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Heads up! Opening Charles Schwab account abroad


by @ahawkins | 5yr  | 13 comments

I recently opened a Charles Schwab checking account because Iโ€™m sick of paying ATM fees abroad (been about 5 years now so it adds up). I did this online while I was in India. Everything went off fine opening the account online until a week or so later when I received a letter saying my account needed to be verified. No problem I thought, call the people up and answer a few questions. Wrong! Since I opened my account from a non-US IP, my SSN had been flagged. This requires in person verification! There is no way around this now. I asked if I VPNโ€™d with a US IP and tried to open a new account would it work. The CSR said no, my SSN is now flagged and the only way for me to get an account at Charles Schwab is to go branch and verify my identify in person.

So this is word of warning for any US people opening bank accounts while abroad. I suggest you VPN to get a US IP when opening any account. Probably with a less well known VPN as well.

Good luck out there!

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@yujin | 5yr

You could try looking into a Fidelity Cash Management account. It is similar to Charles Schwab in that they reimburse ATM fees. Also no monthly fees, no minimum balance, free checkwriting, mobile deposits, etcโ€ฆ I have an account. Works great in my travels, but I added it to my brokerage and IRA accounts, so in my case, I was already a Fidelity customer.

For new customers, they have an online application process as well. I am not sure what sort of verification they will require so it may or may not work if you also had issues with Charles Schwab. I am assuming youโ€™ll need a legal state-side address to call home at least. And as mentioned by ahawkins, probably a good idea too to VPN with a state-side IP address if you can.

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@leerosen | 5yr

Just a heads up on Fidelity - unless Iโ€™m missing something they still charge a Foreign Transaction fee of 1% on all withdrawals.

โ€œPlease note, there is a foreign transaction fee of one percent that is not waived, which will be included in the amount charged to your account.โ€

https://www.fidelity.com/cash-management/atm-debit-card

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@richardh | 5yr

Just did a bit of searching to see what prepaid debit/mastercards are available to Americans and the choice is very poor, Europeans are really embracing the innovations in Fintech with the likes of WeSwap/Revolut/N26. Who do you currently bank with that has these ATM fees? Where are you currently based?

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@dvc | 5yr

My local credit union has a no foreign transaction fee credit card and 1% foreign transaction fee (quite reasonable compared to some large banks) on ATM/point-of-sale debit use. It might be that other credit unions offer similar deals.

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@lucha54 | 5yr

I tried to apply from abroad too and they didnโ€™t say anything like that when they told me to call for verification. I thought that the problem was that my address had been flagged as a mailing service (despite not being a PO box) and they were asking for a residential address. When I said I was โ€œstudying abroadโ€ at the moment, they recommended I ask a family member to put my name on their utility bill and send them a copy as verification. NOT possible, so I just never followed up. :frowning: So sad to loose that opportunity to get a CS account! Now I just carry cash but that is so sketchy.

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@wanderingdev | 5yr

there are other banks besides CS that you can use which work well internationally.

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@ahawkins | 5yr

Any recommendations? I really only considered CS since I was sick of paying ATM fees on USD withdrawals.

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@wanderingdev | 5yr

Cap 1 360 has no ATM fees and no conversion fees. The exchange rate is pretty much what I see on xe.com

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@moo | 5yr

@leerosen Fidelity charges foreign exchange fees only on purchases, and not on ATM withdrawals. (http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1385007/)

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@leerosen | 5yr

I hope youโ€™re right and that the Fidelity ATM page providing otherwise is incorrect.

Lee

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@richardh | 5yr

Can you apply for a prepaid travel card to save on ATM fees? For example Revolut only wanted a scan of my drivers licence card (UK) and selfie, all done from the app.

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@a | 5yr

Same thing happened to me, I tried opening an account online while I was in Bangkok. Account was flagged and I had to wait until I got back into the US to verify and get the account working.

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@mule5 | 5yr

Thanks for the heads up, been a long time schwab user without issues. Donโ€™t they have branch offices everywhere to make that easier? What country are you now in, or will you need to go back to India for a branch office for verification?

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Read and participate in 13,974 discussions on Nomad List

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Which countries are reopening borders soon?


by @levelsio | 2mo 1 month ago | 10 comments

Finally found a site with proper info that's updated daily about which places will reopen made by Skift: reopening.travel/reopening/

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Anyone know an accountant for Canadian nomads/expats?


by @noam_lightstone | 7mo 7 months ago | 16 comments

Hey guys, this was my first year as a Canadian nomad.

As far as I know of, Canadians donโ€™t pay taxes if they do not live in the country for 6 months.

But Iโ€™d like to talk to an accountant or someone who does Canadian taxes specifically for expats and nomads to get clear on the rules and for help on my return coming up.

Does anyone know someone who specializes in Canada who can help? Iโ€™ve seen plenty of US recommendations but none for us canucks.

Thanks guys!

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How to arrange prescription medication abroad (for example Thailand / SEA)


in Thailand by @dezeisvastnogvrij | 1yr 1 year ago | 1 comment

Normally, when I go abroad for a longer period of time, I try to take as much medication with me from my home country as I can for that period. Which so far has worked well for me.

