Americas Bank
January 8, 2009 6:14 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a recommendation on a bank that I could access from both South and North America.

I'll be travelling to Peru in a few days and would like to open a bank account that I can access from both my home in North America and my family's home in South America. I don't necessarily need to have a branch location in N.A. but I need to have the ability to make deposits. It would be helpful to have a branch in S.A., though.
The home in S.A. is near Chile at the southern end of Peru, if it helps.
I looked into CitiBank, but they only list a few branches in Lima.
Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by mcarthey to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I wonder whether taking a second look into Citibank might be worth it, to see if the list was complete or you can do those actions without being in one of the listed branch locations. I could've sworn they had one in Cuzco, as someone personally helped me with a compatibility problem with their ATMs there.
posted by nzydarkxj at 6:32 AM on January 8, 2009

Keep in mind that with bank-to-bank ACH transfers, you can move money between two separate accounts easily with little more than an internet connection. It does take a few days to move it, but it's easy and almost always free.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 7:42 AM on January 8, 2009

If you have a scanner, you can deposit checks electronically to a USAA account.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:05 AM on January 8, 2009

I travel a bit - and I use schwab simply because they don't charge ATM fees and refund any fees a foreign ATM might impose.

Their web interface is pretty easy to use.

The only problem you might have is with checks. But you could always just mail it in. Although that would be subject to mail delays I suppose.
posted by jourman2 at 8:22 AM on January 8, 2009

Try looking for Scotiabank or HSBC in Peru.
Both of those banks have locations more or less everywhere. I don't speak spanish, but here are two maybe useful pages?
posted by Acari at 10:38 AM on January 8, 2009

FWIW, my dad has a Citibank account in Chile, and he still has to jump through hoops when people want to pay him from the US, has to do an international transfer,etc., even though it's supposed to be a an 'international' bank.
posted by signal at 11:09 AM on January 8, 2009

Thanks all for the answers. I don't know that I have a great solution, but I ended up going with CitiBank. They have an office in my chosen city, but I'll still be paying the 3% international rate because they claim it's something all banks will do when using a US account outside of the states. They've stated I won't have to pay any withdrawal fees or the like as long as I use the CitiBank ATM there. I was hoping to find a true "international" account that would function the same no matter my location, but I don't know that it exists... or at least CitiBank claims it doesn't.
Thanks for the advice!
posted by mcarthey at 12:55 PM on January 27, 2009

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