facebookUltimate Digital Multi-Currency Accounts Comparison: Revolut vs Instarem vs Wise vs Wirex vs YouTrip (2021)
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Ultimate Digital Multi-Currency Accounts Comparison: Revolut vs Instarem vs Wise vs Wirex vs YouTrip (2021)

profileRebecca Liew

I’m a traditionalist in certain ways – starting with the fact that I only activate my DBS Visa Debit card for overseas use in dire times, or when I’m running low on physical foreign currency.

At least, that was until YouTrip landed in Singapore in 2018 to disrupt the traditional multi-currency accounts.

This game-changing digital multi-currency account eliminates pesky conversion fees; a promise concealed within a plastic purple card.

Since then, four other players have cropped up since with Revolut, Instarem, Wise and Wirex

These digital multi-currency accounts provide a fuss-free way to manage your foreign currencies and save you from expensive foreign exchange fees and charges.

Here’s an example. When you shop at overseas e-commerce sites like ASOS, eBay or TaoBao, you might have to pay a currency conversion fee if you are not transacting in your local currency.

This is where multi-currency accounts can help you save some money.

Source: Tenor

We will be taking a closer look at the pros and cons of each digital multi-currency account and what attractive offers they have for signing up.


TL;DR: YouTrip vs Revolut vs Instarem vs Wise vs Wirex

 InstaremRevolut (Standard Plan)Wirex (Standard)WiseYouTrip
Card Type & Mobile Payment SupportMastercardVisa

Apple Pay & Google Pay
VisaMastercard

Apple Pay & Google Pay
Mastercard
Membership TiersNone; freeStandard:
$0/month

Premium:
$9.99/month

Metal:
$19.99/month
Standard:
$0/month

Premium: $9.99/month

Elite
$29.99/month
None; freeNone; free
Supported Currencies (Buy, Store & Exchange)23:
ARS, AUD, BDT, CAD, CLP, CNY, COP, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, IDR, INR, KRW, LKR, MXN, MYR, NOK, NPR, PEN, PHP, PLN, SEK, SGD, THB, USD, VND, YER
28:
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, NOK, SEK, USD, CHF, PLN, DKK, CZK, AED, HUF, BGN, RON, SAR, RUB, MXN, ILS, HRK, QAR
12 Fiat Currencies:
SGD, AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, USD, CHF, CZK, MXN

8 Cryptocurrencies (Singapore customers):
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, WXT, DAI, Nano NANO, XLM
54:
E.g. CNY, EUR, USD,
GBP, INR, MXN, LKR, PHP, VND
10:
SGD, USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, HKD, AUD, NZD, CHF, SEK
Supported Currencies (Overseas Spend)150+ currencies150+ currencies150+ currencies150+ currencies150+ currencies
Money Remittance OptionYesYesYesYesYes
Minimum/Maximum Transaction Amount**Min.:
S$1

Max:
S$25k/transaction
S$10Crypto transfer OUT-

Per transaction: US$10,000
Per day:
US$50,000

Credit/Debit card daily spend limit:
Up to S$5,000

ATM withdrawals ($1,400/day)
Min.:
S$1

Max:
SS$1,000,000
-
Top-up Methods & FeesN.A.:
Spend is deducted directly from linked credit/debit cards

Link up to five Mastercard debit or credit cards
Credit/Debit card (free)
Bank transfer (free)
Apple Pay & Google Pay (free)

But, your bank or card issuer may charge you a fee for adding money
Credit/debit card (free)
Bank transfer (free)

But, your bank or card issuer may charge you a fee for adding money
Credit card (2.5%)
Debit card (2.7%)
PayNow (free)
Bank transfer (free)
Apple Pay & Google Pay (see credit/debit cards)

But, your bank or card issuer may charge you a fee for adding money
Credit/debit card (free):
Min. S$20
PayNow (free):
Min. S$1

But, your bank or card issuer may charge you a fee for adding money
Overseas
Transaction Fees
0% - 1%
(dynamic depends on market and currencies)
Non-SWIFT:
0.3% (Up to S$9)

