Open a bank account as a non-residents in Portugal can be a challenging task, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process or the requirements.
Whether you are planning to move to a new country, studying abroad, or looking to expand your business overseas, having a local bank account is crucial for managing your finances efficiently.
In this article, we will guide you through the essential steps and requirements for opening a bank account as a non-resident in Portugal, providing you with the necessary information to make the process as smooth and easy as possible.
Why open a Portuguese bank account?
Member of SEPA and currency Euros
Portugal is a member of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), which means that payments and transfers can be made easily and quickly between accounts in different countries in the Eurozone.
This is particularly beneficial for individuals who frequently travel or do business across European borders, as it can eliminate the need for foreign exchange fees or other transactional costs.
To establish a financial footprint
Having a bank account in Portugal can help establish a financial history in the country, which may be necessary if you plan to apply for credit or a loan in the future.
This can be especially important for individuals who plan to stay in Portugal for an extended period of time or who may be looking to invest in the country.
Low Maintenance and transactional Costs
Compared to other countries in Europe, Portugal offers relatively low maintenance and transactional costs for bank accounts.
Many banks in Portugal offer free or low-cost banking services, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals who are living or working on a budget.
Wide access to cash machines (ATM’s)
Portugal has a large network of ATMs, which makes it easy to access cash and conduct banking transactions.
Banks in Portugal also offer mobile banking apps or online banking services, which can make it even easier to manage your finances on the go.
To invest in Portugal
If you plan to invest in real estate or other assets in Portugal, having a local bank account can make it easier to transfer funds and manage your finances.
Additionally, some banks in Portugal may offer investment or wealth management services, which can help you make informed investment decisions.
To move to Portugal
If you are a foreigner from outside the EU/EEA seeking to move to Portugal (such as by applying for the D7 Visa, Digital Nomad Visa, D2 Visa or other Visa you will still need a Portuguese bank account to submit your visa application.
To receive government benefits
If you are a non-EU citizen who is legally residing in Portugal, you may be eligible for certain government benefits, such as social security payments, which may require a local bank account.
Having a local bank account can also make it easier to receive payments from an employer or other sources of income.
What types of bank accounts are available in Portugal for non-residents?
There are several types of bank accounts available in Portugal, each designed to suit different needs and financial goals. Here are some of the most common types of bank accounts available:
A current account is the most basic type of bank account, designed for everyday banking transactions. It allows you to deposit and withdraw money, pay bills, and make transfers to other accounts.
Many banks in Portugal offer free current accounts with no maintenance fees, although some may require a minimum balance to be maintained.
A savings account is a type of bank account designed to help you save money. They typically offer higher interest rates than current accounts and may have restrictions on the number of withdrawals you can make in a given period.
Savings accounts can be a good option if you are looking to build up a nest egg or save for a specific financial goal.
Time Deposit Accounts
Time deposit accounts, also known as fixed deposit accounts, offer a higher interest rate than savings accounts but require you to commit your money for a set period of time.
The longer the term of the deposit, the higher the interest rate typically is. These accounts are a good option if you have a lump sum of money you don’t need immediate access to.
Investment accounts are designed for individuals who want to invest their money in various financial products, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
They require a higher level of financial knowledge and can be riskier than other types of accounts, but can offer higher returns over the long-term.
Credit Card Accounts
Credit card accounts allow you to make purchases and pay bills using a credit card. In Portugal, most banks offer credit cards with different features and benefits, such as cash-back rewards or travel perks.
These accounts can be a good option if you want to build up your credit score or have access to credit when needed.
Many banks in Portugal offer special accounts designed for young people, typically under the age of 18.
These accounts may have lower fees or higher interest rates to encourage saving, and can be a good way for young people to start building a relationship with a bank.
What do I need to open a Portuguese bank account for non-residents?
To open a bank account in Portugal as a non-EU citizen, you will typically need to provide the following documents and information:
Personal Identification: You will need to provide a valid passport or other government-issued identification document.
Proof of address: You may be asked to provide proof of your address in Portugal, such as a utility bill or rental contract.
Tax identification number: You will need to obtain a tax identification number (NIF) from the Portuguese tax authority (Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira).
Proof of income: Some banks may require proof of your income or employment status, such as a payslip or employment contract
Phone number: While a Portuguese phone number may not be strictly mandatory to open a bank account in Portugal, some banks may require a local phone number as part of their account opening process or means of verifying your identity.
How to open a bank account in Portugal for non-residents?
Step 1 – Gather necessary documents
As mentioned earlier, you will need to provide identification, proof of address, a tax identification number (NIF), proof of income (if required), and an initial deposit.
Step 2 – Visit a branch
Visit a branch of your chosen bank with all of the necessary documents. Some banks may allow you to open an account online, but it is best to check with the bank first to confirm their process.
Step 3 – Complete and sign contract
Fill out and sign an application form and provide the required documents to the bank representative. They may ask you questions about your reasons for opening the account and how you plan to use it.
Step 4 – Make an initial deposit
You may need to make an initial deposit to activate the account. The amount required will vary depending on the bank and type of account.
Step 5 – Receive your account information
Once your account is activated, the bank will provide you with your account information, such as your account number and any login credentials for online or mobile banking.
Major Portuguese banks in Portugal
The retail banking market in Portugal is competitive and diverse, with many banks offering a range of products and services to customers.
The sector is dominated by several large Portuguese banks, including Millennium Bank, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, and Novo Banco, which collectively account for a significant share of the market.
The retail banking market in Portugal is regulated by the Bank of Portugal, which oversees the safety and soundness of financial institutions and promotes a stable financial system.
Here is the list of the most important retail banks
International Banks in Portugal
Online Banks in Portugal
The online banking market in Portugal has been rapidly evolving in recent years, with the emergence of new digital banking startups and the increased investment in digital platforms by traditional banks.
As more consumers in Portugal seek the convenience and accessibility of online banking services, the market has become increasingly competitive, with a variety of online banks offering a wide range of banking products and services.
Here is the list of the most important online banks:
Why choose Portugal Residency Advisors for your relocation to Portugal?
One single channel of communication for the entire process. We provide you with a comprehensive service that covers all aspects of your move, from identifying the ideal residency visa to finding your new home or helping you to settle.
We recommend what’s best for you based on an extensive process experience that saves time and money to clients. Our pricing is clear and competitive, and we don’t sell services that make us more money.
Frequently asked questions about How to Open a Portuguese Bank Account
What documents are needed to open a bank account in Portugal for non-residents?
You will typically need to provide a valid passport or national ID card, proof of address, and proof of income. If you are a non-resident, you may also need to provide a tax identification number (NIF) and proof of a fiscal representative in Portugal.
Can I open a bank account in Portugal remotely?
It is possible to open a bank account in Portugal remotely, although the process may be more complex for non-residents.
You may need to provide additional documentation and work with a fiscal representative in Portugal to complete the application process.
What fees and charges should I expect when opening a bank account in Portugal for non-residents?
The fees and charges associated with opening a bank account in Portugal can vary depending on the bank and the type of account you choose.
Some common fees include account maintenance fees, ATM withdrawal fees, and international transaction fees.
Is it necessary to have a Portuguese address to open a bank account in Portugal?
No, it is not necessary to have a Portuguese address to open a bank account in Portugal.
However, you will need to provide a valid address in order to receive mail from the bank and to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.
What are the benefits of opening a bank account in Portugal?
Opening a bank account in Portugal can provide several benefits, including access to local banking services, the ability to pay bills and transfer money easily, and access to loans and credit.
Additionally, having a Portuguese bank account can make it easier to manage your finances if you are living or working in the country