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Bunq International Transfers

Bunq is a European mobile challenger bank that came about as a result of the fallout from the global financial crisis. The brainchild of Iranian-Canadian entrepreneur Ali Niknam, Bunq promises to be “the bank of The Free," offering customers specially curated account plans to suit their socioeconomic needs. Bunq plans to radically shake things up in the traditional banking sector, and we want to take a closer look, to find out how this challenger bank holds up when compared to its competitors in the international money transfer market.

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United Kingdom

About Bunq

From humble beginnings in the Netherlands, Bunq has gone from strength to strength and now covers 30 territories in Europe. Founded by Canadian businessman Ali Niknam in 2012, Bunq received its full banking license from the Dutch Central Bank in 2014 before partnering with Wise, to offer “lightning-fast international payments” in 2018.

Since the beginning Bunq has put special emphasis on the importance of international usage, the company’s first subscription-free product was targeted at expats and frequent travellers: a travel card granting access to the “real” exchange rate, complete with bank-beating fees. It made sense for Bunq to pair up with Wise, as both providers employ the same straight-talking, transparent approach to customer services.

Bunq has varying levels of memberships to suit different individual and corporate customers; each plan offers a range of current accounts, foreign currency transfers, and travel features, with perks such as joint accounts for Premium account holders.

Despite the diverse selection of products and services on offer, Bunq has not fared well online in terms of customer feedback. On TrustPilot, Bunq has acquired a rating of 2.6 out of 5 with recurring negative reviews referring to poor customer service, unreliable community support and account suspensions.

Conversely, positive comments centre around praise for Bunq’s mobile application and the fast processing times of payments among friends and family. The app has been awarded 4.3 out of 5 by Android users, and 4.5 out of 5 by Apple users. In addition to regular software updates, the mobile app also prioritises international users: with services available in Dutch, English, German, Italian, Spanish and French.

Can I use Bunq for international bank transfers?

Yes, Bunq supports IBAN payments and it is easy to arrange international bank transfers using the app, with two very clear Pay and Request buttons at the top of the home screen. Bunq makes it easy to send and receive money from contacts, wherever they are in the world, as well as supporting SEPA transfers.

Bunq exchange rates and fees

In 2018 Bunq joined forces with Wise, one of the leading money transfer providers in the industry, to provide faster, easier and cheaper cross-border transfers than traditional banks. In this section we will look closely at what exchange rates and transfer fees Bunq customers can expect to receive when using this service.

Exchange rates

Wise sets the rate of exchange for foreign currency transfers and this means Bunq customers will benefit from their pledge to match the mid-market rate for all major currencies. As most traditional banks add a profit margin of 5 - 7% above the actual mid-market rate, Bunq customers are positioned to receive more accurate exchange rates with Wise.

Transfer fees

As outlined in Bunq’s Fee Information, Wise set the price of fees when sending money overseas. The fee structure differs depending on the type of transfer chosen: Low-cost, Fast and Easy or Advanced. Wise clearly displays all transfer fees throughout the process and asks customers to review these in full before submitting payment.

When receiving a foreign currency transfer (from outside of the SEPA zone) to your Bunq bank account, however, different fees will apply. These are as follows:

  • Per Swift payment up to €10,000: €5.00 fee

  • Per Swift payment between €10,000 and €100,000: €10.00 fee

  • Per Swift payment above €100,000: €25.00 fee

How do Bunq bank transfer fees compare to using a money transfer provider?

By partnering with one of the biggest money transfer companies in the world, Bunq is able to offer the most accurate rate of exchange on the market, beating the majority of its competitors who are not optimised to support these kinds of payments.Because Wise provides the exact mid-market rate for foreign currency transfers, it relies solely on fees to make a profit. In spite of this, Wise transfer fees are very low compared to the fees charged for international bank transfers.

Want to find out more about Wise money transfers? Check out our review on the company here

Bunq pros and cons

All companies have their pros and cons, and distinguishing these important factors is a crucial step in deciding whether or not you want to use them to send your hard-earned money overseas. Here we outline the main positives and negatives of banking with Bunq.


