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Best International Banks for Digital Nomads and Expats

The 7 Best International Bank Accounts for Expats & Digital Nomads in 2024

Jarrod Suda

Guide

François Briod

Reviewer

Jan 8, 2024
Advertiser disclosure

As a digital nomad or long-time expat, you have likely encountered location-specific services and slow processing times when dealing with your home country's traditional banking system. When looking for the best bank for expats, you will want to keep an eye out for much more nomad-friendly services.

What Makes a Good Online International Bank Account?

The best banks for expats will provide you with the following digital services:

  1. charges zero international card transaction fees;
  2. has generous limits for ATM withdrawals abroad;
  3. comes with a mobile app and virtual card; and
  4. can be opened remotely from your computer or smartphone.

In this guide, we explore Revolut, Chime®, and six other first-class options. Let's see why these are some of the best international bank accounts for expats in the US, the UK, Europe, Oceania, and around the world.

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Explore the best banks for expats in 2024:

  • US expats: Chime® charges no foreign transaction fees and access fee-free ATMs across the US, the UK, Mexico, and more¹ | Read the review.
  • EU expats: Revolut members from the EU get a powerful multi-currency account, an IBAN, and a UK sort code | Read the review.
  • Oceania expats: Wise gives you account details in 10 countries and pots to hold up to 50 foreign currencies | Read the review.

Revolut: Best Mobile Account for Expats

UK-based Revolut offers one of the best digital accounts in the world, entirely accessible from a single virtual card or Revolut debit card.

While the British pound and euro account details are offered to only a select number of nationalities, the multi-currency account allows users of any nationality to hold and exchange money in 30+ currencies, making spending easy worldwide. Paid memberships also include perks like travel insurance and reduced fees and limits across the app.

The Standard Account (which charges no fixed monthly fees) allows you to withdraw up to £200 or €200 per month from ATMs with no fees charged by Revolut, while the Premium Account (£7.99 per month) allows up to £400 or €400, and the Metal Account (£14.99 per month) up to £600 or €600. After these limits, your international ATM withdrawal incurs a charge of 2% of the amount. Remember that fair use limits, weekend surcharges, and third-party ATM fees may apply.

To open an account, you’ll need a name, postal address (this can be c/o) and proof of identification, but you don’t need a proof of address or a credit check. For more about Revolut, check out our full review or watch our YouTube video review.

Check if Revolut is available in your country:

Revolut

Wise: Best Multi-Currency Account & Card

The Wise Multi-Currency Account provides you with your very own bank details in the UK (GBP), the US (USD), the Eurozone (EUR), New Zealand (NZD), Australia (AUD), and five other countries. That means you can directly debit into any of the 10 supported currencies.

The account is free to open and need only to pay a small fee to have the card delivered to you. Their incredible technology allows you to convert your home currency into 50+ other currencies on the app at the real mid-market exchange rate. Instead of getting charged hidden weak exchange rates, Wise charges you a transparent, up-front, and industry-low fixed fee per conversion. When you present your card abroad, merchants and ATMs will treat you like a local.

Wise requires proof of address in the form of a utility bill, bank or credit card statement, tax bill, vehicle registration, driver’s license, or government document.

Learn more about the Wise Multi-Currency Account with our in-depth review or watch our YouTube review.

Check if Wise is available in your country:

Wise Multi-Currency Account

N26: Best Fully-Licensed Bank for EU Expats

N26 offers a complete digital bank account, available in the European Union with deposits insured up to €100,000 by the German Deposit Protection Scheme. You can open the account online from anywhere but need a European postal address.

You only get EUR local bank account details, so you won't be able to get paid like a local business by clients outside of the Eurozone (if you have US customers, for example).

However, N26 is great for using your balance abroad 🌎:

On the basic plan, you have no monthly limit of 0% FX commission on foreign card transactions and ATM withdrawal fees of 1.70% outside of the EU. N26 is also fully integrated with Wise money transfer, giving you access to some of the lowest international money transfer fees on the market. As of 2022, you can earn up to 1.38% interest on savings per year.

Learn more about Europe's most famous neobank with our N26 Review or watch our YouTube review.

Check if N26 is available in your country:

N26

Chime: Best US Mobile Finance App

Chime is one of the most widely-used mobile financial apps and debit cards in the United States, available to those with a social security number. While it does not offer a multi-currency account option for travelers, your Chime card charges zero international card transaction fees and provides you with access to fee-free ATMs worldwide¹ (although mostly in Mexico and the Anglosphere).

