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Wise Debit Card on the Camino

laurenligreci

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
June 24' Portuguese
Hi All - I am a debit card /cash only girl, its just how I live. I transfer X amount of money from a savings on to a debit card and then use my debit card. I've been looking into using the Wise debit card for my trip in under 2 weeks. It's known to be good card for international transactions and travel. Similar to starling.

However, the fees look wicked high. I understand that there is a currency conversion, but there are also fees to add money to the card itself, this is not even being used yet.
1716400005659.png

I've not done any international travel really so this is "foreign" ;) to me

I called my current credit union and they charge a 1% foreign transaction fee for using my debit card. I have another debit card that charges 3.5%.

Would love thoughts or advice if you have any! Thanks!
 
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€46,-
Use a different payment method to transfer cash onto the card. Using a credit card does result in stupid high fees - way higher than any benefit you might get out of points on the credit card. I was able to transfer my native currency (CAD) to my Wise card using "online bill pay" for only $0.31 CAD.

Edit: the high fees for Wise also apply to debit cards, which you are using. Try the other payment methods - click "compare price" down at the bottom of your screenshot.
 
Hi All - I am a debit card /cash only girl, its just how I live. I transfer X amount of money from a savings on to a debit card and then use my debit card. I've been looking into using the Wise debit card for my trip in under 2 weeks. It's known to be good card for international transactions and travel. Similar to starling.

However, the fees look wicked high. I understand that there is a currency conversion, but there are also fees to add money to the card itself, this is not even being used yet.

I've not done any international travel really so this is "foreign" ;) to me

I called my current credit union and they charge a 1% foreign transaction fee for using my debit card. I have another debit card that charges 3.5%.

Would love thoughts or advice if you have any! Thanks!
I am unfamiliar with Wise, but you can also check out Charles Schwab. They refund all ATM fees, so they are very popular for travel. It is my "go-to" debit card for travel.
 
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I am happy with my Wise card, but as @rainswift says it is more efficient to fill your Wise account through transfer from your main account to your Wise account (rather than with a card payment).
Another advice is that is more efficient to do a single big transfer than several small ones. But a Wise account is almost useful when you receive payments in foreign currencies. Otherwise its asset is that you can choose the time when you convert (typically from US $ to €) when the conversion rate is the better for you.
Take also care than in Spain you can pay ATM fees while withdrawing money: smartphone application like ATM fee saver helps you to find cheapest ATM fees.
 
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I am unfamiliar with Wise, but you can also check out Charles Schwab. They refund all ATM fees, so they are very popular for travel. It is my "go-to" debit card for travel.
I second the suggestion of the Schwab checking account and credit card. It's really easy to transfer money from my other bank to Schwab and I have no worries about racking up a ton of ATM fees.
 
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Hi All - I am a debit card /cash only girl, its just how I live. I transfer X amount of money from a savings on to a debit card and then use my debit card. I've been looking into using the Wise debit card for my trip in under 2 weeks. It's known to be good card for international transactions and travel. Similar to starling.

However, the fees look wicked high. I understand that there is a currency conversion, but there are also fees to add money to the card itself, this is not even being used yet.
View attachment 171092

I've not done any international travel really so this is "foreign" ;) to me

I called my current credit union and they charge a 1% foreign transaction fee for using my debit card. I have another debit card that charges 3.5%.

Would love thoughts or advice if you have any! Thanks!

Whilst I personally use my Wise card extensively, for somebody coming from the USA a Charles Schwab card appears to be better.

Bear in mind that according to the screenshot you show, 75% of the charge ($15) is coming from your debit card, only 25% ($5) from Wise. And Wise does not charge for individual transactions thereafter so five euros is extremely reasonable. Yes, you do pay for cash withdrawals from ATMs, but from recollection two €300 withdrawals per month are free. As I only spent €200 a fortnight in cash when on camino I've never incurred any additional fees other than that charged by the ATMs themselves.

You may find that you can transfer the money directly from your bank account to Wise for nothing, however do remember that it normally takes several working days.
 
Use a different payment method to transfer cash onto the card. Using a credit card does result in stupid high fees - way higher than any benefit you might get out of points on the credit card. I was able to transfer my native currency (CAD) to my Wise card using "online bill pay" for only $0.31 CAD.

Edit: the high fees for Wise also apply to debit cards, which you are using. Try the other payment methods - click "compare price" down at the bottom of your screenshot.
I have a Canadian card too, I couldn’t see how to set it up as a bill payment. I main account is with RBC. So far I have be transferring using Interac which is a little more expensive, but still good..
 
Whilst I personally use my Wise card extensively, for somebody coming from the USA a Charles Schwab card appears to be better.

