Best Bank Accounts in Italy: Our Top Picks

Compare the best options on the market and choose the one which best adapts to your day-to-day needs.

Further Below: Our Guide To Bank Accounts in Italy, Everything you need to know.

Our Rating: 9.5/10 Read Full Review

✔️ Great for choosing to invest your money sustainably
✔️ Excellent money management features
✔️ Really worth it if you go for the higher tiers that aren’t free
✔️ Choice of Mastercard and Maestro debit cards, as well as a Mastercard credit card


Our Rating: 9.3/10 Read Full Review

✔️ One of the few Italian banks where sign-up is quick and you don’t have to go to a branch
✔️ Huge range of Cashback programs
✔️ Is only in Italian and requires Italian residency
✔️ Great money management features


Our Rating: 9.2/10 Read Full Review

✔️ Access to massive UniCredit ATM network for free cash withdrawals
✔️ Access to trading and investment services
✔️ Low fees
✔️ Great app and money management features


Our Rating: 8.8/10 Read Full Review

✔️ Great Multilingual support
✔️ Access to loans, mortgages, insurance, etc.
✔️ Free accounts for those up to age 26
✔️ Very open to non-residents and expats

Intesa Sanpaolo

Our Rating: 8.8/10 Read Full Review

✔️ Biggest Branch and ATM network in Italy
✔️ €150 Bonus for signing up with them
✔️ Sign-up and support only in Italian
✔️ Great access to loans, mortgages, insurance, etc


Things to know about Italian Bank Accounts

Just a quick 2 min read about the most common issues we see with our readers:

What is a “Code Fiscale” and do I need it?

The “Code Fiscale” is also known as the Italian Tax code and it is required alongside its certificate (“Certificato di Attribuzione del Codice Fiscale”) in order to open a bank account as well as for other legal activities in Italy.

So it is extremely important that you get yourself one.

You can apply for your Italian Code Fiscale through any Italian tax office or through an Italian consular office or Embassy.

If you are an EU citizen or any other country that doesn’t require a visa for a short-term visit to Italy then you only need your passport in order to apply for a Code Fiscale.

If you are from a country that needs a visa in order to visit then what you need is your visa to apply for a Code Fiscale.

Once you have your Code Fiscale and the supporting certificate, make sure to check it for any typos or incorrect information since it can sometimes happen. If it does, make sure to contact the office again so they can correct it.

Usually, applications for the tax code takes just 1 working day but can sometimes take longer. To be on the safe side as with many things in life, try to apply for it sooner rather than later since you will definitely need it.

How do I open a checking account at these banks or any other bank in Italy?

Opening a checking account with a bank in Italy differs a lot in difficulty between banks. If you open with one of the traditional banks, you will have to book an appointment with one of their branches online.

Once that is done, the actual appointment itself will take 30 minutes. The bank account can then open either within a few days or longer depending on the bank you sign up with.

Even if you try to set things up online with these banks (if they offer it), usually you will end up having to go to a local branch anyways to verify your identity before you can actually use the account.

Digital Banks like N26 or HYPE offer sign-up processes that are usually much shorter. And they can be done from the comfort of your phone or laptop where you can scan your documents using your webcam or phone camera.

But usually, there are some information or document requirements that may vary from bank to bank. If you follow this list, you should be pretty safe.

Usual requirements for opening checking accounts in Italy:

  • Completed application form with Name, Address, Nationality, Income, etc
  • Valid Passport, ID, or Visa (if you are opening a joint account with another person, make sure they have their documents too)
  • Proof of address or registration (like a recent utility bill)
  • Initial Deposit (depends on your bank how much they will require as a minimum)
  • Proof of income, employment, or enrolment at an Italian educational institution
  • Code Fiscale: Italian Tax Code (very important)
  • Certificato di Attribuzione del Codice Fiscale: the supporting document associated with your tax code

Whether you are an Italian resident or not will also affect what type of current account you can have (“resident” or “non-resident” account) and which banks you can sign up with.

It’s best to check out their websites or speak with them directly to find out. They’re usually very helpful in giving you the information you need.

International online banks like N26 usually tend to be the easiest and most open to non-residents, but it’s also worth checking out local ones like Intesa Sanpaolo or UniCredit.

How to close or change bank accounts in Italy

Closing or switching bank accounts is pretty simple to do in Italy as long as you don’t owe the bank any money.

For a traditional bank, you normally have to send a registered termination letter containing your signature to the bank branch of the bank where you have your account based.

If you have a joint account, make sure the names and signatures of all the account holders are contained within the letter.

Or, you can either visit a physical branch or call them and they’re usually very friendly in helping you out in closing your account.

If you want to start a switching procedure then it is best to call or visit the branch in person to make sure you start the procedure properly with all the documents you need.

Make sure to ask that you’re following all the correct requirements and don’t have any fees that you have not paid off yet.

Things you have to make sure to do are:

  • Make sure you don’t get charged any penalty fees for closing the account before a specified “minimum” time has elapsed since you opened the account.
  • Get written confirmation in the form of a letter or email that the account has officially been closed
  • If you’re switching over to a new account, transfer over all future incoming and outgoing payments such as direct debits, salaries, or standing orders. Usually, either the old bank or the new bank that you are switching to will take care of this if you ask.
  • Make sure you’ve transferred all your money out of the old account and into the new account.
  • Let your employer and others who would transfer money to you, know that your old account will no longer work.

