Read our guide on the best money transfer credit cards in the UK right now, including info on fees, interest rates and more.
People who frequently send money across international borders or convert it into different currencies may be losing money due to transfer fees and unfavourable exchange rates. Do you recognize yourself in this? And have you wondered if there’s a better way?
If you frequently move money internationally or deal in multiple currencies, you may be able to save by using an alternative money transfer service like Wise, which moves money at the exact mid-market exchange rate with no hidden fees tacked onto its small, fair transfer fees. Another option could be to open a euro account with your bank.
If you’re a Santander customer, here’s what you need to know about your foreign currency account options.
Before you get started, a word.
Banks often charge hefty fees for foreign and multi-currency accounts. And if you’ve already tried managing multiple accounts in multiple countries, you know it’s rarely simple.
Wise could help. With Wise, it’s free to open a borderless multi-currency account with no monthly fees. There, you can manage and send dozens of different currencies all from the same account. All around the world. (Likely, for a lot cheaper than your bank.)
Give it a try. Check out Wise today.
Now, back to what you came here to read.
Santander offers its Gold Bank Account for customers who need to manage money in euros. Besides euros the Gold Account is also available in pound sterling and US dollars. It comes with a Visa debit card, as well as online and telephone banking .¹
If you live in the UK, you can open a Santander Gold Bank Account as long as you are over 18 years old and complete the bank’s application process to their satisfaction. This includes - for example - having to send a copy of your ID document and confirming your residential address. At the time of writing we couldn’t find any information about needing to have a minimum (opening) balance, so it would be best to check with Santander directly if this is a requirement.²
A UK euro bank account can be very useful for anyone who frequently transfers money to or from countries in the Eurozone, or converts currencies regularly. Having a euro account allows you to hold your money in euros and converting them to other currencies only when the exchange rate favours you, which helps to protect your money from currency fluctuations.
Another option is a Wise borderless euro account. It’s not a bank account, but in many ways, it acts like one, like by giving you your own personal European bank details if you get paid in Europe,. You’re also not limited to managing money in euros with a borderless account — you can hold, send and receive money in more than 40 global currencies all at the same time. With a borderless euro account, you can send euros to friends and family in the eurozone for only a small fixed fee.
There are several different kind of fees that you might be charged for having a (foreign currency) bank account. At Santander Bank, there’s no monthly fee for opening or maintaining a Gold Bank Account. There’s also no annual fee for having and using your Visa debit card that’s provided with the account. However, there are fees charged for other services, such as:
|ATM withdrawals, or purchase, in a different currency than you’re account||A foreign exchange commision which will not exceed 3% of the total amount of the withdrawal or purchase|
|Online instructed electronic transfer to another bank by SWIFT||€30 (intermediary or receiving bank may charge a fee as well)|
|Electronic transfer to another bank by SWIFT instructed via Telephone banking, in person, or in writing||€45 (intermediary or receiving bank may charge a fee as well)|
|Receiving an electronic transfer from another bank||No fees charged by Santander, however remitting bank or intermediary banks may charge a fee|
As Santander sends international payments via SWIFT, there may be intermediary banks involved which can each take a fee from the amount that you send. These vary, and Santander notes online, “Other banks may be involved in sending your money to the designated account and may deduct charges from amounts remitted or received.”³
An alternative could be the Wise borderless euro account. It’s also free to set up, and it doesn’t cost a monthly fee to maintain. There’s no fee for adding money to your borderless account via a bank transfer, and you can receive euros from friends and family in the eurozone for free as well. And when you have to send money across borders outside of the eurozone, you only have to pay a small, fair fee for each transfer that’s spelled out upfront so there are no surprises when it comes time to pay. And Wise only ever uses the real mid-market exchange rate. There are no markups, hidden fees or intermediary fees.
To apply for a Santander euro account in the UK, you can apply by phone, mail or online.¹ They have both a domestic and international phone number, and when you call a Santander representative would then walk you through what’s needed to start your application.
Alternatively, you can download an application form to send in via mail or fax, or you can fill out the form online.¹
Opening a Wise borderless euro account can be done entirely online and relatively fast. Just head over to the Wise borderless account page, hit the sign up button, enter the required personal information and send in any required document - such as your ID for example - to verify a few details about yourself. Then choose the main currency for your account and let Wise take it from there to verify your information. That’s all it takes.
If you’re tired of losing money on international travels and currency conversions, you owe it to yourself and your bank account to find a better option that won’t cost so much. Whether that’s an alternative service like Wise or a euro account at a bank that offers the right perks for you, this guide should get you closer to choosing which method will be best for you.
1.https://www.santanderinternational.co.uk/banking/bank-accounts/gold-bank-accounts (Aug 8, 2018)
2.https://www.santanderinternational.co.uk/docs/revised-general-terms-conditions.pdf (Aug 8, 2018)
3.https://www.santanderinternational.co.uk/docs/charges.pdf (Aug 8, 2018)
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
Check out our list of the best online bank accounts in the UK right now, including Chase, Monzo, Starling Bank, Revolut and many more.
Check out our list of the current accounts with the best interest rates in the UK, plus tips on how to choose the right account for your needs.
Check out our roundup of the best high interest savings accounts in the UK for 2023, along with tips on choosing the best savings solution for you.
Check out our roundup of the best easy access savings accounts in the UK, including tips on how to choose the best one.
The Co-operative Bank®1 and Tesco Bank®2 both offer varied account, card and payment services to UK personal customers. Both have comprehensive online and...