Best USD account in Malaysia 2024
Opening a USD account can have significant advantages, including letting you receive, hold, and spend US dollars, as well as giving you the option of converting them to another currency. Both individuals and businesses can benefit from a USD account when dealing with US dollars regularly.
However, opening a USD account in Malaysia can be cumbersome, slow, and, most of all, expensive. Specialist providers like Wise can be good alternatives.
In this article, we'll cover what you need to know about opening a USD account, including the best USD accounts in Malaysia like Wise and RHB, the costs involved, and how to open one.
Let's get started.
Can a USD account be opened in Malaysia?
Customers in Malaysia can open a USD account, allowing you to send, receive and exchange US dollars and make transactions in the United States. Accounts can be opened with both specialist online providers like Wise, which operate entirely online, and traditional banks with physical branches, including Maybank, Hong Leong, and HSBC.
These accounts let you hold multiple currencies, including US dollars, and other popular options, with the Wise multi-currency account letting you hold over 40 different currencies and local account details in 10 currencies, including USD.
Best USD accounts
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to the question, which USD account is best, and it will very much depend on your personal needs and circumstances. Each account will comes with its own list of pros and cons, but some of the most popular USD accounts in Malaysia include:
|Minimum deposit required
|Linked debit card
|Anyone aged 18+ with a valid ID
|20 MYR fee to get the debit card, unless you have an initial deposit of 200 USD
Malaysian residents and non-residents age 18+
Customers must already have a Ringgit current or savings account
|USD 200 or currency equivalent
|Hong Leong Bank
Malaysian citizens or residents with valid documentation aged 18+
Applicants have to be an existing customers of HLB
|USD 1,000 or currency equivalent
Open to all customers with a Malaysian identity card, passport or a valid visa or residence permit
Customers must already have or must open a checking or savings account
|1000 USD minimum balance
|Anyone aged 18+ with valid ID/ required documents
Wise offers a multi-currency account with a wide range of over 40 currencies as well as account details in 10 currencies, including US dollars, allowing you to make transactions like a local. Wise accounts are free to open, with no minimum deposit or monthly or annual fees and customers can send payments to over 160 countries and spend in over 150 countries with the linked Wise debit card. Wise also uses the mid-market exchange rate and offers low and transparent fees.
Learn more about it here: Wise USD account review
Wise account fees:
Low conversion fees from 0.43%
Free account opening and no monthly maintenance fees
9 USD to get the Wise debit card
No fees for receiving money in US dollars and other major currencies
Eligibility to open a Wise account in Malaysia:
Open to residents in countries where Wise operates.
Requires identity verification through official ID documentation
Supports 40+ currencies for various financial needs.
Spend with the Wise card in 150+ countries
Uses the mid-market exchange range
Convenient for international money transfers and payments.
Easy to open and manage the account online
Cash or cheque payments aren’t supported
No physical branch
There’s a fee to receive the linked Wise debit card
1.50 USD ATM fees apply for withdrawals of over 100 USD per month plus 2% per withdrawal
RHB offers an interest-bearing multi-currency account that allows you to hold USD and up to 31 other currencies. It caters towards Malaysian clients who are looking to manage a diversified currency portfolio and can be opened in any RHB branch.
RHB account fees:
No service charge or currency conversion fees
200 USD initial minimum deposit or its equivalent
20 MYR debit card fee
20 MYR annual fee
1% overseas transaction conversion fees of the converted amount
Eligibility to open an account:
Customers must already have a Ringgit current or savings account
Open to Malaysian residents and non-residents above the age of 18
Applicants will need to provide a copy of a valid identity card or passport
Customers applying for work or educational purposes may also have to provide a working visa or a relevant enrolment letter from an educational institution.
Supports US dollars alongside a wide range of other currencies for flexible international transactions
Earn interest on your USD balance
No currency conversion fees and locked-in exchange rates when spending overseas with the multi currency Visa debit card
Branch and online access when buying or selling foreign currencies
You can’t open an account without already having a Ringgit account with RHB, which might be inconvenient for some
Annual and minimum deposit fees might be too high for some customers
Hong Leong Bank
Hong Leong Bank’s foreign currency account offers USD and 9 other currencies. It’s a good option for Malaysians who are working and studying abroad as well as frequent travellers and businesses.