Bear in mind that according to the screenshot you show, 75% of the charge ($15) is coming from your debit card, only 25% ($5) from Wise. And Wise does not charge for individual transactions thereafter so five euros is extremely reasonable. Yes, you do pay for cash withdrawals from ATMs, but from recollection two €300 withdrawals per month are free. As I only spent €200 a fortnight in cash when on camino I've never incurred any additional fees other than that charged by the ATMs themselves.

You may find that you can transfer the money directly from your bank account to Wise for nothing, however do remember that it normally takes several working days.
Hi! That was the only option I saw. It’s a charge from wise, not from my debit card. I’ll keep looking for the bank transfer option, I must be missing it.
 
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I am happy with my Wise card, but as @rainswift says it is more efficient to fill your Wise account through transfer from your main account to your Wise account (rather than with a card payment).
Another advice is that is more efficient to do a single big transfer than several small ones. But a Wise account is almost useful when you receive payments in foreign currencies. Otherwise its asset is that you can choose the time when you convert (typically from US $ to €) when the conversion rate is the better for you.
Take also care than in Spain you can pay ATM fees while withdrawing money: smartphone application like ATM fee saver helps you to find cheapest ATM fees.
Thank you! I didn’t see the bank transfer option, I must be completely missing it! Will look further! Thanks for the other tips
 
Use a different payment method to transfer cash onto the card. Using a credit card does result in stupid high fees - way higher than any benefit you might get out of points on the credit card. I was able to transfer my native currency (CAD) to my Wise card using "online bill pay" for only $0.31 CAD.

Edit: the high fees for Wise also apply to debit cards, which you are using. Try the other payment methods - click "compare price" down at the bottom of your screenshot.
Will do, thanks! I didn’t see any other options but I must be missing it!
 
Will do, thanks! I didn’t see any other options but I must be missing it!
Click on the CHANGE button next to the VISA line in your screenshot.

Edit: I was incorrect earlier when I said to click "compare price" - click on CHANGE like I circled in the screenshot below. Just tested it out using my Wise app.
 

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I have a Canadian card too, I couldn’t see how to set it up as a bill payment. I main account is with RBC. So far I have be transferring using Interac which is a little more expensive, but still good..
So you select Online Bill Pay as your payment option on the Wise app.

Then Wise gives you a reference number on the next page.

You go to your banking app or online banking at RBC.

You add Wise as a payee (just like you might add your internet service provider, or a credit card from another institution, as a payee), and for the account to pay to, you use the reference number.

You use RBC's banking interface (online or app) to pay, just like you might pay a credit card bill.

Takes a day or two to go through doing it this way, but like I said, it was 31 cents as a fee, so I didn't mind.

Edit: I recommend doing this all via your phone and not using desktop online banking, including accessing your "real" bank like RBC via a phone app, as practice for when you might want to load more funds to your Wise card when on Camino. Gives you a chance to troubleshoot like you're doing now.
 
Whilst I personally use my Wise card extensively, for somebody coming from the USA a Charles Schwab card appears to be better.

Bear in mind that according to the screenshot you show, 75% of the charge ($15) is coming from your debit card, only 25% ($5) from Wise. And Wise does not charge for individual transactions thereafter so five euros is extremely reasonable. Yes, you do pay for cash withdrawals from ATMs, but from recollection two €300 withdrawals per month are free. As I only spent €200 a fortnight in cash when on camino I've never incurred any additional fees other than that charged by the ATMs themselves.

You may find that you can transfer the money directly from your bank account to Wise for nothing, however do remember that it normally takes several working days.
I am surprised a German debit card isn’t better for you than Wise when visiting Spain or am I making too many assumptions and being too simplistic? I know you are very knowledgable on this subject.
 
I am surprised a German debit card isn’t better for you than Wise when visiting Spain am I making too many assumptions and being too simplistic. Sorry if that’s a bit personal!
I use my German* debit card everywhere in Europe. I only pay local ATM charges or if I go over my maximum withdrawals per month at the ATM.

*I use N26 which has a German IBAN but is available throughout the EU.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I am surprised a German debit card isn’t better for you than Wise when visiting Spain or am I making too many assumptions and being too simplistic? I know you are very knowledgable on this subject.
Thanks, I don't know about very knowledgeable, but perhaps more knowledgeable than some.

A German debit card works very well, but for me it's about security and redundancy. A debit card connects directly to your bank account and leaves the user liable for the cost /recovery of funds following fraud, unlike a credit card where the onus is upon the bank. (There are very strong regulations on this here in Europe as pointed out elsewhere by @trecile)

A specialised travel card ( Wise, Revolut, Travelex money card, HSBC Everyday Global Travel Card etc) is not directly connected to /able to access my normal accounts and therefore immediately limits potential loss to funds held on the card. (For me a maximum of 500 euros).

