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International Bank Accounts

Many of our users have financial requirements that go beyond domestic banking. These requirements include everything from transferring money to foreign bank accounts, to arranging mass international payments for business, or receiving inheritance money from overseas. In this guide we present information about opening and managing international bank accounts, to help you decide if you could benefit from opening one.

Updated: 27/07/2022
Read time: 6 minutes
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What is an international bank account?

An international bank account – also known as an overseas account – provides worldwide access to money in different countries. In most cases, these types of accounts also provide convenient global money transfer services, albeit with additional bank charges.

If you would like to learn more, check out the following guides on international bank exchange rates and fees:

In addition to day-to-day banking services, an international bank account gives customers the ability to hold, manage and transact in multiple major currencies. 

Getting started with international bank accounts

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Who might need an international bank account?

The main benefit of an international bank account is the ability to conveniently manage different types of money from wherever you are in the world. 

For this reason, customers with the following interests might consider opening an international bank account: 

  • Global investment prospects
  • International study or housing commitments
  • Plans to travel or emigrate overseas
  • Expanding a business into other foreign markets

How much does an international bank account cost?

The overall cost of an international bank account varies depending on the provider, but oftentimes, there may be charges for maintaining a minimum balance, monthly account fees, direct debits, standing orders, overseas withdrawals and foreign exchange services. 

Things to consider when opening an international bank account 

As part of the decision process, it is important to consider what, when and why you might need an international bank account. Consider the following: 

  • How soon do you need to access the account? Some banks take longer than others to verify and set up a new international bank account 
  • Does this relate to international travel plans? If so, where are you going? Does the provider offer competitive exchange rates for the destination(s) you are heading to?
  • Do you need to use this international bank account in more than one country? If so, make sure the bank offers suitable global coverage to suit your needs
  • Will you need to conduct transactions online? If so, make sure the bank offers quality online access to all the services you will need

How do I open an international bank account?

Opening an international bank account is much like a regular bank account, and most financial institutions offer in-person and online services. 

International bank accounts are not available to everyone, however, eligibility criteria differs from country to country but the following requirements must typically be met: 

  • Over the age of 18 years old
  • Proof of identification 
  • Proof of address 
  • Proof of income or assets 
  • Maintain a minimum balance (typically quite high)

Summary

Having an international bank account can prove useful for a number of reasons. Whether you want to open an account with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, or a digital challenger bank, we implore our readers to consider the advice included in this guide. We strive to save our readers time and money when it comes to all things related to international finances. 

Read our detailed reviews of different Banks today, and use our comparison tool to find out the most affordable and convenient money transfer options for all international requirements.

Article Factchecked by Elliot Laybourne on 20th July 2022

Elliott is a former investment banker with a 20 year career in the city of London.

During this time he held senior roles at ABN Amro, Societe Generale, Marex Financial and Natixis bank, specialising in commodity derivatives and options market-making.

During this time, Elliott’s client list included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Schroders Asset Management, and the Pennsylvania State Public School Employees Retirement System, amongst others.

Artiom
Written by
Artiom

Artiom is a marketing graduate from the University of Portsmouth, Artiom’s primary experience is in SEO but he has a broad knowledge of all facets of digital marketing. He optimises the organic experience on MoneyTransfers.com with the content team, manages and creates unique marketing tactics, and generally supports the overall growth of the website.