If you move to the Netherlands, for example as an expat, there are a few things that you have to arrange. One of these is to have a Dutch bank account. Employers sometimes require you to have a Dutch bank account, and it is also very practical for things like rent and subscriptions. Luckily it’s very easy to set up a bank account in the Netherlands, you can just apply for an account online. In this article you will read everything you need and need to know to set up a bank account.
Which bank to choose?
Not all Dutch banks offer bank accounts to foreigners as sometimes you need a BSN (Burger Service Nummer), a unique tax number for people living in the Netherlands. You receive your BSN after you’re registered with the municipality you’re living in. If you’re already living in the Netherlands you probably already have one. If you’re preparing your move it might be nice to already set up a bank account without yet having your BSN.
Below we suggest 3 banks that don’t require a BSN.
1. bunq - Great mobile banking app and no-fee currency exchange
- Only need to provide tax number (BSN) within 90 days after signup
- Great mobile banking interface
- Use iDEAL for online payments in Netherlands
- Easy to sign up (takes just 5 minutes)
- Very good customer support and service
- Cheap: € 7,99 per month
- 3 cards included (debit and credit), also virtual cards available
- No foreign exchange fees
- Free ATM withdrawals wordwide
- No physical locations
- No customer support through phone
bunq is the most popular Dutch bank for foreigners and expats living in the Netherlands. It’s very easy to request an account, as bunq is a mobile-only bank you can just signup for an account through their website. You do need a BSN, but you only have to provide it within 90 days of signing up. This means you can already use your bank account to request services, subscriptions and to apply for housing before moving to the Netherlands.
2. N26 - Free bank account + cards
- Completely free bank account + debit and credit card
- User friendly app with a lot of possibilities
- No hidden costs
- Use it for all your payments in the Netherlands and Europe
- Free ATM Withdrawals
- No need to give up tax number (BSN)
- Can't use iDEAL for online payments
- Not a Dutch bank
- No physical or phone support
N26 is a British bank that offers a free bank account that can be used within the European Union. Although N26 is not a Dutch bank account, you’re able to use it for all payments with your IBAN number (International Bank Account Number). Monthly automatic payments are also possible with SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) which is supported for all European bank accounts.
3. Openbank - Free bank account and card
- Free bank account with cards
- Very cheap for currency exchange and payments in different currencies
- Phenomenal mobile banking app
- A lot of extra options for different account models
- Up to € 100,000 insured through European bank guarantee
- You don't need to provide BSN (tax number)
- No possibility to make iDEAL payments
- Spain based bank account
Just like N26, Openbank offers a free European (Spanish) bank account. This is again not a Dutch bank account, but one that you can use for all payments inside the European Union. It’s very easy to sign up for a Openbank account and the mobile app is phenomenal. Openbank is a great choice for anyone opening a bank in the Netherlands, as it’s completely free and you get a free card.
Where to go?
If you want to sign up for a bank account in the Netherlands you can usually just sign up online. The banks we’ve mentioned above have made it very easy to sign up and offer a sign-up procedure in English and several other languages. For traditional banks like ABN Amro, Rabobank and ING, it is more common to sign up for an account at one of their physical locations.
What do you need?
Dutch banks are generally pretty strict if you’re signing up. Below you will find the requirements you need for most banks. The above mentioned banks make it much easier to sign up.
- Passport or identification: a valid passport, ID card or dutch drivers license.
- BSN Number: Dutch banks require you to give your Dutch tax number. Above mentioned Revolut and N26 are not Dutch banks so they are not required to ask for your BSN. Bunq requires your BSN, but you can provide it within 90 days of signing up.
- Basic information: Name, date of birth, sex, phone number, e-mail adress etc.
- Proof of income: Not required for Bunq, Revolut or N26
- Proof of address: Not required for Bunq, Revolut or N26