Best Banks for Students in France

Best banks for students in France title card.

Are you a student studying in France, looking for the perfect financial partner to embark on your academic journey? Look no further! Choosing the best banks for students in France is essential in navigating the exciting world of personal finance while studying abroad. 

From traditional banks with brick-and-mortar branches to innovative online banks, there are many options to consider.

Today, having a reliable French bank account is more crucial than ever. Whether for seamless cash withdrawals, managing expenses, or securing a safe place for your savings, a student bank account can be your key to financial independence.

The best banks for students in France include: 

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

Join us as we explore the finest French banks, both traditional and online, that cater specifically to students. Discover the perks of having an online bank account, the convenience of bank card transactions, and the ease of managing your finances on the go. 

Get ready to embark on a journey toward financial success with the best banks for students in France.

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Where To Create A French Bank Account?

Student thinking in front of laptop

When it comes to setting up a bank account in France, students are spoiled for choice. The array of options includes both traditional banks with physical branches and the ever-growing presence of online banks. 

With online bank accounts now offering services comparable to their traditional counterparts, students can enjoy seamless cash withdrawals, simplified management of expenses, and the convenience of bank card transactions. 

Whether you prefer the familiarity of a traditional bank or the flexibility of online banking, the best banks in France have it all. But to help you make the right choice, here are the best options for foreign students who need to open a bank account. 

top choice


Dutch mobile bank with sustainable features, unique “Green Card,” and various account options.

Best for tourist


Global banking app with multi-currency accounts, and international payment options.

low fees


Formerly TransferWise, it offers low-cost international transfers with the best exchange rates.

modern banking

Vivid Bank

European mobile bank providing cashback rewards and investment options within the app.

mobile banking


Mobile banking for UK and EU residents with easy account opening and multi-currency support.

1. Bunq

Bunq is an online bank based in the Netherlands that offers a mobile-focused platform for individuals and businesses, providing access to a range of standard banking services.

Bunq mobile app screenshot


  • Experience the convenience of managing your bank account finances on the go with Bunq’s user-friendly mobile app.
  • Enjoy instant money transfers within the Eurozone through SEPA Instant Payments.
  • Hold and convert funds in various currencies, ideal for international travelers and businesses dealing with foreign currencies.
  • Take control of your finances with Bunq’s budgeting and savings features, helping you reach your financial goals.
  • Opt for the “Green Card” option, where a tree is planted for every €100 spent using the card, contributing to environmental conservation.

Bunq Pros

  • API Access allows developers to seamlessly integrate Bunq’s services into third-party applications and platforms, enhancing user experience and functionality.
  • Bunq’s possession of a European Banking License ensures that it operates under strict regulatory standards, providing customers with confidence in the safety and security of their funds and transactions.
  • The availability of both Personal and Business Accounts caters to a diverse range of users, accommodating individual customers and entrepreneurs alike with tailored banking solutions.

Bunq Cons

  • Limited accessibility for non-residents or those outside the Eurozone may restrict some potential customers from fully utilizing Bunq’s services.
  • The lack of physical branches for in-person services may be inconvenient for users who prefer face-to-face interactions or require specific banking operations not available online.
  • Some services may have associated fees, and users should be aware of potential costs for certain features like the “Green Card” option or other premium services.

My Take on Having a Bank Account Online on Bunq

Bunq is an excellent option for those seeking a mobile-driven banking experience with real-time payments and multi-currency accounts. Its sustainable initiatives and budgeting tools further enhance its appeal.

However, non-residents and international students may need to consider the availability of certain features and the absence of physical branches.

For students studying in France, Bunq can be a valuable resource for managing their bank account in France, particularly for international money transfers and free cash withdrawals abroad, provided they are within the Eurozone.

2. Revolut

Revolut is a leading online bank and financial platform company offering a wide range of services through its user-friendly mobile app and debit cards, including banking, payments, investing, budgeting, rewards, and travel.

