Bank accounts in Poland

by mbogda

If you moved to Poland and found a job here, you may consider opening a bank account in Poland to make it easier for you to receive your salary, make transfers within Poland, or just withdraw money from the ATM.

General rules for Bank accounts in Poland

In accordance with the law, banks are obliged to offer a free bank account to anyone, that so far hadn’t opened any bank account in Poland. This free account is very basic, but enough if you don’t plan to use this account a lot. You’ll get a free debit card, some free withdrawals, and a few free transfers. You may not receive a credit card or other credit product connected to this account. If you want to use the bank account more often, you need to choose a regular account that may require you to meet conditions to keep the account free (usually it involves regular incoming transfers and/or actively using the card.

Can you, as a foreigner open an account in Polish Bank?

The answer is: yes, but it will take you more time than it would if you had Polish citizenship.

What documents are needed by Polish banks

It generally depends on the bank, but in general, you will need an address in Poland and your ID. Some banks need PESEL – a Polish identification number, residence and your employment contract. It’s always best to check at the specific bank.

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Is your money secure in Polish banks?

The answer is – yes. If you keep your money in a bank, it is guaranteed by the Polish Banking system. If your bank defaults (which has not happened in many years now), you’ll get your money back up the equivalence of 100 000 EUR.

Recommended bank accounts in Poland.

Below you’ll find my recommendation for accounts that I use. Some may involve a referral link or code. If you use it – I might receive some money from the bank.

mBank

This was the first fully Internet bank in Poland, and although it changed its business model, it is still one of the most popular banks in Poland. It’s all in one – except for the bank account, it offers an investment account (low commission on stock and no commission on investment funds), pension fund and many more. Their interface and app are easy to use, and although their website does not offer English version, their App does.

mBank has offices mainly in large towns, and has not so many own ATMs but uses PlanetCash.

This is my main bank account, I set it up over 20 years ago and so far see no reason to change it.

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Their basic account (ekonto osobiste) is for free, and a debit card is for free, provided you:

  • make monthly payments with the card that amount to 350 PLN
  • withdraw from the ATM no less than 100 PLN/ transaction (each transaction below 100 PLN results in commission: 2,5 PLN)

Unfortunately, to open a bank account in mBank, foreigners need to visit the bank office, they cannot do it online.

Millennium

Millennium Bank was announced by Newswek to be the most customer-friendly bank in Poland. Their most popular account is Millennium 360° account, which offers:

  • 0 PLN for opening and maintaining the account.
  • 0 PLN for regular domestic PLN transfers via the internet, BLIK transfer to mobile and cash withdrawals from our ATMs.

If you pay at least 5 times by card or BLIK in a month (or once if you’re 18-26 years old), you’ll also not pay for:

  • debit card
  • BLIK contactless payments
  • withdrawals from all ATMS in Poland and abroad

If you fail to pay at least 5 times, the onthly fee will be 5 PLN (if you are 18-26 years old) or 11 PLN (if you are 26 years old or older).

The big advantage of Millennium Bank, compared to mBank, is that they have a website in English, and you may open the account online – however, you’ll need to go to the bank and confirm your signature.

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If you want to open an account in Millenium Bank online, go along the following steps:

Go to the Millennium Bank website using this link. This is my referral link, which will allow both of us to participate in their special offer.

Scroll down, enter my referral code: 32965599 and click Open Account.

You will see three ways of opening an account, but as you don’t have neither Polish ID nor PESEL, you may only choose to apply online and sign the agreement in any branch. In the next step you’ll choose the branch where you want to sign the agreement.

In the next steps you need to give your details and – if you want to participate in promotion – give marketing consent.

After your application is complete, you should visit the branch of your choice.

PKO Bank Polski (PKO BP)

PKO Bank Polski is one of the oldest Polish banks. It is still partially owned by the state. Their website is only available in Polish, but their App offers other languages (English, Ukrainian, Russian).

What may interest you in their offer, is the account “Konto za zero”. What are the main highlights of the account?

  • They keep your account for free
  • You have free withdrawals and deposits at ATMs of PKO Bank Polski
  • Free withdrawals from ATMs abroad (but ATM operators may charge fees, and expect a commission on currency rate)
  • Free BLIK withdrawals in all ATMs in Poland
  • Free standard transfers in the iPKO service and the IKO application
  • Free Instant BLIK transfers to a phone number
  • PLN 10/month for handling a debit card (paying using a card or BLIK 5 times/month makes lets you avoid the fee)

Unfortunately, to open an account in PKO Bank Polski, you need to go to the bank.

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