Wise USD Account Review - 2023
Whether you’re travelling to the US or simply paying in dollars for your online shopping, a USD account can make transacting internationally cheaper and more convenient. With a Wise USD account you can hold, send and spend dollars and 50+ other currencies, plus get USD account details to get paid to your account in dollars from others.
Read on for all you need to know about the Wise USD account, including the exchange rate used for switching pounds to dollars, the fees you’ll pay and the other handy features of a Wise multi-currency account.
Wise USD account key points
Open your account online or using the Wise app
Up to 20 supported currencies for top ups, including pounds and dollars
Hold and exchange 50+ currencies - conversion fees from 0.43%
Mid-market exchange rates every time you need to switch from one currency to another
Send money to 70+ countries, often instantly
Linked Wise international debit card to spend and withdraw in 170+ countries
Get paid in dollars, pounds and 7 other currencies, right to your Wise account
No foreign transaction fees when spending overseas
Pros and cons of Wise USD account
What is a Wise USD account?
Wise offers a digital multi-currency account you can use to hold and exchange dollars as well as 50+ other currencies, with a linked card for international payments, and easy ways to send and receive a selection of currencies.
Add money to your Wise account from your bank or card, in pounds or any of around 20 other currencies including dollars, or have others send you payments using Wise account details available in 9 currencies.
Once you have a Wise account balance you can spend with your Wise debit card, send payments to 70+ countries, or withdraw back to your local UK account if you’d prefer. Any time you need to switch between currencies, you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate with no markup and low fees from 0.43%. That can make Wise a cost effective way to spend when you're overseas or when shopping online in foreign currencies.
Can I open a Wise USD account in the UK?
Yes. Open a Wise USD account in the UK online or through the Wise app. Accounts are available for both personal and business customers.
How can I activate a USD account in Wise?
Wise accounts offer an entirely digital opening and onboarding process - so there’s no need to visit a physical location, and you can set everything up online or in the Wise app.
To start using a Wise dollar account you’ll need to register an account and open Wise USD currency balance. Here’s how to activate your Wise USD account:
Download the Wise app, or open the Wise desktop site
Register with your email address, or an Apple, Google or FaceBook account
Follow the prompts to enter your personal details
Upload your ID documents for verification
Once your account is verified, tap Open in the app homepage
Select Currency Balance and tap USD to open your USD account
Top up your balance, complete any required security step, and start transacting
When is a Wise USD account needed?
Having a Wise USD account can make it cheaper and more convenient to receive, hold, send and spend dollars.
If you’re a personal customer you can use your Wise USD account to pay when you travel to the US, or when you shop online and pay in dollars. It’s also handy if you need to send payments in USD - for planned travel or as a gift for friends or family, for example. Plus if you’re a freelancer or get paid by your employer in dollars, you can use your Wise account details to get paid easily in USD right to your account.
Business customers get all the same features personal customers do, plus some extras like batch payment solutions which can help save time by allowing you to send money to up to 1,000 people at once. Use your Wise business USD account to get paid through PSPs and marketplace platforms, send payments easily to suppliers and staff, and issue your team linked Wise expense cards to help them manage their international business spending.
How does the Wise USD account compare?
If you’re based in the UK you’ve got a few different options when it comes to opening a USD account. Shopping around is the best way to pick the right account for your needs. To start off the process, let’s take a look at the Wise USD account vs a couple of top picks: Revolut and Starling.
|Wise USD account||Revolut USD account||Starling USD account|
|Availability in the UK||Available to personal and business customers||Available to personal and business customers||Available to business customers with a Starling GBP account|
|Global usage||Y||Y||Limited to USD transactions|
|Conversion fees||From 0.43%|
All accounts offer some fee free conversion
0.5% - 1% fair usage fee once fee free conversion is exhausted
|Exchange rate fees||No fees; mid-market exchange rate||Out of hours and exotic currency fees may apply||No fees; mid-market exchange rate|
7 GBP fee to get a card
4.14 USD fee to receive a USD wire
|Monthly fees may apply depending on the account you pick||5 GBP/month maintenance charge|
|Linked Debit Card||Y||Y||Y|
Supports 50+ currencies
Local receiving account details for 9 currencies
Supports 30+ currencies
Budgeting and saving tools available
Good range of UK banking services
Comparing a few different USD account options makes sense, so you’ll know you’re getting the best option for your specific needs. Wise offers one of the most flexible accounts on the UK market, with 50+ currencies supported, plus exchange which uses the mid-market rate. However, Revolut is also a good pick with 30+ currencies, and mid-market exchange rates to your specific plan limit. On the other hand, if you’re a business customer with Starling you might choose to add a Starling USD account to help you manage USD transactions, so you can keep all your business finances in one place.
