The best banks in the Netherlands for internationals in 2024

Pay like a local πŸ’°

Finding the best banks for expats in the Netherlands can be a real search.

There’ll be many factors that influence your decision, from extra features to the bank’s accessibility in English.

We’ve explored and tested the best banks in the Netherlands, testing them for accessibility for expats, features, pricing, mobile apps, and more.

TIP: In a rush? Our top pick for a bank for expats is bunq. They have a top-notch mobile app and heaps of features, and you can sign up online before you get your BSN.

All the banks in our list below tick off two important boxes:

  1. They’re available in English, especially in their mobile banking apps.
  2. They offer a Maestro card option because credit cards aren’t widely accepted in the Netherlands.

Ready to find the best bank accounts for expats in the Netherlands? Let’s jump in!

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πŸ† The best banks for expats in the Netherlands

bunq: the best bank for newcomers

bunq is a fully online bank, which means you can sign up entirely online.

Even better, it has heaps of great features to make handling your money easier, like accessing two accounts with one card, auto-roundup to help you save, and salary sorting to make budgeting a breeze.

photo-of-hand-holding-dutch-bank-bunq-card-and-phone-with-bunq-app
bunq is loaded with features for internationals looking for a bank in the Netherlands. Image: bunq

The monthly price is a little higher than other Dutch banks, but in our opinion, the huge money-saving features make it worth it.

However, one of the best features of bunq is that you don’t need to wait to receive your BSN (citizen service number) to sign up β€” instead, you can use the bank for up to 90 days while you wait.

βœ… Pros

  • easy to sign up for (even without BSN)
  • packed with useful features
  • all in English (and other languages)
  • notifications stop you from overstaying your free trials
  • high-interest rate for savings in the Netherlands

❌ Cons

  • no physical branches
  • high monthly fees

Revolut: the best bank for travellers

Revolut is the best bank for expats who want a great banking app, investment options, and easy currency conversion when travelling.

Like bunq, Revolut is also a digital bank with a slightly higher monthly fee, but it comes with an awesome app, the ability to send money overseas effortlessly, decent interest on savings, and the ability to block unwanted subscription payments.

photo-of-hand-holding-revolut-app-showing-banking-in-euros-in-netherlands-in-front-of-laptop
When choosing a Dutch bank, the best mobile app is important (and Revolut provides!). Image: Revolut

Not only that, but you can set a budget for any time period you choose, and it sends you updates if you’re getting close to hitting that budget.

It allows you to invest easily in cryptocurrency or gold, and you also get some awesome detailed spending analytics!

βœ… Pros

  • large range of investment options
  • can hold up to 30+ currencies in one account
  • free ATM withdrawals

❌ Cons

  • card for a standard account takes up to nine days to arrive
  • no face-to-face service
  • charges a fee for converting currencies on the weekend

ABN AMRO: the best traditional bank for English-speaking expats

ABN AMRO is another big Dutch bank that’s popular with expats. They’re one of a handful of “traditional” Dutch banks with all information available in English.

If you’ve only just moved here and aren’t comfortable in Dutch, then this is a great bank to start an account with.

photo-of-female-expat-in-netherlands-using-phone-loading-ABN-AMRO-app
ABN AMRO is a Dutch bank that offers an app entirely in English. Image: DutchReview

They’re also the only traditional Dutch bank that lets you open an account before you register at the municipality and receive your BSN. You can bank for up to 90 days before needing to provide it.

They also have physical branches, so you can put your questions to a person face-to-face if that’s important for you. If you’re a student, you bank for free!

βœ… Pros

  • all information available in English
  • has physical branches
  • cheapest traditional bank in English
  • free for students

❌ Cons

  • limited app options
  • very low interest rates for savings

ING: the best simple Dutch bank for expats

ING is one of the largest Dutch banks and is popular among locals and internationals alike.

photo-of-hand-holding-orange-ing-card-in-front-of-green-bush
The ING bank card is an iconic Dutch colour. Image: DutchReview

Its mobile app is available entirely in English, as well as the majority of its website.

