Monito.com
usd money cash, phone, globe

The Best Multiple Currency Bank Accounts and How They Work

Mar 2, 2023
Advertiser disclosure

In today's global economy, domestic bank accounts that hold only one currency often don't cut it anymore. Multi-currency accounts, on the other hand, allow you to hold dozens of currencies and manage them all on one platform. They also allow for seamless conversion between those currencies.

Some multiple currency accounts like Revolut and Wise even give you local account details (such as routing numbers, sort codes, and IBANs). This is similar to having a real, local account in a foreign country because it allows you to make and receive payments to locals in their country’s currency.

Multi-currency accounts are booming in popularity among frequent travelers, expats, and digital nomads for good reason. In this article, we'll compare the best multi-currency account providers and help you choose the best one for your needs. We'll also explore how multi-currency accounts work and why you might need one.

recommendation icon

Here are the top three multiple currency accounts:

How Do Multiple Currency Bank Accounts Work?

When you open a multi-currency account, you'll be given a unique account number for each currency you want to hold. If you have a US dollar account ($) and a euro account (€), for example, you will be able to instantly convert your dollar holdings into euro holdings as needed.

With your local bank details, you'll also be able to send and receive domestic transfers. For example, if you have a Singapore dollar account, you can share your Singapore bank account number with local friends or business partners there. Send or receive payments denominated in Singaporean dollars (SGD) instead of losing money to exchange rate margins and international transfer fees.

Some multi-currency accounts come with a debit card, which allows you to spend money in different currencies all from just one account. This can be especially useful when traveling or making online purchases from overseas merchants.

Let's take Japan as another example. Even though Revolut and Wise cannot give you access to Japanese bank account details, you can still open up and fund a balance of yen (¥). You can set aside a budget of ¥500,000 in your account for your next holiday to Japan. When you pay local vendors, your debit card will directly spend that local currency. Only when those local balances are depleted, the debit card will start using your other currency holdings.

Pros and Cons of Multi-Currency Accounts

Let's explore the pros and cons of multi-currency accounts like Revolut, Wise and Payoneer in more detail:

Pros of Multiple Currency Accounts

  1. All-in-One: Handle and track all your foreign currency holdings and transactions on one platform.
  2. Great FX: You can set a desired, favourable exchange rate to trigger a conversion if that rate is met by the market.
  3. Cost-Savings: Pay individuals and businesses in their local currency to bypass exchange rate margins and international transfer fees.
  4. Security: All the companies we review on Monito are regulated by the relevant authorities and partner with government-insured financial institutions, such as the FDIC in the United States.

Cons of Multiple Currency Accounts

  1. Fees: While fees by neobanks are much cheaper than high-street banks, you will still pay industry-low fixed fees for currency conversions.
  2. Limited Investing: Multi-currency accounts may not offer access to investing.
  3. Low-Interest Rates: Interest on savings is typically at a lower rate than other accounts.

1 — Revolut

Revolut is a UK-based financial technology company that provides digital finance services, including multi-currency accounts, money transfers, and spending analysis tools. With a Revolut multi-currency account, customers can hold and exchange 28 different currencies at the real mid-market exchange rate, allowing them to spend abroad with transparent fees within the app.

If you want unique local account details for direct deposits, however, then residents in the UK, the US, the EU/EEA, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, and Japan will have access.

Primary costs:

  • Account opening: Free
  • Withdrawing from a foreign currency to a bank account: Free up to £5,000 per month, 0.5% thereafter
  • Sending money to another Revolut user: Free
  • Sending money to a non-Revolut user: Free up to £5,000 per month, 0.5% thereafter
  • Foreign exchange fee: Free up to £5,000 per month, 0.5% thereafter

Available: the UK, the US, the EU/EEA, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan

Unique solutions:

  • Virtual and physical debit cards for payments and ATM withdrawals
  • Spending analysis tools to track your expenses and budget
  • Access to international money transfers in 28 currencies
  • Set up recurring payments and split bills with friends and family

Transaction limits: Free ATM withdrawals up to £200 per month, 2% thereafter. Free card spending up to £5,000 per month, 0.5% thereafter. Fair usage limits vary by subscription plan.

