I confess that for a long time I never would have thought about the best offshore bank accounts. I had a mistaken image that these accounts were for super-rich people who wanted to hide their money. In fact, I figured that most of them were criminals in the vein of an American Greed episode. However, now that I’ve learned more about what offshore banking really is, I understand that anyone can benefit from using these types of bank accounts. That’s how I’ve come to wonder about which ones are the best offshore bank accounts.
What Are Offshore Bank Accounts?
As you likely know, offshore bank accounts are bank accounts that are established in a country other than the one where you reside. More specifically, it’s an account at a bank that operates under an international banking license. Many people who live in the United States do opt to open offshore banking accounts around the world.
Benefits of Offshore Banking
There are many different reasons that people choose offshore banking. Here are some of the most common benefits people seek when choosing this option:
Protect Your Money
Nomad Capitalist reports that there are 39 countries that offer safer bank accounts than the United States does. If something goes awry here politically and/or economically, your money could be at risk. Theoretically, it’s protected, of course, if it’s FDIC insured. Nevertheless, you don’t want to be caught with your pants down when it comes to large sums of money. Putting some of your money in offshore bank accounts can help protect you from problems with the government and/or the American banks that you use.
Diversify Your Accounts and Your Currency
You don’t want to put all of your money in one account. In fact, you shouldn’t even keep all of your money in one currency. By saving your funds in multiple currencies, you protect yourself against a variety of changes in the global economy. The best offshore bank accounts offer the opportunity to utilize several different currencies and to easily transfer funds from one currency to another.
Earn More Interest
The best offshore bank accounts also offer very high-interest rates on your savings. Therefore, if you want to maximize the money that you earn in interest, you should explore your offshore options. Make sure that you do your research and understand all fees as you work to make the most of your money.
More Reasons You Need an Offshore Bank Account
International Man suggests these additional benefits:
- It gives you financial freedom compared to tethering yourself to one country’s banking system.
- It can give you access to medical care abroad just in case you need it.
- Generally speaking, it helps with banking as an expat/tourist.
- Acting now can help you make the most of your money in the future.
Of course, you want to keep your regular American bank accounts. But if you have extra money besides what you need in your immediate checking and savings account, then you might want to think about looking into the best offshore bank accounts.
Where Are the Best Offshore Bank Accounts?
You can open an offshore bank account almost anywhere. However, each country has its own rules when it comes to banking. Moreover, the United States has its own banking rules that you must understand if you engage in offshore banking. Depending on your specific needs, certain countries will offer better options than others. That said, some of the best offshore bank accounts are located in:
- Belize, which has high-interest rates and 24 percent required liquidity; note that this one is controversial because of a poor reputation and should be considered carefully, weighing all pros and cons
- Georgia, which Nomad Capitalist says is the easiest place to bank in and has good interest rates
- Germany, which is widely recognized as one of the safest banking systems in the world
- Hong Kong, which Sovereign Man ranks number one
- Singapore, which has monetary stability and top financial advisors at their banks
- South Korea, which has good business banking options
- Switzerland, which leads the way in financial privacy
- UAE, which is emerging as a strong new market for offshore banking
Generally speaking, the best offshore bank accounts are located in areas that are financially stable, don’t face a lot of US pressure for compliance, and have laws that are pro-business. Note that some countries (such as Sweden and France) have very safe banks but also have some drawbacks such as very high taxes.
What Are the Best Offshore Bank Accounts?
The best offshore bank accounts are located in countries where they are required to keep a lot of cash on hand (which isn’t the case with the United States, by the way). You want to choose a bank that offers good customer service, is relatively easy to bank with as a foreigner, and has terms you like (such as a high-interest rate.)
Here are some of the best offshore bank accounts to consider in 2019.
- Ameria Bank in Armenia for highest interest rates
- Capital Security Bank in the Cook Islands for opening an account remotely and for 100 percent liquidity
- DBS Treasures in Singapore for premier banking by wealthy investors
- Neat in Hong Kong for fintech products
- TBC Bank in Georgia is one of the best offshore bank accounts in terms of ease of opening an account
- TD Bank in Canada for people who are nervous to get started with offshore banking
- Belize Bank International, Caye International
- Eurobank EFG in Cyprus
- Euro Pacific Bank, and B2B-Bank in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Nouvobanc and Barclays in the Seychelles
- More than half a dozen different banks in Liechtenstein