Activo Bank Portugal – Opening my Account

Today I’m going to share with you my experience opening an account with Activo Bank Portugal. I honestly think it’s one of the best bank accounts you can get if you are relocating to Portugal. Here’s why I love ActivoBank….

Excellent Customer Service and English Speakers

Activo Bank at Chiado in Lisbon have excellent customer service. They all speak excellent English there and so you won’t have a problem being understood. I found the staff to be very helpful. I had to take a ticket and wait my turn (you can do this using a QR code). The woman on the desk (Suriyah) was excellent and went through all of my documentation. There was a slight problem which was that my pay slips were in my maiden name and my passport was in my married name and so my account was initially refused. She told me not to worry and that she would sort it out. Later that day I received an email requesting a full PDF of my marriage certificate which I sent through. The next day I got an email from her saying that my account was ready to come and be signed for.

No Fees to Maintain the Account

Activo Bank Portugal is one of the few banks in Portugal that do not charge to simply keep your account open and up and running. yes, it may come as a shock to some of us, but many banks can charge €50 a year just for having an account. Open your account with Activo Bank to avoid Unnecessary fees.

App Based Banking

You will receive your Activo Bank card on the day that you sign. When you do, you will be given a leaflet that explains how to use the cashpoints and app to do everything that you need including PIN change, checking your balance and withdrawals. If you don’t want to use the cash point and you prefer to go into a branch you can also use Millennium Bank to withdraw as long as you go in with ID.

Built in Transfer Wise

One thing I love about the Activo Banking App is that it has built in Transfer Wise which makes foreign transactions cheap and easy. I was able to make an international transfer from my UK bank account to my Portuguese ActivoBank account via the banking apps. The money was there in my Activo Account within a few days and I received an email from Activo Bank Portugal with the receipt and proof of the transaction – brilliant!

To Open an Account with Activo Bank Portugal

If you want to open an account with Activo Bank Portugal it is recommended that you take the following along with you…

  • Passport (and driving license if you have one)
  • NIF number
  • Proof of Address e.g. Utility bill
  • Proof of Residency
  • Marriage certificate
  • Proof of income (British or Portuguese Pay Slip)

Other advice on opening your bank account is to take a Portuguese Mobile phone and know the number (for QR code or appointment booking if necessary). Also get there early – as in first thing as soon as they open, because there can be a high number of people trying to get appointments for opening accounts.

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8 thoughts on “Activo Bank Portugal – Opening my Account”

  1. Hello, I read your article on the Activo Bank with interest. I was looking at the Activo site in terms of fees. As you mention there is no monthly fee, however, in their fee structure they indicate that withdrawals at a branch are € 4,68! If one uses a Branch Cash Machine as opposed to a teller to make withdrawals, is one still charged € 4,68. Can you speak a little more about the fees that apply beyond the zero monthly maintenance. Any consideration greatly welcomed.

    • Hi Paul, thanks so much for commenting. I think that Activobank just want to avoid dealing with cash in the bank because it’s a digital bank and so that’s just there as a deterrent to stop people coming in to draw cash. I use Millenium Bank or any Multibanco cashpoints to withdraw and have never been charged by Activo 😉 There there are some cashpoints that have extra charges so you might also like to use this article: I think avoid Euronet, Hope that helps.


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