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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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.

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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.

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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:

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You will receive your card after a few days.

Let us know in the comments below about your experience.

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