The main difference between Wise and Revolut is that Wise offers lower fees, usually a small percentage of the amount being transferred while Revolut focuses on the versatile banking services instead of transfer fees.
In this guide we will be comparing the strengths and weaknesses of two UK-based money transfer providers: Revolut and Wise, formerly Transferwise. Both are widely used by customers around the world, but we want to know, how do their services differ? Which one offers the best rates and lowest fees? And what do customers have to say about them?
Having rebranded as Wise in February 2021 with a view to diversify their products, the company previously known as Transferwise has been a staple in the global remittance world for 10 years. During that time the brand has garnered a reputation as one of the fastest, most inexpensive cross-border transfer providers.
The company manages to stay ahead of the curve through their promise to match the mid-market rate as closely as possible and a transparent approach to currency conversion and transfer fees. With bank accounts across the globe, Wise provides an expert service in moving money seamlessly between international users, offering excellent rates for more than 50 currencies, serving over 11 million customers.
Founded more recently, in 2015, Revolut is a virtual bank and is one of the newer money transfer companies to enter the alternative banking scene. Starting life as a prepaid card and smartphone app, Revolut’s primary product was a Mastercard “designed for a global lifestyle.”
Over the last 6 years, Revolut has expanded their offerings and now have a range of products and services to suit individuals and businesses, with different tiers of membership to suit customer needs. As the company works towards “building the world’s first truly global financial superapp,” we will be taking a closer look at Revolut vs Wise in terms of international money transfer and exchange services.
We will be focusing predominantly on the fees incurred during the international money transfer process, including the cost of currency conversions, service charges and exchange rates to look at how Wise vs Revolut compares.
Customers are given the exact mid-market rate, so Wise make their profit through added fees. These fees vary depending on the currency pairing. Debit and credit card fees range from 0.15% – 2%.
Wise has a useful pricing tool which allows customers to calculate the related fees before making a money transfer, ensuring total transparency.
Money transfer fees differ for personal and business Revolut users; the list of fees can be found on the Revolut website and app.
Typical fees include:
Wise offers lower fees, usually a small percentage of the amount being transferred, and they also guarantee the same mid-market rates on both weekends and weekdays. Revolut has some great deals but their focus on versatile banking services distract from their ability to ensure competitive fees of the same calibre as Wise.
Wise offers customers the best competitive rate on all standard currencies, without adding any kind of markup to the price. This means customers are receiving the exact mid-market rate that the banks use.
They also allow all customers to lock in a rate for 24 – 96 hours to avoid currency fluctuations.
Revolut’s strongest exchange rates are for sending smaller transfers in standard currencies.
During the week, when the market is open, Revolut matches the mid-market rate, with no form of markup. However, on the weekends, Revolut applies a markup of 1% to all currencies. For this reason, the exchange rate you receive on a Thursday, may have changed when you go to make your money transfer on Saturday.
Revolut suggests checking the currency exchange rate on the app before making any transfers.
Due to Wise transparency and ability to match the mid-market rate all day every day, regardless of whether the market is open or not, Wise’s FX rates are unmatched. Many business owners use Wise to send and receive international money transfers for this reason.
With Wise, customers are able to hold and manage over 50 currencies, send to over 60 countries and request money from over 30.
Find the full list of currencies you can send to and from over on the Wise website.
Conversely, Revolut allows customers to hold and manage 30 currencies. Transferring money to bank accounts for free is available to customers in over 150 countries.
For a list of unsupported countries, check out the Revolut website.
When we compare Revolut vs Wise, both are very well supported across Europe; but Revolut wins due to the sheer number of countries they facilitate money transfers between. Advertised as “The Global Money App” it is no surprise that Revolut covers the most locations out of the two.
Transfers between bank accounts happen in three stages: receiving, converting and delivering. Speed of transfer delivery is dependent on a number of factors including payment and transfer type selected by the customer, sending country and currencies used. For example, quicker delivery is available to those using a debit or credit card as payment.
Wise transfer speeds are as follows:
Low cost transfer: Funds will arrive with recipient within 3 – 24 hours
Fast and easy transfer: Funds will arrive with the recipient within 3 – 5 hours
Advanced transfer: Funds will arrive within 1 – 3 working days
As a UK based company, Revolut can transfer money between UK accounts in under 2 hours. Having said that, the average time for a standard money transfer is 1 – 2 business days depending on the bank, and international transfers have been known to take between 3 – 5 days.
Faster transfer speeds are available to those with certain monthly memberships; price plans are available to view on the Revolut website.
There are simply more options with Wise and the Fast and Easy Transfer option typically processes international transfer within 3 hours. Revolut is a fast service provider, but the fastest speeds are for UK based transfers, with international payments typically taking a few days to arrive with beneficiaries.
In terms of types of transfer options, Wise offers 3 different kinds: Low Cost, Fast and Easy and Advanced.
More information about the different transfer types can be found on the Wise website or app.
Virtually all forms of money transfer methods are supported by Revolut, via interbank and intrabank transfers as well as cryptocurrencies, which were introduced by the company in 2018.
Payment options include debit and credit card, as well as bank account transfer; this incurs lesser fees. It is easy to make payments between existing Revolut accounts, using phone numbers.
When we compare Revolut vs Wise in terms of options, Revolut makes it easy for cardholders to send money, however Wise wins by providing various transfer types and payment options to suit everyone.
Positive customer reviews mention the following:
Customers who left negative comments refer to:
The inclusive rating from over 113,000 reviews of Wise on Trustpilot is 4.7 out of 5, which qualifies them as “Excellent”.
