Best Bank for International Students in the Netherlands

Are you an international student who newly arrived in the Netherlands? Getting a bank account must be one of the first things on your checklist. While European students can keep using their EU cards, non-EU students will need a local bank account in the Netherlands. Without a European bank, you aren’t able to take out cash, pay your bills, or, most importantly – your semester fee.

Best banks for international students in the Netherlands:

  • Bunq
  • Monese
  • Nuri
  • ABN AMRO
  • ING

Opening a student account in a Dutch bank is a straightforward process. You only need a valid ID and address in some cases. Most online banks don’t require any additional documents. However, conventional brick-and-mortar banks will ask for more papers, e.g., your BSN.

Bank account for international students in the Netherlands

Most retail banks in the Netherlands offer a free account for university students and graduates. To benefit from a free account at the classical Dutch bank, you need to be of a particular age and have confirmation from your university. The age range varies across different banks, but generally, the limit is 30 years old.

Most student accounts are free of charge and include consist essential services such as:

  • Payment option
  • Debit card
  • Maestro card
  • ATM cash withdrawals
  • Local and international transfers
  • Access to internet banking and mobile app

1. Bunq

Bunq’s packages

Bunq is a Dutch digital bank and our favorite choice for all non-dutch speakers in the Netherlands. This bank is the best for the younger generation, with no paperwork, a fantastic mobile app, great customer experience, and elegant design.

Hence, Bunq is the number one bank for all expats and international students out there. They provide all services and customer support in English, allowing you to open & manage your account 100% online.

Bunq was founded in the Netherlands and has expanded to all European countries. You can use their cards while traveling in Europe and beyond at zero additional costs. Their banking offers are innovative, simple, and inexpensive. It also provides cheap international transfers (non-EU) via Wise and interest on savings in your account.

Besides, you can use your account and card in 6 different languages and in all European countries and beyond.

Bunq offers:

  • Affordable bank accounts starting from free
  • Cheap cash withdrawals
  • Dutch IBAN
  • Free Maestro and Mastercard plus virtual card
  • Free transfers and incoming transfers
  • International money transfers with Wise
  • Interest paid on the card balance – 9x more than you get in other banks
  • Deposit protection for up to 100,000 EUR
  • Top up your balance with IDEAL for free
  • Fantastic user interface and simple navigation
  • Special account for freelancers
  • Customer service in English, Dutch and other languages
  • Quick card delivery

You can choose between a free saving account, a cheap account for just 2,99 EUR, or a premium for 8,99 EUR. A saving account doesn’t include a debit card, but it’s good enough if you only need mobile banking. But with a premium account, you get:

  • free cash withdrawals
  • 25 sub-accounts
  • 3 debit cards including Mastercard and Maestro
  • free travel card
  • and many other perks

Moreover, Bunq offers a 1-month free trial so that you can test the product.

FeaturePrice
Monthly costFree to 2,99 EUR for standard features
International debit cardFree
SEPA transfersFree and in different currencies
Cash withdrawals in EUR0,99 EUR per transaction
Cash withdrawals in foreign currencies0,99 EUR per transaction
Payments in EURFree
In-store card payments in foreign currencies1,5% of the transaction plus 0,5% or 0,5%
depending on the package
Balance top-up Free with IDEAL and SOFORT, otherweise 0,5%
Contactless paymentsFree

In contrast to other Dutch banks, Bunq doesn’t require BSN (citizen service number) to sign up; you just need your ID.

2. Monese

Monese is another free online bank available for international students in the Netherlands. The bank itself is based in the UK and Belgium but offers free bank accounts for all EU and EEA residents. You can open an account with them online, and the card will be shipped to you.

Monese has gained wide popularity in recent years, particularly among the young crowd; you can read over 22,000 reviews here. Students certainly will enjoy using their banking services.

Unlike other banks, Monese doesn’t require address proof; you only need to submit your ID.