Available in 30 countries: Bunq expanded its services and now covers the whole European Economic Area (EEA) enhancing accessibility for European customers
Money transfers made easy: pay and request money from domestic and international contacts using the mobile app
Well-designed application to rival challenger bank competitors such as Monzo and N26
Regular updates and cutting-edge features designed to make life easier for users (for more information see below: Additional Features)


No physical branches: this is an online-only operation, like most new challenger banks, and this can be off putting for customers who like to manage their finances in-person or over the phone
Poor customer service: online reviews, posted on websites like Trustpilot, suggest there is room for improvement when it comes to Bunq customer support
Higher subscription fees than leading competitors such as Monzo, Revolut and N26

How long do transfers take with Bunq?

International money transfers are sent using Wise, and according to their terms of use, most international money transfers take 1 to 2 days to arrive with the recipient. However, if there are issues with bank details or releasing funds, some transfers may take up to 5 days.

When used for domestic payments between other Bunq users, the Pay and Request feature should initiate instant transfers.

Are there transfer limits?

Outgoing transfer limits are determined by the type of Bunq account you have:

  • Personal account: €50,000 daily limit

  • Business account: €1,000,000 daily limit

If you are experiencing difficulties when transferring money from your Bunq account, the bank advises customers to use the app to amend their Daily Limit by clicking on Settings in the top right corner of the screen. Alternatively, users encountering continued issues can access customer support in-app or by emailing

Can I use a Bunq debit card when travelling abroad?

Yes, Bunq services can be accessed overseas, customers simply need to enable the country or region they are travelling to before heading abroad. To enable overseas payments:

  1. Open the mobile app and select "Cards" from the Home screen

  2. Select the Bunq card you will be using overseas, then tap Settings in the top right corner

  3. Tap the "Allowed Countries" option, followed by Add Country; then select the destination you are travelling to

You can find out more about using your Bunq debit card overseas, as well as lots of other helpful information, by visiting the Bunq Together FAQ section of the website.

Bunq additional features and products

One of the most innovative recent additions to Bunq’s services was their TrueName™ service which was launched as part of their Update 17 campaign, in 2022. In partnership with Mastercard, Bunq is the first company of its kind to create a bank card that can be used in conjunction with your "True Name." This is a very progressive step in the right direction and has been praised by trans and non binary individuals, who choose to use a different name than the one stated on their birth certificate or government issued I.D.

Further to this thoughtful update, other useful additional features and products offered by Bunq include:

  • "Loyalty Cards": designed to bypass readability issues with physical loyalty cards, users can now add their rewards cards to the Bunq app for a more streamlined payment experience

  • Community forum: this function encourages users to interact and invite friends to join the app

  • The "Friends" tab: this includes an optimised map featuring local information, tips and must-see activities, contributed by other users who have visited each country, as well as advice on using your card abroadin different regions

  • "Start An Activity": pay and request money from friends and family for various activities; a quick and easy way to settle outstanding tabs

  • "Split the Bill": another smart way to send and receive money among contacts; accessible via the Overview screen, tapping the payment you wish to settle, then tapping Split and selecting the recipient you want to request the funds from

  • "Salary Sorter": budgeting made easy by giving users the option to Forward, Sort and Add Notes when setting up monthly payments


It is fair to say Bunq exceeds many of the expectations set by competitor challenger banks, in terms of practicality and versatility. When reviewing the products and services offered by this bank, we found the majority to be of a high standard, including their decision to partner with Wise; a resourceful solution that greatly benefits Bunq customers whose finances extend beyond the borders of their home country.

Furthermore, Bunq is setting an excellent example for other challenger banks, by shining a light on the issues of sustainability (e.g. planting a tree every time an Easy Green account holder spends €100) and social justice (TrueName™).

According to company CEO Ali Niknam, Bunq prioritises customer outreach and conducts updates based on feedback from users, in a bid to continuously improve their offerings. However, after combing through customer reviews, it would appear Bunq have some work to do in the area of customer relations, as a large majority of user feedback suggests the bank does not live up to this commitment.

Overall, Bunq is a worthy contender for European customers that are looking for a flexible challenger bank account. This being said, we believe the company is lacking in terms of customer service, and many users may not feel adequately supported. Those in the market for a fair-priced, reliable money transfer, can take advantage of Wise by signing up for an account with them directly, by following this link. Weigh up your options by using the MoneyTransfers comparison engine and having a read of our Company Reviews: we're here to help you make the best decision possible.

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Artiom Pucinskij
Artiom Pucinskij
Artiom is a marketing graduate from the University of Portsmouth, Artiom’s primary experience is in SEO but he has a broad knowledge of all facets of digital marketing. He optimises the organic experience on with the content team, manages and creates unique marketing tactics, and generally supports the overall growth of the website.