It is easy to open a Portuguese bank account for non-residents. It is advisable especially for ex-pats to open a bank account with international banks in Portugal. It is a good option if they are considering staying in the country for long. 

In this article, you can discover the best Portugal banks for expats and more. 

Table of Contents

Why Do You Need A Bank Account in Portugal?

A bank account in Portugal makes your life much easier, especially if you plan to stay for a long time. With a Portuguese bank account, you can save time and money on your daily transactions. 

You can easily pay your utility/household bills through your account, and receive salaries. Also, if you plan on taking out a mortgage, your account will make the process much easier.

If you are a Golden Visa applicant, you will need a bank account in Portugal banks. That’s why we prepared this guide for Portugal banks for expats.

Opening A Bank Account in Portugal Nonresident

If you are not opening a Portuguese bank account for nonresidents from overseas, you need to go to a local branch in person. Some banks also offer opening an account online. However, they are generally more related to digital and mobile banks.

The first thing to do is to find a local branch of a bank near you. You can find them on many banks’ websites. Most of them show the branches near you. It is also advisable to search if any bank staff speaks English. If not, bringing an interpreter or a phrasebook can be better for you. If your Portuguese is fluent enough, you may not need those. 

Required Documents

Although they may differ depending on the bank, generally, the necessary documents are like these: 

  • Proof of ID (i.e: a passport)
  • Proof of address (i.e: utility bill)
  • Payslip or proof of employment (if not employed, you may bring proof of registration with the Portuguese employment center or a work contract assurance)
  • Your Portuguese NIF number (Portuguese Tax Number)
  • While opening up a nonresident account in Portugal, in general, you need to provide details of your overseas address used for tax purposes.


  • First, choose the bank
  • Then, prepare the necessary paperwork
  • Choose the type of account you will open
  • Submit the necessary documents to the bank
  • Lastly, wait for the result of your application. Usually, it takes approximately 20-30 minutes. Within a few days, you will receive your credit, debit, or cash cards related to your account. 

In the next section, you can find top Portugal banks.

The 5 Best Banks in Portugal for Expats and Foreigners

Millennium BCP

Millennium BCP is the largest private bank in Portugal. Residents and expats can open accounts with this bank. A good feature of the bank is that it offers a Millennium Start account. This is available for anyone under 17 years old. This is especially useful when you travel with teenagers. 

The bank also provides various services and products such as retail, commercial, and investment banking services. It is a member of the Euronext 100 stock index and it has more than 500 branches in Portugal. It serves more than 2.2 million customers.

Furthermore, one of its subsidiaries is Activo Bank. So, Millennium BCP performs its retail banking through Activo Bank. 

The minimum deposit in this bank is €150, or an equivalent amount in another currency. The bank account allows various other currencies besides the Euro. 

The bank also has a very good Internet banking facility as well. It even has an English version across all banking facilities. Not to mention that it is very user-friendly. 


Novobanco is a private bank and one of the largest banks in Portugal. It is quite new, founded in 2014 by the Bank of Portugal. It was to take over the liabilities and assets of the old Banco Espírito Santo. Lone Star Funds acquired 75% of Novobanco in 2017 and became the major shareholder.

Novobanco offers an account called Welcome Account, aimed especially at immigrants. You can also open a Golden Key Account if you speak English, or prefer English. It makes Novabanco one of the top banks in Portugal.

The following services are available through this bank:

  • Retail and investment banking services
  • Insurance services
  • Asset management services
  • Venture capital services.

Thus, it can be said that it’s the best bank in Portugal for foreigners.


This is also quite a new bank, founded a few years ago. As stated above, ActivoBank is a subsidiary of Millennium BCP. This means that you can deposit or withdraw cash in all of their ATMs too. At this bank, you can easily find English-speaking staff. You can easily find information in both English and Portuguese. Its website and app also operate in English. That makes it the best bank in Portugal for foreigners.

Another advantage of this bank is that you will receive your debit card as soon as they create your account.  Also, there are little or sometimes no fees regarding account maintenance.

