Wise (formerly TransferWise) vs Revolut - Which one is better in Singapore?

Hannes Ausmees

Wise (formerly TransferWise¹) and Revolut² are both providers of online and digital multi-currency account services and international payments, with a range of handy features to help customers manage their money across borders. If you’re wondering which is better for you here in Singapore, this review is here to help.

We’ll introduce each provider, and then run through a comparison of their key account features and services. There’s also a bit of a deeper dive into some of the key services you might need a digital multi-currency account for - international transfers and currency exchange, bank account alternative features, and business options.

Table of contents

What is Revolut?

Revolut was founded in 2015, and brands itself as a financial super-app, offering online and digital accounts and services including debit cards, investment options, and accounts for children. Globally, Revolut has 20 million users³, and almost a million business customers - although business account services are not yet available here in Singapore.

revolut-home-page

Is Revolut safe to use in Singapore?

Probably the first question on your mind: is Revolut safe? The good news is that Revolut is a safe provider to choose in Singapore. It’s registered with MAS as a Major Payments Institution, and as a company covering many international locations, also has to comply with global financial regulation to maintain its international licenses.

What is Wise (formerly TransferWise)?

Wise was launched in 2011 as Wise, a specialist in low cost international payments which use the mid-market exchange rate and transparent pricing. Today, Wise has over 13 million customers, and has expanded its offering to include multi-currency accounts for individuals and business customers. Wise is available in most countries around the world, although the specific services on offer may vary based on location.

Wise-card

Is Wise safe to use in Singapore?

Wise is safe to use in Singapore. Like Revolut, Wise is regulated by MAS - and also other global bodies around the world like the FCA in the UK, and FinCEN in the US. Both Wise and Revolut also offer a broad range of manual and automatic anti-fraud measures which run 24/7 to keep customers and their money safe.

Wise vs Revolut - main comparison

On with the Wise vs Revolut review. First we’ll look at a broad comparison of the different features available from each provider. Then we’ll look in more detail at a few key service areas.

RevolutWise
EligibilityResidents of Singapore, the UK, the US, Australia, Japan, Switzerland and the EEA⁴Most countries around the world, excluding a short list of locations where accounts can not be opened or used⁵
Available currencies27 during time of researchHold and exchange 40+ currencies; get local bank details for 9 (including SGD, USD, EUR, and more)
Account opening feeNo feeNo fee
Monthly feeStandard plans have no monthly fee - or upgrade for up to 19.99 SGD/month⁶No fee
Debit cardAvailable fee freeAvailable - 10 SGD one time fee
ATM feesNo fee up to plan limit⁷2 withdrawals a month, the value of 350 fee free, then 1.5 SGD + 1.75% per withdrawal
Exchange rateMid-market rate up to plan limitsMid-market rate
International transfer fee0.3% - 2%⁸From 0.43%*
Accounts for kidsAvailableNot available
Trade and investAvailableInterest-bearing account available
Business account availableNot available in SingaporeAvailable

*Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing: Only Pay for What You Use for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.


Wise vs Revolut - international transfers and exchange rates

One of the key services people may choose an online multi-currency account for is international payments. With both Wise and Revolut you can send money to other account holders, or to bank accounts around the world held in different currencies.

However, the way each provider works is a little different.

Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate at all times, and charges a low transfer fee which can vary based on the currencies and countries involved.

Revolut on the other hand, offers mid-market currency exchange within market hours, with limits to the amount you can convert based on your account plan. There’s then a low transfer fee to actually send the money on.

Here’s a comparison of the 2 options.

