This is a list of the easiest banks in the world with whom to open non-resident accounts. Please note that while they are “easy”, they are still decent banks. I do not recommend opening an account in under-regulated jurisdictions.


Jurisdiction: China
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: None
Debit card: Yes, Unionpay
Variable ATM fee, no FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: No
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: icbc.com.cn

ICBC is the largest bank in the world by assets and one of the big five Chinese banks. It is partly-owned by the Chinese government who uses it to push CCP policies both in China and abroad. Opening an ICBC account in the mainland is easy; All you need to do is show up at a branch with your passport. There is no minimum deposit requirement, no monthly fee. A Unionpay debit card is issued on the spot. Online banking and mobile banking is available.

 


Jurisdiction: China
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: None
Debit card: Yes, Unionpay
Variable ATM fee, No FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: No
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: cmbchina.com

China Merchants Bank is one of the oldest financial institutions in the world. It was founded by the Qing government in the late 1800s to promote economic development in China. Nowadays it has reinvented itself as a commercial bank with a focus on the Guangdong province and Hong Kong (where it is known as Wing Lung). Opening a personal account with CMB is very easy; All you need to do is show up at a branch with your passport. There is no minimum deposit requirement, no monthly fee. A Unionpay debit card is issued on the spot. Online banking and mobile banking is available.

 


Jurisdiction: China
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: None
Debit card: Yes, Unionpay
Variable ATM fee, No FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: No
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: boc.cn

Bank of China, known as the Imperial Bank of China during the Qing dynasty, is one of the oldest Chinese banks still in existence. It is the main clearing bank for the Chinese currency and is the only mainland bank authorized to issue HKD and MOP banknotes. Opening a BOC account in the mainland is very easy; All you need to do is show up at a branch with your passport. There is no minimum deposit requirement, no monthly fee. A Unionpay debit card is issued on the spot. Online banking and mobile banking is available.

 


Jurisdiction: China
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: None
Debit card: Yes, Unionpay
Variable ATM fee, No FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: No
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: abchina.com

The Agricultural Bank of China is one of the largest banks both in China and the world. It also is one of the most valuable financial companies, ranking 5th worldwide. Opening an ABC account in the mainland is very easy; All you need to do is show up at a branch with your passport. There is no minimum deposit requirement, no monthly fee. A Unionpay debit card is issued on the spot. Online banking and mobile banking is available.

 


Jurisdiction: China
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: None
Debit card: Yes, Unionpay
Variable ATM fee, No FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: No
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: bankcomm.com

The Bank of Communications has grown in recent years to become one of China’s main lenders. It is owned in part by the Chinese Ministry of Finance and in part by the British bank HSBC. Opening a Bank of Communications account in the mainland is easy; All you need to do is show up at a branch with your passport. There is no minimum deposit requirement, no monthly fee. A Unionpay debit card is issued on the spot. Online banking and mobile banking is available.


Jurisdiction: Cayman
Bank stability: Average
Best for: Personal and business
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum deposit: 5000$US
Monthly fee: 6$US if below minimum deposit
Debit card: Yes, Visa
3$US ATM fee, no FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: ky.butterfieldgroup.com

Founded by Nathaniel Butterfield in 1758 as a trading company, Butterfield has evolved over the centuries to become one of the Caribbean’s leading banks. It has operations in Bermuda, Cayman, Bahamas, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Guernsey. Opening a USD account is fairly easy at the Cayman branch. In most cases it simply requires a personal visit, a letter of recommendation and a proof of address. Online banking and mobile banking are both available.

 


Jurisdiction: United States
Bank stability: Average
Best for: Business
Difficulty: Easy (via Atlas)
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: None
Debit card: No
Multi-currency accounts: No
Credit card: Yes
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: svb.com

The Silicon Valley Bank operates both as a normal bank and as a venture capital fund. Its products are mainly targeted at tech / online businesses and thanks to a partnership with the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, it can clear RMB transactions. Opening an SVB account is very easy if done through Atlas (a service offered by Stripe). No visit to the bank is required, the whole process can be completed online.

 


Jurisdiction: United States
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: None
Debit card: Yes, Visa
8 free ATM withdrawal per month, 1% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: No
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: unfcu.org

The United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) is a Long Island-based credit union serving the needs of UN employees, their families and the members of UNA-USA. It has over 100000 members in over 200 countries and branches in New York City, Geneva, Rome, Nairobi and Vienna. To open an account, you simply need to join the UNA-USA. The entire process can be completed online and there is no need to reside in the United States.


