How to Open a Bank Account in Spain

, updated 8 November 2017

Spain is one of the most popular destinations for expats around the world, especially those looking to retire. Spain attracts in particular British expats with the weather, the lifestyle, relatively low cost of living as well as investment opportunities. Although it's possible to live in Spain as a foreigner without opening a local bank account, a bank account (or strickly speaking a current account, or a checking account) is needed to buy a property, pay household bills, buy an insurance policy or mobile phone plan. The following factors are worth considering when choosing a bank where to open a current account:

Several current accounts offered by Spanish banks are compared in details below using these factors, namely:

Resident and Non-Resident Bank Accounts

Spanish banks offer current accounts to both residents (resident accounts) and non-residents of Spain (non-resident accounts). A non-resident account is required, for example, when owning a property in Spain. A non-resident account can be converted into a resident account upon obtaining Spanish residency, a resident account can also be converted into a non-resident account when dropping Spanish residency.

Account Opening Procedure

When opening a resident as well as non-resident bank account, a natural person is typically asked to provide the following documents:

Additionally the following documents are required:

when opening a resident bank account:

when opening a non-resident bank account:

It's possible to apply online for opening a resident as well as a non-resident account. However, a branch visit will usually be needed later to meet a bank representative and to provide required documentation. Nevertheless, some banks can open a current account without having to visit the bank's branch, for example, when one already has an account in another bank in Spain.

The following bank accounts can be opened online:

Payment Cards

A debit card is usually issued when opening a current account. However, credit cards are not always available. A bank can charge its customers for issuing additional payment cards.

Account Fees

Although there are usually no opening or closing fees for a current account, a bank may charge the account holder a monthly maintenance fee just for holding the account; under certain conditions there may be no maintenance fee.

ATM fees are applied when performing banking transactions via ATMs. Withdrawing money from the bank's proper ATMs is usually free. ATM fees are typically applied when withdrawing money from another bank's ATM, the fees can be less or even not applied when using affliated banks' ATMs. For example, withdrawing money from CaixaBank's ATMs using a card issued by Self Trade Bank is free.

Transfer fees are applied to sending and receiving transactions and depend on the currency, destination and urgency of the transfer. The transfer fees may be different for national, European and international transfers, for Euro and other currencies.

Overdraft can also be offered as an additional feature of a current account. Overdraft is a loan automatically provided according to a prior agreement with the account holder when the available account balance goes below zero; an interest of an agreed rate is charged for using the overdraft.

Ways to Bank

Spanish banks usually provide various ways to perform banking operations: branch banking, telephone banking, online banking, mobile banking. However, English-speaking personnel is not employed is every single bank branch. Moreover, despite a rather dense branch network, bank branches are often overcrowded.

ATM and Branch Network

Knowing about availability of ATMs and bank branches when choosing a bank is important to enjoy free ATM withdrawals and branch visits. A branch visit is usually required to finalize the account opening procedure.

International Clients Support

International clients support includes providing websites and other materials, online banking services in different languages, as well as employing bank representatives and phone customer support specialists speaking foreign languages.

Unfortunately, not all Spanish banks have online banking and corporate websites translated into foreign languages and it maybe tricky to find a branch with English-speaking personnel.

Account Risk Level

In 2015 the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain established a new system of alerts to provide financial services customers all the necessary information to evaluate the products offered and understand the risks associated with the products.

According to this system, the risk level indicator must be provided for bank current accounts. This indicator reports on the risk of the financial product in the numerator. This number is indicative of the risk of the product, being 1/6 indicative of lower risk and 6/6 higher risk.

 3 / 6 

In addition to the risk level itself, a description of deposit guarantee scheme the bank participates in, should be provided. All credit institutions operating in Spain, except for branches of EU-banks, participate in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of Spain, while the branches of EU-banks operating in Spain participate in the deposit guarantee schemes of their home countries. Spanish Deposit Guarantee Scheme as well as Deposit Guarantee Schemes of other EU-countries guarantee up to 100.000 EUR per a depositor (an account holder).

Compare Current Accounts

Several current accounts with the following characteristics offered by Spanish banks have been chosen:

Cuenta Nómina (ING Bank, N.V. S.E)
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Risk Level
1/6 (lowest)
Open Online
Bank Overview

ING Bank is a member of ING Group, a financial company specializing in insurance and banking. ING Bank is a universal bank offering a wide range of products and services to individuals, families, small businesses, large corporations, financial institutions, governments, public and private institutions and supranational bodies. ING Bank is a market leader in "Benelux" countries (the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) where it currently has strong market positions in retail and commercial banking. ING Bank, N.V. S.E operates as a branch of ING Bank N.V. (Netherlands).


