• long running

Free Multi-Currency MasterCard @ TransferWise

1700

I posted this link on Cheapies.nz and it proved to be popular, I was checking out deals on here and noticed that no one had mentioned it here so thought I should share it with everyone on OzBargain. I'll stick with my original description (will substitute my travel destination though) and encourage you to read the comment on my original post as a few questions and answers were raised.

So, to my original description..

This isn’t a deal as such but it does look good but wasn’t sure where it should be posted if not here since essentially it will/can save you money (compared to the more common alternative options).

https://transferwise.com/au/borderless/travel

I’ve been a user of TransferWise for a long time now but it only works well if you have a local currency bank account to send/receive from so generally not helpful for holidays.

Today I noticed they now offer a MasterCard that you can move money to in local currencies, it works by providing you with a local bank account number to make transfers to via their usual method.

I’m off to Aussie New Zealand in a few weeks so have a feeling this will be helpful for that. The specific currencies they currently offer for the card are NZD, AUD, USD, GBP and EUR.

Worth checking out if you are doing any travel or perhaps buy online from any of the above countries.

Yes, there are referral codes but not chasing kudos for sign up, genuinely think this looks good.

Referral Links

Referral:  moschops or random (381)

Referrer receives £50 for every 3 signups and/or £15 . Referee receives one free transfer.

Related Stores

TransferWise
TransferWise

Comments

  • +15 votes

    FYI, Max withdrawal is $350 every $30 days, fee-free at an ATM so even on holidays, it may not be worth it.

    • +2 votes

      Thanks Travelo, that is important to be aware of should you be planning on using cash. Based on my understanding of the fees if using the debit card feature there are still good saving to be made here compared to using your banks own card or other similar currency cards. I have requested one of these as has my partner so since we holiday together we will have the advantage of being able to withdraw $700 between us but it wont be the same for everyone nor may the limit suit everyone.

    • +2 votes

      I have this card. Tried to withdraw 20 from NAB ATM in aud currency which I had on the account. nab were going to charge me $3 for the privilege. Just be mindful this would still happen in other countries etc.

      •  

        And that was already one of the cheaper ones. I tried getting cash from an overseas CC: CBA wanted $7, Westpac wanted $4.50, and finally ANZ did it for free. Not sure if the fees vary depending one which card from which country.

    •  

      I hardly use Cash (might as well be in SE,
      where Cash is "Hard to Spent")

      PS TransferWise's site says:

      • "Your passport to -cheaper- spending overseas"

      Ie, …not "Free"

      Is it -only- when one gets over Au$350 in Cash
      from an ATM that you pay a fee, or what?

      How can I live Fee-Free (as I do w/ ING) w/ TransferWise…?

      Their example, of spending $5,000 in each of several lands
      shows fees from $23.50 - $25 (Are these in US$…?!?)

      I don't see this fee in this list of Prices:

      More:

      I guess I could price an eBay item in, eg, US$,
      after creating a US$ a/c in PayPal, & send US$
      to a US$ TW a/c, Fee-Free (ignoring PayPal fee), right?

      Oops! First Q is: "Personal or Business?"

      Does that mean we'd have Different [Higher?] fees
      as a Business a/c holder? Or… just need an ABN?

      • +1 vote

        "Comment Edit Window has Expired"…?!? <==unnec'y OzB Tech.limit
        (Remove the Limit… or - at least - Hide this kind of thing!)

        Anyway… answeing my own Q (in my above Comment):

        Nope ABN does Not suffice… Need a Reg'd Bus.Name!

    •  

      Just make the exchange to whatever currency you need using Transferwise, then transfer it to an account like HSBC's Global (people like ING on here though whichever), then you still beat the HSBC / Bank rates even after all Transferwise's fees! You also don't then get ATM fee's. That's if you want to walk around a foreign country, standing out like a lemon holding a load of cash, not the best idea, that's why it's best to keep cash under the $350 and pay for everything else on the card. But whatever floats your boat.

      •  

        *Never mind. Looks like any global account (ATM fee free both sides) with a mastercard beats transferwise.

  • +21 votes

    This is also a good card for paying for services like Hulu which normally block Australian credit/debit cards.

    •  

      Nice. This should work with PS Plus.

    •  

      Genius. Do you know which region this card would show up as if not AU?

      •  

        I believe the region comes up as USA. I typed the first six digits of my TransferWise card into the BIN check tool and this is what it came back with:
        https://imgur.com/fCHED9D

        But, then I tried another check tool and it says the country of origin is Australia, so I have no idea sorry.

        •  

          no region is tied to australia (kinda) or uk ur …billing address will be australian address hence does not work for itunes usa but does for google play…

          •  

            @nightflight82: What if you are living in a foreign country and change your address to that place?