Revolut mobile app screenshot

Highlights of Having a Revolut Bank Account in France

  • Seamlessly send and request money from anyone in 200+ countries, making bill-splitting effortless.
  • Watch your savings grow with interest while exploring investment opportunities in stocks, crypto, and commodities with just $1, commission-free.
  • Enjoy spending abroad without worry, benefiting from real exchange rates for a truly local experience.
  • Unlock exclusive rewards and cashback on your spending, enhancing your financial perks.
  • Discover amazing holiday accommodations with a potential cashback of up to 10% (plan dependent).

Revolut Pros

  • Accessible to international students and non-residents, enabling international money transfers and managing accounts online.
  • Offers a variety of card designs and colors, allowing users to customize their banking experience.
  • Provides lounge passes and travel insurance options, simplifying travel arrangements for users.

Revolut Cons

  • May not fully replace physical branches for customers who prefer in-person banking experiences.
  • Availability of certain features of bank accounts may vary in different countries, affecting the overall user experience.
  • Free bank account options may come with limitations or restricted benefits.

My Take

Revolut revolutionizes traditional banking by offering an array of services accessible online, including cash deposits, international money transfers, and convenient management of savings accounts for non-residents.

While it lacks physical branches like traditional banks, it compensates with an extensive list of features such as free cash withdrawals abroad, making it an appealing choice for those seeking a modern digital bank experience.

3. Wise

Can you use Wised for Banks in France?

Wise is a financial technology company offering various services, such as international money transfers, multi-currency accounts, debit cards, business accounts, and interest features through its accessible website and mobile app.

Wise mobile app screenshots

Highlights of Using Wise for the French Banking System

  • Seamlessly send money to many banks abroad with transparent exchange rates and low fees, avoiding the high costs most banks charge.
  • Benefit from the convenience of spending and withdrawing in over 40 currencies automatically with a debit card at the live exchange rate.
  • Earn an attractive 4.13% APY on your USD balance by opting into the interesting feature, providing a welcome bonus to your savings.
  • Empower your business with a multi-currency account, efficiently managing cash flow and paying employees in different currencies.
  • Gain peace of mind with up to $250,000 in passthrough FDIC insurance, combining the power of an international account with added security.

Wise Pros

  • An attractive alternative to conventional bank accounts, offering cost-effective and efficient international transfers.
  • Users can get better interest rates than digital banks with the same current account.
  • Wide accessibility to young people and businesses seeking flexible banking solutions.
  • The interest feature provides an opportunity to grow savings at a competitive rate.
  • Free ATM withdrawals like most online banks.

Wise Cons

  • Wise may not offer the full range of services provided by traditional French banks.
  • Some banks may offer welcome bonuses or additional perks to attract new customers.
  • Personalized in-person support, like having a dedicated advisor, may not be available with Wise.
  • Not giving a free debit card.

My Take: Is Wise One Of The Best Online Banks in France?

Wise presents an excellent platform for individuals and businesses looking for convenient and affordable international money management.

As a viable alternative to a traditional savings account, it offers competitive interest rates on USD balances and ensures efficient cross-currency transactions.

However, for those who are planning to open a bank account for a comprehensive array of banking services, exploring additional options from established banks like ING Direct or other leading banks may still be beneficial.

Nevertheless, Wise’s seamless and transparent approach to sending money makes it a favored choice for a foreign student navigating the complexities of the French banking system.

4. Vivid Bank

Vivid Money is a German-based mobile banking and investing app offering a user-friendly digital platform to customers in several European countries.

Vivid Money mobile app screenshot


  • Vivid Money provides a seamless mobile banking experience, enabling users to manage finances, make payments, and access various banking services directly from their smartphones.
  • Users can enjoy cashback rewards on select purchases made with the Vivid Money card, adding value to their spending.
  • Vivid Money allows users to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies within the app, providing exposure to the thriving cryptocurrency market.
  • Engaging with the app’s features allows users to earn fractional shares of specific stocks, fostering a rewarding experience.
  • Vivid Money facilitates setting savings goals and investing in diverse financial instruments, empowering users to grow their wealth.

