Sending/spending money overseas? Save up to 7x with your TransferWise Platinum debit Mastercard®.

Chee-Xuan Tang
13.07.20
7 minute read

An independent researcher compared TransferWise to six other Australian bank accounts. They found that we’re up to 6x cheaper for spending abroad. And our fees to withdraw $1,000 from an ATM are on average 2x cheaper. There are no set up fees, monthly fees or minimum balance with the TransferWise account. It’s also up to 7x cheaper to send money abroad.

What we researched

The research was carried out in June 2020 by market research agency, Alderson Consulting (Bristol) Ltd, in conjunction with TransferWise. The data was gathered through publicly available pricing information and mid-market rate comparison data provided by Refinitiv, formerly known as Reuters.

The different fees recorded for this price comparison include:

  • Cost^ of $250 and $1,000 AUD point of sale (POS) transaction (this is when your card is swiped at a register or machine at a store or restaurant)
  • Cost^ to withdraw $250 AUD from an ATM abroad in another currency every month
  • Cost# to send $250 and $1,000 AUD abroad
  • Monthly account fees

^With regard to the cost of spending using debit cards overseas, there may be additional costs to the consumer where the bank applies a retail margin to the rate provided by Visa or Mastercard. In the interest of fairness as it is not possible to accurately determine these costs, we only compare the charges declared by the banks in their online documentation or confirmed via Social Media.

#The costs collected are made up of both the foreign transaction fee and any exchange rate mark up.

Research took place on transfers from AUD to NZD, EUR, GBP, and USD routes. The companies compared were ANZ, Citibank, CommBank, ING, NAB and WestPac. We also took into consideration promotions held by the companies compared - ANZ was running a promotional zero fees offer during the month of June in response to support the COVID situation. Citibank removed fees for international money transfers. Despite zero upfront transfer fees, there is still a foreign exchange rate markup margin highlighted in research findings below.

How we did it

When comparing TransferWise to the propositions of the specified banks, we remove the consumer initiated advantages i.e use of currency balances or currency auto-detection. In brief, we assume that the conversion takes place at the point of transaction. This is consistently applied across all propositions, including TransferWise.

When comparing the cost to “Send” funds, we log in to live consumer accounts and capture the rate and fees associated with sending both AUD 250 and AUD 1000 to the specified destinations of Germany, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Where the fees are not included within the customer journey, we obtain via Social Media, confirmation of the fees directly from the bank in question before applying the fees reported. When calculating the total cost of sending funds overseas, the rate provided by the bank is compared to a “to the minute” accurate** mid-market** rate provided by Refinitiv, formerly Reuters. The difference between the two rates provides the % taken by the bank, also known as the retail margin. The retail margin value is then added to the fees to provide the total cost to the consumer.

For the remaining areas of comparison, “Spend”, “Withdraw”, “Create” and “Maintain”, we use information taken directly from the relevant bank’s website relating to the product in question or as guided by the bank i.e general fee documents. Where there is any question of interpretation, we obtain further clarification via Social Media before applying the fees reported.

Research is undertaken over 5 consecutive working days (Monday to Friday) during standard trading hours and is currently updated every three months. It is acknowledged that banks may change their propositions during that period and therefore, the published results should be considered indicative and individual experiences may differ.

What we found out

Fees to make a $250 POS transaction using a debit card

On average, it is 6x cheaper to spend $250 internationally with TransferWise compared to the 6 banks in Australia — ANZ, Citibank, CommBank, ING, NAB and WestPac.

AUD → EUR: TransferWise debit card is 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $1.18
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $7.50
  • Citi Global Currency: $6.25
  • Commbank Smart Access: $7.50
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $6.25
  • NAB Personal: $7.50
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $7.50

AUD → NZD: TransferWise debit card is 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $1.25
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $7.50
  • Citi Global Currency: $6.25
  • Commbank Smart Access: $7.50
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $6.25
  • NAB Personal: $7.50
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $7.50

AUD → GBP: TransferWise debit card is 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $1.18
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $7.50
  • Citi Global Currency: $6.25
  • Commbank Smart Access: $7.50
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $6.25
  • NAB Personal: $7.50
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $7.50

AUD → USD: TransferWise debit card is 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $1.18
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $7.50
  • Citi Global Currency: $6.25
  • Commbank Smart Access: $7.50
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $6.25
  • NAB Personal: $7.50
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $7.50

Fees to make a $1,000 POS transaction using a debit card

On average, it is 6x cheaper to spend $1,000 internationally with TransferWise compared to the 6 banks in Australia — ANZ, Citibank, CommBank, ING, NAB and WestPac.

AUD → EUR: TransferWise debit card is 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $4.70
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $30.00
  • Citi Global Currency: $25.00
  • Commbank Smart Access: $30.00
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $25.00
  • NAB Personal: $30.00
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $30.00

AUD → NZD: TransferWise debit card is 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $5.
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $30.00
  • Citi Global Currency: $25.00
  • Commbank Smart Access: $30.00
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $25.00
  • NAB Personal: $30.00
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $30.00

AUD → GBP: TransferWise debit card is 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $4.70
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $30.00
  • Citi Global Currency: $25.00
  • Commbank Smart Access: $30.00
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $25.00
  • NAB Personal: $30.00
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $30.00

AUD → USD: TransferWise debit card is 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $4.70
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $30.00
  • Citi Global Currency: $25.00
  • Commbank Smart Access: $30.00
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $25.00
  • NAB Personal: $30.00
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $30.00

Fees to withdraw $250 using a debit card every month

On average, it is free to withdraw $250 internationally with TransferWise compared to the 6 banks in Australia — ANZ, Citibank, CommBank, ING, NAB and WestPac.

