Personal Finance

GBP Credit Card or Debit Card?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 9th, 2017 5:50 am
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 6, 2010
98 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto

GBP Credit Card or Debit Card?

I am in need of getting a GBP based account w/ credit card, but if I can't help it debit card.

Does anyone have any suggestions or routes I go about?

I need an account that works online and can be paid off online and does not convert and only charges and stays in GBP. (So no Rogers mastercard)

From my own research I was able to find HSBC has a GBP Savings Account, I was wondering if there was a chequing account or if I am able to get a credit card for this type of account from the UK or anything?
Does anyone have any insight into me not having to leave the country or my current citizenship?
13 replies
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5773 posts
1450 upvotes
BC
Very difficult if not impossible to get the sort of GBP account you desire without having verifiable UK residency. (Was possible at one time, but no longer.)

The HSBC GBP account is unfortunately not all it appears to be at first sight, very few bank staff are familiar with it, and it has limitations and fees that will defeat your purpose.

It used to be possible to open offshore GBP savings accounts from smaller banks but they have all been taken over by larger banks and closed off, and didn't have the full functionality you want anyway.

If you find my doom and gloom is unfounded I would be happy to be proved wrong.
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 6, 2010
98 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto
macnut wrote:
Oct 8th, 2017 12:36 pm
Very difficult if not impossible to get the sort of GBP account you desire without having verifiable UK residency. (Was possible at one time, but no longer.)

The HSBC GBP account is unfortunately not all it appears to be at first sight, very few bank staff are familiar with it, and it has limitations and fees that will defeat your purpose.

It used to be possible to open offshore GBP savings accounts from smaller banks but they have all been taken over by larger banks and closed off, and didn't have the full functionality you want anyway.

If you find my doom and gloom is unfounded I would be happy to be proved wrong.
Nah I prefer people be real with me.

I see them doing this in attempt to skew the exchange rate and tack it more on us.

I'm curious though, would i be able to do that registered business in the UK trick or has that even been attempted?
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5773 posts
1450 upvotes
BC
Not exchange rate games, it's banking regulations after the 2007/8 meltdown.

To open a UK bank account and get a credit card, or even a debit card, you would have to have a bona fide address there and a job, and do it in person.

It is unfortunate that Zenbanx didn't survive as it was part way there - with reasonable Fx, debit (but not dependably), though no credit card and no online bill-paying ability.
Newbie
Jul 14, 2017
30 posts
29 upvotes
It's not all that you're looking for, but Transferwise has a borderless account that will allow you to receive and send GBP the same as if you have a local UK-based bank account:
https://transferwise.com/borderless

There is no debit card yet, but they say there will be in 2018.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/transf ... 2017-08-16

I haven't tried the borderless account myself, but I have been using Transferwise for a couple of years to move money between my existing CAD and USD accounts, and it's been good.
Jr. Member
Aug 23, 2017
109 posts
88 upvotes
Quebec
If you have an Amex in Canada you could try the American Express Global Transfer program, but I'm not sure it's available if you are not actually moving there.
Sr. Member
Feb 17, 2017
858 posts
534 upvotes
Calgary
It's very difficult, in fact some UK banks wouldn't even let me have a Canadian address on the account when I moved back to Canada. When Revolut is available in Canada (it's currently in beta testing in Canada and the US) it'll probably be the best option for you.
Newbie
Aug 29, 2012
52 posts
25 upvotes
Toronto
There are a variety of options that might suit your needs until the revolut.com service opens up to Canadians...

1, you could visit a HSBC Canada branch and arrange for a HSBC UK or HSBC Expat account to be opened for you, if you are not a current HSBC Premier customer then you would have to pay $100 for their International Banking Centre to process the application. It is also possible to get a UK GBP Credit card from them, though typically they will want to link that to a UK address whilst the Debit cards can easily be linked to a Canadian address.

2, you could open an account with these guys https://monese.com/ they say they will provide a Card and account to non residents - there is a monthly charge though of £4.95.

3, you could open an offshore GBP account based in Jersey or the Isle of Mann that has the same features of a UK Mainland account but is more open to non-residents - examples that are easy to open include standard bank internationals optimum account - https://international.standardbank.com/ ... mumaccount (£4K min opening balance),
the others such as santander international, investec offshore, nedbank international, barclays international all require significantly higher deposits to operate but would do what you needed if you have £25,000+ to park there.

Hope thats not too much information... but basically HSBC would work, the newer fintech type banks like monese and revolut work and also offshore banking works... whichever suits your needs..... Traditional UK bricks and mortar banks wont generally work aside from HSBC via their International Banking Centre...

