Considering opening a foreign currency account? Many of the UK’s major banks offer them, including Lloyds Bank.
Here, we’ll give you the lowdown on the Lloyds International Current Account, including how it works and how to open one. Plus, any fees and charges you need to know about.
We’ll even throw in a potentially money-saving alternative - the powerful Wise multi-currency account.
But more on that later. For now, let’s get cracking with some essential info about the Lloyds foreign currency account.
The Lloyds Bank International Current Account offers you a choice of three currencies - GBP, USD or EUR.
There’s a monthly fee, but there are no fees to send and receive payments - although other charges may apply. We’ll run through any fees you need to know about in just a moment.
You can manage your International Current Account using 24/7 online banking, from anywhere in the world. And there’s even a Visa debit card for a convenient way to spend and withdraw cash in your chosen currency.
Foreign currency accounts make it simpler and more convenient to manage your money across different currencies.
Payments and transfers in your chosen currency tend to be quicker, as there are no delays caused by currency conversion. This can also eliminate many of the fees associated with international transfers between currencies, although not all.
And because you can send, spend and receive money in your chosen foreign currency, you won’t lose money to fluctuating exchange rates either.
Foreign currency accounts are the ideal choice for internationally-trading businesses and global freelancers. But they’re also a good solution for expats and travellers, or those with friends and family in other countries.
Before you can open a Lloyds International Current Account, you’ll need to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria. You must¹:
- Have a sole gross annual income of £50,000, or have at least £25,000 to save
- Live in the UK, or another eligible country - the account is available in many countries, but not within the EU. You can use the Lloyds eligibility checker tool to make sure you can apply for this account.
- Be at least 18 years old.
If you meet these conditions, you’re good to go.
You can apply for this account online, by filling in an online application form. You’ll be asked about your country of residence, income/savings and other personal details before submitting your application².
You can open the Lloyds International Current Account as a sole or a joint account. If you’re applying for a joint account, at least one applicant will need to meet the annual income threshold¹.
If you need help with your application, you can call Lloyds Bank customer services on +44 (0)1539 879740¹.
There’s a monthly fee of £7.50 for the Lloyds International Current Account, or the EUR/USD account equivalents of €8/$10. But the good news is that if you open more than one currency account (i.e. you open both a EUR and a USD account), you’ll still only pay one monthly fee¹.
On top of this, there may be other charges for using your account. We’ve covered the main charges you need to know about in the table below:
|Send money worldwide||No fee - but correspondent bank fees of £12-£20 apply depending where you’re sending to|
|Electronic funds transfer (CHAPS) within the UK||£30|
|Receiving money from outside the UK||Free for electronic transfers£5 for cheques up to £10025p per £100 for cheques over £100|
|Debit card - ATM withdrawals||Free if in the currency of the card2.99% currency conversion fee + 1.5% handling fee charge for all other currencies³|
The beauty of multi-currency accounts is there’s no need to convert currency, provided the transaction is in the same currency as the account. But what happens when other currencies are involved?
Banks tend to use their own exchange rates when converting currency. This often includes a margin added on top of the mid-market rate - which is the rate you’ll find on Google or XE.
It’s always worth checking whether the exchange rate you’re offered matches this mid-market rate. If not, it means there’s a mark-up or ‘hidden fee’ which could make your transfer more expensive.
For complete peace of mind, you can simply use a provider like Wise which only ever uses the mid-market rate for international transfers. Then, all you need to compare is the transfer fee.
The easiest and quickest way to make transfers from your Lloyds International Current Account is via online banking¹. Simply log in to your account, enter the details and set up the transfer. You can do it 24/7, from anywhere in the world provided you have an internet connection.
If you prefer, you can also make transfers using the Lloyds telephone banking service. With PhoneBank, you’ll get a secret password and a customer service representative to assist you⁴.
To register for telephone banking, call 03457 329802 or +44 (0) 3457 329802 from outside the UK. The PhoneBank service is available from 7am to 11pm, Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 4pm on Saturdays⁴.
The Lloyds International Current Account is a great option for managing your money in GBP, EUR and USD, provided you’re ok with the monthly fee - and can meet the income threshold required to open the account.
But there is an alternative which could suit your needs better. The Wise multi-currency account lets you manage 50+ currencies at once, not just three. There’s no monthly fee or income requirements, and you can sign up for an account in minutes.
Better still, you can send money all over the world for low fees and the real, mid-market exchange rate. It can be much cheaper than using a traditional bank.
There’s even a linked Wise international debit card for spending in the local currency in 200 countries, where currency is automatically converted at the fairest rate. There are no foreign transaction or card handling fees, only a tiny conversion fee. And if you already have the currency in your account, it’s free. So, that’s your travel spending sorted.
And that’s pretty much it - all the headlines you need about the Lloyds foreign currency account. We’ve covered account features, fees, how to apply and much more, so you should be all set. Good luck!
Sources used for this article:
- Lloyds Bank - international current account
- Lloyds Bank - international account online application
- Lloyds Bank - debit card fees
- Lloyds Bank - telephone banking services
Sources checked on 02-Feb-2022.
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.
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