Vivid Bank Pros

  • Vivid Money caters to customers across multiple European countries, offering a broader reach compared to some French banks.
  • The app’s intuitive interface makes it accessible and appealing to users, especially those who prefer the convenience of online banks and digital banking services.
  • Users can choose from different plans that suit their specific needs, granting them the flexibility to personalize their banking experience.

Vivid Bank Cons

  • Vivid Money’s mobile-focused approach may not be ideal for customers seeking the in-person services provided by a French bank.
  • Some features and services may have restrictions depending on the user’s country of residence.
  • Customers accustomed to the offerings of traditional savings accounts may need time to adjust to Vivid Money’s modern approach to banking and investing.

My Take: One of The Best Online Banks in France

Vivid Money emerges as an attractive digital banking option for tech-savvy users in Europe, offering a mobile-focused platform with convenient cashback rewards, crypto trading capabilities, and stock incentives.

While it may not entirely replace traditional banks, Vivid Money presents a valuable complement to the French banking system, especially for students and young adults seeking innovative banking solutions that align with their mobile lifestyle.

5. Monese

Monese is a digital banking platform founded in 2013 and officially launched in 2015, offering accessible banking services primarily through its app.

Monese app screenshots


  • Users can hold and manage money in multiple currencies, which is ideal for frequent travelers or individuals with financial commitments in different countries, without incurring high foreign exchange fees.
  • Monese provides a hassle-free process with minimal documentation, making it a viable option for a broader range of individuals, including those with limited credit history.
  • Customers receive instant updates on transactions, ensuring convenient and secure monitoring of their account activity and balances.
  • Monese offers a current account with the benefit of free ATM withdrawals, adding convenience for everyday banking needs.
  • Account holders receive a free debit card, enhancing the ease of local and international transactions.

Monese Pros

  • Monese caters to individuals who may face challenges in opening accounts with conventional banks, providing them with a practical banking solution. This platform supports instant transfers like what other banks offer.
  • The platform’s borderless capability simplifies transacting in various currencies, eliminating the need for excessive foreign exchange fees.
  • Customers can stay informed about their finances in real-time, promoting better financial management and security.

Monese Cons

  • Monese may have limited offerings for joint accounts, which could be a drawback for customers seeking such features.
  • The platform’s mobile-focused approach may not cater to those who prefer in-person services offered by high-street banks.
  • Customers looking to transfer money to French accounts may need to consider potential fees or limitations.

My Take

Monese emerges as a valuable option for diverse customers, especially those who face difficulties with traditional banks or seek borderless banking convenience.

The platform’s mobile-centric approach and straightforward account opening process make it an attractive choice for individuals seeking a student account, expats, immigrants, or those who wish to save money on foreign exchange fees.

While it may not fully replace the offerings of La Banque Postale or other high-street banks, Monese offers accessible and innovative solutions for modern banking needs.

Notable Banks in France for Foreign Students

As a foreign student in France, it’s essential to find a reliable bank that caters to your specific needs. Here are two notable banks worth considering:

Hello Bank!

Hello bank app screenshot

Hello Bank! offers a student-friendly approach to banking, making it easy for foreign students to open a bank account. With their user-friendly online banking platform, you can easily send money, check exchange rates, and make instant transfers to other Revolut users.

Plus, Hello Bank! provides a free Mastercard, allowing you to access your money safely and conveniently in various foreign currencies.

HSBC France

HSBC france app screenshot

HSBC France is another prominent option for foreign students. They offer a wide range of banking services, including international transfers, making it easier to manage your finances while studying abroad. While some banks may charge high fees, HSBC France provides competitive interest rates and transparent account terms.

