Last Updated on by Talita
If you are a freelancer, i.e., a person who works independently providing services to various clients or projects, you will surely have moments when you need to make withdrawals, transfers, payments, and manage or organize your money. A worker needs financial control, after all.
Having an account in a physical bank is inevitable. However, it is common for these financial institutions to have bureaucratic processes and high fees. In this sense, it may be more advantageous and convenient for you to opt for an online bank account, which offers greater practicality and may be more useful for your needs.
To learn more about the advantages of having a digital bank account, the best alternatives for freelancers, and a comparative table among them, keep reading.
Why opt for a digital bank as a freelancer?
There are several advantages to choosing an online bank over a traditional financial institution. Here are six of them:
- Accessibility: As a user of an online bank, you can access your accounts anytime and anywhere, as long as you have internet access. There is no need to go to a physical branch or wait in lines, as all transactions can be done online.
- Ease: Most online banks have user-friendly websites and apps, making banking transactions simpler. You can easily make transfers, pay bills, and check your balance with just a few clicks.
- Lower fees: Online banks usually charge lower fees, as they have fewer operational costs compared to physical banks, such as rent for branches and employees. This means you can save money on account maintenance fees, bank transfers, and other transactions.
- More financial product options: Online banks offer a wide variety of financial products, such as savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and investments. This allows you to choose the products that best suit your financial needs and goals.
- Security: Online banks invest in security technology to protect their customers’ financial information and transactions. With encryption and other security measures, your financial transactions are protected against fraud and virtual attacks.
- Customer service: Despite not having physical branches, most online banks offer 24/7 customer support through chat, phone, or email. This means you can get help and support whenever you need it.
7 Best Online Banks for Freelancers
Based on all the benefits that an online bank can offer for a freelancer’s life, you may have already decided that you want to have a digital bank account. However, choosing the right bank can be a challenge, considering the wide variety of options available.
Below, I have listed seven online banks to help you make a more informed choice.
Founded in 2010, Wise is a company that offers international money transfer and currency conversion services through its online platform.
The company allows users to send and receive money in different currencies, with exchange rates up to seven times lower than those of physical banks. Wise also offers an account that allows users to hold and spend money in different currencies, without charging exchange fees when using the card to make purchases or withdraw money from ATMs.
With over 10 million users, Wise is a company committed to transparency and honesty in its operations, offering consumer protection through various security measures. The company offers services in 150 countries.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in London, Revolut has already attracted more than 25 million users in over 200 countries and regions around the world. The company offers four types of accounts that can meet the financial needs of its users:
- The Standard account, which is free and offers basic banking services.
- The Plus account, which charges a monthly fee of $2.99 and offers additional services to help improve your finances.
- The Premium account, which charges a monthly fee of $6.99 and offers more investment and savings options.
- The Metal account, which charges a monthly fee of $12.99 and offers various additional benefits, including cashback on purchases and more savings options.
Revolut cards can be connected to Apple or Google Play accounts, making commercial transactions easier, and instant payments can be set up according to each user’s security preferences.
Multipass is a prominent solution for companies engaged in international activities and in need of operating with multiple currencies. It is particularly tailored for business accounts rather than personal accounts. If this doesn’t align with your requirements, you may consider exploring other alternatives.
Founded in 2017, Multipass is a part of Dyninno Group, an experienced market player with over 19 years of expertise. This solution enables corporate clients to have an account in over 30 currencies from different countries.
Moreover, Multipass facilitates payments to and from more than 180 countries, both through physical and virtual cards.
Like the other options, N26 is a fully online European bank that prioritizes the security of its over eight million users worldwide. They offer spending graphs to help you keep track of your personal finances.
The N26 card can also be linked to Apple Pay and customer support is available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.
Just like the previous option, you can choose from four account types:
- Standard: Free, where the card is only virtual, but you can make international payments and free deposits, and have access to necessary customer support and security measures.
- Smart: €4.90 monthly fee. With this account, you will have a physical card, can choose from five colors, in addition to the benefits of the Standard account, you can have an extra card and up to 10 sub-accounts.
