Did you know that an estimated 9 million American citizens live or study overseas?
If you are thinking about traveling abroad, studying overseas, or becoming an American ex-pat in a faraway foreign country, then you’ll need to make sure you have a bank that suits your needs.
Keep reading to discover what is the best bank for traveling abroad.
U.S. citizens who travel, study or live abroad can benefit from and save a lot of money by choosing the right international bank. There are several banks to choose from that provide international services. You need to make sure you find a bank that offers you low wire-transfer charges, cost-effective international bank ATM fees, and good currency conversion rates.
Why is it important to do your research before choosing a bank? Well, because some international banks charge as much as $5 for ATM transaction fees. Another reason it is vital to choose the right bank is that some banks might not offer mobile platforms or have 24-hour customer service centers, which means that you might not be able to access your money when you need to.
What Are the Best Banks?
There’s no shortage of international banks to choose from and comparing different banking features can be quite confusing. Whether you’re looking for a multi currency bank account or a banking service that provides excellent customer service, we compiled a list of the top banks to help you out.
HSBC is a great international bank to choose because they have a lot of banks around the world. So the chances are that wherever you are living or studying, you’ll be able to find a bank close-by. HSBC also can help people who are planning on relocating to another country by opening an account for them before they arrive.
Another reason why so many American ex-pats love to bank with HSBC is that you can use their mobile app to monitor and move money across HSBC accounts in multiple countries effortlessly. This is a particularly useful feature for those who travel a lot and need a bank that can work around their schedule.
HSBC also allows travelers to send money by a wire transfer, which is very useful if you need to make quick and frequent payments. If you’re a premier checking account holder then you can even receive international wire transfers free of charge. However, if the person you’re sending the money to isn’t an HSBC premier account holder, then outgoing international wire transfers might incur a fee.
Premier checking account holders also don’t need to pay any foreign transaction fees when they purchase things on their debit cards. So, if you’re planning on using a lot of the premier checking account holder features, then it might be a good idea to upgrade to this account.
2. Charles Schwab Bank
Charles Schwab Bank allows customers who use the High Yield Investor Checking account to make free ATM withdrawals. Most international banks don’t have this useful feature unless of course, you’re a premium checking account holder. So, if when you’re abroad you’re planning on making a lot of ATM withdrawals, banking with Charles Schwab Bank might be a good idea.
Another reason why U.S. ex-pats enjoy banking with Charles Schwab Bank is that the account can earn interest, it has no minimum balance, and there are no monthly fees. There are also no foreign transaction fees to worry about either.
The bank reimburses all ATM fees that you incur wherever you are in the world. This is a very appealing feature for travelers and those who live overseas because it means that while you’re traveling you have access to the best conversion rates and the cheapest money without worrying about exchange fees.
3. Capital One 360
The main reason why Americans love to bank with Capital One 360 when they are traveling abroad or living overseas is that it doesn’t charge special fees on transactions when you buy things abroad or purchase something online from a retailer based outside of the U.S.
U.S. ex-pats also love that Capital One 360 doesn’t enforce monthly maintenance or ATM fees. Although the ATM might charge you for the transaction, Capital One 360 won’t. Overall, this bank offers low fees across all its features and services.
If you plan on making a lot of purchases in a currency other than U.S. dollars, whether online or because you live abroad, then Capital One 360 is a great choice of bank.
Citibank is ideal if you need to send money to another country. For example, if you need to send money to a relative. That’s because Citibank offers free international transfers to other Citi accounts through the Citibank Global Transfer service. A lot of banks don’t offer this service and so you need to check the fees and currency conversion rate against the World Bank’s remittance database to avoid overpaying. But not with Citibank.
However, if you want to send money internationally to someone who doesn’t have a Citibank account then you might incur a high fee. Some wire transfers can cost as much as $35, so you might not save that much money if your friends, family or payee don’t bank with Citi too.
Find the Best Bank for Your Needs
Whether you travel abroad a lot for work or are planning on studying internationally, you will need a bank that suits your needs. Use our best bank guide to find the bank for your international traveling needs.
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