You only get USD bank details with Chime, but you can open up to three different account types: checking (the Chime Checking Account), savings (the Chime High Yield Savings Account), and a credit builder (the Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card²). Chime uses Plaid software to integrate your traditional banks (such as BoA or Chase) for seamless ACH transfers.

The Chime (High Yield) Savings Account gives you APY at 2.00%, which is far above the national average³. The credit builder Visa card even helps you build your credit score without having to actually take on any debt⁴. To enjoy these perks while spending abroad at a low cost makes Chime an ideal online finance app and debit card for American digital nomads.

Read more about Chime's benefits with our Chime review.

Check if Chime is available in your country:

Chime

Monese: Best UK Account Not Requiring Proof of Address

Want a UK account in British Pounds or a European account in Euros but have no permanent address? Monese makes it easy.

Any resident in the European Economic Area (EEA) can open a UK account, a euro account, or both. Each account gets you an IBAN number and a free contactless debit card, plus there is no proof of address and no credit check. You’ll just need a postal address, email, and valid ID to send the physical card.

The simple plan is zero per month and gets you a debit card, and £1.50 cash withdrawals. The classic plan has a £5.95 monthly fee and comes with a free debit card and a £500 limit of free cash withdrawals per month. Then there’s the premium plan at £14.95 per month — it offers a £1,500 limit of free cash withdrawals and a free debit card. Only the classic and premium plans offer no foreign transaction fees.

For more details about Monese, check out our our dedicated review or watch our YouTube review.

Check if Monese is available in your country:

Monese

Payoneer: Best Business Account For Digital Nomads

Payoneer is a world-class digital payments system that offers an attractive business account option for SMEs and self-employed professionals relying on frequent cross-border payments and receipts. It is free to sign up and is available for dozens of nationalities around the world. Accessing local bank accounts in nine countries (including USD, GBP, & EUR) means you will be able to avoid costly international wires by withdrawing your revenue in local currency.

Your Payoneer account comes with card pay-out processing functionality, a debit Mastercard debit card, and inexpensive international transfers. Getting paid by your customers via bank transfer is cheap but Payoneer charges 3% to process card payments (same as charges with Stripe).

You will incur fees when converting foreign revenue into other currencies. If you are an American business that gets paid by EU customers, for example, then you will get charged when you decide to move your EUR revenue from your EU Payoneer account to your US Payoneer account.

Competitors like Wise Business beat Payoneer here in terms of fees, but Payoneer wins in terms of its direct integration into marketplaces like Google Adsense, AirBnb, Rakuten, and Ebay.

Learn more about Payoneer's solutions and fees with our complete review.

HSBC Premier Checking: Best Checking Account for US Expats

Håkan Dahlström (CC BY 2.0, modified) hsbc bank

HSBC Premier Checking is a US checking account for American citizens that will give you access to world-class international banking services, with no minimum deposit to open. 

As with most other providers on this list, you can wave goodbye to foreign transaction fees when using the HSBC Premier Debit World Mastercard® card, and access a network of 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs worldwide. Better yet, pay no HSBC ATM fees globally and get up to five rebates for third-party ATM surcharge fees within the US.

As a Premier account holder, you’ll access HSBC’s international support for moving abroad as an expat. HSBC can help you use your American credit history to apply for a credit card in your new country of residence. You will also be eligible for an HSBC Global Money Account. Available through the Mobile Banking App, Global Money a prepaid multi-currency account that enables you to hold and convert money in eight currencies and make Global Transfers to other eligible HSBC customers worldwide fee-free. 

Optional high-yield savings accounts are also available with competitive Annual Percentage Yields (APYs) for USD balances, subject to certain requirements. Deposit products are offered in the U.S. by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.

The biggest factor to consider is that the monthly maintenance fee for HSBC Premier Checking is $50. This can be waived by meeting one of the following criteria: 

  • maintaining at least $75,000 in total deposits and/or investments, 
  • Having a minimum of $5,000 in total direct deposits, or 
  • holding a US residential mortgage loan with an original amount of at least $500,000. 

You can share your Premier status with up to four family members. As long as one account maintains one of the above minimum requirements, the other associated accounts will avoid the $50 monthly maintenance fee.

While HSBC’s rates and fees in this guide are accurate as of September 6th, 2023, visit HSBC Premier’s Terms & Conditions and website application for more up to date information. In addition, refer to HSBC Premier for the list of countries where this account is open to US citizens.

Apply For an International Bank Account Online

International bank accounts smoothly connect you to everyday banking when you move to a new country or study abroad. They also help you when you plan to invest outside of your home country.

