How to Open Spanish Bank Account?

How to Open Spanish Bank Account

First of all, if you plan on staying in Spain for longer than six months you should get settled, you will probably need a bank account. For foreigners in Spain, there are two types of bank accounts: resident and non-resident accounts. Banking and payments will be easier once you open a bank account in Spain, especially if you don’t have a ‘chip and pin’ debit or credit card.

How to Open Spanish Bank Account?

Requirements for opening an account:

  • applicants must be aged 18 or over
  • photographic proof of identity (passport or National Identity Card from the country of origin for each of the applicants)
  • proof of occupation or status (employment contract/payslip, a letter from accountant/lawyer, pension or disability payment confirmation, student card). This is an extra requirement introduced in 2007 by the Bank of Spain as a measure to combat money-laundering
  • residents also need to produce their Foreigner Identification Number and certificate (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros or NIE)
  • confirmation of address (utility bill, driving license or council tax bill; proof of address must have been issued within the last 3 months)


Baking fees in the Madrid

Most banks charge an annual fee for the administration of a current account (cuenta corriente). This is more or less EURO 15–30. There are often additional charges for credit (Tarjeta de crédito) and debit cards (Tarjeta de débito); additional account holders; savings accounts (Cuenta de ahorros) and other items like cheque/checkbooks. Expect to also pay a number of small fees, such as a charge of EUR 0.50–3 for withdrawals from other banks’ ATMs.

It is possible to avoid many of these fees by shopping around. A paycheque account (cuenta nómina) typically has lower charges but must be the account your salary is paid into. Special offers available at the time of writing include free credit and debit cards with a no-fee salary account and no-fee online-only accounts with major institutions. Students, young people (30 or under), and those over 55 may also qualify for discounts.

Opening a Spanish bank account before you move

Many Spanish banks accept non-resident accounts, so it is possible to set up an account in advance of your move. It’s easiest to do this in person, though, as credit cards and checkbooks typically can’t be sent internationally. Many banks have websites and phone services, and a few even offer these in English. Internet-only banks are typically only available for residents. A bank with a quick turn around can open an account and provide a card, checkbook, and PIN (to collect from the branch) within a week.


How to open a bank account non-residents in Spain?

In spite of the fact that some non-residents do not want to open a banking account with one of the local banks and prefer to keep their savings in a reliable bank abroad, you might need to present data from an account in Spain in the case of gaining employment in Spain, telephone purchase, or transfers of utility bills, receive money, etc.

The banking system in Spain for non-residents :

Discover how Spanish bank accounts and payments work here.
If you’re moving to Spain long-term, you will probably want to open up a Spanish bank account.
If you do not have the NIE (Spanish ID Card) and you are a resident of another country, the order providing you with services in Spain will demonstrate some differences. Based on the regulation of the Central Bank of Spain, immigrants may open banking accounts in euros or a foreign currency. However, one should bear in mind that it is not very likely for many Spanish ATMs to withdraw money from an account that was opened in another currency.

One must have an identification document: a valid passport or ID.
When opening an account, non-residents must prove their status around 14 days. Account transaction commission for residents is significantly lower than that for non-residents. There are many different types of commissions for immigrants.
The employees of many banks, even the best banks in Spain for non-residents, do not speak English.
The best and the most convenient option, both for immigrants and residents, is to take advantage of the best online banks in Spain. This will also save you a lot of time.

Types of bank accounts in Spain

Some of the main types of the bank account in Spain are:

Current accounts: Many banks will offer various different current accounts, some targeting specific groups of customers such as students or young people;
Savings accounts: most banks will offer different savings options ranging from basic savings accounts to services links to investments in funds and shares.
Digital accounts: you can now do all your banking online or from a mobile device as the main Spanish banks all offer online services and banking apps.
Non-resident accounts: some of the main Spanish banks offer non-resident accounts aimed at foreign residents, although these are mostly Euro-based accounts.

List of the Recommended Spanish banks for International also Erasmus

Here you can find a list of the best banks in Spain for non-residents that were compiled by taking into account such factors as the size of the commission, technical support quality, the amount required for opening an account, and online-banking development.


Bank Sabadell is considered one of the preferred banks for opening an account and the best bank from which to withdraw money. The process itself is not complicated, as with most banks. Sabadell offers a 24/7 technical support service that is available in English. The only problem immigrants might face is opening an account for long-term money savings, online shopping, and with an interest rate. Here is more information Banco Sabadell

ING Bank

This is one of the best international banks in Spain. The main advantage of ING is a sufficiently developed system of online banking that allows one to open an account online. In addition, ING Bank is famous for its minimal commissions and fees, although there is no service available in English. It is possible to open three types of accounts at this bank: Cuenta Naranja (a savings account), Cuenta Nomina (an account to which all revenues will be transferred), and Cuenta Sin Nomina (useful for resident businesspeople and those who are self-employed). ING Bank

Evo Banco

This bank is one of the best Spanish banks for expats who have obtained a residence card already; non-residents are not allowed to open accounts with this bank. Not long ago, the Evo Banco website excluded all the languages from its service menu except for Spanish. Among this bank’s advantages, one can highlight the possibility for young people under 28 years to open an account without any commissions. The bank also does not charge any commission for foreign money transfers. Plus, the commission is not charged for converting the currency in case of withdrawing money at an ATM abroad. Evo Bank


Santander bank is one of the largest Spanish banks with a reliable reputation. Yet, one should remember that in order to use its services, it is necessary to obtain at least a temporary residence permit. In this case, you will be able to transfer funds from one account to another one, as well as withdraw money from the ATMs of other banks with a relatively small commission. The problem is when you close the account they will charge it 60€, Not recommended. Santander Bank



Money Transfer to Abroad

Moving money from your account in Spain to an account elsewhere may result in a fee from both banks. Spanish banks usually charge fees of around 3€–15€ for outgoing payments, and may also charge for receiving funds. Find out your bank’s fixed-rate (probably not published on their website) as it will normally be cheaper than a wire service for large amounts but likely more expensive than online systems (eg. PayPal) for small amounts. Banks will often refuse to send funds to certain countries, eg. The USA. You might also see what rates private money transfer companies offer, although be sure to include any commissions in your cost calculations. Get settled in 

International money transfers in Spain

For international money transfers, there are alternative solutions to banks which could prove cheaper and more convenient, such as:

Xoom by Paypal
Western Union

You can also use Monito’s online comparison tool to save on fees, obtain the best exchange rates, and find the cheapest option for your international money transfers.