Wise (formerly TransferWise)

Thanks. So spending with this card in Taiwan will involve a constant 0.87% fee.

You could withdraw ~7000TWD cash with your card at ATM for free once a month. Then put it in your TW bank and pay with the Taiwanese debit card. This is the only way to avoid fees.

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It’s irksome, but it’s still better than what you’ll get from a CC company.

For ATM withdrawals, my UK bank gives me a crappy exchange rate, charges a one-off fee, and also a percentage fee. Some ATMs (which of course I avoid) also charge an extra NT$100. My CC does something similar with purchases.

I think your complaint about the fee here is unwarranted. Wise is essentially giving you the mid-market rate you’ll find on Google etc. but making the fee explicit rather than rolling it into the exchange rate as other banks/services do.

They obviously need to charge something to cover their costs (given that they’re a business not a charity), and in my experience the fees using Wise are much better than those you’ll get from most other services so I’m happy to pay them to support the service.

You could also use Wise to transfer the USD to a Taiwanese multicurrency account, but the intermediary and receiving bank fees and exchange rate loading will almost certainly be more than US$4.39.

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That US$ 4.39 is still in the acceptable range. I had to pay around a US$ 14.00 fee when transferring NT$ 8000 to Germany.

Of course no bank involved could tell me how high the fees are beforehand so I had to transfer another US$ 16.00 to cover the 14 dollars from the previous transfer and the fees on the second transfer. The recipient ended up getting a dollar more than they asked for.

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Thanks for your insights. I agree with you that it’s cheaper than sending it to Taiwan, and kudos on them on being transparent on this.

But I think it’s up to people to accept those fees or not. Those institutions are already making a ton money just by holding our money, but anyways.

For the solution:
If you’re lucky to be European have an address in Europe, the alternative solution is to top up your USD with Revolut. (under certain conditions - check below answers) it is free to pay with the Revolut card and they will not take fees and charge market rate. cc @FenjaJie

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I sent Euros. I just used the US$ equivalent to make the nbers comparable. But thanks for the information. It maybe come in handy at a later time.

Note that Wise has recently introduced an additional fee when a SWIFT transfer is required:

Your fee: It costs us extra to send money by SWIFT, so we’ll add 3.55 EUR to the regular Wise fee.

So in total, an outgoing SWIFT payment will cost EUR 3.83 (regardless of amount!) when paid from the Transferwise balance. If you don’t transfer the money to your Transferwise balance first, the fee will be higher.

Taiwanese banks then charge between NT$ 200 - 400 for the incoming SWIFT transfer.

And definitely make sure that the address in the Transferwise profile matches the one your bank in Taiwan has on file. Otherwise, they might only release the money after lots of fuss.


Does Revolut also allow having an account without a residence address in Europe now?

I think they require a European address but at the same time they still allow you to request the card to be sent to Taiwan. I used my parents address for residency and got the card in Taiwan without an issue.

It’s worth noting that Revolut also has fees, which are in many cases much higher than what we’re discussing with Wise. For example, 2% for international ATM withdrawals above 200 GBP/EUR per month, 1% for international ATM withdrawals at weekends and bank holidays, 1% for withdrawing less traded currencies (THB and UAH)… (these are cumulative, and incorporated into the exchange rate I believe)

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Agree. Don’t use Revolut ATM withdraw over the "free quota’ limit, it doesn’t worth it. Also don’t exchange currency during weekends. Otherwise, weekdays are totally fine with Revolut and match Google / XE rate (as far as you don’t exceed your “free quota”)

That’s a good point. I do wonder how exactly things work for Transferwise during the weekend. As you said Revolut charges 1% fee on weekend (ATM or card payment). However, if you are under the metal plan, you get a 1% cash back, what offset those fees.
For Wise, as I read here

if you set up a transfer on a weekend, you’ll get the last rate before the market closed on the Friday.

I believe the same applies for the Transferwise Card? worth the extra 0.87% fees?

So is the bottom line is for card payment in Taiwan is…

  • Use Revolut card
    • During weekdays
    • If under the Revolut metal plan, you can use it during weekends, the cashback will offset the 1% fee
  • Use Transferwise card
    • During the weekend (but you’ll pay the 0,87% fees)
    • If you exceed your “free exchange quota” in Revolut

if anyone has any better conclusion feel free to suggest

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Buy crypto like USDT and transfer anywhere you want with extremely low fees. Im from Europe so I use Binance exchange…

Do you have an Idea what to do if you don’t have an adress in germany?

You can still get the Wise account - just not the physical card. So no direct ATM transfers, but at least you can still use it to send money to a Taiwanese bank account. Not sure if Apple / Google Pay also works or not - I think it should.

Wow, I just found out about Revolut from this topic. I, too, was in search of a way to transfer money between Taiwan and the US. I use CTBC and Chase. At first I used Wise, but it just wasn’t for me. But then I came across Revolut, thanks to you guys. The app is so smooth and intuitive to use, among other advantages. They also have referral bonus of $30.

Referral link (expires in 15 days).

I really think that Revolut is the solution here to the problem of exchanging money in a global economy.

What do you think?

If it works for you, then great - I personally think the fees are rather high. Especially if you exchange more than their monthly limit (€1000 for exchange and €250 for ATMs I think).

Here is another option. The paid monthly plans come with travel insurance and free ATM withdrawals worldwide:

Doesn’t allow residency in Taiwan, either, I think. One needs to reside in Europe to keep the account. And the travel insurance will be void too without residency in Europe.

Yes. Europe or the US. If you have a passport from one of these regions or countries then you just have it sent to a family or friend. After you can have them forward the card to you in Taiwan. That is what most of us do.