Account Type

Cuenta Nómina is available to both residents and non-residents of Spain.

Risk Level

 1 / 6 

Account Cuenta Nómina is classified as having the lowest level of risk. ING Bank, N.V. S.E participates in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of the Netherlands, Cuenta Nómina is covered by the scheme's guarantee of 100,000 EUR per account holder.

Account Opening Procedure
Online Application
Branch Visit

It's possible to open Cuenta Nómina without visiting a branch of ING Bank when having a bank account in another bank in Spain.

Payment Cards
Debit Card
Debit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card
Credit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card Providers
Visa
Account Fees
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Maintenance Fees
There are no account maintenance and closing fees.
ATM Fees
Free ATM withdrawals: 1. ATMs of ING, Banco Popular, Banca March, Banco Pastor and Targobank: Any amount. 2. Bankia: From 50 €. 3. Other Spanist banks: From 200 €.
Transfer Fees
No fees for all national transfers and EU-transfers within up to € 50,000.
Ways to Bank
Online Banking
Telephone Banking
Branch Banking
Mobile Banking
AMT and Branch Network
Number of Branches
30
Number of ATMs
213
International Clients Support
Website Languages
Spanish
Online Banking Languages
Spanish
Cuenta Expansión (Banco de Sabadell, S.A.)
Annual Costs
50.00 EUR
Risk Level
1/6 (lowest)
Open Online
Bank Overview

Banco de Sabadell SA is one of the largest banks in Spain. Banco de Sabadell is a universal bank specializing in providing financial services to natural persons and small- and medium-sized enterprises.


Account Type

Cuenta Expansión is available to both residents and non-residents of Spain.

Risk Level

 1 / 6 

Account Cuenta Expansión is classified as having the lowest level of risk. Banco de Sabadell, S.A. participates in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of Spain, Cuenta Expansión is covered by the scheme's guarantee of 100,000 EUR per account holder.

Account Opening Procedure
Online Application
Branch Visit
Payment Cards
Debit Card
Debit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card
Credit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card Providers
Visa
Account Fees
Annual Costs
50.00 EUR
Maintenance Fees
No administration and maintenance fees.
ATM Fees
Free cash withdrawals from Banco de Sabadell ATMs.Free cash withdrawals from EURO 6000 network (Abanca, BMN, IberCaja, KutxaBank, Unicaja, Liberbank, Caja España-Duero, CajaSur, Caixa Ontinyent, Colonya Caixa Pollenca), Bankia, Banco Sabadell Group ATMs for more than € 60.
Transfer Fees
No commissions on transfers in Euros within Spain and the EEA countries.
Ways to Bank
Online Banking
Telephone Banking
Branch Banking
Mobile Banking
AMT and Branch Network
Number of Branches
2766
Number of ATMs
3495
International Clients Support
Website Languages
Spanish, English, German, French, Catalan, Galician, Valencian, Euskara
Online Banking Languages
Spanish, English, German, French, Catalan, Galician, Valencian, Euskara
Cuenta Nomina DB (Deutsche Bank, S.A.E.)
Annual Costs
80.00 EUR
Risk Level
1/6 (lowest)
Open Online
Bank Overview

Deutsche Bank, S.A.E. is a member of Deutsche Bank group. Deutsche Bank, S.A.E. specializes in providing retail and corporate banking products and services. Deutsche Bank, S.A.E. also offers online brokerage and insurance products.


Account Type

Cuenta Nomina DB is available to both residents and non-residents of Spain.

Risk Level

 1 / 6 

Account Cuenta Nomina DB is classified as having the lowest level of risk. Deutsche Bank, S.A.E. participates in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of Spain, Cuenta Nomina DB is covered by the scheme's guarantee of 100,000 EUR per account holder.

Account Opening Procedure
Online Application
Branch Visit
Payment Cards
Debit Card
Debit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card
Credit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card Providers
Visa
Account Fees
Annual Costs
80.00 EUR
Maintenance Fees
No account maintenance and account management fees.
ATM Fees
Cash Deposits from any amount at the Deutsche Bank, Banco Popular, Bankinter, Banco Pastor and Targobank ATMs and from € 100 free at Bankia ATMs, Banca March and Cajas Rurales.
Transfer Fees
Free transfers in Euro within SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) countries.
Ways to Bank
Online Banking
Telephone Banking
Branch Banking
Mobile Banking
AMT and Branch Network
Number of Branches
235
Number of ATMs
197
International Clients Support
Website Languages
Spanish, English, German, French
Online Banking Languages
Spanish, English, German
Cuenta Nomina Self (Self Trade Bank, S.A.)
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Risk Level
1/6 (lowest)
Open Online
Bank Overview

Self Trade Bank was founded in 2009 and was initially owned by Boursorama (Societe Generale) and CaixaBank: 51% of shares belonged to Boursorama and 49% to CaixaBank. In June 2015 CaixaBank announced the sale of its 49% in Self Bank to Boursorama, making Boursorama the only owner of the Self Trade Bank.