You should also note that sometimes, operation fees may be higher than other banks. Also, they have fewer offices compared to most other banks. 

Caixa Geral de Depósitos

It is a state-owned bank, being Portugal’s second-largest bank, and the biggest in terms of total assets. Currently, it is present in 23 countries across four continents. Because it is a state-owned bank, it offers good options for foreign currency accounts and for students as well. 

Also, even if you live in another country but are a Portuguese resident, you can still have an account specifically for your circumstances. 

It also has the highest domestic shares in customer deposits, loans, and advances to customers, insurance, mortgages, and mutual funds. 

Banco BPI

The bank has operations in Portugal and Spain, as well as other nations such as Angola. It is the market leader in corporate banking there. Also, in Mozambique, it controls 30 percent of BCI Fomento.

That’s the fourth-largest bank in Portugal. You may pick from five distinct account types, ranging from children to adults. You can have a bank account there if you’re under the age of twelve. If you’re looking for investment funds, Banco BPI has 20 to choose from.

Best Online Banks Portugal

Recently, some online banks Portugal and mobile banks have been formed. These types of banks offer the users the ease to open their accounts from wherever they are seated. They can use their mobile phones or computers to open their account. You can do this freely through your phone within a few minutes. 

Let’s now look at the best online banks Portugal.


You can easily download its app to your smartphone to access Portugal banking. Through N26, you can track your expenses and set aside money in real-time. You can immediately use your account without waiting for your physical card to arrive. Also, you will not pay fees for ATM withdrawals through your Mastercard in euros and payments in any currency, regardless of where you are in the world. There’s no foreign exchange fee, either. 

Needless to say that it is quite user-friendly. The setup of the account and the application is also very easy. First, you register on the N26 website, then download the app. The next step is to pair your phone. Lastly, you add your funds to your N26 account. You can also order your Mastercard to use it in Portugal.

N26 in Portugal is active and has a growing user base, although the bank still does not offer customer service in the Portuguese language.


Revolut is another useful app you can use for your transactions as an online bank Portugal.

The app analyzes your spending and gives notifications on those. You can also connect your other bank accounts here, and manage all of them from one point. You can send, request money, or split bills with friends and family immediately, regardless of where they are in the world. There is also little interbank exchange rate for money transfers abroad. Through this app, you can also get gold and buy crypto.

The signup process is quite similar to N26. First, you register on Revolut’s website and download the app creating a four-digit passcode through your phone. Enter the necessary information about yourself. Lastly, add your funds to your Revolut account. You can then order your Visa or Mastercard to use in Portugal.

Wise, formerly TransferWise

Through Wise, formerly, Transferwise, you can make transfers in a very quick way. Also, transfer fees and pricing is transparent and fixed. When you travel abroad, up to €200, you can withdraw cash with no fee from Transferwise per month. Furthermore, you can make payments and withdrawals in any place in the world (if they accept Mastercard) through a multi-currency debit card. Also, when you transfer funds, you get real-time exchange rate data from Transferwise as well. 

Signing up for a Transferwise borderless account is also easy. You can do it from your phone or laptop. You provide basic information about yourself. Then, you link your Transferwise account to your home country account. When the account is open, it will verify your identity through your ID card. All the processes will take only a few days in total.

How To Open a Wise Account


bunq (written in lowercase) is a trendy challenger bank with a green theme and travel amenities that is attempting to appeal to young people from all around Europe. It accomplished some impressive feats in this area.

bunq bank mobile-first accounts may be created online in seconds, and unlike most other banks, you don’t get to be located in the Netherlands to open an account with bunq. Thus, anybody in the European Economic Area can join up.


Currency in Portugal

Portugal is a member of the eurozone and so Portugal’s currency is the euro (€). Eight distinct euro coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, and also €1 and €2) and seven distinct banknotes (€5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500) are in circulation. Yet, some smaller establishments may refuse to take notes worth more than €50 or €100. 

Cash Machines and ATMs in Portugal

There is a system called Multibanco service in Portugal. All the main Portuguese banks are part of this service. The Multibanco system connects the cash machines throughout the country. It operates through around 11,000 ATMs. In big cities, you can easily find one anywhere. In rural areas or villages, they are fewer. 

