How to open a bank account in Luxembourg

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How to open a bank account in Luxembourg

How to open a bank account in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is one of these amazing small nations that happen to be strategically located, with quick access to other European capitals - London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, or Paris. It is famous for high standards of living, therefore it attracts expats working in the industry, tech, and banking, as well as tourists, students, businesses, and people on pension. As a result, almost half of the population of Luxembourg are international citizens.

Luxembourg is a place of rich history, beautiful towns, and spectacular nature. Due to its multicultural status, you can easily speak here in Luxembourgish, German, French, and English.

If you are planning a move there, here is our guide on how to open a bank account in Luxembourg.

How to open bank account as a non-resident in Luxembourg

Documents needed to open a bank account in Luxembourg (also as non-resident)

Whether you're opening an account in person at the local branch, or online, you will need to provide the following documents: 

  • Valid passport or Identity card
  • Proof of address. You can use documents that have your address: apartment leases, current utility bill and official correspondence
  • A payslip, your work contract, or letter from an employer
  • Sometimes you will also need a tax number (in Luxembourg or from your country of origin)
  • If you want extra perks, such as overdraft protection, you are likely to be required to provide a credit report.

Make sure the chosen bank has a decent network of branches and cash machines around the country.

Holding a bank account can be free of charge or cost from 2 to 10 euros per month, depending on the services chosen. If you want to apply for a credit card, you will be asked for a credit solvency proof to ensure the bank you have the means to pay back the borrowed amount.

It's also important to remember that the rules will be different depending on the country of your citizenship - opening an account will be easier for citizens of the European Union member states.

Many of the banks offer now mobile and online banking options. Oftentimes, you will be also able to open a basic account before arrival - all you need is to provide one of the following documents:

  • your Luxembourg employment contract;
  • a certificate of residence in Luxembourg (a rental contract is not a certificate of residence in Luxembourg);
  • proof of enrollment at one of the local universities
  • proof of eligibility for a CEDIES loan: student grant paid by Luxembourg if at least one parent works in Luxembourg;
  • a document stating that you earn an income in Luxembourg, e.g. retirement pension, even if you aren’t a Luxembourg resident;
  • proof that you collect rent from property in Luxembourg.

And if you happen to change your mind about the account you have opened, most of the banks will help you with the transition, close your old account and open a new one for you.

Best banks in Luxembourg

There won’t be a shortage of banks to choose from since Luxembourg’s banking sector is the country’s largest source of revenues. It is important, however, to note that most banks in the country are there to provide services for the wealthy and to manage investment funds.

Best banks in Luxembourg as a non-resident

There are plenty of retail banking options for your everyday banking needs, with a great network of branches and cash machines. Among them are:

  • BNP Paribas is the largest bank in the country, and since it's also a big international financial institution, it offers foreigners free bank account options, wide ATM network and branches all over Europe. It has options for businesses and private banking. BNP has extensive online services, basic and premium Mastercard payment solutions, as well as services around financing, insurance, investments, asset diversification management, etc. With BNP, you can also share your bank account with other holders.
  • ING: known for their great ATM partner network and excellent online banking, this Dutch bank is popular among students, workers and expats. Accounts come with a contactless debit card.
  • Post is a bank run by the national postal company. They have one of the most affordable bank accounts in the country. Their ATM network includes Raiffeisen cash machines. Post has its own mobile app to manage your banking online.
  • BCEE aka Spuerkess is a bank with one owner, the State of Luxembourg, which means it is a reliable, strong institution, which earned it a place in top ten mthe ost secure banks in the world. Spuerkess has a large network of branches, all typical account types and debit cards for a fee. They offer also packages of different current accounts that deal with daily transactions, payments and bills, with up to 6 cards coming with one account. You can manage your banking with Spuerkess via their mobile app. It also has a special expat Zebra Premium account.
  • BIL, Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, is one of the main players in the country, offering private, corporate and institutional banking, as well as other services. It has been around since 1850-ties, and you can find its branches in Switzerland, Denmark and the Middle East.
  • Among international banks, Bank GPB International S.A and Raiffeisen Bank are also worth your attention.

It will be rather easy to open a bank account in Luxembourg as a non-resident. There are literally hundreds of banks within its borders and ATMs everywhere.

It is important to understand your bank’s fee structure and read the fine print. Especially information concerning limits on withdrawals and in which cash machines will you be charged extra can be of importance.

The virtual bank account alternative

It is expensive to do international money transfers from Luxembourg

If you need to transfer money anywhere outside Europe, you will probably think first of using a traditional bank transfer. Banks use what is called the mid market rate to transfer and convert money between one another, in order to cover their expenses and to profit. This can make for a big sum - for example, if you transfer 10.000 euros from Luxembourg to India, your recipient will get around 9000 euros worth of rupees, depending on the bank you use, the currency of the transaction, and the charges this operation incurs, including exchange rates.

With a virtual bank account offered by B2B Pay, you get your own European IBAN account, which you can use to receive or send money from/to anywhere - it is especially convenient in Europe. Second, B2B Pay uses mid market rates as a basis and only charges a flat fee of 1% of the total transaction. For the above transfer example, your recipient would get 9900 euros worth of rupees within 24-48 hours, a much faster time than in case of regular bank transfers.

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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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