Best for: Frequent travelers, digital nomads, and small business owners who need to manage multiple currencies with ease. Revolut waives foreign exchange fees if you send under a certain amount per month, making it the most economical option — even for non-premium members.

More info: See our full Revolut review or visit their website.

2 — Wise

Wise (formerly TransferWise) is a popular UK-based financial technology company that offers customers digital banking services, including multi-currency accounts, money transfers, and business tools. With a Wise Multi-Currency Account, customers can gain access to local account details for 10 different countries*.

Customers can also hold and exchange over 50 different currencies at the real mid-market exchange rate, allowing them to spend and transfer money internationally with no hidden fees or commissions. In other words, Wise charges no markup on exchange rates. The rate you see on Google or XE.com is the rate that Wise will apply to your transfer.

*AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD, TRY, USD

Primary costs:

  • Account opening: $0
  • Transfers: 0.4% to 2.0% depending on the currency route
  • Debit card fee: Free

Availability

Wise Multi-Currency Account

Unique solutions:

  • Get local bank details in 10 countries
  • Free and instant transfers between Wise users
  • Instant notifications on transactions and real-time spending reports

Transaction limits: 1.75% on ATM withdrawals exceeding two withdrawals or 200 GBP/EUR

Best for: Travelers who want to spend cash without worrying about foreign transaction fees and exchange rate markups. Wise's account details are also ideal for expats in Australia, Canada, Europe, Great Britain, Hungary, New Zealand, Romania, Singapore, Turkey, and the United States, as it provides immediate access to local banking.

More info: See our full Wise review or visit their website.

4 — Payoneer

Payoneer is a US financial services company that provides customers with digital payment services, access to working capital, money transfers, and access to local bank details. Your three account numbers will support GBP, USD, EUR, and five others* so that you can pay and get paid like a local in those currencies. Because it seamlessly integrates with some of the world’s leading marketplaces in so many currencies, we think Payoneer is the ideal choice for any small business, freelancer, or company working in the borderless e-commerce market.

*EUR, USD, GBP, JPY, AUD, CAD, MXN, SGD, CNY

Payoneer software interface business bank

Primary costs:

  • Account opening: $0
  • Withdrawing from a foreign currency to a US bank: Up to 2%
  • Accepting card payments: 3%
  • Debit card fee: $29.95 per year

Available: Globally

Unique solutions:

  • Request payments from clients in just a few clicks
  • Multi-currency account to handle transactions in 120 currencies
  • Choose three bank account details from an available 9 currencies
  • Pay VAT directly from your Payoneer account

Transaction limits: 30 withdrawals daily with a $5,000 limit and 30 POS transactions daily with a $2,500 limit

Best for: E-commerce businesses and other businesses that handle many transactions daily in many countries and currencies. For these businesses in particular, we think Payoneer's global infrastructure is especially good to help you do business in the world’s largest and most far-reaching online marketplaces. Its added bonus of low fees for international money transfers also makes Payoneer an ideal solution for those hoping to expand their reach into an international customer base.

More info: See our full Payoneer review or visit their website.

Other Guides On Multi-Currency Accounts and International Money Transfers

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

Learn More About Monito
  • Monito is trusted by 15+ million users across the globe.

  • Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

Monito.com

Global Impact Finance Ltd
Rue du Pont 22
1003 Lausanne
Switzerland

Affiliate Disclosure
Instead of banner ads and paywalls, Monito makes money through affiliate links to the various payment service providers featured on our website. While we work hard to scout the market for the best deals, we're unable to consider every possible product available to you. Our extensive range of trusted affiliate partners enables us to make detailed, unbiased, and solution-driven recommendations for all types of consumer questions and problems. This allows us to match our users with the right providers to suit their needs and, in doing so, match our providers with new customers, creating a win-win for everybody involved. However, while some links on Monito may indeed earn us a commission, this fact never impacts the independence and integrity of our opinions, recommendations, and evaluations.