Best Multi-Currency Accounts You Can Open In The UK

Zorica Lončar

Do you regularly send or receive money internationally? You might have friends or family in other countries, work as a global freelancer or need to make overseas payments for your business.

Whichever is the case, you could find that a multi-currency account is the perfect solution.

In this guide, we’ll give you the lowdown on multi-currency accounts, including how they work and what they’re good for.

Then, we’ll cover the best banks and providers offering multi-currency accounts in the UK, including international money specialist Wise.

So, let’s get started.

What is a multi-currency account?

A multi-currency account is an account that lets you hold money in a foreign currency. In some cases, they let you hold multiple foreign currencies at once.

You can send and receive money in that currency, without the funds having to be converted into your home currency first. Alternatively, you can hold onto the money and wait to convert it at a good rate, or spend it without having to pay conversion fees.

Many major banks offer foreign currency accounts, in currencies such as US Dollars, Euros, Sterling, Australian Dollars and New Zealand Dollars. But you can also open multi-currency accounts from alternative providers such as Wise, which can work out to be more cost-effective. We’ll show you how later.

Reasons to have a multi-currency account

A multi-currency account isn’t the right choice for everyone. But it can offer a lot of benefits if you regularly deal with foreign currency or manage your money across international borders. Here are just a few:

  • A simpler, more convenient way to manage your money - across multiple currencies, all in one place. This can make it far less complicated to keep on top of transactions and balances in different currencies.
  • Faster payments in local currencies - without delays and extra costs created by converting currency.
  • Online banking - most banks with foreign currency accounts offer the convenience of managing your money via 24/7 internet banking.
  • Reduced transaction costs - while there may still be some fees to pay, foreign currency accounts eliminate many common international transfer fees.
  • Reduced conversion costs- you can accept payments and spend in the foreign currency of your choice, without the need to convert currency. If you do need to convert money, you can usually access competitive live exchange rates so you can choose the best time to do the conversion.

Are multi-currency accounts safe?

Whenever you’re keeping a significant amount of money in an account, it’s only natural to worry about security.

Multi-currency accounts with UK banks will have Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection for your money, just like with standard current and savings accounts.

Before opening a multi-currency account, it’s important to check that the provider has adequate protection measures in place - just like those we’ve mentioned above.

How to choose the right multi-currency account for you

Nearly ready to open a foreign currency account, but don’t know which one to choose? Here are some key things to think about, to help you make the right decision for your needs.


The first thing to look for is whether the account offers the right currency, or currencies, for your needs. So, if you’re looking to send and receive money in Euros, you’ll need to be able to open a Euro currency account. In some cases, the provider will offer you an account in which you can hold multiple currencies at once.

Fees and charges

Some providers charge a monthly or annual fee for the account.

On top of these fees, you may also have to pay charges for sending and receiving international payments. Some may be fee-free for your chosen currency, but involve other charges such as correspondent bank fees and currency conversion charges.

So before opening the account, take a close look at the terms and conditions to see how much it would cost you to make the kinds of transactions you have in mind.

Debit card

Some foreign currency accounts come with a debit card, or you can apply for one when the account is open. This lets you spend in your chosen currency, without conversion charges. But it’s important to check whether there are any fees associated with getting or using a debit card before opening the account.


As we’ve mentioned above, it’s crucial to make sure your chosen multi-currency account has the right protection in place. Take some extra time to check out whether the account is FCA regulated, and what kinds of cyber-security and anti-fraud measures are in place.

Which banks offer multi-currency accounts in the UK?


Barclays offers foreign currency accounts in a choice of 12 currencies. These include US Dollars, Euros, Australian Dollars, New Zealand Dollars, Japanese Yen and Danish Kroner. You’ll need to have an existing sterling current account with Barclays in order to open one, and you can only choose one currency per account.

You can make international payments and transfers using Barclays online banking for no fee (depending on the currency and transaction), and via telephone or branch banking for a charge of £25. There are no maintenance or monthly fees.

Lloyds Bank²

Lloyds Bank has an International Current Account which offers you a choice of three different currencies - including Sterling, Euros and US Dollars. You can manage your account using online banking, and there’s even a Visa debit card available for convenient spending in your chosen currency.

There is a monthly fee of £7.50 (€8 for Euro account and $10 for a US Dollar account) but international payments are fee-free. However, correspondent and recipient bank charges may still apply, so you should check these before making a transfer.


NatWest’s multi-currency offer is the Cash Management account, which lets you manage multiple currencies and foreign transactions online. You can hold up to 25 currencies from the one account, including most major currencies such as US Dollars and Euros.

It’s also handy for savings, as you can earn interest rates on either instant access or a fixed term savings pot within the account.

There are no monthly or annual account fees to worry about, but charges may apply to international transfers and payments.


The HSBC Currency Account can be opened in one of 14 major currencies, including US Dollars, Euros, Australian Dollars and Swedish Krona. You can open a new account for each currency you’d like to manage.

There are no monthly fees to pay, and it’s free to send money to other HSBC accounts worldwide. However, fees may apply to other international payments and transfers. You can also check live exchange rates from HSBC before making a transfer, so you can choose the best moment to send your payment.

To apply for the HSBC Currency Account, you must have an existing and active HSBC current account.

The Wise multi-currency account

Banks aren’t the only game in town when it comes to multi-currency accounts - and they aren’t always the cheapest, quickest or most convenient option either.

The Wise multi-currency account is a supercharged version of the foreign currency accounts you’ll find at banks. It lets you hold a huge 40 currencies at once, switching and converting between them whenever you need to.

You can send money worldwide quickly and securely, for a tiny upfront fee and the mid-market exchange rate. You can even receive payments like a local in 9 currencies , and spend in 160 countries with a linked Wise debit card.

You can manage your money online and via the handy Wise app, and there are never any monthly fees to worry about.

Not only is it a breeze to use, but the Wise multi-currency account could also work out to be cheaper than using your bank.

Join Wise today

After reading this guide, you should have a better idea of what a multi-currency account is and whether it could be a decent option for you. We’ve laid out some great options too, including multi-currency accounts at UK banks and alternative providers such as Wise.

So, you’re all set to research what’s out there and choose the perfect account for your needs. Good luck!

Sources used for this article:

  1. Barclays - current accounts
  2. Lloyds Bank - international current account
  3. NatWest - cash management account
  4. HSBC - currency account

Sources checked on 24-Jan-2022.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

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.

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