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I would spend a long summer vacation across Europe. For a long trip around different countries, it is not wise to carry cash. On the other hand, my credit card is in US dollar. In practice, the charge for exchange and foreign card is quite expensive. Moreover, if I lose my card, I cannot get a replacement quickly.

Therefore, I wish to open a bank account in Europe to deposit cash in it. Then, I can get a local debit card in Euro, as I can use it without additional charges. In this case, if losing my card, I can visit a local branch for the replacement.

Do European banks open bank account for travelers (non-residents without local address)?

I found that Latvian banks open bank account for foreigners and everything is in English; but I prefer to use a major bank with a better continent-wide service. Of course, language is also an issue, as I expect to receive a service in English.

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You might have luck but I have heard German banks even make problem for people who have an address on the other side of the border. If Latvia is not good enough (what's the problem?) and you are mobile I would probably try to look for another country to open a bank account as I suspect German banks might be among the most annoying regarding residency. –  Relaxed Jun 20 '14 at 9:10
@Relaxed first, I wish to consider other options too; second, a friend told me that Eastern Europe banks are not reliable due to the economic crisis at this time. When saving unreliable, I'm not afraid of losing my money, but not to get the service when I need. –  All Jun 20 '14 at 9:15
Have you checked if your bank offers a euro denominated account? And/or a credit or debit card with no overseas fees and no withdrawl fees? –  Gagravarr Jun 20 '14 at 9:20
@All I am not a specialist but I believe banks in the Euro area have to participate in an insurance/guarantee scheme for current accounts up to a certain limit and the BCE has become much more aggressive in its approach (Draghi's “whatever it takes” speech). It's possible that one country will be forced to introduce restrictions on capital movements or shave saving accounts Cyprus-style but if you only have a few thousands euro on a current account, I would think that losing them is exceedingly unlikely. –  Relaxed Jun 20 '14 at 9:25

1 Answer 1

In case of an American, until very recently it was problematic because of FATCA, however by now all EU countries have signed agreements. So you're in luck.

The Dutch bank I'm using, ABN-AMRO, offers services for exapats, as well as for non-residents.

ABN AMRO International Clients: your Non-Residents and US-persons Banking Specialist. Please contact us for all your financial matters including day to day banking, savings, Internet Banking in English, Investments (does not apply to US-persons) and more.

There is also a legalese disclaimer for „US-persons”, which I don't pretend to fully understand, but it seems mainly related to investments, rather than current accounts.

So in my opinion the best thing if you contact them directly and ask.

An account comes with Maestro debit card.

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