Before purchasing a property, car or anything else when moving to Portugal, the first thing we needed to address was opening a bank account in Estremoz town centre.
We chose to do this at Montepio for three reasons: 1) it was recommended by our estate agent 2) it is one of the oldest private banks in Portugal (established in 1844) and 3) it has a small office with only 3-4 people working there, so we figured we would receive a good – and personalised – service.
Other options for opening a bank account
There are of course lots of other banks in Estremoz to choose from – see a comprehensive list below.
We contacted the bank from home before dropping into the office (it pays to have a Portuguese speaking friend), so were fully armed with all the necessary documentation when we went to open the account:
- Passport or other official ID
- Proof of address
- Portuguese NIF number
- Some cash to deposit
- Tax number from your home country (in our case UK national insurance number) – not sure if this is obligatory, but we were asked for it due to European money laundering laws
We dealt with Ricardo at the Estremoz branch of Montepio, who was very courteous, helpful and speaks some English.
The process of opening the account, signing documents etc. took about 30 minutes in all and at the same time we were given access to the Montepio online banking (only available in Portuguese – but English version coming) and a debit card was ordered to arrive by mail (sent to either your overseas or Portuguese address). We don’t require a credit card until we are full-time residents in the country.
Monthly bank charges
The monthly maintenance charges on the account are €5,20 (including tax), which was a bit of a surprise as we are used to free banking in Spain, but this includes transfers and cash withdrawals at the Montepio ATM.
When it came to the purchase of our property, the bank prepared and issued a Bankers Cheque (Cheque Bancario) that was exchanged with the seller at the signing. As we only arrived in Estremoz on the actual day of the signing, the bank was extremely helpful in preparing the cheque for pick up on the same day (standard charge €20) with everything being organised by email in advance.
So far we would say that we are very pleased with our choice of bank and are happy to recommend them to others.
Note: the views and opinions expressed in the above blog are my own, based on personal, first-hand experience.
Address: Praça Luís de Camões 61 Rc, 7100-512 Estremoz
Opening Hours: 8:30–15:00
Tel:: +351 268 337 390
Address: Praça Luís de Camões 1 2, 7100-512 Estremoz
Tel: +351 268 009 030
Caixa Geral de Depositos
Address: Largo da República 35, 7100-505 Estremoz
Tel: +351 268 339 307
Novo Banco Estremoz
Address: Rossio Marquês de Pombal 71, 7100-560 Estremoz
Tel: +351 268 338 010
Banco Santander Totta
Address: Largo da República 5 – R/C, 7100-513 Estremoz
Tel: +351 268 339 330
Address: Rossio Marquês de Pombal 81/83 A, 7100-513 Estremoz
Tel: +351 268 338 030
Address: Largo dos Combatentes da Grande Guerra, R. C 25, 7100-111 Estremoz
Tel: +351 268 241 270
Caixa de Crédito Agricola
Address: Largo da República 4, 7100-513 Estremoz
Tel: + 351 268 339 170