Planning a big move to Spain? It’s easy to see why – the country offers beautiful sun-kissed weather, amazing food and exceptional quality of life.
Before your move, you’re likely to have a huge to-do list to work through. But right at the top of your list of priorities should be to open a bank account. This shouldn’t be too difficult if you have the right paperwork. Spain has a large expat community, so many banks cater their services to non-residents and newcomers.
It isn’t compulsory to have a Spanish bank account if you live, work or study in Spain, but life can be difficult without one. You’ll need a way to get paid by your employer, and to pay your bills and everyday expenses.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about opening a bank account in Spain. We’ll look at the documentation required, the banks offering non-resident bank accounts in Spain and the fees you need to know about. So, let’s get started.
What documents do I need to open a bank account in Spain?
In order to open a bank account in Spain, you’ll need the following documents to hand¹:
- A valid passport or other acceptable proof of identity
- Proof of address
- Proof of your employment status – such as an employment contract signed by your employer. Also acceptable are student cards, or unemployment documentation.
- Spanish foreigner identification number (NIE) and certificate.
You’ll get your NIE when you get your Spanish Foreigner Identity Card². This is a document that proves your legal status to remain in Spain for more than six months.
It’s important to note that all documents will need to be translated into Spanish before they can be accepted. You’ll need to use an official translator known as a traductor jurado, and have your documents authenticated with an Apostille stamp³.
How to open a non-resident bank account in Spain
The good news for newcomers to Spain is that you can take your pick from both resident and non-resident accounts. While you may get more flexibility and perks from a resident bank account, you’ll usually find that a non-resident account is much easier to open. You can always switch or upgrade to a resident account later on.
To open a non-resident bank account in Spain, you’ll need to follow the bank’s required procedures. You’ll need to complete all paperwork, and submit forms along with your documents (translated into Spanish).
One of the most common ways to start the process is in a branch of your chosen bank in Spain. Make sure you make an appointment in advance and request an English speaker (or bring a friend as a translator). If everything’s in order, your new account will usually be open and ready to use in as little as 1-5 days.⁴
Can I open a Spanish bank account online?
If you’re not in Spain or planning to visit anytime soon, you can open your new Spanish bank account online. It depends on the bank whether you can complete the whole process online, but many banks will require at least one in-person visit to a branch to hand over your documents.
If your Spanish is a little rusty, it can actually be easier to open a bank account in person. You can either bring along a Spanish-speaking friend or translator or ask for an English-speaking customer service representative. You’ll be guided through the process of opening your account, ensure you get all your details correct and ask any questions you need to.
Otherwise, you risk confusion and errors (not to mention a great deal of frustration) trying to complete your application on a clumsily translated form or website.
That's why it's important to remember that you aren't just limited to banks. You can also use specialist money transfer services like Wise to send and receive money all over the world, for low fees and the real exchange rate. You'll also get your very own local bank account details in EUR (SWIFT/BIC and IBAN number).
Learn more about Wise
Can I open a Spanish bank account from the UK?
If you’ve not yet moved to Spain, you’ll need to know how to open a bank account in Spain from abroad.
There’s very good news on this front, as the Spanish banking system is known for being very accommodating to expats and newcomers. This means you should be able to open a non-resident account from the UK, although of course it does depend on the bank.
You’ll need to have all the required documentation in order, which may also mean an extra step to complete. Some banks may require a certificate of non-residency (certificado de no residencia).
You can get a certificado de no residencia from a Spanish police station. It usually takes around 10 days for your certificate to come through. However, it’s worth asking whether your chosen bank can complete the process for you, for which they may charge a fee of around €15.
When you do eventually become a resident (living in Spain for 183 days or more a year, or having a business or employment in Spain) you must inform your bank.
Which Spanish bank is best for my needs?
The Spanish banking system⁶ is integrated with the global financial market, and regulated by Banco de España. There are around 140 banks to choose from, including mobile banks.
