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Bank Accounts in Spain: How Many Unexpected Fees Are You Paying?

If you’re considering buying property or moving to Spain, one of the tasks on your long list of things to do is to open a bank account. But understanding how banking works in a new country can be tricky, especially when it comes to different banks, languages, types of accounts and fees. Different banks charge different amounts and wrapping your head around it can take time.

In this article, we’re going to delve into bank accounts in Spain, whether non-residents can open one and what unexpected fees you need to be aware of.

What Are The Different Types of Bank Accounts in Spain?

Bank accounts in Spain are usually split into resident and non-resident ones. As you can imagine, resident accounts are for people living in the county and non-resident ones are for those living abroad. If you’re thinking of moving to Spain, then you’ll need to open a resident bank account so that you can use it for your daily needs. If you’re buying property in Spain but don’t intend on living there permanently, then a non-resident bank account is probably the best.

In Spain, the most common type of bank account is a current account (Cuenta Corriente) but many people also have savings accounts (Cuenta de Ahorros) and deposit accounts (Cuenta de Depósito). Some companies also require their employees to have a special salary bank account (Cuenta Nomina) to deposit their wages.

Can Anyone Open a Bank Account in Spain?
OK not anyone but foreign non-residents certainly can. Some of the biggest banks in Spain, such as Banco de Sabadell, Banco de Santander, BBVA, Bankia and Caixabank all have departments with English speakers that can make opening a bank account much easier for foreigners. Note that Spanish banks require non-residents to visit a branch to open their account, it cannot be done online.

In Spain, Cajas, or regional banks used to be very common but many of them merged with larger banks after the 2008 financial crisis. Some of them still exist, such as ABANCA, which also offers bank accounts to non-residents but it’s likely to be harder to find a worker that speaks your language.

How to Open a Bank Account in Spain

If you’re planning on moving to Spain permanently and wish to open an account with one of the larger banks, you have to do it when you’re already in the country. You’ll need to give the bank your new address, your NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) and other important paperwork such as a valid ID and proof of employment. 

The process can get complicated for non-Spanish speakers so looking for online alternatives can be your best bet. At Bueno , we offer simplified banking with premium customer service to help those moving to Spain or buying property in the country to open a bank account hassle-free. We offer our expertise in several different languages and will happily take you through all the steps so you know exactly what’s involved and the benefits you’ll receive from opening a Bueno bank account.

What Are The Costs of Opening a Bank Account in Spain?

Costs differ from bank to bank but, on average, bank fees in Spain tend to be higher than in other European countries. There are various bank fees you might incur when opening a bank account in Spain. These include:

Maintenance Fee: This can be charged once a year, quarterly or monthly.
Spending Requirements: Some banks require a minimum spend which, if not met, will result in a fee. This can be a certain amount of transactions or money spent.
Card Fee: Banks may charge you simply for owning a credit or debit card.
Withdrawal Fee: Make sure you know which ATMs you can withdraw from for free. If they’re outside of your bank’s network, there may be a fee you need to pay.
Transfer Fees: Some banks may charge you to transfer money, especially internationally. Check in advance so there are no unexpected costs.

Making sure you’re aware of any hidden fees is essential when opening a new bank account in Spain. It can work differently in your own country and a different language can make it hard to understand the small print.

At Bueno, we make a point of making our fees transparent, we cost €9.90 monthly or €99 annually. This means you know exactly how much you’ll pay every month with us, the excellent service you’ll be getting and the terms and conditions you need to be aware of. Opening an account with Bueno is simple and it’s easy to switch your funds from another bank. Our experienced professionals will help you each step of the way and each of them has local knowledge about Spain and setting up payments. 

It’s a great way to get a premium service with no hidden costs and access to professionals who can help you with all your property and banking needs in Spain.

Dodge Hidden Bank Fees With Bueno

Hidden fees can be a cause for concern for many moving to Spain or buying property there. Several of the major banks charge various fees or expect a certain amount of spending, which, if not met, can result in further fees. Customer service can also be frustrating, especially for those not familiar with the system or with a lower level of Spanish.

At Bueno, we wanted to change this. Our own experience led us to create a way to simplify banking for those buying property in Spain. We offer great customer service as well as transparent fees so you know exactly what you’re spending. We also offer utility services such as electricity, Bueno is your one-stop property solution in Spain.

If you want an easy way to open a bank account in Spain with no hidden fees, get in contact with the team at Bueno. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and set you up with a Spanish bank account in a matter of minutes! Click here to open your account now >>


Note that this article is general and is shared as information. Property, tax, finance and other legal topics are personal and can vary not only from person to person but between the different regions of Spain. We recommend that you seek professional guidance if you need advice on matters covered in this article.

About the author

Maria, the Bueno Team

As expats, we know Spain and have experienced the ups and downs of owning property in Spain