CIMB multi currency account: Your full guide

Ileana Ionescu

If you send and receive international payments frequently, or run a business which works with customers and suppliers based overseas, a multi-currency account could be a smart way to lower your banking costs.

This guide covers everything you need to know about the CIMB multi currency account products available for individual and business customers. We’ll take a look at the fees and charges, as well as the CIMB foreign currency rate used, and touch on an alternative for comparison, the borderless account from Wise.

CIMB multi-currency account basics

CIMB Singapore offers multi-currency account products for personal and business customers, including options for day to day banking, and for saving.

Here’s a summary of some of the most important points to know about the foreign currency personal accounts on offer - we’ll cover the business products a little later.

Feature CIMB multi-currency account details¹
Available currencies
  • CIMB foreign currency current account - available in USD only
  • CIMB foreign currency savings account - available in USD, EUR, AUD, GBP and JPY
  • You must be 18 to open a savings account
  • 21 to open a current account
Card and cheque book availability
  • ATM cards are not issued for multi-currency accounts.
  • USD cheque book option if you choose a dollar denominated account
  • Minimum opening deposit USD1,000 (equivalent)
Monthly fees
  • Monthly fee of USD1 if you wish to receive paper statements
  • Fall below fee of USD10/month for the current account product
  • Transaction fees also apply - more on those later
Foreign exchange and international payment fees
  • Charge for sending international payments, both in the currency of your account, and when there’s a currency conversion involved.
  • Exchange rate applied by CIMB which might include a markup. More of this later.

Understanding exchange rates

You’ll notice we mention currency conversion costs in the table above. This is important if you have a foreign currency account, as you may find you need to switch from one currency to another to make and receive payments.

In most cases when you exchange currency, you’ll pay an upfront fee, which may be a fixed cost or a percentage of the transaction value. But it may surprise you to learn that there could be another fee, too - which is rolled up into the exchange rate used. This is because many banks and exchange services add a markup to the exchange rate they use.

You can check whether or not there is a markup on the exchange rate you’re offered, by comparing it to the mid-market exchange rate. This is the rate banks get when they buy currency themselves - but many services don’t pass this rate on to their own customers.

It’s always worth shopping around when you’re making an international payment, as the fees you’ll pay vary widely from provider to provider. Using your bank might not be the best value option out there.

Check out whether you can save by using a currency specialist like Wise to make your international payment. Wise use the mid-market exchange rate with no markup, and charge just a low transparent fee for payments. You can also get a borderless account to hold multiple currencies, which comes with a handy debit card for withdrawals and payments - saving you time as well as money.

Get your Wise Platinum debit Mastercard now

CIMB US dollar account (USD)

If you need a USD account, you can choose either a savings product or a current account from CIMB. You can deposit and withdraw money by demand draft, EFT and cheque, and receive free electronic statements. To get started you’ll need to provide a minimum opening deposit of USD1,000, as well as your NRIC or passport and proof of address. ²

If you’re thinking of opening a CIMB USD account, check out the Wise US dollar account as a comparison. You can open your account online, with no minimum opening deposit, monthly charge or fall below fee. Receive payments in US dollars free of charge, and hold, send or spend your money as you please using your linked debit card.

CIMB foreign currency account fees

As with any account product, it’s essential to check through the terms, conditions and costs before you get started. You can then compare the fees with alternative accounts such as the Wise multi-currency borderless account, which comes without any minimum opening deposit, monthly fee or fall below charge.

Here are the main benefits of Wise’s borderless account:

Your Wise Borderless Account

Coming back to the main subject of the article - here’s all you need to know about the fees and charges you’ll find with a CIMB foreign currency account.

Fee type CIMB charge³
Minimum opening deposit
  • USD current account: USD1,000
  • Foreign currency savings account: Minimum deposit according to the currency chosen As an example, for the EUR account it is EUR1,000
Fall below fee USD current account: USD10/month
Monthly account fee USD1, waived if you choose electronic statements instead of paper
Early account closure USD20 or currency equivalent, if account is closed within 6 months of opening
International payments
  • With currency conversion: 0.125% commission (minimum SGD10- maximum SGD100)+ agent fee if applicable + cable charge SGD30
  • Without currency conversion: 0.125% commission (minimum SGD10- maximum SGD100)+ 0.125% commission in lieu of exchange (minimum SGD10- maximum SGD100) + agent fee if applicable + cable charge SGD30

How much does CIMB charge my account to receive foreign currency?

CIMB does not charge customers for receiving money by telegraphic transfer into their foreign currency account. However, if your payment is processed using the SWIFT network there may be fees deducted by intermediary banks which process the payment. This could mean you receive less than you expect into your account.

CIMB multi-currency account for business

As well as personal multi-currency account options, CIMB can provide a foreign currency account for your business. You’ll benefit from a broader range of available currencies, with online banking to make life easier. However, there are fees you’ll want to review before you decide if this is the right account for your business needs.

Here’s a rundown of the key features and fees applied to the CIMB foreign currency account for business.

Feature CIMB multi-currency business account details⁴
Available currencies USD, EUR, CNH, CAD, CHF, NZD, HKD, AUD, GBP and JPY
Limits Minimum opening deposit of the currency equivalent of USD1,000 applies
Monthly fees Fall below fee of USD10/month or the currency equivalent if the minimum balance is not maintained
Account services available Online banking, cheque book and fee free monthly statements provided
Foreign exchange and international payment fees - payment arranged online With currency conversion: 0.0625% commission (minimum SGD10- maximum SGD50)+ agent fee if applicable + cable charge SGD30
Foreign exchange and international payment fees - payment arranged manually With currency conversion: 0.125% commission (minimum SGD10- maximum SGD100) + agent fee if applicable + cable charge SGD30
Inward remittance SGD5

When you’re choosing a business account it is a good idea to check out a range of options from different providers. Take a look at the business bank accounts available from big names like CIMB, and compare them to the business account options available from alternative specialist providers like Wise.

With a Wise borderless account for business you can hold your money in over 40 different currencies, and receive payments for free with your own local bank details for the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and the euro area.

Whether you’re looking for a foreign currency account for your personal needs, or to help you run your business across borders, it pays to shop around. There are many different account types available - so with a bit of research you’re sure to find one which suits you.

Remember to look at the full range of fees and features, and pay attention to the exchange rates and international payment costs you might encounter. By comparing both traditional bank accounts and modern online alternatives like the borderless account from Wise, you’ll be able to choose the perfect product for you.

Sources used in the article:

  1. Features of the CIMB multi currency accounts.
  2. Information about CIMB current and savings USD account.
  3. Fees and charges of the CIMB multi-currency account.
  4. Fees and features of the CIMB multi-currency account for business

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.

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