Wrapping up

So overall you can see, choosing a bank account can be hard at first, but becomes easier if you know what exactly that you want. So try to make a list of the things that are important to you such as language or having physical branches, etc.

Then, try visiting their websites or even physical branches if they have any, to check out the different accounts (if they have more than one) and other products that they offer. You should be able to get a feeling for the banks pretty quickly and which one suits you.

If you feel comfortable with these banks you may even want to get more products from them like savings accounts to earn interest on your money.

Once you’ve developed a relationship with your bank, later on, you might even get a business account, loan, or mortgage from them once you develop a bit of credit history that they can evaluate you on.

But don’t worry too much about it if you end up opening an account with a bank which you don’t end up liking later. Banks in Italy allow you to close an account and switch over to another pretty easily and without a hassle.

Keep in mind though that I personally find it very useful to have two checking accounts instead of just one. So that in case there is ever an issue with one, you can still access your money in the other, so you’re not left stranded with no money.

Personally, I’ve become a fan of the online digital banks because of how simple and easy it is to do everything with banks like BunqN26, or HYPE from the comfort of my phone or laptop. But of course, you should only do so if you’re comfortable with doing all your banking online.

On the other hand, online banks tend to not offer more complex financial management services like loans, health insurance, or mortgages that you would find at a traditional bank. So if you want some of those more complex products, you might need to look at more traditional banks like Intesa Sanpaolo or Unicredit.

But don’t worry. You can easily have a checking account at an online bank and still have other more complex products from other banks.

If you’re arriving in Italy soon, make sure to sort out your bank account sooner rather than later in case there are any delays, depending on the bank you sign up with. Life will be a lot more difficult if you don’t have one.

In the end, it is up to you and what you need that will decide which is the best bank for you. Hopefully, this article will have helped you with it.

Good luck with opening a bank account in Italy. If you have any questions or want us to write another post on something else too, let us know here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a foreigner or non-resident open a bank account in Italy?

A person of any nationality can open a bank account in Italy, but some banks might require at least a residence in Italy or in the EU/EFTA region depending on the accounts available.

If you are a non-resident, you will only be able to open a “conto corrente non resident” (non-resident current account) and you will be usually subject to higher interest rates and might be limited in some services at traditional Italian banks.

Usually, it tends to be the online banks that are the most open with residence requirements and some even allow residence from pretty much anywhere in the world.

But, it is important to check with a bank yourself if they accept your country of residence. You can usually do so on the website or during the sign-up process.

Can I have two bank accounts in Italy?

Yes, you can have as many bank accounts as you like in Italy. Just be aware of the extra hassle and possibly extra cost if you go for accounts that charge monthly fees.

Even if you go with a “free” account as the extra one, check that you keep meeting the minimum flow of income if it is required to keep them from charging you a fee. Some banks like UniCredit tend to do this so check in case.

Can I keep my Italy bank account even after I leave Italy?

Yes, you can keep your Italian bank accounts even after you leave Italy, but be aware of some changes that might happen with how you handle your account.

Your tax status may change, or some banks may not be able to send you important notifications and PIN numbers if you change to a foreign number. But these things vary a lot from bank to bank and its best to ask them and they should be happy to help. Overall it’s usually very helpful to keep your account since it might come in handy later.

How long do applications for bank accounts in Italy take?

Once you’ve booked and arrived at the appointment made at the physical branch, traditional banks usually take anywhere from 2 days to even a week to approve and open a new bank account.

They usually tend to take longer than digital banks since they sometimes need to send you documents to your address.

Online digital banks instead usually approve and open your bank account for you within 24 hours.

How can I set up an overdraft?

The process to set up an overdraft will depend on the bank itself and will often have very different policies and requirements. Usually, you have to complete an overdraft application form in order to set up the facility for an overdraft in case you might need it.

Digital banks tend to reply and approve/reject your application within a few days or even within the same day. On the other end, traditional banks can sometimes take weeks to process your application.

Be aware that some banks tend to be quite strict with their overdrafts and may require months of credit history before accepting an application.

Banks will also differ in the amount they allow for you to have on your overdraft. Some will allow a fixed amount (such as up to €10,000 for an N26 overdraft) or an amount relative to your average net monthly income.

But be careful with your overdraft and make sure to pay it off as quickly as possible to avoid the interest charges (which vary from bank to bank).

What is the minimum age to open a bank account in Italy?

Usually, banks require a minimum age of 18 in order to open your own bank account, but this can vary from bank to bank, especially for digital banks.

Normally, banks tend to allow parents or legal guardians to open bank accounts for their children if they are under the age of 18.

An example of this would be HYPE with Banca Sella that allows a parent to open a free account for their child if they are above the age of 12.

Can I open a bank account for my children?

Yes, you can open a bank account for your child if he/she is under the age of 18. Remember that you will need to provide the ID or Passport for both you and your child. Some banks might require that the parent needs to already have an account with the same bank too.

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