RevolutWise
EligibilityResidents of Singapore, the UK, the US, Australia, Japan, Switzerland and the EEA⁴Most countries around the world, excluding a short list of locations where accounts can not be opened or used⁵
Available currencies27 during time of researchHold and exchange 40+ currencies; get local bank details for 9 (including SGD, USD, EUR, and more)
Account opening feeNo feeNo fee
Monthly feeStandard plans have no monthly fee - or upgrade for up to 19.99 SGD/month⁶No fee
Debit cardAvailable fee freeAvailable - 10 SGD one time fee
ATM feesNo fee up to plan limit⁷2 withdrawals a month, the value of 350 fee free, then 1.5 SGD + 1.75% per withdrawal
Exchange rateMid-market rate up to plan limitsMid-market rate
International transfer fee0.3% - 2%⁸From 0.43%
Accounts for kidsAvailableNot available
Trade and investAvailableInterest-bearing account available
Business account availableNot available in SingaporeAvailable

Wise vs Revolut - bank account alternative

You might be considering getting a Wise or Revolut account as an alternative to a traditional bank account. Both providers offer flexible accounts with a great range of features, which can be really handy.

One point to note, though, is that neither account allows ATM withdrawals in Singapore - although as cash is so seldom used these days, that may prove no issue at all.

Here’s a rundown of the features of each.

RevolutWise
Available currencies27+Hold and exchange 40+ currencies; get local bank details for 9
Monthly feeStandard plan - no monthly fee Premium plan - 9.99 SGD Metal plan - 19.99 SGD/monthNo fee
Debit cardAvailable fee freeAvailable - 10 SGD one time fee
Virtual cardsAvailable for Premium and Metal account holdersAvailable
Cashback on card spending1% cashback Metal account holdersNot available
ATM withdrawals within SingaporeNot availableNot available
ATM feesStandard plan - Up to 350 SGD/month fee free Premium plan - Up to 700 SGD/month fee free Metal plan - Up to 1,050 SGD/month fee free 2% fee applies on withdrawals above the plan amount2 withdrawals a month, the value of 350 fee free, then 1.5 SGD + 1.75% per withdrawal
Accounts for kidsAvailableNot available
Trade and investAvailableInterest-bearing account available
Business account availableNot available in SingaporeAvailable

Learn more from our in-depth Revolut vs Youtrip vs Wise comparison.


Wise vs Revolut - business accounts

Although Revolut does offer business accounts in some countries, Revolut business accounts have not yet landed in Singapore. That means for now, if you’re looking for a multi-currency online business account, Wise is your clear winner.

You’ll have the option of opening a Wise Business account fee free for making international transfers, or you can pay a low one time fee to access all you need for international banking. Here’s what a Wise business account can offer⁹:

Wise Business featureAll you need for international paymentsAll you need for international banking
Set up costFree54 SGD one off cost
Make paymentsAvailableAvailable
Batch paymentsAvailableAvailable
Hold and exchange 40+ currenciesAvailableAvailable
Add team membersAvailableAvailable
Integrate to online accounting softwareAvailableAvailable
Get debit cards for team membersAvailable - 1st card is free, subsequent cards have a one time 4 SGD feeAvailable - 1st card is free, subsequent cards have a one time 4 SGD fee
Direct debitsNot availableAvailable
Local account details for 9 currenciesNot availableAvailable
Receive third party paymentsNot availableAvailable
Get paid through platforms like Stripe and AmazonNot availableAvailable

Summary - Revolut or Wise?

Let’s wrap up our TransferWise vs Revolut review. Which one is best for you may simply come down to the features you need and how you expect to use your account.

Revolut Singapore offers a range of fee-paid account plans which you can use to unlock higher transaction limits and extra perks. There’s also Revolut cashback on card spending if you’re a Metal account holder. However, if you’re more interested in an account with no monthly fee, it’s worth comparing the Revolut standard plan against the Wise account.

Some features from Revolut - like the Revolut virtual card - are only available on the fee paid plans, while Wise offers all its account features, including virtual cards, with no ongoing charges. Depending on where you’re sending to, the Revolut transfer to bank account fee may also work out to be higher than the equivalent with Wise.

Use this guide as a starting point to do your own research into both Wise and Revolut - and pick the perfect match for your needs.

Wise sign up


Sources:

  1. Wise
  2. Revolut Singapore
  3. Revolut - About us
  4. Revolut - supported countries
  5. Wise - supported countries
  6. Revolut - pricing options
  7. Revolut fees
  8. Revolut - transfer fees
  9. Wise Business

Sources checked on 12.09.2022


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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