Best Banking Options For Digital Nomads that Do Not Require Residency in 2018

UPDATED MARCH 2018

For a full time traveler, one of the worst feelings in the world is having to constantly worry about money. Furthermore, even if you have plenty of funds on your account, it’s still a drag to ask yourself whether or not you’ll be hit with extra fees for using ATMs in foreign countries. From one digital nomad to another, trust me, you’d want to avoid this altogether.

Best Banking Options for Digital Nomads

That’s why we came up with this article to figure out the best solution once and for all. So, if you ever wanted to find out what banking option fits the digital nomad lifestyle just right, be sure to read the full article. Without further adieu, let’s begin.

That’s why we came up with this article to figure out the best solution once and for all. So, if you ever wanted to find out what banking option fits the digital nomad lifestyle just right, be sure to read the full article. Without further adieu, let’s begin.

Simple

Warning! The content you’re about to read will probably leave you breathless! All joking aside, but in case you never previously heard of Simple.com, you about to get blown away. The only thing you’re gonna need to open the account here is a social media profile, and you’ll be on your way.

But wait, what happens to fees? Well, it’s quite simple (no pun intended)! There simply aren’t any fees. Seriously, with no annual or monthly charges, it’s not hard to understand why this platform is exploding in popularity. Losing a card is a traumatic experience, but at least with Simple, you get a new one for free! Anything else we forgot to mention here? Sure, when it comes to ATMs, Simple has over 60 million stations from affiliate banks where it’s possible to withdraw money completely free of charge, and all other banks will only charge their percentage, Simple won’t take a dime! Sounds too good to be true? Head by their website, and see for yourself!

Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account

Without question, this is the most popular banking option for digital nomads at the moment. At least, when it comes to US citizens, as this bank unfortunately isn’t available to nomads from other countries. However, if you call yourself an American, Schwab Bank offers some brilliant solutions!

Similar to the previously mentioned one, it is absolutely free. Additionally, wire transfers from other major banks are also completely free, and that’s a great thing! However, perhaps the biggest reason for their success can be found in the fact that Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account reimburses all ATM fees at the end of the month, no matter where in the world you are. Considering that most nomads withdraw cash at least a couple times a month, the saving can mount up, big time! If you don’t believe us, calculate it for yourself. Withdrawal fees are usually set at around $5 dollars, then multiply that by the number of times you’re using ATMs, and the results may shock you. Call me old fashioned, but that seems like a fine deal to me.

Stripe Atlas

Unlike the two previous banks, the Stripe Atlas offers a lot of unique solutions. In case your goals revolve around opening an internet business which has a massive international potential, this can be the way to go. So, in case your product has a global customer base, we advise you to check in on this option.

Naturally, their initial fee of $500 up front may be huge to some people, but with Atlas, at least you clearly know what you’re getting. Best of all, after their initial review of your business, which usually includes the website research, and some basic information regarding your product, they do all the work, including opening a US account with your name on it. Furthermore, you don’t even have to be located in the United States for this to happen. Sure, compared to other solutions, this does seem a bit expensive, but at the end of the day, it will be you who’ll be reaping the benefits. The potential is  there, the only question is, are you gonna act fast?

N26

Previously known as the Number26, this terrific bank is among the most popular options for European nomads. It’s based in Berlin, Germany, and it has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Nowadays, this bank offers services to customers around Europe. Still, how does that bode for the US based nomads? First of all, their currency exchange rate is top notch, going at MasterCard’s official rates. Compared to other popular exchange rates, this is a superb option.

The best news is that you don’t even need to showcase that you’re a registered resident in order to open the account. What you might still need to have is a mailing address in one of the supported locations. Once you receive your debit card, you can change this from their website. With no setup costs or any hidden monthly fees, N26 is a solid choice for digital nomads visiting Europe for longer periods of time. You can control your account online, without ever having to physically show up to any of their stations. Furthermore, they use push notifications, which is great news for travelers, as SMS notifications can cost an arm and a leg if you find yourself in a foreign country. The said app comes with German and English language variations, which is a fairly new thing, as it was originally only available in German. With three different plans, called N26, N26 Business and N26 Black, you can choose the option that suits your needs the best. Check it out!

Capital One 360

Another option worth considering is definitely the Capitol One 360. With this card, you won’t have to worry about the fine print and the hidden costs that come with it. In fact, it takes exactly $0 to open an account here, and the monthly fees are pretty much the same. Depending on the level of your balance, the interest rate increases, but there are no minimums you need to achieve to qualify for this deal. The annual percentage yield for amounts up to $50,000 is 0.20%, but it raises to 0.75% if you have anywhere between $50,000 and $99,999 on your account. For the amounts of 100,000 or more, the APY is set at 1%.

Capitol One is known for their 39,000 ATM’s in the US, but that doesn’t mean much to digital nomads who are constantly moving from place to place. However, they will be happy to hear that Capitol's app is one of the best in the business. Their award winning software is very easy to use on the go, as it allows users to have perfect insight into their account at all times. Making mobile deposits has never been easier, and if things go bad at any point, their excellent customer service will be more than happy to help. Unfortunately, know that Capitol One doesn’t have the practice of reimbursing your ATM fees, so take that into account.

You don’t like any of these options?

Truth be told, we believe that there are some great deals here, but we can’t blame you if you can’t find the one that suits your needs the most. So, are there any alternatives available?

As always, we’ll do our best to come up with a decent solution. Have you ever heard of the Global ATM Alliance? This partnership between banks can work to your advantage, but you have to do your research first. As it turns out, several major international banks have reached an agreement, where their customers get certain benefits when using their services abroad. This, of course, includes the lack of any fees, if you pick up the money from a partner’s bank ATM. Unfortunately, certain fees still apply, such as the 3% to all foreign transactions. Still, if you aren’t willing to switch your bank accounts, and your current bank falls under the Global ATM Alliance, this is definitely something to think about.

 


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