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Opening a bank account in the Czech Republic

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Wondering how to open a bank account in the Czech Republic? Relating conditions and procedures are explained in this article.

Once you have settled in the Czech Republic, you will probably have to open a bank account, whether you are working or studying. In general, relating formalities are quite simple. Moreover, you can choose from several banks which provides rather interesting services and facilities to their customers.

Banking system

As mentioned above, the Czech Republic hosts several national and international banks. You can thus choose from the following, for example: Ceska Sporitelna, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, GE Capital Bank, KB Komercni Banka and Raiffeisenbank.

In general, formalities are quite similar for all banks although each of them applies its own conditions. Make sure, however, to inquire about these before choosing your bank.

 Good to know:

Most services are charged by Czech banks. For instance, monthly management fees vary between CZK 30 and CZK 50. To obtain a debit card, you will have to pay yearly fees of CZK 150 to CZK 200. Some banks will even charge you around CZK 6 for withdrawals at ATMs. Finally, in case of loss or theft of your blue card, fees of CZK 2,000 will apply.

Types of bank accounts

Czech banks offer three main types of bank accounts: the basic account, the current account and the savings account.

The basic bank account only allows you to deposit your money and make cash withdrawals at ATMs and settle your bills. However, you are not entitled to an overdraft.

Most consumers prefer to open a current bank account which allows them to make deposits and cash withdrawals at ATMs. It also allows you to make bank transfers and payments in shops and other trade. Moreover, you will be able to apply for a loan thanks to the current account.

If you wish to make savings, the savings account is the best option. However, interest rates are quite high. Moreover, you will not be entitled to a bank card or checkbook although you can still withdraw limited amounts of cash at ATMs.

Companies, for their part, can open a professional bank account provided they produce supporting documents such as their business license, an extract of their criminal record, proof of tax registration, among others. Note that there are different types of professional bank accounts: current account, foreign currency account, Internet banking account, etc.

In all cases, conditions are likely to vary from one bank to another.

Procedures

In general, you will need the following documents to open a bank account n the Czech Republic:

  • a valid passport
  • another identity document (your driver's license, identity card, birth certificate, resident card)
  • a minimum deposit (between CZK 200 and CZK 2,000, depending on the bank).

In some cases, it is possible to open a bank account online, but you still have to drop by the bank in person with your identity documents and minimum deposit to finalize procedures.

Facilities and services

The use of the Visa Electron is quite widespread in the Czech Republic. ATMs, for their part, are compatible with Visa, EuroCard, MasterCard, Maestro and American Express cards.

In general, you can select your preferred language on ATMs, whether English, German or even French. Note that these machines are available in all cities, at bank agencies, subway stations, post offices, among others.

Most shops, international retailers, hotels and restaurants accept card payments. However, smaller town restaurants and shops prefer cash payments.

Some banks also provide Internet banking services, but additional fees may apply.

 Useful links:

National Bank of the Czech Republic www.cnb.cz
National Bank Czech Republic – List of banks (download) www.cnb.cz
Ceska Sporitelna www.csas.cz
Commerzbank www.commerzbank.cz
Deutsche Bank www.db.com
GE Capital Bank www.gemoney.cz
KB Komercni Banka www.kb.cz
Raiffeisen www.rb.cz

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