Using (Transfer) Wise as a digital nomad – Remote workers banking solved!

After many years of struggling to find a good online bank to manage payments, invoices, etc – I’ve come across a few services which actually help digital nomads and remote workers.

This list features affiliate & referral links but I genuinely use these banks because they’re actually useful and I use them daily. Enjoy!

Wise (Formerly TransferWise)

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I can’t even begin to say how much Wise helped me out on this journey. I started a few years back when the company was named TransferWise and was brought in by the promised ‘multi-currency banking and low fees’.

I can confirm, the fees are quite low! I just did a direct debit deposit of $900 CAD to my account which had a $1.65 fee and then currency conversion from $900 CAD to Eur and then about $3.69 in fees for the conversion at a market standard rate. So, in total I spent $5 to have $900 CAD transformed into Euros.

Compared to my bank back in Canada which charges $10 for an international transaction + 1% ($9), I saved about $15 just in that one transfer alone.

When you’re doing that 12 times a year, you’ll easily save a few hundred like that. I wish I caught on earlier…

Not only that, I’ve been using the Wise Mastercard debit since they launched to program and it’s been seamless ever since; online payments, in-person tap-to-pay, ATM withdrawal – never had a problem even in places like Bosnia and Brazil.

I also really like their virtual Visa card system so if I ever have to use a sketchy website, I can use one of these ‘disposable’ digital cards to keep myself safe.

Account security and 2FA is solid and customer service has actually been great to me every time – even with online payments & scammers.

I have balances in HRK, GBP, USD, CAD, Eur, and DKK and it has all been seamless. I use it to pay rent, buy groceries, train tickets, snacks, etc.

Overall, TransferWise really changed the game massively for me and I’m loyal. Can’t recommend them enough and I appreciate their pricing transparency too.

I have an invite link. Accounts are free and business accounts are a one-time payment of ~$31 USD, which is fairly reasonable – better than subscription based IMO. I’m on a regular free account.

  • Tons of currency accounts
  • Physical & digital Mastercard/Visa debit cards
  • Great transaction & conversion prices
  • Nice support, good web & app functionality
  • ATM withdrawals only free for first 200 eur/GBP, then 1.75% after that

Revolut

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I used Revolut for a short while before deciding I only needed Wise, but I know a few folks who use it and enjoy the service. They offer many of the advantages of Wise but with some key differences.

For those interested in Crypto, there is built-in trading/management system for ETH, BTC, and LTC right on the app. Too, there’s stock & investment management, however it seems like they’re recently increased their fees and made it more difficult to move these out of the app.

I’ve also read quite a bit about the support being poor which to me is pretty serious when it comes to relying on a service to pay rent, manage invoices, etc. Also I read much about the quality of their metal cards being very bad and ATMs destroying & swallowing them and breaking a part. I can’t comment from any personal experience, but those are anecdotes I read online.

However, for regular daily services and transactions, the regular physical & digital cards, etc – it seems to work fine for daily things.

They do have paid plans which are $5, $10 and $15 for premium features like purchase protection, cashback, and (limited) travel insurances. Here’s the Revolut plan comparison here. I honestly can’t say how well their damage protection plans and stuff work, but hey they exist. I wouldn’t expect it to work so well for the low cost however.

  • Digital & physical debit Mastercard
  • Good currency conversion fees and multiple banks
  • Stock and crypto management
  • Poor customer service
  • Fee’s and difficulty withdrawing stock & crypto holdings.

N26

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The majority of people I know in Germany use N26 for their banking. I don’t personally have much experience with N26 but a lot of people here use it to prove a European bank account when it comes to registering for an apartment, Visas, residency permits, etc. They operate closer to a regular bank than options like Revolut does, which may be attractive to you.

I don’t have N26 and don’t plan on it, but consider it as an option!

Summary

Honestly, I love using (Transfer)Wise and will continue to use their business so long as they maintain their transparency as well as kind rates and good customer support.

If you have any questions at all about using Wise as a digital nomad just please feel free to leave a comment either here or on social media – I’m more than glad to help out!

Consider donating a coffee-amount of coins via PayPal if my article helped you

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