The ins and outs of opening a Dutch bank account. 

As debit cards are the Netherlands' preferred payment method, opening a Dutch bank account will be handy in various scenarios. 
Why a Dutch bank account?
From the moment you arrive in the Netherlands, your home country’s bank account may not be sufficient in every situation. For example, most supermarkets only accept payments by debit card or cash. Since the so-called ‘pinpas’, or debit card, is most commonly used in the Netherlands, opening a Dutch bank account might be useful or even necessary for some things. 

From doing groceries to working in the Netherlands, we have listed a few scenarios below where a Dutch bank account is necessary:
  • Working in the Netherlands - you will need to pay for your health insurance via your Dutch bank account;
  • Automatic monthly payments of your tuition fee;
  • A mobile phone subscription to fulfill monthly payments;
  • To get your immigration deposit reimbursed;
  • To make online payments via IDEAL.
How to open a bank account?
If you want to open a Dutch bank account, you can do so either prior or after your arrival in the Netherlands, often online or in a physical office. While banks differ on which documents they will need for registration, it is a good idea to have the following on hand: 

  • ID (passport or identity card)
  • Citizen service number (in Dutch: Burgerservicenummer, BSN)
  • Residence permit
  • Tenancy agreement 

What are the options?

As an international student, you can choose to open a Dutch bank account with several banks. While these banks are not significantly different from each other, they do have their own pros and cons. Some banks offer special package accounts for (international) students in order to fulfill their unique needs. 

Dutch banks include: ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank, SNS bank, Triodos and Bunq. Below, we have briefly compared three different banks that we believe are most relevant for international students based on their annual fee, special packages and ease of registration.  


This is one of the largest banks in the Netherlands. Big pro? All information and communication is in English (the only Dutch bank offering this service).
  • They offer a special student package;
  • Free of charge including mobile and online banking;
  • Easy to make a physical appointment via the English online tool;
  • Offices where staff is available in person.
Learn more

ING (Free)

This multinational Dutch bank is another international-friendly option, since receiving your debit card is made efficient and easy.
  • They offer a special student package;
  • Free of charge including mobile and online banking;
  • A Dutch citizen service number (BSN) is not necessary while registering online;
  • Offices where staff is available in person.
Learn more

BUNQ (monthly cost)

Are you willing to pay for everything using only your phone? Then this app-based bank might help you save both time and the environment.  
  • On-boarding completely online and very quick;
  • Several subscription options;
  • A Dutch citizen service number (BSN) is not necessary while registering online;
  • So you can easily open an account while still being abroad.
Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of information will I receive when signing up for Arrival Assistance?
We'll inform you of everything that's relevant for you to know as an incoming international student in the Netherlands, including public transportation, registering at the municipality, opening a Dutch bank account, getting a bike, etc. 
Are Student Mobility and ISIC the same organisation? And how are they related?
Student Mobility is an ISIC Appointed Office and thus an official issuer of the International Student Identity Card. However, it is now also its own independent organisation focusing on simplifying the lives of international students in the Netherlands. 
In what way do you cooperate with educational institutions?
What is ISIC actually?
ISIC is the organisation behind the International Student Identity Card, which gives you internationally accepted proof of bona fide student status. Anyone can purchase an ISIC to get preferential and discounted access to various products, services and experiences. 
Still have a question? Drop us a line. 
Get in touch
Student Mobility
KVK registration: 74122967 
VAT: NL003813167B73
Singel 413, 1012 WP
Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
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