How to open a free online bank account

Nowadays there are enough alternatives that allow you to open a bank account online and free of charge. Therefore it is no longer necessary to go to a branch office and provide documentation that in case of living in a foreign country is not so easy to get.

With innovative technology companies like Wise, you can open a free online account in a multitude of countries that allows you to manage more than 40 currencies, receive international transfers locally in 8+ countries or pay anywhere in the world without commission. We tell you all about how to open a free online account below.

Steps to open a free online bank account
  • Search among banks with no fees and choose an account that suits your needs, such as one that has no maintenance fees like Wise's or offers greater credit coverage like BBVA's.
  • Register on the Wise website or any other entity you are interested in.
  • Without leaving home, take a photo of your ID card, passport or driver's license. To open an online bank account securely, it is necessary that the financial entity can verify who you are.
  • Check your new local bank details. With them you will be able to make direct debits, pay by card or receive money among other things.
  • Deposit money and start using your online bank account for free.
What types of online bank accounts are there?

On the one hand, almost all traditional banks offer online banking services. With them you can manage your account from your computer or smartphone, but the type of account they offer is usually basic or "savings account" type.

This type of bank accounts without commissions do not usually provide credit cards, sometimes have maintenance costs (although opening them is free) and to withdraw money from ATMs it is always better to use ATMs of the same network to which the bank belongs if you do not want to pay unexpected costs. In addition, in the case of using your card to pay or withdraw money abroad, they will usually apply commissions in the currency exchange rate.

On the other hand, in recent years, financial institutions have appeared on the market that do not have physical offices and only operate online, such as Wise, N26 or Monzo, which allow you to create a free online account, as well as offering other advantages to their users, such as the possibility of withdrawing money for free in any ATM network, either in Spain or abroad, or even obtaining local banking data from different countries so that you can manage them in a single account without additional costs.

Wise free online account

With Wise creating a free online account with account details in dollars, euros or many other currencies is a matter of a few clicks.

Wise offers a multi-currency account where you can store money in more than 40 different currencies and spend it with a MasterCard that automatically converts currencies using the actual exchange rate.

You can receive, save or send money abroad securely and completely online using the Wise app or your computer.

Wise allows you to open an account with local bank details for the following countries and their respective currencies (and soon many more).

Some of the advantages of Wise's free bank details are:
  • Receive money from the above countries directly into your account. Ideal for freelancers or people who get paid from a foreign country.
  • Currency exchange is always clear and transparent using the average market exchange rate.
  • You don't have to pay any account opening or maintenance fees.
  • There is also an online account for companies.
  • You can manage your account completely online.
  • The Wise card can be used anywhere in the world that accepts MasterCard and allows you to withdraw money or make purchases with automatic currency exchange at the actual exchange rate.
If you need a free online account that also allows you to earn interest or apply for financing, then the Wise account is not ideal for you.

Advantages and disadvantages of a free online bank account

In general, online bank accounts have lower transaction fees. They also allow you to make transfers from anywhere and at any time, without having to go to a branch. As disadvantages, the following can be pointed out:
  • They do not generate interest
  • They do not allow you to obtain loans
  • Most of them do not allow you to meet face-to-face with a person who can give you information or answer your questions.
  • You cannot deposit cash in your account in the entities that do not have physical offices.
So, to decide if free online accounts are right for you, you need to consider what is most important to you. If you're looking for a traditional account that allows you to apply for a mortgage or earn interest on your account, they may not be the best option.

But if you're looking for a free account that's easy to open with almost no fees and with which you can make electronic payments and send and receive transfers with minimal fees, then accounts like Wise's are an excellent, if not the best, option.