Fortune favours the savvy: Spice up your Lunar New year prep with Wise’s money saving tips

Lunar New Year is often jam packed with feasting, traditions and quality time with loved ones. In the lead up to the festivities, whether you’re buying new clothes, sprucing up your space with festive decor, or hunting down limited edition items, the preparations can often take a global twist. 

Here, it’s essential to consider currency conversion to understand the actual cost of purchasing items that are not in your home currency. For instance, if you’re purchasing the limited LNY edition of the viral Stanley cup (RP: USD 35) with a traditional card, you’d likely be paying around 4% more just to fees for foreign transaction and currency conversion! 

Read on for Wise’s compilation of exclusive Lunar New Year items from global brands, where we analyse the cost difference depending on the chosen payment method. And to help you make savvy financial choices for a more prosperous year, we’ve accompanied this with easy tips to ensure you have a more prosperous Year of the Dragon 🐉✨

limited edition items.png
  • png
limited edition items copy.png
  • png

Avoid hidden fees on international purchases

Here are our top 3 tips when making international purchases 

  • Look out for foreign transaction fees - As long as you’re making a purchase from a merchant based outside your country, most traditional payment providers charge what’s known as foreign transaction fee, which can range from 2-5% of the total transaction amount, as well as a currency conversion fee. Pay with the Wise card instead which has no foreign transaction charges, only a low, transparent conversion fee.
  • Avoid sneaky exchange rate markups - When paying in foreign currencies using a traditional card, you’ll often be hit with an undisclosed exchange rate markup. This is a hidden fee that typically happens when providers use an unfavourable rate instead of the mid-market rate, without transparently disclosing the rate used at the time of purchase. The best way to get around these charges is to use a provider like Wise that uses the fair, mid-market exchange rate which you can see anytime on Google. 
  • Always pay in the local currency - Always choose to pay in the currency of the country you’re buying from. If you choose to pay in your home currency and let the merchant convert it, you could be paying an additional Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) fee.

Thinking about how much angbao to give to that niece studying abroad?

Let’s also not forget the star of Lunar New Year — the tradition of giving red packets! Also known as angbaos, or lai see, these red packets which contain money are given by married folks to the unmarried as symbols of blessing for the year ahead, adding an extra layer of joy to the festivities. If you’re sending digital red packets abroad, be mindful of potential costs and hidden fees associated with foreign currency transactions. Pay attention to fees and opt for providers that are transparent about their pricing and exchange rate used to protect your blessings! 

Promotion: From 21 Jan to 29 Feb, Wise is waiving transfer fees for all new users making a transfer for the first £2,000 pounds (or equivalent currency) during Lunar New Year! Sign up with this link.



  • Amount paid with traditional card calculating using Mastercard’s currency calculator, assuming the card issuer’s rate to be 3% as an average reference point
  • Desktop research carried out between 25 and 26 Jan 2024

About Wise

Wise is a global technology company, building the best way to move and manage the world’s money.

With Wise Account and Wise Business, people and businesses can hold over 40 currencies, move money between countries and spend money abroad. Large companies and banks use Wise technology too; an entirely new network for the world’s money. Co-founded by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, Wise launched in 2011 under its original name TransferWise. It is one of the world’s fastest growing, profitable tech companies and is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker, WISE.

10 million people and businesses use Wise. In fiscal year 2023, Wise processed approximately £105 billion in cross-border transactions, saving customers around £1.5 billion.

Contact details

Related topics

Receive Wise news on your RSS reader.

Or subscribe through Atom URL manually