Wise USD account fees
Here’s a look at the costs involved in opening and using a Wise USD account.
|Wise USD account|
|Create account||No fee for personal customers, business customers pay a one time charge of 45 GBP for full account features|
|Account monthly fee||No fee|
|Fee to receive payments in USD|
No fee to receive ACH transfers
4.14 USD fee to receive a USD wire
|Fee to spend a currency you hold||No fee|
|Exchange rate||Mid market rate, low conversion fees from 0.43%|
|Send payments||Transparent fees from 0.43%|
|Fee to receive card||7 GBP for personal customers, 3 GBP for business customers|
|ATM fees||2 withdrawals to the value of 200 GBP/month free, then 1.75% + 0.5 GBP per withdrawal|
|Virtual cards||No fee|
Information correct at time of writing, 5th June 2023
Wise USD exchange rate
Wise is transparent about its fees and costs. That means that when you convert currencies you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate, with any applicable fees split out so you can easily check and compare them. The mid-market rate is the one you find on Google or with a currency conversion calculator, with no extra charges rolled up in it.
How does the Wise USD account work?
Opening and using the Wise USD account is pretty straightforward and requires nothing more than your phone. Here’s how it works.
Account Creation: Create your Wise account online or in the Wise app, upload images of your normal ID and proof of address documents and you’re ready to go
Fund Transfers: Top up your Wise account in any of around 20 currencies, from your normal bank account or card, or with a mobile wallet like Apple Pay
Sending and Receiving Payments: Send transfers to 70+ countries, in 50+ currencies including pounds and dollars. You can also receive payments to your Wise account in 9 currencies, including GBP and USD. It’s free to receive a USD payment by ACH, but there’s a 4.14 USD fee to receive a USD wire
How to use the USD account abroad
Wise USD accounts come with an optional linked debit card, which means you can easily spend and withdraw funds from your account at home and abroad. You’ll also be able to manage your money on the move right from the Wise app, with an account overview option and instant transaction notifications.
What is the eligibility for a Wise USD account?
Wise USD accounts are available for UK customers aged over 18, with a valid proof of ID and address. Wise accounts are also available in a broad selection of other countries, although the features and fees may vary slightly based on your location.
Who is it good for?
Wise USD accounts can be handy for many people, including:
Travellers looking to spend and make cash withdrawals overseas
People who shop online with international retailers
Contractors, freelancers, and anyone getting paid in foreign currencies
People who need to send payments internationally
Business owners who want to issue international expense cards to team members
Is a Wise USD account safe to use?
Yes. Wise is overseen and regulated by the FCA in the UK, and by a selection of other global regulatory bodies around the world. As a fully digital provider, Wise has also invested in industry standard security measures to keep customers and their accounts safe.
Wise USD accounts are available to customers in the UK and most other countries globally, for customers with a valid proof of address and ID. The Wise international debit card is issued on either the Visa or Mastercard network, and can be used in 170+ countries, wherever you see your card’s network logo.
Other available currencies
Wise accounts have broad multi-currency functionality, which means you can use them to hold, send, spend and exchange dollars alongside 50+ other currencies. There’s a broad selection of global currencies on offer, including pounds, euros and Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars.
Wise USD account limits
Wise UK customers can hold as much as they like in their Wise USD accounts, without any limits imposed by Wise. However, there are Wise security limits on card spending, which can be viewed and adjusted in the Wise app.
Wise USD account alternatives
Having a USD account is a handy option for plenty of people, and there are a few good UK providers which can help if you need to hold and spend dollars frequently. Compare the Wise USD account against an alternative like Revolut for both personal and business customers, or check out options like Starling or Payoneer if you’re specifically looking for options for your business.
Wise multi-currency accounts let you manage your money in pounds and dollars alongside each other, plus you can also hold, send, spend and receive a good selection of other currencies in the same account. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with low fees from 0.43% whenever you need to convert funds to send a payment or spend with your card, which can keep costs down - and accounts are entirely digital which is convenient when you’re travelling. Compare the Wise USD account against a couple of other popular UK providers like Revolut and Starling to see which suits you best.
FAQ - Wise USD account
Wise USD accounts can be opened entirely online using a laptop or smart device. Just register your account with a local UK proof of address and ID, and open a USD balance within the Wise app.
Wise account balances in the UK are usually unlimited, but there are spending limits applied when you use your Wise card. These can be viewed and changed in the Wise app easily.
Open a Wise USD account, and simply log in and tap Add to top up in dollars or another supported currency. You can also get local USD account details, and give them to anyone who needs to send you money in dollars.