Additionally, their mobile account and online banking features make everyday banking hassle-free.

Whether you need to open a student account, transfer money to a French account, or even consider a joint account with a fellow student, both Hello Bank! and HSBC France can accommodate your requirements.

As a tax resident in France, you may need to provide certain documents, such as your student ID and an electricity bill, to verify your identity and complete the account setup process.

How To Pick The Right Bank In EU Countries?

Choosing the right bank is crucial, especially for foreign students in France. Here’s a guide on how to pick the bank that suits your needs:

1. Account Opening and Requirements

Look for banks that make it easy for foreign students to open a bank account. Check the necessary documents, such as your student ID and proof of residence, which may include an electricity bill.

2. Fees and Exchange Rates

Compare the fees charged by different banks, including the monthly fee, international transfer fee, interest rate, and delivery fee for cards. Additionally, check the exchange rates for foreign currencies, as this can impact your transactions.

3. Safety and Security

Ensure the bank keeps your money safe with robust security measures in place. Look for banks that offer encryption and authentication for online banking.

4. Debit Card and Free Mastercard

Opt for a bank that provides a free Mastercard or debit card. This will allow you to access your money conveniently and make transactions both locally and internationally.

5. Interest Rates

Consider banks with competitive interest rates, especially if you plan to save money during your time as a student.

6. Mobile and Online Banking

Convenience matters, so choose a bank that offers mobile and online banking options. This enables you to manage your finances on the go. If possible, check banking offers for transferring money or using a debit card.

7. Instant Transfers and International Services

Look for banks that offer instant transfers, making it easier to send money to other Revolut users or conduct international transfers when needed.

8. Account Options

Consider whether you need a student account, a French account, or even a joint account with a fellow student.

9. Best Online Banks

Research and compare the best online banks in France, as they often cater to young people and students with tailored services.

10. Everyday Banking Needs

Assess your everyday banking needs, such as cash deposits, and choose a bank that fulfills those requirements.

11. HSBC France and La Banque Postale

Consider reputable banks like HSBC France and La Banque Postale, as they are well-established and offer a range of services.

12. Save Money

Prioritize banks that help you save money with low fees and competitive rates.

Remember to consider factors like accessibility, customer service, and ATM availability. By making an informed decision, you can pick the best bank to support your financial needs as a foreign student in France.

Final Thoughts About The Best Banks for Students In France

In conclusion, choosing the right bank is a crucial decision for foreign students in France. With the diverse array of options available, it’s essential to consider factors such as accessibility, fees, safety, and services tailored to your needs.

To make an informed decision, explore the links throughout this article to learn more about these banks’ features and benefits. Selecting the best bank will undoubtedly enhance your financial journey and allow you to focus on making the most of your academic experience in France.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Best Banks for Foreign Students in France

1. Who can open a bank account in France as a foreign student?

Foreign students studying in France can typically open a bank account. Many banks offer accounts tailored to their needs, making it accessible for students with limited credit history or specific documentation requirements.

2. What are the benefits of choosing online banks for foreign students in France?

Online banks, like Hello Bank! and Wise, provide convenient mobile banking options, free Mastercards, and low fees. They also offer borderless banking, allowing you to transact in multiple currencies without high exchange fees.

3. Where can I find information about the exchange rates offered by these banks?

Information about exchange rates can usually be found on the bank’s official website or through their customer service. It’s essential to compare rates to ensure you get the best value for your international transactions.

4. When should I consider opening a joint account with another student in France?

A joint account can be beneficial for managing shared expenses with another foreign student. It’s ideal when you need a simple way to split bills and handle common financial obligations during your studies.

5. How do I transfer money to and from my French account as a foreign student?

Most banks, including HSBC France and Monese, offer international transfer services. You can use online banking or mobile apps to initiate and track your transfers to and from foreign countries, making it convenient for managing your finances abroad.

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