I already have a Wise card (I've used it extensively elsewhere), and a Wise card can be used online in lieu of a credit card - specifically in this case for accommodation. By limiting the funds on the card and locking it when I know I'm not going to need it (eg overnight) I limit any potential risk. I further limit the risk by having a low threshold before I need to enter my PIN or approve the purchase in the app.

In New Zealand I simply use my MasterCard for ALL transactions - no matter how large or small. Whilst travelling I use my Wise card in a similar way.

Over the years I have seen too many people caught out by a temporary refusal of their card either at an ATM or as a means of payment, and many had no other option. I've also known people lose the cards, have their cards 'swallowed' on a long weekend, or have them stolen (both pickpockets and in several instances muggings). Hence I always ensure I'm carrying cards from two different Banks.

My German debit card and my NZ MasterCard are my backups (carried elsewhere). It may seem excessive, but tell that to the more than a dozen people I have helped over the years because they did not have other options.....
 
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€149,-
Hola @laurenligreci, having cash to spend on the Camino is a real problem for some travelers. Is it possible for you to get a Visa or MC Travel Money Card? I currently have a Visa version, I have it loaded with Euros and US dollars. I can withdraw cash from major bank ATMs, by limiting my withdrawals I reduce the fees charged by the owner of the ATM. The banks generally charge the lowest fees. Buen Camino.
 
Hi All - I am a debit card /cash only girl, its just how I live. I transfer X amount of money from a savings on to a debit card and then use my debit card. I've been looking into using the Wise debit card for my trip in under 2 weeks. It's known to be good card for international transactions and travel. Similar to starling.

However, the fees look wicked high. I understand that there is a currency conversion, but there are also fees to add money to the card itself, this is not even being used yet.
View attachment 171092

I've not done any international travel really so this is "foreign" ;) to me

I called my current credit union and they charge a 1% foreign transaction fee for using my debit card. I have another debit card that charges 3.5%.

Would love thoughts or advice if you have any! Thanks!
We use the WISE debit card exclusively. The fees are less then normal. Als the Travel Group I often travel with recommended it and all their guides use them around the world to pay for tour group expenses.
 
Hola @laurenligreci, having cash to spend on the Camino is a real problem for some travelers. Is it possible for you to get a Visa or MC Travel Money Card? I currently have a Visa version, I have it loaded with Euros and US dollars. I can withdraw cash from major bank ATMs, by limiting my withdrawals I reduce the fees charged by the owner of the ATM. The banks generally charge the lowest fees. Buen Camino.
If you are from USA just get a Charles Schwab card. Fees refunded. Good as it gets! Much better value than travel passport type bespoke tailored products aimed at infrequent travellers with fees. They will be more expensive than the offer that CS has.
 
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So you select Online Bill Pay as your payment option on the Wise app.

Then Wise gives you a reference number on the next page.

You go to your banking app or online banking at RBC.

You add Wise as a payee (just like you might add your internet service provider, or a credit card from another institution, as a payee), and for the account to pay to, you use the reference number.

You use RBC's banking interface (online or app) to pay, just like you might pay a credit card bill.

Takes a day or two to go through doing it this way, but like I said, it was 31 cents as a fee, so I didn't mind.

Edit: I recommend doing this all via your phone and not using desktop online banking, including accessing your "real" bank like RBC via a phone app, as practice for when you might want to load more funds to your Wise card when on Camino. Gives you a chance to troubleshoot like you're doing now.
Thanks for all the details..much appreciate…I just checked on the Wise website, and it appears this option might not be available for RBC..thanks for the edit that is good advice for all apps I think.. 😀
 
Thanks for all the details..much appreciate…I just checked on the Wise website, and it appears this option might not be available for RBC..thanks for the edit that is good advice for all apps I think.. 😀


Because I want to help you, and I notice there's something not quite right about the description of actions in what you wrote, I want to clarify. Be sure these are the steps you have taken before you conclude that RBC and Wise can't work together for online bill payment:

1. You go to the Wise website or your Wise app on your phone and log in.
2. You click on Add Money.
3. Under the section "Paying With", you click on Change.
4. You select "Online Bill Pay."
5. You click Continue.
6. The next page, on the Wise website or in your Wise phone app, gives you a Reference Number. Copy the Reference Number. Pay attention to the backup instructions. Pay attention to the total amount you should pay Wise (this should be your desired top-up amount plus 31 cents).
7. You then leave the Wise app/website. Don't close it, just open a new tab if on desktop or hit your home button if on phone. This is in case you need to refer to the backup instructions later.
8. You go and login to your RBC banking phone app or RBC website online.
9. You go to RBC's bill payment interface. This is the place where you might go to add a bill payment, like adding a credit card issued by another bank as a payee. (I don't have RBC so I don't know what exact clicks).
10. You search in the payee list for Wise. If Wise doesn't come up, follow the backup instructions mentioned earlier to add Wise as a payee.
11. You add Wise as a payee. The account number to pay is the Reference Number that you copied earlier.
12. You then use the RBC interface to pay Wise however much you want to put in. This is typically costless on the bank side, and 31 cents on the Wise side. (E.g. if you want to put $500 into your Wise account, you pay Wise $500.31).
13. In a couple of days (usually less in my experience), your Wise account updates to have $500 in it.
14. Once that happens, then you can convert the $500 CAD into Euros at your convenience. Recommend you convert into Euros at a time when the dollar is a little better performing, but also recommend doing it before your trip so your Wise is pre-loaded with Euros when you land.


