Multicurrency Accounts

Discussion in 'Sharemarket Investing Platforms, Tools & Services' started by Graeme, 14th Jul, 2018.

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  1. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    I've got some money sitting in the UK, and until recently had a Euro account in the Netherlands. In a bid to simplify my financial affairs, I'm considering consolidating them into a multicurrency account.

    So far I've come across three:
    The Citibank and HSBC offerings are a standard current account that happens to be able to hold other currencies. (USD, GBP, EUR, HKD, CAD, JPY, NZD, SGD. HSBC have CNY, Citibank have CHF.)

    In terms of fees, the HSBC account appears to be free, whilst Citi charge $8 per month, unless you've got $75,000 invested with them. Citi's FX rates are better than HSBC's, though I tend to use a third party company instead, so that's less of an issue.

    Lastly, Citi support the Apple and Samsung payment wallets, but not Google Pay. They've got their own app for Android phones, but it's terrible. I can't even register my card with it. :(

    HSBC support Google Pay, I'm not sure about other platforms.

    The Transferwise account is much more limited, and I don't think that it offers a lot of banking services. However, it does have local paying-in details, so I can deposit money directly from a UK, US, European, or Australian bank without paying in any fees. (I'm trying to find out if Citi and HSBC offer this.)

    It doesn't currently have a payments card, but they offer one in some other markets, so it's likely to arrive Down Under before too long.

    I don't think that the Transferwise account is workable for day-to-day usage, particularly as it doesn't pay interest or (as far as I know) offer support for direct debits. But it might be useful as an adjunct to the others.

    Has anyone got any experience of these accounts?

    I'm currently banking with Citi, but am considering shifting over to HSBC.
     
  2. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Once that transferwise account has card access itll be the best.. Hsbc has crap exchange rates when you transfer currencies and check there fees to deposit into the currenct accounts.
     
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  3. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Trainee.

    I think that Transferwise have a ways to go before their bank account is a complete solution.

    I'm still checking details, will see what fees HSBC charge.
     
  4. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

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    I’m pretty sure Macquarie bank has a multi currency acct as well.

    I currently use Cit to receive and hold foreign currency, mainly as the acct is free.
    However be warned that their online platform sucks, and their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. It willl often take over a week to actually make a transfer requested online.
    Also you MUST have an Australian mobile number. From time to time they send you a one time pin, which can only be sent to an Australian number (bad luck if you are traveling). I have had to add my brother to all my accounts, so that either he can make transfers for me, or can contact him to clear through their archaic security systems! PIA.

    When I need to convert currencies I do it through transfer wise. Very easy, quick, and much better rates than even the likes of XE.com (which I used to use).

    This is the best I have been able to find and literally saves me ‘000 per year. A bit of an effort but worth it in my case.

    My Citibank everyday account gives me full international access (note - only held in AUD). And is free to use internationally (ATM and Eftpos)

    If you find a better way, let me know!
    Blacky
     
  5. Starbright

    Starbright Well-Known Member

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    If you can qualify as a Premier customer for HSBC you get better exchange rates and lower fees on some transactions. You could even get a better rate if you call up the Premier line to obtain a quote, though it may depend on the size you are transferring.
     
  6. Beano

    Beano Well-Known Member

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    Qualification is only required in one country and then all countries are meet as a premier customer
     
  7. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

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    Same as Citibank.

    But the rates still suck compared to online transfer Acct (Xe.com, TransferWise, etc).
     
  8. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Blacky.

    ING also offer free overseas card use, not sure about ATMs. But having to pay a foreign payment fee on a transaction is the banks profiteering, as Visa or Mastercard have already covered the costs.

    I've tended to use CurrencyFair for Forex, but I don't think that there's much in it against TransferWise. (If you want a referral code, PM me.) They've got a marketplace that can get you better rates, but the company seems to trade against its customers.

    I've heard back from Citi, and they're only allowing incoming payments via SWIFT. The TransferWise account has UK, EU, US, and Australian bank details, so you can get cheap transfers.
     
  9. Blacky

    Blacky Well-Known Member

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    I’ve not used ING and not sure if they hey have a multi currency acct.
    however have heard they are pretty good to deal with for every day accounts. Better than citi at least, but tbh would be hard to be worse.

    I’m a ‘gold’ customer of Citibank which helps as I get a ‘personal banker’ whom I can contact. It helps, but they are still woeful.

    Blacky