Dutch bank account

It is practical to have a Dutch IBAN bank account while studying in the Netherlands. You may need it to pay the tuition fee by bank transfer or to receive your scholarship. However, a Dutch bank account is also very useful for everyday matters such as arranging a mobile phone contract.

When you open a Dutch bank account, you will receive a debit card that you can use to pay at cafeterias, photocopiers, printers, soft drink and snack vending machines on campus (where you cannot pay in cash!), or in shops and supermarkets where credit cards are not commonly accepted. In addition, a Dutch bank account allows you to withdraw cash from ATMs without paying a fee.

Please note that if you have an IBAN bank account with a Maestro card, you may not need to open a Dutch account.

General requirements for opening a Dutch bank account

There are three main requirements for opening a Dutch bank account:

  • You must have a valid identification document (for non-EU students: passport only).
  • You must have a Dutch address where you will live during your stay.
  • You need proof of enrolment at the university.

Banks will also usually ask for your ‘BSN’ number. This is a unique identification number assigned by the Dutch government, which you obtain when you register with the municipality. Note: ABN AMRO does not require a 'BSN' number for students. Banks will usually only allow you to open a bank account if you stay in the Netherlands for at least one full semester (five months).

Bank branch in Utrecht city centre

Because opening a bank account can be a rather lengthy procedure, we suggest that you make the necessary arrangements as soon as possible after your arrival. Several banks offer international students the opportunity to open a Dutch bank account. The following bank branch is situated at a central location in Utrecht city centre:

  • ABN AMRO Bank is located at Stadsplateau 20-21 in Utrecht. The terms and conditions for a student bank account and contact information can be found on the  ABN AMRO Bank website

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 opening a Dutch bank account takes time. We therefore strongly suggest that you bring:

  • A bank card that allows you to use an ATM in the Netherlands. Check with your bank to make sure it will work in Dutch ATMs.
  • A credit card (VISA or Mastercard).