Whether you're coming to The Netherlands to study or to work, if you're an international student and will be staying for a while, it is recommended that you open a Dutch student bank account. You may already have a bank account from your home country that also works in The Netherlands, so what's the need to open a new account? A Dutch bank account will not only make your life easier and cheaper but it also comes with added perks for students that a foreign bank can’t offer in The Netherlands.
For starters, some overseas banks will charge a small foreign currency conversion fee for every purchase you make, which can add up quickly. Pretty much all Dutch debit cards are produced by Maestro, with some shops and supermarkets not accepting other card types making foreign debit cards useless in some places.
If you're a working student in The Netherlands, it is mandatory to pay for health insurance and most health insurance providers require you to have a Dutch bank account in order to apply. Do you need a dutch phone number or want to join your local gym? For subscriptions like these, only a Dutch account will be accepted. You can also receive bank transfers much faster and take advantage of the super-fast iDEAL payment system that is prominent in nearly all Dutch online payments.
When it comes to opening your own student bank account in The Netherlands, you may feel overwhelmed by the choice of who to open an account with. Luckily YoungCapital is here to help. The best Dutch student bank accounts with the most benefits and the easiest to use come from the big three Dutch multinational banks; ABN AMRO, ING Group, Rabobank and the biggest online Dutch bank, Bunq. All of them offer the primary bank account functions such as debit card payments, transactions, transfers, cash withdrawals and their own version of internet banking for students with mobile apps. Let's take a closer look at each of these accounts and their student account benefits.
One of the largest banks in The Netherlands, ABN AMRO is also a fantastic choice for international students. For those that don't speak dutch, ABN AMRO is the only Dutch bank that offers all their information and communication in English making it much easier to navigate their services. The student package ABN AMRO offers is free of charge for international students to set up with no monthly fees. It offers a bank account, debit card, internet / mobile banking plus tailored insurance for students. Their student insurance consists of liability, accident, and home insurance and their international student insurance comes with high-coverage accident insurance, home contents insurance and personal liability insurance that is valid abroad too.
Students get to choose between the standard credit card, gold credit card or the ABN AMRO student credit card, with the latter insuring your purchases for up to 180 days, guaranteeing delivery for online purchases, and allowing contactless payment. On top of all that, for just €1,70 a month you can set up a joint bank account for yourself and another person. ABN AMROs student account is a highly popular choice among international students for a reason.
Similarly to ABN AMRO, it is possible to set up a student account with ING group for free and they also offer a student package with extra benefits. One advantage ING Group has over other Dutch banks is how efficient and easy it is to open an account with them. You can register for an ING student bank account using their mobile banking app which offers an English translation. If you do not have a BSN number yet, you can still open an account as they allow you to provide your BSN number at a later time.
Their student account offers an ING student credit card, exclusive student discounts, and free advice on student insurance products. You can also receive discounts on student insurance like full coverage for your dorm room. ING Group, like the other student bank account providers, will waive your monthly and annual account fees to help you spend and save without any annoying extra costs.
If you're looking for a safe and secure student bank account, then Rabobank would be your best option. While not as accessible to international students as the other student account providers, Rabobank still offers a free student package that comes with a free debit card and access to their online banking. Other benefits to the ‘Rabo student package’ include their free switching service, which ensures that direct debits from your old payment account will automatically arrive at your new payment account. You can also receive exclusive discounts on Interpolis student insurance and Rabobank’s high safety ratings internationally means your money is secure with them.
Unlike ABN AMRO and ING Group, Rabobank’s website and internet banking are all in Dutch and doesn't provide any information in English. You also need to book an appointment to set up an account as it is not possible to open a Rabobank student account on your phone. This can make it impractical and challenging for international students to use Rabobank despite their student benefits. Another thing to look out for when setting up a Dutch student bank account is the unconventional fees that can apply when you use the account outside The Netherlands. This can include international spending costs and international ATM withdrawal fees, which brings us onto a more international Dutch bank.
For students constantly on the go, Bunq is a convenient and hassle-free choice. Bunq is an online-based Dutch bank available in European languages such as English, Spanish and German. Promoting its green image and easy banking, Bunq focuses on saving money, time, and the environment. The Bunq student account is a great option for international students because you can onboard quickly and easily online and receive discounts on platforms like Booking.com and HelloFresh. Bunq makes it possible to have both a Maestro and a MasterCard linked to one bank account and allows you to pay for everything using only your phone, making it easy to spend whenever wherever. On top of all that, Bunq offers a huge interest rate that is nine times higher than any other traditional bank, which is paid to you every month.
If you're ever away from The Netherlands and want to use Bunq, then you don't pay any currency exchange costs, which makes Bunq a suitable IBAN account for students all over the world. One drawback for international students using Bunq is that it only supports euros, so to send or receive money in other currencies, you will need to use TransferWise. However, this has been integrated into the Bunq app.
How Do I Open a Student Bank Account in The Netherlands?
Opening a student bank account in The Netherlands is almost identical to opening a normal bank account. With most Dutch banks, it is possible to open a student account on your phone using their website or mobile banking app. Some banks will require an in-person appointment to open the account however. What documents you will need can vary from bank to bank, but most will ask for these:
- Valid proof of identity (passport or ID card)
- Proof of Dutch residence
- Your personal BSN
- If you're not from the EU, you may also need your residence permit
To be able to open a student bank account in The Netherlands, you will need to prove you are a student. This can be done by bringing and showing your proof of enrollment at a Dutch educational institution. While not every bank will ask for this, it's worth bringing anyway just in case. As a part of the application process, you may be asked to verify your identity, either through your phone or by visiting a physical bank branch. If your application is successful, you will be given access to your account and your account details. Make sure to keep this in a safe and secure place for if you ever need them again. You should receive your debit card within a few days of having your account opened.
Frequently Asked Questions
What documents do I need to open a student bank account in The Netherlands?
What is the best bank in The Netherlands for students?
Do I need a BSN to open a student bank account in The Netherlands?
The documents you will need to open a student bank account in The Netherlands include a valid proof of identity, proof of your Dutch residence, your personal BSN number and most importantly proof of enrollment at a Dutch educational institution. You may also need your residence permit if you're not from the EU.
ABN AMRO, ING Group, Rabobank and Bunq offer student bank accounts free of charge that come with their own perks and benefits to make your financial life easier as a student. What features you prioritise in a bank account will help guide your decision.
Eventually, you will need to provide your personal BSN number to open a student bank account. However, some Dutch banks like ING Group, Rabobank and Bunq will allow you to open an account without one as they let you provide your BSN number at a later time.
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