HLB account fees:
Annual account fee of 60 MYR that’s charged bi-annually in June and December
A minimum deposit requirement of 1000 USD applies
10.00 MYR transaction fee or its equivalent
Malaysian citizens or non-residents with valid documents over the age of 18
Applicants need to be existing customers of HLB
Hold and transact in USD and 9 other currencies
Make transactions online, in a branch or via the phone
Manage your finances from HLB’s current account
HLB’s exchange rate includes a markup on the mid-market exchange rate
There is no linked debit card with the account
A 60 MYR annual account fee and minimum opening balance applies as well as transaction fees
Maybank offers a Master Foreign Currency Account in USD and 15 other currencies. However, it’s good to note that this account is aimed more towards customers who want to save or invest in USD and other foreign currencies to reduce the risk of currency fluctuations, and isn’t necessarily the best account for day-to-day spending.
The account has a 1000 USD minimum opening balance and 4.00 USD transactions fees
There’s a relatively high minimum balance of 5000 USD before you can start earning interest
Additional charges in other currencies vary
Malaysian identity card, passport or a valid visa or residence permit
Applicants have to be over the age of 18
Applicants already need to have a Maybank checking or savings account
Choose from 15 other currencies alongside USD.
There are no opening or annual fees.
The account provides free personal accident insurance coverage.
Offers remittance facilities at branches and correspondent banks globally.
Maybank’s exchange rate includes a markup.
The account doesn’t come with a linked debit card.
There’s a fairly high minimum opening balance and minimum balance before you can start earning interest.
Customers need to already have a checking or savings account.
HSBC’s global accounts are a strong offering for those looking for a USD account in Malaysia. Not only does the banking giant have a global presence worldwide, resulting in easy accessibility wherever you are thanks to HSBC’s international network, it also offers up to 11 foreign currencies, including USD, EUR, MYR and more. Great for everyday banking, these accounts allow you to pay bills, transfer salaries and pay deposits with zero account fees. A good option for those looking for an account to manage their daily finances, the HSBC Everyday Global accounts are a good option, with three accounts to choose from.
HSBC Everyday Global Account, which comes with no minimum balance requirements
HSBC Advance Everyday Global Account, which comes with a minimum account balance of 30,000 MYR
HSBC Premier Everyday Global Account, which comes with a minimum account balance of 200,000 MYR
HSBC account fees:
No monthly, annual, debit card issuance or minimum balance fees for the Everyday Global Account.
4 Euro transaction fee
10 MYR transaction charge for cash withdrawals at ATMs outside of HSBC Malaysia ATM networks
5 MYR transaction charge for international cash withdrawals
Eligibility: New and existing Malaysian residents and international customers over the age of 18 are welcome to apply.
No account fees for the Everyday Global Account
A choice of three accounts with various features and benefits
Global accessibility thanks to HSBC’s international network
Easy daily financial management
Exchange rate markups may apply
Customers have to upgrade to the Advance Everyday Global Account and Premier Everyday Global Account for more features, such as priority service for branch counter services, Advance Managers and Instant global transfers, which have fairly high minimum account balances.
How to open a USD account in Malaysia
Opening a USD account in Malaysia is a fairly straightforward process, as long as you have the correct required documents, although this does vary depending on your chosen provider. Here’s a general guide to some of the typical steps you’ll come across and documents you’ll need to open your USD account.
First you’ll need to choose your provider and account. This can be a traditional bank such as Maybank, RHB or HSBC, or an online specialist like Wise. Each has unique features and advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose an account that aligns with your needs.
Many financial institutions will now let customers submit an application online, for a much more convenient process. Simply fill out the required personal details such as your name, address and contact information.
You’ll also need to verify your identity. For Malaysians, a MyKad (National Registration Identity Card) will normally suffice, while foreign nationals will likely need to provide a valid passport alongside other additional documents like a work permit, enrolment letter if studying, or a visa. Depending on the bank’s policy and the purpose of your account, other documents, including income statements and proof of address may also be requested.