This is a traditional bank, so you can also get credit cards, loans, mortgages, and investment accounts, but it misses some of the bells and whistles of bunq and Revolut.

However, monthly fees are lower, and their student account is even free for five years, which is pretty nice!

βœ… Pros

  • app is easy to use and available in English
  • has physical branches
  • free for students and children

❌ Cons

  • not all information is available in English
  • solid, but no extra “wow” features
  • lower interest rates for savings

N26: the best Dutch bank for expats who want ‘more than the basics’

Your N26 account comes with a Maestro card (perfect for paying in the Netherlands).

As an international bank, N26’s feature-packed app is available entirely in English β€” just like their customer service, too.

graphic-of-coloured-n26-bank-cards
Which colour card will you go for? Image: N26

The downsides? Your IBAN will be German, which isn’t the end of the world, and you won’t be able to use iDEAL payments.

However, if you want more from your bank than “just the basics”, that’s where N26 really shines.

Use Spaces to create sub-accounts to save for important purchases, Round Up to stash your spare change away, and pay abroad and online easily with a Mastercard Debit too.

βœ… Pros

  • app and customer service is in English
  • incredibly aesthetic
  • packed with features

❌ Cons

  • no Dutch IBAN
  • a little bit expensive
  • no iDEAL payments

πŸ… Other banks in the Netherlands

You might be wondering why we chose to highlight these banks in particular β€” after all, there are plenty of other banks in the Netherlands.

Our main reason for not doing a full section on these is their lack of English-language options. For something as important as banking, it can be crucial to have information available in a language you understand.

But if you’ve been here a while or you aren’t afraid of doing some Google Translate work, then any of these other banks are worth investigating.

Biggest banks in the Netherlands

  • ABN AMRO
  • ING Group
  • Rabobank
  • De Volksbank

Smaller banks in the Netherlands

  • Amanah Group Holdings
  • Anadolubank Nederland N.V.
  • Bank Mendes Gans (cash management)
  • Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten (financing for (semi-)publicly owned organisations)
  • BinckBank (electronic trading platform)
  • bunq
  • Credit Europe Bank
  • Demir Halk Bank (commercial bank)
  • Friesland Bank (retail bank)
  • GarantiBank International NV
  • GE Artesia Bank
  • Kempen & Co (merchant bank)
  • Knab
  • Nederlandse Waterschapsbank (financing for (semi-)publicly owned organisations)
  • Netherlands Development Finance Company (development bank)
  • NIBC Bank (commercial bank)
  • Regiobank
  • Triodos Bank
  • Van Lanschot Kempen (private bank)
  • Yapi Kredi Bank Nederland N.V.

πŸ’° Best banks to earn interest on savings in the Netherlands

Savings rates have increased recently in the Netherlands, making it possible to really earn money on your savings.

However, most traditional brick-and-mortar banks are offering far lower interest rates than other neo-banks on online banks.

Find out more about savings accounts in the Netherlands, or check out our top recommendation below.

Trade Republic β€” earn better interest on your hard-earned savings

Not only is it free to set up an account with Trade Republic, but they also offer some of the highest savings deposit rates in the entire EU β€” so you can actually get rewarded for your saving abilities. (Pssst! They also have no minimum fixed term.) πŸ’ͺ πŸ’Ά


🌱 How to grow your money in the Netherlands

If you have some savings that you want to earn money on or just want to save more than you spend, there are a few ways to do it:

  • Invest in an EU bank in another country (with all the standard EU banking protections) that has a higher interest rate through a service like Raisin.
  • Start investing easily with different investment apps in the Netherlands (we like DEGIRO and Scalable)
  • Get cashback on every euro you spend and track where your money goes through an app like Woolsocks.

Disclaimer: There are risks associated with investing.


