Bank Account Portugal
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How to open a bank account in Portugal remotely

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Brenda L.



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Bank account Portugal


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A Portuguese bank account is one of the most common requirements for any visa application to live in Portugal, as well as the AIMA residency card interview. It is also a great alternative for those wishing to invest or house their funds in Portugal. 🏦

However, even if you already have an NIF, creating a bank account outside of Portugal can be challenging. 😬

In this article, we will discuss how you can open a bank account in Portugal before moving in, and how it can be easier than expected.

Why open a bank account in Portugal?

Simplify your life

Several services use direct debit to request payments via Portuguese iban. Typically, you set up water, electricity, phone, and internet bills with a direct debit from your Portuguese bank account. This also qualifies your account for year-long discounts. ðŸ˜Š

MBWay: Portugal's Venmo

With a Portuguese bank account, you'll have access to MBWay, a rapid transfer and payment service associated with your phone number that is exempt from fees. Money transfers are available immediately, and you can also use the service to withdraw money or make payments in any store. 📱

Economic stability

Portugal is a desirable location for international banking due to its stable economy and strong banking system. Even for foreigners, t**he country provides a safe and secure environment for your financial assets.

Benefits for expats

For expatriates, having a local bank account in Portugal simplifies various aspects of investment, such as purchasing a property or investing in business or the financial market. However, the primary benefit lies in ensuring you're ready for your visa appointment by fulfilling this crucial requirement in your application.

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Can foreigners open a bank account in Portugal?

Yes! 😊

Non-resident foreigners are allowed to open a bank account in Portugal, as long as it presents a Portuguese NIF (Portuguese tax ID number).

What are the requirements to open a bank account in Portugal


When opening a bank account in Portugal in person, you will need to provide the following information 🏦:

  • Portuguese NIF
  • Passport or residence permit
  • Legal status in the country
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of address


Only foreigners with residence permits or Portuguese citizens (citizen card holders) may apply remotely for a bank account in Portugal. 😬

Remotely with a third-party company

Here at AnchorLess, you can easily open a bank account in Portugal remotely before arriving in Portugal. You'll need to present:

  • NIF Portugal
  • Proof of address in your home country
  • Proof of identity (passport)
  • Financial means or proof of income
  • Home country's tax number

Banks can also request additional documents to grant your account. You'll have a flexible timeframe to prepare and provide, if needed.

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Choosing the right Portuguese bank

Popular banks in Portugal

Several banks in Portugal are renowned for their excellent service and robust online banking platforms. Some of the top choices, and most traditional banks, are 🏦:

  • Millennium BCP
  • Caixa Geral de Depósitos
  • Banco Santander Totta
  • Banco BPI

There are several international banks, such as Credite Agricole, and digital banks available in Portugal, such as ActivoBank, that also offer bank accounts services for foreigners, within the same limitations as the traditional banks 😊.

Comparison and customer reviews

When choosing a bank, examine the services, accessibility (english speaking options, or agency location) and fees provided by various institutions. Reading customer reviews can also reveal information about the bank's customer service quality and overall reliability.

Which bank does AnchorLess provide?

AnchorLess partners with Millenium BCP, one of Portugal's most prestigious banks.

Our solution includes a premium account with an English-speaking manager, as well as English-language web platforms and apps.

Choosing your Portuguese bank account

Personal current account ‘conta à ordem’

This regular checking account caters to your daily financial needs 💸. You may easily deposit and retrieve money, make payments, and utilize a variety of financial services.

Joint Account

Opening a joint account is a great option for couples or business partners who want to manage their finances together.

It allows multiple people to easily access and control the account. This feature allows all account owners to easily access funds and work together to manage their finances. 🤝

Savings account or 'conta poupança’

Opening a savings account allows you to save money and earn interest on the funds you put in. Although it may offer a lower interest rate compared to other investment options, it provides quick use of your funds if necessary. 💰

Time-deposits account or ‘conta de depósito-a-ordem’

Perfect for those looking to invest a specific amount for a set period of time and earn interest. The duration can vary from a few months to several years, depending on the agreed timeline. 💰

What are the uses of my bank account in Portugal?

You can use your bank account in Portugal for 💳:

  • Debit and credit cards use
  • SEPA fund transfers
  • Mortgage application
  • Loan application
  • Investment (stocks, savings, crypto)
  • Insurance
  • Digital and Mobile banking services

What are the advantages of my bank account in Portugal?

There are several benefits involved in having a bank account in Portugal, which are 💡:

  • SEPA and Euro account: You will have an EU account (PT50 IBAN account) that uses Euros as its currency and allows you to conveniently make financial transactions within the block using the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), a service that facilitate financial moves.
  • Multibanco and MBway use: Anyone living in Portugal knows that having a Multibanco accessible card is essential. Not all ATMs accept international cards (especially those away from major centers), so the need for a multibanco accessible card is critical. In Multibanco, you can also define direct debits, pay services, and pay utility bills. Besides that, there is also MBway, a service registered to your Portuguese phone number that allows fast and cost-free financial transactions, such as transfers and purchase payments, to be made through your phone number.
  • Low fees and costs: Money withdrawals within the EU can be free of charge. Depending on the account, age, and funds, you can also qualify for reduced costs on several transactions, such as money transfers. Rates are low, usually between 5 and 17 euros, with some banks having no cost whatsoever, depending on the account chosen.
  • Your daily life will be easier: your bills can be directly linked to your bank account and you won't depend on the mail system. With the direct debit linked to your bank account, you can ensure timely payment of your bills. This service is available for everything from regular bills to gym and transport memberships.

What if my bank account in Portugal is refused?

Your request may be denied if you don't meet the criteria or provide the requested document. If you believe a mistake occurred, you have the option to file a complaint with the Bank of Portugal, the agency overseeing bank behavior in Portugal. 💬

Frequently asked questions

Does digital banks work in Portugal?

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What are the advantages of getting the bank account through AnchorLess?

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How long does it take to open a bank account with AnchorLess?

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AnchorLess is not a bank, accounting, tax, investment, or legal advisor. We serve as an intermediary, streamlining your access to accredited financial and legal professionals for your relocation to Portugal.

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