To reiterate: it's not that you check the Wise website for an option to pay RBC. It's that you choose Online Bill Payment on the Wise website (or in your Wise phone app), get a Reference Number, then go to your bank's website or phone app, add Wise as a payee with the account to pay = your Reference Number from Wise.

This sounds complicated but it's really no different from adding any other kind of payee to your bank, like paying your mortgage, or your property tax, or a credit card from a different institution.

Paying Wise by E-Interac for Canadians just went up in price, so setting up Online Bill Payment is worth saving a couple of dollars per top-up, in my opinion. Even paying by Direct Debit is more expensive at $2.30. (Direct Debit is NOT the same as paying by Debit Card, paying by Debit Card is $19.20. Direct Debit is where you hook up Wise to your bank account like it's a Pre-Authorized Deposit, which I consider less safe).
 
Because I want to help you, and I notice there's something not quite right about the description of actions in what you wrote, I want to clarify. Be sure these are the steps you have taken before you conclude that RBC and Wise can't work together for online bill payment:

1. You go to the Wise website or your Wise app on your phone and log in.
2. You click on Add Money.
3. Under the section "Paying With", you click on Change.
4. You select "Online Bill Pay."
5. You click Continue.
6. The next page, on the Wise website or in your Wise phone app, gives you a Reference Number. Copy the Reference Number. Pay attention to the backup instructions. Pay attention to the total amount you should pay Wise (this should be your desired top-up amount plus 31 cents).
7. You then leave the Wise app/website. Don't close it, just open a new tab if on desktop or hit your home button if on phone. This is in case you need to refer to the backup instructions later.
8. You go and login to your RBC banking phone app or RBC website online.
9. You go to RBC's bill payment interface. This is the place where you might go to add a bill payment, like adding a credit card issued by another bank as a payee. (I don't have RBC so I don't know what exact clicks).
10. You search in the payee list for Wise. If Wise doesn't come up, follow the backup instructions mentioned earlier to add Wise as a payee.
11. You add Wise as a payee. The account number to pay is the Reference Number that you copied earlier.
12. You then use the RBC interface to pay Wise however much you want to put in. This is typically costless on the bank side, and 31 cents on the Wise side. (E.g. if you want to put $500 into your Wise account, you pay Wise $500.31).
13. In a couple of days (usually less in my experience), your Wise account updates to have $500 in it.
14. Once that happens, then you can convert the $500 CAD into Euros at your convenience. Recommend you convert into Euros at a time when the dollar is a little better performing, but also recommend doing it before your trip so your Wise is pre-loaded with Euros when you land.


To reiterate: it's not that you check the Wise website for an option to pay RBC. It's that you choose Online Bill Payment on the Wise website (or in your Wise phone app), get a Reference Number, then go to your bank's website or phone app, add Wise as a payee with the account to pay = your Reference Number from Wise.

This sounds complicated but it's really no different from adding any other kind of payee to your bank, like paying your mortgage, or your property tax, or a credit card from a different institution.

Paying Wise by E-Interac for Canadians just went up in price, so setting up Online Bill Payment is worth saving a couple of dollars per top-up, in my opinion. Even paying by Direct Debit is more expensive at $2.30. (Direct Debit is NOT the same as paying by Debit Card, paying by Debit Card is $19.20. Direct Debit is where you hook up Wise to your bank account like it's a Pre-Authorized Deposit, which I consider less safe).
I'm going to say it again - @laurenligreci just get a FREE Schwab account. No fees, no minimum balance, all ATM fees reimbursed, easy to transfer funds from another bank, no hoops to jump through!

 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I'm going to say it again - @laurenligreci just get a FREE Schwab account. No fees, no minimum balance, all ATM fees reimbursed, easy to transfer funds from another bank, no hoops to jump through!

Yeah for US pilgrims it makes a lot more sense to get Charles Schwab.

Not an option for @stewinyvr and me as Canadians, alas. If only we could take advantage!
 
I'm going to say it again - @laurenligreci just get a FREE Schwab account. No fees, no minimum balance, all ATM fees reimbursed, easy to transfer funds from another bank, no hoops to jump through!

Please listen to the above! It’s getting ridiculous now. Charles Schwab every time if you are a USA resident!
 