SWIFT:
S$5 | S$9
(S$5 if transfer is in USD, EUR, GBP and CHF, & S$9 for other currencies)
0% (between
Wirex users only)
0.35% - 1%
(dynamic depends on forex market and currencies)
0%
Currency Conversion FeesN.A.
(no wallet feature)
0% - 2%

Forex Market Hours (9:30am to 4pm EST time):
1.0% (TBH & UAH)
0% (all other currencies)

Outside Forex Market Hours:
2.0% (TBH & UAH)
1.0% (all other currencies)
0%0.35% - 1%
(dynamic depends on forex market and currencies)
0%
ATM Withdrawal FeesN.A.Free for first S$350 (Standard members) per 30-day cycle

2% thereafter
Free for first S$400 per 30-day cycle

2% thereafter
Free for first S$350 & the first 2 withdrawals per 30-day cycle

1.75% thereafter for amounts >S$350 + S$1.50/transaction fee after first two free withdrawals
S$5 per overseas withdrawal
Card Issuance FeeFreeFree (standard delivery)Free (standard delivery)S$10Free
Card Replacement FeeFirst card is free S$9 thereafterFreeS$4S$10
Card Dormancy/Inactivity Fee -Any currency exchange transactions that exceed the >S$5,000/month limit will incur an additional 0.5% fee (standard cards)

$15,000 limit for premium

No limit for Metal
If you don’t transact using the Wirex Service for nine months up to 18 months, Wirex will charge you a storage fee to store your balances:

£/US$/€5 per month, per balance at the current prevailing exchange rate

While for cryptocurrency balances, a fee of 0.20% of the balance, of at least US$5 per month, applies
Hold more than €15,000 in EUR balance:
0.40% p.a.
-
Referral/New User PromoNew users get 75 Instapoints as a welcome bonus, and 400 Instapoints when they make their first transaction

Instapoints can be used to offset Instarem transfers amounting to at least S$500
Only a maximum 400 Instapoints can be redeemed per transaction
All Revolut cardholders can enjoy up to 20% cashback on eligible public transport spend (now till 31 Dec 2021)

New users will get $25 after making 3 transactions >$10 with the Revolut card from now till 11 Oct 2021
Both you and your friend will receive US$10 worth of WXT when you refer a friendSign up via referral links to remove or reduce the fee on your first transferSign up for YouTrip with promo code:
YTPERKS
and activate your card to receive S$5 in your YouTrip account

*Instarem users will get to enjoy 1 per cent cashback with the Instarem Amaze card on top of other card rewards for every transaction of S$5 and above. To qualify for the cashback, users will have to spend S$500 per quarter with the maximum amount of cashback capped at S$100 per quarter.

**Under the Payment Services Act (PS Act) these digital multi-currency accounts have a wallet limit of S$5,000 and an annual spend limit of S$30,000.

Find out more about each digital multi-currency wallet below. These are some things to take note of though:

  • Overseas ATM withdrawals may still incur charges by partner banks. These fees are beyond the control of digital banks.
  • Likewise, foreign merchants and retailers may also impose a Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) fee.


Instarem Singapore Review

First up we have Instarem and its Singapore subsidiary.

This cross-border digital payments provider was founded in 2014.

Like Wise, the Singapore-headquartered start-up focuses primarily on digital money remittance services. Its Visa-enabled card, AMAZE, is set for launch come December – a move that will properly pit it against its competitors.

What We Like About Instarem

  • Instarem rewards its users with Instapoints (Instarem’s internal rewards system) upon signing up, referring others people and making currency transfers and transferring money.
  • You can make transfers to China in Yuan and the US dollar.
  • Transfers are also quite speedy, taking up to two business days to process.
  • Instarem users will get to enjoy 1 per cent cashback with the Instarem Amaze card on top of other card rewards for every transaction of S$5 and above. To qualify for the cashback, users will have to spend S$500 per quarter with the maximum amount of cashback capped at S$100 per quarter.

What We Don’t Like About Instarem

  • Instarem charges foreign transaction fees that range from 0% – 1% per transaction.

Is Instarem Safe?

