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LISTED: The Spanish bank accounts you can open with just a NIE number

The Local Spain
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LISTED: The Spanish bank accounts you can open with just a NIE number
Dutch bank ING is among those that offer bank accounts to foreigners with a NIE number. (Photo by DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP)

Some Spanish banks expect customers to be residents with an income in order to be able to open an account with them. Fortunately, there are several 'bancos' in Spain that allow you to open accounts with just a NIE number.


Whether it be navigating the unpredictable office hours, the language barrier, the different rules and regulations, or even the taxes you have to pay, trying to open a bank account in Spain can be tricky.

Even for fluent Spanish speakers who are resident here, accessing different types of accounts often depends on whether you’ve got a job or are self-employed, and what you can prove with payrolls and paperwork.

So imagine the difficulties for second-home owners in Spain? Or those who spend extended periods of time in the country without getting or wanting residency? Many might need a Spanish bank account to pay bills or to avoid high commission fees with a foreign card.

Fortunately, there are several banks that offer accounts you can open with just a NIE. Here’s the best of them.

What is a NIE?

But first, we should quickly remind ourselves what exactly a NIE is.

READ ALSO: 14 things you should know about Spain's NIE number for foreigners

NIE stands for Número de Identificación de Extranjero, meaning 'Foreigner Identification Number'. The NIE has 7 or 8 numbers and 2 letters – one at the beginning of the number and one at the end. It will begin with either an X, Y, or Z, and is a unique number given to you (for life) that you need to do pretty much anything administrative in Spain.

Having a NIE number does not mean that you are a resident in Spain. The NIE is different from the small green residency document which is often mistakenly referred to as a NIE because it includes the NIE number, when it is actually called the Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión. A NIE is also different from a TIE, which is the foreign photo ID card for non-EU residents.

Many non-residents in Spain have NIE numbers for various reasons, some of which might need a Spanish bank account. So, which accounts can you open with a NIE alone?


N26 current accounts

N26 offers 3 different bank accounts you can open with a NIE, all of which don't have any pesky extra fees: the N26 Standard, N26 You and N26 Metal. You must be of legal age and have a NIE to open an N26 account.

These accounts come with a few benefits, including:

- Free N26 card
- No maintenance or administration fees (something rare in Spain)
- Free transfers
- No foreign exchange fees when making purchases

BBVA Online Account

Opening a BBVA Online Account is very simple for those who have a NIE. All you have to do is meet the following requirements: be over 18 years old, live in Spain (or have a 'habitual address' if you aren't a full resident), have a NIE number and not already be a BBVA customer.

Features of the BBVA Online Account:

- Like the N26 accounts, BBVA’s Online Current account has no admin or maintenance fees
- Unlimited free transfers
- Free debit card, with no issue or maintenance fees.
- If the account has two account holders, each will receive a debit card free of charge
- Access to more than 6,000 BBVA ATMs in Spain free of charge.


The Openbank Current Account, a bank which is a subsidiary of Santander, offers:

- No fees or extra charges (0 percent NIR, 0 percent APR)
- Free 4B MasterCard debit card for the first cardholder
- Free national and EU transfers in Euros
- Free cash withdrawals at over 7,500 Banco Santander ATMs
- You can also use Santander branches to make deposits or withdraw money

Bankinter Interest account

To open a Bankinter Interest Account all you need is your NIE and be of legal age.

Bankinter Interest-Bearing Account offers:

- Interest of up to 5 percent APR in the first year (up to 2 percent APR in the second year)
- Nominal annual interest rate: 4.94 percent the first year (1.99 percent APR the second year)
- Free national transfers via the internet
- Free credit card (Visa Única Clásica or Visa Única Oro)
- Free debit cash withdrawals at Bankinter and group ATMs.


ING Salary Account

If you are not a Spanish citizen but are an EU citizen, to open the ING Salary Account you’ll just need a valid passport and NIE or EU Citizen Registration Certificate. If you are a non-EU citizen, unfortunately you need to be resident in Spain to open it and the NIE alone won't be enough.

ING Salary Account offers:

- Free debit and credit card
- Free transfers during the day (as long as you make the transaction before 13:00 each day)
- 2 free overdraft days
- 4-month Welcome Deposit at 2.75 percent APR

If you don't even have a NIE number but still wish to open a bank account in Spain, the article below lists accounts which offer this possibility to new customers.

READ ALSO: How to open a bank account in Spain if you're not a resident


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Steven Coster 2024/02/07 11:36
Be warned! Some institutions refuse payments from some of these accounts. Example, N26 cannot send payments for social security. Lumissa cannot take a direct debit . All this despite a Spanish IBAN.

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