Best Bank for International Students in Netherlands

Best banks for international students in the Netherlands titlecard

Are you an international student in the Netherlands seeking knowledge, adventure, and cultural experiences? As you start your trip, there is one important thing you need to do: open a bank account. Do you know the best bank for international students in Netherlands?

Whether it’s your first time away from home or becoming a seasoned traveler, having a reliable Dutch bank account is indispensable. But worry not! We are here to guide you in choosing the best bank in the Netherlands, tailored explicitly for students like you. 

Best banks for international students in the Netherlands:

  1. Bunq
  2. Revolut
  3. Wise
  4. Vivid Money
  5. Monese UK

From Internet banking to digital banks and seamless online transactions, let’s explore the quintessential financial haven to secure your financials while studying abroad. 

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The Best Banks in Netherlands for International Students

Finding the perfect bank account may seem daunting for international students. 

Dutch banks offer diverse options, each with unique features and benefits. From internet banking to digital banks and seamless online transactions, the choices may leave students bewildered. 

Best Choice


Photo of the Bunq logo

Tech-savvy banking, offers easy international payments.



Photo of the Revolut logo

Multi-currency, suitable for seamless worldwide transactions.



Photo of Wise logo

Low-cost international transfers with transparent fees.

Runner Up

Vivid Money

Photo of Vivid logo

Modern mobile banking with unique cashback options.

Hidden Gem

Monese UK

Photo of Monese logo

Easy UK-based banking for non-residents, simplified cross-border transactions.

It is essential to explore different factors of a Dutch bank, such as convenience, internet banking facilities, debit card perks, and online banking services. Remember that not all banks are the same. Take the time to review and compare, and discover the ideal financial ally to suit your preferences while studying in the Netherlands.

To help you, here are the best banks in the Netherlands for foreign students. 

Best Bank for International Students in Netherlands #1: Bunq

Bunq, the innovative Dutch digital bank, caters to non-Dutch speakers and offers the best banking experience for expats and international students in the Netherlands. 

Bunq, with its online setup and English-language services, is the top choice for younger generations looking for a superb mobile app. This bank has a sleek design and exceptional customer support, perfect for international students.

Highlights of Having A Bunq Account in The Netherlands

  • Affordable Dutch bank accounts start from free, with cheap cash withdrawals and free transfers.
  • Dutch IBAN, Maestro, Mastercard, and virtual card options for seamless transactions.
  • Interest on savings and deposit protection up to 100,000 EUR for added financial security.
  • Quick card delivery and user-friendly interface for convenient mobile banking.
  • Special accounts for freelancers and various packages, including a 1-month free trial.

Bunq Pros

  • Bunq’s English-language support makes it ideal for international students and expats in the Netherlands.
  • The various packages and perks cater to diverse banking needs, offering flexibility and customization.
  • Quick and easy sign-up process without needing a BSN (citizen service number).

Bunq Cons

  • Depending on the package, in-store card payments in foreign currencies may incur additional fees.
  • Cash withdrawals in foreign currencies also attract transaction fees.

My Take on Bunq Dutch Bank Account

Screenshot of Bunq website's interface

Bunq is a refreshing and customer-centric option among Dutch banks, particularly for non-Dutch speakers seeking a modern and efficient digital bank. Its feature-rich packages, affordable pricing, and hassle-free sign-up process without a BSN make it a top choice for international students and expats

Bunq simplifies financial management, foreign transactions, and Dutch banking like never before.

Best Bank for International Students in Netherlands #2: Revolut

Revolut, the fastest-growing digital bank, is an exceptional choice for students and travelers in the Netherlands and Europe. 

For simplicity and affordability, Revolut remains a Dutch bank. It offers free multicurrency international bank accounts, instantaneous money transfers, and an easy mobile banking interface.

Screenshot of an account on the Revolut website


  • Free multicurrency, international bank account with an IBAN for Sepa transfers.
  • Free debit card with the option for credit card and easy delivery.
  • Enjoy 24/7 customer support via chat for prompt assistance.
  • Benefit from free multicurrency payments and withdrawals worldwide.
  • Instant transfers, payments, and an excellent mobile banking app for effortless management.
  • Various premium plans are available, catering to diverse needs.

Revolut Pros

  • Revolut’s free bank account and services offer a budget-friendly option for international students.
  • Avoid additional fees when traveling and paying in different currencies.
  • The easy-to-use mobile banking app provides a smooth user experience.

Revolut Cons

  • Cash withdrawals exceeding 200 EUR per month may incur a 2% fee.

My Take: Would You Open A Bank Account on Revolut?

Revolut is a game-changer for those seeking the best Dutch bank account, especially international students and frequent travelers. Its competitive features, free foreign transfers, and multicurrency support make it a popular Dutch and international digital bank. 

The user-friendly smartphone app and devoted customer service make Revolut the perfect financial partner for your Dutch and international travel.

Best Bank for International Students in Netherlands #3: Wise

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a prominent financial platform offering international money transfer and banking services, known for its transparency and cost-effectiveness.

