link: https://wise.com/invite/u/martinc5)

Six fabulous reasons I love Wise:

  1. I can transfer from your my own bank accounts via your phone or computer to virtually any bank account in the world-cheaply, instantly and safely at the best exchange rate. No lining up in a bank office, long nervous waits for the funds and high fees. Best of all, I feel in complete control. Wise allows you to transfer in fifty currencies to 175 countries
a screenshot of a bank account

2 I have two fee-free VISA cards (one real and one virtual for online shopping). They have a distinctive Green colour which is always a talking point. The exchange rate is so good that I now use the Wise card as my main card while travelling. NB The cards are not free in every market so check carefully and assess whether it works for you.

a green card with a chip

3 Wise allows me to accept payments from people using their local bank account to transfer funds to my “virtual” local account. They use local bank details so its usually fee-free and I don’t pay fees to receive or spend the money. I can get cash in Aussie, Canadian, New Zealand, Singaporean and US Dollars, Euro, Pounds, plus Turkish lira, Romanian lei, and Hungarian Forint.

4. Wise works with Apple and Google pay on phone so I dont even have to carry the card!

5 I have access to free ATM withdrawals around the world for up to $250 every thirty days. The conditions for withdrawals vary from country to country, so check carefully on your situation. This is not my primary means of getting spending money locally but its been a helpful back up.

6 I love the amazing security with in-app approvals which stops someone else spending on your card. I also get instant warnings and messages about what has been spent and where. Finally, I can freeze the account immediately and get a replacement or temporary card issued.

I now travel with a fee-free Credit Card (with a good currency exchange rate), a regular debit card and my Wise Visa Card. Across South East Asia, I now increasingly use QR payments from my local bank account as well.

a hand holding a phone and a qr code
Source: QRIS

I carry my three cards in three different places, so that if i am robbed or careless and misplace my wallet or phone, I am not bereft of options. I have never forgotten the man I met in Harare, Zimbabwe, who had kept all his cards and money with his passport and phone. While eating lunch, his phone case and phone were stolen, meaning he lost everything in one fell swoop. He had spent a week negotiating to get access to money to pay for a replacement phone and passport.

Like any product or suggestion I recommend, others need to check if it works for them. I take no responsibility if this doesn’t work for you. Having said, that if you do sign up for Wise, as mentioned please use this link. The benefit for you is you get a free international transfer. The disclaimer is, I will get a small gratuity.

What do you use to access funds while travelling?

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