How to use the Wise card in Malaysia- 2024

Claire Millard
Minami Ishii
Last updated
15 March 2024

Malaysia is our closest neighbour - so a quick trip across to JB, or a short flight up to KL is commonplace for many of us. But how about spending while you’re on your travels? Whether you’re just hopping over the causeway to treat yourself to some great food and a massage, heading to KL for work, or off to travel more widely for a summer vacation, you’ll need to spend in Malaysian ringgit.

Pop a Wise multi-currency card in your pocket before your trip, to spend conveniently in ringgit with low costs, some free ATM withdrawals and the mid-market exchange rate. Read on for all you need to know about how to use the Wise card in Malaysia.

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Table of contents:

Is it possible to use my Wise card in Malaysia?

Yes. You can spend safely and conveniently in ringgit with a Wise card.

If you spot a great exchange rate or if you want to see your travel budget in advance you’ll be able to convert your dollars to ringgit before you go - or you can add SGD and let the card automatically convert for you with the lowest possible fees when you pay. You’ll get the mid-market exchange rate with no foreign transaction fee in either case - and you won’t get caught out by dynamic currency conversion (DCC). Avoiding this tricky fee can keep your costs down significantly.

DCC is where you’re asked if you want to pay in SGD instead of the local currency wherever you are. It’s positioned as a service as you can see what you’re paying in dollars instantly without having to do a conversion - but actually you’re likely to get a poor rate and pay higher fees if you agree to pay in dollars.

Use a Wise card to add a balance in the currency you need, or let the card do the conversion for you so you always pay in the local currency - that’s ringgit if you’re in Malaysia - to keep down costs in the end.

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About the Wise card

So what is a Wise card after all? Wise is a non-bank alternative provider which is licensed and regulated by MAS in Singapore. The Wise card is an international debit card which is linked to a digital multi-currency account you can use to spend in 150+ countries, with mid-market rate currency conversion and low, transparent fees. This guide walks through how the Wise card works - and how it can help you during your trip to Malaysia.

One quick note on Wise accounts in Singapore - before we go on, it's good to know that there are limits to the amount you can hold or send from your Wise Singapore account:

  • You can not hold more than the equivalent of 5,000 SGD in a Wise personal account at the end of any business day

  • You can not send or spend more than 30,000 SGD or the equivalent in a 12 month period.

These limits do not apply to Wise business accounts, or to balances help with Wise in Interest or Stocks.

Learn more about Wise account (Singapore) hold and spend limits here.

How does the Wise card work?

To order a Wise card you’ll first need to register a Wise Account - which can be done online or in the Wise app, without needing to leave home. Use your ID document or Singpass to get verified and order your Wise card for delivery to your home. Add money to your account in dollars using a bank transfer or card, and then you can either convert to MYR in your account or just leave your balance in SGD to convert when you pay.

It’s free to spend any currency you hold in your Wise account using your Wise card, and you’ll also get some free international ATM withdrawals every month for those times when you really need some cash in your hand.

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Fees and costs when using the Wise card in Malaysia

Wise cards have a one time order fee, but no ongoing costs or minimum balance requirement. You’ll also be able to make some ATM withdrawals every month before the Wise ATM fee kicks in - we’ll explore how that works next.

First, here’s a rundown of the most important Wise card fees for Malaysia:

ServiceWise card fee
Order a Wise card8.5 SGD
Optional express delivery From 16 SGD
Spend a currency you holdFree
Spend in a currency you don’t hold Currency conversion fees from 0.43%
Order a replacement card

No fee to replace an expiring card

4 SGD for a replacement at any other time

Fees correct at time of writing - 12th March 2024. Find more on the Wise card fee information page

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How to withdraw money in Malaysia with a Wise card

You can make cash withdrawals from ATMs in Malaysia as easily as you would at home:

  1. Find a convenient ATM which supports the network your Wise card is issued on (Visa or MasterCard)

  2. Insert your card and select the option to make a withdrawal

  3. Enter the amount you want to withdraw

  4. Enter your PIN for security

  5. Your money will be dispensed and your card will be returned

Wise ATM withdrawal limits

When you get your Wise card, there are default monthly ATM and spending limits set. There’s a monthly limit, which is set to the same as your daily limit initially - but you can change this in the app easily if you’d prefer to.

The default Wise Singapore ATM limit is as follows:

Monthly ATM limit
Singapore Wise card7,000 SGD

If you want to change your limits - for example, to set a lower daily limit for ATM use - you can do so in the Wise app:

  1. Open the app and go to the Card tab - tap Limits

  2. Choose the limit you’d like to change -  ATM withdrawals - and tap on Change your spending limits

  3. Enter your chosen limits and tap Save

You’ll be able to withdraw up to 350 SGD a month, in 2 withdrawals, with no Wise fee.

Wise card ATM withdrawal fees

Here’s what you need to know about Wise Singapore card ATM fees:

Wise Singapore card fee
Up to 2 ATM withdrawals a month, to the value of 350 SGD Free
ATM withdrawals once free allowance is exhausted1.5 SGD + 1.75% of the withdrawal value 

Fees correct at time of writing - 12th March 2024

These are the Wise fees for using an ATM overseas. Bear in mind that the ATM operator may also add a fee - which is usually shown on the screen. If you spot a fee notification it may be worth finding another convenient terminal nearby.