Highlights of Having a Wise Bank Account in The Netherlands

  • Low and transparent fees for international money transfers, with real exchange rates and no hidden markups.
  • Multi-currency borderless account for holding and managing funds in various currencies, ideal for frequent travelers and businesses dealing internationally.
  • User-friendly website and mobile app for seamless transactions and real-time transfer tracking.
  • Reliable customer support through email and chat for prompt assistance.
  • Expanded services, including a debit card, direct debits, and integration with other financial apps.

Wise Pros

  • Provides a cost-effective and transparent alternative to transfer money internationally compared to traditional major Dutch banks.
  • Multi-currency borderless account offers convenience and flexibility for managing funds across different currencies.
  • User-friendly interface and real-time tracking enhance the overall customer experience.

Wise Cons

  • Limited physical presence with no bank branch for in-person services.
  • May offer only some of the full range of banking services available in most Dutch banks.
  • May not be the right fit for customers who prefer in-person banking experiences.

My Take on Wise As a Bank in The Netherlands Alternative

Wise website, app, and card

Now rebranded as Wise, Wise is a reliable and efficient platform for handling international money transfers and currency exchange. Its transparent fees and genuine exchange rates make it appealing to consumers and organizations seeking a cost-effective cross-border financial solution. 

Despite its lack of bank branches, Wise has a user-friendly interface, multi-currency borderless account, and expanding offerings. That’s why it’s a top choice for simplifying and saving on international banking. 

Best Bank for International Students in Netherlands #4: Vivid Money

Vivid Money is a digital banking and financial management app that offers users a free German IBAN account and a metal card. 

Unlike most Dutch banks, Vivid Money does not require a Dutch account or a local branch to operate in the Netherlands. Tech-savvy consumers who want to access their finances from anywhere, convert money into 40 currencies, and receive cashback benefits should use Vivid Money.

Vivid money card and app

Highlights of Having a Vivid Money  Account in The Netherlands

  • Vivid Money provides a sleek and intuitive mobile app that allows users to open an account in minutes and manage their finances effectively.
  • Vivid Money offers multi-currency capabilities without additional fees, making it cost-effective for international transactions and travel.
  • Vivid Money gives cashback rewards on various purchases, including online shopping, groceries, and travel expenses.
  • Vivid Money employs advanced security features, such as biometric authentication options, to protect customer data and transactions.
  • Vivid Prime subscribers get better cashback percentages, bigger foreign currency limits, and free foreign ATM withdrawals.
  • Vivid Money has innovative features and financial tools that cater to the needs of tech-savvy users.
  • Vivid Money does not charge additional fees for currency conversions or debit card payments, unlike some big banks in the Netherlands.
  • Vivid Money offers a free credit card with cashback rewards and other perks.
  • Vivid Money may not have physical branches like traditional Dutch banks, such as ABN AMRO or SNS Bank.
  • Vivid Money has limited information on interest rates for savings accounts or business banking options.
  • Vivid Money’s availability of specific features may vary in different European countries.

My Take on Vivid Money as an Alternative for Netherlands Dutch Banks

Vivid Money is a modern and user-friendly banking app that caters to the needs of tech-savvy consumers in Germany and other European countries. With its innovative features, Vivid Money empowers customers to manage their finances, multi-currency capabilities, and financial transparency. 

However, Vivid Money may not be suitable for those who prefer a traditional Dutch bank with a local branch or more information on interest rates or business banking options.

Best Bank for International Students in Netherlands #5: Monese UK

Monese UK is a digital bank that offers a Dutch bank account, making it convenient for customers to access major Dutch banks without visiting a bank branch.

Highlights of Having a Monese Account in The Netherlands

  • Enjoy seamless Internet banking, enabling easy access to banks like SNS Bank.
  • Transfer money internationally with competitive rates, simplifying global transactions.
  • Benefit from a versatile Dutch bank account, providing flexibility for various financial needs.
  • Access to savings accounts with competitive interest rates, ensuring smart money management.
  • Obtain an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) for effortless international transactions.
  • Monese UK offers a digital bank experience, allowing convenient online banking.
  • Access to a Dutch bank account provides accessibility to major Dutch banks.
  • Enjoy the ease of managing direct debits through mobile banking apps.

Monese UK Cons

  • Limited physical presence as Monese is primarily an online bank.
  • Some international banking services may have fees associated with them.

My Take 

Monese UK app

Monese UK offers a hassle-free way to open a bank account in the Netherlands, providing a debit card and access to savings accounts. With its seamless mobile banking apps, customers can easily manage their finances, making it a suitable choice for those seeking an international bank account number. 

Monese UK is an online bank. However, its handy features and connection to major Dutch banks make it a good choice for reliable digital banking.

What To Consider When Choosing A Bank Account In The Netherlands?

A photo of tall buildings in Netherlands

When choosing a bank account in the Netherlands, several factors should be considered to ensure it aligns with your financial needs and preferences.

1. Account Types

Look into the different types of Dutch bank accounts available, such as personal, current, joint, and savings accounts, to find one that suits your requirements.

