The best bank account for expats in Madrid

Need a bank account in Madrid ? A reliable bank account from a stable bank with no fees, great customer service in English, easy to operate online and opened right away before arriving ?

No fees & open before arriving in Madrid

Yes, you heard right, with the Expansion Sabadell Account special offer for our readers:

  • No fees, no commissions, even for international transfers in Euro, apart from transfers to a country outside the Euro-Zone. With one exception: You will not pay any fees on transfers from and to the UK.
  • they give back 1 % on all utility bills,
  • Secure Online banking in English
  • Customer Service in English: Nelida at The Miguel Angel Branch will make sure everything go well, they have contracts in English, and will call you when the cards are ready, or when something strange is happening on your account,
  • Only one condition to keep no fees: have a minimum of 700 € a month transferred to this account or the equivalent amount on your account. Or if you are under 29 years old, no requirement whatsoever.

Simple. You only have to send an email to Nelida Regueira with your Passport Scan, a telephone number and your home address
(it’s ok if it’s not in Spain) at the Miguel Angel 23 Branch, (Metro Gregorio Marañon) or use directly this button:

 Get now the special Sabadell account 

Just click on this button to apply for your account using a simple email template, and your account will be opened before you even arrive in Spain!

By going through Moving2Madrid, and contacting Nelida who know deals with Private banking and opens normal accounts for Moving2Madrid, you get special treatment, Nelida will inform of the special offers they have for Moving2Madrid, your account will be opened quickly and before you arrive in Spain.

Total disclosure: We have no exclusive agreement with Sabadell, but yes, they do reward referrers like other banks, as ING for instance. I just think it’s the best, and my happy clients and readers think too ! In the end, it’s a trustworthy account to start out in Spain, where you know you will be well treated and with no fees whatsoever.

In a nutshell, no fees whatsoever. To keep all these advantages, just make sure you get your NIE and send it to them within the first 3 months so you do not get the non-resident tax of 26 € from the Spanish state, and also make sure you have your salary is linked to this account, or if not, at least 700 € is transferred to the account a month, so everything stays free. Do check the conditions via this summary.

One last comment: I recommend personally the Madrid office of Miguel Angel, 23, and specifically Nelida Arias.
They will answer your questions, make things happen, and if you have any issue, just comment on this post and we will get this solved. I cannot vouch for the rest of Sabadell offices in Spain. I know this one, I have requested from them special service and attention. Do contact them, and be sure they will be good. If you contact other offices, I cannot promise.

After the director of the branch requested a personal meeting, we have made sure any bank account opening request will get an answer within 48h.
We now have special process and priority to anyone contacting directly Nelida as we indicate in this article.

If you have any issue, or are happy with the service please share in the comments !

If you need help to ensure a zen move to Madrid, do not hesitate to send us an email !

Yours madridly,
The Moving2Madrid Team


Posted on 11 September, 2016 by Pierre-Alban Waters in Rent - Paperwork - Mortgage - Mortgage - Invest - Buy, New ? Start Here


22 responses to “The best bank account for expats in Madrid”

  1. maryclare says:

    Honestly I don’t know. Sabbadell still is great for expats, but this post was written awhile ago and I don’t know if Nelida is still there or not. I would try emailing her. Please report back about your experience!

  2. Hristina Yordanova says:

    Is this still relevant now in 2018? Will I be able to reach this person Nelida if I email? Thanks

  3. I know about Madrid – Do get in contact with Nelida at to make sure for Granada !

  4. S Barratt says:

    We have bought a house for holidays in the Granada area and need a bank account, we have NIE certificates. Would this account be suitable and is the 26 Euros a yearly charge.
    Thanks Steve

  5. Ben P says:

    Dear Marzio,
    First of all thank you for your question and Merry Christmas!!!
    EVO has this special feature because it was funded in 2012 by NCG group as a young bank with a strong online presence. So their focus was not to open many branches like traditional banks. Sabadell uses the Servired network, so you can withdraw cash from any Servired ATM point with no extra charge(50% of the total, Telebanco is the other network where 50% of the remaining banks apply). For any further questions you can call Sabadell at 902 343 999 (also in english) or ask our Sabadell contact, Nelida

  6. Marzio says:

    Hey Pierre, i see you mentioned EVO. I like EVO because of the transparency, i know that with their debit card i will not be charged for extracting money in any ATM in Spain (or in the world).

    I tried to find the same informations on Sabadell site and got frustrated.

    Do you know where can i find those informations on sabadell’s site?


  7. We can now say that the Miguel Angel Sabadell branch with Nelida is back to giving top notch service. They have requested personally a meeting and committed to answer all requests comming through our recommendation to be responded within 48h.

    We have been monitoring service in the last months, and we can say it has been top quality. Myself and my team have accounts for personal and business use at Sabadell, and can also personally vouch for their quality.