One of the best features of the Spanish banking industry for newcomers is how welcoming it is to expats and foreigners. In fact, it’s one of the easiest European countries in which to open a bank account as a non-resident.
If you’re starting your search for a Spanish bank account, here are a few of the major banks to consider:
UK customers will already be familiar with Santander, as this Spanish bank has an established presence in many countries including the UK.
The accounts on offer are virtually the same as in the UK, but your best bet to start off with is the Cuenta Mundo account for non-residents⁷.
This Santander current account is tailored to newcomers, offering everyday banking services including free debit card withdrawals at Santander ATMs in Spain. You can also manage your account using the Santander app.
This is one of Spain’s biggest banks, popular due to its fee-free current accounts⁸. Both its Fee-Free Online Account and Young Person’s Online Account for students are open to both residents and non-residents.
The main benefit of these accounts is of course, the fact that there is no monthly fee to pay. But they also come with a fee-free debit card, no pay-in requirements and free use of over 6,000 BBVA ATMs in Spain.
One of the largest banks in Spain, Banco Sabadell is extremely welcoming and helpful to new arrivals. It has a dedicated Welcome Service offering advice and information as you settle into Spain, accompanied by a couple of current accounts⁹ tailored to newcomers.
For non-residents, there’s the Key Account offering free debit and credit card transactions plus 10 free translations per year. For those starting a new life in Spain, there’s the Expansion Account. This everyday current account gives you free debit and credit cards, and no admin or maintenance fees when you deposit your salary.
CaixaBank has a dedicated service for people moving to Spain, called the HolaBank Club¹⁰. This gives you access to complementary relocation services designed to make your move easier, including translations, help with paperwork, discounts and more.
If this sounds good, you can open a CaixaBank HolaBank Account¹¹ as a non-resident (or new resident). This gives you a free debit and credit card, free withdrawals at 9,600+ CaixaBank ATMs throughout Spain and automatic access to HolaBank Club services.
Other Spanish banks worth checking out
We’ve covered many of the major banks in Spain, including those that offer dedicated newcomer and non-resident accounts. Another worth looking at is Bankia, which has a basic Cuenta Fácil account along with a dedicated Cuenta Joven account for students and young people.
Many major international banks also have branches in Spain, such as Barclays, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and ING.
What are the fees?⁶
Banking in Spain isn’t the cheapest in the EU, but its market is quite competitive. You can expect to pay around €15–20 in annual fees for a current account, although it varies widely between banks. However, many offer fee-free basic and student accounts, particularly to non-residents. You may also be able to swerve account fees by meeting a minimum monthly deposit or account balance.
You’ll pay around €12–15 for a debit card and potentially more than €30 a year for a credit card with many Spanish bank accounts. Although again, it varies between banks – some offer free debit and/or credit cards with certain accounts.
If you want to withdraw cash at an ATM, this is usually free when using an ATM from one of the larger international banks.
The last important cost to consider when choosing a bank account in Spain is international transfer fees. This is a big one for foreigners living, working or studying in Spain, as it’s likely that you’ll want to send money home at some point.
Banks usually charge a fee to send money abroad, which in Spain can range from €3-15 if you’re sending less than €50,000.
And don’t forget about exchange rates, as banks are likely to apply unfavourable exchange rates to international money transfers. Think of these as ‘hidden fees’, which can make the transfer more expensive overall. There may also be fees charged by the receiving bank in another country.
A simpler and cheaper alternative – Wise
If you need to send money back home from Spain, or whizz it across to a friend in another country, there is an alternative to using your bank.
Open a Wise multi-currency account and you’ll only pay a small, transparent fee. Better still, you’ll always get the real, mid-market exchange rate. This makes your transfer as cheap as possible. In fact, it could be up to 8x cheaper than using a bank - and it’s just as quick, secure and reliable.
A Wise account is handy to have as an expat, as it helps you avoid expensive bank fees when sending money abroad. You can also use it to spend like a local without hidden fees, using your Wise debit card, Google Pay or Apple Pay.
