Bank accounts in Spain

Living in Spain is definitely exciting, although it’s very unique in terms of the culture, architecture, history, cuisine and busting nightlife. However, should you own a property while living as a full-time resident in Spain or instead visit up to 183 days each year as a non-resident?

RESIDENT VS NON-RESIDENT BANK ACCOUNT

Whether you are a resident or non-resident in Spain, you can open a bank account. There is a strict process to follow in opening a Spanish bank account, it’s not complicated but not easy as well. A residents bank account would incur more benefits & flexibility than a non-resident account. If you happen to change from a non-resident to a resident, you can also switch your account in a simple procedure.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Opening the right bank account in Spain is dependent on whether you are a resident or non-resident. Not all banks are the same. Some may require more documentation than others, and so it is a good idea to do research on your banks’ requirements, ensuring that you have the necessary paperwork.

Non-resident bank account

If you plan to open a bank account as a non-resident, you will need:

  • A valid passport or national identity card.

  • Documentation proving your Spanish address (bank statement or utility bill).

  • Documentation proving your employment status (payslip, tax return, unemployment letter, retirement pension).

Documentations must be in translated into Spanish in order to be accepted, a Traductor Jurado (official translator) will need to be used for any necessary translations.

Confirming a non-resident status may also require you to provide a Certificado de No Residente which is a letter from a local police station confirming your non-resident status. Not all local police stations will provide this letter, so it is a good idea to research which station can.

Resident bank account

Opening a resident bank account can be different but equally stressful, because you need:

  • A valid passport or national identity card.

  • Documentation proving your Spanish address (bank statement or utility bill).

  • Provide your acquired NIE number.

  • Documentation proving your employment status (payslip, tax return, unemployment letter, retirement pension).

Applying for your NIE first is a good idea because official processes require this number, including gaining employment, purchasing or renting a property, squiring utilities and paying taxes.

BANKS & ACCOUNTS

Spain has many dozens of banks that prove generally the same services. These include:

  • Bankia

    • Cuenta Facil: a basic bank account, includes a free visa debit card.

    • Cuenta Joven: a basic bank account for clients between 14 and 26 years.

    • Cuenta Negocio: a business account, includes a reasonable interest rate.

  • BBVA

    • Fee Free Online Account: an online account service for over 30 year olds.

    • Blue Online Account: an online bank account service for under 30 years olds.

    • Business banking accounts: accounts for self-employed or small businesses.

  • La Caixa

    • Current Account: a basic account simple for non-residents.

    • Cuenta Estrella: A no monthly fee account with a free credit card.

    • Cuenta Corriente Joven: A free account for students aged 18 to 26.

    • Cuenta Commercio: A small scale business account with two free credit cards and 10 free bank transfers per month.

    • Cuenta Negocio: Aimed at self-employed businesses, you receive similar services to the small business account.

  • Santander

    • 123 Account: receive 3% cashback on bills and 3% interest on balances between €3,000 and €15,000.

    • Student Account: A free account for students aged 18 to 26.

    • Business Account: Aimed at small businesses, includes a good interest rate.

  • Sabadell

    • Key Account: aimed at non-residents and comes with a free visa credit and debit card.

    • Expansión Account: for residents earning a salary, 0% charges & a free debit card.

    • Pensión Account: includes a free debit card and 0% fee rates

BANKING FEES

Banking rates in Spain are relatively high compared to other EU countries and bank fees can vary significantly between banks. It’s a good idea to shop around and search for a best offer that suits your needs. Current accounts are the cheapest option rather than other bank accounts, although you will need to deposit your salary into the account to benefit from the more advantageous rates. Keep an eye out for occasional special offers for premium services.

Opening a bank account is usually free, although you may have to pay an account opening fee along with an initial minimum deposit. Some banks provide free products while charging a monthly ‘maintenance’ fee.

Withdrawing your funds from an ATM machine is free, but it does depend on your bank’s or other accessible ATM. Take a look at your bank’s charges for removing funds.

Transferring funds internationally can be free for non-resident accounts, but again it depends on the bank being used and there can be a big charge from the foreign bank being used. There can be a limited number of transfers or have a maximum number of transfers. Non-resident accounts are well suited for international transfers, as opposed to resident accounts that very rarely provide a good deal for international transfers.

Fund transfers between national accounts in Spain can also be charged, that acts as a percentage commission with a minimum amount payable. This is a small charge (€1.50 to €3.50 per transaction), but reading your bank’s guidelines for transfer is a good idea.

DO SOME RESEARCH

There are so many banks and accounts to choose from in Spain, but really shopping around can make all the difference for your funds from abroad-to-Spain into a non-resident account or your domestic funds in a resident account. Go for a product that does your money wonders.


OUR SERVICES

At PSI Consultants, our experienced legal, fiscal & visa experts can help you acquire residency & nationality in Spain through property investment in Spain. We will guide you through the whole process of gaining Golden Visa residency in Spain and we offer a wide range of services related to the management and transmission of property ownership in our department dedicated to conveyancing, donations & inheritances. Also in our legal department we manage the obtaining of NIEs, Residences, Wills, private contracts, representation and personalized legal consultation on all related matters.

If you would like to learn more about our Spanish services in the Costa Blanca area, please feel free to contact us at any time when our office is open between 9am - 2:30-pm, Mondays to Fridays.


 

CONNECT WITH US

Feel free to ask any legal or fiscal questions that you need answered. You are more than welcome to also email or call us.

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Location

Calle Salvador Dalí 8, Playa Flamenca, 03189, Orihuela Costa, Alicante, España
 

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
9AM - 2:30PM
 

Contact

info@psiconsultants.es
+34 966 730 104

 
Luke HoughtonComment