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

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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

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.

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

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.