Banking for Foreigners in Czechia
To receive salary, invoice clients, pay rent & shop in Czechia, a Czech bank account is needed. Here we describe
- where the withdraw cash with a non-Czech Visa or Mastercard,
- which Czech & foreign banks are good for foreigners.
Still having a foreign bank account? Where to withdraw cash
If you are still only having a foreign bank account, you probably need to withdraw cash with your foreign Visa or Mastercard.
Some bank machine are more suitable than others – find here a List of Czech ATMs not charging extra fees.
What Czech bank account do I need? Or: The smartest setup
Before looking for offers and opening an account, think about what exactly you want to do with it. If you keep your current bank account from your home country, you might need only a Czech account in CZK – and use e.g. Revolut or Transferwise for exchanging money from your old account to your new Czech one.
Revolut & Transferwise
Revolut & Transferwise are free multi-currency accounts: You have one account but balances in EUR, USD, CZK etc. And you can exchange money between these balances without any (big) spread. On Revolut for instance, you can exchange 100 EUR into CZK and back – and still have not (much) less than 100 EUR.
Currency exchange at Czech banks
This is much different with Czech banks: They have a different rate for buying EUR and selling EUR – and in between a spread. For instance, you would change 1 EUR into 25 CZK – and for changing these 25 CZK bank into EUR, a rate of 1 to 26 CZK is applied, giving you back only 0.96 EUR.
On average, you loose around 3% when exchanging EUR to CZK via a Czech bank. With Revolut, it is rarely over 1%.
Combine Revolut with a Czech bank account
This is why the smartest setup could be the following:
- Get a Revolut or Transferwise Borderless Account
- Get a simple, free Czech Bank Account with CZK only
- If you need to receive money in another currency than CZK:
- receive it on your Revolut or Transferwise account
- exchange it there to CZK
- send the CZK to your simple Czech bank account
Vice versa for sending EUR from your Czech account:
- Send CZK to Revolut
- Exchange it there to EUR
- Send it from Revolut to where you want
Isn't Revolut / Transferwise enough? Why a Czech account at all?
Since Revolut allows you sending and receiving CZK, you may think now: Why would I need a Czech account at all?
In Czechia, bank transfers follow a special system using "Variable, Constant & Specific symbol". To perfectly comply with these transfers, a Czech bank account is suitable.