The Best Everyday (& Free) Bank Account for U.S. Expats Out To Discover The World
April 27, 2020
Banking while abroad can be a complicated subject, but the Capital One 360 Checking Account has to be the best bank accounts for US expats and international travelers.
It sounds crazy, but banking with Capital One while traveling has been a pleasure?!
While it would be a wonder for all us to join local credit unions (and stick it to the man), there’s no denying banking from abroad shouldn’t be a complicated horror story.
For a long time PNC Bank was my primary bank, but I had to go to extra lengths to use the account as a traveler.
I opened my Capital One 360 Checking Account last year and four countries later, I can say it’s one of the best bank accounts for U.S. expats and international travelers.
As an international traveler and expat in Taiwan, here’s why I love Capital One 360 for banking from abroad.
1. No travel notifications necessary
With a Capital One 360 Checking account, there’s no need to remember if you’ve told your bank you’ll be traveling. This means no getting locked out of your account because you forgot to inform your bank of your status abroad.
While this can sound like a security issue, the online app maintains security standards and the customer service looks out for you!
2. No maintenance fees
While there are other great banks to choose from for international travel, I take issue with needing to maintain a high account balance in order to avoid fees.
Luckily, Capital One doesn’t require it’s customers to maintain a monthly balance, which is great when you travel on a budge or pay your bills as soon as you get paid.
3. No withdrawal fees
No withdrawal fees!? Awesome.
Capital One 360 doesn’t charge any fees for withdrawals from abroad, but I must add they don’t reimburse fees on behalf of the ATM you take money from.
4. No purchase fees
Want to buy something with your Capital One debit card? Go ahead, there are no fees here either.
5. No fees to receive international wire transfers
This has to be the BIGGEST plus for me as an English teacher in Taiwan. Although I do have a bank account in Taiwan, it’s completely useless for paying bills back home.
I have to send all the money I make in Taiwan back home.
Recently, I sent money from my Taiwanese bank account and Capital One didn’t take out a single fee.
I paid a wire fee to the bank in Taiwan (about $15), which is something to consider when sending money, but nothing was taken on Capital One’s end.
I’ve heard of expats in Taiwan paying $20 to $70 USD to transfer money due to their home bank so I’m extremely happy to say Capital One has made this process easy and cheap.
6. Great Customer Service & Security
Anytime I have a question or concern, I’ve been able to reach a representative from Capital One in less than a few minutes. It’s a breath of fresh air to talk to a human!
I would suggest a Google Voice phone number here to reach US-based companies for free (read about the benefits of Google Voice for travelers here).
I had a recent incident of fraud on my Capital One credit card from in Taiwan. While they had to close my card, they investigated, closed the case, and re-issued my money within a week.
So not only are they great with customer service, but they will keep your account secure if you have issues.
Seriously, one of the best banks for US expats and travelers.
7. Accessible Online
Capital One is amazing for handling your money online. From their website to their app, the interface is easy to use.
Another feature I appreciate is the security they provide considering you can use your card from anywhere without informing your bank.
If you’re abroad, make sure you have access to your email and Google Voice number to confirm your account. Sometimes I’ve had issues with receiving a security code on Google Voice when requested from my mobile phone, but never have I been locked out of my account.
Make Your International Travels Easier with Capital One 360
Once I was fed up with PNC, I did extensive research to determine Capital One 360 Checking account was the best bank account for US expats and international travelers.
As someone with little money in the bank, a need to send money home monthly, and a desire for great customer service, Capital One has made banking from abroad a pleasing experience.
This is not an affiliate post — I just want to help others make better decisions in regards to travel. So if you’re in need of a great bank for international travel or moving abroad, check out Capital One 360.
American millennial Kayla Marie has a vision to live life outside the margin. As a creator, her goal is to tell stories and inspire others to live for themselves. She focuses on themes of inspiration, hustle, and travel to promote values that question the status quo.