Finding an online bank for digital nomads can be quite the task. However, if financial security is what is keeping you from making the switch to becoming a digital nomad, then this article has got you covered. Worrying about ATM fees, currency exchange fees, monthly fees and a whole bunch of other expenses is really going to give you a headache. Nonetheless, making the right decision to keep your wallet fat is essential.
With all that said, here is an unfortunate truth – your location does matter. As a nomad, a digital nomad at that, this might be a piece of heartbreaking news to hear. Unfortunately, it is a sad fact. There are many options for European residents, some American residents and you could even find one or two Canadian ones.
Even though location can be a barrier for many things as a digital nomad, it does not have to be. Like, for example, making friends as a digital nomad, when you are going to be travelling around making friends might seem like a huge task but it does not have to be.
Also Read: How To Make Friends As A Digital Nomad
As for banks, there are a lot of options for European residents, some for American residents and you could even find one. Anyway, if you do happen to reside or decide to work from any of these locations, you can consider your finances sorted.
But, why the need for digital banks?
Difficulties With Traditional Banks
The whole point of being a digital nomad is so that you can stay connected online without committing to a location. Putting your finances in a bank that is not going to have its services online would completely take away the digital part of a digital nomad, meaning you would have to quit your nomadic ways too.
Here are the problems with traditional banks:
- Proof of residency in the country the bank is from.
- There is no capacity to open an account completely online, which means you would have to show up in person to the branch of the bank.
- Fees or charges applies when you receive or withdraw money in a different currency.
- ATM card getting blocked.
- A lot of extra fees.
With all these problems, here are some online banks for digital nomads which offer solutions to them.
Online Bank For Digital Nomads
N26 is the best bank for digital nomads. It is a Berlin-based company. Although mostly used in Europe, you don’t have to be based in Europe to open an account. They started introducing accounts in the US in 2019. N26 is one of the most convenient online banks for digital nomads.
With N26, you can easily open an account online. It only takes minutes. There is no hidden fees, no minimum account balance or any other problems a traditional bank is going to give you. However, you do need to provide a European address if you want to receive the no-annual-fee Mastercard.
And, in case you do not have one, you have always gone for the free Standard plan which is sufficient for most people. It includes a virtual debit card, mobile payment options, free payments in any currency and many more.
You can also avail travel insurance benefits like medical coverage in case of emergencies, cancellations, luggage coverage in case of loss or delay with their N26 You or Metal accounts.
It actually does sound like the best bank for digital nomads right?
Revolut is a popular online bank for digital nomads in Europe. If you are considering becoming a resident in Europe this might be the option for you. Their mobile apps help you manage your accounts easily.
With a Revolut account, you can hold up to five different currencies that you can interconvert without worrying about the additional fees. Nonetheless, you will also hold a UK bank account number. Not just that, but a Mastercard that you can use around the world.
However, with the free account in Revolut, you can only withdraw up to 200 GBP/EUR per month for free. After which, ATM fees apply. There is a Premium or a Metal account that you could upgrade to, to avoid this.
Another plus, you can exchange, buy or hold cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin with Revolut.
Wise is an online bank that could be the best bank for digital nomads because of this one reason. It allows you to link your account to PayPal, Amazon and get the invoices in local currency.
Wise is an online banking system that is going to you provide you with lower commission rates on global transactions. It also has a lower transfer fee. You can open a local bank account in 10 currencies. This makes it easier to send, receive and make payments.
You can also get a debit card when you open an account, called a Wise card. The Wise card can be used with Apple Pay. Also, Wise banking is better suited for one-person businesses than for larger commercial purposes.
However, the downside to this would be that the card is not available to use in all countries.
4. Payoneer Banking
Payoneer and Wise are often compared for the services that they offer. However, Payoneer mainly provides services for businesses. This means that they look into business, seller and freelancer payments or other business-related transactions. Hence, it really isn’t of much help to those who like to go solo.
Payoneer offers different payment options. It provides its services in 20 countries and so makes it a great option to have for businesses. They also offer global support. With around 14 offices around the world and partnerships with major websites like eBay, Amazon and Airbnb, this could be just the support you need.
It provides its services in over 150 global currencies. It has different payment options which are offered for 200 countries. Best of all, there is no registration fee. And, as for cards, Payoneer offers MasterCard for their clients.
