Need to send money around the world? Moving cash between your own global bank accounts, or paying international businesses who don’t take cards, is typically expensive and difficult to do from a smartphone.
Not so with Transferwise. The app (and accompanying site) make the process surprisingly easy, and since you get the mid-market exchange rate, it’s cheaper as well. The company charges between 0.5 and 1% per transaction, and no fixed fees makes it affordable to transfer even small amounts.
All major currencies are supported, repeating a transfer can be done with a couple of taps, and the app tells you where your money is every step of the way. Most transfers only take one or two business days to complete.
Takeaway: Transferwise is a simpler, faster and cheaper way of sending money around the world.
Free on iOS and Android
2) Trail Wallet
Tracking travel expenses is a hassle. We’ve all got better ways to spend our vacation time than dealing with currency conversions while noting down dozens of expenses every day.
Trail Wallet takes the pain out of the experience, with a clean, simple interface, and several features that set it apart. The app can handle multiple trips, tracking expenses in any of 200+ currencies, and exchange rates update as needed. A quick-add button lets you add a new purchase in seconds, expenses can be spread out over multiple days, and categories and tags allow for a detailed cost breakdown.
Budgets can be set and monitored, and all data can be automatically backed up online and exported for use elsewhere.
Takeaway: Trail Wallet takes the hassle out of tracking travel expenses.
Free for up to 25 items on iOS $4.99 after that
Keeping on top of the latest financial news is difficult enough in daily life, never mind when you’re traveling. The Bloomberg+ app brings breaking news to your phone screen across 45+ financial and other categories, and you can add your own holdings and specific companies to a watchlist to get updates on those as well.
There’s detailed company information, audio and live video, plus market data for stocks, bonds, futures and more. Personalization is easy, and you can customize everything from the home screen to individual markets.
Takeaway: Bloomberg+ is the best way to stay on top of breaking news while on the move.
Free on iOS and Android
Between high fees and terrible exchange rates, taking money out of ATMs and using credit and debit cards overseas can be a costly exercise. If you’re a European resident, Revolut’s app and card slash the costs and ease the process of spending your money internationally.
Using the Mastercard-branded card gives you the real exchange rate, with no fees for in-store or online use. ATM withdrawals incur no charges for the first £500 or equivalent, and topping up your account is free when done via bank transfer or debit card.
The app lets you top up your account, and send money to any other Revolut customer for free. It’s quick and painless, and can save a small fortune over the course of an extended trip.
Takeaway: Revolut cuts the cost of spending your own money overseas.
Free on iOS andAndroid