International savings accounts for expats – What are my best options?
If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).
It remains our view that saving money isn’t as productive as investing it long-term, and has more hidden risks such as inflation and currency devaluations eroding the principle.
Nevertheless, we have looked at some of the best savings options here.
Organizing personal finances can be a challenging concept in itself, but add in other circumstances like moving to a new country to live and work and it becomes a daunting task that can frighten many.
But as there are now tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of expats in similar circumstances, and banks have developed banking products such as savings accounts for expats with features like multi-currency accounts and fee-free foreign transfers expressly designed to meet their needs.
If you are looking to settle your finances before you move to another country, it could be beneficial to check out such savings accounts for expats. They can help you build a nest egg for retirement, save up some cash that will come in handy when you need it, or make it easier for you to meet your financial goals.
A financial advisor can personally guide you towards the best options and investments you can make to achieve your financial goals. However, your options may be limited as an expat, particularly if you do not yet have a savings account suited to a life outside your home country.
In this case, exploring different savings accounts for expats can be a good first step in your financial journey.
There are many banks that offer savings accounts for expats. You can typically find out more about their offerings on their websites. Some of the banks that offer savings accounts to expats include Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and Nationwide.
We go through a few of the best options below.
Citi International Personal Bank
We have talked about Citibank’s various offerings for expats before, as it is easily one of the most convenient financial institutions to do business with due to its international presence in over 40 countries.
By using a Citibank card and bank account, you can ensure you can always have access to cash because there are so many ATMs available worldwide. This makes it one of the best financial institutions offering savings accounts for expats.
Citibank offers services both online and at its physical facilities all around the world. The Citi International Personal Account Package and Citigold Interest Checking Account give customers asset management and financial planning services in addition to banking services.
However, these accounts may come with particular requirements, especially with regards to eligibility for linked banking, investment, and retirement accounts.
Customers, for instance, are required to have a minimum aggregate average monthly balance of $200,000, after which Citibank won’t charge you their monthly service fee for the account. If you are looking for convenient savings accounts for expats, you should keep this in mind.
Citi International Personal Bank’s expansive network makes it simple for you to transact with them, or avail of a variety of their offshore banking services. All of which come with the same advantages: they are quick and simple to use, and you can access your online account whenever you want, from anywhere in the globe.
You can choose how to handle your money in up to 21 different currencies, which gives you the freedom to keep your wealth however you choose and to send money around the world swiftly and effortlessly. This feature was specifically for fulfilling the demands of all of international banking clients and expats.
You can also earn interest with Citi’s GBP, EUR, and USD Cash Accounts on balances more than US$200000 (or currency equivalent).
Customers who use Citi’s foreign banking services will receive a Citi Debit Card, which enables them to make purchases and make cash withdrawals from any global ATM network in a number of different currencies.
Citi’s network of international banking services ensures that transferring money internationally is hassle-free, even to other banks. Money can be instantly and cost-free transferred to Citibank accounts in more than 20 nations. Additionally, you can make international money transfers quick and simple.
Lloyds Premier International Account
Lloyds Bank’s Premier Banking service made our list of Premium Priority Banking Services in the UK to Choose From. You qualify for these services if your monthly income is at least £100,000 (or the equivalent in another currency) and you can save and maintain a balance of £100,000 (or the equivalent in another currency) with the bank for a period of 12 months.
Premier Banking gives you access to a dedicated Relationship Manager as well as a number of other services, such as no fees for international transfers, telephone and 24/7 internet banking, savings accounts for expats for a variety of currencies, and expert tax advice with Ernst &Young LLP at preferential rates, to make your experience with international banking easier.
As an FTSE 100 company with over 26 million clients and 1,300 branches in the UK (across Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland), Lloyds Bank also offers the same level of reliability and convenience that other international banks can provide.
Customers who apply for their Premier International Account are able to maintain current accounts with debit cards in sterling, euros, and dollars, accounts which are kept in The Isle of Man.
Accounts can be opened in person, over the phone, or through an online application process with assistance.
Premier International accounts also come with worldwide travel insurance for you and your eligible family. Whether you and your qualified family members are traveling jointly or individually, it is covered (certain restrictions may apply to travel for your dependent children). The age limit for coverage is 79 years.
Residents of the US and Canada are not eligible for it due to regulatory restrictions.
Barclays International Bank Account
Barclays offers a wide range of first-rate financial services to both businesses and individuals, making it one of the biggest and best UK banks. Their International Bank account, especially, is a good choice for those looking for savings accounts for expats.
The account allows for transactions at home and abroad using a range of currencies, gives you multi-currency accounts to help you manage the risk of exchange rate fluctuations, and conveniently send money back home using their international transfer services.
The International Bank account also has short and long-term saving options with flexible access, providing you a way to save money for a contingency plan or retirement while abroad. Furthermore, the account allows you to continue paying into your UK pension and benefit from tax relief.
