Wise Travel Card Review 2023

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
27 July 2023

Getting a travel money card is a smart move when you’re headed overseas.

The Wise travel card is linked to a multi-currency Wise account which can hold 50+ currencies, and lets you convert from one currency to another with the mid-market exchange rate. You can use your Wise travel card in 170+ countries, which makes this a super flexible and versatile travel card option, even for frequent travellers and those who like to get off the beaten track.

This guide covers all you need to know about how the Wise card works, with a look at key benefits and fees. We’ll also touch on a couple of popular alternatives for UK travellers, the Revolut travel card and the Hays travel money card, so you can compare them and see which works best for you.

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Wise travel card: key features

The Wise card offers some great features which aren’t available from all UK travel money card providers, including a linked account you can use to hold and exchange 50+ currencies, and local account details for up to 9 currencies, in case you also need to receive money from others in foreign currencies. However, it’s not perfect, so there are a few drawbacks to know about as well.

We’ll go through how the Wise travel money card works in detail, and look at features, fees and limits, in a moment. First, an overview of some of the Wise travel card pros and cons:

ProsCons

✅ Hold 50+ currencies

✅ Spend in 170+ countries

✅ Currency exchange uses the mid-market rate with low, transparent fees

✅ Send money to 70+ countries

✅ Google and Apple Pay compatible for mobile payments

✅ Safe provider, with 13 million+ customers worldwide 

❌7 GBP card order fee

❌Some ATM fees apply once you’ve used your monthly free withdrawal allowance

❌No branch network - you’ll need to order your card online or in the Wise app

The Wise personal multi-currency account is free to open online or in the Wise app, but you’ll then pay a 7 GBP fee to get your linked card. You’ll have access to your Wise virtual card instantly, and your physical Wise travel card will arrive in the post. Use your card online and in person, with currency exchange that offers the mid-market rate and low fees from 0.43%.

You can either top up in pounds and switch to the currency or currencies you need in advance of travel, or just let the Wise travel card do the conversion for you at the point of payment, with the mid-market rate and the lowest available fees.

Read a full Wise review here

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Who is the Wise travel card for?

The Wise travel card is available for both personal and business customers, and your account can be entirely opened and managed online or in the Wise app. That makes it handy for a range of people:

  • Frequent travellers who need to spend in any of the 170+ supported countries

  • Individuals, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to hold and exchange 50+ currencies

  • Anyone who likes to convert their GBP to the destination currency in advance to set their travel budget before they leave

  • People paying or getting paid from overseas - for example if you have income from an overseas holiday rental, or need to pay a mortgage on your property abroad

  • Business owners who want to issue travel cards to their team members for overseas expenses

  • Online shoppers spending with international retailers

  • Anyone who wants to view and manage their account and card online or in-app

Read a full Wise card review here

What is the Wise travel card?

The Wise travel card is a convenient prepaid debit card linked to a multi-currency Wise account. You can hold 50+ currencies in your account, and top up or exchange right from your phone. Switch your balance to the currency you need in advance, or just let the card’s auto convert feature do it for you at the point of payment, with the mid-market exchange rate and the lowest available fees every time.

Wise accounts are available for business and personal customers, and also offer handy extras like options to receive payments like a local from 30+ countries, payments to 70+ countries, and easy account management through the Wise app. Business customers can also get time saving tools like batch payments and accounting integrations.

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Is the Wise Travel Money a multi-currency card?

Yes. The Wise account and travel money card have powerful international features which make them perfect for anyone who wants a multi-currency card and account. You can hold 50+ currencies, including a broad selection of major world currencies, and plenty of less common currency options, too. And you can spend around the world - over 170 countries are covered, with in person, online and mobile payments, and cash withdrawals as and when you need them.

Alternatives to Wise travel card

The Wise card isn’t right for everyone. Fortunately, UK customers have a really broad selection of travel card options, including providers like Revolut which offer fully online and in-app account services, and cards like the Hays travel card which you can collect and top up, in a branch.

