One of the sweetest parts of being a remote worker is spending your hard-earned dollars, Euros, pounds, or pesos across the world. Before you splurge, however, you’ll need to choose a reliable bank which caters to your needs as a nomad. With exorbitant withdrawal and transfer fees, your regular checking account won’t cut it.
Digital nomads require quick, seamless banking solutions with the lowest possible fees and a ubiquitous digital presence. If you’re a remote worker on the hunt for the best bank, look no further. We’ve lined up five of the best banks for digital nomads in 2019.
HSBC - Best for international travelers
HSBC is our first recommendation because they’ve got a physical presence in thousands of cities across the world. Their multinational footprint means that you’re more likely to find an HSBC ATM and because they’re so established they have a refined banking product with reliable support in case you ever find yourself in a banking pickle.
Their HSBC Everyday Global Account is our recommended pick as you won’t have to worry about monthly costs, ATM fees, or foreign transaction fees. In addition, this HSBC card can hold up to 10 different currencies so you can avoid exchange fees on select international transfers.
Monzo - Best for remote workers from the UK
Monzo touts itself as the first word in digital banking, with a fully fledged app that helps you to create and track budgets. The upside to using Monzo is that you can use your card overseas without having to notify the bank first. You won’t find any foreign swiping charges, nor will you be saddled with additional fees for online transactions in a foreign currency.
There are two key caveats to opening a Monzo account as a digital nomad, however. The first is that you need to be a UK resident (or at the very least, have a domicile in the UK) to open a Monzo account. The second is that ATM withdrawals are free up to £200, although you can keep track of this in the app. The £200 withdrawal limit renews every 30 days. Monzo’s status in the UK as an up-and-coming challenger bank make it a worthy consideration for remote workers from Britain.
Revolut - Best for remote workers dabbling in cryptocurrencies
Revolut is the direct competitor to Monzo, but with a few added features that some remote workers might find useful. First off, you can choose from three tiers of service – Standard, Premium or Metal, each with their own monthly withdrawal limits of €200, €400 and €600 respectively. If you cross these thresholds, you’ll pay a 2% surcharge on your withdrawals.
On top of that, you also get fee-free transfers in more than 130 countries at real-time exchange rates, a boon for nomads who are tired of the hidden fees that come with cross-border transactions. On the value-add side, Revolut comes with a pretty nifty Vault feature, a savings tool which helps you to stash your pennies for a rainy day. One of the more interesting features of Revolut is that it also allows you to buy and trade five major cryptocurrencies.
You can convert your FIAT currency into Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash or XRP quickly and easily, while also tracking market fluctuations on the Revolut app. This is especially useful for remote workers who might be getting paid in crypto and wish to withdraw it as a FIAT currency while traveling.
N26 - Best for remote workers from Europe
N26 has made a name for itself as a German-based bank marketed towards European residents. Its focus on simplicity has earned it praise from tech-savvy nomads who couldn’t be bothered with the long queues and antiquated services of traditional banks. Much like Revolut, N26 offers different pricing tiers, but it’s the N26 Business account which is best suited for remote workers. It allows you to separate your business spending from your personal expenses, plus you get 0.1% cashback on all purchases with a swanky N26 Business MasterCard.
Other useful features include international transfers into 19 different currencies at six times cheaper than conventional banks, along with support for instant Transferwise payments. Best of all, it’s free to open an N26 Business account.
Charles Schwab - Best for remote workers from the US
It would be remiss of us not to discuss one of America’s leading banks for remote workers; Charles Schwab. Their High Yield Investor Checking® Account is a compelling product as it offers unlimited rebates on ATM fees, no services fees, and no foreign transaction fees. The caveat for gaining access to this account is that you’ll have to open a Charles Schwab brokerage account, with an investment of $1000. The other prerequisite is holding a social security number, which means that only US citizens have access to this facility.
Whether you’re a fully-fledged remote worker or long-term traveler, these bank accounts are designed to make transacting trouble-free. As the FinTech market continues to bring new innovations, these banking products are certainly worth a look if you’re still stuck with an old-school checking account that’s costing you an arm and a leg.
Written by Stuart Hendricks