One in five class A Brazilians already has an account with a balance in foreign currency, according to a C6 Bank/Ipec survey. As for respondents from classes A and B, this percentage is 12%.
A few years ago, accounts in foreign currency were only offered to clients in the private segment of traditional banks. Digital bank C6 Bank launched its Global Account with dollar balance in December 2019, and in 2020 the bank launched the account with euro balance.
Currently, Banco Inter and other fintechs also offer a global account, also called an international account.
The C6 Bank/Ipec survey surveyed 1,000 Brazilians from classes A and B with internet access between August 29 and September 8. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.
For 40% of respondents who opened an international account, the main reason for doing so was to save money for their next trip abroad, and 35% want to save money on international trips.
The survey also shows that 27% of Brazilians started using the product to save money on websites that sell in foreign currency and 26% to transfer funds abroad. To know if an account is worth it in your case, see answers from an expert:
When or for whom is it beneficial to have a dollar account?
One of the main advantages of a foreign currency checking account is the savings when shopping outside Brazil. In the case of the Global Account, the commercial quotation is used as a basis for carrying out the conversion, with a lower value than the tourism category, used by exchange offices.
In addition, purchases in foreign currency made with international credit cards pay 6.38%, while on an international account the rate drops to 1.1%.
The customer also saves on bank fees. In the case of C6 Bank, the spread is 2% on the dollar account and 2.5% on the euro account, while it can reach 7% on the credit card issued by Brazilian banks.
Rodolfo Olivo, a professor at the FIA Business School, explains how a dollar checking account works: “The dollar checking account is usually held in a bank abroad, and allows the person to make payments in dollars, it works like our checking account in the Brazil. This modality is recommended for those who need to transact abroad, for example, have business, residence or relatives outside Brazil and, therefore, have regular payments and receipts in foreign currency”, said the expert.
Olivo also points out that there is also another possibility of a dollar account, which is the investment account, and works like brokerage accounts in Brazil.
“It is usually opened in a brokerage abroad and does not allow payments, only investments in variable income, fixed income and other financial assets traded on the stock exchange. This account is interesting for investors who want to diversify their portfolio, as it offers investments not available in Brazil,” explained Olivo.
What are the risks of having a dollar account?
Rodolfo Olivo explains that these accounts are generally quite safe these days, but it is important to verify the suitability of the bank or brokerage company in which the person is opening the account.
“In addition, it is important to remember that the remittance of dollars abroad must be made through an agent authorized by the Central Bank and the accounts and balances must be informed in the Income Tax Return, otherwise, it can be characterized as a crime of evasion of tax. foreign exchange. Finally, there is, of course, the exchange rate risk itself, that is, dollar balances may lose value in reais in case of exchange rate appreciation”, he says.
What alternatives to the account abroad, for those who want to save on travel?
Despite being a way to save money, the account abroad may not be the best alternative in all cases, such as for those who travel little.
“For those who are going to travel, there are other alternatives, such as exchange funds, in which it is possible to invest in reais in Brazil and receive the equivalent of the exchange rate variation. So, if the objective is just the trip, there is no need to open an account, remit the funds, declare for the Income Tax, all that work”, concluded Rodolfo Olivo.
+The best content in your email for free. Choose your favorite Terra Newsletter. Click here!