However, they do charge a fee for their credit card payments. Additionally, a currency conversion fee is also applicable.
Paypal is one of the greatest options as the best bank for digital nomads. It is one of the famous digital banking platforms in the world. It was founded in 1998, making it quite a trustworthy service. Paypal focuses on offering easy money transferring options between countries.
PayPal offers its services in 25 different currencies in over 200 countries. However, PayPal charges a percentage instead of a flat rate. This means that it depends on how large your transfer is. The larger the transfer the fees get higher.
The advantage of PayPal is the kind of reach it has. Since it has been around for such a long time, since 1998, almost everyone who wants to make international payments or transfers has an account. PayPal has also made business deals to be easy and convenient.
Mozo is a UK based bank. It has an app that makes using Monzo really useful. They offer a sleek, colourful MasterCard which is a major upgrade since their pre-paid debit cards, ones they had launched with.
With the MasterCard upgrade, they have provided their clients with fully-accredited accounts with official bank details. They also allow their customers to spend their money worldwide without paying fees.
Obviously, Monzo also has accounts that you can opt for. Their personal account offers Free, Monzo Plus and Monzo Premium. It includes exclusive perks. This would include worldwide travel insurance, phone insurance and fee-free overseas withdrawals up to a certain amount.
Unfortunately, you would need to require a UK address. Another thing, in case your income is not GBP-based, you would have to pay fees in order to secure an account.
Monese is another online bank for digital nomads. However, Monese makes use of a phone-based approach through its user-friendly app. With this, you can open an account in an instant using EUR, GBP or RON. You do not need to have a physical address. Unfortunately, clients are required to live in the EU or the UK to open an account.
Monese, like some of its competitors, offers a contactless MasterCard debit card. You can use this card at worldwide ATMs, in-store or online without any fees.
In case you are a digital nomad duo, Monese offers the option of opening a personal account or joint account with another person. This could be your partner, family member or even friend.
With Monese, you can make payments internationally. It provides services to 19 currencies at the real exchange rate. Truth be told, this is a much better deal than sending via a traditional bank.
Another plus, if you do have a PayPal account, you can integrate it on your Monese app. This is going to help you save a lot of money shopping the next time.
Citibank helps you with the problem of online and in-bank dilemmas for digital nomads. They are a multi-national bank with branches all over the world. This makes it a trustworthy online bank for digital nomads. Citibank offers its services in 20 countries which includes Australia, USA and UK.
One of the best parts of Citibank is that there are no overseas fees. It also offers great customer service, which means that you can reach out whenever. Citibank, also, does not charge you when you use their debit card in any country around the world. It won’t charge you to transfer money internationally either. They have their branches around the world. This enables you to have a face-to-face bank visit in some countries.
The fact that they have a worldwide ATM that offers withdrawals with no fees is also a huge plus.
If you think those were the greatest offerings, imagine getting offered a free bottle of wine if you dine at their selected dining locales. Could be the best feeling huh?
If you plan to work in or are working in Canada, STACK might the best option for you. One of the huge pluses is that it is the only digital banking option in Canada that offers no foreign exchange fees. Also, no ATM fees or monthly fees. It is not truly a bank, however. STACK is a MasterCard money management system.
STACK offers support with digital wallets including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay. It also provides STACK virtual card. This helps you have extra security when you are shopping online.
STACK also offers pretty cool services. They offer additional services, like trip planning through STACK travel. STACK Travel allows you to earn 20% cashback on select hotels and travel deals. You can also connect with other STACK members with their World Stream. You also get a referral bonus.
With all said, the only con of STACK is that they only offer Canadian currency. Quite a big con, but if you do have plans of being in Canada then this would not even apply.
10. Charles Schwab
Charles Schwab is worth considering if you are a US resident. It is well-loved by many American digital nomads. Charles Schwab is quite a solid banking solution as it offers a larger, stable banking option.
One of the best things about cs is that they return their atm fees. You can be assured that you will be paid back all the international fees that you have hoarded up with all the transfers you have made. Also, another great feature is that you do not have to maintain a minimum balance.
Of course, the only con of Charles Schwab, like STACK, is that you have to be a resident of the country.