And you can open an account in advance of your move to Spain, so you’re not left without a payment method while you’re waiting for your new bank account to be opened. You’ll also find it extremely handy when it comes to sending money to Spain to cover moving costs and other expenses. Moving is often expensive, but this could save you a bundle on many unavoidable international payments.
Get your multi-currency account today
Moving abroad is always hard work at first, as there’s so much to set up and arrange. But thanks to Spain’s newcomer-friendly approach to banking, setting up a bank account could end up being one of the easiest things to tick off your list.
After reading this guide, you should have a better idea of the process of opening a bank account in Spain. This includes the paperwork you’ll need, fees to watch out for and which banks are the best for new arrivals.
Sources checked on 09-January 2021.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
Can you open a bank account in Spain online or from the US? Some Spanish banks allow you to start the application process online, for both resident and non-resident accounts. However, you'll usually still need to visit a branch in person to show your documents, before you can get your account fully up and running.Is it hard to open a bank account in Spain? ›
Opening a bank account in Spain is available to both residents and non-residents, although the country's legislation does distinguish between the two in order to carry out this procedure. Residents simply need to present their resident identity card and comply with the usual requirements.How much do you need to open a bank account in Spain? ›
The costs of opening a bank account in Spain vary per bank. Some banks even have fee-free basic accounts or student accounts with a discount. On average, you will pay: €12 - €15 for a debit card.Can I open a bank account in Spain if I am not a resident? ›
Yes, a foreign non-resident in Spain can open a bank account. To do so, they must take an ID document (normally a passport) and a certificate of non-residency to any of our branches.Which Spanish bank is best for non-residents? ›
- BBVA Bank Spain. ...
- Banco Popular. ...
- Santander Bank. ...
- Sadabell Bank Spain. ...
- Bankia Spain. ...
- Revoult Spain. ...
- N26 Online Bank. ...
Is It Possible to Open a US Bank Account Online as a Non-Resident? No. Most US banks will require non-residents to apply for an account in person. That means you have to travel to the US and walk into a bank branch to set up your account.Are there any free Spanish bank accounts? ›
The Fee-Free Online Account is only for new customers who live in Spain. It can be opened 100% online through bbva.es and the BBVA app. You can view your account entries and account statement from our website or on your cell phone or tablet.Can I get a bank account as a tourist? ›
A tourist or non-resident can open a bank account in the U.S. with the proper paperwork. While the process for opening an account varies by bank or credit union, many will accept alternative forms of I.D. to open an account.How much money do you need in the bank to get residency in Spain? ›
So, based on the above, if you are applying for residency in Spain in 2022 we recommend proving: A regular monthly income of at least €600 OR a lump sum/savings of at least €7000 in a Spanish bank account.How much cash can you deposit in a Spanish bank? ›
The maximum amount you can deposit in a bank without having to declare it in Spain is also set at €10,000. Remember, however, that if your deposit exceeds €3,000 the bank does have an obligation to notify the authorities of your operation.