NIUM Pte. Ltd. (formerly known as Instarem Pte. Limited) is the holding company of NIUM and Instarem subsidiaries globally.​ NIUM’s is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as a major payment institution in Singapore under License No. PS20200276​ to provide:

  • Account Issuance Service 
  • Domestic Money Transfer Service 
  • Cross-border Money Transfer Service 
  • E-money Issuance Service.

Instarem Singapore Promo

New users get 75 Instapoints as a welcome bonus, and 400 Instapoints when they make their first transaction

Instapoints can be used to offset Instarem transfers amounting to at least S$500. Only a maximum of 400 Instapoints can be redeemed per transaction.

Revolut Singapore

The London-based digital bank was launched in 2015 and claimed that it has over 14.5 million retail users across Asia, Europe and Australia in its 2020 annual report.

The company aims to be an all-encompassing platform for personal finance management, complemented by its Visa-enabled card for everyday use.

What We Like About Revolut

  • Has multiple price plans to cater to all your currency needs.
  • Revolut is well established and has a huge client base.
  • The account’s exchange rate is mid-market and they do not charge additional fees.
  • Users get free ATM withdrawals overseas for the first S$350 (Standard members) every 30-day cycle.
  • Has features like an expense tracker.

What We Don’t Like About Revolut

  • Certain currencies like the Thai Baht (TBH) Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH) have a one to two per cent currency conversion fee depending on when you convert the currencies.
  • You’ll be charged an additional 0.5 per cent fair exchange fee if you transact more than S$5,000 per month for the standard plan.

Is Revolut Safe?

Revolut Technologies Singapore Pte. Ltd. is regulated as a major payment institution by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to providde

  • Account Issuance Service 
  • Domestic Money Transfer Service 
  • Cross-border Money Transfer Service 
  • E-money Issuance Service.

Revolut Singapore Promo

At the time of writing, the company is running a public transport cashback campaign till 31 December 2021.

All existing Revolut users who hold a card can receive up to 20% cashback on eligible (bus and MRT) public transport fares.

METHOD OF TOP UP

AMOUNT TOPPED UP

CASHBACK

Bank Top Up

SGD $100 and above

20% cashback on public transport fares

Bank Top Up

Anything less than SGD $100

2% cashback on public transport fares

Debit/ Credit Card Top Up

Any amount

2% cashback on public transport fares

Here is what you have to do.

First, you will have to top up S$100 to your Revolut account using bank transfer each calendar month.

Next, you can pay your bus or MRT fares with your physical Revolut Mastercard or your virtual Revolut Mastercard which can be added to your Google Pay or Apple Pay.

Do note that the amount that you topped up to your Revolut account can be easily withdrawn.

Revolut Singapore Referal Programme

The company is also running a referral programme for new users.

You and the friend who refers you will stand to receive S$25 each in your Revolut accounts if the referee fulfils all the following conditions before the promotion ends on 5 October 2021.

  1. Signs up using a Revolut account using a referral link from existing Revolut users.
  2. Verifies their identity (Pass KYC).
  3. Adds money by debit card or a bank transfer. Please note: internal transfers do not count.
  4. Orders a free Revolut card.
  5. Makes three card payments of at least S$10 each (can be using a virtual card while they wait for their physical one).

Wirex Singapore Review

Wirex is a borderless payment platform that lets you buy, store, exchange and spends crypto and traditional and currency anytime, anywhere.

Source: Wirex Singapore

The multicurrency Wirex Visa card lets you spend cryptocurrency in real life. Simply exchange it for traditional currency, tap your card and earn rewards.

What We Like About Wirex

  • Supports over 150 currencies, it automatically makes payments in the local currency – with zero exchange fees.
  • Earn extra with X-tras. Get up to 2% Cryptobac rewards back on both your in-store and online shopping in Wirex Token (WXT), the platform’s native crypto token.
  • Enjoy up to 6% annual Savings Bonuses on your WXT balance and a wide range of exclusive merchant offers.
  • Effortlessly buy, hold, exchange and spend your choice of traditional fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies in one handy app – and with one futuristic payment card.

