When living and working in Brno you will most probably need to set up a bank account. What makes you decide which bank to go for? Czech banking sector is quite developed and stable. There are large, international banks that offer a wide scale of products and have on their side experience and stability, but you may pay a bit extra on charges (Citibank, CSOB, CS,…). If you are looking for low fees and you don’t need any special services, consider one of the low-cost banks (Fio Bank, mBank, Air Bank, Zuno,…).
Tips for pleasant banking experience:
To open an account, you will need two personal identifications – passport and another form of identification (driving license or similar). Official residence permit, work contract or student card, might be required, take it with you. Many banks ask for a deposit when opening the current account (usually from 100 to 1000 Kc).
- As most of the banks send one off authorization codes to your mobile to confirm internet banking transactions, it is important to have functional Czech SIM card.
- Look around; there are many offers and many possibilities. Don’t go for the first option offered.
- Be prepared. Know what you want and point out what you’re after.
- Ask! Some details and conditions might not be offered if not asked for.
- If you want information only, stress that. Don’t let the bankers go for the hard sell and pressure you to close any deals if you don’t feel comfortable.
- Be prepared that at some banks knowledge of English might not be top notch. Even though all branches I visited, claimed good English it might not be always true. With some of the banks, you have the possibility to set up a meeting and require banker with fluent English.
- Use specialized providers for international money transfers, it is cheaper and with no hidden fees. For example devizy.cz (run by Fortissimo co. Ltd) offers very good exchange rates and depending on amounts transferred, low or none fees. Exchange.cz has even better rates but you need to be self-employed or have substantial turnovers to be able to close a contract with them. Their website is in Czech only.
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