            •  

              @davelarz: well first of all you have to supply valid documents to TW about that foreign address like bank statements with your name on it…I am still pretty sure it would default to UK if it is some other EU country (where the card was issued)..if it is a country that does not support TW debit card like erm china and u managed to get the card here in Australia I guess you can just keep using the card. I do not think it really matters as long as u keep it unchanged (the address) with TW…This is my opinion only tho…I could be totally wrong

        •  

          The back of my card says 'Issued by Transferwise Australia Pty Ltd', so it's only a batter of time until the BINs are updated correctly.

      •  

        @fishball
        Ive had this from transferwise UK for a couple of years and my card comes up as UK, even though I have an Australian BSB and account number for it and funds in Oz Dollars (it was originally opened as UK with a UK sort code and account number).
        My guess is that if you open it in oz it will be tied to oz.

    •  

      Just tested with Spotify Philippines… doesn't work unfortunately :-(

    • +1 vote

      interesting.. I just use Amex for all international companies and never had an issue as American Express is not shown as Australia

      •  

        Hmm, does that mean you pay the 3.5% transaction fee?
        Plus any AMEX foreign transaction conversion goes to USD first and then to AUD meaning there's huge overhead.

  • +10 votes

    Thanks OP! Was waiting ages for this to arrive!

    Transferwise = Get USA, AUD, UK bank account, each with their own account numbers.
    … And it now looks like a free debit card with multiple currencies attach to that account.

    Seriously, this is a dream come true for many small business owners who sell internationally (since they also offer Business accounts). These things use to cost a fortune to setup since you had to fly to the USA in actual person to open an account and then pay hefy annual fees to keep them active. Now you can do all of that for $0.

    •  

      exactly what im after

    •  

      So, if we have $$ in any of those currencies
      then we do Not need to pay any fee (as we
      would, I think, on, eg, PayPal) to slot it
      into it corresponding account?

      (If so, I guess the banks used win by holding
      our $$ w/out giving any Interest, right?

      Or… do they give Interest…?)

      As a debit card, is it "Always" going to be
      Fee free, or only for a limited time?

      Do the bank accounts have Deposit Insurance?
      Or are we at risk, eg, in case of any Bank
      Fail(s) coming our way?

      Are there No Downsides?

      Which banks do they keep our $$ in?

      Thanks

      • +1 vote

        It does not claim to be "fee free", it's just a considerably lower fee than banks charge and the exchange rate is the official rate not some skimming rate and the biggest benefit is you get to see exactly what the fee for conversion is.

        Compare that to the banks (or Paypal) that charge a foreign currency conversion fee that is larger, then they skim another 3-5% typically by giving you a worse exchange rate and it's obfuscated in the final amount that they are doing it.

        You would not run this as a normal debit card account, it's just for making foreign transfers easy and the lowest overheads I've found.

    • +1 vote

      I know you can receive money to the USA, UK, Euro account numbers, but are you able to send money that way as well? Like if I want to send money to Euro IBAN number am I able to do that, or is it receive only?

  • +11 votes

    citibank so far is the best to use overseas ;-p
    I have it since 2014

    • +13 votes

      Macquarie Bank does the same thing plus their mobile and web banking actually works.

      •  

        Sort of. I've bought a lot of books in the last month. Macquarie say there's no international transaction fee, but they must be applying a different exchange rate they set in their own favour - because I was charged more on every purchase than the AUD I was supposed to be charged.

      •  

        @raven2000
        Absolutely right. I've been with transferwise UK for well over a year and have had numerous problems with the app and website, whole weeks worth of transactions just disappear time and time again. I've never lost any money except once they did charge an additional fee that wasn't in their price list and on a transaction that should have been free. I queried it and was given a link to a different Web page that also said it would be free!
        And live logged the disappearing data numerous times and given screenshots and they say they will investigate and get back but never have.

        Also, no one should ever rely on the debit card as I've had it decline numerous times. They always deny it (even when sometimes it actually shows on the app in grey and says declined! The bog standard reply is it didn't happen so next time email them a receipt saying declined - which I always do and they just ignore the fact you have given them a receipt showing 'declined by bank'!
        The last few months have been more stable.

    • +16 votes

      ING

    •  

      What's it like relative to popular banks like Commbank or ANZ?

      • +2 votes

        I remember ing needs you to do deposit and transactions to be eligibled to have the fees back?
        But Citibank is good enough for me.
        Before I go,transfer money from CBA, withdraw money overseas (so far no issues in SG, Japan, Thailand(I used the Citibank Thai branch), Malaysia,Hong Kong(max4000 hkd a day( ,China(max2500cny a day)
        For me,Citibank is good enough for me.

    • +16 votes

      Used to be, not anymore. ING is the best with oversea ATM fees reimbursed especially in those rip-off places like Thailand or Fiji where you will get slugged for $15-$20 per withdrawal.