πŸ€” What to consider when choosing a bank account in Holland

There are lots of things you should keep in mind when you’re opening up a bank account in the Netherlands.

Some of them are purely down to personal preference, but others are things every expat opening a bank account in the Netherlands should be aware of.

How ethical is the Dutch bank?

Something you might be wondering about is whether a bank makes ethical investments.

Obviously, ethical is a pretty subjective term, but there are some banks that do markedly better on this than others.

bunq, for example, is ethical in both its investments and its practices as a company.

Triodos is also pretty good in this regard: they publish the details of all the companies they invest in on their website, so you can check if their actions align with your ethics.

Do I need a credit card in the Netherlands?

Almost all Dutch banks will offer you a credit card so long as you meet several conditions.

READ MORE | The best credit cards for expats in the Netherlands

Most Dutch banks work with Mastercard over Visa, and you’ll also notice that many stores in the Netherlands prefer to take Mastercard over Visa.

photo-of-person-handing-dutch-bank-credit-card-to-person-holding-payment-terminal
A Visa card being accepted in the Netherlands? A miracle. Image: Pexels

This all comes down to Dutch cheapness, really: Visa charges stores a higher fee than Mastercard.

Do I need to transfer money abroad from the Netherlands?

As an expat in the Netherlands, you’re likely to want to transfer money abroad at some point and also need to be able to receive it.

READ MORE | Money transfers in the Netherlands: the easy (and cheap!) guide

Some traditional banks will charge you quite a bit in fees when doing this. Many people choose to transfer money directly via money transfer providers like Xe or Wise, who offer very competitive rates.

closeup-photo-of-person-using-credit-card-from-bank-in-the-netherlands-to-buy-something-online
Dealing with countless fees can be such a hassle. Image: Freepik

Some Dutch banks have already paired up with one of these transfer providers and so will offer you low rates that way as well.

bunq, for example, works with Wise, and that means that you can save up to 3% on each transaction compared with a traditional bank.

How good is the mobile app?

If you like to know what’s going on in your financial life on a moment-to-moment basis, then choosing a bank with a good app is crucial.

Online banks like Revolut, bunq and N26 naturally do well in this category.

ING’s app is simple and easy to use, and does everything you’d need it to, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of analysis.


🧳 Why you need a Dutch bank account in the Netherlands

Your plan might be to use your overseas bank account while living in the Netherlands, but you will quickly change your mind.

The Netherlands is pretty high-tech but still requires Dutch bank accounts for many things. For example:

  • While credit card payments are becoming more popular, some Dutch stores (including major supermarkets) still only accept debit cards. Even Visa Debit and Debit Mastercard are not accepted!
  • Your Dutch employer typically wants a Dutch IBAN to pay your salary. Technically, you should be able to pay into any EU IBAN, but some employers make this very complicated.
  • You’ll need a Dutch IBAN number for automatic direct debits, like for your gym, monthly public transport bills, and health insurance.

What has your experience of banking in the Netherlands been? Share it in the comments below!

❓ Frequently asked questions about banking in the Netherlands

How do I open a bank account in the Netherlands?

What do I need a bank account for in the Netherlands?

How can I set up a business bank account in Holland?

Does the Netherlands use internet banking?

What is an IBAN, and where can I find it?

What types of bank accounts are there in the Netherlands?

How do I pay for things with my phone in the Netherlands?

Are there any free banks in the Netherlands?


Disclaimer: Investing involves risks and you can lose your investment. DutchReview is not a financial consultancy. The content shared on the website and on DutchReview’s social accounts does not contain any financially binding advice

Feature Image:Pexels

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What do you think?

4 COMMENTS

  1. Please change the review. Abn Amro is worst bank for expats. Eventhough they advertised that they do not need Bsn no, but they asked for that. Whereas my friends did get the account activated if they go to expat center. Two different approaches.
    Thus neo banks bunq and Revolut are doing better. Ing is also responding helpfully. But Abn is totally useless to work with

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