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Taking the pain out of paying: Why we love the TransferWise debit card

Last updated August 6, 2018
Written by Caroline Sieg

We’ve all been there. You return from a holiday abroad, check your bank balance, see some surprisingly outrageous charges and go OUCH!  You’re in pain because you’ve been slapped with inflated foreign transaction fees and obscene exchange rates that made your €60 dinner actually cost €65, or your two-week car rental charge ended up costing far more than the amount listed on your booking confirmation.  

Painful payment fees. Bad exchange rates. Grrr.   We hate that. That’s why we love the TransferWise debit card. 

The TransferWise Debit Card 

The TransferWise debit Mastercard® is a card that comes free with a TransferWise borderless account. The account provides a savings of up to 8 times cheaper than regular banks, according to TransferWise.

What makes the card great? Normal debit cards are tied to one currency—the single currency of your bank account. But the TransferWise debit card is directly tied to customers’ borderless accounts where you can hold funds in over 40 currencies. Even if you spend in a currency that TransferWise does not support, or you don’t currently have funds in the currency you want to spend in, the fees are still low (around 0.35% – 1.0%). For the nitty-gritty details, check out TransferWise’s FAQ page

One key detail: at the moment, TransferWise debit cards can only be sent to 31 countries in Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom

You can hold funds in over 40 currencies.

What’s a borderless account?  

We covered the borderless account in detail in a previous post but in short: it’s one account with multiple currencies.  Yes, ONE account. Sound too good to be true? Yep, but it IS true! How cool is that! Here’s why we love it:

  • Setting up the account is 100% free
  • No monthly subscriptions
  • No minimum balances
  • Get paid in GBP, EUR, USD, NZD and AUD with zero fees
  • Instantly convert your balance to 40+ currencies
  • Transfer money from your balance at the mid-market rate with TransferWise’s low conversion fees

Last, there are many other reasons to consider TransferWise— our full TransferWise review spells out what they offer and how they rank, and we recently conducted a UX study to analyze what new users thought about the TransferWise payment process and website. In a nutshell, users LOVED TransferWise and thought it was so great, it might be too good to be true. Clearly, they’re doing a lot of things right.  

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