Wise USD Account Review 2023
Whether you’re travelling to the US or simply paying in dollars for your online shopping, a USD account can make transacting internationally cheaper and more convenient. With a Wise USD account you can hold, send and spend dollars and 40+ other currencies, plus get USD account details to get paid to your account in dollars from others.
Read on for all you need to know about the Wise USD account, including the exchange rate used for switching ringgit to dollars, the fees you’ll pay and the other handy features of a Wise multi-currency account.
Wise USD account key points
Open your Wise account online or using the Wise app
Up to 20 supported currencies for top ups, including ringgit (for Malaysian residents only) and dollars
Hold and exchange 40+ currencies conversion fees from 0.43%
Mid-market exchange rates when you need to switch from one currency to another
Send money to 160+ countries, often instantly
Linked Wise international debit card to spend and withdraw in 150+ countries
Get paid internationally in dollars, Malaysian ringgit and 7 other currencies, right to your Wise account
No foreign transaction fees when spending from your account overseas
Pros and cons of Wise USD account
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of Wise USD account in detail:
|Pros and cons of Wise USD account|
What is a Wise USD account?
Wise offers a digital multi-currency account you can use to hold and exchange dollars as well as 40+ other currencies, with a linked card for international payments, and easy ways to send and receive a selection of currencies.
Add money to your Wise account from your bank or card, in ringgit or any of around 20 other currencies including dollars, or have others send you payments using Wise account details available in 9 currencies. It’s worth noting that it’s only possible to top up your Wise account in ringgit if you’re a Malaysian resident with a personal Wise account.
Once you have a Wise account balance you can spend with Wise debit card, send payments to 160+ countries, or withdraw back to your local Malaysian account if you’d prefer. Any time you need to switch between currencies, you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate with no markup and low fees from 0.43%. That can make Wise a cost effective way to spend when you're overseas or when shopping online in foreign currencies.
Can I open a Wise USD account in Malaysia?
Yes. Open a Wise USD account in Malaysia online or through the Wise app. Accounts are available for both personal and business customers.
How can I activate a USD account in Wise?
Wise accounts offer an entirely digital opening and onboarding process - so there’s no need to visit a physical location, and you can set everything up online or in the Wise app.
To start using a Wise dollar account you’ll need to register an account and open Wise USD currency balance. Here’s how to activate your Wise USD account:
Download the Wise app, or open the Wise desktop site
Register with your email address, or an Apple, Google or FaceBook account
Follow the prompts to enter your personal details
Upload your ID documents for verification
Once your account is verified, tap Open in the app homepage
Select Currency Balance and tap USD to open your USD account
Top up your balance, complete any required security step, and start transacting
When is a Wise USD account needed?
Having a Wise USD account can make it cheaper and more convenient to receive, hold, send and spend dollars.
If you’re a personal customer you can use your Wise USD account to pay when you travel to the US, or when you shop online and pay in dollars. It’s also handy if you need to send payments in USD - for planned travel or as a gift for friends or family, for example. Plus if you’re a freelancer or get paid by your employer in dollars, you can use your Wise account details to get paid easily in USD right to your account.
Business customers get all the same features personal customers do, plus some extras like batch payment solutions which can help save time by allowing you to send money to up to 1,000 people at once. Use your Wise business USD account to get paid through PSPs and marketplace platforms, send payments easily to suppliers and staff, and issue your team linked Wise expense cards to help them manage their international business spending.
How does the Wise USD account compare?
If you’re based in Malaysia you’ve got a few different options when it comes to opening a USD account. Shopping around is the best way to pick the right account for your needs. To start off the process, let’s take a look at the Wise USD account vs a couple of popular Malaysian banks which offer USD accounts: RHB and Maybank.
|Wise USD account||RHB USD account||Maybank USD account|
|Availability in Malaysia||Available to personal and business customers||Available to personal and business customers||Available to personal and business customers|
|Conversion fees||From 0.43%||RHB rates apply which may include a markup||Maybank rates apply which may include a markup|
|Exchange rate fees||No fees; mid-market exchange rate|
RHB rates apply which may include a markup
1% fee may apply when you spend with your card in a currency you don’t hold in your account
|Maybank rates apply which may include a markup|
13.7 MYR fee to get a card
4.14 USD fee to receive a USD wire
200 USD minimum deposit
20 MYR annual card fee
Up to 12 MYR to make an overseas withdrawal
|4 USD transaction charge|
|Linked Debit Card||Y||Y||N|
Supports 40+ currencies
Local receiving account details for 9 currencies
Interest bearing accounts offered
Several different account types depending on your preferences
Good range of Malaysian banking services
Comparing a few different USD account options makes sense, so you’ll know you’re getting the best option for your specific needs. Wise offers one of the most flexible accounts in the Malaysian market, with 40+ currencies supported, plus exchange which uses the mid-market rate. The foreign currency accounts from Malaysian banks may be somewhat more geared towards investing in foreign currencies, which is great if you’re looking to earn interest and use your foreign currency balance to diversify your overall investment portfolio, but may mean high minimum deposit amounts and a less flexible account product.
