Opening a Spanish Bank Account: The Best Accounts for Residents and Non Residents

Moving to a foreign country can be utterly confusing. While language barriers get thinner every year, the culture barrier will likely never cease to be a problem. 

How does a culture deal with money? You'll need to know this in order to survive.

Fortunately, globalism and technology make banking in other countries easier than its ever been. And if you're moving to Spain, you don't need to be a resident to open an account. 

Here's a bit of information on what's the best thing to do when opening a Spanish bank account.

1. Should I Wait Until I'm a Resident to Open a Spanish Bank Account?

You don't need to wait. And really, you shouldn't.

While resident bank accounts do offer more perks than a non-resident account, you will pay fees every time you use money from your home bank across the Channel. You gain nothing by waiting.

And you can easily switch your account once you do obtain residency. You merely need to make an appointment with a banker at your branch and bring the correct documentation.

And there is one great advantage to opening a non-resident account. The process is much easier, as there's less red tape involved. 

2. What Do I Need to Open an Account?

The kinds of documents you need vary depending on which account you're applying for. Some banks require more than others. Do your research ahead of time and find out the individual requirements.

There are a few things every bank will require. 

Requirements for a Resident Account

Here are the documents you'll need to open a resident account:

  • A valid national identity card or a passport
  • A lease statement, utility bill or bank statement proving your Spanish address
  • Your Numero de Indentidad de Extranjero or NIE
  • Employment status proof such as a student card, employment contract, and unemployment paperwork

Be sure you applied for your NIE before you begin this process. You will need this to do most anything in Spain.

Requirements for a Non-Resident Account

Here's what you need for a non-resident account:

  • A national identity card or a valid passport
  • A document that proves your address somewhere (must be less than 3-months old)
  • Something that proves your employment status

The hardest part about this process will be getting everything translated into Spanish. You need a sworn official translator or a traductor jurado to translate your papers for you. 

Sometimes you can find one in your home country. You might want to check with the Spanish consulate to find out for sure.

Some Require a Certificado de No Residente

Some banks might require a non-resident certificate. This is a letter that confirms you are not a resident. 

Basically, all you need to do is go to the police in Spain and show them your passport. If you don't want to go to the police, some banks will do it for you for a fee.

You need to contact the right police station as not all stations provide this service.

Opening an Account is Easier Than it Seems

Opening a Spanish bank account is less of a headache than it seems. If you have all of your documents in order, it should be one of the easiest processes you need to get through when moving to Spain.

If you're looking to find out more about a particular region of Spain, check out one of our region guides for example our Benalmadena area guide.