How to Open a Bank Account in Barcelona and Madrid

Whether you are a resident or non-resident studying in Spain, having a bank account is a must in order to pay rent and utilities, send and receive money, have health insurance and to renew your NIE. Luckily, opening a bank account is relatively easy. However, there are various factors that everyone needs to know.

We have consulted with various banks and credible sources to bring to you the most accurate information possible. Continue reading to find out how to open a bank account as a student quickly and for free especially if you don’t have a NIE yet.

There are hundreds small and large public and private banks to choose from in Spain. The four largest banks in the order of annual revenues are Banco Santander, BBVA, CaixaBank, and Sabadell. They all offer checking/current and savings accounts with different conditionals and requirements and they all are very reputable. CaixaBank and Sabadell are much more dominant in Catalunya whereas Santander and BBVA are more present in Madrid.

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sabadell

Opening a bank account in Spain can be a pain in the neck if you do not have the right papers or documents. The whole process is still bureaucratic and you will have to make an appointment in advance in order to be able to open an account at some banks and branches. Luckily, there is an easy solution.

Open a bank account without a NIE

Studentfy and Sabadell have become partners to offer international students the option to open a checking account when they arrive here with no monthly fees, no debit card fees and no opening fees. Most banks require a NIE (numero idenificado extranjero: Foreigners’ Identification Number) and the process takes 30 to 45 days to acquire one. This is why through our partnership, you do not need a NIE to open the bank account and can open your bank account the day you arrive to Barcelona or Madrid.

sabadell

What can you do with your Sabadell account:

  • Send and receive money in the bank, at any Sabadell ATM, using their online banking system or their mobile apps for iOS and Android.
  • see, download and print your statements and past transactions
  • Check your balance and transactions; send transfers to accounts or cards; manage your bills, taxes and social security or open a new account using the Sabadell App
  • Customize your alerts and get real time information about any suspicious or predefined changes in your cards and accounts. For example, Sabadell alerts you when they deposit your salary or if your card is used for a purchase of over €300.

All you need is to go to the branches below and tell them you are from Studentfy. The only document you will need to have is a valid passport*.

* If you are a citizen of Iran, North Korea, Syria or similar countries, Banc Sabadell may refuse to open an account for you due to international financial sanctions. They may require a NIE in the first place. In that case, try CaixaBank.

These are the Sabadall branches where you can open a bank account without having a NIE.
CityAddressResponsible
BarcelonaCarrer de la Diputació, 259Emma Domínguez
BarcelonaAvinguda Diagonal, 644Beatriz Belón
BarcelonaAvinguda de Roma, 22Albert Vila
BarcelonaCarrer de Valencia, 110Carles Aymerich
MadridCalle del Principe de Vergara, 103Alberto Gomez  or  Vanessa González
MadridCalle de Diego de León, 5Jaime de Álvaro
MadridCalle de López de Hoyos, 42Alberto Gomez  or  Vanessa González

What to say: “I come from Studentfy and I would like to open a bank account.”

Here we have included some useful language for you to know/ask as well:

ItemsMadrid €Barcelona €
CAFES
Black coffee1.251.30
Black tea1.651.80
Cappuccino2.452.40
Coffee with milk1.501.55
RESTAURANTS & BARS
3-course meal (mid-range restaurant)25.0023.00
Burger King: 1 Big King with fries and coke6.956.95
Burger King: 1 Deluxe with fries and coke8.108.10
Burger King: 1 Whopper with fries and coke6.956.95
Cocktail10.0012.00
Coke / Pepsi1.871.77
Dorum (without fries or a drink)5.604.50
Heineken (33c)2.953.00
McDonald: 1 BigMac with fries and coke5.855.85
McDonald: 1 MacRoyal Deluxe with fries and coke5.955.95
Meal (inexpensive restaurant - with a drink)11.0010.00
Subway: Foot-long sandwich8.509.25
Water (0.33L)1.281.22
Water (1.5L)2.352.50
Wine (bottle)12.0012.50
Wine (cup)3.003.50
SUPERMARKET
Almond milk (1L)1.381.39
Apple (1kg)1.851.89
Baguette (white-bread)0.700.70
Baguette (whole-wheat)0.900.90
Basmati rice (1kg)1.791.79
Butter (100g)0.530.52
Cheese (mozzarella for pizza or pasta - 100g)0.580.59
Chicken (breasts - boneless and skinless - 1kg)4.995.09
Chicken (drumsticks - with bone and skin - 1kg)3.953.86
Chicken (whole - 1kg)2.502.40
Coca-Cola (1.25L - regular)1.291.30
Corn Flakes Kellogg's (regular - 500g)2.302.05
Eggs (12 - free range)1.593.98
Eggs (12 - regular)1.592.38
Garlic (head - 1kg)1.080.95
Green pepper (1kg)1.691.79
Ground meat (beef - 1kg)5.495.18
Ground meat (pork- 1kg)5.745.73
Lettuce (1 head)0.680.70
Milk 1L (half-and-half)0.580.57
Milk 1L (skimmed / 0% fat)0.590.58
Milk 1L (whole)0.600.59
Nectarine (1kg)1.341.69
Olive oil extra virgin (1L - domestic)3.893.90
Onion (1kg)0.980.87
Orange (1kg)1.561.35
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)5.005.00
Peach (1kg)1.391.59
Potato (1kg)1.081.13
Sliced bread (regular - 500g)0.850.59
Sliced bread (whole-wheat - 500g)1.020.90
Tomato (1kg)1.851.95
Vegetable oil (1L)0.980.90
Water (0.5L)0.340.35
Water (1.5L)0.430.45
Wine (low-range)2.502.60
Wine (mid-range)5.005.75
TRANSPORTATION
Aerobus5.005.90
Bus (regular - with a T-10 card - one way)1.221.02
Bus (regular - without a ticket - one way)1.502.15
Cabify (1km)2.002.00
Fuel: Diesel 1L1.251.27
Fuel: Premium unleaded petrol 1L1.381.39
Metro (with a T-10 ticket)1.221.02
Metro (without a ticket)2.002.15
T-10 card for bus and metro12.2010.20
Taxi (3 km ride)6.455.75
Taxi start (normal tariff)2.302.50
MONTHLY RENT
Furnished 3-bedroom flat (in or near the city center)1,590.001,650.00
Furnished 3-bedroom flat (outside the city center)1,060.001,080.00
Furnished one-bedroom flat (in or near the city center)850.00890.00
Furnished one-bedroom flat (outside the city center)680.00745.00
MONTHLY UTILITIES
Essentials (electricity - heating - cooling - water) for 85m2 flat131.81133.35
Internet (Fiber optic - 50 Mbps - unlimited data - cable/ADSL)31.0031.00
SPORTS & RECREATION
Cinema (international films)15.009.00
Cinema (local films)10.004.90
Gym membership per month (only machines and weights)25.0022.00
Gym membership per month (Spa, shower, locker)65.0050.00
Tennis (1 hour on the weekend)12.0015.00

You will receive your card after a few days.

Let us know in the comments below about your experience.

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