If you are staying in Hungary for a longer period, sooner or later you will find that it is more convenient and cheaper to use a local bank account than a foreign one.
Some major banks in Hungary:
- OTP Bank
- Erste Bank
- UniCredit Bank
- CIB Bank
- Raiffeisen Bank
OTP and Erste have the most extensive network of branches and ATMs, but UniCredit has an ATM on campus.
Why do you need a Hungarian bank account?
- It is much cheaper to withdraw cash from an ATM than from the bank office; most banks in Hungary offer 2-3 free withdrawals/month. With a foreign credit card this could cost 5-6 EUR/withdrawal.
- If you lose your credit card, it is easier to get a new one from a Hungarian bank.
- Using your card for shopping is free of charge in Hungary.
- You may open a foreign currency account next to your HUF account, so you may receive EUR or USD transfers as well.
What documents will you need in order to open an account?
- valid residence permit, /passport / ID card,
- proof of accommodation / rental contract, a local address for correspondence,
- student card certificate,
- a Hungarian phone number to give you access to online banking.
Usual costs of opening an account:
- Account base fee (around 800 HUF/month)
- Bank card fee (Embossed printed cards can be used abroad as well: around 4,000 HUF)
- Opening fee
Choosing a bank - we recommend you to consider the following:
- Easy access to branches near the school or where you live
- ATMs in your neighbourhood
As a fraud and theft prevention measure, banks send a text message after every transfer, withdrawal and credit card use.
Use your own bank’s ATMs to avoid extra charges for using an ATM of another bank.
Internet (online) banking
Online service fees are much lower than the paper-based service fees and you have access to the services 24 hours a day, including
- account information,
- pay bills,
- money transfers,
- recharging mobile phones, etc.
- Banks are not open on Saturdays, except some branches in big shopping malls.
- Banks in Hungary are supervised by the Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority. Should you have a complaint or wish to request information, please visit their web site.