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> Euro Bank Account - UK Guide
In a nutshell
A bank account that is held in Euros rather than in UK sterling.
Best Bank Account For
Frequent travellers to Europe, people that spend part of their year living in a Euro country, people looking to move to Europe, expatriates, people with offshore banking accounts and anybody that wishes to keep some of their money in Euros. A Euro bank account can also be useful to businesses that operate in Euro-land.
The basic difference between a Euro bank account and a standard sterling account is that the money you have in this account will be held in Euros. This can make it much easier to manage your money if you are travelling/visiting a Euro country.
Many Euro bank accounts also do away with currency conversion charges - for example, some will allow free cash machine transactions in any Euro-land country - if you used a sterling based ATM card for this you'd most likely have to pay charges. Some will also let you open multi-currency accounts that allow you to work your money across different currencies to take advantage of any changes in the currency markets.
What to look out for
You really want to be getting as much flexibility as possible with a Euro bank account to make sure that it works well for your needs. In many cases you'll be given services such as free banking, interest on your balances and debit and credit cards for example. The best kinds of Euro account will do away with the currency conversion charges for both debit and credit card use that you would normally have to pay on a sterling account. So, you'll be able to save money straight away. It can be hard to actually get a Euro bank account in some cases. Some banks will require a relatively high minimum deposit or may charge you a fee if your balance falls below a certain limit. You may also incur other charges so it's important to read through the terms of any account before you commit to one. And, you may only earn interest for higher sums if your bank imposes a limit here. You may also find that you aren't given the same range of services with a Euro bank account that you would get with a standard sterling account. Again, you should assess what you need from the account and check out the terms before you commit to anything.
If your Euro bank account is held offshore then certain individuals may be given some tax advantages on any interest that the account earns - you can check out whether this would be a viable option for your situation with a bank representative or with the Inland Revenue direct.
If you're not wedded to the Euro you can alternatively take a look at accounts in different currencies such as US dollar accounts.