Foreign currency accounts, also known as multi-currency accounts, allow customers to hold their balance in one or more currencies other than US dollars (USD). They’re especially useful for people studying or working abroad, those who draw an income from overseas, and entrepreneurs who need to pay staff and suppliers overseas.
If you need to make or receive regular international payments, a foreign currency account can help to manage the costs and fees incurred, and mitigate the risks involved with currency fluctuations.
Unfortunately, Bank of America doesn’t have any sort of multi-currency account available for customers. Accounts can only be denominated in USD.
The good news is, you do have other options.
US high street banks often don’t offer foreign currency accounts to their customers. However, specialist providers do now exist to serve those who live a more international lifestyle. A great option is the borderless multi-currency account from Wise.
The borderless account is a truly international product, allowing you to transfer funds from your account in America and then convert and keep your cash in any one of dozens of currencies.
The Wise borderless account isn’t a bank account. It’s better. Wise specializes in global payments, and in helping people make the most of their money, wherever in the world they are. That means that the borderless account comes with many of the advantages of a regular multi-currency account and a few extras. Check these out:
- Borderless accounts are available for both personal and business purposes
- No monthly fee, and no minimum account balance to worry about
- You can hold your cash in any of dozens of currencies available and switch between them at the real mid-market rate for a low, transparent fee
- Send money to over 50 countries for the fairest exchange rate out there
- Get local bank details to receive payments in several regions across the world like the UK, the EU, and Australia with no international transfer fees
- Use your Wise debit Mastercard to spend locally and abroad in dozens of different currencies (available in select countries)
The Wise borderless account allows you to hold or pay out money from a wide range of currencies, including:
- United Arab Emirates dirham (AED)
- Australian dollar (AUD)
- Canadian dollar (CAD)
- Swiss franc (CHF)
- Chinese yuan/renminbi (CNY or RMB)
- Euros (EUR)
- British pound sterling (GBP)
- Hong Kong dollar (HKD)
- Indian rupee (INR)
- Japanese yen (JPY)
- Mexican peso (MXN)
- Nigerian naira (NGN)
- New Zealand dollar (NZD)
- Singapore dollar (SGD)
- South African rand (ZAR)
The fees you can expect to find when you open and use a Wise borderless account are as follows:
|Wise borderless service||Cost|
|Open an account||$0|
|Monthly service charge||$0|
|Hold 40+ currency balances||$0|
|Get a UK account number and sort code||$0|
|Get a European IBAN||$0|
|Get an Australian account and BSB number||$0|
|Adding money from your US bank account||0.15%|
|Receiving international payments to your account||$0|
|Converting money between currencies||0.55%-2.85%|
|Send money in US dollars to an account in the US (personal)||$0|
|Send money in US dollars to an account in the US (business)||$1.30|
|Send money in US dollars to an account outside of the US||$3.30|
One big benefit of using Wise instead of a traditional bank is that you’ll always get the fairest exchange rate available.
While many banks and money exchange services add their fees into the exchange rate they offer, all currency conversions made using the borderless account are done with the real exchange rate, and a small transparent fee to cover the costs. That means you can always see the true price of the transaction, and exactly what your recipient will get in their account once it’s processed.
You can get a Wise borderless account as an individual or for your business. This can really help you grow your enterprise on a global scale, as you can make international payments, and manage your global payroll, quickly, easily, and cheaply.
As a business customer, you’ll get all the advantages of the account set out above, and also a few extras:
- Make batch payments to manage your global employee payments all at once
- Integrate the Wise API — with full support from the Wise team
- Send USD to many different countries, with low fees and no exchange rate markup
- Switch seamlessly between Wise borderless accounts for personal and business needs when you want to
Bank of America doesn’t offer customers a multi-currency account, but if you’re considering a Wise borderless account, there are a few more things you’ll probably want to know.
Zip. Nada. Nothing.
Open a borderless account online fee-free. You don’t need to pay any administration costs, or maintain a minimum balance, either.
There’s always a cost involved when you convert currencies. Don’t trust a bank or exchange service who tell you they charge zero commission — they’ll simply hide their profits elsewhere, usually in a poor exchange rate.
Wise believes it’s better to be upfront about the costs. You’ll pay a small flat fee to convert between one currency and another, which varies depending on the currencies in question.
Wise will then complete your transaction with the real mid-market, or interbank exchange rate. This is seldom available from traditional banks, which tend to use it only for large institutional investors trading on the global market. Retail customers making smaller trades are offered a much worse rate — which also includes the profit and costs of the bank.
Wise takes a different approach, offering the real rate, and being upfront about their fees. Not only is this more fair — it’s usually cheaper, too.
With your borderless account, you can receive local bank transfers to your own generated local bank details in several regions like the EU, the UK, and Australia. Otherwise, you can always fund your borderless balance straight from your bank account in the US and then convert to any other currency you like for just a small fee. Every transaction is carried out using the mid-market exchange rate.
Wise is registered in the US with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). You can find additional information about how Wise is regulated available online in the dedicated security area of the Wise website.
Wise operates in slightly different ways across different states and territories, to ensure legal compliance with state and federal laws, and maintain the safety of customer funds. Wise is registered as a money transmitter in its own right in some states — and overseen by the relevant authorities. In other states, Wise works with partner institutions which are then regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency. Wise only banks with institutions in the US insured under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
There are lots of ways a foreign currency account could help you manage your cash, to save you time and money. Although Bank of America doesn’t offer customers multi-currency accounts, Wise can help. See if a multi-currency borderless account from Wise suits your needs, today.
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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