Here’s a quick overview of how these providers line up on some key features:


Wise debit cardRevolut debit cardHays travel card
AvailabilityOrder online or in-appOrder online or in-appPick up in a Hays store or order online
Card order fee7 GBPNo feeNo fee
Monthly feesNo fee0 GBP - 12.99 GBPNo fee
International Money TransfersFees from 0.41%, 70 + countries coveredFees from 0.3% to 2%, 40+ countries coveredNot available
International ATM withdrawals2 withdrawals to 200 GBP/month fee free, then 0.5 GBP + 1.75% after thatSome free withdrawals based on account plan, 2% after thatFees vary based on currency being withdrawn
Currency ExchangeMid-market rateMid-market rate to plan limitMastercard rate
Fee to spend a currency you don’t hold in your accountFrom 0.41%Between 0.5% - 1% fair usage fee applies 5.75%
Supported Currencies for holding and exchange50+ currencies supported 25+ currencies supported 16 currencies supported 
Inactivity feeNo feeNo fee2 GBP/month
Closure feeNo feeNo fee6 GBP
Business AccountsAvailableAvailableNot available 

Information taken from Wise pricing page, Hays Travel Mastercard desktop site and Terms and conditions, Revolut international transfer fees.pdf) and Revolut UK; correct at time of writing, 30th May 2023

Whether Wise or an alternative provider like Revolut or Hays suits you best will depend a lot on your personal preferences. Wise has a very broad range of supported currencies, with low fees and mid-market currency exchange. Revolut has its own strengths, including different tier account options so you can upgrade to a monthly fee paying account if you want to unlock more features. Hays on the other hand has options to get a card in branch, plus you can top up and even close your account in person at your local Hays store too - ideal if you prefer dealing with people face to face.

Revolut Revolut offers basic accounts with no monthly fees as well as higher tier plans that come with monthly charges of up to 12.99 GBP which have extra benefits. All account tiers have a linked Revolut travel card and can hold more than 25 currencies.

When it comes to currency exchange, Revolut uses the mid-market exchange rate to the limits set out in your account plan, with fair usage charges of 0.5% - 1% after that, depending on the account plan you have.

Read a full Revolut review here

Hays

The Hays travel card is a multi-currency card which lets you hold up to 16 popular foreign currencies. The currencies available cover a good selection of the destinations UK travellers like to head off to for work or leisure - you just top up your account balance, and then there’s no fee to spend a currency you hold.

It’s worth noting that there’s a fairly high 5.75% foreign transaction fee to spend a currency you don’t hold in your account - so you’ll want to make sure you have enough balance in your destination currency to get you through your break.

Wise travel card fees & spending limits

There are a few fees and limits to consider if you’re thinking of the Wise travel card in the UK.

If you have a Wise UK account there’s usually no limit to how much you can hold in your Wise account. However, there are limits - for security reasons - to the value of transactions you can make, on a single transaction, daily and monthly basis.

Firstly let's look at the important limits that apply:

Transaction typeSingle transaction limitDaily limitMonthly limit
Chip and PIN or mobile wallet like Apple Pay or Google Pay

Default: 2,500 GBP

Maximum: 10,000 GBP

Default: 3,000 GBP

Maximum: 10,000 GBP

Default: 10,000 GBP

Maximum: 30,000 GBP

ATM withdrawal

Default: 1,000 GBP

Maximum: 1,000 GBP

Default: 1,500 GBP

Maximum: 1,500 GBP

Default: 3,000 GBP

Maximum: 4,000 GBP

Contactless

Default: 500 GBP

Maximum: 500 GBP

Default: 500 GBP

Maximum: 1,000 GBP

Default: 4,000 GBP

Maximum: 4,000 GBP

Magnetic stripe

Default: 300 GBP

Maximum: 1,200 GBP

Default: 400 GBP

Maximum: 1,200 GBP

Default: 1,200 GBP

Maximum: 6,000 GBP

Online purchase

Default: 1,000 GBP

Maximum: 10,000 GBP

Default: 1,000 GBP

Maximum: 10,000 GBP

Default: 2,000 GBP

Maximum: 30,000 GBP

All information correct at the time of writing - 30th May, 2023.