2. Banking Services

Evaluate the range of banking services the bank offers, including online banking, mobile banking apps, and the ability to withdraw cash conveniently.

3. Online vs. Traditional Banks

Decide whether you prefer a traditional bank with physical branches or an online one operating solely through digital platforms.  

4. Fees and Charges

Check the fee structure of the bank, including charges for transactions, account maintenance, and any other services, to understand the cost implications.

5. Accessibility

Consider the accessibility of the bank’s services, especially if you plan to use the account for day-to-day transactions or need to access your money while traveling. A big Dutch bank can ensure availability worldwide.

6. International Accounts

If you must conduct international transactions frequently, explore whether the bank offers international account holders favorable exchange rates and low fees. Online banks in the Netherlands provide the necessary information on their websites. 

7. Reputation and Trustworthiness

Research the bank’s reputation, including customer reviews and financial stability, to ensure your money is safe.

8. Green Banking Options

For environmentally-conscious individuals, look for banks that offer green banking options and prioritize sustainable practices.

9. Additional Features of Online Banks

Compare additional features for a personal account, like rewards programs, investment options, and support for digital payments to enhance your banking experience.

10. Bank Card and ATM Network

Check if the bank provides a card that can be used in a wide ATM network for convenient cash withdrawals. Major banks in the Netherlands provide information about checking or savings accounts.

Remember, opening a new Dutch bank account is an important decision, and taking the time to consider these factors will help you make an informed choice that best meets your financial goals and preferences.

Bank in The Netherlands Opening Process

Man putting money in a piggy bank

You can open a Dutch bank account online or in person at one of the institution’s branches. If you prefer physically opening a traditional bank account, ensure you book an appointment in advance. Most banks are usually open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 

Although some banks in the Netherlands don’t require any documentation, most traditional financial institutions will require you to have some papers. For verification, banks may ask for the following if you open a bank account: 

  • A valid identification, passport, or identity card
  • A residence permit, if necessary 
  • Proof of residency or address, a rental contract, or a utility bill could work 
  • Evidence of income if applicable. This could be a payslip or contract of employment 

To apply for a bank account online, locate the student’s account or any other preferred account on the bank’s website, and fill out the online form. You may be asked to provide personal details, like your full name,  the education institution’s name, and your Dutch address.

Some banks in the Netherlands with general international offers may allow you to open an account, regardless of location. This is ideal if you prefer getting an account while still abroad instead of waiting for your arrival.

You should note that banks in the Netherlands which allow you to open an account while outside the country, may restrict their services to certain areas, which are mostly within the EFTA OR EU regions. 

You must visit a bank branch in your home country to open a bank account overseas. Dutch business organizations rarely allow international account opening online.

If you can’t find a local branch, try a correspondent bank for your favorite Dutch bank. The bank may call you for identity verification. The bank may also require a branch visit.

Closing And Transferring A Local Bank Account In The Netherlands 

Man reviewing and signing  documents

If you’re planning to close or transfer your local bank account in the Netherlands, there are several steps you can follow to ensure a smooth process.

1. Contact Your Bank

Contact your current bank, whether it’s a green bank, a small Dutch bank, or the largest Dutch retail bank. Inform them of your intention to close or transfer your account. They will guide you through the necessary procedures and provide you with the required forms.

2. Joint Dutch Bank Account Considerations

If you have a joint account, discuss the closure or transfer with the other account holders. Decide whether you’ll close the joint account together or if one of you will take it over. This will depend on your individual preferences and financial arrangements.

3. Open a New Bank Account

Before closing your current account, ensure you have a new bank account in place. Research other banks in the Netherlands, such as Triodos Bank, to find the one that best suits your needs. Look into student account options if applicable.

4. Transfer Funds and Payments

Transfer any remaining funds from your old account to the new one. Update your payment details for any recurring bills, direct debits, and standing orders to ensure a seamless transition.

5. Close the Account

Once all transactions are successfully moved to your new account, proceed to close your current account. Your bank will guide you through the closing process, and you may need to visit a local branch for identity verification.

6. Notify Relevant Entities

Inform the Dutch government and any relevant institutions of your account change. This includes updating your bank information for instant payments, checking accounts, and any official records.

7. Local Stores and Services

If you had your old account linked to local stores or services for payments, update them with your new bank details to avoid any disruptions.

By following these steps and considering joint account options if applicable, you can smoothly close or transfer your local bank account in the Netherlands and transition to a new banking arrangement that better suits your needs.

Final Thoughts About The Best Bank – Netherlands

In conclusion, as an international student in the Netherlands, choosing the right bank account is essential for a seamless financial experience during your stay. Consider factors such as account types, banking services, accessibility, fees, and reputation. 

Among the top choices for international students are banks like Bunq, Revolut, Wise, Vivid Money, and Monese UK, each offering unique features and benefits. Whether you choose a conventional Dutch or modern digital bank, pick one that meets your demands. Choose a bank that offers Internet banking, smartphone apps, and trustworthy customer care. 

You can confidently embark on your Dutch adventure with the right bank account.

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