How to Open a Bank Account in Portugal?
Opening a bank account in Portugal helps foreign investors and ex-pats with their business activities and transactions. It might not always be necessary, but there are many scenarios where a Portuguese bank account is beneficial. Before opening a bank account in Portugal, it is a good idea to check the transactions and whether they require an actual account. There are several situations where using a cloud-based bank account might do the trick. There are several options for this, like N26, Revolut, or Transferwise. These options are extremely convenient, starting from their signing up process. They usually do not charge for maintenance or ATM withdrawals either. Still, for several reasons, opening a traditional bank account in Portugal is beneficial.
Why Should You Open a Bank Account in Portugal?
Because Why Not?
Portugal is one of the countries in the EU that keep the process relatively easy. Opening a bank account in Portugal does not need a lot of paperwork, and it does not take too long. So, there are no bureaucratic mazes to keep you off from opening a bank account.
SEPA is a union within Europe that includes 19 countries, and it allows customers of these countries to transfer money freely between their bank accounts. Portugal is one of those 19 countries.
No Charges on Bills
When paying bills in Portugal, ex-pats and non-residents without a bank account have to pay credit card charges. However, if they have a bank account in Portugal, the process is free.
Privileges of Multibanco
As the name suggests, Multibanco is a system that connects many machines and cards to enable users to do all their transactions using a single device. These ATMs allow customers to pay bills, buy tickets for art events, top-up their phones and withdraw money.
Golden Visa Requirement
Many investors and ex-pats use Portugal’s Golden Visa program to become a Portuguese resident. One of the program’s requirements for a qualification is opening a bank account in Portugal.
How to Open a Bank Account in Portugal?
Opening a bank account in Portugal is considerably easier than in other European countries. However, there are still multiple steps to be followed to be able to complete the process.
1.Preparing and Submitting the Required Documents
One of the reasons why opening a bank account in Portugal is easier than other European countries is the number of required documents. Compared to other – especially EU – countries, paperwork required for opening a bank account in Portugal is as basic as possible. There are only four things required: documentation of residence in Portugal, a mobile phone number with activated SMS, ID number (passport, etc.), and NIF (tax identification number).
2.The Motive for Opening a Bank Account
There are many banks in Portugal with specialized expertise in particular areas. To be able to choose the right one, customers should know what they are looking for. Since this guide is for foreigners, it would be ideal to choose a bank that incorporates the English language into its daily activities. Since Portugal has a large population that speaks English fluently, this will probably not be a problem. In addition, the number of branches and ATMs around the particular district is crucial for convenience. Another important factor people look for is the availability of customer services. It is best to compare banks according to these factors and choose the best option.
3.Type of the Account
This section, too, differs accordingly with the customer’s needs. What the customer needs is the main factor in deciding which type of bank account is the best option. Students, for instance, go for accounts that have no maintenance charges. Digital nomads and short term visitors usually choose to use cloud-based accounts. Business people and entrepreneurs, on the other hand, might prefer a traditional bank account.
Although it is not required by every bank, most in Portugal require an initial deposit to activate the bank account. The required amount varies around 200 to 300 euros.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a foreigner open a bank account in Portugal?
Yes, they can. Although it is much easier for an EU member state citizen to open a bank account in Portugal, the country does not apply any restrictions on the eligibility of customers.
2. What documents do you need to open a bank account in Portugal?
Required documents for opening a bank account in Portugal are the documentation of residence in Portugal, a mobile phone number with activated SMS, ID number (passport, etc.), and NIF (tax identification number).
3. Which bank is the best in Portugal?
There are many top-class banks in Portugal with varied expertise. The answer to this question depends heavily on the needs of the customer. As long as the best match for the needs of the customer is accurately chosen, the name of the bank does not matter that much.
4. What is the interest rate in Portugal?
The current interest rate in Portugal is 0.25 percent. (As of 2020)
5. How can a non-resident open a bank account in Portugal?
As long as the non-resident can find a representative who can manage to obtain a NIF and open the bank account on behalf of the customer, Portugal allows non-residents to have bank accounts in the country.
6. Can I use my debit card in Portugal?
Many platforms in Portugal or online allow using debit cards of other countries. However, these services often charge usage fees.