Check out our comprehensive guide to the best UK bank accounts for kids and teens, including digital alternatives and savings accounts too.
If you regularly send or receive money in EUR, having a euro bank account could be very useful indeed. It’s particularly handy for freelancers who get paid in euros and businesses who buy from European suppliers, as well as people who regularly send money to friends and family abroad.
The major benefit of having a euro account is that you can avoid losing money to fluctuating exchange rates. But just how easy is it to open a euro account in the UK, and which banks offer them?
We’ll cover everything you need to know here in this guide. Plus, alternatives such as the Wise multi-currency account which could be a better fit for your needs.
Let’s start by looking at which of the UK’s major high street banks offer euro accounts.
The Barclays Euro Account lets you send and receive payments in euros, and you can also transfer money for free between your Barclays euro and sterling accounts.
To be eligible for this account, you’ll need to open a Barclays current account in sterling first.
HSBC offers an international Currency Account, where you can choose from 14 major currencies including EUR. You’ll have a separate account for each currency.
The HSBC Currency Account is easy to manage, offers live exchange rates updated by the second (during market hours) and has no monthly fee.
To be eligible, you’ll need to be over 18 and have an active HSBC current account. If you meet these criteria, you can apply online by logging into your internet banking.
The Lloyds Bank International Current Account gives you a choice of three currencies, one of which is EUR. The account offers 24/7 worldwide access using internet banking, and you’ll even get a Visa debit card for spending in euros.
There aren’t any fees for making or receiving international payments, but there is a monthly fee.
To be eligible for this account, you’ll need to have a gross annual income of at least £50,000 (or the equivalent in euros). You may be eligible if you have at least £25,000 to save with Lloyds Bank. Another important condition to know about is that you’ll need to make your first deposit into the account within 30 days of opening it.
Santander International has a Gold Account aimed at customers who regularly make international payments, or who travel or work abroad.
It’s an everyday current account, available in three currencies including EUR. You’ll get a Visa debit card for payments and ATM withdrawals in euros, and you can manage your account through telephone and online banking. There’s no monthly fee, and you’ll even get a variable rate of interest on your money.
You aren’t restricted to just high street banks when it comes to getting a euro account. Many digital and mobile-only banks also offer them, such as:
- Monese⁵ - offering a mobile-only account in EUR with a debit card and international transfers.
- Revolut⁶ - open a personal Revolut account and you can create a new account for your choice of 30+ currencies, including EUR
- Starling⁷ - the Starling Euro Personal Current Account comes with a debit card for managing both GBP and EUR accounts and 24/7 weekend transfers. You’ll also get your own unique International Bank Account Number (IBAN).
Before opening a euro account with your chosen provider, it’s important to check the small print.
The key things to look for are monthly fees and charges for international transfers, but you should also check out the exchange rates. Many banks tend to add a mark-up to what is known as the mid-market rate, which makes overseas payments more expensive for you.
Here’s an overview of the fees for the accounts we’ve mentioned so far:
|International transfer fees
|Barclays Euro Account⁸
|Free (£25 fee for branch/ phone banking payments)
|HSBC Currency Account⁹
|Free for EUR payments €7 for payments in other currencies
|Lloyds International Current Account³
|Free (although correspondent bank fees may apply)
|Santander Gold Account⁴
|€30 for international SWIFT payments
|Monese foreign currency account⁵
|£0 to £14.95 a month (depending which plan you choose)
|Up to 2.5% (+ additional 1% at weekends). Free with premium plan.
|£0 to £12.99¹⁰
|Free for SEPA payments Fees apply for other international payments, calculated based on currency and country. Some plans offer limited fee-free international payments¹¹
|Starling Euro Personal Current Account⁷
|Free for euro payments
If you want to swerve account fees and poor exchange rates completely, there’s a money-saving alternative available.
Open a Wise multi-currency account and you won’t need a separate euro account. You can hold and convert 50+ currencies including EUR from one powerful account, and only pay low, transparent fees to send money worldwide. There’s no monthly account fee, and no hidden charges to worry about.
Better still, with Wise you’re guaranteed the real, mid-market exchange rate, with no expensive mark-up added on top.
Sources used for this article:
- Barclays - Euro account
- HSBC - currency account
- Lloyds Bank - international current account
- Santander International - current account
- Monese - foreign currency account
- Revolut - currency exchange
- Starling Bank - euro bank account
- Barclays - euro account
- HSBC - fee information document
- Revolut - pricing plans
- Revolut - standard fees
Sources checked on 26-04-2022.
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
Check out our comprehensive guide to the best basic bank accounts in the UK, including details of eligibility, fees, features and how to apply.
Check out our comprehensive guide on how to open an Asda Money credit card account, including what details and documents you need and how long it takes to open.
Check out our handy guide on how to transfer your bank account to Halifax, including how to use the Current Account Switch Service.
Check out our complete guide to Zopa Bank savings accounts, including instant access, ISA and fixed term accounts, interest rates and more.
Read our guide on the best money transfer credit cards in the UK right now, including info on fees, interest rates and more.