Customers who praise Revolut’s service mention the following:
Negative customer reviews include subjects such as:
Overall, Revolut has acquired a 4.3 out of 5 from over 75,000 Trustpilot reviews, also qualifying them as a “Excellent” service.
Wise comes off better in the battle of user reviews and is widely revered as the most reasonably priced money transfer provider due to their long-standing reputation and guaranteed mid-market rates. Having said this, despite being 5 years younger than its counterpart Revolut has made a good impression among customers and has received its fair amount of praise.
Accessibility: Wise is known to have reliable and responsive customer service.
Transparency: Wise has a reputation for ensuring transparency, often offering to lock in an exchange rate for up to 96 hours.
Security: Not covered by FSCS, Wise does not have a banking license but are covered the FCA. They are a self-proclaimed “low-risk financial institution” who can help you save a lot on international money transfers. However, MoneyTransfers does not recommend using Wise as a primary bank account.
Ease of use: Wise has had over 10 years to streamline and optimise the user experience of their website, and it is now considered one of the best websites of its kind.
According to App Store figures, it would appear the Wise smartphone app is not as popular as the website.
Accessibility: The Revolut app is available in 24 different languages, it is quick to set up an account and offers 24 hour customer service, making it very accessible.
Transparency: The fee structure of Revolut differs for each country. It can be confusing for anyone sending international money transfer to exotic regions.
Security: Revolut is also not covered by FSCS, the platform is considered relatively safe as they did acquire a European Banking License in 2018.
However, if you are intending to move all of your money to a Revolut account, it is worth considering they don’t have any physical bank branches at all.
Ease of use: Revolut’s mobile app is considered very user friendly and has a first class score of 4.9 out of 5 stars (with over 413,000 ratings) on the App Store.
While Revolut’s app is accessible, safe and easy to use, Wise has had more time to perfect and optimise their offerings as a money transfer service, and can offer customers more. Wise has a website and smartphone app, whereas Revolut is solely accessible via their app, making it harder to browse services, gauge a quote and lock-in a guaranteed rate for international money transfers for anyone who hasn’t set up an account.
As a new and constantly improving alternative banking service, Revolut is able to offer customers an array of diverse features, products and services; whereas Wise primarily focuses on transferring money at a low-cost. Additional features vary depending on membership.
Overall, Wise is the clear winner because of its transparency and no hidden charges approach. You can trust Wise to be upfront about fees at the start of a transaction. Also, they match the mid-market rate for many currency pairs and offer some of the industry’s lowest fees.
Revolut is a good service in limited scenarios, whereas Wise excels for any money transfer requirement. This includes domestic and international transfers. They are the smart option because they offer faster transfers and the best value. Compare the cost of sending money with Wise and you will struggle to find a better alternative.
The money transfer companies available to you depend on your location and the destination countries where you want to send money. Therefore, you will need to research the options available in your local region. Also, be sure to look at the limits of the money transfer destination. Some services might limit the transfer type or size of the transfer to specific countries.
Ideally, you should find a money transfer company with an extensive network of countries. WorldRemit is an example of this service type that offers over 150 countries and many currencies. Therefore, when sending large amounts of money, you will save money compared to percentage-based fee formats.
Wise is a specialist money transfer provider, while Revolut can be considered a challenger bank. Therefore, they are not the same since one is hyper-focused on offering the best international money transfers, whereas the other tries to mimic the services of a traditional bank.
Revolut offers many features not found at Wise such as the ability to invest in crypto and get a loan. However, if you are looking for low-cost international transfers and some of the best currency conversion rates in the industry, then Wise is a clear choice.
You can enjoy the services of more than a single money transfer company simultaneously. This allows you to compare the fees and FX rates of multiple services before transferring funds. Therefore, you can save money by choosing the company that offers the best deal every time.
Also, you can compare the user interfaces of multiple transfer providers to locate the one that delivers the smoothest experience. The companies we recommend you start registering with include TorFX, VertoFX, WorldRemit, and Instarem. They all have excellent reputations with their customer base and offer competitive features.
Start the money transfer process by registering for a new account with Wise. You can complete the registration process by checking out the official website or downloading the mobile app from the Google Play or App Store platforms.
Next, you will need to choose a transfer method. Again, Wise’s transparency lets you readily compare the fees, FX rates, and transfer time for each transfer method. Finally, you will also need to choose a payment method for the transaction. This can be a debit/credit card, bank account, or your Wise balance if you have funded it before.
You will need to enter the recipient details and confirm the transaction. The money transfer process takes just a few minutes in most cases. Once the money transfer has been confirmed, then you will receive notification updates about the progress.
The massive variety of deals offered by money transfer companies means customers are spoilt for choice. For example, you can enjoy the mid-market rate for most currency pairs when using companies like Xe. Also, they offer a large selection of currencies when transferring money globally.
However, if you are looking for better deals on business transfers, you can choose alternatives like VertoFX and TorFX. These companies have some of the best business accounts in the industry. Also, you will receive a dedicated account manager that will provide customized customer service – a feature that comes in handy when managing your business finances on those platforms.
Overall, Wise is the cheaper choice for international money transfers compared to Revolut. That is because they match the mid-market rate for many currency pairs, while Revolut charges a markup fee. This means you will save money with Wise for international transfers.
Also, Revolut has hidden charges, while Wise is transparent about the fees. Therefore, you can readily compare the fees and choose the transfer method that saves you money. Finally, you can send fee-free transfers from your Wise balance.
April is a trained journalist and the Content Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. She has 10 years experience writing about a diverse range of subjects, from financial services to arts and entertainment. When she’s not writing about global remittances she can be found daydreaming about her next holiday abroad.