- You: €9.90 monthly fee. In addition to everything offered in the other accounts, you will receive insurance coverage for health, flights, and travel.
- Metal: €16.90 monthly fee. In addition to all the benefits of the other accounts, you will receive insurance coverage for everyday items such as mobile phones, cars, and mobility, as well as travel insurance.
This option is a US bank that requires a US citizen card to create an account, but if you don’t have a US address, you can move on to the next option.
Founded in 1971, it is known for offering a wide range of financial services, including investments in stocks, options, mutual funds, bonds, and other investment options.
This bank offers an easy-to-use online trading platform that allows customers to access their investments anytime and anywhere, whether through a computer or mobile device. One of the advantages is that there is no charge for account maintenance or brokerage fees, which means you can invest as much as you want without worrying about additional fees.
However, they do charge fees for certain services such as electronic transfer withdrawals and transfers to external accounts, but these fees are reimbursed! Remember that a US citizen card is required to create an account at this bank.
Founded in 2013, Chime is a bank that offers a fee-free bank account, debit card, personal loans, and an investment platform.
It stands out for not charging fees in general, making it an attractive choice for those who want to save on banking fees. Additionally, the bank offers a rewards program that allows customers to earn cashback on purchases made with the Chime debit card.
The “early payment detection” feature is another advantage of Chime, which helps customers better manage their finances and avoid fees for late payments. It’s important to note that, despite not charging maintenance fees, Chime may charge fees for specific services, such as ATM withdrawals outside of partner networks and international bank transfers.
Monese, founded in 2015 in London, is an option that offers ease of opening an account without the need for credit verification or banking history.
Its app allows customers to open accounts in multiple currencies, avoiding conversion fees, and offers features to help track spending and save money.
In addition, Monese also allows connection with Apple Pay and Google Pay. It is worth noting that the bank may charge fees for some services, such as withdrawals from ATMs outside partner networks and some international bank transfers.
Although it is not necessary to have an address in the UK to create an account, there may be limitations for those who do not reside in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.
Bonus: Starling Bank
Similar to the previous bank, Starling Bank is a London-based bank that offers a wide range of financial services, including checking accounts, debit cards, loans, savings, and foreign exchange services.
The bank’s mobile app is very intuitive, allowing customers to manage their finances efficiently and offers bank accounts in multiple currencies. The bank also offers an “auto-save” feature, which allows customers to set up the app to automatically transfer a specific amount of money to their savings account every time they make a purchase with their debit card.
Compared to its competitors, Starling Bank’s rates are very good and most services are free. Another interesting feature is the “Marketplace,” where customers can access and sign up for various third-party financial services, such as accounting services and loans, directly through the bank’s app.
Comparison table between the 7 best online banks
|Founding country||Exchange rate||Transaction fee||Make withdrawals?||Physical card?||
|Wise||United Kingdom||Real exchange rate||Starting at 0.35%, but varies depending on country and transaction||Yes||Yes||Email or chat|
|Revolut||United Kingdom||Interbank exchange rate||Varies depending on country and transaction||Yes||Yes||Chat|
|N26||Germany||Interbank exchange rate||Varies depending on country and transaction||Yes||Yes||Chat|
|Charles Schwab||United States||Interbank exchange rate||No fee||Yes||Yes||Phone|
|Chime||United States||Interbank exchange rate||Varies depending on country and transaction||Yes||Yes||Chat or phone|
|Monese||United Kingdom||Interbank exchange rate||Starting at 0.5%, may vary depending on country, transaction or account type||Yes||Yes||Email or chat|
|Starling Bank||United Kingdom||Interbank exchange rate||Varies depending on country and transaction||Yes||Yes||Chat or phone|
I hope this summary has been helpful in assisting you in choosing the best online banking option. However, it’s important to remember that I always recommend doing your own research and analysis by visiting the websites of the listed options to ensure they meet your specific needs.
If you have any questions about these or other online banking options, feel free to comment below and I’ll do my best to assist you!
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