If you are planning to stay in Austria longer than 3 months, you should open an Austrian bank account.
Actually, it is quite easy to open an account – the tricky part is choosing the best offer from a variety of different banks. Once you have chosen your bank you should make an appointment at one of their offices. Usually Austrian banks require proof of identity like a passport or your driver’s license, proof of residence in Austria (Meldezettel) and sometimes a passport photo to open an account.
The most common form of banking accounts in Austria is the current account (called Girokonto). Banks generally charge every 3 months a fixed fee for your checking account. However, you should always look for special offers such as free checking for students through ‘feels like home.’
Most important features of a current account (similar to a checking account) are:
- Drawing money with your EC/debit – card from all Austrian ATM machines. Normally they are located outside banks. However, using your local Austrian card saves you a lot of money and commission which might be charged when using foreign debit or credit cards.
- Transferring money (locally and abroad).
Paying monthly bills such as rent or phone contracts by automatic deduction from your account/direct debit.
Normally all banks offer free or very cheap Internet-banking access and even telephone banking with your account. You should use these options as they save you a lot of time and effort.
When moving to Austria opening a bank account should be on top of your to do list, since it simplifies your life in Austria.
We would like to recommend one big Austrian bank in particular, the Erste Bank:
Staff there is highly trained to advise you in any financial matter. In particular two Erste Bank offices in the 3rd district are specialized in helping international students and expats. They want to address you with the following short letter.
Dear Students and Expats!
With your decision to move to Vienna for your studies or your new job, you have started a new and exciting period of your life.
We understand the difficulties and issues that arise when moving to a new country and want to help you with the important topics of banking and insurance.
We are proud to be a partner of ‘feels like home’ and therefore we offer international students and expats special conditions and unique services.
Our team is especially assigned to the feels like home community in order to offer an English speaking service and a contact person that is available for your questions and concerns!
It would be a pleasure to come back to you with further information and concrete suggestions.
As a strong partner in finance and insurances we want to attend you during your successful time in Vienna.
Sandra Essler, Ayse Gencigör