You’ll also need to watch out for DCC when using an ATM. If you see a message flash up offering you the option to pay in SGD instead of MYR, say no. This is DCC again, which we touched on earlier. Pay in the local currency - so MYR in Malaysia - to get the best overall deal and the lowest possible costs.

How to get a Wise card: step by step

Ordering a Wise card is easy and can be done in a few taps once you have opened and verified a Wise Account. To get your Wise account set up you’ll just need your phone or laptop, and either Singpass or your ID and a proof of address. Follow the prompts to upload images of your documents, or allow Singpass to prefill the form for you, and you’ll be good to go. Once you have a live Wise account you can order a Wise card on the app or by logging into your account online.

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On the app

Here’s how to request a card through the Wise app:

  1. Log into your Wise account on the Wise app

  2. Tap the Cards tab

  3. Tap the Order card option

  4. Follow the prompts to confirm your address and pay the card order fee

On the site

Here’s how to request a card through the Wise desktop site:

  1. Visit the Wise desktop site and log into your Wise account

  2. Click the Cards tab

  3. Click the Order card option

  4. Follow the prompts to confirm your address and pay the card order fee

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How do I activate my Wise card outside Singapore?

There’s no specific activation step to use your Wise card, but before you can make contactless payments, you’ll need to activate the contactless feature on the card by making a Chip and PIN purchase, or insert your card and enter your PIN in an ATM. This is a security measure as it proves that whoever has the physical card has also got access to the PIN which is available by logging into Wise using 2 factor authentication.

Bear in mind that you can’t make a cash withdrawal in Singapore, but you can still activate your card by using it to make an ATM balance enquiry instead.

How do I add money on the Wise card?

The Wise card is a debit card which means that before you can use it you need a balance in the linked account. Then, when you spend, your purchase cost is automatically deducted from your account balance in real time.

Add a balance to your Wise account in SGD and then either convert to MYR before your trip if you would like to, or just leave in SGD and let the card do the conversion for you when you pay or make a cash withdrawal.

Here’s how to add money to your Wise card:

  1. Log into your Wise account online or in the Wise app

  2. Select the currency balance you want to top up

  3. Tap Add

  4. Confirm the currency you want to pay with

  5. Enter the amount you want to top up and select a payment method

  6. Check everything over, confirm and follow the prompts to complete the payment

Is it safe to use the Wise card in Malaysia?

Yes. Wise is regulated locally by MAS, and as a global business it’s also overseen by other regulatory authorities, including the Central Bank in Malaysia. That makes it safe to use in Malaysia or wherever else your travels take you.

As a digital first provider, Wise also has other security features built into the app - view your account balance, get transaction notifications, and freeze or unfreeze your card if you ever need to, in just a couple of taps.

Read also: Is Wise safe?
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Use Google Pay or Apple Pay and spend with your phone

Your physical Wise card should be with you in just 3 working days once you order it and pay the one time fee. If you can’t wait to start spending, you can also instantly generate a Wise virtual card in the Wise app Cards tab as soon as your physical card order has been confirmed.

Once you have a Wise digital card you can just add it to your preferred wallet - like Apple Pay or Google Pay - and tap to pay in stores here and abroad, or for shopping online.

Advantages of using the Wise card in Malaysia

The Wise multi-currency card can be a smart way to keep down your costs while you travel in Malaysia. You’ll get the mid-market rate for currency conversion and you don’t pay a foreign transaction fee when you spend. Plus you can get some free international ATM withdrawals for when only cash will do.

Here are a few tips on how to use your Wise travel card during your trip to Malaysia:

  • Top up in Singapore dollars and you can switch over to ringgit in advance if you spot a good exchange rate

  • You don’t have to convert in advance if you don’t want to - leave your money in dollars and you still get the mid-market rate when you pay

  • Remember to always pay in the local currency wherever you are, to avoid DCC costs

Conclusion: is it worth using your Wise card in Malaysia?

Use the Wise travel card for spending in Malaysia, with the mid-market rate and low, transparent fees, which can cut your costs overall, and make spending secure and convenient.

Wise cards have no ongoing fees to pay, so you can add money in SGD when you want to - and spend instantly in Malaysia and beyond. Convert your money in advance before you travel, or just let the card do it for you with the lowest available fee and the mid-market exchange rate, whenever you withdraw or spend.

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How to use the Wise card in Malaysia- FAQ

How can I use my Wise card in Malaysia?

Make contactless payments and ATM withdrawals in Malaysia just as easily as you would with a bank card. Payments are secure, and it's free to spend any currency you have in your account. If you don’t have a balance in ringgit the card can convert for you instantly when you pay, with the mid-market rate and low fees.

Where can I use my Wise card in Malaysia?

Use your Wise card in Malaysia anywhere the card’s network is supported. Just look out for the Mastercard or Visa logo on ATMs or at payment terminals in stores and restaurants.

How can I withdraw money with my Wise card in Malaysia?

Make cash withdrawals in ringgit when you travel in Malaysia, by inserting your card into an ATM that supports your card network, entering your PIN and selecting the amount you want to withdraw. Remember to pay in the local currency to avoid extra costs due to DCC.