Perhaps you’re about to move to the Netherlands for work, or maybe you’ll be studying there for a semester. Whatever your reasons for living there, you’ll need to open a bank account quickly. The good news is that the Dutch banking system is pretty straightforward. As always, make sure to compare different Dutch banks before choosing the right one for you. We’ve done a lot of the legwork for you. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the article. 😉

What documents do you need in order to open a bank account in the Netherlands?

If you are an EU resident, you’ll need the following documents to open a bank account in the Netherlands:

  • A valid passport or identity card. Note that a driver’s license might not be accepted by every bank.
  • Proof of address
  • Your BSN number (Burgerservicenummer)

For non EU residents, you’ll be asked to present your resident permit or proof of registration with the Foreign Police (Vreemdelingenpolitie).

Open a bank account before arriving

ING Bank is one of the largest bank in the Netherlands. As it is now well established in Europe, you might already have a bank account at ING. If this is the case, make sure to contact them, as they might be able to help with the process of setting up a local account in the Netherlands.

Banks in the Netherlands

There are four major banks in the country: ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank and SNS-bank. Although prices are quite similar in all of them, they may vary depending on the package you choose at a particular bank.

Note that as an expat, you might opt for ABN AMRO, which is the only bank to provide all of the information you’ll require in English. This is why I’ve been able to detail only their offers for students and expats, as opposed to any offered by the other Dutch banks :). It is also the reason why most foreigners use ABN AMRO .

ABN AMRO

The bank offers three types of package for expats called EasyPay. All of them offer the basics: a current account, debit card, and internet and mobile banking. The difference lies mainly in the type of card that you need.

Students can apply to the Studenten Pakket which is very similar to the EasyPay options. You’ll get the basics for 1,40€ per month.

Transfer funds to your Dutch account

Now that you’re all set with your account, you’ll probably have to transfer money to it. There are 2 options here:

  • (1) You’re transferring Euros to your Dutch account, in which case you can simply make a wire transfer between your two accounts in Euros.
  • (2) You’re transferring Dollars or Pounds (or any other foreign currency) to your Dutch account, in which case you should make sure to avoid using your bank.

Why should you avoid your bank when transferring foreign currencies?

Simply because it will cost you a lot of money to do so! Banks are notorious for applying outrageous fees to international transfers. What’s more, they use poor exchange rates in order to make even more profit on your transfer. That’s why using a money transfer operator is important; to save money! Make sure to compare them before making your choice; you can do that easily on CurrencyLive.