Account Type

Cuenta Nomina Self is available to both residents and non-residents of Spain.

Risk Level

 1 / 6 

Account Cuenta Nomina Self is classified as having the lowest level of risk. Self Trade Bank, S.A. participates in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of Spain, Cuenta Nomina Self is covered by the scheme's guarantee of 100,000 EUR per account holder.

Account Opening Procedure
Online Application
Branch Visit
Payment Cards
Debit Card
Debit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card
Credit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card Providers
Visa
Account Fees
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Maintenance Fees
There are no opening, maintainance and closing fees.
ATM Fees
9,500 free cash machinesAll ATMs CaixaBank, the largest network in the country, to dispose of your money without commissions. And no minimum amount: only take out the money you need.
Transfer Fees
No fees for national transfers and non-urgent Euro Zone transfers.
Ways to Bank
Online Banking
Telephone Banking
Branch Banking
Mobile Banking
AMT and Branch Network
Number of Branches
1
International Clients Support
Website Languages
Spanish
Online Banking Languages
Spanish
Cuenta Online (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.)
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Risk Level
1/6 (lowest)
Open Online
Bank Overview

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) is one of the largest Spanish banks, operating as a global universal bank and offering retail, private, corporate and investment banking products and services to its customers.


Account Type

Cuenta Online is available to both residents and non-residents of Spain.

Risk Level

 1 / 6 

Account Cuenta Online is classified as having the lowest level of risk. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. participates in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of Spain, Cuenta Online is covered by the scheme's guarantee of 100,000 EUR per account holder.

Account Opening Procedure
Online Application
Branch Visit

It's possible to open this account without visiting a branch when having an account in another bank in Spain or an address in Spain so that a courier can come to collect the documents. It is also possible to sign the account contract via the account holder's cell phone (via text message) free of charge.

Payment Cards
Debit Card
Debit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card
Account Fees
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Maintenance Fees
No administration fees or maintenance fees for your account.
ATM Fees
Free money withdrawal without commissions in more than 6,000 BBVA cash machines.
Transfer Fees
No commissions on your transfers in Euros, Swedish Kronor or Romanian Leu (Rum) within the scope of the European Economic Area (European Union + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway)
Ways to Bank
Online Banking
Telephone Banking
Branch Banking
Mobile Banking
AMT and Branch Network
Number of Branches
3323
Number of ATMs
6572
International Clients Support
Website Languages
Spanish, English, Catalan
Online Banking Languages
Spanish, English, Catalan
Cuenta Cero (Banco Mediolanum, S.A.)
Annual Costs
6.00 EUR
Risk Level
1/6 (lowest)
Open Online
Bank Overview

Banco Mediolanum is a direct bank, running an innovative business model of banking without traditional offices. Banco Mediolanum provides retail banking products and rervices. Banco Mediolanum assignes a consultant to every customer, so its customers enjoy personalized service and easy access to the bank available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Account Type

Cuenta Cero is available to both residents and non-residents of Spain.

Risk Level

 1 / 6 

Account Cuenta Cero is classified as having the lowest level of risk. Banco Mediolanum, S.A. participates in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of Spain, Cuenta Cero is covered by the scheme's guarantee of 100,000 EUR per account holder.

Account Opening Procedure
Online Application
Branch Visit
Payment Cards
Debit Card
Debit Card Costs (p.a.)
9.00 EUR
Credit Card
Credit Card Costs (p.a.)
25.00 EUR
Credit Card Providers
Visa
Account Fees
Annual Costs
6.00 EUR
Maintenance Fees
No maintenance fee provided that the client has contracted investments in Collective Investment Institutions, investments in the form of life insurance and pension plans marketed by Banco Mediolanum, without minimums, or that have made voluntary movements in the last 6 months
ATM Fees
n/a
Transfer Fees
National Transfers: Received: FREE Sent: From 0.1% s / nominal. Minimum 3 euros.
Ways to Bank
Online Banking
Telephone Banking
Branch Banking
Mobile Banking
AMT and Branch Network
Number of Branches
1
Number of ATMs
1
International Clients Support
Website Languages
Spanish, Catalan
Online Banking Languages
Spanish, Catalan
Abanca Cuenta Online (Abanca Corporación Bancaria, S.A.)
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Risk Level
1/6 (lowest)
Open Online
Bank Overview

Abanca Corporación Bancaria (ABANCA) is a Spanish bank, established in 2011. The bank provides retail and corporate banking services.


