TransferWise is a website and payment service for virtual credit cards and bank accounts that offers the real exchange rate, the same one you find on Google. With the click of a button you can create borderless bank accounts in different countries and currencies. It saved me thousands of dollars and is one of the best things I ever signed up for. It’s highly recommended for everyone, for your repfam and private life.
Although I must say the private uses outweigh the Rep uses in my opinion, I think with this community being all about foreign monetary transfers, TransferWise should be a must have tool for everyone.
How TransferWise solves a critical problem
Before we get started I want to make sure we are all on the same page: When paying in foreign currency, Paypal, your bank or credit card company charge you absurd exchange fees for the convenience.
While you are looking to get Chinese Yuan there will be someone who’s looking for USD. TransferWise developed a system that swaps your money with the other person’s at the mid market rate (same rate you find on google). Both of you are happy because you got what you wanted and TW only takes a tiny portion, and it’s really a tiny fraction compared to what banks charge. This happens instantly without you knowing or having to do any extra steps.
My personal experience
I’ve been a TransferWise customer for almost 3 years. I’ve done hundreds of transactions, both privately and RepArchive related. I have the physical debit card and use it as my only payment service abroad, for private online purchases or for everything RepArchive business related. I’ve received money, paid bills, sent money to friends and got cash at the ATM.
TW caught my attention when Sir Richard Branson, one of the biggest tech investors of our time invested millions in the company. This showed me that it’s probably not a scam. I’ve never missed a penny, there was never anything shady or suspicious. There are also no hidden fees later down the road.
Most of the time, when you sign up on a website you end up paying, but in this case I ended up getting more money.
Getting started with Transferwise
All you have to do is go to the homepage and sign up. It’s completely free. Depending on your country you might have to verify your account through different documents to meet legal requirements, but that’s really simple.
You can get a physical debit card delivered for $9 (it was free back when I signed up). I recommend this, you can pay in stores and online with your card, you can also withdraw $250 for free at a foreign ATM, every month, with no transfer fee.
You should also get the App on your phone. It allows you pay on the go, act as 2-Factor-Authentication and to freeze your card or look at your PIN. They recently added support for Apple Pay.
Best uses for TransferWise
Transferwise borderless accounts are basically fully fledged bank accounts – you can spend, receive and withdraw money. This means it’s not only great for shopping, but also as a place to hold foreign currency, that you either get as payments or maybe as refunds.
TW is especially great for non-US folks that like to buy from websites where you can pay in USD. This doesn’t have to be rep related, it could be anything from Netflix to car parts.
Generally, as a rule of thumb, when websites offer you the option to pay in different currencies, it’s to offer you more convenience. They’ll charge you for this though, since (in most cases) they can’t pay their bills with your foreign money, so they have to do the exchange for you. In these instances TransferWise comes in handy because you can pay in their preferred currency, even if you don’t have it.
Transferwise allows you to transfer “on the fly”, you don’t have to hold any of the currency, they will auto convert it from your existing balances.
Examples for the Repfam
Lots of sellers accept TransferWise payments because on the receiving end they are non-refundable bank transfers. On RepArchive you can find sellers that have confirmed to accept TransferWise here or here. (We will expand our seller database with more payment info soon)
For agent shopping you can use Credit Card via Paypal as a payment option and use your TransferWise card. This saves you from paying to convert EUR to USD to CNY. This is the best and most widespread advantage for non-US customers.
Agents that accept direct credit card payments or bank transfer will also allow you to use your TransferWise card/account. You can save more money if they directly allow CNY payments, but at the moment the support is very thin because the agents don’t know about TW and think no one has the ability to pay in Yuan, and also because the currency is controlled by the government to some capacity. If they allow you to pay in RMB directly, it’ll make a big difference, especially for US customers.
The other day I bought some AliExpress toys. I was just curious to see what the difference between USD and Euro would be, but it enough for me to cancel my order and start over with AliExpress set to USD and my TransferWise card in hand.
Yes, the links here are affiliate links. First of all RepArchive has to be financed somehow. We can pay for our servers and licenses and you don’t pay anything for it. Win-win. I am experienced with TransferWise and convinced by the product. There’s never been a post I could get behind more than this one. I’ll happily answer any question you have.