The Multibanco machines allow for all major bank cards like Visa and Mastercard. The fee for foreign bank transactions is around 2–3%. Certain international banks that are part of the Global ATM Alliance, do not charge fees for this. 

In Portugal, you can find the ATM near to you via locator services for Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Banking Services in Portugal

  • Current accounts are accessible in the form of regular day-to-day accounts. These include student or youth-specific accounts, and also vip accounts with a larger selection of credit card possibilities.
  • Loans and overdrafts: accounts with an overflow option are available. Personal loans are available from most banks for expenses such as vacations, home upgrades, and unanticipated costs.
  • Mortgages: In Portugal, fixed or variable rate mortgages are available through most banks’ lending facilities.
  • High-interest savings and time deposit accounts, as well as funds and Portuguese pension systems, are examples of saving and investing.
  • Property insurance, vehicle insurance, life insurance, and Portuguese medical insurance are all examples of insurance.
  • Digital and online banking: Each of Portugal’s major banks provide online banking, which allows users to access their account at any time of day or night.
  • Mobile banking: You may install a Portuguese mobile application and bank with your mobile for even more ease. There’s also the choice of creating a mobile-only bank account.
  • Business banking: The majority of these services are provided to companies as well. If you’re establishing a business in Portugal, it’d be great for you.
  • Expat services: In Portugal, you may shop around with banks to obtain the finest services specialized for expatriates and foreign residents.

Bank Holidays in Portugal

Banks in Portugal adhere to the public holiday schedule. In a year, there are 13 holidays:

The first of January is New Year’s Day.

The Friday following Easter Sunday is known as Good Friday. Good Friday happened on April 15 in 2022.

  1. Easter Sunday was April 17th in 2022.
  2. Freedom Day is April 25.
  3. The first of May is Labor Day.
  4. The national day of Portugal is June 10.
  5. 60 days following Easter is the moveable festival of Corpus Christi. It happened on June 16th in 2022.
  6. It is Mary’s Assumption on August 15.
  7. Day of the Republic is October 5.
  8. The first of November is All Saints Day.
  9. The return of Independence Day is on December 1.
  10. Immaculate Conception Day is on December 8.
  11. The 25th of December is Christmas.

Payment Methods in Portugal

Payments in Cash

In Portugal, cash is still a common mode of payment. As a member of the eurozone, the nation adopts the euro currency. The Multibanco service, which connects cash ATMs across the country, is used by all of the major Portuguese banks. When you’re using a Portuguese debit card at an ATM, you won’t be worried about bank fees.

In Portugal, cash transactions are limited to a maximum of €3,000. Despite the fact that cash is still widely used, figures from the European Central Bank reveal that the average amount of cash held by each Portuguese individual (€29) is the lowest among Eurozone members.


Check payments are not particularly common among Portuguese clients. Checkbooks must be obtained individually with bank accounts in Portugal for a little price if you want to order them.

Debit Cards

In Portugal, card payments account for approximately 75% of overall cashless transactions, far exceeding the EU average. Across the country, debit cards are extensively utilized. The Multibanco card can be used as a credit or debit card and is utilized by approximately 86 percent of the Portuguese people.

Fees and Charges for Using Debit Cards in Portugal

Per year:

Activo Bank€0
Banco CTT€19.20
BNI Europa€23.90
Best Bank€41.80
Banco Big€33.20

Credit Card

Even though most banks accept credit cards, they are not as common as debit cards in Portugal. If you open a new account, you’ll normally be required to apply for one. Credit cards, like debit cards, come in a variety of designs. Before joining up for anything, it’s a good idea to look into the benefits and prices connected with certain goods.

In Portuguese online and retail companies, you may use major international credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Payments Online and Mobiles

In Portugal, online payments are increasing at a rate of roughly 21% per year, while mobile payments are increasing at a rate of 35%. Online payments may be made with debit and credit cards, whereas mobile payments with mobile phones and smart devices can be made with banking applications. Payment apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay, or digital wallets like PayPal are commonly used.