Account Type

Abanca Cuenta Online is available to both residents and non-residents of Spain.

Risk Level

 1 / 6 

Account Abanca Cuenta Online is classified as having the lowest level of risk. Abanca Corporación Bancaria, S.A. participates in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of Spain, Abanca Cuenta Online is covered by the scheme's guarantee of 100,000 EUR per account holder.

Account Opening Procedure
Online Application
Branch Visit
Payment Cards
Debit Card
Debit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card
Credit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card Providers
Visa
Account Fees
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Maintenance Fees
up to 30,00 EUR per semester
ATM Fees
Free ATM withdrawals from ABANCA cash machines. 0,50 EUR for withdrawals from Red Euro 6000. 0,65 EUR from Bankia and Banco de Sabadell. For other Spanish ATMs: the fee applied by the ATM’s bank.
Transfer Fees
n/a
Ways to Bank
Online Banking
Telephone Banking
Branch Banking
Mobile Banking
AMT and Branch Network
International Clients Support
Website Languages
Spanish, Galician
Online Banking Languages
Spanish, Galician, English
Cuenta_ON (Bankia, S.A.)
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Risk Level
1/6 (lowest)
Open Online
Bank Overview

Bankia was founded on December 3, 2010 to consolidate the operations of seven regional savings banks. In May 2012 Bankia was partially nationalized by Spanish government to avoid financial collapse. Bankia has two strategic business segments: retail banking and corporate banking, and also provides products and services in private banking, asset management and capital markets.


Account Type

Cuenta_ON is available to both residents and non-residents of Spain.

Risk Level

 1 / 6 

Account Cuenta_ON is classified as having the lowest level of risk. Bankia, S.A. participates in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of Spain, Cuenta_ON is covered by the scheme's guarantee of 100,000 EUR per account holder.

Account Opening Procedure
Online Application
Branch Visit

It’s possible to open this account without visiting the bank branch. A future customer will have to provide a bank account in any other bank in Spain or to be able to identify him/her-self via a messenger.

Payment Cards
Debit Card
Debit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card
Credit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card Providers
Visa
Account Fees
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Maintenance Fees
No account maintenance or administration fees.
ATM Fees
No fees for withdrawing cash from Bankia and BMN ATMs.4 free withdrawals a month from Euro 6000 network ATMs, after the 4th withdrawal the commission in 0.65 EUR.
Transfer Fees
Free transfers in euros in the EU without fees through the digital service channels.
Ways to Bank
Online Banking
Telephone Banking
Branch Banking
Mobile Banking
AMT and Branch Network
International Clients Support
Website Languages
Spanish, English, Catalan, Valencian
Online Banking Languages
Spanish, English, Catalan, Valencian
Cuenta Corriente Openbank (Open Bank, S.A.)
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Risk Level
1/6 (lowest)
Open Online
Bank Overview

Established in 1994, Open Bank was the first bank in Spain offering telephone and Internet banking and thus significantly reducing costs of the daily operations. Open Bank is a member of Santander Group.


Account Type

Cuenta Corriente Openbank is available to both residents and non-residents of Spain.

Risk Level

 1 / 6 

Account Cuenta Corriente Openbank is classified as having the lowest level of risk. Open Bank, S.A. participates in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of Spain, Cuenta Corriente Openbank is covered by the scheme's guarantee of 100,000 EUR per account holder.

Account Opening Procedure
Online Application
Branch Visit

It’s possible to open this account online or by phone, providing ID document, mobile phone number and a proof of income (for employed persons).

Payment Cards
Debit Card
Debit Card Costs (p.a.)
0.00 EUR
Credit Card
Account Fees
Annual Costs
0.00 EUR
Maintenance Fees
No account maintenance and closing fees.
ATM Fees
Free cash withdrawals in all Banco Santander ATMs in Spain (around 4.500 ATMs).
Transfer Fees
Free national and international transfers in Euros within the European Union.
Ways to Bank
Online Banking
Telephone Banking
Branch Banking
Mobile Banking
AMT and Branch Network
Number of Branches
1
International Clients Support
Website Languages
Spanish, English
Online Banking Languages
Spanish, English