Having a bank account in Spain has become increasingly expensive. In the last semester, many clients have seen their banks charge them high fees simply for having an operational account, or for services that were previously free or much cheaper.
Can banks charge us to take our money there? The answer is yes. The world has changed and today it is almost impossible to function without a bank account, so now we need them just as they need us. And the reality is that charging bank fees for any service is a growing trend.
For those who do not meet certain conditions, the mere commissions for keeping a bank account operational can exceed 200 euros per year.
However, there are some exceptions, especially linked to online banking. It is still possible to find in the market some bank accounts free of commissions. Some of them require receiving regular salary or pension payments or unemployment benefits into the account, or simply a regular minimum income.
The website specialized in financial services Helpmycash has listed some Spanish bank accounts with no maintenance fees.
BBVA - Cuenta Online sin comisiones
BBVA offers the possibility of opening an online bank account without maintenance or management fees. This offer is valid only for new clients.
It has the advantage that the customer receives a free debit card, also free of commissions. It also allows the holder to make free national and international transfers in euros and use the 6,000 BBVA ATMs that BBVA has throughout the country to withdraw money for free. If necessary, the client can go to any BBVA branch.
Openbank - Cuenta Corriente Open
Openbank, which is a subsidiary online bank of Santander, also allows clients to open an account without commissions and without maintenance costs.
The account can have up to 5 co-holders without charging commissions. The contract includes a free debit card without costs for the first account holder.
It also allows free national and international transfers in euros and offers the possibility of using the more than 7,500 Santander ATMs to withdraw cash at no extra cost throughout Spain. Holders of this account can also access discounts on certain brands.
Abanca - Cuenta Clara
The Galician bank Abanca also offers a bank account free of commissions and without maintenance costs. But in addition, it gives 150 euros to its new clients who receive regularly their salary or pension or benefits of more than 600 euros.
Like the previous ones, Abanca offers a free debit card for two holders, free national and international transfers in euros. And it ensures that money transfers will reach the recipient's account on the same day.
ING - Cuenta Nomina
Bank account without commissions and without maintenance or management costs. It allows two co-holders and only requires meeting one requirement: linking a monthly payroll, pension or unemployment benefit of any amount or receiving monthly income from it of at least € 700 from another bank.
Free national and international transfers in euros and discounts at some gas stations.
N26 - Cuenta N26
The German bank N26 also offers a free account with a Spanish IBAN bank identification code. This offer includes a virtual debit card with discounts on some purchases. Clients can also request a physical debit card, the cost of which is a single payment of 10 euros.
This account allows free national and international transfers in euros and does not charge customer commissions for paying in stores in a currency other than the euro. One of its drawbacks is that it only allows 3 free cash withdrawals every month at ATMs in the euro zone.