The keeping of checking and other bank accounts in the United States offers various benefits to American residents residing overseas, sometimes known as expatriates or expats. The simplicity of direct deposits for work or Social Security payments is one of them. Others include the convenience of paying bills or making payments inside the nation.
However, because of bank fees, utilizing these accounts while residing abroad might be costly. For instance, if you pick the incorrect bank, the cost of an ATM transaction might be considerable, costing anywhere from $1 to $5. Additionally, accessing money when traveling may be challenging without a reliable mobile platform and round-the-clock service centers.
The top nine checking accounts for international customers are shown below. Think of HSBC and Citi as some of the banks on the list with significant physical presences overseas. Other banks, like Ally Bank or Capital One, operate primarily as online businesses. With expats and visitors in mind, all of the banks on this list have been thoroughly examined.
360 Capital One
Capital One Financial Corp. (COF) offers the Capital One 360 interest-bearing checking option without charging maintenance, international transaction, or ATM fees to expats.
Owners of accounts may set up direct transfers for paychecks or Social Security benefits. Additionally, using your debit card overseas is free of charge with Capital One 360 products.
CSFB Charles Schwab
For expatriates looking for a low-cost checking account for usage abroad, the Charles Schwab Corp.’s (SCHW) Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account offers refunds on all ATM costs, processes transactions in foreign currencies at no cost and at the mid-market exchange rate, and has no service fees. The account offers interest and is compatible with Apple Pay.
You must create and connect a Schwab One brokerage account in order to purchase and sell assets like stocks, mutual funds, and bonds. This is required when you open a checking account with Schwab Bank.
Since the Citibank ATM Network is present in more than 40 nations, finding an ATM may not be difficult. As a division of Citigroup Inc. (C), Citibank provides expats with the ease of managing their financial matters both in-person and online at locations all over the globe. Customers get wealth management and financial planning services in addition to banking services with the Citi International Personal Account Package and the Citigold interest checking account.
Customers must keep qualifying linked banking, investing, and retirement accounts at least $200,000 in aggregate average monthly amount.
Accounts that maintain the required minimum average monthly balance are not subject to a monthly service charge. The account provides fee exemptions for the majority of banking services as well as refund of costs incurred while using ATMs that are not Citi-branded. Wire transfer costs are either eliminated or reduced depending on the Citigold account type you carry.
With operations in 64 countries and territories, the global reach of HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBC) gives expats an unrivaled physical presence.
In case a customer’s wallet is lost or stolen, HSBC Premier checking provides a number of benefits, including no annual fees, no ATM or transaction fees, and emergency cash up to $10,000.
Customers must have an HSBC U.S. residential mortgage loan with an initial loan amount of at least $500,000 or a minimum balance of $75,000 in linked bank accounts, $5,000 in recurring third-party direct deposits, or both to be eligible for the Premier account.
If a Premier account is out of your price range, consider an HSBC Choice or Advance checking account, both of which exclude you from paying ATM fees in certain nations.
Credit Union Alliant
With no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service charges, Alliant Credit Union’s high-interest checking account offers a 0.25 percent annual percentage yield (APY).
Contrary to many banks, credit unions often pass on transaction processing fees to clients without adding markups.
Initial Republic Bank
First Republic Bank’s (NYSE: FRC) ATM Rebate Checking Account provides free withdrawals from ATMs located all over the globe, reimbursements for expenses incurred when using non-network ATMs, and no transaction fees when using debit cards. When $3,500 or more is kept in the account for the duration of each monthly statement cycle, interest is paid. A $500 minimum deposit is required to start an ATM Rebate checking account.
Even though Ally Bank only provides online banking, it has a strong web interface for expats with free bill paying, no maintenance costs, and no required minimum monthly maintenance payments. For debit card and ATM withdrawals, Ally Bank imposes a normal international transaction fee of up to 1% of the total transaction amount. If you use a non-Allpoint ATM abroad, there can be an extra fee.
The debit card provided with the Cash Management Account allows foreign nationals who have investment accounts with Fidelity Investments to make withdrawals at more than one million ATMs worldwide. For non-U.S. dollar transactions, there is a 1 percent international transaction fee that may be charged whether or not there is a currency conversion. The account also provides accident insurance, damage waivers for rental cars, and travel and emergency help.
Fleet Federal Credit Union
The Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) offers benefits for military personnel who are stationed overseas as well as for active-duty and retired personnel who banked there while residing in the United States. Use of International Navy Federal and CO-OP ATMs is free of ATM access fees.
Federal Credit Union of the State Department
This federal credit union has a lot to offer its members if you or a member of your immediate family works for the U.S. Department of State. You may establish a Basic checking account with no minimum balance requirement, an Advantage account with a balance of $2,000, or a Privilege account with a balance of $25,000. Members get free use to almost 30,000 ATMs with all accounts. Members get access to the credit union’s powerful online banking platform as well as its round-the-clock phone center.