How to Calculate Wise Fees for International Transfers

How to Calculate Wise Fees for International Transfers

International money transfers have become an integral part of our lives, whether for business transactions, sending money to family abroad, or paying for goods and services in different currencies. Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a popular platform that offers cost-effective international transfers. However, understanding the fees involved can be a bit complex for some users. In this article, we will break down the process of calculating Wise fees for international transfers and provide you with insights on how to make the most of this convenient service.

Understanding Wise Fees

Wise prides itself on transparency when it comes to fees. Unlike traditional banks that often hide costs within unfavorable exchange rates, Wise opts for a straightforward approach. Here's a breakdown of the key elements that affect the fees associated with a Wise international transfer:

  1. Transfer Amount
  2. The amount you want to send plays a crucial role in determining the fees. Wise charges a percentage-based fee on the total transfer amount. As a general rule, the larger the transfer, the higher the fee, but it remains cost-effective compared to many other options.

  3. Currency Conversion
  4. If your transfer involves currency conversion (sending money in a different currency than your own), Wise will apply an exchange rate. Wise uses the real mid-market exchange rate, which is considered highly competitive, and they charge a small percentage fee for this service.

  5. Payment Method
  6. The method you choose to fund your transfer can also affect the fees. Wise offers multiple options, such as bank transfers, debit cards, and credit cards. Bank transfers are usually the cheapest option, while debit and credit cards may come with slightly higher fees.

  7. Recipient's Currency
  8. The currency in which the recipient will receive the funds can influence the fees. Some currencies may have higher exchange rate margins than others, which can affect the overall cost of the transfer.

  9. Speed of Transfer
  10. Wise offers different transfer speed options, including standard, express, and even instant transfers in some cases. Faster transfers often come with slightly higher fees, so you should consider your urgency when choosing the speed.

Calculating Wise Fees

Now that you understand the factors that contribute to Wise fees, let's calculate the cost of an international transfer using Wise as an example.

Imagine you want to send $1,000 USD to a friend in the United Kingdom (GBP). Here's how you can calculate the fees:

  1. Transfer Amount: $1,000 USD.
  2. Currency Conversion Fee: Check Wise's current exchange rate for USD to GBP.
  3. Payment Method: Let's assume you use a bank transfer, which is one of the cheaper options.
  4. Recipient's Currency: GBP.
  5. Speed of Transfer: Choose standard transfer.

Now, visit the Wise website or app and enter these details. Wise will show you the exact fee and the total amount your friend will receive in GBP.


Calculating Wise fees for international transfers may seem complex at first, but with a clear understanding of the key factors involved, you can make cost-effective decisions. Wise's transparent fee structure, competitive exchange rates, and variety of payment options make it a popular choice for individuals and businesses alike. By carefully considering the transfer amount, currency conversion, payment method, recipient's currency, and transfer speed, you can ensure that you get the most value out of your Wise international transfers. Make the most of this convenient service and enjoy hassle-free cross-border transactions.