As you can see, there’s a default limit per payment type, and a maximum. Your Wise account will initially be set to the default limits - but you can adjust caps anywhere up to the maximum allowed, in the Wise app.

Next, let’s walk through the fees you’ll pay to receive and use your Wise travel card:

ServiceWise debit card fee
One time card order fee7 GBP
Optional express delivery - get your physical card in 1 - 2 daysFrom 12 GBP
Digital cardFree
Order a new card2.5 GBP
Replace an expiring cardFree - Wise will remind you when you need a new card for convenience
Spend currencies you hold in your accountFree
Spend in currencies you don’t have in your accountWise will auto convert the balance you have to the currency you need, using the mid-market exchange rate and the lowest available fees
First 2 ATM withdrawals a month, up to the value of 200 GBPFree
Additional withdrawals, over the value of 200 GBP/month0.50 GBP per withdrawal + 1.75% of the withdrawal value

All information correct at the time of writing - 30th May, 2023. Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

Exchange rates

Wise currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate, with a low and transparent fee from 0.43%. You’ll be able to see the exchange rates available in the Wise app, and double check the fees, before you switch currencies. Once you have the currency you need for spending or withdrawals in your account, there’s no Wise foreign transaction fee.

How to get Wise travel card

To get your Wise travel card you’ll first need to open a Wise account online or in the Wise app using your email address, Facebook, Apple or Google ID. Once your account has been verified, you can top up your Wise account balance in pounds (or one of the other 20 or so supported currencies for loading funds).

Within the Wise app you can then order your Wise card, to start spending with your digital card right away.

What documents you’ll need

When you open your Wise account you’ll need to provide some documents for verification purposes. This is to keep your account secure and to comply with local and international law - but the whole process can be done right from your phone. You’ll be guided through what’s needed based on your account type - usually that’ll mean uploading images of:

  • Your proof of ID - such as your passport

  • Proof of address - like your driving licence or a utility bill

What happens when the card expires?

Once your Wise card is coming close to its expiry date you’ll be notified, and Wise will send you a new card automatically for free.

How to use the Wise travel card?

The Wise travel card is issued on major global networks like Visa and Mastercard, so it’ll be accepted in most countries around the world. Plus you can add your card - or a Wise virtual card - to Google Pay and Apple Pay for convenient mobile payments at home, online and when you travel.

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How to withdraw cash with the Wise travel card?

You can use the Wise travel card to make cash withdrawals at a broad selection of ATMs around the world - just like you would your regular card. If you find you’ve forgotten your PIN, don’t worry. You can also double check this by securely logging into the Wise app and accessing your card details.

Is the card safe?

Yes. The Wise travel card is safe to use. Wise has been established since 2011 and is fully licensed and regulated for the services it provides globally. In the UK, Wise is regulated by the FCA.

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How to use the Wise travel card overseas?

You can use your Wise card for spending and making withdrawals in 170+ countries around the world. In most cases, where you can’t use your Wise card it’s as a result of global sanctions or financial regulations - there’s a list of the countries where you can’t use your Wise card over on the Wise website if you need to check.

Conclusion: Is the Wise travel card worth it?

The Wise travel card is a helpful option for anyone who would like to hold a multi-currency account and spend easily around the world. Because Wise supports a pretty impressive 50+ currencies, the card is super flexible, and all currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate with low fees from 0.43%.

Compare Wise to another card or two that are available on the UK market, like the Revolut debit card and the Hays Travel Money Card, to see which suits you best.

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Wise travel card review FAQ

How does the Wise travel card work?

Open a Wise account online or in the Wise app, and order your Wise travel card for a one time fee of 7 GBP. You can then use the card to spend in 170+ countries, with the mid-market rate and low fees from 0.43%.

Is the Wise travel card an international card?

Yes. The Wise travel card is linked to a Wise account which can hold 50+ currencies, and can be used for convenient spending and withdrawals in 170+ countries.

Are there any alternatives to a Wise travel card?

Compare the Wise card against alternatives like the Revolut card - which can support 25+ currencies, or the Hays Travel Money Card which you can easily pick up in person at a Hays branch.

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
27 July 2023
Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
27 July 2023