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Opening an international bank account in a foreign country to facilitate moey transactions abroad is essential for emigrating, secondhome owners, international students, investing abroad and more. An international bank account can usually be opened within 48 hours.

International Banking compared to Debit and Credit Cards

Avoid credit card and debit card fees by opening an international bank account. Furthermore you will be exchanging money at the current exchange rate compared with if you planned ahead and got a better rate and saved the money ready for spending in your international bank account when you arrive in a foreign country. Added extras are often included with international bank accounts such as Travel Insurance, 24-hour phone and Internet banking and debit cards and credit cards linked to the international bank account can be used abroad too.

Choosing a Bank to open an International Bank Account

You will need to make sure that the Bank can handle transactions between the currencies used in the countries you are travelling to and from. Luckily, many banks provide currency transactions in numerouse country currencies known as Multicurrency Accounts. In addition you would benefit from choosing a bank that not only transacts in the requirement currencies but also offers free use of ATM's without charging a fee for withdrawals. For example Barclays international bank account customers are free to use ATM's in the UK, France, Ghana, Gibraltar, Kenya, Pakistan, Portugal and Spain without being charged fees for ATM withdrawals. Some banks may not have outlets in the countries you are travelling to so it is best to open a bank account with 24/7 online international banking.

Making money transfers with an International Bank Account

To send money to a foreign country you will need: Swift code and IBAN (usually found on your bank statements). Many banks will charge fees for sending money abroad. You can reduce these fees by using a money transfer company such as Transferwise or moneycorp. Simply transfer your money from your international bank account to a money transfer company and complete the transaction with them. If you are living in a foreign country or frequently travel abroad you will still need an international bank account even if you decide to get better exchange rates with a money transfer company.

Business International Bank Accounts

Many international businesses will need to transact in multiple currencies. We recommend opening a multicurrency account which is included with many international bank accounts. You will probably benefit from opening an international bank account and a international money transfer account too. Your business will then be able to accept money from sales into your international bank account and then convert to another currency using an international money transfer company. Of course you could use the international bank account to receive, send and convert currency but money transfer companies offer better exchange rates than the banks so a business transferring large sums of money may save £1,000's by using a money transfer company's competitive rates. Click here to compare money transfer companies.

What do I need to open international bank account?

2 Proofs of ID: Passport and Drivers Licence

Proof of residency: Utility Bill, Lease Agreement, etc.

Start-up funds: Most banks require a start-up deposit of £500-1,000.

Word visa or letter of employment or employment contract

Student visa, University letter or proof of school enrolment