A Portuguese bank account might appear really good for Erasmus students. Some of you don’t use the Euro and, like always, the banks have huge fees for using a card in Portugal. Also, if you need to rent a car, the rental company might need a credit card, that you might not have.
Nevertheless, today we are going to talk about the best bank account to have in Portugal. You have a list of choices but think about the pros and cons of each one. Note: If you want to open an account in a Portuguese bank, you need to get a Tax Identification Number (NIF). Please ask the international office about it. Besides that, you also need to have a proof of address (the rental agreement will do), a proof of your profession (student card is enough) and your ID, of course.
Caixa Geral de Depósitos
Caixa Geral de Depósitos it’s the bank run by the Portuguese government. It has a deal with Polytechnic of Leiria so you need to go there to get a student card or open an account.
This bank is very good if you want to have a free International Student Identity Card (ISIC). The card has a lot of discounts so it is very interesting if you want to travel with it. This card is also a credit card, so use it wisely (it comes with a credit of 150€).
Unfortunately this bank is really outdated and it might be difficult for you to understand everything in regards to the homebanking. Also, the ISIC card will be sent to your address so you might need to wait for about a month before receiving the card.
You also need to be careful about the fees this bank charges for using your card abroad. If you withdraw 100€ from an ATM in Budapest, you will pay 11,25€ (Ouch!). Also, if you buy something in a different currency (even with online shopping), you will pay a 3% fee. There are free alternatives below, don’t worry!
This is, in my opinion, the best bank in Portugal. It’s open on Saturdays and it’s open on weekdays till 08 PM. The best thing about this bank is that you can take the cards with you right after you open the account. You also have a Boost card (prepaid card) that gives you two cinema tickets (in NOS cinemas) for the price of one, how amazing is that!?!
Unfortunately, you need to have 100€ with you to open this account. The money will be available right after you open the account so you can use it everywhere you want. Another amazing thing is that the bank account is and always will be free.
Unfortunately the fees are also high. For the same withdraw of 100€ in Budapest, you will pay 7,50€ (less than Caixa). If you buy anything using another currency, you will pay 3%, like in Caixa. There is a free choice below!
What about N26? A bank account that you can open in your home country? With this bank you will have your account in a simple and beautiful app on your smartphone. The amazing thing about this bank is that you receive instant notifications when you make a purchase and, like the other banks above, it’s free!
Their pricing is also amazing. With your free Mastercard you can withdraw money 5 times a month, for free. If you withdrew 100€ in Budapest you would only pay 1,70€. However, the purchases with the card are free, in any currency! Goodbye pocket money, you have a golden card now! Open an account now and start saving for anything you want!
We deposit 10€ in your bank account just by opening an account and spending 20€ with the card! Use the code “ca68610@n26” on the link above to win!
Here is another Mobile Bank. Revolut is not considered a bank yet, but it’s an app that has a virtual and real prepaid card. Unlike N26, you need to pay 6€/£5 to receive the card at your chosen address. You can also open this account at your home country and start using the app when you are abroad!
You can top up the account by debit card or by bank transfer for free and you can use the card anywhere in the world for free! The first 200€ (or other currencies) you withdraw from the ATM is free, per month. You also have no fee purchases till a maximum of 6000€ (or currency equivalent), per month.
The limits are ridiculous, right? That’s why this bank is right for you! However, you might want to open an account with N26 and Revolut, at the same time, because the purchases made with Revolut during the weekends have a small fee of 0,5%.