The first step is to check if you are eligible to open an overseas account, which varies based on your nationality and your destination country. Keep in mind that banks also vary in terms of their geographic coverage:

  1. Go to the website (or your local branch) of your desired bank;
  2. Select your destination country;
  3. Confirm your eligibility based on your nationality, age (18+), employment status, etc;
  4. Send in your application with the bank's online portal;
  5. Acknowledge the monthly fees/minimum deposit requirements.

Studying in the United States

If you are a foreign exchange student or a foreign national studying in the United States, then you will have plenty of options to open a US student checking account. If you want to open an account with a traditional big bank, then you will need to provide your passport and student visa in-person at your local branch. Here is a list of common documents that banks require to open accounts for international students:

  1. Your passport;
  2. Student visa;
  3. I-20 form (your Certificate of Eligibility to enter the US);
  4. I-94 form (your status document once inside the US);
  5. Proof of enrollment document (acceptance letter);
  6. Proof of US address (Utility bill, recent government-issued document).

Learn more with our guide on the best bank accounts for international students. We describe digital checking account options like Wise and Majority in detail. They are easy to open online and offer convenient and cheap ways to send money between the United States and your home country.

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Never Use PayPal for Online International Banking

As a final word of advice, we strongly urge you to avoid using PayPal when making transactions overseas or sending money internationally.

They charge high foreign transaction fees and purposely trick users into paying dynamic currency conversion fees.

Learn how to avoid PayPal's hidden currency conversion fees with our guide and informative YouTube video.

Summing Up: The Best International Online Accounts

Here are the best banks for digital nomads and expats in 2024:

  1. Revolut — Best overall digital nomad account
  2. Wise — Best multi-currency account for digital nomads
  3. N26 — Best fully-licensed neobank in Europe
  4. Chime — Best fee-free ATM access for Americans
  5. Monese — Best for instant account opening for digital nomad
  6. Payoneer — Best business account for digital nomad entrepreneurs
  7. HSBC Premier — Best US bank for international spending

Best US Accounts That Are International

Here's a list based on eligibility by proof of US residency or citizenship:

Top Accounts for UK Expat Banking

These are digital bank accounts available to those from the United Kingdom:

Best Banks for Expats from the Eurozone

Have a look at the best digital banks for European digital nomads:

Top Accounts for Nomads from Oceania

Here are some digital nomad bank accounts for Australians and New Zealanders:

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Compare the Best Neobanks for Digital Nomads and Expats:

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  1. Tinkoff Black Debit Card Monito Score 9.2
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    • Languages
      Russian
    • Country availability
      Russia
    • Services
      Travel card
    • Monthly fee
      Moderate
    • Card delivery time
      Fast
    • Best for
      Everyday banking
    • Bank details
      No account details (balance only)
    • Supported currencies
      Russian ruble +2
    • Overdraft
    • Annual interest rate
      High
    • Supports cash deposits
    • International transfers
  2. Starling Bank Monito Score 9.1
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    • Services
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    • Monthly fee
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      UK account no. & sort code
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  3. Monzo Monito Score 9.0
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      Full bank account
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      Everyday banking +1
    • Bank details
      UK account no. & sort code
    • Supported currencies
      Pound sterling +2
    • Overdraft
    • Annual interest rate
      High
    • Supports cash deposits
    • International transfers

Disclaimers

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A.

¹ Out-of-network ATM withdrawal and over-the-counter advance fees may apply. See here for details.

² To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.

³ The Annual Percentage Yield ("APY") for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change anytime. The disclosed APY is effective as of September 20, 2023. No minimum balance is required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.

⁴ On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Results may vary.

⁵ SpotMe® on Credit is an optional, no-interest/no-fee overdraft line of credit tied to the Secured Deposit Account available to qualifying members with an active Chime Credit Builder Account. SpotMe on Debit is an optional, no-fee overdraft service attached to the Chime Checking Account available to qualifying members after Visa debit card activation. Both SpotMe on Credit and SpotMe on Debit are sometimes collectively referred to as "SpotMe" or, if you have signed up to use SpotMe with only one account, "SpotMe" means the elected service. To qualify for SpotMe, you must receive $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to your Chime Checking Account monthly. Qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their Chime Checking Account and/or Secured Deposit Account (associated with your Chime Credit Builder credit card) up to $20 but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on Chime account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. The SpotMe limit will be displayed within the Chime mobile app and is subject to change at any time, at Chime’s sole discretion. Although Chime does not charge any overdraft fees for SpotMe, there may be out-of-network or third-party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe Debit Terms and Conditions and SpotMe on Credit Terms and Conditions.

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