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Honestly, @laurenligreci, listen to your countrywomen + countrymen. Loading a Charles Schwab card with funds looks not very different from loading a Wise card in terms of "click complexity"- I was just looking at the helpful link that @trecile provided. They're both Visa Debit cards in the end. The CS has way more advantages than a Wise card in terms of conveniences and it looks like the funds are FDIC-insured, too. Wise cards are not FDIC-insured.
 
Whilst I personally use my Wise card extensively, for somebody coming from the USA a Charles Schwab card appears to be better.

Bear in mind that according to the screenshot you show, 75% of the charge ($15) is coming from your debit card, only 25% ($5) from Wise. And Wise does not charge for individual transactions thereafter so five euros is extremely reasonable. Yes, you do pay for cash withdrawals from ATMs, but from recollection two €300 withdrawals per month are free. As I only spent €200 a fortnight in cash when on camino I've never incurred any additional fees other than that charged by the ATMs themselves.

You may find that you can transfer the money directly from your bank account to Wise for nothing, however do remember that it normally takes several working days.
If your bank has the OSKA transfer system the money from your account to another account including Wise is in minutes, not days.
 
Whilst I personally use my Wise card extensively, for somebody coming from the USA a Charles Schwab card appears to be better.

Bear in mind that according to the screenshot you show, 75% of the charge ($15) is coming from your debit card, only 25% ($5) from Wise. And Wise does not charge for individual transactions thereafter so five euros is extremely reasonable. Yes, you do pay for cash withdrawals from ATMs, but from recollection two €300 withdrawals per month are free. As I only spent €200 a fortnight in cash when on camino I've never incurred any additional fees other than that charged by the ATMs themselves.

You may find that you can transfer the money directly from your bank account to Wise for nothing, however do remember that it normally takes several working days.
If your bank has the Osko (Australia) or similar near instantaneous transfer system the money from your account to another account including Wise is in minutes, not days.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
If your bank has the Osko (Australia) or similar near instantaneous transfer system the money from your account to another account including Wise is in minutes, not days.
Yeah, but I'm in Germany - hence Expat Kiwi! To say things take a little longer here is the understatement of the century. We had instant fund transfer around 35 years ago in New Zealand - because like many of these things - EFTPOS for example- it was trialed in New Zealand before being released to the rest of the world. I know, because I was working for one of the trial sites in my early 20's.

It doesn't always take days here, it's often overnight however it depends on: 1/ it has to be a working day, weekends don't count, and 2/the individual bank and the relationship between Wise and that bank. Hence why I put in that cautionary note. Better to plan for the worst and hope for the best.
 
Seems like a lot of rigamarole when you can get a Schwab card which is so easy to use.
As someone who is technically challenged I even can do Schwab with no problem. Of course when I set it up I was fortunate to find a Schwab office with 4 miles and they helped me and now I’m a pro. I keep very little in the account unless I’m traveling and easy to transfer from my credit union.
 
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Thanks for all the details..much appreciate…I just checked on the Wise website, and it appears this option might not be available for RBC..thanks for the edit that is good advice for all apps I think.. 😀
My spouse and I use the awise card. He banks with RBC and I bank with CIBC and Scotia. We have used the WISE card with all these banks. Hubby does a direct transfer from RBC and I do an etransfer from my banks.
 
Hi All - I am a debit card /cash only girl, its just how I live. I transfer X amount of money from a savings on to a debit card and then use my debit card. I've been looking into using the Wise debit card for my trip in under 2 weeks. It's known to be good card for international transactions and travel. Similar to starling.

However, the fees look wicked high. I understand that there is a currency conversion, but there are also fees to add money to the card itself, this is not even being used yet.
View attachment 171092

I've not done any international travel really so this is "foreign" ;) to me

I called my current credit union and they charge a 1% foreign transaction fee for using my debit card. I have another debit card that charges 3.5%.

Would love thoughts or advice if you have any! Thanks!
We mostly use our Wise card when we travel. We actually did a comparison one time. We transferred the same amount of money at the same ATM and the Wise card gave us a better rate with less fees.
 
I walked the Frances in April and I traveled to Asia and Mexico before that with a Wise card. I load with bank transfer which is a couple of clicks once your transfer bank is set up.

The big advantage was the virtual card when I lost my physical card. I had a back up Monzo card for withdrawals.

Fees for Wise withdrawals were super low at Abanca and Sabadell (0.75 and €1.80 respectively) - again I was withdrawing in €€ from a GBP. Other atms wanted up to €7 per transaction.

This information is only useful for other UK account holders reading this post.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I walked the Frances in April and I traveled to Asia and Mexico before that with a Wise card. I load with bank transfer which is a couple of clicks once your transfer bank is set up.

The big advantage was the virtual card when I lost my physical card. I had a back up Monzo card for withdrawals.