Monese offers:

  • Free bank account
  • Free debit Mastercard plus virtual card
  • Free payments and withdrawals
  • Bank account in EUR and GBP
  • Card delivery in less than 3 days
  • English customer support
  • App in 14 languages

Monese plans:

  • Starter: Free
  • Classic: 5,95 EUR
  • Premium: 14,95 EUR

The final price for Monese features depends on the package. We took a look at the free starter and classic plan in the table below:

FeaturePrice
Monthly costFree or 5,95 EUR
International debit cardFree
SEPA transfersFree and in different currencies
International (non-EU) transfersFrom 0,5% to 2,5%
Cash withdrawals in EURFree or 1,5 EUR per transaction
Cash withdrawals in foreign currenciesFree or 1,5 EUR + 2% per transaction
Payments in EURFree
In-store card payments in foreign currenciesFrom 0% to 2% of the transaction
Contactless paymentsFree

Things to know

  1. While Monese’s free account still worth it, it’s not the best option in terms of fees if you often travel to the non-EU counties.

3. Nuri

Nuri is an innovative digital bank developed in Germany. They open accounts and operate in all European countries, including the Netherlands. Students can benefit from an easy application process, a handy online app, zero fees, and access to all the same features that any Dutch bank offers. 

In addition to all perks Nuri bank offers, you can use it to manage, invest and buy cryptocurrencies. Perfect for our digital-savvy young generation.

Hence, at zero costs, you are getting a fully functioning bank account (with IBAN and debit card), as well as access to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

Nuri offers:

  • Free bank account
  • Free Visa debit card
  • Free cash withdrawals worldwide
  • German IBAN
  • Free SEPA transfers
  • Opportunity for overdraft
  • Online application
  • Insurance on deposits up to 100,000 EUR
  • Earn interest on Bitcoin (BTC) holdings
  • Great mobile app
  • Customer support in English
  • Card delivery in less than 3 days
FeaturePrice
Monthly costFree
International debit cardFree
SEPA transfersFree
Cash withdrawals in EURFree and unlimited
Cash withdrawals in foreign currenciesFree and unlimited
Payments in EURFree
Card payments in foreign currenciesFree
Balance top-up Free
Contactless paymentsFree

Things to know

  1. Maximum withdrawal per day is limited at 1,500 EUR.
  2. Currently, Nuri bank account is available for citizens of 70 countries; check out all eligible nationalities here.

4. ABN AMRO

ABN AMRO is one of the largest banks in the Netherlands. Among traditional banking institutions, AMRO is suited best for students since they speak English and offer free student account. The student package is available for people aged 18 to 30 enrolled in Dutch universities.

AMRO also provides free mobile and online banking. Besides the bank account, students can apply for a credit card. However, you can open an account only after arrival and with BSN.

However, AMRO only operates within the Netherlands, so it might not be the best solution for frequent travelers.

ABN AMRO offers:

  • Free payments and withdrawals
  • Optional credit card for just 1,70 EUR per month
  • 24/7 support
  • Mobile banking
FeaturePrice
Monthly costFree for students
International debit cardFree Mastercard
SEPA transfersFree
Cash withdrawals in EURFree
Cash withdrawals in foreign currenciesFee of 2,25 EUR + 1,2% commission
Payments in foreign currenciesFee of 0,15 EUR + 1,2% commission
Credit card1,70 EUR

Things to know

  1. You pay a commission of 0,5% for depositing cash into your account

Unfortunately, despite its high popularity in the Netherlands, ABN AMRO receives negative feedback from its customers, averaging 1,2 out of 5 stars. Read reviews here.

So you want to make sure to check out other options for students in the Netherlands before signing up with this bank.

5. ING

ING is a Dutch multinational bank that also provides accounts for students in the Netherlands. Fortunately, their website and app have English versions. Besides, students benefit from a free bank account and affordable credit card with 1,000 EUR in balance.

You can use your free student account for up to five years; after that, a small monthly fee applies. Similar to AMRO, ING requires BSN as well as confirmation from your university.

To open an ING account, you need to visit one of their branches in the Netherlands or submit scanned documents online.

That’s why we always choose digital banks – the ease of application and speed beat all conventional institutions.

ING offers:

  • Free bank account for students
  • English speaking service
  • Free bank account for students
  • Mobile app
  • Credit card for just 1,55 EUR per month
FeaturePrice
Monthly costFree for students
International debit cardFree Mastercard
SEPS transfersFree
Cash withdrawals in The Netherlands/EUR Free in all Dutch ATMs
Cash withdrawals abroad 2,50 EUR fee + 1,2% commission
Payments in foreign currencies1,2% per transaction
Credit card1,55 EUR
Contactless paymentsFree

Things to know

  1. Not all information is available in English
  2. High fees for overdrafts and overseas cash withdrawals

Similar to ABN AMRO, ING receives shockingly negative feedback from its customers.

Anna

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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