What We Don’t Like About Wirex

  • Wirex only supports 12 traditional fiat currencies.
  • Unlike the other providers on this list, Wirex currently does not have a MAS license.
  • If you don’t transact using the Wirex Service for nine months up to 18 months, Wirex will charge you a storage fee to store your balances:
    • £/US$/€5 per month, per balance at the current prevailing exchange rate.
    • While for cryptocurrency balances, a fee of 0.20% of the balance, of at least US$5 per month, applies.

Is Wirex Safe?

But, you need to be aware of the risks of dealing with cryptocurrency.

As Wirex is an unregulated digital payment token (DPT) service provider, MAS regulation requires them to publish this risk warning:

Before you pay your DPT service provider any money or DPT, you should be aware of the following.

Your DPT service provider is exempted by MAS from holding a license to provide DPT services. Please note that you may not be able to recover all the money or DPTs you paid to your DPT service provider if your DPT service provider’s business fails.

You should not transact in the DPT if you are not familiar with this DPT. Transacting in DPTs may not be suitable for you if you are not familiar with the technology that DPT services are provided.

You should be aware that the value of DPTs may fluctuate greatly. You should buy DPTs only if you are prepared to accept the risk of losing all of the money you put into such tokens.

But Wirex has been given a temporary exemption to operate in Singapore under the PS Act.

The company is also currently in the midst of applying for a licence under the new PS Act.

Wirex Promo

Here’s how to take part:

  • Click on ‘Rewards’ in the Wirex app, then ‘Invite Friends’.
  • We’ll give you and the person you refer US$5 in WXT once they buy $100 of crypto through Wirex.
  • You’ll find a unique referral link that you can share with your contacts.
  • You’ll each get another $5 in WXT when the person you refer uses their Wirex card for the first time.

Wise Singapore (Formerly TransferWise Singapore)

The British money remittance provider was founded in 2011, and places emphasis on spending, sending, and receiving money based on real-time exchange rates.

What We Like About Wise

  • Hold and convert 50+ currencies in your account.
  • Wise does not charge any monthly fees or no annual card fee. Do note that there will be a one-off S$10 fee for your debit card.
  • Wise only charges a low upfront currency conversion fee and allows you to convert foreign currencies at the real exchange rate, without adding any margin.

What We Don’t Like About Wise

  • Receiving funds via USD wire transfers will incur a US$7.50 fee.
  • You cannot make withdrawals from ATMs in Singapore with your Wise card.

Is Wise Safe?

Wise Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd. is licensed by MAS as a major payment institution under the Payment Services Act 2019 (PSA) to provide:

  • Account Issuance Service 
  • Domestic Money Transfer Service 
  • Cross-border Money Transfer Service 
  • E-money Issuance Service.

Wise Singapore Promo

Sign up via referral links to remove or reduce the fee on your first transfer.

YouTrip Singapore Review

Incepted in 2016 by You Technologies Pte Ltd, YouTrip lays claim to being the first digital multi-currency account in Singapore.

The company has since branched beyond its focus on overseas transactions for travellers; the card can be used for everyday transactions, or even on public transport.

What We Like About YouTrip

  • You do not have to pay additional fees or maintain a minimum balance to keep your YouTrip account.
  • YouTrip does not charge any currency conversion fees.
  • You can use the YouTrip card as an EZ-Link card in Singapore.

What We Don’t Like About YouTrip

  • YouTrip does not offer features like sub-accounts and disposable virtual cards.
  • You will have to pay S$5 per ATM withdrawal overseas.
  • You cannot make withdrawals from ATMs in Singapore with your YouTrip card.
  • YouTrip only supports 10 fiat currencies.

Is YouTrip Safe?

You Technologies Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (“YouTrip”, “our”, “we” or “us”) is licensed by MAS as a major payment institution to provide:

  • Account Issuance Service 
  • Domestic Money Transfer Service 
  • Cross-border Money Transfer Service 
  • E-money Issuance Service. 

YouTrip Singapore Promo

Sign up for YouTrip with promo code:

YTPERKS

and activate your card to receive S$5 in your YouTrip account.


Do you carry multiple multi-currency cards, or would you rather stick to just one? Let us know!

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About Rebecca Liew
Lactose-intolerant, but also BS-intolerant. Having written for the likes of Marina Bay Sands and Time Out, I now spend my days saving up for my stationery shop retirement dream.
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