Fees for Wise withdrawals were super low at Abanca and Sabadell (0.75 and €1.80 respectively) - again I was withdrawing in €€ from a GBP. Other atms wanted up to €7 per transaction.

This information is only useful for other UK account holders reading this post.
The Sabadell fee would be the same for your Monzo card.

Monzo offers differing levels of fee free withdrawals per 30 day rolling outside EU countries depending on the product you buy though they have just made some major changes to their offering.
 
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Hi All - I am a debit card /cash only girl, its just how I live. I transfer X amount of money from a savings on to a debit card and then use my debit card. I've been looking into using the Wise debit card for my trip in under 2 weeks. It's known to be good card for international transactions and travel. Similar to starling.

However, the fees look wicked high. I understand that there is a currency conversion, but there are also fees to add money to the card itself, this is not even being used yet.
View attachment 171092

I've not done any international travel really so this is "foreign" ;) to me

I called my current credit union and they charge a 1% foreign transaction fee for using my debit card. I have another debit card that charges 3.5%.

Would love thoughts or advice if you have any! Thanks!
I continue to use WISE debit card extensively for travel, no issues in Spain while walking the Camino. You will find exchange cost are competitive. One off cost for a physical card then virtual use, easy and secure. Monthly cash withdrawal limit then charge above that, with wide acceptance less need for cash.
 
I did not want to have lots of credit cards or lots of cash with me while walking the Camino. My brother living Stateside suggested WISE…and he was correct. Absolutely no problem with Spanish ATMs or paying with it in stores except in places where only cash was allowed.
You can have an account with various currencies and transfer monies between them easily easily. Each transaction will appear on your mobile phone.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I am a very satisfied customer of Wise check carefully there is with Wise a cheaper option usually transfer your money to Wise by bank transfer and they do the work
 
Whilst I personally use my Wise card extensively, for somebody coming from the USA a Charles Schwab card appears to be better.

Bear in mind that according to the screenshot you show, 75% of the charge ($15) is coming from your debit card, only 25% ($5) from Wise. And Wise does not charge for individual transactions thereafter so five euros is extremely reasonable. Yes, you do pay for cash withdrawals from ATMs, but from recollection two €300 withdrawals per month are free. As I only spent €200 a fortnight in cash when on camino I've never incurred any additional fees other than that charged by the ATMs themselves.

You may find that you can transfer the money directly from your bank account to Wise for nothing, however do remember that it normally takes several working days.
£200 a fortnight!!! What do you eat ?
 
£200 a fortnight!!! What do you eat ?
?? I pay with my card??

"I only spent €200 a fortnight in cash when on Camino"

That was generally on the smaller transactions like coffee or the few occasions where the cafe wouldn't accept my card, and the Donativos. Many Albergues happily took card.
 
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I am happy with my Wise card, but as @rainswift says it is more efficient to fill your Wise account through transfer from your main account to your Wise account (rather than with a card payment).
Another advice is that is more efficient to do a single big transfer than several small ones. But a Wise account is almost useful when you receive payments in foreign currencies. Otherwise its asset is that you can choose the time when you convert (typically from US $ to €) when the conversion rate is the better for you.
Take also care than in Spain you can pay ATM fees while withdrawing money: smartphone application like ATM fee saver helps you to find cheapest ATM fees.
Hi! So I had already started this process with Wise so I wanted to put some money on the card. Do you fill it with USD or with the foreign currency? Thank you!
 
Hi! So I had already started this process with Wise so I wanted to put some money on the card. Do you fill it with USD or with the foreign currency? Thank you!
Load it with whatever currency you’re sending from (USD in your case). Then in Wise, convert it to euros.

I absolutely love Wise, FWIW.
 
Hi All - I am a debit card /cash only girl, its just how I live. I transfer X amount of money from a savings on to a debit card and then use my debit card. I've been looking into using the Wise debit card for my trip in under 2 weeks. It's known to be good card for international transactions and travel. Similar to starling.

However, the fees look wicked high. I understand that there is a currency conversion, but there are also fees to add money to the card itself, this is not even being used yet.
View attachment 171092

I've not done any international travel really so this is "foreign" ;) to me

I called my current credit union and they charge a 1% foreign transaction fee for using my debit card. I have another debit card that charges 3.5%.

Would love thoughts or advice if you have any! Thanks!
Put the money in a Charles Schwab high interest savings account. Their debit card will allow you to take money out of any ATM world-wide and refund the ATM fees at the end of each month.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Good to know! I ordered it last Monday and just got a notice that it won't be here in time for my trip. I am an absolute moron for waiting this long. Woops.
I doubt that you are a moron however might I suggest that you look at your organization and go over all details including those small details? I know for fact that I would go mad realizing that I am not in some control over my walk in terms of backpack, passport, items brought along with me. Perhaps the fact that you did NOT anticipate this question of the debit car earlier is sending you a message...
Have a great trip and Buen Camino.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Good to know! I ordered it last Monday and just got a notice that it won't be here in time for my trip. I am an absolute moron for waiting this long. Woops.
For future reference when it comes to financial cards and indeed travel insurance, only take thoughts and advice from those who are talking about what is available to USA residents. What works for UK, Italian, German folks is largely irrelevant. You have a very specific product in the USA which offer a full fee refund. It doesn’t get any better then a that.
 