Jurisdiction: Finland
Bank stability: Average
Best for: Business
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: 8€
Debit card: Yes, Mastercard
2€ ATM fee, 2% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: No
Credit card: No
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: holvi.com

Holvi is a subsidiary of BBVA, one of Europe’s largest banks. It offers an innovative online-only banking experience to European businesses. Opening an account takes only a few minutes and there is no minimum deposit requirement. All accounts come with a payment processing facility and for an additional fee, an optional debit Mastercard. Holvi’s online banking portal is fantastic, it provides real-time insights and analytics. Exporting data to the major bookkeeping platforms is also very easy.

 


Jurisdiction: Germany
Bank stability: Average
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: None
Debit card: Yes, Mastercard
No ATM fee, no FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: No
Credit card: No
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: number26.de

Number26 is a German bank that has recently taken Europe by storm. It offers online-only accounts, charges almost no fees and even offers a no-fx fee debit Mastercard. All transactions can be completed through a mobile app, even opening the account itself. Anyone can open an account but an address in a participating country is required. You can get around that requirement by using a virtual address.

  • Erwin

    Hey Simon,

    Two things:

    I wonder if you are interested in getting your comments anymore. The reason I’m asking is, my other comment under your other post is stuck in moderation for long weeks.

    To this post: It would be helpful to add which of these banks are more suitable with personal, or business customers, let alone to whom they are open to at all. Otherwise, a nice collection!

  • Erwin

    Hey Simon,

    Two things:

    I wonder if you are interested in getting your comments anymore. The reason I’m asking is, my other comment under your other post is stuck in moderation for long weeks.

    To this post: It would be helpful to add which of these banks are more suitable with personal, or business customers, let alone to whom they are open to at all. Otherwise, a nice collection!

  • Hi Erwin,

    That’s a great idea, I’ve updated the article with more info on who those banks are for (and will add a description for each bank in the coming days).

    As for your other comment, I’ve checked the Disqus control panel but can’t seem to find it. Are you sure it posted?

  • Hi Erwin,

    That’s a great idea, I’ve updated the article with more info on who those banks are for (and will add a description for each bank in the coming days).

    As for your other comment, I’ve checked the Disqus control panel but can’t seem to find it. Are you sure it posted?

  • Erwin

    Simon,

    I posted my question again, here: https://www.freedomsurfer.com/global-credit/
    It is still stuck in moderation. Some bug seems to persist under that one post in Disqus. Okay, I post it here, consider I posted it over there, or even move this one over there. Thanks:

    The US frequent flyer points game can be interesting, but your suggestion is very limited, under 30, and only to citizens of a handful of countries. What else would you recommend for most people, who do not fit the required parameters for the US working holiday scheme? another way to the US? Or another country for the frequent flyer points game? As you have credit in all the countries, you better have mailing addresses in each, for receiving your credit cards. That may worth a separate post.

  • Erwin

    Simon,

    I posted my question again, here: https://www.freedomsurfer.com/global-credit/
    It is still stuck in moderation. Some bug seems to persist under that one post in Disqus. Okay, I post it here, consider I posted it over there, or even move this one over there. Thanks:

    The US frequent flyer points game can be interesting, but your suggestion is very limited, under 30, and only to citizens of a handful of countries. What else would you recommend for most people, who do not fit the required parameters for the US working holiday scheme? another way to the US? Or another country for the frequent flyer points game? As you have credit in all the countries, you better have mailing addresses in each, for receiving your credit cards. That may worth a separate post.

  • Hong Kong and Singapore both have great miles-earning credit cards and they are easy to get even for non-residents. Obviously, you could also get a visa for the US that would allow you to apply for an SSN (it needs to be a work visa or one that allow work). As for mailing addresses, it’s indeed a great article idea. I’ll add it to my list of articles to write in the short-term.

  • Hong Kong and Singapore both have great miles-earning credit cards and they are easy to get even for non-residents. Obviously, you could also get a visa for the US that would allow you to apply for an SSN (it needs to be a work visa or one that allow work). As for mailing addresses, it’s indeed a great article idea. I’ll add it to my list of articles to write in the short-term.

  • Iba

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks, I like FreedomSurfer!

    In all these Chinese banks, you wrote “Best for: Personal”.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t find the fees / charges / rates / tariffs of these banks. Have you got an idea in order to find these informations ?