AUD → EUR: Free withdrawal with TransferWise

  • TransferWise debit card: $0
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $12.50
  • Citi Global Currency: $6.25
  • Commbank Smart Access: $12.50
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $2.50
  • NAB Personal: $12.50
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $12.50

AUD → NZD: Free withdrawal with TransferWise

  • TransferWise debit card: $0
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $12.50
  • Citi Global Currency: $6.25
  • Commbank Smart Access: $12.50
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $2.50
  • NAB Personal: $12.50
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $12.50

AUD → GBP: Free withdrawal with TransferWise

  • TransferWise debit card: $0
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $12.50
  • Citi Global Currency: $6.25
  • Commbank Smart Access: $12.50
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $2.50
  • NAB Personal: $12.50
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $12.50

AUD → USD: Free withdrawal with TransferWise

  • TransferWise debit card: $0
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $12.50
  • Citi Global Currency: $6.25
  • Commbank Smart Access: $12.50
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $2.50
  • NAB Personal: $12.50
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $12.50

Fees to withdraw $1,000 using a debit card every month

On average, it’s 2x cheaper to withdraw money internationally with TransferWise compared to the 6 banks in Australia — ANZ, Citibank, CommBank, ING, NAB and WestPac.

AUD → EUR: TransferWise debit card is 2x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $17.70
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $35.00
  • Citi Global Currency: $25.00
  • Commbank Smart Access: $35.00
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $2.50
  • NAB Personal: $35.00
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $35.00

AUD → NZD: TransferWise debit card is 2x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $18.00
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $35.00
  • Citi Global Currency: $25.00
  • Commbank Smart Access: $35.00
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $2.50
  • NAB Personal: $35.00
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $35.00

AUD → GBP: TransferWise debit card is 2x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $17.70
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $35.00
  • Citi Global Currency: $25.00
  • Commbank Smart Access: $35.00
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $2.50
  • NAB Personal: $35.00
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $35.00

AUD → USD: TransferWise debit card is 2x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $17.70
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $35.00
  • Citi Global Currency: $25.00
  • Commbank Smart Access: $35.00
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $2.50
  • NAB Personal: $35.00
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $35.00

Fees to send $250 using TransferWise

On average, it’s 6x cheaper to send money internationally with TransferWise compared to the 5 banks in Australia — ANZ, Citibank, CommBank, NAB and WestPac. ING Orange Everyday does not provide remittance service.

AUD → EUR: TransferWise is on average 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $2.14
  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0.33
  • Average bank upfront fee: $5.20
  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $10.09

AUD → NZD: TransferWise is on average 5x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $2.60
  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: -$0.15
  • Average bank upfront fee: $5.20
  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $7.75

AUD → GBP: TransferWise is on average 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $2.17
  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0.17
  • Average bank upfront fee: $5.20
  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $9.83

AUD → USD: TransferWise is on average 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $3.05
  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0.63
  • Average bank upfront fee: $5.20
  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $10.21

Fees to send $1,000 using TransferWise

On average, it’s 6x cheaper to send money internationally with TransferWise compared to the 5 banks in Australia — ANZ, Citibank, CommBank, NAB and WestPac. ING Orange Everyday does not provide remittance service.

AUD → EUR: TransferWise is on average 7x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $5.65
  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $1.08
  • Average bank upfront fee: $5.20
  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $40.15

AUD → NZD: TransferWise is on average 7x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $6.33
  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: -$0.79
  • Average bank upfront fee: $5.20
  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $30.86

AUD → GBP: TransferWise is on average 7x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $5.68
  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0.40
  • Average bank upfront fee: $5.20
  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $39.05

AUD → USD: TransferWise is on average 5x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $6.56
  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $2.07
  • Average bank upfront fee: $5.20
  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $40.25

Monthly account fees

  • TransferWise: $0
  • ANZ Access Advantage: $5.00
  • Citi Global Currency: $0
  • Commbank Smart Access: $4.00
  • ING Orange EveryDay: $0.00
  • NAB Personal: $0.00
  • WestPac Classic Plus: $5.00

Thinking of using TransferWise? Check out our product disclosure statement first. This advice has been prepared without taking account of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. TransferWise Australia Pty Ltd is registered at Level 40, Gateway, 1 Macquarie Place, Sydney NSW 2000. TransferWise Limited is registered at 6th Floor, TEA Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JJ, United Kingdom and is the parent company of TransferWise Australia Pty Ltd. In Australia, TransferWise Ltd holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL 456295) issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). TransferWise Australia Pty Ltd is an authorised representative of TransferWise Ltd AFSL (authorised representative number: 001269088).

The TransferWise Platinum debit Mastercard® is issued by TransferWise Australia Pty Ltd. under license by Mastercard Asia/Pacific Pte. Ltd. For full conditions of use refer to transferwise.com/legalstuff. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design on the card is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

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