Luxembourg, one of the richest countries in the world, is a popular destination for expats and international organizations. Foreigners and non-residents can open bank accounts with local banks or European online banks that offer multicurrency accounts to avoid high fees, such as currency conversion fees.
Quick facts about banking in Luxembourg for non-residents and foreigners
- Amazon is a large employer in Luxembourg with many foreign workers. Amazon has partner banks that offer discounted or even free banking services to foreign workers relocating to the country. In addition, temporary address is accepted by most banks with Amazon’s employment contract.
- Retail banks in Luxembourg offer rental guarantees for a fee.
- Non-residents and foreigners are not subject to Luxembourg income tax on interest earned on bank accounts. However, they may be subject to taxes in their home country.
- Banks in Luxembourg typically offer services in English, French, and German. Some banks may also offer services in other languages, such as Luxembourgish and Portuguese.
Documents Needed to Open a Bank Account in Luxembourg
In most cases, to open a bank account in Luxembourg as a foreigner, you will need the following documents:
- Valid passport or identity card
- Declaration of arrival
- Proof of residence in Luxembourg (e.g., rental contract, utility bill)
- Proof of income (e.g., employment contract, payslip)
- Tax identification number (TIN)
- Reference letter from a previous bank or financial institution
- Proof of employment
- Proof of enrollment at a university or other educational institution
Open Bank Account in Luxembourg as a Non Resident
It is possible to open a non resident bank account in Luxembourg. You will need the above-mentioned documents. A majority of people are from other countries but work in Luxembourg. For this reason, banks are used to dealing with expats. As a non-resident, you only need a proof of address like a recent utility bill.
You can start the process of opening a bank account in Luxembourg online. However, you may still need to post the necessary documents to the bank or take them to the bank on when you arrive.
Banks such as BNP Paribas allow you to open an account before entering the country. You must first meet all the residency requirements. You also need to transfer 100 euros to an account in Luxembourg, France, Belgium, or Germany. This amount is the initial deposit, or it is returned to you in case your account is rejected.
Some agencies help expats to create bank accounts. However, if you are looking for an account for your day-to-day transactions, you shouldn’t use an agency.
To get a credit card as a non resident, you will need to provide more documents to prove that you can pay your bills, some banks will use your payslips as proof of income. Some banks will delay in offering you a credit card until you establish your financial solvency.
Top Banks in Luxembourg for Expats
The banking sector is the largest of all sectors in Luxembourg. You should not be worried about how you can open a bank account. If you want an account for your day-to-day transactions, consider the following banks.
BGL BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is Luxembourg’s largest bank. They have different types of accounts for different interests. For instance, they offer student accounts and for people living abroad. They also provide a web-based account which you can use to transact across the world. However, the account is free to open, but you need to pay some monthly fee for flexible services.
ING is one of the most popular banks in Luxembourg, known for its large ATM network and Expat Package. To qualify for the Expat Package, your salary or an agreed-upon amount must be paid monthly into your ING Luxembourg account. The bank also offers excellent online banking and contactless debit and credit cards, serving students, expats, and other groups.
Note that ING does not support Apple Pay or Google Pay at the time of writing, but it does support Payconiq. Some expats have also complained about poor and uncoordinated customer service, as well as buggy online banking features.
Additionally, your VISA credit card in ING is tied to a VISA account which is different from your main current account. You can transfer money to that account for purchases so you don’t have to use your credit.
As an expat in Luxembourg, you should consider opening a bank account with Post. It is one of the cheapest bank accounts in Luxembourg, with an extensive ATM network. In addition, Post Finance Current (Eboo) is a free online bank account offered by the bank. You don’t need to visit a branch to open this account. It is a good option for people who are looking for a basic bank account with no fees. The bank offers zero-cost transfers in certain currencies and free card usage at other ATMs. Post also offers Google Pay, e-banking, mobile payments through Payconiq, authorized overdrafts, and insurance solutions.
Spuerkeess, formerly BCEE, is a bank in Luxembourg that caters to the self-employed, businesses, and high networth individuals. It has the most extensive network of branches and ATMs. It has 110 ATMs and more than 72 branches in Luxembourg. Their branches and ATMs are conveniently located. Besides, they have convenient online banking. They have different types of bank accounts and come with a debit card that attracts a small fee.
Online Bank Account for Foreigners in Luxembourg
You can open a bank account in Luxembourg to receive your salary and make other everyday transactions, using online banks. Most online banks have less stringent requirements than traditional banks, such as not requiring proof of employment. Virtual bank accounts also offer IBANs, multicurrency accounts, and SEPA transfers. Additionally, international money transfers are usually cheaper and faster with online banks.
Some major banks in Luxembourg have started blocking card transactions that are designed for topping up other accounts, such as N26, WIse, and Revolut. In this case, the only way to top up these accounts is by bank transfer.
You can open an online bank account for use in Luxembourg using N26. This bank offers Euro IBAN, N26 personal account and N26 business account. It takes only 8 minutes to sign up for N26 account. Once you sign up, you can order a contactless debit MasterCard and start making contactless payments.
Money transfer within the EEA (including Luxembourg) is free, N26 supports all SEPA transfers. Its international money transfer service is provided in partnership with Wise money transfer, one of the cheapest and fastest money transfer services in the world.
Wise, fomerly TransferWise
You can also use Wise directly to open a virtual bank account in Luxembourg. When you open a Wise account, you will get a Euro IBAN and you can use it to make SEPA payments.
You are allowed to open a personal account or business account. You can hold, send, receive and spend money in different currencies using Wise multicurrency account. Wise uses real exchange rates for currency conversion.
Revolut is a crypto-friendly bank that offers multi-currency accounts in 28 currencies, IBAN for personal accounts and business accounts, virtual cards, money transfer services and crypto trading. It also supports Google Pay and Apple Pay.
Revolut’s key products and services include prepaid debit cards, currency exchange, peer to peer payments, withdrawals in over 120 currencies and transfer money directly in over 29 currencies. You can buy cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and altcoins such as Ethereum. However, you cannot transfer them to an external wallet, you can only exchange them for fiat money inside Revolut app.
Monese is a British online bank that accepts customers from many countries, including Luxembourg. You have to be a resident of the EEA or the UK. It offers a multicurrency digital bank with IBAN and supports SEPA payments. You can open EUR or GBP personal, joint or business accounts with Monese. Monese accounts works with contactless payments like Google Pay, Apple Pay and PayPal.
Banking Fees in Luxembourg
You must check out for monthly and annual fees from a specific bank before you can open an account with them. For example, for a standard BNP Paribas account, you are likely to spend 2.50 euros every month on bank transfers. Other fees that you need to look for are the monthly charges levied on credit and debit cards, cash withdrawal fees from the ATM.