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Wise travel card

I ordered a Wise (formerly TransferWise) travel card before my Malaysia trip this year, trying to diversify my cards/limit the potential for scammers and thieves to get ahold of my debit/credit card(s), as well as decreasing exchange rate costs associated with money transfers and withdrawals.

(Image from

If you think the Wise card (and/or app) would work for you, you can use my link to join and you'll recieve the card for free ($10 value) (*I do not make recommendations unless I've actually used the product, I love my Wise card and think you will too*):

So how I've been mainly using the card is by pre-loading the amount of money I think I'll use for the day (can always add more later if I need to) so that the max that a potential scammer could get ahold of is only about one days worth of money.

You are able to use the card in ATM machines and anywhere that takes debit card transactions (ie for groceries/fuel/restaurants etc etc).

You can also use the card to make purchases online (especially useful if you want to order something in a foreign currency and don't want to use your bank's exchange rate for the purchase, or give out your bank details online).

(Image from the Wise app)

You *will need to activate* your card prior to leaving your home country. You only have to do this once. This is as simple as putting the card into an ATM machine and doing a balance check or making a very small purchase at a convenience store or coffee shop or what have you.

The app makes it very simple to use, you can 'upload' money in your home currency or choose to add various currencies to your wallet (I have CAD, USD, AUD, MXN, IDR & THB currently set up in my wallet and you can currently choose from over 40 currencies. If the currency you want is not available, you are still able to use the card in that country the same way you would your normal bank card you just can't pre-load and use it in the currency of that country, it will come out of whatever currency balance(s) you have loaded on the card. For example, I was unable to load Peruvian Soles onto my Wise card but I could still use the card in Peru, it just used the exchange rate in AUD at the time of withdrawal or debit purchase as opposed to having pre-purchased Soles at a specific exchange rate in the app).

(Image from

I am currently monitoring both Mexican peso rates and Thai baht rates as I will be travelling to both of these places in the next six months and will be making transfers into those "accounts" in the Wise app as (if) the exchange rates become more favorable for me.

ATM fees will vary by bank and country. In some cases you won't have any fees associated with your ATM withdrawals using the Wise card.

Here are a couple of recommendations of banks in various countries that I have actually used the Wise card for withdrawals (I will update this list as I try it out in more countries):

Malaysia and Indonesia: Maybank (June 2023) zero fees

Peru: Caja Arequipa had the lowest fees and highest withdrawal rate we found (May 2023: 17 soles for up to 700 soles)

There are some small fees associated with ATM withdrawals if you exceed the free allowance for the month (the below image is the current fees at November 2023):

(Image from the Wise app)

I also have been using the Wise app to make transfers between AUD and CAD, the exchange rates are much better than the bank rates.

For example:

$1000 AUD transfer to CAD at today's rates (Nov 12, 2023) would equal:

Wise: $872.67

Western Union: $868.38

Xe: $854.50

Westpac bank: $844.20

PayPal: $838.87

Commonwealth Bank: $814.76

(Image from @ Nov 13, 2023)

Wise makes it very simple to transfer money internationally. I've used it for something as small as payment for a couple hours of language lessons to a friend from Mexico, to as big as a $5000 transfer from Australia to Canada. In some cases all you need is their email to set up a transfer (if they've already got a Wise account set up - in other cases you will need their BSB and account number)

(Image from the Wise app)

Hope this article helps you if you've been debating about getting a travel card, if you have any questions about the Wise card or app, feel free to send me a message, cheers 🙂


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