Portugal’s Taxation System

The most important taxes in Portugal are income tax, social security tax, business tax, and value-added tax.

If you spend at least 183 days in Portugal each year, you have been deemed a resident and are subject to taxation.

What is Income Tax Portugal?

In Portugal, income taxes are referred to as IRS, or Imposto sobre o Rendimento de Pessoas Singulares.

Portugal has a progressive income tax system, which means the more you earn, the more you pay in taxes. The tax rate ranges from zero to 45.3 percent. You will not have to pay taxes on your income if you earn less than 654 EUR (720 USD) every month. Anyone earning more than 80,641 EUR monthly is up to the highest tax rate.

How Do You Pay Taxes in Portugal?

Your company withholds taxes from your income on a monthly. They pay the state immediately, so you don’t have to think about spending monthly taxes if you’re a worker. But, you must still file a tax return each year. It is done between the first of April and the last day of June of the next fiscal year on ax Agency’s website Portal das Finanças.

Bank Account for Portugal Golden Visa Holders

Portugal Golden Visa applicants first need to obtain a NIF (Portuguese tax number) number. Then, they can open a bank account to apply for a Portugal Golden Visa. 

We hope our best banks in Portugal article helps you to choose the best match for you. 

Map of Banks in Lisbon

You can find the map of Lisbon Banks below

We hope you like our ultimate guide about Portuguese banks. You can find the best match for you on the list of banks in Portugal above.


Can a foreigner open a bank account in Portugal?

Yes, foreigners can open a bank account in Portugal regardless of their residence status.

How do I open a bank account in Portugal as an expat?

First, you need to find a bank. Then you will prepare the necessary documents mentioned in the Required Documents section above. Following the submission of these documents, your bank account will be created immediately.

What documents do you need to open a bank account in Portugal?

You can refer to the Required Documents section above.

What are the lending criteria for a mortgage in Portugal?

Generally, the banks evaluate the property’s valuation and your financial position.

What can you do with a bank account in Portugal?

You can conduct almost any type of transaction with your bank account in Portugal. To name a few: 

  • Savings and investments
  • Loans and overdrafts
  • Mortgages
  • Business banking
  • Insurance
  • Digital, online, and mobile banking
  • Trading services
  • Expat services.

How to open a Portuguese bank account‍ as a foreigner?

If you’re thinking of moving to Portugal, or if you’ve already made the move, one of the first things you’ll need to do is open a bank account. This can be a bit of a challenge if you don’t speak Portuguese, but it’s not too hard either. Here are a few tips on how to open a Portuguese bank account:

  1. Find a bank that offers English-language support. This will make the process much easier for you, as you won’t have to worry about communicating in a language you’re not comfortable with.
  2. Make sure you have all the necessary documentation. When opening a bank account in Portugal, you’ll need to provide your passport, proof of address, and other documentation as required by the bank.
  3. Consider using international banks in Portugal. If you have an existing relationship with a bank in your home country, they may have a branch or affiliate in Portugal that you can use. This can make the process much simpler.
  4. Start small. When you first open a bank account in Portugal, you may want to keep the balance low until you get a better understanding of how things work. This will help you avoid any unnecessary fees or charges.

Following these tips should help you open a Portuguese bank account without too much trouble. Once you have an account, you can start enjoying all that Portugal has to offer!

What documents do you need to open a bank account in Portugal?

In order to open a bank account in Portugal, you will typically need to provide the following documents:

– Your passport or other valid ID

– Your residency permit (if applicable)

– Your proof of income/employment

– Your utility bill or other proof of address

Once you have opened your account, you can use online banking to transfer money, pay bills, and more. Portuguese banks offer a wide range of services, so be sure to shop around for the one that best suits your needs.

When choosing a Portuguese bank, it’s important to consider:

– The fees charged for various services

– The bank’s location and branch network

– The bank’s hours of operation

– Whether the bank offers online banking and mobile banking services

– The type of account that best suits your needs (e.g. savings account, checking account, credit account, etc.)

Are the banks safe in Portugal?

