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How to open a bank account in the Netherlands: step-by-step guide

August 2, 2022
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Having a Dutch bank account can save you time and give you easy access to your finances.

The process of opening a bank account does not need to be stressful. Non-residents are eligible for a Dutch bank account if they’re moving there for work or study. With the right knowledge, it’s actually quite a straightforward process.

Are you ready to start banking in the Netherlands? In this step-by-step guide, you’ll find everything you need to know to open a bank account in person or online. 

Who is eligible for a Dutch bank account?

Foreigners moving to the Netherlands can open a bank account. There are 96 national and international banks to choose from. Expats living and working in the Netherlands will need to open a Dutch bank account to receive their salary, pay bills, and buy groceries. 

You can open a Dutch bank account if you:

  • Are over the age of 18
  • Own a Dutch ID or international passport
  • Have proof of address 

Some banks will ask for your unique personal citizen service number or burger service number (BSN). European citizens do not need to provide this information. Many banks in the Netherlands offer international bank accounts that you can apply for online.

If you’re going for a traditional bank, take your payslips and employment contract along with you to meet your bank manager just in case they need additional information or proof of income.

How much does a Dutch bank account cost?

The average cost of a standard checking account has increased by 42% in the past 5 years. Depending on the type of account you need, a Dutch bank account can cost anywhere between €2 and €30 each month. The monthly charge will vary based on the bank account package you select.

What is included with my Dutch bank account?

Basic services are usually be included in your bank account free of charge. This includes deposits, withdrawals, and a Maestro card (the most common method of payment in the Netherlands). Some banks may offer a Mastercard or Visa debit card as an alternative that is useful for cash withdrawals at an ATM, minus the fees.

So, which type of Dutch bank account is best for you? Whether you’re an expat or a Dutch resident, there are a multitude of options that will save you money and stress. Take plenty of time to research each bank to make sure you choose the best account for your needs.

Checking accounts

If you want to open a standard bank account, then you need to look at banks that offer checking accounts (betaalrekening). These accounts give you the ability to deposit and withdraw money along with online banking services. You can move money from this account to other Single Euro Payment Accounts (SEPA) by using your International Bank Account Number (IBAN). 

Savings accounts

Dutch savings accounts vary from long-term investment accounts to instant access savers. Long-term accounts are excellent for putting money aside for holidays or a retirement fund. Ask your bank about what savings accounts are available to you. 

Dutch online bank accounts 

Online bank accounts are easy to open and operate compared to in-person banking. They require less information to set up, with little or no monthly fees. The simple process of opening an online bank account includes:

  • Provide personal details (email, address etc.)
  • Choose an online banking plan
  • Prove your identity 
  • Receive your card in the post

There are lots of reputable digital banks that offer excellent bank account services to Dutch residents and expats. A lot of traditional banks will also let you open an account online. All you have to do is provide the correct documentation and verify your identity. 

Parents of Dutch children can open an account on their behalf online. Joint accounts are also available from many banks in the Netherlands.

Opening a Dutch bank account in person

Each bank has its own set of requirements and procedures that you must go through before opening an account with them. Opening a bank account can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days. The process can be tricky if you do not speak English, so try to choose a bank that can communicate in your language if your Dutch is limited.

The process for opening a bank account in person includes:

  • Making an appointment with the bank
  • Provide requested documentation and ID
  • Receive account details and PIN in the post
  • Activate your account

The bank may check your credit rating with the Central Credit Registration Office (BKR) before you open a new account. There are lots of options to choose from if you are refused a Dutch bank account in person.

Open a bank account in the Netherlands

Now that you know how to open a bank account in the Netherlands, you can access your finances with ease. Most Dutch bank accounts are quick and easy to set up with no initial charge. Once you have applied, you can sit back and relax while you wait for your new cards to arrive in the mail. 

Do you want to manage your money with a bank you can trust? Discover a new way to handle your finances and break free from traditional banking. Get a bank account in just 5 minutes and start your 30-day free trial with bunq today!

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