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Money matters: bank account

The currency in the Netherlands is Euro. Most transactions are made with a debit card, also for small purchases. 


Be advised that it is not common to pay with a credit card in the Netherlands. So are you going to a supermarket, shop or restaurant? Or do you want to buy a ticket for public transport? Then you need a debit card, and in most cases you can also use cash. No debit card yet? Then you can use your Visa or Mastercard to withdraw money from an ATM.

Open a bank account!

Withdrawing money with your credit card may cost extra money. And having a Dutch debit card will make paying for your needs a lot easier. Therefore it is advised to open a bank account as soon as you can. To open a bank account you - among other documents - need to show a valid proof of identity, proof of a Dutch address and a Citizen Service Number (BSN).

General information about the major banks in the Netherlands, opening a bank account, IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and internet banking you will find on the website of The Hague International Centre. Or check out this guide to banking in the Netherlands.

A few reasons why opening a Dutch bank account is beneficial:

  • If you want to work in the Netherlands you need a Dutch bank account to receive your salary and to take out health insurance.
  • To claim housing or healthcare allowances you need to deal with the Tax Authority. The Tax Authority only transfers money to Dutch bank accounts. 
  • To be able to use iDeal, the most common way to pay online for shopping or take away food delivery. 
  • 'Tikkie' or similar apps to transfer money to friends and classmates.
  • For subscriptions, such as mobile phone plan, gym, newspaper, discount card for public transport.

Mobile phone subscription

Are you looking for a phone plan? You need a Dutch bank account to get a phone subscription. Click for useful tips and mobile providers in the Netherlands.