Pretty happy sending money with TransferWise

Recently, I had to do few transactions in Russia. Problems I encountered were the following: I still have a RUR account in Russia and a Russian card bound to it, but no money left there.

At the same time trying to pay using Canadian credit cards failed badly, since Canadian banks block any online merchants in Russia from accepting them (presumably due to excessive amount of fraud).

PayPal allows money transfers to Russia, but doesn’t allow cash withdrawals to Russian accounts.

Luckily, TransferWise appeared to be a great solution. All that is needed were either banking details in Russia or, even easier, Russian credit or debit card number. I believe there is a way to send money even without those through email link (eInterac-like way) but I didn’t explore those.

Fees were very reasonable if the amount is above $500, though they depend on payment method with direct debit from online Canadian banking account being the cheapest. On $900 transaction with direct debit my fees were less than 2%.

Two caveats to mention: transactions above 1000 CAD within 24 hours are subject to additional scrutiny (I didn’t have to do those, so not sure about all the details, was easier for me to stick to that limit); verification process is quite rigorous and a bit buggy.

If you want to try – here is my referral link – gives you a free (no-fee) transfer of up to 800 CAD.

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