    Is it possible to open a business bank account for a Hong Kong company, in one of these banks ( with a good internet banking ) ?

    Do you solve this question in Zero Tax Nomad course ?

    Regards, Iba.

  • Iba

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks, I like FreedomSurfer!

    In all these Chinese banks, you wrote “Best for: Personal”.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t find the fees / charges / rates / tariffs of these banks. Have you got an idea in order to find these informations ?

    Is it possible to open a business bank account for a Hong Kong company, in one of these banks ( with a good internet banking ) ?

    Do you solve this question in Zero Tax Nomad course ?

    Regards, Iba.

  • Hi Iba,

    It is much easier to open an account for a HK company directly in HK and many of the banks listed there have a local branch. Besides, internet banking in China is dreadful and all accounts there are subject to punitive currency controls.

    As for the fees, they differ by province but are very low. Around 10 Yuan per year + a few Yuan for account changes, out of province transactions etc.

  • Hi Iba,

    It is much easier to open an account for a HK company directly in HK and many of the banks listed there have a local branch. Besides, internet banking in China is dreadful and all accounts there are subject to punitive currency controls.

    As for the fees, they differ by province but are very low. Around 10 Yuan per year + a few Yuan for account changes, out of province transactions etc.

  • Iba

    Thank you Simon.

  • Iba

    Thank you Simon.

  • Linkai Huang

    Actually, some banks in US can issue you credit card without requiring SSN, you need to try with easy banks first (they will normally require a certain amount of deposit) then use the cards you have now to apply the new one. I have seen some successful case of doing this (incl. applying Chase).

  • Linkai Huang

    Actually, some banks in US can issue you credit card without requiring SSN, you need to try with easy banks first (they will normally require a certain amount of deposit) then use the cards you have now to apply the new one. I have seen some successful case of doing this (incl. applying Chase).

  • i tried to open a number 26 account with a mailbox. That did not work and account was closed immediately. Is that what you mean by virtual address?

  • i tried to open a number 26 account with a mailbox. That did not work and account was closed immediately. Is that what you mean by virtual address?

  • A virtual address is different than a mailbox. It is essentially a normal residential address that you rent. Mail delivered to that address is forwarded to your real address (or wherever you want). To an outsider (N26 in this case), a virtual address is indistinguishable from a normal address.

  • A virtual address is different than a mailbox. It is essentially a normal residential address that you rent. Mail delivered to that address is forwarded to your real address (or wherever you want). To an outsider (N26 in this case), a virtual address is indistinguishable from a normal address.

  • Petr Novak

    Actually, even virtual addresses are blocked at N26. I tried that in the Czech Republic with many other people and they closed that accounts. Now it is mentioned somewhere in terms and conditions as well. Anyway, best is to make German / Slovak / Austria (maybe more countries are supported today) friend and use his address for card delivery. That is how I did it the second time 🙂

    And BTW Revolut card might be also a nice option for the personal account. Withdrawals Up to 500 GBP / month are free anywhere in the world and card is also delivered by post anywhere.

  • Petr Novak

    Actually, even virtual addresses are blocked at N26. I tried that in the Czech Republic with many other people and they closed that accounts. Now it is mentioned somewhere in terms and conditions as well. Anyway, best is to make German / Slovak / Austria (maybe more countries are supported today) friend and use his address for card delivery. That is how I did it the second time 🙂

    And BTW Revolut card might be also a nice option for the personal account. Withdrawals Up to 500 GBP / month are free anywhere in the world and card is also delivered by post anywhere.

  • There’s no way they could block all virtual addresses but for sure the popular / shared ones are going to be detected. 1000 account holders living at the same address hehe, quite the red flag.

    As for Revolut, I agree that it’s a nice product but not one that can replace a real bank account. They do not offer dedicated account numbers (such as IBAN or ACH) and their service is bloody awful. I wrote an article about them a while ago:
    https://www.freedomsurfer.com/revolut/

  • There’s no way they could block all virtual addresses but for sure the popular / shared ones are going to be detected. 1000 account holders living at the same address hehe, quite the red flag.

    As for Revolut, I agree that it’s a nice product but not one that can replace a real bank account. They do not offer dedicated account numbers (such as IBAN or ACH) and their service is bloody awful. I wrote an article about them a while ago:
    https://www.freedomsurfer.com/revolut/