As an expat living in Spain, one of the first things on your to-do list is likely to be opening a bank account. It’s essential for managing your finances, paying bills, and receiving your salary if you’re working here. However, the process can seem a bit intimidating, especially if you’re not familiar with the language or the local banking system.
But don’t worry, opening a bank account in Spain as an expat is entirely possible, and it’s not as complicated as it might seem. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process step by step and answer some common questions along the way.
Types of Bank Accounts in Spain
The exploration of the account-opening procedure in Spain necessitates the prior comprehension of diverse bank accounts available to expatriates.
- Current account: A current account is a basic bank account that allows you to deposit and withdraw money, pay bills, and use a debit card.
- Savings account: A savings account is a type of bank account that allows you to earn interest on the money you save.
- Deposit account: A deposit account is a long-term savings account that usually offers higher interest rates than a regular savings account.
Top Famous Banks In Spain
The four largest banks are…
Santander is the most famous and popular bank in Spain
How To Open A Bank Account In Spain
Requirements for Opening a Bank Account in Spain
To open a bank account in Spain, you’ll need to provide the following documents:
- Valid passport or ID card
- Proof of address (e.g. a utility bill or rental contract)
- NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero): This is a tax identification number that is assigned to non-Spanish residents who need to conduct financial transactions in Spain.
Choosing a Bank in Spain
Numerous banks, ranging from prominent international banks to minor local banks, operate in Spain. It is important to evaluate the following factors while selecting a bank:
- Fees: Seek banks that offer minimal charges for services such as account maintenance, cash withdrawals from ATMs, and overseas transfers.
- Customer service: Opt for banks that possess a track record of exceptional customer service, primarily if you are not proficient in the Spanish language.
- Branch location: Ponder upon the location of the bank’s branches and ATMs, mainly if you inhabit a remote area.
Steps to Open a Bank Account in Spain
Now that you know what type of account you want and have chosen a bank, here are the steps to follow to open a bank account in Spain:
- Select the preferred account type: As aforementioned, there are various account types to select from.
- Collect the essential documents: Ensure you possess all the requisite documents such as your passport or ID card, proof of address, and NIE.
- Schedule an appointment: Contact the bank through call or email to arrange an appointment to establish an account.
- Visit the bank: On the scheduled day, carry all the necessary documents and meet a bank representative.
- Complete the documentation: The bank executive will provide the paperwork to fill out. Thoroughly read and clarify any doubts by posing inquiries.
- Initiate the account funding: After opening the account, activate it by transferring money from another account or depositing cash at the bank.
Top Banks in Spain Where Can Open Account Online
Spain is home to several top banks that offer online banking services, including…
- Revoult Spain
- N26 Online Bank
In addition, Banco Santander, BBVA Bank Spain, Sabadell, and Unicaja are among the popular banks in Spain. If you want to learn more about the services and account options these banks offer, you may visit their respective websites.
Advantages Of Opening Account Online
- Lower Fees
- Low Or No minimum Deposit
- No Physical Branch For Assistance
- Risk Of Data Breaches
- Limited ATM’s For Access
Bank Timings in Spain
Normal bank opening hours in Spain are 8:30 am, Monday through Friday. Banks then stay open through until 2:00pm or 2:30pm, and then close for the day
Opening A Bank account Without NIE
While it may be possible to open a bank account in Spain without a NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero), it can be a more challenging process. The NIE is a crucial tax identification number that is required for most legal transactions in Spain, including opening a bank account. Nonetheless, some banks may offer basic account opening to non-residents with a passport or another type of identification.
However, it’s essential to understand that opening a bank account without a NIE could have limitations on the types of accounts and services you can access. For instance, you might not be eligible to apply for a credit card or obtain a loan without a NIE.
As an expat living in Spain, opening a bank account is an essential step in managing your finances. By choosing the right bank, gathering the necessary documents, and visiting the bank in person, you can open an account with ease.