GoBear is now part of Finder

Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

International bank accounts

Manage your global finances with an international bank account.

International bank accounts are known for their wide suite of wealth management solutions. So whether you’re looking to save in multiple currencies, make overseas investments or access financial products that are not available in Singapore, you’d typically be able to find one that accommodates to your banking needs.

Learn more about the benefits and risks of using an international bank account in this guide.

Compare bank accounts you can use internationally

Name Product Monthly fee Card delivery Supported currencies Mobile payments
Canvas Pre-paid Visa Card and App
Up to 8 business days


Apple Pay, Google Pay

Finder special offer of 30 days free trial and $10 credit on each kid’s card upon activation.

Manages your kids’ pocket money and domestic helpers’ access to household expenses digitally.
Wirex Standard
5 business days


Apple Pay, Google Pay

Get a Welcome Bonus of $15 USD in WXT when you sign up with Wirex through Finder.

A multi-currency card that supports over 150 currencies, including more than 8 cryptocurrencies at interbank rates.
5-8 business days


Apple Pay, Google Pay

Use promo code FINDER5 to earn $5 on signup.

A prepaid Mastercard with no monthly fees, contactless payment features and fee-free transactions in over 150 currencies. NOTE: Promo code valid for new signups and Singapore residents only.
Revolut Standard
Up to 9 working days


Apple Pay, Google Pay

Get 20% cashback on all eligible public transport expenses in Singapore when you pay with Revolut. Valid until 31 December 2021.

Enjoy no monthly fees, competitive currency conversion rates, and spend in over 150 currencies with Revolut’s Standard card.
Wise Multicurrency Account
2 - 3 business days


Apple Pay, Google Pay
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is an international account for over 50 currencies, with instant, super-cheap money transfer, a card to spend in any currency, bank details to get paid in 30 different countries and multi-currency direct debits.

Compare up to 4 providers

What are international bank accounts?

International banking (also known as offshore banking), allows you to open a bank account in a foreign country without being a resident of the country. The account can either be an individual or a company account and can also be opened in a selection of currencies.

While a domestic bank account is usually sufficient for most banking activities, an international banking account can offer advantages such as the flexibility of operation, tax benefits and capitalising on global market opportunities.

Five reasons to open an international bank account

International bank accounts are an option for combining a lot of different benefits into one package. Do any of these sound good to you? It might mean that an international bank account is the right choice.

1. Foreign currency use

Domestic banking here is typically done all in Singapore dollars, but international accounts let you use overseas currencies more easily, often with more preferable exchange rates and fewer fees. International banking can get you more value for money if you use a lot of foreign currencies. International bank accounts can get you similar benefits to multi-currency bank accounts, with other useful differences too.

2. International money transfers

If you frequently send money overseas then an international bank account might be able to get you better rates, lower fees and more benefits. Enjoy some perks of international money transfers with more ease and convenience.

3. Access to foreign markets

Only having a domestic bank account might inhibit you when making foreign investments, while an international bank account may let you more easily access this part of the market. If you have a keen interest in forex trading or international share trading then it may be worth considering an international bank account.

4. Overseas investments

Are you making investments overseas? Some Singaporeans, feeling squeezed by the domestic market, are buying property overseas and enjoying the benefits. If you are interested in doing this then an opening international bank account is worth consideration.

5. Tax advantages

International banks bring opportunities to enterprising account holders in the form of applied local tax laws, or “loopholes” as some might call them. If you want to manage your bank account for optimal returns then an international bank account, rather than a domestic one, provides more options.

What are the benefits of having an international bank account?

  • Tax. Take advantage of overseas tax rates, conditions and privacy laws with an offshore bank account. For example, you might open up an international bank account based in a country that has a lower tax on investment income than Singapore does.
  • Privacy. Sensitive financial information may be safer overseas, in an anonymous account, than in a standard domestic bank account. If your occupation requires you to protect sensitive client information or your own, then an international bank account may be preferable.
  • Multiple currencies. With a standard bank account, you will typically need to exchange money through the bank or a third party, paying fees and exchange rates on that transaction. International bank accounts typically use more types of currency with more fluidity.
  • International money transfers. If you keep making international money transfers through a domestic bank account, you can very quickly spend a large amount on fees and currency exchange rates. An international bank account typically lets you do it with preferable rates and at a lower cost.
  • Linked accounts. Depending on your preferences, you may link other accounts to your international bank account to earn interest on them or enjoy other benefits.
  • 24-hour service. Banks in Singapore usually run on standard business hours, but international accounts need to be manageable and accessible 24 hours a day. Choosing an international bank can get you easier access to your account around the clock.

What are the risks of having an international bank account?