    • -7 votes

      For zero fees?

      Why is it so good?

      Do you happen to work there…?

    •  

      Please tell me how any bank, visa, OFX or ANY other transfer rate is cheaper than Transferwise?! Really keen to be tested on this.

  • +28 votes

    I've been using the card for online purchases over the past month. The exchange rate they use are worse than typical Mastarcard rates by about a cent, and then there is the additonal foreign conversion fee (depends on the currency) - https://transferwise.com/au/borderless/pricing

    I wouldn't bother with it, particularly because if you want to move your AUD back it is going to cost you a few dollars.

    However, as the OP says, it is good if you have money coming in from overseas (and you want to spend that currency). It gives you access to a UK, US, NZ and AU bank account number to deposit and add to your balance.

    If you want to spend AUD overseas, and aren't interested in locking in a rate, I'd be looking to other debit cards like ING, Macquarie, Up, UBank etc.

    •  

      Can you confirm if there is any transaction fee on purchases?

      • -1 vote

        As per the link I posted in my comment, yes there is. It varies based on the currency.

      •  

        If you hold a balance in the currency you are spending in, NO. It is only if they have to convert a rate at the time of the purchase that you don't have.

    •  

      How are you working this out? Where are the mastercard conversion rates you're working with?

      •  

        https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support/conver...

        Both Mastercard and Visa publish the days rates the following day.

        •  

          Found it. Need your/a bank fee to type in or is there no fee from your bank at all?

          •  

            @obavatar: 0% foreign transaction fee from Macquarie, Up and others.

            •  

              @DogGunn: Interesting. So if I transferred 1,000 AUD to GBP using Transferwise I would get 555.74 GBP after all fees. You're saying with Macquarie it's 559.78 GBP (the amount your link shows FYI)?

              •  

                @obavatar: Not talking about transferring money. That's a different kettle of fish which is generally more expensive. Transferwise generally give decent rates for just transferring funds.

                The Mastercard is used for purchases. You can't really transfer money with it.

                •  

                  @DogGunn: Yeah that's cool. I'm personally looking for a card to use overseas for ATM withdrawals & general usage etc.
                  I'm pretty sure the idea of a Borderless card is so people use it in that way /\ not for transfers though. I just think people should be aware of that.

                  •  

                    @obavatar: Pulling money out of ATMs is the same as purchases for the purposes of a Mastercard debit card. If it charges an foreign exchange fee, it's not really a great card for that since there are plenty that do not.

                    That said, it is good if you want to lock in the rate in advance.

  • +1 vote

    Does anyone know if this would work to be paid out by Amazon’s Mechanical Turk? Currently they will only pay Australians in gift cards. Would this substitute for an American bank account?

    • +1 vote

      Would think so. When you set up the borderless account, they give you an American bank account number so provided I’ve understood your question correctly, I would assume it’s work.

    •  

      @JoeKrano

      Yes exactly. I've been with transferwise UK for a couple of years and after you register you can select other countries and get a BSB/sort code and account number for other countries. They don't do account numbers for every country but definitely do for USA. I got mine instantly on screen and you can then give it to amazon or a USA employer or a friend to pay you. I find that transferwise usually take an extra day before you can see the money in your account if someone else pays you by bank transfer.

  •  

    Already have an overseas bank account to use locally so I'll check this out. Rates seem a tad bad in comparison but hey it's free?

    •  

      Would you be good enough to give your source for the rates you see as better than Transferwise please?

  • +1 vote

    Ordered mine on Jul 18th. ETA 7th Aug. Still waiting.

  • +3 votes

    Funny i've been on the wait list for this for about 2 years and they still haven't emailed me to say it's ready. I find out from here of all places!

    Definitely agree with above - it's only really useful if you have lots of currencies and want to spend that without converting.
    For AUD use in other countries, get a Citibank or 28 degrees

  • +3 votes

    I can vouch for this! I have been using this card for a bit over 12 months when it was in beta. I used in a lot of countries where typically your normal travel card issued by banks don’t support. For example, I loaded Danish Krona onto the card (at the market rate) and was able to use the card fee free, whereas most banks charge 3/4% per transaction. For a millennial, this card is great because there are pretty much no fees because I just tap and pay or just purchase something using the card, I never get cash out of the atm. I can see some people are a bit rialled up about the fees after $350AUD, it’s not a concern of mine. I took $0 out of an atm in the last 2 years.

    • +2 votes

      What do you do with left over currencies on the card from all those countries?

      • +3 votes

        I'm pretty sure you can leave your money in Australian Dollars on the card and just use it as you go in other countries and it converts the bit you use as you go. Can someone confirm this?

