Sending money overseas to friends and family, or even purchasing items from another country, travelling and spending in other countries can incur substantial banking charges, and can be complex.
Over the years, I have tried many ways to send money to family in another country, and have finally found a brilliant option, which is a borderless banking account, through Transferwise.
Transferwise allows you to have a bank account with multiple currencies. You open the account in once currency, and then add others as you need them. if you need money in a different currency, you can convert it to that currency, and then send it to someone, or spend it. if you are in another country, and don't have money in that currency, then the account instantly converts to the local currency.
The exchange rates are the lowest I've come across, and there is no need to collect from particular banks as with Moneygram etc. The transfer to another account seems to take around a day, so is longer than with other bank accounts, but for me, this is relatively minor.
Withdrawals from cash points do incur steep charges, but the bank card is a contactless debit card, so if you do avoid drawing cash, then it works out very cheap and effective.
You can open the account online, with a small balance. You will need to scan your ID (Driver's license / passport) as you apply, but it can be done with your phone. My bank card arrived in 3 days.
The account has a good phone app, allowing you to manage your account easily.
I am using the account for sending money to family, but will also use it whenever I travel.
If you do need to work with multiple currencies, then I would highly recommend Transferwise.
If you'd like to sign up, then click here.
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