Retirement in Spain also tends to be fairly low cost. You can retire comfortably on about $2,000-2,200 a month, about $25,000-27,000 a year. If you choose to live a bit further away from the big cities, you can retire at approximately $1,700-1,900 a month, which is about $20,000-22,000 annually.How much monthly income do I need to live in Spain? ›
Main Applicant - The main visa applicant will need to prove an income of 400% of the Spanish IPREM (Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples), which in 2022 equates to €579,02. This means you will need to have an income of at least €2,316,08 per month or its legal equivalent in foreign currency.What is the minimum income in Spain? ›
Minimum wages have been revised in Spain from 01 January 2022. The minimum wages are increased as follows: For domestic workers, from €7.04 to €7.82 per hour and €950.00 to €1000.00 per month; For contingent and temporary workers, from €44.99 to €47.36 per day; and.Which country is the easiest to open a bank account? ›
Generally, Belize is considered one of the easiest countries to have a bank account. The reason behind the popularity of Belize is its stability. To begin with, Belize's offshore banking system is among the most stable in the world based on its liquidity rates.Can you be resident in Spain but not tax resident? ›
Individuals are resident in Spain for tax purposes if they meet at least one of the following criteria: Spend more than 183 days in Spain during a calendar year. In determining the period of stay, temporary absences are included in the count, except when the tax residence in another country can be proven.Can you live in Spain without becoming a resident? ›
How long can I stay in Spain without becoming a resident? You can stay in Spain for a maximum of 183 days per year (6 months) in order to not become a resident. If you spend an extra day (184 days and onwards), you will be regarded as a resident, hence paying resident taxes in the country.Do I need a Spanish bank account to pay taxes in Spain? ›
Paying utilities, getting a mortgage, paying taxes and making social security contributions are virtually impossible without a Spanish bank account. Additionally, most foreign credit cards charge a commission fee for every payment realized within the Spanish territory.Can I get residency in Spain if I buy a house? ›
Yes, you can get residency in Spain after buying a house, and that is thanks to the golden visa scheme. Since 2013, non-EU citizens who purchase a property in the Spanish territory can get a 2-year residence permit (that can be renewed) as long as the property investment is at least € 500.000.How can I avoid bank fees in Spain? ›
Maintaining a minimum balance (this is normally a daily minimum, not the average during the month) Using the credit card issued by the bank a minimum of 2 or more times a month or quarter. Having several direct debits (your usual household bills)How much are bank charges in Spain? ›
Most current accounts in Spain incur annual fees that are usually around €15–20, although it's worth shopping around as some banks offer deals as well as cheaper accounts for the likes of students or pensioners.
- Schwab Bank: Best for Using ATMs.
- Capital One: Best for Foreign transaction fees.
- HSBC: Best for Expats with high balances.
- Citibank, N.A.: Best for Wiring money.
- Revolut: Best for Nonbank multicurrency account.
Many large banks in the U.S. accept alternative IDs from a non-U.S. citizen trying to open an account. These include Bank of America, Chase, TD Bank, US Bank and Wells Fargo.Can I open bank account with only passport? ›
But is your passport by itself enough to open a bank account? Not quite. While it does allow you to meet the photo ID requirement, there are typically other things you'll need to show the bank to prove your current address and tax status. Learn more about the requirements for opening a bank account.Which bank in Spain is best? ›
BBVA Cuenta Online – Best Spanish Bank
Their website is available in multiple languages including English. You can't really go wrong with BBVA if you want the extra peace of mind of having your money in a Spanish bank. BBVA is consistently rated among the top 3 banks in Spain.
|Account||Santander Select® Checking||Santander® Basic Checking|
|Minimum opening deposit||$25||$25|
|ATM withdrawal fee (domestic non-Santander ATM)2||$0||$3|
|Free Paperless Statements?||Yes||Yes|
|Paper Statement Fee||$0||$3|
Thousands of Spanish bank accounts, mostly owned by non residents, have been blocked (or “frozen”), in some cases without previous notice, since Spanish banks started to apply the law of Prevention of Money Laundering and terrorist financing .Can someone with a visa get a bank account? ›
Yes, US non-citizens can open a bank account in the US. US non-citizens include US permanent residents (green card holders) and US visa holders such as temporary workers on work visas such as H1B, L1, etc., or international students. Please refer to this section in this blog for details.Can a tourist open a bank account in Europe? ›
If you're not a legal resident of a European country, you will usually be able to open a European bank account. However, non-resident bank accounts in some countries may still require you to provide documentation in presence, or have with service limitations or higher fees than the usuall ones.What is a non-resident bank account? ›
Non-resident means a person whose normal place of residence or domicile is outside of the CMA (Common Monetary Area). The Common Monetary Area consisits of Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. If you have a valid work, study, retirement or spousal permit, you may qualify for a Temporary Resident Account.How long do I have to live in Spain to get residency? ›
After 5 consecutive years living in Spain you will be able to get permanent residency. Basically we are talking about a card that has 5 years of validity, and that can be renewed indefinitely. There are two types: the EU permanent card, and the general one.
