Free Dutch bank account for students – Rabobank

Are you a student and do you need dutch bank account? My experience with the process of getting bank account in Netherlands. What looks like an easy and fast thing can at the and be pretty annoying and long-run deal.

RabobankRabobank, Source:

I have several czech bank accounts, as I am quite sensitive to the services provided by banks. I hoped, that I will not have to create another one, but I had to. Reason was quite simple – I worked for the university at Master's open day. If you are forreign student and you do not have Maestro card, you will not be able to pay with your card in the shops, so you also would like to create a bank account. At Rabobank, there are bank accounts for students totally for free. The only problem – dutch bureaucracy and time horizon of several weeks. In order to be able to have a bank account, you have to have BSN/sofi number (social security number, unique identifier of you in Netherlands). Another complication for most of the foreign people will also be the language – everything is in only Dutch. Including Internetbanking, so be prepare for that. But let it take step by step, how the whole process looks like and what is an alternative to Rabobank.

Bank account with help from Jules & You

Required BSN number is given by the municipality. I also provided my experience with how I asked for mine BSY number in article Registration at municipality in Maastricht. If you already have one, then the process is quite easy. The first meeting at Jules & You was scheduled on Thursday 6th October at 14 o'clock. I registered, got confirmation and arrived there with another about 8 people. I got a form that I needed to fill in. Only one piece of paper, basic personal information, fields marked in English. We were told about the process and that the bank now needs 2 weeks for our cards and stuff. We should arrive in 2 weeks (20th October) to sign the contract and get the bankcard. Nice.

But there is still the BSN number issue. The Rabobank requires is for activation of the account. I went to Jules & You without it. I signed the contract, but to get my bankcard and to active the account I need to wait till I get my BSN number. I hoped, that I will get it the week after that when my appointment at the municipality is scheduled. So I only get a bag, contract and bank conditions.

At the beginning on November, I got reminder from Jules & You, that my account is still not active and I can send my BSN number to them as soon as I get it, they will forward it to the bank, so I do not need to bother to go to the bank office. Thank to Jules & You for their care.

Still waiting

Today (17th of November), I went to municipality, but as described in the article Registration at municipality in Maastricht, I still need to wait for about 2 weeks to get my BSN number. WTF?. Since the beginning of October, I still do not have my bank account and BSN number. That's called the Dutch bureaucracy. I thought in the Czech Republic it was worse, but now I doubt that. This is really not good. What's the alternative? ING. According to my friends' experience, they do not need the cursed social number to create you a free student account in Netherlands. Well, I should have known that sooner, but I also need the social number in order to get tax discount on the work at Master's Open Day at Maastricht University. And what I do not understand is, that Rabobank argues with some regulation that dictates them to require the BSN number. But how the hell is then possible to get a bank account at ING without it? That's the thing that nobody can explain to me and I really do not want to spend more time trying to figure that out.

Important part is Rabobank BIC, which is: RABONL2U; and for getting yourIBAN you can use this calculator.

29.11.2011 I was nervous, so I wrote e-mail to Jules & You to check the situation, they are ready to help. The next day I got the answer saying: „Thanks for your message. The final ‘okay’ for your bank account was given yesterday. Within a day or two your should receive 2 letters...“ I am curious, if I will get it until the end of the week. I doubt it.

7.12.2011 I asked what it wrong that I still haven't received anything and this answer came: „I just checked with the bank. It is very, very unfortunate but your case was subject to Murphy’s law. This means that due to a system error the bank card was not automatically sent to you, which is normally the case. The bank will order it again, and it should take approx. a week for the bank card to arrive. I am sorry for the inconvenience. This does not happen normally, and it will not happen again.“

15.12.2011YES! Finally! I got my PIN number on Friday and today also my Bankcard, so I can use the Internet banking and access my account!

Article last edited 15. 12. 2011, viewed: 5059-times.
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labels Labels:Bank account, Bureucracy, Erasmus, Money
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comments Comments (1):

avatar Aidas (1. 12. 2011 @ 21:51)
I don't think ING is free, at least last year you had to pay 20 euros to sign up. And the service is really horrible, they send everything via mail or you have to call to their superexpensive call center. And in Rabobank I can just come and get things done right away, without having to wait. And it's free.