Our new amiga Maite at the bank hooked us up real nice on Friday. OK, so maybe we’re not amigos per se, but she did make the necessary (but dreaded) experience of opening up a bank account here relatively painless. Frankly, I’m surprised it was so easy, given that we don’t have our student cards yet. I figured it couldn’t hurt to go into a friendly-looking branch and ask, but was expecting we’d be turned away for lack of some sort of documentation. And yet, 45 minutes and an initial deposit of €100 later, we walked out with all the paperwork and get to return next week to pick up our new debit card.
Don’t quote us on this, but apparently, anyone with a passport can open a bank account here. As an added bonus, by doing things in Dreamer’s name, we we able to setup online access because the government has given her an NIE – a number to identify foreigners. I’m basically just accompanying her as family.
According to Maite, the only thing someone like me without an NIE would lack is access to online banking, which seems kind of strange. But then again, so does her recommendation to close the account before 18 months goes by… otherwise the bank keeps a commission of €50 from your account. Sure enough, online banking indicates our available balance is always €50 less than what’s actually deposited in there.