Economic means may be accredited by presenting cash, traveller's cheques, a credit card accompanied by a bank account statement, an up-to-date bank book, or any other resource that accredits the amount available, such as a credit statement regarding the card or bank account.How long do you have to live in Spain to become a resident? ›
The residence permit is usually issued for a period of 2 years, renewable, provided that you still meet the economic requirements and you have lived at least 183 days in Spain each year. After 5 years of holding the temporary residence permit, you will be eligible for permanent residency.Do I need to carry cash in Spain? ›
Paying with cash in Spain
It's advisable to always have some cash with you when you travel. Expect to need cash for things like coffee and tapas, and anytime you need to make a purchase for anything between €10 and €20.
How to send money to a Spanish bank account? An international bank transfer is usually the best way to transfer money to a Spanish bank account because it is secure, fast and cheaper than other methods such as cash, credit or debit cards. You will need the IBAN of the account in Spain you wish to send the money to.How much money can I deposit at the bank without being flagged? ›
The IRS requires banks and businesses to file Form 8300, the Currency Transaction Report, if they receive cash payments over $10,000. Depositing more than $10,000 will not result in immediate questioning from authorities, however. The report is done simply to help prevent fraud and money laundering.Do pensioners pay tax in Spain? ›
On average, Spanish pensioners are taxed at source at a rate of 7.7%, although the percentage varies depending on your pension. The highest state pensions are taxed at least 19% at source.What taxes will I pay if I retire to Spain? ›
Taxes on retirement in Spain
If you transfer your pension to Spain, any income drawn from your pot will be taxed under Spanish rules. Pension income in Spain is taxed in line with employment income if you're considered a resident for tax purposes.
How Much Do Spanish Pensioners Get? Nowadays, the average pension is about 900 euros a month. The contributory retirement pension (Pension por Jubilacion Ordinaria) represents the main source of retirement income for approximately 8.75 million pensioners in Spain.What is the cheapest city to live in Spain? ›
Granada is the cheapest place to live in Spain and the favorite to visit. The city is 250km east of Sevilla and is ideal for people who prefer cooler or smaller environments.Can I move to Spain without a job? ›
Moving to Spain without a job can make the relocation process much more complicated. That is, in case you actually want to work in the country. As we mentioned in the prior section, obtaining a work permit (for which you need a job offer) may be the path to get residency in the country.
- ICT Technical Manager (€42,661)
- Branch manager (€42,622)
- Director of Operations (€42,595)
- Asset management (€42,387)
- Dentist (€42,174)
- Security consultant (€41,613)
A single person estimated monthly costs are 631$ (641€) without rent. Cost of living in Spain is, on average, 34.86% lower than in United States. Rent in Spain is, on average, 56.54% lower than in United States.How long can you live in Spain without a visa? ›
This rule simply states that you can live in Spain without residency for a maximum of 90 days. After those 3 months, you need to either obtain a residence permit, or leave the country. And that is because the shortest stay option is the tourist (or Schengen) visa, which lasts exactly for 90 days.What is the average rent in Spain? ›
The average monthly rent is about 600 euros.
Obviously, if you move away from the central areas and avoid cities like Barcelona or Madrid, you can find rentals of 400 euros easily.
We're here to help!
Fortunately, opening a bank account in a foreign country is totally possible — and totally legal, as long as you're not doing so for tax evasion purposes. However, it may take a few more steps than opening a domestic account would.
- TD Bank. ...
- United Bank. ...
- Synchrony. ...
- Chase Bank. ...
- Axos Bank. ...
- Ally. ...
- Wells Fargo. In addition to the basic info, Wells Fargo requires new members to make an opening deposit of just $25. ...