  • Regulations. It’s your responsibility to remain within all applicable laws when holding overseas accounts. Do note that if you don’t file taxes properly, you may come under suspicion of tax evasion, so it may be advisable to use an experienced tax accountant to help you.
  • Fund protection. Money held in Singapore bank accounts is protected by SDIC’s Deposit Insurance Scheme. Money held in overseas bank accounts does not have this guarantee.
  • Fees. There may be additional fees and costs involved with international banking, and these can vary between providers. You should make sure you are well informed about all applicable fees and conditions before opening an account.

How to compare international bank accounts

Here are some common priorities to consider when comparing between offshore bank accounts to find one that is best suited for your needs:

  • Reputation. A well-reputed banking system typically translates to a pro-business and stable environment. In business, clients also tend to develop an impression of your company based on where you bank. Countries such as Seychelles, Cayman and Panama generally carry negative connotations, so you might want to avoid having an offshore bank in these countries.
  • Remote opening. The ability to open an offshore account remotely – instead of flying over to the country and opening an account in person – can help save a lot of time and money.
  • Deposit. Some offshore banks require an initial deposit for opening a bank account, while some don’t. Bear in mind that countries with the best offshore banking jurisdictions such as Hong Kong and Singapore often require high deposit minimums.
  • Processing time. Most banks today offer online applications and streamlined processing, allowing you to open an account quickly. The timeframe of opening an offshore bank account typically only take several working days.
  • Client’s nationality. The list of prohibited countries usually varies from bank to bank, so make sure to check for the suitability between your nationality and the bank policy.
  • Nature of business. Depending on your business activities and operations, different offshore banks may or may not allow you to open an account with them. Before applying, be sure to check the offshore bank’s policy.

What to consider before opening an international account

Get more out of your international bank account by ticking these off.

Have a purpose in mind

By deciding if you want your account to be more geared towards specific benefits, like easier international investments, more tax options or cheap international money transfer, you may be able to hone these benefits by tailoring your account or managing it in certain ways.

Know your must-haves

Know what the account absolutely must-have. For example, if you know with certainty that you will be investing in the Chinese property market then you’ll probably want an account that delivers advantageous SGD-RMB currency conversion rates and lets you quickly transfer and convert funds to take advantage of great deals or compete at auctions.

Know the law

International accounts can be more legally complicated because they might mean obeying the laws of two different countries at once. You need to operate within both Singapore law and the laws of whichever nation your account is being held in.

How to apply for an international bank account?

The basics of opening an offshore bank account are similar to opening any bank accounts in Singapore.

Once you’ve compared the options available, make sure you’ve met the eligibility requirements and have the necessary documents and information on hand. Do note that the eligibility criteria and exact documents required may vary from bank to bank.

Eligibility requirements usually include:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Investment or minimum initial deposit (varies from bank to bank)

Required documents

  • Personal information (e.g. your name, date of birth, citizenship, occupation etc)
  • Government-issued ID, passport or driver’s license
  • Proof of residential address (e.g. telco/utility bill, letter from government bodies, bank statements etc)
Back to top

More guides on Finder

  • UOB Lady’s Savings Account review

    Benefit from up to S$200,000 protection against female-related cancers and a range of health benefits when you save with the UOB Lady’s Savings Account.

  • Standard Chartered Bonus Saver Review

    Earn boosted interest rates on the first S$80,000 of your Standard Chartered Bonus$aver account balance when you engage in any one (or more) of the five eligible categories.

  • UOB Stash Account Review

    Benefit from higher interest rates as you maintain or grow your monthly balance with UOB Stash Account.

  • Instarem Amaze review

    Benefit from 1% cashback, low-cost FX payments and seamless expense management with the Instarem Amaze card.

  • How to buy Cardano (ADA) in Singapore

    Cardano (ADA) is an entirely new cryptocurrency network built from scratch. See what makes it unique, and where you can buy it.

  • Alternatives to N26: A list of similar banks and apps

    We’ve compared the top challenger banks to help you figure out what’s the best alternative since N26 is not available in Singapore.

  • YouTrip vs Revolut in Singapore

    YouTrip and Revolut are two popular digital banks in Singapore. We compare everything you need to know about them to pick the right one.

  • Revolut alternatives including banks, apps and competitors

    There are a number of cards and banking apps similar to Revolut that you can use in Singapore, so we’ve put together a list and compared their features for you.

  • Best student debit cards

    Enjoy convenient payments and a wide range of benefits with debit cards options that match the fast-paced lifestyles of students and young adults.

  • Exness review

    Benefit from zero trade commission on selected accounts, low spreads and a host of advanced trading tools with Exness online brokerage.

Ask Finder

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site