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.

  • 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
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 9:10
  • 1
    @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.
    – Googlebot
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 9:15
  • 5
    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
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 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
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 9:25
  • @Relaxed the "insured" sum should be 100'000€, so, unless I'm mistaken, the OP should be definitely safe. But, as he pointed out, his concern is not losing his small deposit, rather not getting the service he needs.
    – o0'.
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 7:56

2 Answers 2


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.

  • fascinating! news to me
    – Fattie
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 11:41
  • Interesting. Last time I went there (August 2015) they told me I needed a BSN to open a bank account. The person in question got one now and has a bank account, so I suppose this is new then? That said, their English service is great! Never had any complaints about this bank myself.
    – Belle
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 9:25

My experience with Belgian Banks whilst trying to get an account for an Italian:
Despite a banking union thas has been in vigor since years, you have to apply for specific non-residents services. When I looked for an account for an Italian, ING was the only one to offer these services. More info

I would thus recommend contacting ING's non-resident service above.

Language is no issue, ofcourse.

I am not claming ING is better in any way than ABN AMRO. This is just an extra option. You might check a bank of your choice and look for non-resident services.

  • I do want to say that I don't really understand which service you are looking for, tho. If you lose your card, you can't go to any local branchto get your card back. This is sent to your 'home branch.'
    – Lara
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 13:07

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