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TransferWise

Has anyone used a TransferWise account for travel from the US to Europe? I had someone recommend it to me as it saves him money on exchange rates. Any tips?

Posted by
6061 posts

Do you have a foreign bank or account or overseas recipient to transfer the money to, and/or are going to live overseas for some time and need to transfer your US funds? You will need the bank details of the European bank account (IBAN number, etc.). That's essentially what TransferWise does, except much more cheaply than international wires through major banks. They also have something called a Borderless Account and a branded debit card but I'm not very familiar with those products, their costs, benefits, etc.

Ask the person who recommended it to you how exactly he uses it, and report back. I would be interested to know.

Two easier approaches are 1) to use a 0% foreign exchange fee credit card like Capital One and 2) a debit card from a bank that does not charge high fees when used internationally (credit unions are generally a good option - mine charges me 1% of each withdrawal). Also, always pay in the country's local currency, not in USD (this is called DCC and is well covered on this forum).

Posted by
16581 posts

A few people here have reported using TransferWise to pay European traffic fines. They have been satisfied, the fees being much, much lower than those charged by US banks for money transfers.

I don't know anything about the company's other services, but since I have no-fee credit cards and no-fee ATM cards, my costs are probably less than 1%. I don't see how TransferWise could beat that enough to really matter. For those without access to no-fee credit cards and ATM withdrawals, it sounds worth exploring.

Posted by
7153 posts

I’ve used it multiple times to pay deposits on hotels and everything was fine each time.

Posted by
6061 posts

I’ve used it multiple times to pay deposits on hotels

I'm guessing this is for a large group? An individual traveler would not have any deposit on a hotel room. Either a credit card would hold the room or it would be used to pre-pay the total (in the case of non-refundable rooms).

Posted by
148 posts

We used it in June - 3 of us went to London - but we were staying with the niece of one of the 3 of us, so the $$ was sent to her, and she pulled it out of her UK bank acct.

Posted by
266 posts

I just discovered them a few hours before your post, and I am seriously considering using them for a trip to Egypt. The reviews are good. I am working with an Egyptian tour company, and using a credit card is both a hassle and expensive. (I won't go into the details, but basically a wire transfer is more straightforward.) Once I get to Egypt, my travel credit card should be fine.

I will be watching this thread closely.

Posted by
2546 posts

I use TransferWise to transfer funds from the US to my French bank account. I used to use OFX but found out about Transferwise this past May and gave it a try. I have used it twice times since then. The money is credited to my account faster than it used to be with OFX. I compared the cost both times and both times TransferWIse was cheaper than OFX. Both are cheaper than my bank. Other than transferring money to pay for an apartment or hotel, I'm not sure what other travel-related services they offer.

Posted by
56 posts

I’ve used them twice in the past 14 months. The money is transferred quickly and it was very easy to set up. I agree that the rates are good.

Posted by
18 posts

Hmmm, I'm thinking my Cap One with no foreign transaction fees and my bank debit card (1%) is still the best way for me to go. I would only be needing money for me for spending and I'm pretty thrifty so it doesn't sound like it will be worth learning something new - ha! The person who recommended it to me said that he transfers GBP to USD and EUR as the exchange rate is good then uses it to pay for everything. But he does a lot of international travel for work so I'm sure he would use it far more than I would. It is interesting though.

Posted by
1 posts

I just used Transferwise to pay an Italian traffic ticket (beware: there are cameras all over Italian roads). I had to wire the money--they wouldn't accept a debit or credit card, and my regional bank charges high fees to transfer euros. The process was easy and the fees are transparent.

Posted by
23253 posts

I've happily used it to move money around between my various accounts but I wouldn't want to use it instead of a wire transfer unless I was completely 100% certain of the recipient, for the same reasons I wouldn't want to use a wire transfer to pay for an apartment - you lose all your credit card safety. When the money leaves your account it goes to the recipient and there is no getting it back.

Transferwise is fine - I just wouldn't be 100% sure if I didn't know the recipient.

Posted by
1 posts

I'm already using TransferWise when traveling to the US, in Europe I prefer using something local (like Paysera) those two provide good exchange rates and a Card you can use to withdraw your funds.

Posted by
1469 posts

I used it in spring 2019 for a couple of lodging deposits and highly recommend it. No problems at all.

Posted by
4 posts

Transferwise will save you money all over the world. I have a Borderless Account and debit card. I've been using it every week for well over a year in multiple countries and currencies. It's a good service. I'm happy. It saves me a lot of money. The other alternative is Revolut. It works in a similar way.

Transferwise gives you access to bank accounts in several countries including the US, UK, and Belgium. When I get affiliate payments from Amazon.com I have the money paid into my Transferwise US account. Then I transfer it to the the Belgian or UK Transferwise account. It only takes a matter of minutes to do and I can do it via my computer or mobile phone. There's a tiny fee for the transfer but it's nothing compared to what normal banks charge and, unlike companies like PayPal, Transferwise uses the up-to-date exchange rate.

I can 100% recommend this service. If you visit the official site and take a look at some of the comparisons there you will get a better idea of how much you can save.

Hope this helps.