But if Iโ€™m going to be a full-time nomad that wonโ€™t work anymore. Mainly because Iโ€™ll then unregister from my country. Which has some downsides like not being able to have my current health insurance anymore. Other health insurance companies wonโ€™t cover existing conditions, so Iโ€™ll have to buy my medication โ€œover the counterโ€.

But since I need some medication which in The Netherlands (and I assume other countries) is only available on a doctors prescription. I was curious how people here arrange that (if there are any in the same boat as me).

The main medication I think would be hardest for me (and most expensive) to get is Epoetin-Alpha (Aranesp) injections.

Since thereโ€™s not really a โ€˜world wide standarizedโ€™ doctor prescription form, how do you get the medication abroad? Do you have a checkup there again at a local clinic before you can get the medication? (That would probably add to the cost too).

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What's the best bank account for a global nomad?

 

by @barrybjjoubert | 1yr 1 year ago | 25 comments

Dear all
As a wanna be nomad figuring out a way to get free of the rat race, I was wondering what is the best bank account to have while travelling the globe? I need an account where is easy for me to receive payments from all over the world and it also need to be a bank that I can find almost anywhere in the world. I want to avoid carry cash on me if itโ€™s possible.

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Recommendations for UK/Scotland accountants that understand remote businesses?


by @eduardoyi | 1yr 1 year ago | 1 comment

Looking for recommendations for reliable accountants who understand how remote businesses with off-shore freelancers and clients work. Thanks!

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Is there a US bank for easily creating new business checking accounts remotely?

 

by @tylertringas | 2yr 1 year ago | 23 comments

Every accountant is going to tell you that you really should be keeping separate accounts for all your businesses and even projects that may one day become businesses. But in my experience setting up a new account associated with an actual business entity is a pretty annoying process involving an in-person visit to a bank branch, proof of residence in that branchโ€™s region, etc. Has anybody seen a bank that letโ€™s you easily create a simple business checking account online and more importantly that would let you add additional accounts and transfer funds between them?

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Iโ€™m a U.S. accountant who works with Americans who live abroad, ask me anything!

 

by @olwagner | 2yr 2 years ago | 100 comments

Hi everyone,

If you have a U.S. tax question or would like some U.S. tax insight on your business/structure, ask away!

I have been preparing tax returns for US citizens abroad since 2012. I can answer any question in US tax with an international flavor. I operate 1040abroad.com and I have maintained a blog at taxsamurai.com

I look forward to answering all your questions. And if you are in Ho Chi Minh City in December, letโ€™s meet !!!

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Where is the best place to open a bank account in Europe?


by @julien | 2yr 2 years ago | 7 comments

Hello the community,

I am thinking about opening a business bank account in another country outside of France.
I live in Paris and I work as a freelancer. The taxes on my salary are very expensive (around 85%). I would like to know if there are better options for bank accounts within Europe.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Regards,

J

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USD bank account


by @piovella | 3yr 2 years ago | 9 comments

Hey guys,

Iโ€™m in the beginning of my nomadic life. I currently have a UK account in GBP currency but most my clients pay me in USD either via Upwork or Transferwise. I was wondering if you know if there is a better way to deal with the fees?
I was looking at opening a USD account but the fees are ridiculous (I looked at HSBC).
Not sure if this is useful information but at the moment Iโ€™m still working as an independent freelancer. I havenโ€™t set up a company yet as am looking for the best option for that.

Thanks

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How do I open a business account in Hong Kong? Proof of business?


in Hong Kong by @omar | 3yr 2 years ago | 6 comments

Hello guys, I was wondering if anyone had any experience in opening a business bank account in Hong Kong. Iโ€™m getting all the paperwork ready to incorporate in Seychelles and open the bank account but the agency that is helping me says Hong Kong bankers are getting more picky. They are asking me for business โ€˜proofโ€™ since iโ€™ve always ran my sites as an individual I wonder if just proof of payment from ad networks is enough. If you have any advice it would be much welcomed.

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European bank account for non resident


by @theunisk | 3yr 3 years ago | 5 comments

I hold South African/Portuguese dual citizenship, however I was born and (officially) reside in South Africa. Any recommendations for a nomad friendly european bank account ? Ie, one that does not require residency, proof of address, or have easy ways to get around these.
I will not be using it much for day to day expenses, more as a way to hold euros and be able to transfer between accounts. My US bank account has very high fees.
I am in europe for the next week or two (currently Italy) and hope to be able to get one before I leave.

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Is anyone using Charles Schwab vs N26 banks?


by @mary_oleksiuk | 3yr 3 years ago | 11 comments

Hi nomads! Iโ€™m trying to figure out all props and cons of using Charles Schwab vs N26 banks. Is anyone using those banks? If yea - what you like/dont like about it. And if income is mostly in US which one is better to open?

Thanks

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Does anyone know an accounting & remote company admin in Bulgaria?


in Bulgaria by @akisl | 4yr 3 years ago | 9 comments

Hey,

Iโ€™m looking for a remote accounting and company admin office in Bulgaria for handling a limited company fully remotely with 1-2 invoices per month max.