- Online Features Make Everything Simpler. All of the banks that make the easiest-to-join list tout online banking features.
- Driving Licence,
- Proof of possession of Aadhaar Number,
- Voter's Identity Card issued by Election Commission of India,
- Job card issued by NREGA duly signed by an officer of the State Government,
- Letter issued by the National Population Register containing details of name and address.
When you open your account, make sure you have a government-issued ID to prove your identity. You'll also need your Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number, along with something that has your address on it, such as a utility or cable bill.What documents do you need to apply for a bank account? ›
- Proof of identity – current photo driving license, or passport.
- Personal details – preferred title, full name, date of birth, gender, marital status, nationality.
- Address details – current home address and how long you have lived there.
At least two forms of government-issued ID, such as a valid driver's license or passport. Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) (If you're a non-citizen and don't have a Social Security number, you'll likely need to have an ITIN.)Can I open bank account with passport? ›
But is your passport by itself enough to open a bank account? Not quite. While it does allow you to meet the photo ID requirement, there are typically other things you'll need to show the bank to prove your current address and tax status. Learn more about the requirements for opening a bank account.What are the 7 steps to open a bank account? ›
- Locate an Enrolment Center. ...
- Book An Appointment At Unique Identification Development Authority of India's Aadhaar Seva Kendra. ...
- Check Aadhaar Status. ...
- Download Your Aadhaar. ...
- Apply Via a PAN Application Center. ...
- Apply Online.
Opening a Savings Account is a simple task that may take, at best, an hour, sometimes even 15 minutes. Most banks usually have similar procedures, so it is fairly easy to open a Savings Account. You can do this in two ways: Apply in person, at the bank.Can the government see how much money is in your bank account? ›
The federal government has no business monitoring small cash deposits and how Americans pay their bills and has no right to snoop around in private checking accounts without a warrant.Can you open a bank account without a job? ›
So you'll need a steady job, a Social Security payment or another form of income. Otherwise, you could get slapped with fees or end up owing the bank money before you put anything in your account.Can I open a bank account without proof of address? ›
Proof of address and identity are usually needed to open a current account. This can prove a particular problem if you've been living abroad or have no credit history. If you're unable to open a current account, a basic bank account could still be an option. Prepaid cards can also often be used like a bank account.How much money can you put in a bank without questions? ›
Depositing a big amount of cash that is $10,000 or more means your bank or credit union will report it to the federal government. The $10,000 threshold was created as part of the Bank Secrecy Act, passed by Congress in 1970, and adjusted with the Patriot Act in 2002.How much money can you have in your bank account without being taxed? ›
A deposit over $10k is the amount to consider; amounts under that threshold may not have to be reported. There's a catch, though: If a customer makes several small cash payments or deposits within a 12-month window, filing Form 8300 might have to be done should the payments or deposits exceed $10,000.Which is the best bank to open an account? ›
- Best for Minors: Capital One.
- Best for Cash-Back Rewards: Discover Bank.
- Best for Earning Interest: nbkc Bank.
- Best for More Than $250,000: Wealthfront Cash Account.
- Best Credit Union: Alliant Credit Union.
- Best With Branches: Chase Bank.
- Best for Global Travel: Schwab Bank.
- Schwab Bank: Best for Using ATMs.
- Capital One: Best for Foreign transaction fees.
- HSBC: Best for Expats with high balances.
- Citibank, N.A.: Best for Wiring money.
- Revolut: Best for Nonbank multicurrency account.
Generally, Belize is considered one of the easiest countries to have a bank account. The reason behind the popularity of Belize is its stability. To begin with, Belize's offshore banking system is among the most stable in the world based on its liquidity rates.How hard is it to open a bank account in a foreign country? ›
Most countries require an initial deposit, your passport and proof of residence to open a bank account. Some countries could also require a certified copy of your birth certificate or a second form of identification. In some cases, you will also have to provide a statement about your reason for opening the account.