Opening a bank account in the Netherlands

banking in the Netherlands
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Updated 2021-07-20 13:21

To live anywhere in the world, you have to have money. And the safest place to put it is in a bank. Naturally, if you're going to live in the Netherlands, you will need to open a Dutch bank account. In this article, we'll discuss the types of bank accounts available and how to apply for them.

Types of bank accounts in the Netherlands

Dutch bank accounts are pretty much the same as they are in the rest of the world. You have two choices: checking or savings account.

Within the checking option, banks usually have some subcategories, such as student accounts. If you're not sure which to choose, just have a chat with a bank teller. They're great at assisting you to choose a bank account that's right for your financial situation.

For savings accounts, the packages will depend on the particular bank. So make sure you shop around to determine which one's the best for you.

If you're here with your partner, you also have the option to open a joint bank account. This can make it easier for both of you to manage your finances.

Benefits and other information about Dutch bank accounts

Banking has never been easier. Today, you can download apps that let you check your statements in a flash. Some banks even have money management tools. For instance, ABN Amro has an app called Grip which you can use to show what you're spending your money on. You don't even have to be an ABN Amro customer to use it!

With your bank account, you will also get a card reader. This will be needed for online banking for extra security. Instead of putting in a PIN number, you insert your bank card into the reader. You'll have to input a string of numbers from your computer. If it's correct, the card reader will give you a code to put into your browser.

While this may seem a bit annoying at times, it's worth a little extra hassle. It's much harder for people to steal your bank card and use it.

Do note that banks will charge a small fee for your physical bank card. So even if you share an account with your partner, if both of you have individual cards, you will be charged two times the amount for the bank cards.

When you shop, you will be pleased to know you can use the RFID-enabled payment methods for purchases under €25. That way, you won't have to put your card in the machine, nor will you have to enter your PIN.

You will also be happy to know that there are no fees for using ATMs across the country, or even in other countries. So long as the machine accepts Maestro cards and you're withdrawing Euros, you won't be charged extra.

Formalities of opening bank accounts in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the leading banks are ABN AmroING, and Rabobank. Some alternatives include bunq (digital banking), SNS BankASN Bank, and Triodos.

To open a bank account, you will need an address, BSN number, and proof of valid residence (such as a residence permit). Without those, you won't be able to get one. You might also have to bring proof of employment; this will depend on the type of account you want to open.

You can either make an appointment or walk into the local branch of your chosen bank. We recommend you make an appointment so you won't have to wait to be seen.

Once you have gone through the whole process of applying, you should receive a letter with your bank card in the post within a few days.

Debit vs credit cards in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, rarely anyone uses credit cards, which is strange when you consider how tech-savvy Dutch banks are. For the most part, everyone uses either cash or PIN (the term for bank card).

If you find you really need a credit card, then you can definitely apply for one. However, it's quite a rigorous process. You have to have proof of income, plus the limit is low, so you might not be able to make the huge purchases you wanted to.

The most commonly found cards accepted here are Visa and Mastercard. You will rarely see American Express accepted here. Banks will also issue their own credit cards. For instance, ABN Amro has a regular and Gold Card.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.