        •  

          @chrisburnett @JetBombat
          Exactly. I've used transferwise UK for a couple of years and you just leave the money there and it will slowly be transfered as you use other currencies you don't have. Transferwise automatically swap the currency that would have the LOWEST fee by default (they have different fees for different currency) or you can manually transfer it or withdraw it.
          One if the few reasons I still use them is that you can load the card when you see a good rate if you're going abroad, and the fees are generally low and fair (but certainly not the cheapest) for occasional small odd purchases from foreign ebay/amazon sites.

      • +1 vote

        You can either convert the money back to AUD and store it in your AUD TransferWise account. Or you can transfer it back to your Norma bank account

    • +2 votes

      Can I confirm how the transaction would’ve went through if you loaded the Krona and travelled to Japan for example. Are there no fees to pay in Yen with the Krona or do you have to transfer it into yen first for a fee? O do I have this wrong?

      • +1 vote

        I can’t say to be exact as I don’t have the PDS in front of me. But I did see somewhere that there is a dynamic currency conversion fee (most banks have the same). Where you’ll get charged 3/4% if you use the card to purchase something in a currency you don’t have on the card, so I assume this would still be the case. However, to avoid this, do the conversion through the app prior to going to japan and then you won’t be charged

    •  

      Dunno about DK, but - in SE, cash is hard to use
      (No1 wants to pay the extra fees to process Cash,
      there)

      Funny, SE was (reportedly) First to Use Cash, &
      - now - it's the first to Stop using it.

      Canada seems to be the laggard, here: Still using
      Checks… But at least 1 bank lets you take a foto
      of any check you get (eg, by post!), & you'll see
      the $$ in your a/c ~immediately… just be logged-
      into your online bank to make that happen quickly.

      I've been trying to "sell" that idea to Aussie
      banks. Only 1 person seemed to "get" it as a
      great idea, so far. (I keep sending it upwards
      as a Suggestion, via the call-centre folks; ie,
      I donN'T go door to door, with this great idea)

  •  

    What's the actual fees (ie difference to other conversion rates, say Citibank?)

    Edit

    Convert currencies
    0.35% - 2.22%

    ATM withdrawals up to A$350 / 30 days
    Free, then 2%

  •  

    This vs Qantas money card?
    Qantas offers 10K points just for signing up now.

    • +6 votes

      Qantas conversion rates are pretty garbage.

    • +1 vote

      I've been using the Qantas Money (previously Qantas Cash card) for a few years and the rate is pretty bad. They don't charge a fee for converting your currency but I'm confident they more than make it up with the padding in their exchange rates. On top of this, they charge you $1.95 per cash withdrawal and then the local bank's ATM will have a fee too.

      I'm over them. I have been waiting for the TransferWise card ever since I was in the UK last year and saw they were available there. They emailed me a couple of months ago to say it was now available in Oz and I signed up straight away. Card arrived a few weeks back but they said they'd had huge demand and I should expect a wait for it.

      I've used TransferWise to send money to a mate's overseas bank account and the exchange rate was pretty much the official rate and the fee was more than acceptable at a couple of dollars per $300, or thereabouts. I was going to use PayPal at first but that came in at a cost of around $27.

      To use electronic payments overseas should be fine for most things. Apple Pay isn't available yet with Australian cards for the Apple Watch or iPhone as it is with the US version of the card, but they have reported it's not far away. That should make contactless payments even easier in the near future.

      •  

        Switch to ING, I don't understand why ppl still can use this Qantas rubbish product.
        For points, Coles Reward MC is one of the best cashback rate 1% so I am mostly use it oversea when I can pay with card and use ING to get cash withdrawal.

    •  

      For someone that actually works with a big bank, they usually take 4.5% off the market rate. TransferWise gives you the market rate but charges you for I guess a processing fee, can range from 0.1%-2%, regardless it’s cheaper than going with any of the bank or travel card companies ie qantas. In most cases the points definitely do not justify loosing potentially hundreds of dollars on the exchange

  •  

    I signed up for this the other day… I spend alot of time in Thailand, so have been using the Macquarie card since no fees, but Transferwise is only free for $350 per 30 days or whatever, so sounds worse?

  • +1 vote

    Has anyone tried revolut. I am using it and it's pretty sweet. No fees and great rates.

    •  

      Revolute also has $350 fee free atm withdrawal atm. It's very popular in EU and UK.

      It has a tiered system and you need to pay more to get to premium level and above. But they do come with extra benefits (i.e. higher withdrawal limit, virtual card, cashback etc)

    • +1 vote

      I am on Revolut and can't work out if if this offers anything more. The first thing I did notice is that you get account numbers, which is great, but you can't use for Direct Debit, so that sucks. All the currencies I need are supported on Revolut and Trabsfer wise (AU, USD, GBP and ZAR) and both are free.

      In Revolut's favour, you can create virtual credit cards which is a huge win. Especially if you are buying for less reputable outlets and don't want to use your main card. Complete the purchase, freeze the card.

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