If you open a Dutch bank account, you will receive a debit card that allows you to pay at for example cafetarias, photocopiers/printers and soft drink vending machines at the university where you cannot pay in cash, or in shops and supermarkets where credit cards are not commonly accepted. Moreover, with a Dutch bank account you can withdraw cash from ATM’s without paying a fee.
General requirements for opening a Dutch bank account
There are generally three requirements for opening a Dutch bank account:
- You must have a valid identification
- You must have a Dutch address where you will live during your stay
- Banks will also ask for your ‘BSN’ number. This is a unique identification number assigned by the Dutch government, which you obtain when you register with the city. Some banks will open an account for you if you have do not yet have a BSN on condition that you submit it to them later. Banks usually only open a bank account if you stay in the Netherlands for at least one full semester (5 months).
Because opening a bank account can involve a rather lengthy procedure it is recommended to make the necessary arrangements as soon as possible after your arrival. Several banks offer the opportunity to open a Dutch bank account to international students. The following bank offices are situated at central locations in the city center of Utrecht:
ABN AMRO Bank – Neude 4 in Utrecht
The ABN AMRO Bank are usually present at the Information Market on the university’s Orientation Day. They have a stand where you can find information on banking and where you can pre-apply for an ABN AMRO bank account. Of course you can also visit their office independently. The terms and conditions for a student account as well as contact information can be found on their website.
ING Bank - Nachtegaalstraat 22-24 in Utrecht
Information on their application procedure can be found in this leaflet.
Other money matters
Even if you intend to open a Dutch bank account you still need to have other means of payment at your disposal after your arrival as Dutch bank account takes time to prepare. Therefore we strongly recommend that you bring:
- a credit card (Visa or Mastercard)
- a bank card that allows to use an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) in the Netherlands. Cirrus and Maestro are widely available here, but check with your bank to make sure
- another solution is traveller’s checks, as these are insured. Note however that you cannot use these in stores, you will have to exchange them for cash at a bank or change bureau first.