25 Apr Banking in Spain
Open a Spanish bank account!
When moving to Spain you will want to bring your money. Having only a foreign bank account when living in Barcelona you will experience different kinds of obstacles. The first one being the unnecessary exchange fee when paying with your credit card or withdrawing money from the ATM. But the world of banking can be a jungle and to figure out how to navigate in it and also doing it in the most profitable way can be difficult, especially if you don’t master the Spanish language.
Get a resident’s account.
When opening a bank account, you have two options. You can either open a non-residents account or a resident’s account. We recommend you to open a resident’s account because of the better commissions and fewer charges. All you need in order to open a resident’s account is your resident’s NIE or resident’s permit also called la tarjeta de residencia
Which bank to choose and when to choose?
When choosing your new bank in Spain you have a lot of options – see the list below for some of them. Before choosing you should gather information on the different banks, visit their websites and maybe go down and talk to the personnel.
Make sure that you know about all fees and charges! – In Spain a lot of banks are charging a high commision and they have been doing so for many years partly because the competition on the market has been non-existent. Like the market for phones the spanish bank-market have been somewhat monopolized making it easy for the banks to take advantage of their customers. However this is starting to change with the appearance of ING Direct on the market which you could say is the Vueling and Ryanair of banks. They are changing the market by bringing in competition and thereby forcing the older banks to quit some of their commissions in order to keep their customers.
At Casamona we are using Bank Sabadell for our clients. At this bank you will be met by a helpful staff and have the option of English speaking services. As an example you have access to an English website and English telephone banking.
At Casamona we are an international team with an international target group, making this particular bank ideal. Interested in opening your spanish bank account here? – We will introduce you and you will most likely be offered a better deal with more profitable terms.
We recommend that you open your Spanish bank account before making the final move here. Not only would it make your transition easier it is also a necessity if you are going to buy an apartment. Without a Spanish bank account, the utility bills can’t be transferred to you and you won’t be able to make the bank checks to the seller.
The cheapest option
Searching for the cheapest bank option, you need to take a look at ING Direct.
Here you will have no bank charges but the luxury of viewing your balances and do transactions online. Also do not worry when you are sitting at home paying your bills at 2am in the morning and a question appears. Just call the 24-hour help line and ask them! – A catch though is, that it is only offered in Spanish.
Going for the cheapest option you should definitely avoid La Caixa which is an old catalan bank with too many fees which are way too high. However if you do choose this one, which we most certainly DO NOT recommend, be aware that you might be charges up to 700 euros for making a bank check. – Consider yourself warned!
ALSO remember that in barcelona everything is negotiable. If you do not negotiate the cost of your credit card or the fees that you are to pay, they will for sure give you the most expensive deal.
Some of your bank options in Barcelona
If you have any experience with a particular bank that you feel could benefit others please let us know.