Can you recommend a non-US bank for digital nomads?

#1

Can anyone recommend a non-US bank for nomads?

My specific use case is that I’m a US citizen but I’m going to be in Cuba later this year and I know US based ATM cards won’t work (unless that’s changed in the last couple months).

Long ago I recall expats setting up accounts in Panama, Belize, etc… but I assume a lot has changed in 10 years and I don’t recall the details.

In short I’d like to setup a non-US affiliated, non-US denominated (prefer EUR), account without having to actually visit the country the bank is in, such that I could transfer funds to it (wire is fine) and then withdraw those funds in Cuba.

FWIW, my primary travel ATM card is tied to a Schwab High Yield Investor Checking card which I wrote about here: http://wanderingjon.com/2014/01/01/avoiding-fees-noble-vacation-goals/ but which I’m assuming won’t work in Cuba, and besides, I’d like to have a non-US backup account just in case.

#2

Check this interesting article, about the best bank accounts for nomads: https://medium.com/nomad-gate/the-world-s-best-bank-accounts-for-international-travelers-and-nomads-3257e6839cff

Best,

Josue

1 Like
#3

Thanks Josue. Interesting, but I don’t think any of them help a traveling American. I can’t get a Number26 account and the Malta one doesn’t include an atm/debit card.

#4

Canadian banks work in Cuba ATMs. Try TD Canada Trust, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) or Scotiabank. I know you can get a US account with TD as a Canadian, so maybe the reverse is also true?

#5

FATCA has made it more difficult for US persons to open a bank account abroad but it is still possible. Here is a list of Offshore Banks where you might enquire. It is noted on one of the columns if they allow for remote account opening.

#6

Uphold is not a bank, but allows you to convert between multiple currencies with zero fees. For now you can only take money out by sending it to a bank account you own, but in December they plan to offer physical cards as well

#7

Looks interesting. It does solve part of what my desire which is to hold some funds in a non-USD denominated account. Ultimately though I’m also looking for a bank outside US controls. Which uphold is not (they have a separate term sheet for US residents). Uphold clearly passes on all fees charged by other banks so my Schwab High Yield Checking atm/debit card which refunds bank fees globally is still a better choice for getting funds out.

#8

Anyone have experience wit Scotiabank as a non-Canadian? ive seen them around the Americas, seems a decent option. Do they have presence elsewhere?

#9

Get a Number26 account. Use a mail-forwarder to deliver the creditcard anywhere in the world. Its a brilliant bank due no extra fees for ATM withdrawl or currency exchange fees. Identification happens through video chat in their App.