What are your favorite banks and bank-like services around the world? 💸


(Thomas K. Running) #1

I figured we could crowd-source the best options out there for travelers, both actual banks (such as N26, Charles Schwab, and Monzo) and other e-money providers (such as Revolut, Transferwise and Leupay), that at least provide a bank-like account number (such as IBAN) and/or a payment card :credit_card:.

Let’s focus on providers with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Low costs for international use (POS, ATMs, transfers, exchange) :dollar:
  • Good support and user friendly apps :calling:
  • Easy remote account opening, potentially even for non-residents :raised_hands:
  • Amazing perks and benefits for travelers :flight_departure:

N26 (DE/EU) :dollar::calling::raised_hands::flight_departure:
Monzo (UK) :dollar::calling::raised_hands:
LHV (EE) :calling:
Monese (UK/EU) :dollar::calling::raised_hands:
Bunq (NL/EU) :calling::raised_hands:
Charles Schwab (US) :dollar:
Capital One 360 (US) :dollar:
Simple (US) :calling:

E-money providers:
Revolut (UK, EU, soon US) :dollar::calling::raised_hands:
TransferWise Borderless (UK, EU, US, AU++) :dollar::raised_hands:
LeuPay (Based in UK/MT/BG, accepting customers almost worldwide) :raised_hands:

Who are we missing?

How to Get International Bank Account without visiting the Bank or Country
(debjyoti dutta) #2

how do i get to know how i open one in any one of those

(Thomas K. Running) #3

The ones I’ve now marked with :raised_hands: are typically easy to open remotely, and usually easy to qualify for or get sufficient address proof to open an account.

For N26, you can read how to open here: https://nomadgate.com/open-n26-account/
For LHV there are some tips in this article, but it requires travel to Estonia: https://medium.com/nomad-gate/estonian-e-residency-ultimate-guide-banking-taxes-cc27fe39c368

If you live in the EU then N26, Bunq, Monese and Revolut are all easily opened using their respective mobile apps.

If you live in US, and have a Social Security number, then Charles Schwab, Capital One 360, and Simple can all be opened online (while in the US or using a VPN with a US server).

Getting sufficient address proof to open a Monzo account is quite easy, or at least it used to be. I’m not sure if they have or will become more stringent after launching their current accounts.

If you live elsewhere then LeuPay is probably the easiest to qualify for.

(Myriam Haar) #4

How about ING?

(Myriam Haar) #5

Where I live we live with 2 currencies: the euro and the US$. Any idea if there is a bank out there that accepts dual or multiple currencies? N26 typically accepts euros but we also have a $ account to transfer somewhere too. We’re not US citizens though and don’t particularly care for American banks. Anyone knows whether there is a Swiss bank maybe that would do that? I saw a list of digital banks a couple of weeks back with a Swiss bank in it but don’t recall where I saw it.

(Thomas K. Running) #6

@myriamh For keeping and spending USD, Revolut might be of use—even though it’s not a proper bank (yet). To receive USD, Transferwise Borderless might be useful.

They are also (slowly) rolling out their own multi-currency debit card linked to your Transferwise balances, so that will be useful once it’s available to more people. Early reports suggest that you can use the Transferwise debit card to top up your Revolut account in the same currency for free (including USD).

(Lukas) #7

Early reports suggest that you can use the Transferwise debit card to top up your Revolut account in the same currency for free (including USD).

Can’t you top up for free anyway? Wouldn’t you just send your money from Transferwise to your Revolut account like normal wire? Or are you talking about the transfer fees?

(Thomas K. Running) #8

From TW Borderless I believe you can only transfer to USD to US based bank accounts (correct me if I’m wrong), meaning you’d have to exchange your USD into either EUR or GBP before adding to Revolut. That’s ~1% cost of the currency conversion, and then a tiny bit more for the bank transfer fee from your TW EUR/GBP wallet to your Revolut EUR/GBP receiving account.

Still not bad, but not free either. Also it takes way longer than doing an instant debit card top-up.

(Lukas) #9

Makes sense. Really looking forward to the Transferwise card anyway. Any news on when you’ll be able to get one? Last time I checked I couldn’t find anything official.

(Myriam Haar) #10

Thanks for the useful info. Believe it or not I’m in a bit of a conundrum with N26 which might be worth explaining in a separate post.
How does TW works? Let’s say I have my card, then what? Do I put money on it? How do I use it?
Thanks for keeping me posted. Due to the difficulty with N26 I might have to look for something else.

(Thomas K. Running) #11

TransferWise Borderless will give you local “receiving” accounts in different currencies (like a US account to receive domestic USD transfers, a European account to receive EUR/SEPA transfers, etc). The debit card isn’t generally available yet, but would allow you to spend money directly from any of the currency wallets you have. So if you spend in EUR it will deduct money from your EUR wallet, and so on. This is similar to how Revolut works.

You can of course also move money between currencies (and pay approximately 0.5% FX fee between most currency pairs), and send money to external accounts in any country you can send regular TransferWise transfers to.

(Gustaf) #12

Neat.hk is a new service that seems very promising.

(John) #16

Hello all,
I use PaySera for almost 1 year.
Cheap and until now no problems. (except for bigger payments they want proof for the reason why…)
Best regards,

(anonymous4) #17

I have just been accepted for Neat.hk business account and waiting for them them to open my accounts :v:

(Liane Abreu) #18

Hi all, there is Ferratum Bank, where you can open different currency accounts. They are based in Malta. I opened an account a couple of weeks ago. In the same account, I have an Euro and a SEK separated account.

(Thomas K. Running) #19

Yes, Ferratum is worthy of a mention. Although they are headquartered in Finland :finland:, not Malta :malta:. But are the IBANs provided Maltese?

What was the account opening process like? All online? What did you need to supply?

(Liane Abreu) #20

I did not know they’re Finish based, however the accounts are Maltese.
It was really simple and online, the ID verification was via video call. They only odd thing was that I had to open a Spanish account, instead a Swedish, because of my nationality. But the card is being sent to my home address in Sweden.
I will go to US next week, so I will add an USD account and see how it works.

(Krista) #21

Have to agree with the other americans in the room. Charles Schwab is great. No ATm fees has saved me so much money while traveling. Not to mention I’ve had nothing but good experiences with their customer service team while abroad. The benefits aren’t bad either! Finding a finance company/bank that’s understanding about different currencies and systems is a rare thing in my experience!