Open a bank account and apply for a credit card
In the Netherlands, most transactions in shops are done by cash payments with Euros or through an online debit card (pinpas).
In many shops, hotels and restaurants you will be able to pay with your credit cards but this is not very common. Banks offer many services such as personal accounts, loans and mortgages, internet banking, saving accounts and credit card.
One of the first things you would want to do after your arrival is to open a bank account. Opening a bank account in the Netherlands will require some formalities and it is not always possible to do so within the first day after your arrival. So make sure you have enough cash, a credit card, or access to a bank account from your home country.
To open a bank account, you have to visit a bank in your place of residency. Three major banks in the Netherlands are ING, ABN AMRO Bank and Rabobank. We advise you to visit their website to find the bank that suits you best.
To open an account you need to make an appointment with the bank of your choice and at least bring the following documents:
• Proof of identity (your passport or identity card or residence permit);
• Official proof of your address, such as a tenancy agreement;
• Your Social Security Number (BSN);
Most banks will charge you a fee for their services depending on the package you will use. The costs vary between 10 and 60 euro annually. If you want to use a credit card with your Dutch account, extra costs may be charged.
Credit cards are getting increasingly popular now more and more consumers purchase and pay for products or services online. Credit cards are offered by banks but also through shops and agents. Most frequently used cards are Mastercard, American Express and Visa.
A unique feature of the credit card is the security chip, which in combination with your PIN code gives you the best possible protection against fraud. You need your PIN code to withdraw cash from an ATM. Increasingly, when you pay by credit card, shops and restaurants are asking for your PIN code rather than a signature, not only abroad, but also in the Netherlands. It is possible to change your credit card PIN code, so you can easily remember it. This can be done at all ATMs in the Netherlands.
The credit limit on your credit card depends on your income level. Ask your bank for more information about their credit card offers and requirements.