There is a great variety of banks and each bank usually offers more than one option for opening a bank account.
Here are some tips what to watch for when choosing the bank account:
1. Residential/non- residential account – In Spain there are two basic types of accounts:
– non-residential – can be opened only with your passport/national ID with no need of Spanish address (not offered by every bank)
– residential – requires NIE Card as a proof or residency
2. No commission – There are banks such as ING Direct that advertise themselves as an online bank with no commissions.
3. Free debit and credit card – check there is no yearly commission for the credit /debit cards
4. Cash withdrawal – be well informed in which cash machines is the money withdrawal for free and if there is any net of “partner” banks that you can withdraw the money without or less commission.
5. Free money transfers – don’t forget to ask if there is any commission for national/international transfers
6. In English – some banks offer online banking as well as printed documents (contract, bank statements, leaflets, …) in English
7. Opening hours – most of the banks have the opening hours Mo-Fr 9:00-14:00, and usually opening on Thursday afternoon. There are banks with more flexible hours, but it is not that usual.