It’s never nice to get charged more than you were expecting. There are three main reasons this could happen when you use a card to pay for a transfer.
The bank that issued your card has charged an extra fee — often called a ‘cash advance’
Some banks charge an extra fee when you use your card for a transfer. It works like this:
When you pay for your transfer, Wise assigns a number called a Merchant Category Code (MCC) to your payment. MCCs help financial institutions categorise the kind of payment they’re processing.
Wise passes this MCC on to your bank — it’s always 4829 or 6012, which indicates that your payment is a ‘wire’ or ‘money order’.
Once the MCC we’ve assigned reaches your bank, they can choose how to charge for it. Some banks charge a fee for certain MCCs.
For instance, banks sometimes charge your transfer as a ‘cash advance’ or ‘cash withdrawal’. And this could come with an extra charge.
Wise doesn’t support this practice. But unfortunately, we have no control over it. It’s totally at the discretion of the bank that issued your card.
Tip: Call your bank and check how they charge for the MCC assigned to your payment. If they’ve charged it as a cash advance or cash withdrawal, ask them why — and explain that the payment was not cash-related. They may be able to help.
The card was in a different currency than the currency you sent from
Here’s an example: imagine you’ve sent GBP to USD. But the card you used was linked to a bank account that holds EUR.
Because the currency you paid with (EUR) was different to the currency you sent from (GBP), your bank converts your money when you pay, and uses its own exchange rate. This is not the Wise rate, and we have no control over it. It’s likely to add an extra cost on top of your Wise fee.
Tip: Always pay with a card that uses the same currency as the currency you’re sending from.
You’ve used a more expensive card — like a credit or corporate card
Here’s an example: imagine you set up your transfer on Wise. You choose to pay with your debit card, and we show you the fee upfront. But when you actually pay, you enter the details of your credit card.
Your transfer will still go through. But because you paid with a different type of card, you might be charged differently. That’s because in some countries, different cards have different fees on Wise. Generally, credit cards and corporate cards might be more expensive. If this happens, we’ll send you a notification telling you how you’ve been charged.
Tip: We’ll always show you our fees clearly and transparently — and it may be cheaper to use a consumer debit card.