If you happen to know any, let me know.

Thank you!

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Best way to send and receive money abroad beside Paypal?


by @dearezkitha | 4yr 3 years ago | 15 comments

Hi guys

According to you what is the best way to send and receive money abroad beside paypal?
What are the fees?
What are the pros and cons?

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Where to easily open a personal/business account in SE Asia?


by @jakub | 4yr 3 years ago | 0 comments

Hey guysโ€ฆ Iโ€™m from a EU country but in the past 6 years I spent there just 3 weeks.

I have a bank account in Australia, since I spent there over 4 years. Now Iโ€™m mostly in Thailand or travelling around.

Because of my experiences

a) PayPal froze my account for several weeks until I was able to give them documents that are very difficult to get if Iโ€™m no longer in Australia

b) when applying for a tourist visa to Australia just to pick up rest of my stuff - itโ€™s supposed to be done within 48 hoursโ€ฆ well it took them 3 weeks just to ask me for additional details (that I already gave them with the application anyway) - I lost my tickets and bookings - of course no way to email them, call or whatever

This made me think about the fact that I have all my money in Australia. While Iโ€™m doing nothing illegal I canโ€™t risk that some โ€œofficerโ€ with a bad day decide to freeze my account to investigate whatever and Iโ€™ll be left with nothing for who knows how long. Not to mention they usually canโ€™t grasp the concept of perpetual travelling.

So my question - anyone has RECENT experience with opening a bank account in SE Asia? Either personal or business (thinking about UK LLP or US LLC)

It seems that

a) countries such Singapore has assumption that everyone and his dog is laundering moneyโ€ฆ $500 at a timeโ€ฆ

b) Thailand with lazy and incompetent staff where you ask to open non-resident bank account just to be told โ€œdonโ€™t haveโ€ โ€ฆ you point on the 3x3 metres huge board behind them listing interest for non-resident bank account - answer โ€œaaah, yes yes canโ€™t open, new rulesโ€ (even while having a Thai with me)

Thanks!

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Non US residents, can you share your testimonial about your US business bank account?


by @nouk | 4yr 3 years ago | 4 comments

I am looking for testimonials of non US resident nomads who incorporated their company in the US & have a business bank account at a US bank.
I would like to know if the process has been difficult if you have been denied a business bank account because of your status as a non resident alien. If you were successful i would like to know if you are able to do everything that a US resident could do with the business bank account. For instance, i would like to know if you are able to do international wire transfers to the country where you reside.

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Good Bank Account / Prepaid for travel?


by @dondizzler | 4yr 3 years ago | 5 comments

Hey guys, iโ€™m a Canadian resident. I have a corporation registered in Canada, and all of my income flows through this account and eventually into my personal account. Iโ€™m considering either opening a second Canadian account or an offshore bank account for the purpose of travel. My goal is not to change my business structure or avoid taxes, but simply to make it easier to make purchase worldwide.

Iโ€™m planning to do some travel in Asia and eventually South America. I know that in many countries, fraud can be a problem. Not only will I have to fight with my back to keep my account from being locked (they tend to be cautious when it comes accessing your account internationally) but iโ€™m also concerned about having my card duplicated and used illegally.

What iโ€™m looking for is some kind of bank account or prepaid card I can use to travel with. The idea is that I would transfer money to the account online, then withdraw the balance in cash to pay for my expenses. Because there will never be a balance on the card, I wonโ€™t have to worry about fraud. Iโ€™d also like to see if there is a way that I could reduce the fees I pay on currency exchanges or withdrawing in a foreign country.

Anybody have any suggestions?

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Hong Kong accounting costs


in Hong Kong by @mapiactravel | 4yr 3 years ago | 1 comment

I am looking into setting up an LTD in Hong Kong.

There would be 2 owners and around 250 invoices per month (no sales in HK).

What would be a realistic annual cost?

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Does anybody have experience with setting up an offshore company and bank account in Labuan (Malaysia)


in Malaysia by @nomads_and_drifters | 4yr 4 years ago | 4 comments

Hi there,
We are a husband and wife who travel a lot and have a small company set up in Fiji. We offer services to clients all over the world, but the Fijian banking system isnโ€™t very accommodating for a digital based business with a lot of overseas expenses.

To make our life easier we are planning to set up an offshore company and bank account in Labuan.
We have a Fijian, Belgium and Uk passport but have residency in Fiji.

Does anybody have experience with a situation like this? and any advice how to go about setting up an offshore company and bank account ideally in Labuan (or Singapore)?

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How do you get paid abroad without paying tons of fees?


by @waterlooalex | 4yr 4 years ago | 18 comments

What method do you use to get paid by your employer abroad? Iโ€™ve used wire transfers and PayPal, but come to realize there are lots of fees some more obvious than others.

For example, with PayPal, often there is an international transfer fee of 3.4% or more, then on top of that PayPal takes a 2.5% spread on the currency exchange rate.

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