If you shop online, travel, or work remotely, pay attention because the Wise debit card can save you money! We’ve been using the Wise debit card for a couple of years now and because we really love it, we wanted to share some exciting news with you! Until recently, it was not possible to receive the Wise debit card in Canada, however, from Nov. 30th 2021, the Wise debit card has officially launched in Canada.
So what exactly is the Wise debit card and why am I so excited about it?
What is the Wise Debit Card?
The Wise debit card is a contactless multi-currency card that enables you to hold over 50 different currencies all in one place and pay anywhere in the world. You might think that’s nothing revolutionary. However, what makes this card stand out is the possibility to pay in foreign currencies at the Google exchange spot rate without any hidden foreign transaction fees or high mark-up on conversion rates.
The Wise debit card is linked to your Wise account. According to independent research, Wise is on average 4x cheaper than other Canadian banks when it comes to sending money across borders, making purchases on your travels, or paying online with other currencies.
How does Wise Debit Card Work?
1. Pay In a Local Currency When You Travel
As a Wise debit card allows you to hold over 50 currencies, you can always pay in a local currency when you travel. You can convert money into a local currency at the real exchange rate (without hidden fees) directly on the app or your laptop. Alternatively, the Wise debit card will automatically charge you the currency from your account balance that has the best exchange rate. That means saving a lot of money on conversion rates and fees.
Although the Wise debit card is especially suitable for payments abroad, you can also use it in your home country as a regular debit card. It works just like any other debit card.
Furthermore, the Wise debit card enables 2 Free ATM withdrawals up to 350CAD a month anywhere in the world. After that, you’ll be charged the equivalent of $1.50 CAD per ATM transaction. This is a fixed fee. If you take out over 350 CAD in one month, there’s 1.75% on top of that. More information about ATM fees is here.
2. Shop Online Internationally
Banks usually charge you around 3-6% on foreign money transactions. Wise doesn’t charge you anything. How cool is that!
When shopping online, always make sure to pay in the local currency.
You can also apply for 3 Wise virtual cards alongside your physical green Wise Visa debit card. The Wise virtual card will generate different card details. This way you can keep your physical card details safe when you pay with different merchants or via phone call.
Wise virtual cards can also come in handy if you lose your physical card and need to make an urgent purchase. They are great for testing free trials if you want to avoid paying recurring bills. After your free trial expires and if you do not wish to continue the membership, you can simply delete your virtual card. The virtual card details can be instantly replaced or deleted.
3. Get Paid For Your Online Work
With Wise account, you can get paid from over 30 countries in the world. Another wonderful perk is when you open Wise account, you will automatically receive account details for the US, Canada, UK, Eurozone, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Turkey and Singapore.
Let’s say you have someone paying you or sending you money in US dollars. You can give them your Wise USD account details. This way you will not lose money on conversion or foreign transaction fees. So next time when you get that new freelance project, you can be much savvier. 😉
4. Enjoy Expat Life With More Convenience
Expat life comes with many benefits but also challenges. One of these challenges used to be moving money abroad between different currencies. Banks are generally pretty good when it comes to in-land banking and holding money in one currency. However, when you’re transferring money across countries, they tend to charge a lot. Wise makes international transfers a lot more convenient and economical.
It works both ways. Whether you want to move money from your home country to Canada or from Canada to your home country.
You can override these high banking fees by sending your Canadian dollars into Wise via online bill payment.
Here is the list of banks and credit unions in Canada which allow you to add Wise as a bill payee:
- Bank of Montreal
- National Bank of Canada
- Central 1 Credit Unions
- Tangerine Bank
- EQ Bank
- CS Alterna Bank
- Manulife Bank of Canada
- First Calgary Financial
You can find more info on how to send Canadian dollars via bill payments here.
Top Benefits of Using Wise Visa Debit Card
- No annual Fees
- Low International Transaction Fees
- Real currency exchange rate
- Possibility to hold multiple currencies
- Get banking details for multiple currency payments
- User-Friendly App
- 2 Free ATM withdrawals up to 350 CAD a month
- Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay compatible
- Backed by VISA
How To Get Wise Debit Card?
If you already have a Wise account, just log in and apply for a card.
If you don’t have the account yet, just follow a very simple and quick step by step process as outlined below:
1. Register here online for free.
2. Verify your identity with an identification document. There might be other document requirements such as proof of address.
3. Top up your account with a minimum of 20 USD.
4. Apply for a card (10USD fee). There are no annual fees.
5. Wait for your card to be delivered.
6. Activate your card via the mobile app and set your pin code.
7. Enjoy! 🙂
Wise with it’s Wise Debit card is a simple and transparent tool for making international payments while keeping the fees and exchange rates very minimal. It’s one of the most convenient and economic ways to move and manage money across borders that I’ve come across thus far.
The Wise debit card is suitable especially for people who travel a lot, get paid in different currencies, or shop online.
For more saving tips in Canada, you can check this article.
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