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A happy business person in London opening an international checking account with Amerant Bank
Personal Finances

International Bank Accounts Explained

What is an international bank account?

An international bank account is a specialized account that provides its holders with the flexibility to perform financial activities beyond their home country’s borders. It allows customers to send and receive money internationally, access funds while traveling abroad, and conduct transactions in different currencies.

Benefits of an International Bank Account

Access to ATMs Worldwide

One of the primary advantages of having an international bank account is the convenience of accessing ATMs worldwide. Account holders can withdraw cash in the local currency of the country they are visiting, avoiding the need for currency conversion and potential high fees. For example, Amerant Bank customers have access to 50,000 ATMs worldwide within the AllPoint network.

Foreign Transaction Fees

International bank accounts often come with reduced or eliminated foreign transaction fees. This feature is particularly beneficial for frequent travelers or those who conduct regular international business, as it helps save on unnecessary expenses.

Online Banking

Most international bank accounts offer robust online banking platforms, allowing account holders to manage their funds and perform various transactions from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This convenience streamlines financial management and enhances accessibility. For example, Amerant Bank has an online banking platform that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Language Preference

International bank accounts may offer multilingual customer support, enabling account holders to communicate with the bank in their preferred language. This feature fosters ease of communication and avoids potential misunderstandings arising from language barriers.

Types of International Bank Accounts

International Checking Account

An international checking account provides account holders with a transactional account to manage day-to-day expenses. It typically comes with a debit card and may offer various features such as ATM fee reimbursements and online bill payment options.

How to open an International Checking Account

Opening an International Checking Account will vary by institution. As an example, Amerant Bank offers two ways to open an international checking account:

Online Account Opening for Value Plus or Premier Checking: simply visit our International Checking page and click ‘Open Now’ to begin the account open process.

For Value Checking or Interest Checking: visit our International Checking page, click ‘Start Now’, and fill out the short form. An Amerant Bank representative will reach out to assist further.

International Savings Account

An international savings account allows customers to earn interest on their deposits while keeping their funds easily accessible. These accounts often offer competitive interest rates and may have no or minimal account maintenance fees.

International Business Checking

International businesses often require specialized accounts to manage their financial operations across different countries. An international business checking account offers features tailored to business needs, such as multiple currency options and efficient cross-border payment capabilities.

International Business Savings

Similar to the personal counterpart, an international business savings account enables businesses to earn interest on their surplus funds while maintaining liquidity and accessibility.

International Certificate of Deposit

An international certificate of deposit (ICD) is a type of investment that allows investors to deposit money in a foreign currency. ICDs typically offer higher interest rates than traditional CDs, but they also carry more risk. This is because the value of the foreign currency could go up or down, which could affect the overall return on the investment.

Opening an International CD will differ from institution to institution. As an example, investors can visit the Amerant Bank International CD page, fill out the contact form, and a banking expert will reach out to open the CD.

How does an international bank account differ from a domestic bank account?

The main differences between an international bank account and a domestic bank account lie in their scope and capabilities. While a domestic bank account is designed for transactions and financial management within a single country, an international bank account accommodates cross-border transactions and supports multiple currencies.

International accounts also offer features such as worldwide ATM access, reduced foreign transaction fees, and multilingual support, which are not commonly found in domestic accounts.

International bank accounts serve as essential tools for individuals and businesses with global financial needs. They offer a range of benefits, including access to ATMs worldwide, reduced foreign transaction fees, convenient online banking, and multilingual customer support. Learn more at amerantbank.com and follow Amerant on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @AmerantBank.

Amerant Editorial Team
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