Good to know! I ordered it last Monday and just got a notice that it won't be here in time for my trip. I am an absolute moron for waiting this long. Woops.
You can probably still use the Wise app (add it to your phone's tap-to-pay) for any places that take phone tap-to-pay contactless payments. You just won't be able to do anything that needs the physical card, like withdrawing Euros from an ATM.

As Jungleboy mentioned, you would use the app to load your native currency (USD). Once it's in your Wise account (ie, your balance on Wise has updated to have $XXX USD), then you use the Wise app to convert to Euros. Then, when you are in Europe, you would use tap-to-pay where available to pay in Euros (this will save money due to not converting at the point of sale using a worse conversion rate than Wise gives you).
 
For future reference when it comes to financial cards and indeed travel insurance, only take thoughts and advice from those who are talking about what is available to USA residents. What works for UK, Italian, German folks is largely irrelevant. You have a very specific product in the USA which offer a full fee refund. It doesn’t get any better then a that.
I completely understand that it doesn't get better than Chuck here in the US, I didn't realize that until it was a week bit too late. I am spoiled by a bank here that prints debit cards on site, so I didn't realize a schwab card takes 14 business days etc by the time I realized it was the right choice for me in the US.
 
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You can probably still use the Wise app (add it to your phone's tap-to-pay) for any places that take phone tap-to-pay contactless payments. You just won't be able to do anything that needs the physical card, like withdrawing Euros from an ATM.

As Jungleboy mentioned, you would use the app to load your native currency (USD). Once it's in your Wise account (ie, your balance on Wise has updated to have $XXX USD), then you use the Wise app to convert to Euros. Then, when you are in Europe, you would use tap-to-pay where available to pay in Euros (this will save money due to not converting at the point of sale using a worse conversion rate than Wise gives you).
I figured out how to add cash to it as a transfer and you're right, I can use for tap to pay. Thanks for the tip about pre-converting the monies to Euros. Thanks!
 
I doubt that you are a moron however might I suggest that you look at your organization and go over all details including those small details? I know for fact that I would go mad realizing that I am not in some control over my walk in terms of backpack, passport, items brought along with me. Perhaps the fact that you did NOT anticipate this question of the debit car earlier is sending you a message...
Have a great trip and Buen Camino.
I am a little overwhelmed as you can tell! I will be going over the rest of my details this week. I know I have passport and accommodations booked and mapped, boat booked for the spiritual, I already got euros to start me off, already have airport car booked, checked that my flights are alright, etc.

Just the pesky detail of using my debit card (sarcasm). I actually do have one train ticket left to book but can only do that with my passport in hand, which I am never home when I want to book it.

Anyway, yes, you're right, going over al the details is a priority the next 2 days.
 
I completely understand that it doesn't get better than Chuck here in the US, I didn't realize that until it was a week bit too late. I am spoiled by a bank here that prints debit cards on site, so I didn't realize a schwab card takes 14 business days etc by the time I realized it was the right choice for me in the US.
Sure don’t worry. It will be fairly small numbers anyway. Check what your current card offers ATM withdrawal wise and contactless wise. You will probably only need to make one ATM withdrawal anyway and the test can be contactless.
 
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Sure don’t worry. It will be fairly small numbers anyway. Check what your current card offers ATM withdrawal wise and contactless wise. You will probably only need to make one ATM withdrawal anyway and the test can be contactless.
My bank only charges 1% and they refund all my ATM fees, which is kinda why I didn't take it seriously! I have a backup card that charges 3.5%, I would prefer not to use that one!
 
Good to know! I ordered it last Monday and just got a notice that it won't be here in time for my trip. I am an absolute moron for waiting this long. Woops.
Wise also has the option of generating a digital card through the app to use for contactless payment and atm use via your phone.
My Wise account was hacked in Portugal by approx 2000e over a dozen transactions. Lucky all were still pending when I contacted Wise and I was fully credited. My card was suspended but I was able to instantaneously generate a new digital card via the app. You can also freeze and unfreeze your digital card at a touch of the option in the app which is a further added security.
 
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Wise also has the option of generating a digital card through the app to use for contactless payment and atm use via your phone.
My Wise account was hacked in Portugal by approx 2000e over a dozen transactions. Lucky all were still pending when I contacted Wise and I was fully credited. My card was suspended but I was able to instantaneously generate a new digital card via the app. You can also freeze and unfreeze your digital card at a touch of the option in the app which is a further added security.
Something I learned this evening..thank you.
 
