There are lots of reasons why it might be helpful to hold a foreign currency account in the US, also called a multi-currency account.
Foreign currency accounts are popular with people living and working abroad, regular travelers, and entrepreneurs working with staff and suppliers overseas. They can help to manage the costs and fees incurred when making cross-border payments, and mitigate the risks involved with currency fluctuations. A smart move if you live an international lifestyle and want to protect your hard earned cash.
Unfortunately, Chase Bank doesn’t offer customers any sort of multi-currency account. Accounts must be denominated in US dollars (USD) only.
You do have other options though. Keep reading.
If your high street bank can’t give you what you need, it’s probably time to try a specialist. A great choice for many is the multi-currency borderless account from Wise. Open one of these, and then fund your balance in any one of dozens of currencies, using your local USD bank account from Chase.
Wise isn’t a bank — and their borderless account isn’t a bank account. It’s better. You get many of the advantages of a regular multi-currency account, and a few more thrown in for good measure. Check these out:
- Hold accounts for either personal and business purposes — or both
- There’s no monthly fees to operate your account, and no minimum account balances to worry about
- Hold your cash in any of dozens of currencies and switch between them at the real mid-market rate for a low, transparent fee
- Send money, and make payments, to over 50 countries for the fairest exchange rate out there — like the one you’ll find on Google
- Get paid like a local in several regions across the world like the UK, the EU, and Australia — meaning no scary international transfer fees for receiving domestic transfers in these regions
- Use your Wise debit Mastercard to spend locally and abroad in dozens of different currencies (available in select countries)
Wise believes you should be able to move your money around the world without sky-high fees.
The Wise multi-currency borderless account is a real global account, and allows payments to and 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 multi-currency 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|
Traditional banks tend not to offer a great deal on international transactions. Luckily, Wise isn’t a bank — and their smart new approach means they can process transactions at a fair price and pass the savings on to the customer.
Unlike many banks and money exchange services, all currency conversions made using the borderless account are carried out using the real exchange rate. That means that there are no exchange rate markups, and no hidden costs to worry about.
Wise offers multi-currency accounts for both individual and business use. If you’re a business owner working with a remote team based in another country — or you buy and sell products and services across the world, you’ll find yourself frequently making and receiving international payments. A borderless account can save you money and time, thanks to the convenient online access and smart batch payment options.
You’ll get all the advantages of the account set out above, and also a few extras:
- Batch payments offer extra speed and convenience if you’re creating a large volume of payments at once — employee payroll for example
- You can 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
- Use Wise borderless accounts for both personal and business needs, and switch between these accounts easily when you need to
Chase Bank doesn’t have a multi-currency account available for customers, but if you’re considering opening a Wise borderless account, you’ve probably got a few questions.
There’s no fee to open a borderless account, regardless of whether you want it for personal or business use. There’s no monthly administration fee, or minimum balance level to worry about, either.
You’ll pay a small flat fee, which varies depending on the currencies in question, any time you want to switch your money from one currency to another.
It’s good to know that the conversion is then done by Wise with the real mid-market, or interbank exchange rate. Most banks don’t offer this rate to regular people making smaller trades — preferring to keep it for large institutional investors trading on the global market.
When it comes to individuals with smaller amounts of cash to convert, banks and money exchange services typically markup the exchange rate to include their fees, and then claim to offer commission-free, or zero fee conversions.
The truth is that there’s a cost involved in every currency conversion — and including it in the exchange rate just means that the true price of your transaction is hidden. Wise takes a different approach, offering the real rate, and being upfront about their fees. Not only is this fair — it’s usually cheaper, too.
When you open your new borderless account, you’ll be able to activate local bank details in regions like the EU, the UK, and Australia. You could then send money from your own EUR, GBP, or AUD account to your borderless account in any supported country without any international transfer charges.
You can also send money using any other currency you decide to activate on your borderless account without incurring international charges. When you want to do so, you can switch between currencies for just a low fee, and every transaction is carried out using the mid-market exchange rate.
If you want to fund your borderless account using a credit or debit card, as opposed to a bank transfer, there’s a small fee. There’s also a small cost applied if you make more than 10 withdraws in a month.
Safety and security is a priority for Wise. It’s registered in the US with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). You can find everything you need to know about how Wise is regulated, can be found online in the dedicated security area of the Wise website.
Because of differences in legislation, Wise operates in slightly different ways across different states and territories, to ensure legal compliance and the safety of customer funds. Wise is registered as a money transmitter in its own right in most states — and overseen by the relevant authorities. Elsewhere, Wise works with partner institutions which are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency. In the US, Wise only banks with institutions insured under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
If you’re a regular traveler, international entrepreneur, or need to make frequent cross border payments for any reason, a multi-currency account could help you manage your money better. Although Chase Bank unfortunately can’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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