You probably haven’t opened a banking account in years or even really thought about it. But digital nomads have some unique banking needs.
Here’s something to consider: Most people who use banks don’t travel outside of their home country. Or, if they do, it’s just for short periods of time. When you’re a digital nomad, travel is your life. Most banks aren’t equipped to handle that.
That said, there are some banks out there that know how to cater to the needs of digital nomads. They won’t charge you high fees, they’re easy to reach, and they won’t make it tough for you to access your funds.
Looking for better digital nomad banking? Here are a few options to consider:
Charles Schwab High YieldInvestor Checking Account
If you’re a U.S. resident and you open an investment account with Charles Schwab, they’ll give you a checking account for free. This account has all kinds of digital nomad-friendly options, like no foreign transfer fees, no monthly maintenance fees, and fully refundable fees on all foreign ATM withdrawals, a feature that’s pretty crucial when you’re traveling the globe.
Revolut was practically made for digital nomads. You get to hold five different currencies in your account and you can interconvert them with no additional fees. In addition to your bank account, you get a MasterCard that you can use to withdraw money around the world, (mostly) fee-free. Here’s the caveat: If you get a standard account, you can withdraw up to €200 a month. If you go over that, you have to pay extra. If you get a premium account (which is€7.90 a month), you can withdraw up to €400 a month.
Need to send money to someone? Check out TransferWise. It’s easy to use and fast (transactions usually happen within 48 hours).The company has bank accounts in 38 countries so they can easily send money toa person in the country you’re in, verses having to send it from another country, where it’s subject to regulations and fees. It’s also much cheaper than similar services: You’ll typically end up paying between 0.5% and 0.7%.
This is a virtual bank that’s available to all residents of the EU. N26 has some really great, practical features, like the fact that all of your finances are managed on your phone with an app. N26 has different accounts (some are free; some are paid) but you can usually do everything you need with a free account. If you go the free route, there are no foreign transaction fees, no currency exchange markups, and not ATM fees around the world for up to five with drawals a month (so many those withdrawals count). If you opt for a paid account, though, you’ll have unlimited no-fee ATM withdrawals.
Citibank has branches around the world, which is definitely a perk of you have a banking emergency while you’re traveling. Citibank’s Plus account has great options like no overseas fees when you use your debit card (for purchases or while using an ATM) and no transfer fees to send or receive money.
Simple.com just requires a social media profile to open an account. There aren’t any fees and, if you lose your card, you get a new one for free. Simple also has more than 60 million stations from affiliate banks where you can with draw money for free. All other banks will only charge their percentage.
If you’re looking for the best banking options for digital nomads, contact one of these banks about opening up an account. Just be sure to ask questions when you do.These things are always subject to change, and you definitely want to make sure you lock down banking that best fits your lifestyle.