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Wise also has the option of generating a digital card through the app to use for contactless payment and atm use via your phone.
My Wise account was hacked in Portugal by approx 2000e over a dozen transactions. Lucky all were still pending when I contacted Wise and I was fully credited. My card was suspended but I was able to instantaneously generate a new digital card via the app. You can also freeze and unfreeze your digital card at a touch of the option in the app which is a further added security.
You can use a digital card on an ATM? I've never done that, can you tell me how? (Is it as simple as "wave your phone at the ATM"?)
 
You can use a digital card on an ATM? I've never done that, can you tell me how? (Is it as simple as "wave your phone at the ATM"?)
It works the same as in retail and public transport etc. The atm has to have the contactless panel that you scan your digital card on with your phone. Your then required to enter the pin for your card and proceed as normal. Not all atm's have this facility and varies from bank to bank but they are becoming more common. I searched for locations of contactless atm's online.
 
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@laurenligreci Thanks for this thread! I've also been struggling with Wise; I got it because I thought it'd be as easy as the pre-paid debit cards I got for my kids when they were younger. (One click to load from my bank onto their card...) This conversation has been super helpful!
 
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@laurenligreci Thanks for this thread! I've also been struggling with Wise; I got it because I thought it'd be as easy as the pre-paid debit cards I got for my kids when they were younger. (One click to load from my bank onto their card...) This conversation has been super helpful!
I'm so glad! I am a cash and check girlie, not into all this tech to be honest. Glad you found it helpful!
 
@laurenligreci Thanks for this thread! I've also been struggling with Wise; I got it because I thought it'd be as easy as the pre-paid debit cards I got for my kids when they were younger. (One click to load from my bank onto their card...) This conversation has been super helpful!
Since you are in the US I strongly recommend a Schwab Account and debit card. It's so easy to set up, and you never have to worry about ATM fees anywhere. There's also no foreign transaction fees and no minimum balance.
 
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Since you are in the US I strongly recommend a Schwab Account and debit card. It's so easy to set up, and you never have to worry about ATM fees anywhere. There's also no foreign transaction fees and no minimum balance.
Just some 2 cents after using the wise app for a day, it really is quite cool being able to freeze the card whenever its not in use and also creating virtual cards is kind of awesome, and so is the tap ATM. I plan on freezing my wise debit card all day and unfreezing whenever I am paying something using the card, not cash.

I also created a virtual card and am linking that virtual card to my booking.com account and putting my nightly accommodations money on that card.

Just wanted to share some of the cool features of Wise. I am not sure if that is available on Schwab!
 
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I can freeze my Schwab debit card on the app. In fact I can do this with all of my credit and debit cards. It's pretty standard now. Last year I only used the "tap" function to withdraw cash from ATMs, eliminating any worry about the machine "eating" my card. Up until today I had always done it with my actual card, but today I used the card via the wallet app on my phone at the ATM and it worked perfectly! I already use my phone to pay for things with my credit card, now I know that I can also leave my debit card in my wallet.

BTW, this was at an IberCaja ATM, and the fee was the lowest I've seen in Spain - €2.05. But of course I'll be refunded that amount by Schwab, and also the multiple €7 fees I've incurred at Caixa and Santander ATMs.
 
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I can freeze my Schwab debit card on the app. In fact I can do this with all of my credit and debit cards. It's pretty standard now. Last year I only used the "tap" function to withdraw cash from ATMs, eliminating any worry about the machine "eating" my card. Up until today I had always done it with my actual card, but today I used the card via the wallet app on my phone at the ATM and it worked perfectly! I already use my phone to pay for things with my credit card, now I know that I can also leave my debit card in my wallet.

BTW, this was at an IberCaja ATM, and the fee was the lowest I've seen in Spain - €2.05. But of course I'll be refunded that amount by Schwab, and also the multiple €7 fees I've incurred at Caixa and Santander ATMs.
This sounds awesome! I am new to this whole app debit card thing (hard to believe I am only 30 LOL) and this whole using a virtual card at an ATM sounds awesome too. I might practice before I go.

Thanks for sharing your experience with Schwab, sounds like the real winner for USA folks like myself.
 
This sounds awesome! I am new to this whole app debit card thing (hard to believe I am only 30 LOL) and this whole using a virtual card at an ATM sounds awesome too. I might practice before I go.

Thanks for sharing your experience with Schwab, sounds like the real winner for USA folks like myself.
Right on cue I just went into a shop to buy something, and payment declined as my card was frozen!! Done this about 10 times this week normally when there is a big queue behind me!

But yes this is a pretty standard feature certainly from a UK standpoint. Other stuff includes setting contactless limits per transaction and also setting how often you want to be asked for your PIN.
 

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