How to open a bank account in the Czech Republic


In contrast to many bureaucratic procedures in the Czech Republic, opening a bank account is quite easy. There are no special limitations for foreigners and the account should be ready to use within a week.

Most banks will only need your passport and another form of identification, such as a driving license, to open an account for you. There may be exceptions when you are needed to provide further documentation but this is rare.

When you first set up your account you have to pay an initial deposit. This varies from bank to bank and will usually be between 200 and 2,000 CZK. The deposit is not a fee but the first in-payment on your account.

Some banks also offer to open accounts online. You'll have to fill in the info needed online. However you will then still have to go to the bank the next day to sign a contract.

If you want to apply for an ATM card you will need to allow plenty of time. Czech banks are known for taking a very long time to hand out debit and ATM cards, regardless of the prompt service promised in their ads.

Czech debit cards are usually Visa Electron. The account balance is checked for every payment so that it cannot become overdrawn, unless you have specifically applied for an overdraft. Credit cards are only available to Czech citizens and permanent residents.

Which bank to chose depends on the services you want. While all banks charge fees for almost everything, it is worth doing some research since these fees vary greatly. There are also special offers that change every couple of months.

Banking fees in the Czech Republic

Czech banks are really innovative when it comes to charging fees for any type of banking service. The monthly fee for a bank account in the Czech Republic is around 30 to 50 CZK, the annual fee for a debit card is between 150 and 200 CZK. Even the use of an ATM is charged, usually around 6 CZK if you use your home bank's machine. If you use ATMs of other banks the fees are much higher.

If you need an overdraft for your account you will also very often have to pay service fees. In addition, interest is applied to overdrafts. Internet banking is available from many banks but again not free of charge. Electronic purchases are free with the major banks.

If you lose your debit card you usually have to pay about 2,000 CZK to have it blocked. To get a new card – you can already guess what happens – you will be charged again.

Further reading

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