Best Portugal bank?

Hey,
I’m planning to subscribe to an investment and the depository bank in Bison bank.
But I don’t feel comfortable to open a bank account at a bank won’t give me a debit card.
Any ideas about other banks in Portugal to open a bank account there?

I can only say that I have my account with Millenium BCP and they have been very helpful so far in all respects.
They do supply a debit card.

One thing I have noticed here on my recent trip to Portugal is that some places only accept the debit cards issued in Portugal which are part of a system called Multibanco, while some others even have two separate card machines for debit (Multibanco) and for credit cards (i.e. your usual VISA, Mastercard etc.).
It was surprising to me as in my country they either take cards (debit/credit) or they don’t.

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Thanks for your suggestion.

Does Millenium BCP supports opening account remotely? Also I want to invest in open ended fund like BPI portugal, does Millenium BCP allows investing in it? Asking because Bison said they can do IMGA but not BPI…

Also can you DM your contact at Millenium BCP? Thanks in advance!!

Yes, I opened my account with them outside Portugal via their rep office in my home country.
You may want to check if they have rep offices near where you live just by going to their website and looking up nearest branch by city/country.
If you can’t find any, then you may try bordr.io who offer remote opening of Millenium BCP Prestige account, which is a more expensive proposition.

I cannot tell what investment products they offer, as I am pursuing the property route. So I just needed a ‘regular’ retail bank account.

I can DM you my contact in their rep office but it may be of no use to you unless you happen to be my neighbour :slight_smile:

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I can also recommend bordr.io. They work with multiple branches at Millenium BCP concurrently, which can be beneficial when one branch is facing an account opening backlog, and therefore means their turnaround time is usually very good. However, it seems that everything is moving slower now due to staff being on holiday so I would factor that in.

One thing that may be worth noting is that despite the fact you don’t get a debit card, if the depositary bank of the fund you are investing in is with Bison, you will get a discount on Bison’s subscription fees if you use them for your client account. Typically Bison charge 0.5% + stamp duty when you invest in a fund, but is reduced to 0.25% + stamp duty if both the client account and the fund account are with Bison.

For BPI Portugal fund, you have to necessarily invest through a BPI account. This fund is not available on the fund intranet within Portugal, and hence, cannot be accessed by other banks.

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Hi, I am using BiG Bank. They provide a complete range of services including debit, credit, and brokerage/investment accounts. I have had an excellent experience with them. Highly recommend.

I was going to open an account remotely with Millennium BCP for a visa based on an investment (vs purchase of home). My lawyer investigated in depth and confirmed that they would not be able to meet some of the reporting requirements set by the U.S., which is relevant in my case. I can’t remember if it was FATCA or some other reporting requirement, but they initially said they could provide it until he got more specific with the questions.

I ended up opening an account with BiG. They are very organized, but were overly specific about the verification of documents and evidence, to the point that it was almost annoying. For example, an apostille was required for the application itself. As a customer I’ve been pleased with the service. I had one unanticipated charge, but it wasn’t especially big. It had to do with transferring the record of ownership into the bank.

I would recommend you arrange for interviews with someone from each bank. I thought it was nuts, but was glad I did it. Ask them about fees, procedures, etc. The conversations I had were short, but they definitely clued me into the businesses themselves.

All of this was done remotely. I would make recommend you deal with a branch in Portugal vs a branch in another country, just to be sure you get all the paperwork in order.

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I opened account with Santander and very happy with them. The phone app allows all the small transactions and for larger ones branch was very responsive and helpful over internet.

How to Open a Portuguese Bank Account Online or Remotely – Portugalist suggests Atlantico can be opened remotely. I also saw an article (https://www.dumontdossantos.pt/goldenvisaportugal?fbclid=IwAR3yTmTAlSiIY1x-sRwlexQBroNf9zuaOXK1z-0l0OK_7CTfYL_1ycOf_hY) which said it was FATCA compliance (so good for US Residents/Citizens)

I’ll give this a go, once my NIF is ready.

I am using Bison and its been quite good so far. They do not provide cards but Ive been told I can link the account to Revolut or similar once I am in Portugal. Their online banking is really basic and everything is done via the bank manager which is ok if you are not planning to trade often. For EUR standards the account opening process was reasonable, it was done remotely and the bank manager support through it was exceptional. I had no issues to transfer USD dollars in, but there were 3 intermediary bank charges (one from my bank and 2 from Bison), making the transfer quire costly.

Thank you so much for your reply.
I sent you couple messages few days ago. could you please open your inbox and have a look on them.
I will be very glad if got your answers.
Thank you :slight_smile:

Revolut doesn’t help you with a multibanco card though, which seems a basic requirement of life in .pt.

Fair point, Im guessing I will need another account down the line then, with milenium or similar.

Hey, sure, I didnt see it. Ive just replied to it!

for depository accounts for ARI it’s Bison and BiG and that’s about it, if you are US citizen. Other banks can probably do more for non-US citizens.

Hi,

Disclosure: I do work for Millennium BCP.

If you are planning to live in Portugal, I suggest you open an account on a Portuguese bank. Online banks like N26 or Revolut don’t operate on the Multibanco network. Most of your bills (Water, Gas, Phone) and taxes will come with “Entidade e Referencia”, this is the most used system in Portugal to pay bills, and you can only make payments in this system if your bank works with Multibanco system. Also a lot of shops, but mainly restaurants only accept Multibanco cards (Again, only issued by Portuguese banks).

Also when you have problems, I think it’s best to have an account manager to speak with, then contacting a bot on a live chat.

I can assure you that Millennium BCP, accepts US citizens and you can open your account remotely. Retail banking is one of the easiest to use, both website and App have option to use in English and when you call there is also English speaking agents.

Regarding investments for US citizens (And if you fit the investment criteria), I would recommend you to use Millennium BCP Private Banking (Far different from Millennium BCP). You have access to a wide range of investments, some of them made for US citizens.

Also, any other troubles you may find regarding Finanças, SEF, Legal etc are easily solved when you bank with BCP Private, since there is a team that deals with non financial issues that clients have.

Maybe I am being overly cautious, but I tried to engage with this Millennium BCP user above, and their times of engagement do not match Portuguese time, and when I asked for their contact instead of providing my own per their request, the user went silent. So if anyone else is engaging with them via this board, please do so with caution.

Jim, I wonder why you would want to engage with a user on this board rather than contacting Millennium BCP’s official contact channels?

That is what I am doing now - but I wanted to learn more about this offering since I had not heard about it from others I have pinged at BCP before.