I have purchased about 8,000 Euros as I am going to study in Netherlands soon. I received ten 500 Euro banknotes and the reset in 100s and 50s. Recently I read that spending 500s is actually pretty difficult, however I want to deposit them as soon as I arrive.

Do banks in Netherlands accept them to deposit in my account or I will run into problems?

P.S the reason that I don't want to break those 500 banknotes down is that it would be really dangerous and difficult to carry and travel with them. So I would rather have a manageable amount of banknotes with me on flight.

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    @pnuts No , however I have my MVV visa and the university informed me that they will have a day assigned for me to open a bank account. It is like few days after I arrive. Jan 14, 2017 at 19:46
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    @pnuts obviously a blackmetal band is not my name. However I can't see the connection between that and my question !!!? Jan 14, 2017 at 19:51
  • Keep in mind that many countries have customs rules that require disclosure of large amounts of cash when you enter/exit, with strict penalties for failing to make such a disclosure. This amount is 10,000 EUR when coming into the Netherlands from a non-EU country, but your origin country and any non-EU country you transit through may have different rules, including a lower amount. Jan 14, 2017 at 19:57
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    @pnuts that is a very useful information, I will check with the university representative regarding this matter. However, one of my friends starting his education one semester earlier and went through roughly the same process for his bank account. He almost immediately deposited 6,000 euros. The difference is that he had all in 100 banknotes. Jan 14, 2017 at 20:00
  • @ZachLipton , the Original country that I am going to take the flight is Malaysia. Based on what I learned so far; multiple sources state that currency export regulation for Malaysia is "up to USD 10,000.- or equivalent." which I think should be fine. Jan 14, 2017 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


You should have left the money in your bank account and have gotten it transfered when you have your Dutch bank account opened, without ever touching the money.

But yes, you can pay in €500 notes, certainly into your own bank account. They will ask for your passport, make note of the number and maybe even take a photo copy of it.

And each of the bank notes will be tested, likely first by the teller when you hand it in, secondly likely in a back room by people who are more specialized. If the money is real, no problem. It is when the notes are not proven real that you may get into trouble. Losing the value is the least, if they suspect you of intentionally paying with falsified money you can have to face prosecution. Jail time is possible as well.

Which is why I started with the advise not to travel with the notes.

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    Thanks for your answer. Unfortunately since I am already an international student, studying in a foreign country; the banks here do not allow international transaction. Otherwise, as you said, transferring the money to my own bank account would have been the best option. I'm also not worried with the originality of the banknotes as I have received them from a bank here. As long as the banks in Netherlands would accept 500 banknotes to be deposited in my account, it should be fine. thanks for your answer. Jan 14, 2017 at 19:57
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    @HiradGorgoroth In my experience international bank transfers are often expensive, involving a number of surprise fees and terrible exchange rates. There are other electronic ways to move money about (TransferWise seems to be popular at the moment), although obviously you should investigate them carefully before using them.
    – Calchas
    Jan 14, 2017 at 21:25
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    @Willeke I can see where you're coming from on your advice not to carry cash, but using electronic transfers can be quite expensive. One anecdote, I remember I used to get my expenses paid in USD-denominated cheques; the foreign fees and rate-loading to pay that into my UK bank account would eat about 10-15% of the value of the cheque! The alternative was to cash the cheque at the issuing bank in the US and hand carry the hard currency back, and change it locally, costing about 1%. However, unlike here, I was not worried about being given illegitimate notes from a US bank.
    – Calchas
    Jan 14, 2017 at 21:34
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    All costs will be less than losing one €500 note to thieves. If wiring the money is too expensive, withdraw it at the ATM in the bank and pay in the notes you get out of their own machines. You will still pay costs and you will have to repeat a few times but likely it will not cost more than you would pay getting Euros in a non-Euro country anyhow.
    – Willeke
    Jan 14, 2017 at 21:41
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    @Willeke That's simply wrong. The fees for an international wire transfer or ATM withdrawal of 8000€ can easily exceed 500€. If I had withdrawn the equivalent of 8000€ in a non-euro country from an ATM with my credit card, my bank would have charged 440€ for the withdrawal and my bank is by far not the most expensive bank in the country I live. Jan 15, 2017 at 13:54

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