Best Banks for Digital Nomads
Becoming a digital nomad might seem a brilliant way to achieve work-life balance. But it could get irritating if you do not have the right financial counsel on living a life of travelling while working and working while travelling. This post serves as an expert guide for novices and experienced digital nomads.
Who are Digital Nomads?
Digital nomads are frequent travellers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote employees who work entirely online and do not have fixed residential addresses. Using their laptop computers and smartphones, they do full-time or part-time remote jobs such as copywriting, proofreading, editing, digital marketing, advertising, web design/development, app/software development, coaching, search engine optimisation, accounting, and so on. They enjoy the flexibility of being able to start and finish their tasks from anywhere in the world, provided there is internet access. However, they often find it challenging to do banking as they move from one place/country to another, receiving and making payments in different currencies.
What Makes a Bank Digital-Nomad-Friendly?
Digital nomads are a special kind of people when it comes to their financial lifestyle. They transact in different currencies as they move here and there with no permanent address and no particular local bank for depositing and withdrawing money. Therefore, traditional banks are an inadequate option for them since these types of banks normally require most of their customers to be residents of their countries of operation and be able to prove their residency with a verifiable address. The ideal bank for this kind of people can readily meet the needs of faraway customers around-the-clock and across time zones. It must be fast to open using any laptop or smartphone, not expensive, and should offer the possibility to fix any problems without requiring the presence of the account owner. That is basically what makes a bank friendly to digital nomads.
Top Banks for Digital Nomads
There are many banks for digital nomads; making a good choice among them could be very difficult. Hence, we offer you the following top digital banks for nomads:
Do you travel and work in about 100 countries in a year? We guess not. But even if you do, we are glad to inform you that there is a digital bank for you. You can use Paysera in up to 180 countries. It allows users to create free multicurrency accounts with a Lithuanian bank so that they can make safe and fast international transfers, receive money, and make payments at their convenience. However, Paysera is not so cheap to use. For instance, the physical Paysera card has a daily transaction limit of €10,000.
If you want a bank account that is readily available to travel with you, go for an account with Bunq. This neobank issues a Mastercard with which digital nomads can easily make payments across the globe. It also offers multiple European IBAN accounts and 15+ currencies. The users of this digital bank can save 3% on payments made via the bunq card in other currencies. It isa widely acceptable travel card for digital nomads.
High-earning nomads can easily manage their income and expenditure using Revolut. This digital bank offers its users free conversion between up to five different currencies in one account. In addition, you can open a Standard, Premium, Metal, or Revolut Plus account (in EUR/GBP) to make conversions between more than 30 different currencies, use physical and disposable virtual cards, receive cashback for card payments, and withdraw up to 200 EUR/GBP from ATMs for free per month, respectively. The various tiers of Revolut accounts come with different fees and limits.
Are you a digital nomad whose itinerary is across Europe? Then, try the N26 digital bank. It is a Berlin-based neobank that is primarily for nomads in Europe. The good thing about this option is that it has no minimum account balance, no hidden fees, or other common constraints, and can give you a Mastercard card without an annual fee. It also offers a wide range of benefits including travel insurance, savings, and compatibility with Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Wise.
Since 2015, Monzo has been helping digital nomads from the United Kingdom to have control over their money. It issues a Mastercard that can be used for payments at any merchant and withdrawals at any Mastercard supported ATM worldwide. Users of Monzo can split bills with other users while travelling and working from one location to another. It offers a different account with different rates, fees, and special plans including global family insurance for travel expenses and more. However, you must provide a UK address to register an account with this digital bank. Read more about the various Monzo accounts here.
Choose Current for your digital nomad financial lifestyle if you do not like to pay monthly fees for banking. You can also earn loyalty points for using your Current debit card to pay for your goods at participating stores. Its mobile apps are available on the App Store and Google Play. The benefits from creating an account with Current include cashback, fee-free ATM withdrawals, free overdraft, mobile banking money management, free instant money transfers, and a lot more.
British digital nomads who are business owners can rely on Starling to manage their money through its personal and business accounts. It is an award-winning neobank in the United Kingdom. Through its mobile app, this digital bank makes it easy for you to create savings goals and split bills using your mobile phone. Its users can open multicurrency GBP/EUR/USD accounts and operate them with one card, enjoying zero-fee transactions and ATM withdrawals abroad.
With Chime, digital nomads can open online accounts that are insured by the FDIC, thus protecting their money against theft or bank failure. It offers fee-free overdrafts, zero minimum balance, debit cards for fee-free withdrawals at over 60,000 ATMs, instant money transfers, high-yield savings accounts, fast money transfers, and other benefits.
Digital nomads can receive business loans as well as savings and mortgage accounts with Atom bank. This UK-based mobile-only bank is a great option for fixed-rate savings. Nevertheless, it scores low in anonymity because it collects a lot of information from the user. Besides, full money management is carried out with the support of traditional banks.
Register for a EUR, GBP or RON account that can travel with you wherever you go with Monese. This digital bank is for European digital nomads, and it operates in 20 European countries. It offers users a contactless Mastercard debit card for worldwide access to their money at ATMs. You will pay no maintenance fees for having a Monese account. Also, you can link your Monese account to your PayPal account to benefit from its multi-account tracking feature. However, you can not open a business account with this digital bank if your business is not UK-based. Find more information about Monese here.
Create an account with Wise to experience low-cost borderless payments and transfers as you go about your nomadic work-life. Users of Wise can make free ATM withdrawals of up to 200 EUR monthly or pay a 2% fee to withdraw higher amounts, and benefit from competitive rates and fees. To learn more about how competitive Wise is today, visit this link.
How to Choose the Right Digital Nomad Bank for You
Now you know the best digital bank for nomads. But which of them should you choose? Which one is right for you? First, you need to know which is available and accessible in your itinerary. Next, you should narrow the list down to the digital bank that best serves your financial plan to either save money or make cheap transfers, or maybe both. That way, you can look for specific features and benefits that the digital bank can offer to you.
The other factors you need to consider when choosing a digital bank that is appropriate for you are:
Some digital banks offer fee-free services, while some others charge their users a variety of monthly or yearly fees which include administration fees (linked with the cost of opening and maintaining the account), international transaction fees (for example, a percentage of your expenditure via your card overseas), and cash withdrawal fees (this could be charged by the foreign ATM, your digital bank, or both).
Mobile app usability
There is no need to create an account with a digital bank whose mobile app is complicated to use. You would prefer something fast, easy, and pleasing to use for banking, saving, transfers, account statement or financial history, customer support, card freezing and more. Gladly, the digital banks we have listed above are great and user-friendly.
All the digital banks we have listed above provide 24/7 support for their customers. You do not want to be in a different time zone and be unable to contact your bank because they have closed for the day. Furthermore, the above digital banks even offer multilingual assistance.
Do you travel around the world or across your continent? When choosing a digital bank, ensure to choose one that is supported in many countries, especially the countries you frequently visit for work, education, pleasure, or any other personal purpose.
Your digital nomad lifestyle will be boring without a great digital bank. You want to have speedy and convenient access to your money so that you can make payments in foreign currencies as you work and travel. You can choose any of our recommended top digital banks, whichever best suits your banking preferences. Besides, you can use two to three of them at a time. In that way, you can travel with a savings bank (such as N26), a wire transfer bank (such as Wise), and any other combination for a reliable and convenient nomadic banking experience.
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