When preparing to live in another country, you are instantly faced with the hurdles of permits, contracts and real estate agents. However, the secret ingredient behind a successful move is a local bank account.

There are two ways to open an account with ABN AMRO.

  • Either you download the ABN AMRO app and then use your international passport (or a valid Dutch ID; driver’s license, ID card or passport) to open the account. All you need to do in order to identify yourself is scan your ID and take a picture of yourself – both of which you submit through the app.
  • Or you can apply for an account online, via the website www.abnamro.openaccount. This can be done by anyone with an EU passport or a valid Dutch ID. It involves going to a bank branch to sign the contract, or signing at your door when a courier brings it to you. While you cannot open a bank account if you do not have an official address in the Netherlands, you no longer need a Burgerservicenummer (BSN or Citizen Service Number), to do this.

To open this account, you do need a BSN number – however, you do not have to provide it straight away, as long as you provide it within six weeks of opening the account.

Payments and cash withdrawals

When you open a bank account, you are issued a debit card, which can be used to pay in shops and to withdraw money at an ATM. You are issued a four-digit pin code (that can be changed to the combination of numbers of your choice), which you use for withdrawing cash and for payments exceeding €25 (you can raise this to €50). In the app, you can set your personal limit for withdrawals and payments, as well as raise it temporarily to a maximum of €10,000 (for withdrawals) or €50,000 (for payments) – should you wish to pay cash for your new car, for instance. You can also use the app to set up Apple Pay.

Of course, you can also arrange to be issued a credit card on the ABN AMRO website. There are two types of cards; the regular card insures your purchases against loss, damage and theft during a period of 180 days, the Gold Card does this during a period of 365 days – both offer varying additional services. You need to be a legal resident of the Netherlands and earn a monthly net amount of €1,150 for either card. The Netherlands does not work with the credit score system – it is only once you fail to make your repayments (on time) that you are put on a list with the Dutch Credit Registration System, also referred to as a BKR Registration.

When shopping online on your laptop/tablet, you will encounter the option to pay with iDEAL. If you opt to do this, you simply have to select ABN AMRO from the list of banks, which will then redirect you to your ABN AMRO app, allowing you to scan the QR code on your screen to make the payment. If you are shopping online on your cell phone, you will be redirected to the ABN AMRO app, where you will pay using Touch ID or a five-digit app unlocking code. For making your first online payment using your debit card and for payments that exceed your daily limit, you will need a little green e.dentifier, in which you insert your bank card and follow the instructions. You receive the e.dentifier by mail, once you have opened an account.

Get your checklist

Expats moving to the Netherlands can also access a checklist on, allowing them to figure out what they need to arrange, based on questions such as living and working situation, and the need to arrange finances and insurances. Also for students, there is a special app, Goin’, and the possibility to open a student account, coupled with a debit card. To open this account, you do need a BSN number – however, you do not have to provide it straight away, as long as you provide it within six weeks of opening the account.

If you want, you can also open a joint account

Do your banking together

If you want, you can also open a joint account; if you do this from the start, you can arrange it online, providing proof of identity in the same way as above. If you want to convert an account into a joint account, you can do this by visiting a bank branch, for which you can make an appointment online.
> Open a joint account

A good insurance option for every situation

One item not yet mentioned in the introduction, is that of insurances. Also through ABN AMRO, using your bank account, you can arrange a variety of insurances, including liability, legal expenses, home, travel and car insurance – and a mortgage. Having done all of that, you are now sit back and relax, knowing that your financial and insurance matters have been taken care of!
> Find out more about insurances

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