Complete guide: Open an account with a bank in Portugal

Come and discover what the process of opening a bank account in Portugal is like, whether foreigners or Portuguese citizens, everyone can open their account simply, quickly and easily. Find out the necessary documents, requirements, procedures and choose your bank!


We simplify the path to your bank account in Portugal – Come and open the doors to your financial future!

Young caucasian woman wear purple shirt white t-shirt casual clothes using mobile cell phone hold credit bank card do online shopping order delivery booking tour isolated on plain orange background
Complete guide: Open an account at a bank in Portugal. Source: AdobeStock

Opening an account at a bank in Portugal can be simpler than you think! This is a process that everyone who lives and wants to have a certain financial independence needs to carry out.

A bank account facilitates transactions, bill payments, access to cards, financial services and much more, being essential for stability and convenience. Even if you have a job or not.

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So, whether you are a foreigner or a Portuguese citizen, the process is practically the same, but some documents may be different. So, stay tuned as we will give you a list of everything you need in this step by step.

Find out about the best national banks, what virtual accounts are, the differences between services and fees and how you can open your account, what you need to send and how much money is needed! Don't miss any details!

Portuguese banking system and benefit of opening your account

In Portugal, the process of opening a bank account is relatively simple and essential for anyone who wants to take advantage of the financial services offered by the country's banking system.

The banking system in Portugal is robust and diversified, made up of traditional banks, online banks and credit unions. The strict supervision of Banco de Portugal guarantees the stability and security of the system.

With a well-established banking network, banks in Portugal offer a variety of services, from savings accounts to current accounts, facilitating the daily lives of residents and foreign investors.

Requirements and criteria for opening a bank account in Portugal

Firstly, to open a bank account in Portugal, you need to choose one of the more than 30 banks available in the country. Therefore, there are some requirements that you need to pay attention to.

Firstly, most banks only accept people over 18 or emancipated to open their account. However, some banks offer youth accounts for those with children.

Additionally, some banks may ask for a minimum amount of income through a receipt. It is also very common to make an initial deposit to open your account, but the amount varies from bank to bank.

Documents required to open a bank account in Portugal

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Documents required to open a bank account in Portugal. Source: AdobeStock

Therefore, if you want to open your bank account in Portugal, you will need to separate some documents. If you are a citizen, it is important to present your Citizen Card or ID. It is also essential to present your NIF.

Furthermore, proof of address, proof of income and the amount of the initial deposit to open the account are usually sufficient in most banks in Portugal!

On the other hand, if you are a foreigner trying to open an account in Portugal, simply take your passport instead of your Citizen Card. Be aware that some institutions place restrictions on foreigners.

Options for foreigners who want to open an account in Portugal

By the way, speaking of this subject, how about we check out the banks that offer the best advantages and facilities for foreigners? Some international banks in Portugal offer great scenarios.

Some famous names are Millenium, N26, Revolut, ActivoBank, Montepio, BNI, among other important ones. Thus, Portugal has options of national and international banks for those who want to open an account.

In fact, some of these banks do not charge any type of fee, with N26, Revolut, ActivoBank and BNI. In addition, BIG and CTT banks also have no maintenance fees. In fact, some of these options are virtual!

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Procedures and steps to open a bank account in Portugal

After all the points we have already seen, it is important to provide a step-by-step guide for anyone who wants to open a bank account in Portugal. Firstly, it is necessary to take the information presented and look for the appropriate bank.

Check all the details, the type of account, whether there are fees, what documents must be sent and whether it is possible to open it online! On the other hand, if you want to go in person, find the address.

So, be prepared, bringing the necessary documentation and possible forms filled out so that your visit is brief! Furthermore, just wait for the bank to evaluate the documents provided and open your account.

Types of accounts available in banks in Portugal

Furthermore, it is important to be aware that there are several types of accounts to choose from when opening yours at a bank in Portugal. So, let's look at some specific examples.

Minimum utility bill

This is a basic services bill, as the name suggests. So, it is ideal for receiving salaries, making transfers, withdrawing money, making debts. As maintenance fees are low, they grow a lot.

N26, Revolut, Finantia, Invest, BIG, BestBank and Activo Bank. These are names that are free of fees for this type of account.

Current account

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Current account. Source: AdobeStock

A current account is a traditional account, that is, it is an account where you can carry out your daily financial operations smoothly. In fact, be aware that these accounts may have maintenance fees.

Therefore, when opening a current account at a bank in Portugal you can request cards, checks and even ask for a loan. It is also possible to make withdrawals on the Multibanco network.

Savings account

A savings account may not be the best option for those who want to make money, because interest rates are often negative. which can cause you to lose money.

Furthermore, when they are positive they are not very high. In this sense, an investment account is more interesting for anyone who wants to make money. So, find the best options at the bank you are interested in.

investment account

If you are looking for an account to invest your money, you can consider opening an investment account. In this scenario, it is possible to invest in funds, shares and even bonds.

In fact, it is important to research the rate the bank charges for the service. These values vary and will make a difference in your final income.

Recommended alternative: Banco Big!

Whether you are a foreigner or Portuguese, you now know the most important information to open your account at a Portuguese bank. So, check out some of the most used options in the country, check the prices and separate the documents.

Having an account, whatever type it is, can make your day-to-day financial transactions much easier. But, beyond that, how about finding out more details about a specific bank?

Here at Senhor Cartões we have selected an option that you might be interested in knowing: Banco Big! This is a digital bank that will bring several facilities to your daily life at an affordable price!

So, find out how to open your account right now and in just a few moments using your smartphone! This is your chance to start having an active financial life in Portugal!

Banco Big

What is Banco Big? Discover how to log in, deposits and more

Banco Big is a fully digital Portuguese institution. So, make a series of exclusive financial transactions when you become a customer!

About the author  /  Filipe Travanca

Bachelor in History and Audiovisual from the University of São Paulo. Passionate about writing and literature, he works as a screenwriter, editor and short story writer, exploring the most varied themes and subjects. A very curious person, who likes to study a little bit of everything and share this learning in his texts.

Reviewed by  /  Samantha Scorbaioli

Senior Editor

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