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. 

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
  • Shopping in stores like Albert Heijn that only accept a Maestro card which can be obtained only with a Dutch bank account
  • 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 (ideally a passport)
  • Citizen service number (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 four different banks that we believe are most relevant for international students based on their annual fee, special packages and ease of registration.  

REVOLUT (Free online account - recommended by us) 

In our opinion, Revolut is the best online (digital only) bank account in Europe. While you have the option to upgrade later, the standard plan guarantees you an EU IBAN number, which will also allow you to pay with the Netherlands' most used online payment method, "iDeal". 
Benefits:
  • Free online account;
  • A Dutch citizen service number (BSN) is not necessary while registering online;
  • Using the account for merchants with iDEAL is supported;
  • Option of having a savings account, rewards for paying at certain stores, and exchange your currency at the real exchange rate
Learn more

ABN AMRO (Free)

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).
Benefits:
  • 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.

  • Option of setting up a savings account and getting various insurances at a discount
Learn more

ING (Free)

This multinational Dutch bank is another international-friendly option, since receiving your debit card is made efficient and easy.
Benefits:
  • 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.

  • Option of setting up a savings account and getting various insurances at a discount
Learn more

BUNQ (Online account with monthly cost)

This app-based, subscription-based bank might help you save both time and the environment.  After all, paying using your phone's virtual wallet is quick and convenient. Unlike Revolut, however, there is no free option.
Benefits:
  • On-boarding completely online and very quick;
  • Several subscription options in case you require more features;
  • A Dutch citizen service number (BSN) is not necessary while registering online;
  • Option of setting up a savings account and getting various insurances at a discount
Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of card is recommended in the Netherlands?
We highly recommend obtaining the physical or digital Maestro card as several stores like Albert Heijn might only accept the Maestro card.
Is my European bank account sufficient in the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is a Maestro country with a particular online payment system called iDEAL. In order to use it, you'll need an account with a connected bank (Dutch or Revolut). We therefore recommend setting up another bank account for your stay in the Netherlands.
Still have a question? Drop us a line. 
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Student Mobility
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