How to open a bank account in Hungary

How to open a bank account in Hungary

Hungary has over 250 thousand registered expats living and working in the country enjoying a relatively low cost of living paired with a high quality of life specially in its major metropolitan areas such as Budapest. It makes sense: with beautiful livable, modern and affordable cities, affordable real estate and a thriving cultural landscape, it is no wonder students, workers and retirees choose Hungary as their top destination.

If you are looking to make the move to Hungary you will need a bank account and there are many options available to you as an expat. Here is our guide on how to open a bank account in Hungary:

Documents to open a bank account in Hungary

To open a bank account in Hungary you need:

  • A valid residence permit or work visa
  • An address card or proof of address such as an apartment lease contract
  • A passport

Some banks will also require a utility bill and proof of income such as salary slips. Some banks will require of of the above. The good news is that most banks will only require your passport with a work visa which is great for any expat. However, the more information you can provide, the better.

Can I open a bank account in Hungary as a non-resident?

Yes, it is possible to open an account as a non-resident and it is best to check with your banking choice so you know what are the actual requirements as these vary greatly. There are banks with special accounts that will not require a work visa or a work permit and without these opening an account may be a challenge.

Best banks in Hungary

Banking in Hungary is a well established business with a long stable history. There are many banks for you to choose from with the major banks being OTP Bank, K&H Bank, Erste and CIB Bank. All of them offer all the basic banking services you are accustomed to such as debit cards, savings accounts and online bill payments. A lot of banks also offer accounts in HUB and Euros which can be a life saver for those that need to do a lot of transactions internationally. In Hungary there are fees involved with opening and keeping a bank account as well as bank card fees but these aren't too high so there is nothing to worry about. For example, the fee for opening an account in one bank is 5000HUF and the account maintenance fee is 2000 HUF.

Here are some basics information about each of the four major banks in Hungary:

  • OTP Bank. OTP is the largest bank in Hungary with 1500 branches all over central and Eastern Europe. With a network of over 2000 ATMs and a smartphone app available in English this could be a good option anywhere in the country if you are an expat. A bank card is free for the first year.
  • K&H Bank: with a network of over 200 branches and hundreds of ATMs all over the country, K&H is a good choice with a full range of financial products and account types. Monthly account fees start at about 470 HUF and accounts comes with a free contactless debit card which you can use for free as well both locally and abroad. They have a free call back phone service in English if you have any questions about opening an account with them.
  • Erste Bank: with 2700 branches around the world, this is an established global banking force with a strong network of ATMs around Europe. In Hungary it has over 130 branches and over 450 ATMs.  Their eBanking is aware winning, accounts come with a debit card and they have special accounts for students and youths as well as for professionals and businesses. Not in English. /li>
  • CIB Bank: being the second largest retail bank in Hungary, CIB features a comprehensive network of 140 branches and over 200 ATMs. Their basic bank account has a low 510 HUF account management fee, debit card included  and related services such as travel and overdraft protection.

It is a fairly easy process to have a bank account of your own in Hungary provided you comply with the minimum banking requirements. There will be fees as we have briefly mentioned but it is nothing to worry as long as you do your research and also ask for a fees list when opening an account. We recommend that you choose your bank based on personal convenience, that is, the bank that will make your life easier with proximity of branches, ATMs structure according to your lifestyle and to choose an account that meets  your needs as a student, professional or business.

The virtual bank account alternative

It is expensive to perform international money transfers in Hungary

International money transfers are expensive because banks do not use what is known as the mid market rate. This is the rate a bank uses to transfer money to another and these are obviously low. However, in order to make a profit banks charge high above this rate and also typically charge the standard SWIFT rate from clients as well.

This is not the case with a virtual bank account with B2B Pay. We charge a flat fee of 1% above the market rate and no SWIFT fee which translates into savings over 80% in most markets and transfer speeds that are usually twice as fast in comparison to traditional SWIFT transfers. If you want to have a European IBAN code with an account that you can do international transfers to virtually anywhere in the world with the best rates, try B2B Pay's offer.

Sign Up with B2B Pay

How to open a bank account in Europe

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple European countries and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.



How to open a bank account overseas

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple countries all over the world and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.


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