How To Open a Bank Account in Portugal

How To Open a Bank Account in Portugal

Opening a bank account can be tough for non-residents in many countries. Places like Hong Kong and Singapore, known for their global financial services, make it particularly challenging. However, Portugal has emerged as a favourable choice for foreign investors seeking a European Union (EU) bank account.


Portugal stands out because you don’t need to be a citizen to open an account, and the process is not complicated for transferring money. This article will explore the advantages of having a bank account in Portugal and guide you through the steps to get one.

What are the Benefits of Opening a Portuguese Bank Account?

Portugal is part of the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA). At the same time, Portugal is a European country; its use of the Euro and its denominated value makes it easier to access, especially with SEPA’s cashless system, with direct debit, credit transfers, and seamless banking. With Portugal using SEPA, it can better integrate your finances with other accounts you might have.


Money transfers to different EU countries don’t come with any additional fees, and the same applies to direct debits. Where there would be transactional costs, this is not the case in moving money from Portugal to a separate EU account.


Low Maintenance & Transaction Fees:

While some banks in Portugal have started charging transaction fees, some banking institutions still don’t have any additional costs. If you look out for the right bank, you can open an account and get a card for €0 a month. Institutions like ActivoBank and Banco CTT are two examples of banks with no additional fees.


Eurozone banking activity doesn’t charge you if you are regularly using a card, regular card use like ATM withdrawals, SEPA transfers and other actions.


Multiblanco Banking:

Portugal has a unique system called Multiblanco Banking. It started in 1985 with ATMs, operational with international cards, but if you have a Portuguese card, you unlock capabilities unlike any other.


At a Multiblanco ATM, as long as you have a Portuguese card, you can do the following:

  • Top up your prepaid phone plan if you have one.
  • Pay your utilities or online shopping orders.
  • Even purchase tickets to a recreational activity of your desire.

Even though many cities in Portugal are still very much cash-dependent, if you are carrying a Multiblanco debit card, many retailers will accept payment with it even if you don’t have cash.

What You Will Need:

Now that you have a better idea of the benefits of opening a bank account in Portugal let’s go over what you will need to do to open and use a Portuguese bank account.

  • A phone number that can receive SMS text messages (it can be any phone number, including a Portuguese one).
  • Pay slips/proof of income or similar documentation that shows your profession or job title.
  • Your NIF number, which is the Portuguese Tax Identification Number.  
  • Proof of Portuguese address or home address, regardless of where you live.  

Activobank and Banco CTT are two popular banking institutions not only for their low costs but also because many of their staff speak English. This is a significant positive for foreign investors who don’t speak the language.

If any of the listed items necessary to open a bank account in Portugal are not available to you, or if you are located remotely from Portugal and need assistance with the process, we are here to help,  

The Steps You Will Need to Take:

  • Get your NIF number. It’s free and isn’t too complicated to get.
  • Apply for a bank account; one of the popular options is Activo Bank. You can do this by visiting one of their branches. Or, if you already have a Portuguese residency card, you can apply online.
  • Make sure to have these 4 documents when going to the bank to make your account.

– Proof of income that shows your line of work.

– Proof of address, this can be found on your bank statements or customs forms.

– Passport

– Your NIF.

When opening your bank account, bring €250 with you to deposit into your new account. It will take maybe 20-30 minutes, and you will walk out of the bank with your new debit card.

 Secure Portugal Residence and open a bank account effortlessly with our specialized services. Our specialists also have experience in Citizenship by Investment and offer other residency programs worldwide. Contact Fast Passport Boutique by Jane Katkova for personalized assistance today.

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