Wise USD account fees
Here’s a look at the costs involved in opening and using a Wise USD account.
|Wise USD account|
|Create account||No fee for personal customers|
|Account monthly fee||No fee|
|Fee to receive payments in USD|
No fee to receive ACH transfers
4.14 USD fee to receive a USD wire
|Fee to spend a currency you hold||No fee|
|Exchange rate||Mid market rate, low conversion fees from 0.43%|
|Send payments||Transparent fees from 0.43%|
|Fee to receive card||13.7 MYR for personal customers|
|ATM fees||2 withdrawals to the value of 1,000 MYR/month free, then 1.75% + 5 MYR per withdrawal|
|Virtual cards||No fee|
Information correct at time of writing, 4th July 2023
Learn more about Wise fees.
Wise USD exchange rate
Wise is transparent about its fees and costs. That means that when you convert currencies you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate, with any applicable fees split out so you can easily check and compare them. The mid-market rate is the one you find on Google or with a currency conversion calculator, with no extra charges rolled up in it.
How does the Wise USD account work?
Opening and using the Wise USD account is pretty straightforward and requires nothing more than your phone. Here’s how it works.
Account Creation: Create your Wise account online or in the Wise app, upload images of your normal ID and proof of address documents and you’re ready to go
Fund Transfers: Top up your Wise account in any of around 20 currencies, from your normal bank account or card, or with a mobile wallet like Apple Pay
Sending and Receiving Payments: Send transfers to 160+ countries, in 40+ currencies including ringgit and dollars. You can also receive payments to your Wise account in 9 currencies, including MYR and USD. It’s free to receive a USD payment by ACH, but there’s a 4.14 USD fee to receive a USD wire
How to use the USD account abroad
Wise USD accounts come with an optional linked debit card, which means you can easily spend and withdraw funds from your account at home and abroad. You’ll also be able to manage your money on the move right from the Wise app, with an account overview option and instant transaction notifications.
What is the eligibility for a Wise USD account?
Wise USD accounts are available for Malaysian customers aged over 18, with a valid proof of ID and address. Wise accounts are also available in a broad selection of other countries, although the features and fees may vary slightly based on your location.
Who is it good for?
Wise USD accounts can be handy for many people, including:
Travellers looking to spend and make cash withdrawals overseas
People who shop online with international retailers
Contractors, freelancers, and anyone getting paid in foreign currencies
People who need to send payments internationally
Learn more: How to open a Wise account in Malaysia
Is a Wise USD account safe to use?
Yes, Wise is safe. Wise is overseen and regulated by the Bank Negara Malaysia in Malaysia, and by a selection of other global regulatory bodies around the world. As a fully digital provider, Wise has also invested in industry standard security measures to keep customers and their accounts safe.
Wise USD accounts are available in Malaysia and most other countries globally, for customers with a valid proof of address and ID. The Wise international debit card is issued on either the Visa or Mastercard network, and can be used in 150+ countries, wherever you see your card’s network logo.
Learn more: How to get a Wise card in Malaysia.
Other available currencies
Wise accounts have broad multi-currency functionality, which means you can use them to hold, send, spend and exchange dollars alongside 40+ other currencies. There’s a broad selection of global currencies on offer, including ringgit, euros and Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars. If you’re a Malaysian resident you’ll be able to get MYR bank details to receive payments directly to your Wise account in MYR if you need to, as well.
Wise USD account limits
If you have a Wise Malaysia account there’s a 20,000 MYR limit to how much you can hold in your Wise account. This limit applies to your total balance across all currencies held with Wise. There are also limits - for security reasons - to the value of transactions you can make, on a single transaction, daily and monthly basis.
Wise USD account alternatives
Having a USD account is a handy option for plenty of people, and there are a few Malaysian banks which can help if you want to invest in USD or if you need to hold and spend dollars frequently. Compare the Wise USD account against an alternative like Maybank or RHB, to see which might suit you best.
Wise multi-currency accounts let you manage your money in ringgit and dollars alongside each other, plus you can also hold, send, spend and receive a good selection of other currencies in the same account. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate with low fees from 0.43% whenever you need to convert funds to send a payment or spend with your card, which can keep costs down - and accounts are entirely digital which is convenient when you’re travelling. Compare the Wise USD account against a couple of other popular Malaysian banks which have USD foreign currency accounts, to see which suits you best.
FAQ - Wise USD account
Wise USD accounts can be opened entirely online using a laptop or smart device. Just register your account with a local Malaysian proof of address and ID, and open a USD balance within the Wise app.
If you have a Wise Malaysia account there’s a 20,000 MYR limit to how much you can hold in your Wise account. This limit applies to your total balance across all currencies held with Wise. There are also spending limits applied when you use your Wise card. These can be viewed and changed in the Wise app easily.
Open a Wise USD account, and simply log in and tap Add to top up in dollars or another supported currency. You can also get local USD account details, and give them to anyone who needs to send you money in dollars.
General advice: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own personal situation and requirements before making any financial decisions. We compare currency exchange and money transfer services in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. We only display reputable companies which we have researched and approved.