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12 min read 04.08.2021 75

Revolut vs Wise: Which is Better for you?

In this AskWallet blog post we will take a close look at all the strengths and downsides of two of the most popular money transfer apps in the EU. Although,we are certain that you can’t go wrong with either of the above mentioned EMIs. However, we bet you’re curious to find out which one is the best and why we have crowned it the better one. In that case, read on!

Ibrahim Busari
Ibrahim Busari
Ibrahim is a fintech writer at AskWallet

Fact checked! This material is written by an expert.

12 min read 04.08.2021 75

There are a number of money transfer and fintech companies out there all fighting for a space in the users wallet and phone . However, none is more infamous as Wise and Revolut. The two money transfer apps have a lot in common but are also different in many ways. The Electronic money services might provide the same services including international money transfers, domestic transfers, cards, ATM withdrawals and many more! 

Though these EMIs have some similarities, there are still many differences. So, if you find yourself having to choose between one of the money transfer apps. Where is a guide to help you sort out the differences between Wise and Revolut and Choose which is best for you? 

To start, let's look at both EMIs and see what they have to offer and a little history about the companies.

Wise 

4.33/5 AskWallet rating

Wise used to be called Transferwise before the electronic money service rebranded. Wise is the UK's most popular peer-to-peer international money transfer service. The service's website is available in ten different languages. Users may send money to over 59 countries quickly and conveniently, with the lowest rates when compared to a few big banks and PayPal. The cost of the transfer is determined by the exchange rate, the amount sent, and the payment method utilized. Wise allows you to see what you get, while other banking institutions might charge for currency exchange.

A multi-currency account (previously known as a "Transferwise Borderless account") is free to open and supports a variety of currencies. It differs from a traditional bank account in that customers do not get interest or have the ability to overdraw their accounts. In one account, you may send, receive, and exchange money.

With the Wise Debit MasterCard, you may access your funds from anywhere in the world (available for many countries). There are no foreign transfer costs and no substantial exchange rate expenses, which is one of the main advantages.

Pros 
  • The transaction costs charged by Wise are completely transparent.
  • There are no hidden costs.
  • A free multi-currency account with over 40 currencies to choose from.
  • Within your multi-currency account, real-time conversion at real-time rates
  • Send money to over 59 different countries.
  • Multiple people can access a business account.
  • There is no set amount for a transfer.
  • Using the app or the website, you can keep track of transactions in real time.
Cons
  • Some currencies and countries are still missing from the Wise business account, which can only be linked to one corporate debit card.
  • There is no opportunity to pick up cash or checks (like with Xoom); only bank transfers are permitted.
  • The service needed extra paperwork after exceeding a specific transfer threshold; failing to comply resulted in the account being frozen or suspended.

Wise is great for enterprises and self-employed individuals that conduct business in many countries since it provides a clear and cost-effective currency payment option. Not only can you give or receive money by transfer, but you can also attach a bank card to it, allowing you to spend your money with simplicity. This service is primarily designed for foreign travelers, people, and businesses.

The electronic money service abides by the rules set out by the FCA (UK), FinCen (US), and other regulatory agencies in each nation where it does business. Your Wise account is much like a traditional bank account in terms of security. This service never sells its users' data due to its bank-level security. Its in-house security staff monitors security risks and suspicious transfers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Wise has an Askawallet trust score of 4.43/5, For more information read our full Wise review.

Revolut 

Revolut began as a multi-currency bank account with the goal of reducing the number of bank fees and commissions associated with international transactions. It was a success in the EEA region, raising several million euros, and it now aspires to become a true online bank. Revolut has expanded outside the United Kingdom's boundaries and currently operates in a number of European countries, as well as the United States, Canada, Singapore, and a number of other countries.

Revolut has four different offerings to cater to different types of people. It also has a professional bank account (business). Furthermore, you will receive both a real and a virtual card. Within the Revolut app, you may control a “Freeze/Unfreeze” option on both cards. Other important features include adjusting the security settings and creating a monthly spending limit. Every few months, account holders can delete the virtual card, making it more difficult for hackers to duplicate your data or clone your card. Revolut also provides a “disposable” virtual card that cleanses and resets the user's information after each transaction.

Revolut has an Askawallet trust score of 3.11/5, You can learn more about it in our full revolut review.

Pros
  • There is no charge for account maintenance.
  • The opportunity to make investments
  • Foreign currency conversion cost that is appealing
  • Customer service is skilled in interacting with customers and resolving issues.
  • Credit is available through the Revolut credit card.
Cons
  • There will be no deposits via cash or checks.
  • A limited-time insurance deal

What are the primary distinctions between Wise & Revolut?

As we have stated earlier, there are a number of differences between Wise and Revolut. However, the biggest or the most distinct difference between the two electronic money service providers is the fact that they were created with different purposes in mind. In other words the creators of the electronic money services intended to solve different problems and appeal to different consumers. This is the biggest difference between these two money transfer applications.

This difference allows for each of them to have their own specific advantages over the other when looking at the overall service they provide. Wise for example, is more focused on allowing users to make international money transfers at the lowest cost possible as well as domestic money transfers on the app. Though we must keep in mind that Wise has added a number of services and products to its line up since it launched. 

Revolut on the other hand focuses more on getting the travellers,  people conducting international business. These are revolut target consumers because its services work perfectly for them letting them use a multi-currency account and card to pay while abroad and withdraw cash at low fees too. Revolut also allows for transfer of funds from one revolut account to the other and international money transfers as well.

Many users gravitate to either of the aforementioned electric money transfer services for different reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the other differences and how Wise Stacks up against Revolut, so you can decide which is best for you? 

