HSBC Euro Account Review: Fees, Features and Alternatives 2024

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
15 January 2024

As a global banking giant, it’s no surprise that HSBC offers ways for people in the UK to hold, send and receive a broad range of currencies, including foreign currency accounts. HSBC foreign currency accounts are available in 14 different currencies including euros, alongside its in-app Global Multi-currency Account.

The HSBC euro account doesn’t come with a linked debit card, which means it probably suits customers who want to hold and send euro payments more than frequent travellers.

If you’re considering your options for a EUR account this guide is for you, covering all the important details of the HSBC euro account - plus a couple of more flexible alternatives for comparison, from neobanks and specialist online and mobile providers like Wise and Revolut.

What is the HSBC euro account?

HSBC has foreign currency accounts in 14 major currencies, which you can manage through the HSBC online banking system, to hold, send and receive foreign currency payments. To open an HSBC euro account you’ll also need to have a local HSBC GBP account. However, there’s no extra monthly fee for the EUR account - you just pay any applicable transaction fees when you use it.

The HSBC euro account doesn’t have a linked debit card, so you can’t easily access your funds when you travel. However, you can send and receive payments in foreign currencies without needing to convert back to pounds every time, including scheduled payments up to a year in advance. That makes this solid option for people who need to make regular EUR payments - for an overseas mortgage for example.

Pros and cons of HSBC euro account

We’ll dive into the details in just a moment - but first, a quick overview of the pros and cons of the HSBC euro account:


  • No maintenance fees to pay

  • Online banking to manage your money conveniently

  • Fee free payments to other HSBC accounts, and any account in the EEA in euros

  • Live exchange rates for immediate transfers


  • No debit card

  • Exchange rates are likely to include a markup

  • Some account fees apply

HSBC foreign currency account alternatives

HSBC’s euro account won’t suit people who want to spend when they travel, or make ATM withdrawals. Here are a few alternatives if you’re looking for an account you can use for daily needs when you’re abroad:

Wise Account

Wise offers online accounts you can use to hold and exchange 50+ currencies, with a linked debit card for international spending and withdrawals. There’s no markup added to the exchange rate used to convert currencies, which keeps the costs down, and makes it easy to see exactly what you’re paying for transactions:

  • Foreign Currencies: 50+

  • Fees & Exchange Rates: Mid-market exchange rate, low transaction fees

  • International Transfers: From 0.41% fee

  • Debit Card: Available


Go to Wise

Revolut Account

Revolut has both fee free standard accounts, and higher tier account options you have to pay a monthly fee for. Even the free accounts have some handy perks for anyone living an international lifestyle, including a linked debit card with some fee free withdrawals:

  • Foreign Currencies: 30+

  • Fees & Exchange Rates: Mid-market exchange rate to plan limits, low transaction fees based on account type

  • International Transfers: 0.3% - 2% fee, some accounts offer discounted transfer fees

  • Debit Card: Available

Starling Euro Account

Starling is a digital neobank which means there’s no branch network - but you do get a good range of account options and services to choose from. If you have a Starling GBP account you can also open an additional account to hold euros, with no extra monthly fees, and no charge to send or receive payments:

  • Foreign Currencies: Euro - other business account options available for USD

  • Fees & Exchange Rates: No monthly fee, currency conversion uses the mid market rate with a fee of 0.4%

  • International Transfers: No fee for EUR payments within the SEPA area

  • Debit Card: Available

Here’s a head to head summary of HSBC vs Wise and Revolut, for euro and multi-currency account options:

Monthly feesNo feeNo fee0 GBP - 12.99 GBP/month depending on account tier
Currencies you can hold and exchangeEuros (Separate accounts also available in other currencies)50+30+
Exchange ratesRates are likely to include a markupMid-market exchange rateMid-market exchange rate to plan limits
Debit Card and ATM feesNot available

Get a debit card for 7 GBP

2 withdrawals to 200 in value per month for free - 0.5 GBP + 1.75% after that

Debit card is free to order, but delivery fees may apply

ATM withdrawals fee free to plan limits (200 GBP/month for standard plans)

International payment fees7 euro for most paymentsFrom 0.41%0.3% - 2% for most payments (paid account plans may offer some discount on fees)

How does the HSBC euro account compare?