Oh and Royal Bank of Canada do operate GBP accounts based out of London or Jersey but they require £250K of investable cash to operate them and charge some high fees for transactions that are free everywhere else! https://www.rbcwealthmanagement.com/gb/ ... tes-europe
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 6, 2010
98 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto
jameswc wrote:
Oct 8th, 2017 6:31 pm
There are a variety of options that might suit your needs until the revolut.com service opens up to Canadians...

1, you could visit a HSBC Canada branch and arrange for a HSBC UK or HSBC Expat account to be opened for you, if you are not a current HSBC Premier customer then you would have to pay $100 for their International Banking Centre to process the application. It is also possible to get a UK GBP Credit card from them, though typically they will want to link that to a UK address whilst the Debit cards can easily be linked to a Canadian address.

2, you could open an account with these guys https://monese.com/ they say they will provide a Card and account to non residents - there is a monthly charge though of £4.95.

3, you could open an offshore GBP account based in Jersey or the Isle of Mann that has the same features of a UK Mainland account but is more open to non-residents - examples that are easy to open include standard bank internationals optimum account - https://international.standardbank.com/ ... mumaccount (£4K min opening balance),
the others such as santander international, investec offshore, nedbank international, barclays international all require significantly higher deposits to operate but would do what you needed if you have £25,000+ to park there.

Hope thats not too much information... but basically HSBC would work, the newer fintech type banks like monese and revolut work and also offshore banking works... whichever suits your needs..... Traditional UK bricks and mortar banks wont generally work aside from HSBC via their International Banking Centre...

Oh and Royal Bank of Canada do operate GBP accounts based out of London or Jersey but they require £250K of investable cash to operate them and charge some high fees for transactions that are free everywhere else! https://www.rbcwealthmanagement.com/gb/ ... tes-europe
Actually I'm over complicating my explanation, I should of specified this since it's an important detail, I need an account I can use to withdraw my paypal amount in GBP to and be able to pay my card off with. Hence why I was leaning towards a bank account.
Sr. Member
Feb 17, 2017
858 posts
534 upvotes
Calgary
Tansen wrote:
Oct 8th, 2017 9:41 pm
I basically need something simple, a CC to make purchases, an account to receive.... actually I'm over complicating my explanation, I should of specified this, I need basically an account I can use to withdraw my paypal amount in GBP to and be able to pay my card off with.
Unless you have family or friends in the UK there is no chance of you getting a credit card in the UK and if you do you'd find it very difficult to get one, especially as a Canadian.

If your a Commonwealth Citizen (Including British or Canadian) the bank will check the electoral register to verify your identity (As all Commonwealth citizens are eligible to vote if they live in the UK). If your not on this, a bank will generally decline you. It's also very difficult to get a credit card in the UK without any credit history at all (As bare in mind in the UK, Chequing accounts (current accounts) along with utilities show up on your credit report, so barely anyone has an empty credit report). It's worth pointing out that UK debit cards run on the credit card networks, so can be used in all the same places as UK credit cards (unlike Canadian cards).
Sr. Member
Feb 17, 2017
858 posts
534 upvotes
Calgary
jameswc wrote:
Oct 8th, 2017 6:31 pm
There are a variety of options that might suit your needs until the revolut.com service opens up to Canadians...



2, you could open an account with these guys https://monese.com/ they say they will provide a Card and account to non residents - there is a monthly charge though of £4.95.
I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that Monese is only available to residents of the European Economic Area and possibly some British territories. I think the same is true for Standard Bank unless your a British citizen (then you can live anywhere).
Sr. Member
User avatar
May 7, 2017
558 posts
248 upvotes
Like everyone says, try offshore accounts from Lloyd’s, Barclays or HSBC. There are some easy ways too for example Revolut gives you an account and a debit card which you can set up easily.
Newbie
Aug 29, 2012
52 posts
25 upvotes
Toronto
CanadianSpruce wrote:
Oct 8th, 2017 9:52 pm
I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that Monese is only available to residents of the European Economic Area and possibly some British territories. I think the same is true for Standard Bank unless your a British citizen (then you can live anywhere).
I stand corrected, thanks for checking on this - indeed Monese does require the account holder be in the EEA so not an option. Standard bank international is available to US Citizens but not Canadian Citizens which is strange!

Based on the needs of the original poster the transferwise borderless account or a worldfirstremit account would do the right job
https://www.worldfirst.com/uk/online-sellers/

these services seem to be geared to GBP sellers and the plus is you can move the funds back to CAD at decent rates too.

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