The banking sector in Portugal is considered to be relatively safe, especially when compared to some other countries in the Eurozone. Portuguese banks have been able to weather the financial crisis better than many of their counterparts in other countries, and the government has taken steps to further strengthen the sector. However, there are still some concerns about the stability of the banks, and it is important to monitor the situation closely.

How to send money to Portuguese banks?

To send money to a Portuguese bank, you will need to have the recipient’s bank account information handy. You will also need to know the routing number for the Portuguese bank. Once you have this information, you can either go to your local bank or use an online money transfer service.

When using your local bank, you will likely need to fill out a wire transfer form. This form will ask for the routing number, account number, and other pertinent information. Once the form is completed, you will take it to a teller and they will process the transaction for you.

If using an online money transfer service, you will simply need to enter the recipient’s bank account information. The service will then typically provide you with a quote for the transaction. Once you have accepted the terms of the quote, the money will be sent to the Portuguese bank.

What can you do with a bank account in Portugal?

There are a few things that you can do with a bank account in Portugal. One is to use it as a savings account. You can also use it for your everyday banking needs, such as transferring money and paying bills. Additionally, you can get a Portuguese debit card, which can be used at ATMs and point-of-sale terminals to withdraw cash or make purchases.

Another thing that you can do with a bank account in Portugal is to apply for a credit card. With a credit card, you can borrow money from the bank up to a certain limit and then use that money to make purchases or withdraw cash. Just be sure to make your payments on time and in full to avoid getting into debt.

Overall, having a bank account in Portugal can be very helpful and convenient. It can help you save money, make everyday transactions, and even get access to credit. Just be sure to research the different options available so that you can choose the right one for your needs.

Which is the best bank in Portugal?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, the best bank in Portugal would really depend on what you’re looking for. However, some of the most popular and well-regarded banks in the country include Banco Santander Totta, Banco Português de Negócios, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Millennium Bank Portugal, Novo Banco Portugal, bpi Portugal etc. These banks offer a variety of services and products, so you’ll be sure to find one that suits your needs.

What are the best banks in Portugal for expats?

There are a few different banks in Portugal that offer services specifically for expats. These include BBVA, Millennium BCP Portugal, Banco Santander in Portugal, HSBC Portugal and Caixa Geral de Depósitos. Each of these banks has different benefits, so it’s important to compare them before deciding which one is right for you.

How can non-residents open a bank account in Portugal?

In order to open a bank account in Portugal, non-residents will need to provide the following documents:

-A valid passport or another form of photo ID

-Proof of residency in Portugal (e.g. utility bill, lease agreement)

-Proof of income or employment (e.g. pay stubs, employment contract)

-Tax identification number (NIF/NIE)

-Initial deposit

The process for opening a bank account in Portugal may vary slightly from bank to bank, but in general, you can expect to open an account within a few days. Additionally, many banks offer online banking services which make it easier to manage your finances from anywhere in the world.

Portuguese banks generally have good customer service and offer a variety of products and services, so it is worth doing some research to find the best bank for your needs. Once you have opened an account, you will be able to use your Portuguese bank card (ATM card) to withdraw cash, make purchases, and transfer money internationally.

Can you open a bank account online in Portugal, without going to the bank?

Yes, if you are a Portuguese resident, you may be able to open a bank account online in Portugal without going to the bank. You will need to provide some personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth, as well as a valid form of identification, such as a passport or ID card. Once you have provided this information, you will be able to choose a username and password for your account. Once your account is opened, you will be able to use online Portuguese banking services to manage your finances.

Can I get a credit card from a Portuguese bank?

It is possible to get a credit card from a Portuguese bank, but it may be difficult to do so if you do not have a good credit history. You may want to try to apply for a credit card with a foreign bank that has branches in Portugal.

What are the best online banks in Portugal?

There are quite a few online banks in Portugal that offer great services. Some of the best ones include Banco BNI Europa, Banco CTT, and Banco Montepio Geral. All of these banks offer excellent customer service, competitive interest rates, and a wide range of products and services. If you’re looking for an online.


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