UK customers have a pretty good choice when it comes to opening euro accounts, including products from traditional high street banks like HSBC, neobanks which operate online only, and specialist services. The account types do vary significantly - as do the fees - so you’ll want to weigh up a few options to pick the right one for you.

To help out, we’ve summarised some key features of HSBC’s euro account, compared to accounts from specialist providers Wise and Revolut and to digital neobank Starling. We’ll look at these providers in a little more detail later to help you decide which account might suit your needs best.

AvailabilityUK customers with an HSBC GBP accountAvailable to customers in most countries around the worldAvailable to customers in the UK, EEA, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, and the USUK customers with a Starling GBP account
Account Fees

No monthly fee

Currency conversion is likely to include a markup

Some international payment fees apply

No monthly fee

Currency conversion and international payments from 0.41%

0 - 12.99 GBP monthly fee depending on plan

Currency conversion with no markups to plan limits

International payments from 0.3% - 2%

No monthly fee

Currency conversion from 0.4%

SEPA and Target2 payments available, with no Starling fee to pay

Linked Debit CardNot available AvailableAvailableAvailable

If you prefer an in person service, a foreign currency account from a traditional bank like HSBC may be your best bet, as you can always pop into a branch to get help when you need it. However, alternatives like Starling, or fintech providers like Wise and Revolut are well worth considering if you’re interested in more flexible account options you can manage online or through an app. As these services don’t have the same overheads that an old school bank does, they can often offer lower fees and better exchange rates compared to regular banks.

Want to compare more options? Check out our full guide to the best foreign and multi-currency accounts in the UK.

What is the eligibility for an HSBC euro account?

Before you can open an HSBC euro account you’ll need to hold an HSBC GBP current account, excluding the Basic Bank Account. You’ll also have to be over 18 to apply.

Who is it good for?

If you’re already an HSBC customer, opening a foreign currency account won’t cost you anything, and gives you a way to hold, send and receive euro payments without needing to switch back to pounds every time. That can be handy if you’re getting paid in euros, or if you need to send money regularly to accounts in the EU.

Because the HSBC euro account doesn’t have a linked debit card you can’t spend or make withdrawals from the account when you travel, which means it’s not really a good fit for travellers who need easy access to their money.

When is a multi-currency account needed?

Multi-currency accounts are offered in the UK for both personal and business customers, and can fit a wide range of customer needs. Different account products have their own features, with some aimed at people who want to hold and send foreign currency payments, and others more designed for travellers and people spending online with overseas retailers.

Let’s take a look at the HSBC euro account set against the providers we looked at earlier, and who they may suit:

  • HSBC - good for existing HSBC customers who want to conveniently hold and send euro payments

  • Wise - flexible online multi-currency account with linked debit card, for convenient day to day spending → Read Wise Review

  • Revolut - great option for customers looking for fee free currency conversion and travel perks → Read Revolut Review

  • Starling - strong contender if you want a broad range of banking services but don’t need a physical branch network

Best Multi Currency Accounts in the UK

How to open a euro account with HSBC

You’ll need an HSBC current account before you can apply for a EUR account - but once you’re registered for online banking it’s very fast to get your euro account set up. If you’d rather open your account over the phone you can also do that, on 03457 404 404.

