Opening a bank account in India may seem like an awesome thing. You can transfer money easily with other Indian bank accounts. You can keep the rupees you earn. You can use your Indian debit card in places that don’t accept international cards.
However, it’s can also be a pain. First, trying to open an account could legitimately take 6–12 months off your life when you add up the time wasted and the stress associated with it. Second, it’s very hard to transfer money out of an Indian account directly to an international one. And third, you will have to practice writing your signature exactly the same way forever for the rest of your time in India, or they may not accept any transactions you sign for.
Read on at Neil Miller, “Opening an Indian Bank Account.”
[See also “The Best Expat Bank for India”: Summary.]
Opening a bank account in India as an expat is not really an option unless you are on an Employment visa. Most foreigners rely on their home bank to access their money. There are several things to think of in order to understand how things work in India.
- ATM fees. You may be charged:
- Fee from your home bank for using an ATM out of network
- Conversion charge from your home bank for converting the money into rupees
- Fee from the bank that owns the ATM for a foreign transaction
- Point-of-Sale Charges. Your debit or credit card can be used but carry cash. Many cards are not accepted online. You may be charged a conversion fee by your home bank as high as 3%.
- eBanking. Good online platforms for managing your account from overseas and any service that helps you to not be reliant on a physical location is a huge plus.
- Customer Service. Great service is a necessity when you are managing your account from overseas. Put a travel watch on your account before you come, but you may still need to call for a special situation.
- My Recommendation. Charles Schwab Bank is the best expat bank account for India.
Read it at Neil Miller, “Best Expat Bank Account for India.”
[Capital One is another good bank for expats. See also “Opening an Indian Bank Account”: An Awesome Pain. —C.M.H.]