Opening a bank account in Amsterdam
Personal bank accounts are not difficult to open. In all cases you will need to visit the bank to get started. Most banks will be able to handle the request fairly quickly though some may ask that you wait a short time – allow about an hour to be on the safe side. It is possible, though not required, to make an appointment to set up an account with most banks. The bank will require that you fill out some forms providing personal details and asking about which services you would like to use. It takes approximately a week to get your ATM card and PIN number so you can start banking. You will need to bring the following documents with you to open the account:
- Identification in the form of a passport or Dutch drivers license
- Dutch social security (BSN) number
- Proof of address such as a valid lease, a utility bill, or proof of registration with the municipality
- Proof of income such as a valid contract or several pay slips
Types of Accounts Available
The two most common types of accounts available are current accounts and savings accounts. ATM cards are usually available with either type. Current accounts are generally used to receive payments, to pay bills and for your day-to-day finances. Savings accounts are typically accounts with saving incentives such as high rates of interest on savings and generally require that you maintain a minimum balance. Often savings accounts use direct, regular deposits from your current account to build savings – this can be discussed with the bank when you go to set up an account. A savings account usually requires a statement of income to open.
Applying for a credit card
There are no distinct rules on that subject. Banks have been trying to cut back on ‘credit’ spending, since it frequently leads to bad credit. Therefore, it is up to the bank to decide if you are right for a credit card: they usually take into consideration income as well as the balance of your current account.