Wise traveler tips: best banks for international travellers
If you’re a digital nomad or keep traveling constantly around the world, you already know how your bank account balance can go down quickly regardless of how well you budget. The issue here is not with your budgeting, but with the terrible exchange rates and fees your local bank charges you when you’re using its services abroad. This could accumulate to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
For example, if you live in the EU, opening a German bank account online is not that hard, but if you are a traveler you’d better consider easier options.
Therefore, we did the hard work for you and rounded up the list of the best banks for international travelers with no foreign transaction fees, no ATM withdrawal fees, and 0% foreign currency exchange markup. Keep reading this article to explore!
Best Banks for International Travelers in North America
1. Capital One 360: United States
If you’re one of those people who depend on their debit cards to pay off their expenses while traveling, opening a Capital One 360 checking account will be your best bet. It comes with zero foreign ATM fees.
Most transactions like deposits and bank transfers can be easily made by a user-friendly app. Moreover, their customer support is top-notch, so in case you are stuck with any problem away from your home country, you can get your query resolved quickly.
Both checking and saving accounts won’t charge you a monthly fee, and they even have strong rates. If you spend more than the limit, you have multiple overdraft options to choose from. However, you must be aware of the high overdraft fees.
2. Charles Schwab Bank: United States
If you want to get rid of all those pesky ATM expenses, Charles Schwab Bank is the one for you! It’s too good to be true, but it really does come with zero monthly service fees, zero ATM fees worldwide, and zero foreign transaction fees.
You don’t need to physically visit the bank to open an account or a minimum balance. There are zero fees for opening up your account with this bank. You can easily open your account online, however, you must be a resident of the United States to do so.
Another great thing about this bank is that if you are charged ATM fees by another bank, you will be refunded.
Best Banks for International Travelers in Europe
1. N26: EU/EEA
N26 operates in entire Europe, and it even recently launched a USD account in the USA. The biggest perk of this bank is that you can set up your account no matter where in the world you are.
However, you will have to add an address to one of the European countries where you will receive the card. You can also provide a C/O address of one of your family members/friends and later change it using the user-intuitive mobile app or web portal.
As compared to other banks, you have many options to opt from, such as a free Mastercard or Maestro card.
2. Monzo: The United Kingdom
Along with other benefits like extremely low fees, this bank allows you to set up a current account for free and get a free debit card as well. You will be using your card with the official Mastercard rate.
The user-friendly app lets you operate and manage your account in a cinch, and you can download it via Google Play or the App Store. Opening a bank account is relatively hassle-free as you can do all the verification procedures through the mobile app.
Best Banks for International Travelers in Asia
1. Citibank: Australia
Citibank offers multiple perks to its customers like zero monthly fees, zero set-up costs, and zero ATM fees. Although it’s important to note that if the owner of the ATM charges you a fee, you will not be refunded for it.
You need to be an Australian resident to open a bank account. You can open your account online, but you will have to visit one of the bank branches near you to present your ID card for verification purposes. The bank branches are located in most of the major cities.
Moreover, you will only be charged the official visa exchange rate which is closer to the market rate.
2. HSBC Everyday Global Account: Australia
HSBC’s everyday global account provides you with 10 different currencies on your card such as Australian dollars, New Zealand dollars, US dollars, Euros, British pounds, Canadian dollars, Chinese Yuan, and more, so you can travel with ease.
You won’t be charged any ATM fees around the globe, set-up costs, monthly fees, or even extra fees on exchange rates. However, it’s imperative to consider that the ATM withdrawal limit is $1,000 and the debit card purchases limit is $10,000.
As an Australian resident, you can easily set up your account online.