The banking system in the Netherlands is fairly simple, with most banks offering comparable packages. Expats living in the country will need to open a Dutch bank account to receive their salary and pay for many other services.
Money in the Netherlands
The currency of the Netherlands is the euro, which is divided into 100 cents.
Notes: 5 EUR, 10 EUR, 20 EUR, 50 EUR, 100 EUR, 200 EUR and 500 EUR.
Coins: 1 EUR and 2 EUR, and 1 cents, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents and 50 cents.
Banking in the Netherlands
The largest banks in the Netherlands include ABN AMRO, ING, Rabobank and SNS Bank. Expats should shop around to find which bank suits their specific spending habits; some banks charge more for cash withdrawals than swiping your debit card at a supermarket, for instance. Most banks offer internet and mobile phone banking facilities.
The Dutch generally do a lot of payments with direct debiting from their accounts, so expats should be prepared to set up this sort of system for their accounts. Debit cards are provided with most accounts, but credit cards have to be applied for.
It’s impossible to rent an apartment or receive a salary in the Netherlands without a bank account, so it is essential to set up an account soon after arriving in the country.
Banking hours in the Netherlands are usually from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Some banks stay open later on Thursdays or Fridays and are open on Saturday mornings.
Opening a bank account
To open a bank account in the Netherlands, expats will need to provide documents such as their passport, proof of address and their BSN number.
A BSN number is a Dutch social security and tax number, and it's needed to get a job or open an account. Expats must get a BSN number from their local tax office soon after they arrive in the Netherlands.
Credit cards are accepted across the Netherlands, but the Dutch usually only use them for large purchases. There may be some trouble finding a pay-point in some places, so carrying some cash is always advisable.
ATMs are widely available and can be found outside most banks, and at airports and train stations. Cash withdrawals are usually free for local account holders. Dutch bank cards can be used in other banks’ machines, although withdrawal limits usually apply.
Taxes in the Netherlands
Personal income tax in the Netherlands ranges from nine to 51.75 percent. In addition, all residents have to pay social security and income-related healthcare insurance contributions.
Expats bringing specific and scarce skills to the Netherlands can apply for the '30 percent ruling'”, which renders the first 30 percent of their salary tax-free. An application has to be made, and qualification is skill-dependent. The 30 percent ruling can make moving to the Netherlands a financially attractive proposition.
►For more on financial matters, see Cost of Living in the Netherlands
Are you an expat living in The Netherlands?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to The Netherlands. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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