Portugal is well known for its natural wonders, island paradises and cosmopolitan cities. It is one of the best affordable countries to live in Europe. It attracts people of many walks of lives, from students, investors, and tourists. In case you are planning to migrate to the country, opening a bank account would be the first step. Because Portugal is part of the Euro and the EEA, this is relatively easy. This article will show how to open a bank account for use in Portugal in a few simple steps.
Documents Needed to Open Bank Account Portugal As Resident
- National identity card or a valid passport
- Tax number commonly known as NIF
- Residency card and Proof of address (utility bill or rental contract)
Open Bank Account Portugal Non Resident
If you’re not a Portuguese resident yet, or if you prefer not to make Portugal your first country of residence, or if you just want to do business in Portugal, you’ll be a non-resident. Many Portuguese main street banks allow non-residents to open bank accounts.
However, these international accounts have some limitations. Check your preferred bank beforehand whether they are suited for your needs. Otherwise, a virtual bank account might be better for your situation.
Open Portugal Bank Account Online
If you already have a Portuguese address, but you’re still abroad yourself, arranging to move house, you can open a bank account in Portugal from your home country. Main street banks in Portugal accept online applications too.
The application can be completed by sending the application form either online or by snail mail, provided you add (copies of) the documents mentioned above. It most likely will take longer than the very fast online banks.
Virtual bank account as an alternative
International money transfers are usually expensive while using banks, since they charge beyond the mid-market rate. You can use a virtual bank account which is cheaper by far compared to main street banks.
Furthermore, virtual bank account transfers are typically fast and convenient compared to main street bank transfers. With a virtual bank account, you get IBAN which you can use to make free cash transfers with SEPA.
You can open an online bank account in Portugal 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 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.
You can also use Wise directly to open a virtual bank account in Portugal. When you open a Wise account, you will get a Euro IBAN and you can use it to make SEPA payments. Wise offers personal accounts or business accounts.
You can hold, send, receive and spend money worldwide in different currencies using Wise multicurrency account. Wise uses real exchange rates for currency conversion.
Revolut is an international 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.
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.
Monese is a British online bank that accepts customers from many countries including Portugal. You have to be a resident of either 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.
Best main street banks in Portugal
Most of the banks in Portugal are either international or national. They offer a wide range of products. The following are some of the banks that you might consider opening an account in.
BBVA has an online application process. Their BBVA account costs 8 Euro monthly (minimum first deposit 500 Euro); BBVA salary account 5 Euro monthly (at least 1500 Euro monthly salary deposit); Minimum services account for 4,20 Euro monthly. There’s also a completely English version of the BBVA website available.
Millennium BCP is a large private bank. They push their phone app so they’re a modern main street bank that can be reached by the internet. Besides the phone app, they also have a desktop version of their services. All information is also available in English.
Novo Banco is a retail bank for both residents and non-residents. They charge normal fees and have a free bank account. Unfortunately, their website is solely in Portuguese language.
Bankinter is a large bank with several free bank accounts. Online application possible. Unfortunately, their website is solely in Portuguese language. Neighboring Bankinter Spain has a completely English website, so you can try there if you don’t speak Portuguese.
Note that most of the main street banks close at 3:30 pm during weekdays, while some of them remain closed throughout the weekend.
Before you can open a bank account, make sure you have read their terms and conditions. This is important especially when you are opening a bank account in a new country. Some of the bank charges that exist include ATM cash withdrawals, bank maintenance fees, debit and credit fees and cash transfer fees. Make sure to open a bank account with the bank that has the best products and one that has the most affordable charges.