How to Withdraw Money From an Offshore Account: Offshore 101

To withdraw money from an offshore account you can use a debit card issued by the bank, send a bank transfer abroad, issue checks, or use a credit card issued by your offshore bank and pay the balance with your offshore account.

If you’re trying to determine how to withdraw money from an offshore account, you probably fall into one of two categories:

  1. You have an offshore bank account already and you’re looking to withdraw money to another account elsewhere, or
  2. You would like to open new accounts from abroad but want to make sure you can access your money after opening

In this article, we’ll take a look at both categories and help you navigate withdrawing money from your offshore bank account.

Feel free to jump ahead to the areas most relevant to you by using the table of contents below.

Table of Contents

  1. How to Withdraw Money From Offshore Accounts
  2. Ways to Withdrawl Funds From Offshore Accounts
  3. Offshore Banking Considerations for New & Existing Clients
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?

How to Withdraw Money From Offshore Accounts

To withdraw money from your offshore bank account, it’s important to remember that offshore banks operate almost identically to onshore (or domestic) banks.

In fact, in many cases, offshore banks use the same systems, software, and procedures as onshore (or domestic) banks. So, the process can be as easy as withdrawing money from your domestic bank account, though there are some differences.

However, the jurisdiction and region where accounts are domiciled can factor into your withdrawal options, available transfer networks, and required supporting documents before a withdrawal is approved.

In this article, we’re going to share three common methods that you can use to withdraw (and access) your money from an account offshore. Plus, we’ll share a few important factors that you should consider before opening a new offshore bank account. This information will be relevant whether you are trying to withdraw income, returns on investments, or simply access deposits that you held with the bank.

Do You Want to Explore All Your Offshore Banking Options?

Ways to Withdrawal Funds From Offshore Accounts

A major difference between an offshore bank account and an onshore account is that the account holder cannot easily visit the financial institution in person to withdraw money.

In most cases, this means that in order to access their money, the account holder will need to send a money transfer from their offshore account to another bank account.

That said, there are alternative methods to accessing your money from a bank account offshore as well, including:

Offshore Debit Cards

The most common way that people withdraw money from an offshore bank account is by using an offshore debit card. In fact, while you may not be able to visit a branch of your offshore bank, it’s still possible to withdraw your money at ATMs around the world.

That said, not all banks offer debit cards, and depending on the type of account you open, it may not be an option for you. So, if you’re opening a new account, make sure you confirm which payment card options are available before applying.

Offshore Credit Cards

Another popular option for withdrawing money from an offshore bank account is through an offshore credit card. Similar to a debit card, account holders can simply charge their card at any POS and then pay with the available funds in their account.

That said, very few banks offer offshore credit cards, and even fewer offer offshore credit cards that are reasonably priced and have acceptable foreign currency transaction fees. So, it’s important to look at the fine print with any offshore credit card before agreeing to the terms.

Secured Loans

An alternative option to withdrawing money from an account offshore is through a secured loan and similar financing options. Essentially, the financial institution will loan you your own money based on the balance of your existing relationship.

Depending on where you bank or the account type you have (e.g. retail, premier, private, etc.), secured loans can be called by different names, including:

  • Secured loans
  • Lombard loans
  • Asset-backed financing

That said, in order to access these alternative financing options, you typically need to have a sizeable relationship with the bank and will need to pass a credit review. Of course, not all offshore financial institutions offer secured loans or similar financing options, though there are many offshore banks that do.

Offshore Banking Considerations for New & Existing Clients

As mentioned in the introduction, there are different offshore banking considerations depending on whether you already have an account offshore or you’re still looking to open an account offshore, let’s consider these now.

Existing Offshore Account

If you are trying to determine how to withdraw your money from an existing account offshore, your first step is to consider the options your bank has available.

For instance, if your financial institution offers offshore debit or credit cards, you should consider the steps to apply and whether you can access these financial products with the account type that you have.

Alternatively, if you’re not getting access to suitable methods to withdraw your money you can contact us directly to explore alternative financial options.

New Offshore Account

If you are trying to determine how to withdraw your money from a new offshore account, you should assess the available options before you apply. Unfortunately, many people overlook this important step.

But, since you’re still in the process of opening, you can sort through the options and choose the right financial institution that offers you the most convenient options. Of course, if you would like assistance determining which offshore banks are best, our team would be happy to assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people exploring how to withdraw money from an offshore account. If you have further questions about online offshore banking, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

How Do You Get Money Out of an Offshore Account?

You can get money out of an offshore account using standard withdrawal methods like an ATM withdrawal, bank transfer, point-of-sale purchase using a debit card or credit card, or issuing a check. In other words, money in an offshore account can be accessed using the same methods as an onshore bank account.

Is It Illegal to Keep Money in Offshore Accounts?

No, it is not illegal to keep money in an offshore account. However, it is illegal to hide money in an offshore account and not properly report the account, the income generated by the account, or earnings deposited into the account to the tax authorities in your country of residence or citizenship (or both), depending on your situation. In all instances, you should speak with a qualified professional to help you understand the tax and reporting implications of opening an offshore account.

What Is the Safest Offshore Bank?

The safest offshore bank is a private bank that is well-capitalized and does not engage in retail lending practices. These banks exist in a number of different countries, including Switzerland, Singapore, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and elsewhere. However, in order to access these “safe” banks, depositors often need to make large deposits and meet other qualifying criteria.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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