Customers with International Bank Accounts can use a sterling-only debit card while keeping current accounts in pounds, euros, and US dollars. The Isle of Man is where these accounts are kept. The bank offers pound, euro, and dollar instant-access and fixed-term savings accounts for expats as well.
As with other major international banks, accounts can be opened online. Certified copies of documents are required, either by video or in physical form.
For those with a minimum total balance of £100,000 in savings in a Barclays account, Barclays UK investments, or a combination of both, you are also eligible for Barclays Premier Banking.
With Barclays Premier, you can take advantage of a number of unique benefits, such as access to a 24/7 UK-based Telephone Banking team for assistance with routine banking tasks and Financial Guides that can be useful when you’re moving, making financial decisions for the future, or thinking about retirement.
HSBC Global Money Account
As one of biggest multinational banks, HSBC has a sizable customer base around the world and provides a wide selection of financial goods, including the best solutions for mortgages, investments, and insurance.
Around 40 million clients are served globally by HSBC through a network that spans 64 nations and territories. This makes it a good choice of bank for those looking for savings accounts for expats.
You can also avail of their tax-free foreign currency account, which is available in 14 currencies, the overseas non-resident account, which may be accessed in 37 countries, and the tax-free cash ISA account.
As its name suggests, the HSBC Expat Premier Account was developed with expats in mind. You can use the US currency, the euro, or pound to open this international current account and have access to the Global Money Account and Multi Currency Debit card.
Your expat bank account will be kept in the secure offshore jurisdiction of Jersey in the Channel Islands. According to the OECD, Jersey is among the top and most well-regulated international financial centers in the world.
Your HSBC account can be accessed digitally with the HSBC mobile banking app, allowing you to view, manage and send money like a local from anywhere in the world.
The Global Money Account also provides for payments and other transactions in 19 different currencies using only one account—including Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, Australian Dollar, and Chinese Yuan Renminbi.
Customers can send international payments without fees using Global Money Transfers (until March 31, 2023), albeit the recipient bank might impose a fee. Additionally, customers get preferred, real-time conversion rates.
The Global Money Debit Card uses sterling as its base currency, but there are no costs associated with using any of the 60 approved other currencies, including euros and dollars, to make payments or withdraw cash.
If consumers have enough money in these accounts, non-sterling transactions will be handled in that currency; otherwise, their sterling wallets will be debited (but no transaction fee charged).
You must be at least 18 years old and meet one of the following requirements to open this account: you must already meet the requirements for HSBC Premier in another nation or you must have an HSBC account in your home country with a minimum deposit of £50,000 or the equivalent in another currency.
Additionally, you must currently reside or be located in a country or territory that qualifies.
NatWest International Premier Select Account
Another FTSE 100 company, the NatWest Group incorporates Natwest and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Be aware that you need your NatWest account to be funded with a minimum of £100k must be paid in at account opening, or a £75,000 mandated salary must be paid in per annum before you can avail of their International Premier Banking accounts. You also need to be a resident in one of their listed countries.
NatWest’s International Select Account comes with dedicated International Premier Banking Managers on hand to help you manage your finances globally.
Furthermore, NatWest offers their International Banking service for customers who are residents in the following countries: Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, China (Expats only), Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Norway, Oman, Qatar, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom or the United States of America.
This list makes it one of the financial institutions offering savings accounts for expats that you should consider.
Note that not all of the bank’s products and services are available in all jurisdictions, however, and some are available on a limited basis only due to local regulatory and legal requirements.
Standard Bank Optimum Account
Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank Group, has a 160-year history of operational efficiency and value. Its mission is support Africa’s growth by connecting the continent to international markets from offices in the Isle of Man, Jersey, London, Mauritius and South Africa.
As such, Standard Bank offers financial services in the fields of banking, wealth management, trust and company administration, asset management, and investments to individuals, businesses, organizations, and corporations.
With a selection of foreign bank accounts, Standard Bank aims to provide the same convenience of banking anywhere in the world, including providing savings accounts for expats.
The four different categories of overseas bank accounts to choose from: the Optimum, Platinum Optimum, Seafarer, and Call accounts.
The Optimum account allows you to open your bank account in sterling, US or Australian dollars, or euros and lets you make and receive transfers from around the globe. It is available for online transactions or through a mobile app for your day-to-day banking needs.
Standard Bank also includes a Visa debit card for convenient use in online purchases and transactions.
You will be required to supply proof of address and identity, and must meet the minimum opening deposit amount of £5,000, EU7,000, US$7,000 or AU$7,000. The average balance for any quarter must be over this threshold. If this occurs, a quarterly account maintenance cost of £60, US$ 90, € 90, or AU$ 90 is applicable.
The best savings accounts for expats are those that let you earn interest on your money and give you access to credit when you need it without unnecessary fees or waiting times.
For more financial advice, or If you are looking to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (email@example.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).
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