Wise USD Account Review - 2024

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
January 25, 2024

Whether you’re travelling to the US or simply paying in US 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 US dollars and 40+ other currencies, plus get USD account details to get paid to your account in US dollars from others.

Read on for all you need to know about the Wise USD account, including the exchange rate used for switching Canadian dollars to US dollars, the fees you’ll pay and the other handy features of a Wise multi-currency account.

Wise travel card

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Wise USD account key points

  • Open your Wise account online or using the Wise app

  • Up to 20 supported currencies for top ups, including Canadian dollars and US dollars

  • Hold and exchange 40+ currencies - conversion fees from 0.43%

  • Mid-market exchange rates every time 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 in US dollars, Canadian dollars and 8 other currencies, right to your Wise account

  • No foreign transaction fees when spending overseas

Pros and cons of Wise USD account

  • Free to open a personal account, with no monthly charges to pay

  • Hold and exchange 40+ currencies alongside US dollars and Canadian dollars

  • Mid market rate for currency exchange, with low fees

  • Order an international Wise card for global spending and withdrawals, with no card order fee to pay

  • Get paid in US dollars and 9 other currencies with local bank details

  • Send money to 160+ countries, with low fees from 0.43%

  • 10 CAD fee to receive a CAD payment by SWIFT

  • 4.14 USD fee to receive a USD wire

  • ATM fees apply: 2 withdrawals to the value of 350 CAD/month free, then 1.75% + 1.5 CAD per withdrawal

  • Variable fees to convert currencies

What is a Wise USD account?

Wise offers a digital multi-currency account you can use to hold and exchange US 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 Canadian dollars or any of around 20 other currencies including US dollars, or have others send you payments using Wise account details available in 10 currencies.

Once you have a Wise account balance you can spend with your Wise debit card, send payments to 160+ countries, or withdraw back to your local Canadian account if you’d prefer. When you 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.

Read a full Wise review here.

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Can I open a Wise USD account in Canada?

Yes. Open a Wise USD account in Canada 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 a Wise USD currency balance. Here’s how to activate your Wise USD account:

  1. Download the Wise app, or open the Wise desktop site

  2. Register with your email address, or an Apple, Google or FaceBook account

  3. Follow the prompts to enter your personal details

  4. Upload your ID documents for verification

  5. Once your account is verified, tap Open in the app homepage

  6. Select Currency Balance and tap USD to open your USD account

  7. Top up your balance, complete any required security step, and start transacting

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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 US 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 US 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 US 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 Canada 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 USD accounts from Canadian banks - TD Bank and RBC.

Wise USD accountTD Bank USD account (Borderless Plan)RBC USD personal account
Availability in CanadaAvailable to personal and business customersAvailable to personal customersAvailable to personal customers
Conversion feesFrom 0.43%Preferential exchange rates for CAD - USD exchangeRBC rates apply if you need to convert USD back to CAD
Exchange rate feesNo fees; mid-market exchange rateExchange rate markups may applyExchange rate markups may apply
Other fees

10 CAD fee to receive a CAD SWIFT transfer

4.14 USD fee to receive a USD wire

4.95 USD/month, waived if you hold a balance of 3,000 USD or more

Wire transfers: 50 CAD (or equivalent) outgoing payment fee; 17.50 USD incoming payment fee

39 USD annual fee for a USD credit card

3 USD/month maintenance charge

Wire transfers: from 45 CAD (or equivalent) outgoing payment fee; 17 USD incoming payment fee, waived for transfers worth under 50 CAD

Linked Debit CardYN
Best Features

Supports 40+ currencies

Local receiving account details for 10 currencies

US bank drafts and basic cheques available for no extra costs

Hold USD in a dedicated account to send payments to others in the US

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 on the Canadian market, with 40+ currencies supported, plus exchange which uses the mid-market rate. However, major Canadian banks also often offer USD accounts which are intended for customers looking to hold a balance in USD to make digital payments to others, or for chequing services. If your regular Canadian bank offers this service, it may be worth comparing this as an option if you’ll primarily want chequing services or electronic payments, and do not need a linked bank debit card.

Wise USD account fees

Here’s a look at the costs involved in opening and using a Wise USD account.

Wise USD account
Create accountNo fee for personal customers, business customers pay a one time charge of 42 CAD for full account features
Account monthly feeNo 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 holdNo fee
Exchange rateMid market rate, low conversion fees from 0.43%
Send paymentsTransparent fees from 0.43%
Fee to receive cardNo fee
ATM fees2 withdrawals to the value of 350 CAD/month free, then 1.75% + 1.5 CAD per withdrawal
Virtual cardsNo fee

Information correct at time of writing, 4th January 2024

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 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 Canadian dollars and US dollars. You can also receive payments to your Wise account in 10 currencies, including CAD 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. There’s also a 10 CAD fee to receiving incoming CAD payments via SWIFT

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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 Canadian 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

  • Business owners who want to issue international expense cards to team members

Is a Wise USD account safe to use?

Yes. Wise is registered with FINTRAC in Canada, and overseen 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 to customers in Canada 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.

Other available currencies

Wise accounts have broad multi-currency functionality, which means you can use them to hold, send, spend and exchange US dollars alongside 40+ other currencies. There’s a broad selection of global currencies on offer, including Canadian dollars, British pounds, euros, Australian and New Zealand dollars.

Wise USD account limits

Wise Canada customers can usually hold as much as they like in their Wise accounts, without any limits imposed by Wise. In a few cases, there may be limits on how much you can receive to Wise using your personal Wise USD account details - but the limits are set at around 35 million USD/year for personal customers, allowing most people to transact freely even where an account limit is imposed.

There are also some Wise security limits on card spending, which can be viewed and adjusted in the Wise app.

Wise USD account alternatives

Having a USD account is a handy option for plenty of people, and there are a few good Canadian providers which can help if you need to hold and spend US dollars frequently. Compare the Wise USD account against an alternative from a major Canadian bank for example - both TD Bank and RBC have a selection of USD accounts for chequing and digital payments, for example. Shopping around will help you decide whether Wise or an alternative service in Canada is right for you, based on your specific transaction needs.


Wise multi-currency accounts let you manage your money in Canadian dollars and US 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 popular Canadian banks like TD Bank and RBS, to see which suits you best.

FAQ - Wise USD account

How do I open a USD account with Wise?

Wise USD accounts can be opened entirely online using a laptop or smart device. Just register your account with a local Canadian proof of address and ID, and open a USD balance within the Wise app.

What is the account limit for Wise in dollars?

Wise account balances in Canada are usually unlimited, but there are spending limits applied when you use your Wise card. These can be viewed and changed in the Wise app easily. Some Wise personal customers will find there’s a limit to the amount they can receive in USD to their account using personal USD account details - but if this applies, the cap is set high, in the region of 35 million USD a year.

How do I add US dollars to Wise?

Open a Wise USD account, and simply log in and tap Add to top up in US 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.