What documents you'll need

If you’ve already got your HSBC GBP account up and running you may not need to provide any extra documents to open an HSBC euro account. If you’re not yet an HSBC customer you’ll probably need to provide some paperwork to register - including:

  • Proof of ID, like a passport

  • Proof of address, such as a utility bill in your name

HSBC pricing

Here are the key fees you’ll pay with your HSBC euro account:

ServiceHSBC euro account fee
Monthly feeNo fee
Send money within the UK

Payments in any currency to other HSBC accounts are free

Payments in EUR are free

Payments to non-HSBC accounts in any other currency - 7 EUR fee

Send money internationally 

Payments in any currency to other HSBC accounts are free

Payments to accounts in the EEA in EUR are free

All other payment types - 7 EUR fee

Payments outside the EEA are likely to include intermediary fees

Where currency conversion is required, a markup may be added to the mid-market exchange rate

In branch cash withdrawal in EUR or GBPNo fee

HSBC exchange rate

Like most banks, HSBC sets its own exchange rates which can include a markup added to the mid-market rate you see on Google. That’s an extra fee, but it can be tricky to spot because of the way it’s rolled up in the rate being used to switch from one currency to another.

You’ll be able to see the live HSBC exchange rate before you transact, as long as it’s within market hours. To spot the markup you’ll then need to compare this rate against the mid-market exchange rate you can find on Google or with a currency converter tool.

How to use the HSBC euro account

HSBC’s euro account offers online banking options, which makes it easy to send and schedule payments. You can also transact in a branch or by phone if you’d rather - but online banking is normally the most convenient option. Here are the basic steps required to make a payment:

  1. Log into your online or mobile banking service

  2. Look for the option for International Payments

  3. Follow the prompts to add the recipient’s information and details of the transfer

  4. Complete any required security or verification steps

Funding methods

You can pay into your HSBC euro account from your HSBC GBP account or from another bank account.

Payout methods

You’ll be able to send payments from your HSBC euro account to be deposited into other bank accounts around the world.  You can also request an in branch withdrawal of cash.

How to use the HSBC euro account abroad

HSBC’s foreign currency accounts aren’t really designed for travel use - which means there’s no linked debit card for overseas spending. While you’re away you will still be able to access online banking so you can send payments and check over your transactions, but you can’t make cash withdrawals.

HSBC euro account limits 

HSBC euro accounts have a few different payment limits, which are based on the specific transaction you’re making:

  • International payments online - currency equivalent of 50,000 GBP

  • International payments in branch - unlimited

  • International payments by phone - currency equivalent of 10,000 GBP for standard HSBC customers, unlimited for Premier customers

  • Transfers to your own HSBC account online - currency equivalent of 250,000 GBP

  • In a branch or by phone - unlimited

Are HSBC multi-currency accounts safe?

Yes. HSBC is licensed and overseen by other regulatory bodies around the world.


HSBC is a large and trusted banking group, with a solid range of foreign currency accounts across 14 currencies including euros. If you already have a GBP account with HSBC it might make sense to add in a euro account as well, as there’s no extra monthly fee to pay. However, the options which come with the euro account are limited to holding, sending and receiving payments - you can’t spend with a card or make cash withdrawals for example. That means the HSBC euro account is probably not a great fit for customers looking for a convenient way to spend when they travel.

If you’re looking for a more flexible account option, check out specialist services like Wise and Revolut which can often offer lower overall fees, and a broader range of currency options, compared to traditional banks like HSBC.

Best Multi Currency Accounts in the UK


1. Does HSBC offer euro accounts?

HSBC offers euro accounts to customers who also hold an eligible GBP account.

2. Can I deposit foreign currency into my HSBC account?

You can deposit money into HSBC euro accounts by bank transfer only - from your own GBP account, or by receiving a payment from someone else for example.

3. Does HSBC charge international fees?

There’s no monthly fee for an HSBC euro account, and transfers to other HSBC accounts are free. It’s also free to send EUR payments in the EEA, but there’s a charge of 7 EUR for all other overseas transfers.

4. Can I access my HSBC foreign currency account overseas?

You can log into your online banking when overseas, to view and manage your HSBC euro account. There’s no linked debit card so you can’t spend or make withdrawals when you’re abroad though.