Cost and Fees

This is important information to know when choosing any money transfer application. However, in the case of the two EMIs we are looking at today, there are different costs and fees associated with them. Let's first take a look at some of them: 

Opening an account 

Opening an account with either of the electronic money transfer services is absolutely free. Not only is it free, it is very easy to create a personal or business account with Revolut or Wise. 

Exchange rates 

Both EMIs claim to fame is that they provide mid market exchange rates to all their users across all money transfer types. However, we must divulge that in the case of revolut, there is an extra 0,5% markup when exchanging funds on the weekend. So, if you’re looking to make transfers with foreign exchange, Wise might be your best bet .

Transfer Fees

This is usually what most consumers are thinking about when looking for the best money transfer apps. Well, both Revolut and Wise provide low transfer fees. In fact Revolut users can send up to  £5,000 every month without having to pay any transfer fee. Wise does come with a very tiny transfer fee and features a fee calculator right on its website to help users know how much in fees they will be paying. 

Withdrawing Funds 

Both electronic money services let you withdraw cash from ATMs. However they both allow for free withdrawals of up to £200. Once a user has exhausted this limit, they have to pay a 2% fee on the amount withdrawn. 

Additional Costs

This doesn’t apply to Wise but more to Revolut as the EMI is a membership based platform with tiers depending on how much you are willing to pay. Revolut has three tiers, one is absolutely free and can be used by any one while the other two are paid. Those accounts are Premium accounts for £6.99 a month and Metal accounts for £12.99 a month. There are loads of features that come with each account. 

Money Transfer Options

Having a number of ways to transfer funds is very important when choosing a money transfer application. So how many options for transferring your funds does each of the EMI mentioned above have to offer its users. Well, let's start with Wise, the electronic money service provider allows consumers to send funds using a number of methods. Some of these methods for transferring funds include: ‘

Due to all of the methods of transfer, it might be a few days before the recipient receives the fund sent.

On the other hand revolut has a fewer number of methods in which users can transfer their funds. Users of Revolut are limited to sending funds from a revolut account to another revolut account or to a bank account. However, transferring money from one revolut account to another is very quick and hassle free. The transfer is almost instantaneous. Revolut also supports SEPA transfer which allows for instant money transfers in the EEA region. 

Currencies

If you are looking to make an international fund transfer with either of these services. Then it would be of advantage to know what currencies are provided by both electronic money services. Both Wise and Revolut offer funds transfer in multiple different currencies.

Wise offers transfers in over 50 different currencies. On the other hand, Revolut provides its users with over 140 currencies. 

Cards

The cards provided by Wise and Revolut are very different and potential users can compare and pick which one is right for them. Wise provides its users a MasterCard under the multi-currency account. The credit card allows you to make payments online, in-store and even lets you withdraw money from ATM machines. Wise’s card has support for contactless pay. However, users need to keep in mind that there is a mid-market exchange rate fee of about 0.35-1 percent when converting your funds from one currency to another.

Unlike Wise, Revolut offers a number of card options for its customers to choose from. The EMI provides virtual and plastic and metal cards. Revolut has 3 kinds of cards for user: 

  • Standard card 
  • Customizable plastic card 
  • Metal card 

All of these card options are available to users and users can also choose between getting a card that is powered by Visa or MasterCard. However, this is dependent on the country in which you currently reside. All the cards mentioned above come with the contactless pay feature. One thing that gives the Revolut cards a leg over the wise card is that there is no fee for converting funds from one currency into another. Also, users will be getting mid-market exchange rates when using any of the cards mentioned above.

If you are a person who has moved past using physical cards, Revolut has you covered by offering a virtual card option. A virtual card makes it easier to always have your card on you and not have to worry about losing your card. The card can facilitate online payments  and users have complete control over the card from the Revolut app. 

You can cancel and renew your virtual card just with a few taps on the Revolut mobile app. The same goes for the physical cards, consumers have complete access to their card in the app.

Locations

Which of the mentioned EMI covers the most locations or in other words, which one can reach the most amount if consumers. Well the question isn’t nuanced and Revolut comes over on top when it comes to the number of locations that it services are provided in. Revolut is available to users in over 150 countries and Wise in over 60 countries.

Accessibility

Most fintech companies invest a lot in making their apps and websites very accessible and inclusive for many people. In the case of Wise and Revolut, they provide reliable customer service and quick access to their apps. However, Revolut goes a step further and provides its services in over 24 languages.

Security

Wise is not protected by FSCS , however it is covered by the FCA. They are a self-proclaimed “low-risk financial institution” that may assist you in saving a significant amount of money on international money transfers.Although Revolut is not protected by FSCS, the platform is regarded as relatively safe due to the acquisition of a European Banking License in 2018.

Final Thoughts 

Although it seems like Revolut slightly edges out Wise, when you take a look at all the points we have made above. THis doesn’t in any way mean that if you go for Wise you will be getting worse service. There are some things that Revolut does better but you can't go wrong by choosing any of the electronic money services mentioned above. 

If you're in the UK or the European Economic Area and want to use a card for your next trip overseas, Revolut is the way to go. People outside of these nations would be better off using Wise if they were sending money overseas. The reason for this is because Wise always discloses the amount of money due to arrive in the recipient's bank account, as well as any associated costs. Find the most cost-effective money transfer using our website.

Ibrahim Busari
As a fintech writer at AskWallet, he uses his metaphorical pen to guide you through the world of EMIs. He is an Ural Federal University Alumni and has been working in the financial and iGaming industry since 2016.