Wise ACH vs wire guide

Gabriela Peratello

Wise offers multi-currency accounts you can use to hold 40+ currencies, and low cost international payments you can send to 160+ countries.

If you’re in the US you’ll be able to arrange a Wise transfer online or in your Wise app, and pay using a selection of methods including ACH vs wire.

If you want to receive USD to your Wise Account, you can again choose between a Wise ACH vs wire payment when it’s time to add money to your balance or have someone else send you a payment to Wise.

But which is best? This guide looks at the available options including the pros and cons of each.

How to send a transfer with Wise: step-by-step

You can make a Wise transfer online or by logging into the Wise app. The process is pretty simple, and you’ll be able to pick different ways to pay depending on your preference for ACH or wire - we’ll look at how that works in a moment.

First, here’s how to make a Wise transfer step-by-step:
  1. Log into Wise on your phone or computer

  2. Select Send money

  3. Enter the currency and amount you want to send

  4. Choose the transfer method from the dropdown box - we’ll explore your options in a moment

  5. Follow the prompts to enter the account details where the money should be deposited

  6. Pay for your transfer, and the money will be on its way

Paying for your USD transfers with Wise

Wise offers several different ways to pay for your transfer from USD¹ - let’s walk through each of them and how they work.

ACH direct debit payment

If you'd like to pay for your Wise transfer via ACH, you'll have to select Connected US bank account (ACH), you'll then be prompted to add your account details via Plaid for a secure integration with your local US bank.

After adding the required information, your account will be verified and you'll be able to pay for the transfer.

After the initial verification, you'll be able to use the same account for future transfers and you can remove the connection anytime you'd like by accessing your Wise account settings.

ACH payments may take up to 4 business days to arrive with Wise² - check with your bank to see their regular delivery times.

Wire transfer

If you choose to pay for your Wise transfer by wire you’ll be shown the Wise wire transfer details once you confirm your payment, and you can then send your USD to Wise for processing.

To make your wire transfer you’ll usually want to use online banking as that’s often the cheapest method available. Just log into your bank following your normal route, and choose wire transfers to set up your payment³.

You’ll be asked to send a domestic wire in USD to Wise. Domestic wire transfers can often cost 25 USD - 30 USD (rates may vary by bank) - making them a lot more expensive than an ACH, but they’re also usually a lot faster and can have higher limits from your own bank. Wise limits when paying in USD by wire are also usually higher than using an ACH.

While you’ll need to check the specific details with your own bank, a domestic wire could arrive to Wise on the same day it’s initiated, or the next day if you miss the bank’s payment cut off time.

Card payment

You could also choose to make your Wise transfer using a card⁴. In this case, you’ll be prompted in the Wise checkout to enter your chosen card details - much like when you buy something online.

Sending a Wise payment using a card is often one of the quickest options available, but can come with a fee* from your card issuer, which can sometimes charge cash advance or other fees.

Usually sending a payment with a debit card has a relatively low fee*, but using a credit card can mean extra charges and interest costs if you do not pay your credit card bill in full every month. On the other hand, the limits for card payments are a bit lower.

Wise transfer: ACH vs wire payment

Fees*Your bank may offer ACH transfer for free or for a very low fee

Bank fees for wires are common, often around 25+ USD

When receiving into your Wise balance, a charge of 4.14 USD is applied

SpeedIt may take up to 4 working days for your money to arrive to WiseWire payments are often fast - they can often be processed by your bank on the same day
LimitsSend up to 50,000 USD in 24 hours - Guide to Wise USD paymentsSend up to 1 million USD from many US states - Guide to Wise USD payments
ConvenienceEasy to set up using online or mobile bankingEasy to set up using online or mobile banking

Sending money from your Wise USD balance

Using your Wise local USD account details, add money to your Wise USD balance using an ACH bank transfer or wire. Once you have a balance in your Wise account in USD you can then use it to send money.

ACH transfer

Get your Wise USD account details in the app, and use them to send an ACH transfer to Wise.

If you add money to Wise using your Wise local USD account details, and pay with an ACH payment, there’s no Wise fee* to pay.

It’s still worth checking if there’s any fee to pay from your bank - but ACH transfers are usually cheap or even free in the US.

Wire transfer

You can also use the Wise USD wire transfer details linked to your Wise Account, to top up your Wise balance with a wire transfer.

There’s a Wise fee of 4.14 USD to receive a USD wire to your account*. Bear in mind the bank you use to send the payment in the first place may also have fees, which are usually higher than using an ACH.

*Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information

Using ACH vs wire on Wise: what's the best option?

There’s no single best option between Wise ACH vs wire, but the right one for you may vary depending on what you want to use the payment for.

For sending money

Paying for your Wise transfer using a wire may mean you pay a slightly higher fee to your bank and Wise, but your money will also be processed faster.

Paying with an ACH can cost less, but may take a few days to get to Wise depending on your bank’s payment processing times.

Note: transaction speed claimed depends on individual circumstances and may not be available for all transactions

For receiving money to your Wise balance

If you’re topping up your Wise balance with a wire, there’s a 4.14 USD fee to pay to Wise, on top of anything your bank charges you. Receiving an ACH to Wise in USD is free*.

Making payments with Wise US can mean using an ACH, a wire or a card. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks - often a wire is a bit more expensive than an ACH, but can be faster, while using a card can be quickest of all, but some credit cards may charge cash advance fees.

Use this guide to help you decide - before you choose which payment option is best for you, the Wise transfer quote page online or in the app will also show you all your options, including the fees and delivery estimates, so you can weigh each option in real time.

Learn more about Wise


  1. Wise Guide to USD transfers

  2. Making a Wise payment by ACH

  3. Making a Wise payment by wire transfer

  4. Making a Wise payment by card

Sources checked on 03.19.2024

*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.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location