Italian bank accounts

Unicredit is a very popular choice amongst Italians. They have over 8,500 branches in most cities and towns in Italy, so you will be able to find a branch, or an ATM almost everywhere. Unicredit offer several different accounts with varying benefits and fees. For traditional bank accounts there are three levels – silver, gold and platinum. The silver account offers a prepaid card, release of check forms and SEPA transfers online, this account costs 9€ a month. The gold offers also the Flexia credit card with an annual fee and costs 12€ a month. Finally the platinum offers 2 debit cards, an additional credit card as well as the ability to transfer money from ATMS in Italy and abroad. This costs 22€ a month. They also have 2 types of investment accounts – gold and platinum, costing 5€ and 7€.

ING are a good international bank but not found in as many locations around Italy so you may not have a branch in your area. ING have the conto corrente Arancio which you can manage from an app as well. You can pay the 2€ fee for the Zero Vincoli which offers free cash withdrawals from anywhere in the EU, as well as up to 50,000€ free SEPA transfers.

HYPE is part of the Banca Sella group and is a mobile banking platform. They offer a free bank account, as well as the piano plus and the piano premium. The free bank account and the piano plus only give you a prepaid card where as the premium one gives you a debit cards. The premium account gives you other services including access to airport lounges, travel insurance, ATM theft policy purchase protection policy and even support over whatsapp. The cost for the piano plus is 1€ a month and for the piano premium it is 9.90€ a month.

Intesa Sanpaolo is a result of a merger from Banca Intesa and Sanpaolo IMI, and they have 4,825 branches across Italy so likely have one in your locality. At the moment they are offering the XME conto free for people under the age of 35 if you open by 30th of June 2020. This allows you to withdraw cash from any ATM in Italy and SEPA transfers abroad. The normal cost of this account I believe is 7.50€ a month.

Banco nazionale del lavoro is another popular choice, and is the 6th largest bank in Italy. It offers a lot of different types of bank accounts – BNLX semplifica ogni giorno (smart, powered or full) as well as i conti di base BNL, one for kids and a tennis one. The BNLX semplifica ogni giorno smart offers a debit card, as well as in branch, telephone and online banking. It is around 6€ a month but you can get a discount on this (if your under 30 it is free). However, you have to pay for ATM withdrawals. You can purchase an extra package that allows you to withdraw from ATMS twice a month and this costs 2€ a month. The powered bank account includes these 2 withdrawals a month and a credit card for a monthly fee of 9€ a month, and the full allows unlimited withdrawals worldwide and unlimited SEPA transfers. As well as unlimited counter transactions and a free cheque book. This account costs 17€ a month.

Crédit Agricole Italia provides retail and corporate banking across 10 regions of Italy. Their bank account offers you unlimited cash withdrawals from their own ATM machines and 24 cash withdrawals from other banks for free. Cash withdrawals from other banks after the 24 are 2.10€. The cards are free except for the NEXI classic credit card which costs an annual fee of 30.99€ and they charge up to 2.50€ for SEPA transfers.

There are also a load of other bank accounts that I haven’t managed to look into yet. One thing is certain, you pay for your bank accounts in Italy (which is crazy to understand coming from the UK). If you go for the cheaper options then you have to pay to withdraw money, pay for a debit/credit card etc. So its best to find one that suits your needs. Hype is good if your tech savvy, but if you want to go in person to the bank then it would not be a good choice. If you want unlimited cash withdrawals then its better to go and get a higher premium account, however, if you use a credit card a lot then go for one with a lower charge for unlimited credit card use. Just shop around.

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