close

Save Money on Travel with a Multi-Currency Account: Traveler’s Guide to the Best Choices

multi-currency-accounts

Last Updated on May 11, 2021

Most people think that a multi currency account is something only an international business needs. And it might be true if you think about an account offered by a traditional bank. But today you can get multi currency accounts from online money transfer companies and online banks. Those are a lifesaver for travelers because with this account you’ll be able to avoid any currency exchange issues.

More importantly, if you travel on a budget, using this type of account will allow you to save quite a bit of money. That’s because online fintechs offer much lower exchange rates compared to regular banks. Moreover, they usually change no or very low service fees. Therefore, you get a money travel card you can use almost anywhere with ease and without paying extra.

There are many great multi currency account providers for travelers to choose from today. All you need to do is compare their offerings and pick the one that fits your travel plans best.

The Best Multi Currency Account for Travelers: Top 5 Choices in 2021

TransferWise

TransferWise is the biggest online money transfer company that has grown into a real online banking giant valued at over $4 billion. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it currently offers the best account for travelers and is a general leader among alternative multicurrency wallets. Note that the company has now rebranded into Wise. Its multi currency account has been on offer since 2017 and it has grown even better over the years as Wise has expanded.

The account allows you to hold a balance in 50+ currencies and easily receive money in 10. You can also use this account to send money to over 50 countries with minimal fees and the best exchange rates. Therefore, you will be saving money with any transaction you make on the road.

Wise offers some of the lowest exchange rates and transfer fees in the industry. That’s what makes the account such a good option for travelers. Usually, currency exchanges and international transfers are more expensive if they are small. But with Wise you can get one of the best possible deals. And the multi currency debit card will allow you to avoid foreign transaction fees completely, including ATM fees.

However, remember that Wise doesn’t support cheque, cash, or bill payments. You also get no interest on account balances or loan opportunities. 

Revolut

Revolut is almost as well-known in the affordable online money transfer industry as TransferWise. The company is also growing fast even trying to enter the Chinese market now. Revolute exchange rate markups aren’t fixed as opposed to TransferWise. But due to this, on some days of the week you might be able to get even cheaper exchanges.

This multi currency account supports around 30 currencies. It’s important to note that Revolut’s card acceptance has expanded greatly over the last couple of years. The fees offered by the company are low and, like the Wise card, $200 ATM withdrawals per month are zero-fee.

N26

N26 is a German neobank service that is growing fast and offering great service. An important advantage for travelers is that N26 is now partnering with a major insurance provider. This means you’ll be able to get some great insurance deals to go with your cheap multi currency account. The exchange rates are great, but this card is currently available only in the Eurozone.

However, considering the rate of its growth, N26 might expand worldwide fast. Moreover, it’s a licensed bank in Germany, despite being online-based. Therefore, your deposits are insured by the state.

multi currency accounts

Monese

Monese is another fast-growing online banking company that understands the power of important business partnerships. Due to various deals it now offers one of the best online bank accounts for global travelers. It has a 0.5% currency conversion fee and offers some of the best exchange rates. Spending in currencies from this multi currency account is free for you, as it usually is for this type of services.

Monese accounts are great for expats because you get a chance to establish regular international payments easily.

Monzo

Monzo is a multi currency account you can use to pay in many restaurants, hotels, and shops during your travels. The company also provides traveling tips to go with affordable currency exchanges. However, you’ll be using the Mastercard exchange rate because Monzo offers you a Mastercard.

The service is online-based and mostly appeals to travelers who love to do everything digitally. But you can only hold a balance in the Monzo account in GBP. This means it’s a great option for travelers from Britain. Exchange rates offered by the company are great, so conversing your money won’t be an issue while you are abroad.multi currency accounts

In Conclusion: How to Choose the Best Travel Multi Currency Account

The most important thing to consider when choosing a multi-currency card is whether it supports all currencies you need. Online fintech companies are expanding their reach fast now. However, they are still not universally accepted. Therefore, if you plan to travel to some exotic destinations, your choices will be limited.

However, market leaders, like Wise and Revolut, are adding new countries and currencies to their network all the time. Soon their services might cover all the globe. Fintechs are also partnering up with established financial businesses, which also gives them access to existing payment networks.

The other major consideration to make when choosing a multi currency account is exchange rates. Offering near mid-market exchange rate is one of the main selling points for alternative banking providers. Therefore, the numbers offered by different companies might seem similar at first glance. However, you need to pay attention to details. For example, some companies offer different exchange markups depending on the day of the month. Also, you should take all service fees into consideration to calculate the actual cost of using a multi currency account.

That said, any tourist and digital nomad today has many great multi-currency cards to choose from. This means that there is now one less reason to deny yourself the joy of discovering the wonders of the world. Experiences make you happier than buying things and these accounts make these experiences more affordable for everyone. 
Photo credit: CurrencyPhoto Credit: Image used via Flickr’s Creative Commons Licensing. Currencies by borkazoid

Leave a Response