The wise way to avoid rip-off rates when shopping online

TransferWise
19.05.20
3 minute read

Shopping for a bargain only makes sense if you avoid your credit card’s rip-off margin. Luckily, that couldn’t be easier, with the TransferWise debit Mastercard ®.

There's often a hidden fee on foreign transactions

When you buy something online from an international seller, there’s a risk you’re overpaying. That’s because credit/debit cards and PayPal add a hefty mark-up to the exchange rate when you buy something in a foreign currency.

It’s a bit like a hidden fee: on top of the price of your purchase, there may be a 5% currency conversion cost baked into the bad exchange rate that your payment provider uses. That’s an extra $25 on a $500 purchase.

So, the first step is to realise that all of these international purchases are actually currency conversions. The next step is to find a better way to convert your money.

Getting around those currency conversion costs

The TransferWise debit card makes it fast, easy and cheap to pay for foreign purchases in over 150 countries. Simply top up your TransferWise account in your own currency, and when you buy something on your card we’ll automatically convert your currency at the real exchange rate — with no mark-up.

We charge a small upfront fee, which is a fraction of the cost compared to other payment providers. It’s typically around 5x cheaper, depending on which currency you’re converting. There are no other transaction fees, making it the most transparent way to spend internationally.

The card is also perfect for travel. You can withdraw $350 from overseas ATMs fee-free. And you’ll always get the real rate, so you don’t need to worry about the costs of spending while abroad.

Sign up now to order your debit card


One account, 55 currencies, zero hidden fees

It takes minutes to set up a TransferWise account, and it comes with several additional features:

Send money internationally at the lowest cost. TransferWise typically charges between 0.3-1%, compared to banks and brokers which often charge as much as 5%, despite the low fees they advertise.

  • Hold over 50 currencies in your account and convert between them instantly
  • Get paid fee-free with your own set of international bank details for the EU, US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Poland. It’s like having local accounts around the world, with zero hassle.
  • Keep your payments secure with our 3D Secure authentication and instant payment alerts, and freeze your card in-app if you lose it.

No matter what feature you’re using, we never use a hidden mark-up on the exchange rate — unlike banks, brokers, PayPal, and card providers. We always show all our fees upfront and, because you’re getting the best rate, you know that you’re saving on all those hidden costs that your card provider would charge.

Try our calculator below to see how much a transfer would cost. Or click here to see how we compare to other providers.


On a mission to build faster, cheaper and fairer international payments

TransferWise’s founders Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus started TransferWise 10 years ago because of their own frustration at the high costs they were being charged to send money between the UK, where they worked, and the EU, where they had bills. They built TransferWise to bypass the outdated, costly systems that banks and brokers use and slash the costs of international transfers.

Today, TransferWise’s 7 million customers send billions of dollars through the platform each month, saving over $3m each day in bank fees and hidden exchange rate costs. Visit TransferWise.com to start saving time and money on your international banking. It also has an invite reward programme to thank you for spreading the word: for every 3 people who sign up and make a transfer of £200 (or its equivalent in euros), you’ll earn £50 (or the equivalent in your currency). 

Click here to set up your free account and join 7 million customers saving at TransferWise.com, or through our Android or iOS app.

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

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