I live in the UK and want to open a normal current account in Euros. I want a debit card and no monthly charges for the pleasure of having an account. Any ideas?
You’re not alone. There are more people than ever looking to have the convenience of a euro account, but traditional high street bank branches aren’t normally to accommodating of customers looking for this type of service.
Here are your options if you are looking for the best multi currency account.
Barclays and HSBC, for instance, both require you to have a sterling account before you can open a euro account, and neither will give you a separate debit card with the euro account.
Lloyds does offer a euro account with a debit card, but charges £7.50 a month, and requires a deposit of at least £25,000.
Santander offers a euro account through its private bank Cater Allen, but you’ll need to apply through an accountant or financial adviser to open one and deposit at least £5,000.
There are a range of challenger banks which could meet your needs, although they’re not strictly normal current accounts in the traditional sense (you won’t get an overdraft, for instance). They’re mainly free multi-currency accounts available through apps on your phone from the likes of;
You can transfer money through their apps and use the cards as payment or to withdraw cash.
But it’s essential to be wary of hidden fees in exchange rates, warns Jenifer Swallow from Transferwise.
“Sneaky pricing, such as advertising the transaction as ‘free’ or ‘0% commission’, then hiding the real charge in the exchange rate – are the norm among traditional providers and dupe people into thinking they are getting a good deal when they are not,”
That’s because most providers don’t use the mid-market rate for currency conversions, but instead use their own less-attractive exchange rate.
Depending on how often you plan to use the card, falling foul of a bad exchange rate could be a really costly mistake.
Below is a list of UK banks that offer Euro accounts and the costs associated with them (updated 14/9/2020)
|Bank||Euro account costs|
|Barclays||Dependant on personal situation – appointment needed at the bank to open|
|Co-Op||£20 per half year|
|HSBC||£5 per month|
|Lloyds||£24 per year|
|NatWest||Dependant on personal situation – appointment needed at the bank to open|
|Standard Bank||£15 per quarter|
|Alliance and Leicester||Free|
|Handelsbanken||Dependant on personal situation – appointment needed at the bank to open|
|Bunq||€7.99 up to €9.99 per month|
|Bank of Ireland||15EUR per month|
|Fair Everywhere||£50 per month|
|Monese||Free and ranging up to £14.95 per month|
Richard founded the Good Money Guide (previously Good Broker Guide) in 2015 and has been a broker for 20 years most recently at Investors Intelligence and previously a multi-asset derivatives broker at MF Global (Man Financial). Richard started his career working as a private client stockbroker at Walker Crips and Phillip Securities (now King and Shaxson) after interning on the NYMEX oil trading floor in New York and London IPE in 2001 & 2000.