Can I use the Wise card in Bhutan in 2024?

If you’re planning a trip to Bhutan - or planning to move there to live, work or study - you’ve got an exciting time ahead. As the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) is the official currency in Bhutan you’ll need to find convenient ways to spend in BTN while you’re there.

This guide walks through how to use the Wise card in Bhutan for convenient and secure transactions, and offers some handy hints about making your money go further when you’re abroad.

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
26 March 2024

Can I use the Wise card in Bhutan?

If you are a resident of Singapore and have a Wise card - or if you’re thinking of getting one - you’re probably wondering: can I use my Wise card to pay for things in Bhutan?

The answer is yes, you can use the Wise card for everyday spending in Bhutan. You can use the card to pay for things in Bhutanese Ngultrums with competitive exchange rates and low transaction fees. This guide walks through how you’ll be able to use your Wise card to help manage your travel spending.

How to order a Wise card

It’s easy to order your Wise card in Singapore, and the whole process can be done from your phone or laptop. The most convenient option is to download the Wise app and get your Wise card that way. Here’s how:

  1. Register a Wise Account in the Wise app, using your email address, Apple, Facebook or Google ID

  2. Complete the verification step by snapping a photo of your ID and proof of address documents and uploading them

  3. Add some money to your account in your preferred currency - there are various ways to pay, which you’ll see in the app

  4. Navigate to the Cards tab and select the option to order your Wise card

  5. Follow the prompts to add or confirm your shipping address, and your card will arrive in the mail

Can I get the Wise card in Bhutan?

Unfortunately, the Wise card is not yet available for residents of Bhutan. You may find that Revolut is a better option for residents; check whether Revolut is available below.

See alternatives to Wise

What happens if I move to Bhutan?

You can continue using your Wise card until it expires, but you will not be issued a new card as Wise does not offer the card in Bhutan. You may be able to continue using other Wise services, such as money transfers.

An alternative to Wise in Bhutan: Revolut

Different account plansDifferent account plans30+ currencies30+ currenciesVisa debit cardVisa debit card
  • Spend in BTN when visiting Bhutan ✅

  • Not available to residents of Bhutan ❌

  • Trade crypto, stocks and commodities in your Revolut account 💰

Choose the Revolut account plan that suits your spending needs, including options with no monthly fees and others which have ongoing charges but unlock extra features. All accounts have a linked debit card - although the specific card you get may vary based on the account you pick.

Will my ATM card work in Bhutan?

While your ATM card will work in Bhutan it’s useful to know that cash is still the preferred payment method for many merchants.

You’re unlikely to be able to use your card in smaller stores and restaurants, so carrying cash is essential.

Carrying a low cost ATM card when you’re in Bhutan is still a smart idea, so you can take out cash when you do find an ATM. You may also be able to use your card in larger hotels or restaurants, particularly in tourist areas.

However, keeping some cash on you at all times, as well as your card or cards is a smart plan, so you’re prepared no matter what happens.

How can I avoid ATM fees in Bhutan?

Don’t pay more than you need to when using an ATM. Here are some hints to avoid unexpected ATM fees in Bhutan:

  • Get a low cost ATM card which offers some free or cheap international withdrawals

  • Always pay in the local currency when you withdraw - this avoids additional charges and poor exchange rates offered by an ATM

  • Check if there’s a fixed cost per transaction for your ATM card. This might mean that making fewer, larger withdrawals is cheaper

  • Watch the ATM screen for warnings of extra fees the ATM operator may add - if there are going to be extra charges you may want to find an alternative terminal

Tips for saving on your travel budget for Bhutan

Make the most of your money so you can do more on your trip to Bhutan. Here are some travel budget tips:

  • Pay for your luggage when you book your flight - this is cheaper than at the airport

  • Don’t exchange currency at the airport or your hotel, as this is often the most expensive place

  • Always pay in the local currency

  • Keep a few different payment methods on you at any time, just in case you need a backup plan

  • Get a travel card which has good exchange rates and low or no cost ATM withdrawals overseas

What is the best currency to take to Bhutan?

The Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) is the official currency in Bhutan.

You can exchange your SGD before you leave Singapore if you’d like - but bear in mind that you won’t be able to spend SGD in Bhutan. If you arrive with cash in your pocket you’ll need to exchange it locally, which may come with unexpected costs, and take time out of your trip unnecessarily.

A better plan for lots of people is to get a travel card for spending in BTN while in Bhutan, with low costs and secure transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm visiting Bhutan soon, will Wise be ok for the trip?

The Wise card will be OK for your trip to Bhutan. Use your Wise card in Bhutan to get low cost currency conversion and cash withdrawals, and to keep your budget down overall.

Can I use Wise after moving to Bhutan?

Unfortunately, the Wise card is not yet available for residents of Bhutan, so if you're planning on relocating you may need to consider alternatives.

Is Wise card good for international travel?

Using the Wise card when you’re spending overseas can mean you get a better exchange rate and lower overall costs. Explore your card’s features and fees carefully to make sure you can get the most of it when travelling abroad.

How long does it take to order a travel money card in Singapore?

The delivery time for a travel card in Singapore can vary a lot depending on the provider you pick. Get ready in advance so you’ve got your card in good time before your trip to Bhutan.

Our data sources

The information in this article is correct as of 20/02/2024. We retrieved Wise's and Revolut's card coverage from the following sources: