Best banks in Spain for Expats

lucia lagunas reyes - Our Best banks in Spain for Expats lawyer expert

Knowing which bank is the best can make a big difference in the way your finances are handled. This is also important to know when you need to have account access.

When it comes to determining which banks are the best in Spain, they must be able to satisfy a need and furnish top notch customer service with every customer account no matter if a withdrawal, deposit, or inquery is made.

The listed financial institutions are deemed as some of the best banks to open an account and conduct all necessary financial transactions. These transactions can be either in a brick and mortar bank or online.

Do you want to open a bank account as a non-resident?

In our team of lawyers we help you to open a bank account in the best banks in Spain, you do not need to come to Spain, we only need a power of attorney to open the account in your name, if you want more information contact us. We work with many banks to offer you the best investments in Spain and the best mortgages for non-residents in Spain to buy a house in Spain.

Best banks in spain
best banks in spain

Spain is a hotspot for many expats who wish to live and work abroad. However, to be able to work abroad it requires the individual to have a local bank account in order to be paid. It is also important to have a bank account that will be in local currency so that all services can be paid, such as rent and utilities.

The determining factors of which banks for expats will be the best rests on the services offered, account types and approach the bank takes towards each expat.

With this in mind, below we have listed some of the best bank in Spain to use while living in Spain.

  1. BBVA Bank Spain

Having great choices for banking is nice to have, especially if you are a non-resident or expat. With BBVA you get an account with the second largest Spanish bank that is recognized throughout Spain.

All services provided by BBVA are simple to use and are acessible through a bank branch or mobile app. Some of the services provided by BBVA include new account openings, fund transfers, wire transfers, and loans.

All expats are eligible to open a non-resident account by supplying necessary identification and making any initial deposit that may be required.

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  1. Santander Bank

Another great bank that provides the best service possible is Santander bank. Besides offering great bank accounts in Spain, it is also considered one of the best known throughout the spanish banking system. Their solutions and services are easy to use so that transactions run smoothly. This smoothness allows for easy and fast account opening so that the expat can make deposits, withdrawals, and transfers without waiting long.

Having banks for expats, such as Santander is a nice benefit to have once you have opened an account, which is an easy process all in itself.

  1. Sabadell Bank

Being a large financial institution in Spain makes Sabadell a great option for your banking needs. Sabadell easily supplies services for commercial and industry-specifgic purposes. It is particularly good for foreign entrepreneurs looking for a headstart in Spain.

Expats and non-residents will also benefit by easily openig an account and funding it. Once an account is established, a debit card will be issued as well as online banking access.

If you are looking for a bank that not only caters to the customer as one of the best spanish speaking banks, but English as well. Having the bilingual ability makes the entire paperwork trail much easier to navigate through without any misunderstandings.

  1. Bankia

As a newer bank, Bankia has quickly made a name for itself among the locals. With Bankia, it is comprised of multiple financial institutions to create one. This combination is commonly refered to as an ISP.

Expats and other non residents of Spain will love how Bankia is able to provide excellent service and results due to the offering of a system known as On Account. With On Account an account holder is able to enjoy commission-free transactions as well as no minimum amount.

Best of all is that an account is able to be opened through the website and also provides the same service as a local branch would. The staff is friendly and capable of speaking clear English.

  1. Bankinter

With its main branch located in Madrid, Bankinter is listed on both the Ibex35 Index and Madrid Stock Exchange. Known as a bank for today, Bankinter leads a world of technology that provides each client with equal oportunities for account ownership and making transactions through ways such as their local branches, online portal, and telephone banking.

Account opening requires a €45 balance to maintain the account. All transfers conducted online are cheap and are only 26 cents for all amounts no more than €50,000. Expats who want to conduct a phone transfer of money, then a charge of 26 cents plus 0.05% will be added. The maximum charged will be no higher than €250. For branch transfers a fee may be 0.25%. The good thing is that an account holder is able to obtain funds at no charge if the account is foreign.

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  1. Open Bank

At Open Bank the account holder needs to have spanish residency first in order to open and fund an account.

No current requirements exist before a free account can be opened. No minimum deposit is required. They provide a service known as “Cuenta Nomina,” and calls for a monthly 900 euro exchange.

Open Bank has no penalties to worry about, which keeps money in your pocket.

Open Bank allows its account holders to make ATM withdrawals from Santander bank. This is good because many of the ATMs can be located easily throughout the country. You wil be charged a 75 cent fee for any other ATM you use.

While the benefits of opening an Open Bank account are plentiful, the greatest benefit is the ability to utilize Santander bank and make deposits two times a month at no charge. If you need to make more deposits, then a 1 euro fee will be assessed for each aditional deposit. ATMs are unlimited access and you will always be close to an ATM.

  1. CaixaBank

CaixaBank has made a huge impact with financial lending throughout Spain and manages more branches than any other bank. More than 15 million account holders are served throughout the more than 5,000 branches.

Other than being able to supply one of the best spanish bank accounts to you, they pride themselves in owning other companies within the telecommunications and gas/oil industry.

  1. KutxaBank

Merged from three other banks, KutxaBank cam about due to a lengthy integration and deliberation that the government of Spain set forth.

With current operations located in Extremadura and andalusia, KutxaBank was named the best bank in Spain despite the crises felt among the financial sector throughout 2014.

  1. ING Bank

ING is one of the best banks known internationally and within Spain. A benefit that many expats enjoy the most with ING is the high quality online banking. This also means an account can be opened online and funded. Not only that, but having very little commission involved says a lot too. The downside is that it is one of many spanish speaking banks only. A foreigner is able to establish 3 different account types. These types include one for self-employed individuals, an account for transfers, and a savings account.

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  1. Evo Banco

Another one of the best spanish speaking banks is Evo Banco and also caters to those who have residency within Spain. No matter what, a non-resident will not gain acceptance to an account.

The bank also removed the avaialbnle languages that it served to only reflect spanish. One benefit that Evo provides is the ability to receive nocommission on anacount that is opened before the age of 28. There are also no commission for any transfers that are foreign in nature. When the currency is converted, you will not see any fees at the time of withdrawal from an ATM. However, a monthly limit of 4 withdrawals exists.

The list of Spanish banks that I have mentioned above also have online banking services, now I am going to talk about the banks that are popular in Spain and that are 100% online, the so-called neobanks.

These banks do not even require you to go to a branch and the procedure to open a bank account is relatively simple but our team can take care of opening your bank account as an expatriate in Spain.

Let’s take a look at the list of popular neobanks in Spain.

  1. Revolut Spain

Revoult Spain online bank is a relatively new digital banking app that is conquering Europe. Its main difference is to simplify all processes from your app and a very low cost of transactions, few commissions…

  1. TransferWise Spain

TransferWise is a money transfer service with very low fees but has now opened a bank account.

  1. N26 Online Bank in Spain

N26 is a fully digital bank founded in Germany but in Spain it allows you to open bank accounts and have your own IBAN number.


banks in spain
best banks in spain

Spain hosts two main types of financial institutions, a banco or Cajas de Ahorros.

With a banco, it is designed to share the earned profits among its shareholders. A Cajas de Ahorros is state-owned and are non-profit banks.

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What determines a Spanish Bank as being the best bank in Spain for non residents?

It can be difficult to decide which is the best bank in Spain for non residents. This is because of the costs involved, the amount of services, access, ATMs, and number of braches provided.

Having a nice ATM network is great if you are ever concerned about not finding one close by and getting charged for using a non-network ATM. With the other small banks located in Spain, they usually lean towards having no extra costs or decreased amount of charges.

The account types involve regular accounts, non-resident accoount, digital account, and a regular savings accounts. Regardless of which one you open, you will have access to an account tht cn provide ythe financial freedom you are looking for.


open bank account non residents spain
best online banks in spain

Opening an account at the best bank in Spain is not a difficult endeavor. In fact, it is actually very effortless and account holders can obtain their debit card in less than 2 weeks.

In order to have an account opened at the best bank in Spain you will need to proove your identity with a passport, current address, and/or job status. You can also show immigration papers of your status such as your Tarjeta de Identidad de Entranjera or Número de Identificación de Extranjeros.

If a salary is not earned, then a Cuenta sin nómina will need to be opened.

A majority of the accounts can be opened online by expats in Spain. You will need to remember that access will be a minimum if any in-person customer service is sought.

A lot of banks may also have a requirement thta you be paying your share of social security for a month in order for you to open your account.


Open bank account in spain
best banks in spain for non residents

There is no getting around banking fees no matter where you live in the world and no matter whichbest bank or best online banks you are banking with. Even the best bank is Spain will likely charge you some sort of fee to uyse a service. By being informed, you will know what to expect and be able to spend your money as you feel fit. If you need to, you can also gain some insight on how to avoid fes as you make withdrawals at an ATM and while making normal transactions.

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Fees at the best bank in Spain can cause an account to be charged a yearly 150€ fee. As we have already gone over, many banks provide special offers or have accounts designed specifically for expats and other foreigners. Plus, the costs will depend on the banks policies, so it is advisable to ask questions throughout the process of opening an account, particularly when the bank does not decide to disclose any of the information beforehand.

Other than the fees, it is important to be aware of any hidden fees that the best bank in Spain may hide in regards to all transactions, transfers conducted internationally, and ATM banking so you won´t be caught off’guard while traveling.

You should also be aware of possible limits the best bank in Spain may place on your account, which can afect the use of the account. Also remember that it is always a good idea to make a withdrawal from the bank you open your account at instead of a different ATM so that you can avoid the ATM fees the bank will charge.

What is the number 1 bank in Spain?

The most famous and popular bank in Spain is Santander, although it is closely followed by Caixabank and BBVA.

Which online bank is best in Spain?

The most popular online banks in Spain would be N26 and Revolut.

What is the most used bank in Spain?

The most commonly used banks are Santander, Caixabank and BBVA.

Best banks in Spain for expats?

As a foreigner I recommend one of the 3 largest banks in Spain… as they are the ones with the most branches to give you service… although all Spanish banks usually give the same service.

We know that the above information and knowing which banks in Spain are the best will help in the decision-making process for expats looking to open any type of account. We have the industry experience to help guide you through the entire account opening process. Not only that but we also have a dedicated team of mortgage experts who know where to find the best mortgage rates for non-residents for that dream home you have been thinking of buying as well as work with the most reputable real estate agents within Spain who are dedicated to guide you through the entire home purchasing process.

11 thoughts on “Best banks in Spain for Expats

  1. Gerhard Ackermann |

    I started with Sabadell but when they started to charge fees i tried to get an 100% online bank wit ES-Iban without any fees.
    I tried BNext, Santander, BBV and ING.ES. None of thex accepted me because i am not registered as a Resident but as a non-resident. It took a while to find this out. Santander sent me to a branch but these accounts charge fees.

  2. Charles Vella |

    I have had so many problems with Banks in Spain and also problems with trying to get a single person to speak English with. The banks in Spain, I have found are all corrupt. Money from Australia has been blocked and not even having the money in my account, the bank wants me to fill in a tax form to pay taxes on the money which I don’t have in my account. Ridiculous.

    1. My Spain Visa |

      I am sorry for what happened… We work with several banks that are reliable and have English speaking staff with no problem for our English speaking customers.

  3. Barry Good |

    As a tourist in Malaga,Spain, what is the cheapest bank to use to draw cash from

    1. My Spain Visa |

      To open a bank account as a non-resident you need to obtain a NIE.

  4. begona ibarra |

    My parents have a bank account in Spain how can they get it back to the United States

    1. Anna |


      Your parents only have to send the money to your US bank account and close the Spanish bank account.


  5. Cederborg |

    Do you recommend Sabadell? Do you charge commissions? Is it a good Spanish bank?

    1. Jim |

      Sabadell is a fraud – avoid – after few months they started to charge me fees to what was supposed to be a free account .
      Also their home banking is horrible –

  6. Urban |

    Which Spanish bank do you recommend? I am thinking of moving to Spain.

    1. Ruz |

      I’d recommend Caixa is it’s in Andalucia…they have a lot more free cash points and any other banks…and others charge loads to take your money out another bank. If it’s in the North…no idea

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