How do I open a bank account in the Netherlands?

Opening a bank account in the Netherlands

Now that you’ve come to the Netherlands, you’ve probably noticed that many stores don’t accept credit cards. It just so happens to be that the Dutch aren’t the biggest fans of credit cards. That’s why you’ll need a Dutch bank account that works with iDeal. What’s iDeal? Well, iDeal is a method of paying online using your debit card rather than your credit card. You can use iDeal to order food, buy clothes and pay bills in a secure banking environment. Depending on your situation, you have a few options.

Where can I open a bank account in the Netherlands?

In order to open a bank account in the Netherlands, you need to be registered with the municipality of the city in which you are staying. Once you’re registered, you can make an appointment online or visit one of the following Dutch banks:

  • ABN AMRO
  • Rabobank
  • ING
  • SNS Bank
  • ASN Bank
  • Triodos

What documents do I need to open a bank account?

To open a bank account in the Netherlands, you will need the following documents:

  • A BSN number, which you’ll receive when you register at the municipality
  • A valid form of ID (passport or idendity card)
  • Proof of address (a rental contract)
  • A residency permit, if you come from outside the EU

The waiting period until you get your appointment and bank account depends on the bank and the time of year. You may find that the waiting period is longer in September because many students apply for a bank account at this time of year. Some universities have deals with banks to give their students priority in the waiting queue. Therefore, reaching out to your University’s international office and asking if they have any partnerships with banks can’t hurt.

Can I get a Dutch bank account without housing in the Netherlands?

Even if you don’t have a BSN number,  job or permanent address in the Netherlands yet, you can open a Dutch bank account. Unfortunately, most Dutch banks do require you to have an address in the Netherlands and a BSN number before applying for a bank account. However, you can also choose to open a bank account with Bunq and provide the information up to 90 days after you open an account with them. Bunq is a very well-known bank in the expat community for the ease and speed of which you can open an account. You can easily make an account with them by:

Bunq is very well-known bank in the expat community for the ease and speed of which you can open an account. You can easily make an account with them by:

  • Downloading the Bunq app
  • Providing your email and phone number
  • Taking a picture of yourself with your passport or identity card
  • Providing a (temporary) postage address, which your bank card can be sent to

After you've opened an account, you'll receive a debit card, with an activation code and a pin, via mail. You can use the debit card to make payments in stores and online.

Happy banking!