    Again, the uniqueness of this bank branch is that they enable us to open the account before you even arrive in Spain, and we can directly request top quality personal service.

    Do post comments if any of you see any change, good or bad, at the Miguel Angel branch !


  8. PS: For Transfers out of the Euro zone, we have negotiated the fees and they are the following:

    – To send a transfer: 0,30% fee, 6€ minimum

    – To receive a transfer: 0,10% fee, 3€ minimum

  9. Hi Melissa,
    Yes, we agree that Sabadell’s service quality has been going down.
    Therefore, we still recommend them as the easiest account to open when just landed, but recommend ING or EVO for banking further down the road.
    One thing: the 26 € fee each term is not from the bank, but a tax from Spain for all non-resident bank account.
    We are in the process of finding another bank who gives our clients and readers the same special treatment as before. We will update the article as soon as ur negotiations are fruitful.


  10. Melissa Deal says:

    Just thought I would offer some recent experience of this; I went to Sabadell on this recommendation, and just be careful are there are “hidden” fees they don’t tell you about until you’re signing! This account is a non-resident account, which is great, you think, as you can open it whilst you are dong the rest of the essential tasks in order to get your official residency… BUT… if you don’t change to a resident account asap they charge 26euros (not sure if this is a month or a quarter, but still!) – they won’t accept padron, NIE, etc, it must be the official residencia, which is a pain to get a suitable appointment for, and apparently you also cannot guarantee how quickly the card or cert arrives in the post, so essentially, Sabadell will charge you!

    This is NOT made clear at the outset.

    I have also found the communication poor, it took me numerous emails to Nelida to get her to answer a simple question, and I opened the account weeks ago, but haven’t heard a thing regarding when our debit cards will arrive.

    Subsequently, I’ve not got much faith in them now and haven’t deposited any funds yet as I am now looking at other banks as I’m overly frustrated by Sabadell & Nelida’s poor service, and will probably close the account down before I’ve even got close to using it.

    I’ve heard of someone having a positive experience with the Colon branch of Sabadell, but have to say the one advertised here has been far from this, so just be aware things aren’t necessarily as they are portrayed!

  11. Yes, Marie Helene left, and her assistant Nelida has now been promoted

  12. Liam says:

    Thanks Pierre!

  13. Hi Liam,

    It depends on both Sabadell and ING. Do contact SILVIA REGUEIRA SAINZ at to get all the details.


  14. Liam says:

    Hi Pierre

    I am a New Zealander who has just arrived in Spain. I assume I can send money from ING back home and vice versa as required? Do you know what fees are charged?

    Thank you, Liam

  15. Hi Michael,

    Yes, it is the best option I have found for our clients.

    Yes, there are fees for transfers from another currency, as always, but this is defined by the bank sending the money.

    All the best

  16. Michael says:

    Sounds like a good option.

    So, there are no fees for transfers from the UK? It just mentions no fees on Euros transferred on their website.

  17. Hi Pepe,

    I specify Madrid because customer servie differs a lot from branch to branch ! Therefore I recommend one specific branch in Madrid, where I know a specific person, Marie-Hélène, has the level of customer service I have with my clients.

    And that’s very rare, and the only one I know in Madrid !

    Then the bank is indeed the same all around Spain, apart from the specific deal I have got from them for the people I recommend to this branch. So all of this makes it quite location-specific !

    If you have any question, just tell me !
    All the best,

  18. Pepe Seymour says:

    Why should there be special treatment for bank customers moving to a specific region?

  19. Pierre-Alban Waters says:

    ING is a very good bank, and very interesting if you have a Spanish salary, a NIE and speak Spanish. It’s in fact one of my 3 banks, with Sabadell and Evo.
    And as always, bad experiences can happen. What I’m sure of is this: please contact Marie-Hélène and tell her everything that went badly. She will try to make it up to you, she has an amazing sense of customer service, speaks 3 languages, and keeps me always in the loop. ING is very efficient via email, but a bit dodgy for speaking English and being personal – no dedicated agent.
    Hope you find solutions to your banking needs !

  20. Pierre-Alban Waters says:

    Totally agree ! Caixa is not bad in terms of serivce, but the top 3 banks are clearly (according to global ratings and rankings) Santander, Sabadell and BBVA. Caixa is going through some debt issues. But good service indeed !

  21. gaby says:

    I had very negative experiences with this bank. It took them three months to give send me my debit card, they subscribed me to a credit without my acknowledgment. Whenever I went to the bank they were very incompetent and rude. Oh and most of the branches are closed during the summer.

    I’m moving to ING, they have been efficient and helpful.

  22. Jirogers says:

    Agree on the Banco Sabadell- Marie-Hélène in the main branch at Miguel Ángel 23 is a great French/English speaking contact. The Caixa isn’t bad either- they have lots of small branches (at the moment!) with mostly young staff who probably speak English.
    Both banks (as far as I know) are pretty sound- good if you think about the crisis.

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