Some banks will also require an initial deposit, which varies between providers, to open a USD account. Once all of the required information and paperwork has been submitted, your provider will process your application, which can take several days for traditional banks, or within several hours if you’ve chosen a digital provider like Wise. Once approved, your account will be activated and you’re free to start using your USD account.
What are the advantages of a USD account in Malaysia?
Having a USD account in Malaysia comes with multiple advantages, especially for those who frequently travel or live in the US and businesses that are engaged in international dealings.
One of the main benefits is that it acts as a neutral hedge for businesses, meaning that companies can directly spend in dollars from their USD account when they need to make international transactions, instead of converting MYR to USD and losing money to fluctuating exchange rates. This is particularly beneficial for businesses that regularly deal with partners and suppliers in the US, or in other countries where USD is the preferred currency.
It also simplifies the process of receiving payments from international Payment Service Providers (PSPs), like Stripe or from global marketplaces like Amazon. These platforms often transact in USD, and a USD account will let you receive payments directly without the need for currency conversion, streamlining the process of managing international revenue streams.
Having a USD account in Malaysia is also advantageous for those who frequently travel to the United States, simplifying the transaction process as well as those living, working or studying in the US, making it easier to handle daily living expenses, tuition fees and work salaries.
USD account details
Various providers offer USD accounts in Malaysia for individuals and businesses to manage their finances in US dollars. However, not all of them provide US account details like an ACH and wire routing number, account number, and Swift/BIC details.
Wise offers an online multi-currency account with local account details in 10 currencies, including US dollars. To receive Wise account details, you first need to open a balance in USD by selecting ‘Balance’ in the Home section. Choose USD currency and select ‘Receive’ on the website or ‘More’ on the app, before selecting ‘Get account details’.
If you are receiving account details for the first time, you might need to complete some requirements first such as verifying your identity. Once you’ve completed all of the requirements, you’re free to start using your account and sharing your details with friends, customers and businesses to receive money.
Learn more: How to receive money internationally with Wise
USD account with debit card
For those looking to not only hold, but also spend, from their USD balances conveniently, choosing an account with a provider like Wise that comes with a linked debit card can be a great choice. These accounts come with debit cards that are directly linked to your USD balance, letting you spend directly from your account without the need to convert currency when making USD transactions.
Wise account and card
The Wise multi-currency account and card let you spend or withdraw cash from your USD balance for free, without incurring conversion fees, markups or sneaky fees. This is useful for frequent travellers, businesses who engage in regular transactions in the United States or individuals making transactions in US dollars. The debit card is widely accepted world-wide, making spending USD as hassle-free as possible, directly from your account balance. You can also send money from 0.43% and spend like a local with account details in USD and nine other currencies.
HSBC Everyday Global account and card
HSBC is a well-known international bank that offers a range of financial services. They support up to 11 currencies, including USD. There are no monthly or annual fees for the card, and no minimum balance requirements.
Conclusion: USD accounts in Malaysia
Opening a USD account in Malaysia comes with many advantages, especially in our increasingly globalised social and financial landscape. These accounts let customers hold, spend and transact in US dollars, provide a natural hedge for businesses, and are a convenient and easy way to receive international payments.
Nowadays, there’s a wide variety of choices when it comes to providers, ranging from traditional banks like Maybank, HSBC, Hong Leong and RHB, to online financial service providers like Wise. Each financial institution offers their own unique features, from online account management to debit cards, making spending in US dollars more straightforward. Hopefully, this article has guided you through some of the best USD accounts currently on offer in Malaysia, helping you find the best USD account to meet your personal needs.
Can I open a USD account in Malaysia?
Opening a USD account in Malaysia is possible thanks to multi-currency accounts offered by various financial institutions, such as traditional banks like HSBC and online specialists like Wise.
How much does it cost to open a USD account?
The cost of opening a USD account in Malaysia will depend on your chosen provider and account. Some accounts, like Hong Leong bank charge a 60 MYR annual fee and a 1,000 USD minimum deposit, whereas others, like Wise, offer free accounts with no opening or monthly maintenance fees.