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Banking for International Students in Sweden

For new students that would be in Sweden for more than a year, you may be thinking of opening a bank account. You can find general information on the documents required to open a bank account in Sweden here.

Making the final decision for which bank to choose was more problematic than I envisioned and this is because I had to research for the services the various banks offered for international students. If you’re still trying to decide and just do not have time to go through every bank’s website. You are reading the right post! This post is a summary of the information you may want to know about the services some banks offer for international students.


To open a bank account at Nordea you need these:

  • Letter of acceptance from your University
  • Swedish ID
  • If you plan to transfer your tuition, it is best to take along with you the official document that shows the amount of your tuition.

Nordea offers the following services:

  • Savings Account
  • Transfer Account
  • Internet Bank
  • Mobile Bank
  • Telephone bank with personalized service 24 hours a day
  • Debit card
  • Swish

The charges for the above banking services are presently SEK21/month and will be deducted monthly from your account.

Please note that the above services are for students studying for more than one semester.  If you are studying for only one semester, Nordea can offer you a savings account which you can use to deposit or withdraw money at Nordea offices during banking hours but you cannot receive a bank card or online banking.


If you do not have a Swedish Identity Number,(personnummer), these are the services SEB can offer :

  • Personal bank account
  • Maestro card (SEK15/month)
  • Savings account
  • Online banking
  • payment service for internet  (this costs SEK120/year)

To open this account, you need to bring the following documents:

  • Certificate from the school you are attending including the study duration
  • Residence permit
  • Valid ID, please bring your passport

If you have a personnummer, then these services are available:

  • Personal bank account
  • Maestro card or SEB card
  • Internet banking with payment service
  • Personal telephone banking services in English
  • Savings account

For the services listed above, you pay SEK35 monthly. However, you need to bring your Swedish ID card.

For students with the Swedish ID, the services offered by SEB are free.


This offers the following service:

  • Personal bank account
  • Maestro card (sek300/year – this fee only applies after the first year)
  • Telephone banking self-service
  • Savings account
  • Mobile banking
  • Internet banking

To open this account, you need to bring the following documents:

  • Valid ID, please bring your passport
  • Personnummer

If you’re from the EU, you do not need a Swedish ID to open an account here.

For this bank, the Maestro card is all you get as a student as the other options are only available if you are working and your salary comes in through the bank.


For ICA, you get the following  services:

  • Master card
  • Banking via web, app and shop
  • No withdrawal fees
  • Double bonus when shopping on ICA with your ICA Bank Card
  • Welcome present: ICA extra virgin olive oil  750 ml

These services listed above are free, which means you pay nothing each month. However, if you want to use SWISH you need to have a Swedish ID.

Since the process to open an ICA bank is all online. Listed below are the steps involved to make it easier for you if you choose to open an account with ICA.

Step 1: Click on this link –  Student banking at ICA Then, choose the option that applies to you.

Step 2: Unless you already have a mobilebankID, you should click the other option.(To have a mobilebankID, you must have a Swedish bank account already).

Step 3: Fill the form and submit!

ICA will send you a mail in a week, containing your contract details (2 copies).

Step 4: Sign one and send one back to them in the pre-paid envelope they have provided.

About five days after you send the post, you will get your “ICA Banken” debit card by mail and a text message notifying you that your security “box” has arrived. However, if you are not home, the security “box” would not be dropped off in your mailbox instead you get a slip that tells you where to collect it. This is because you need to show a valid means of identification in order to collect it.

STEP 6: The letter you receive would give you instructions on how to activate the “box”

STEP 7: Once you activate the box, ICA would send you a final letter called “rekommenderade brev” which would enable you to activate your debit card on here

STEP 8: Select the option “logga in med dosa” and click “personlig dosa”(security box)

Your card is activated!

Download the ICA Banken app.


It was really hard getting anyone who has an account to give a personal opinion but from their website, they actually offer free services to international students.

These are the services they offer:

  • Personalised counselling
  • Mastercard Direct
  • Mastercard Bankcard
  • Accounts
  • Internet banking + internet development
  • Mobile and tablet apps
  • Swish
  • Travel insurance

To register, click on the link below:

Student banking at Danske

You register online and then they ask you to go to the bank to verify your passport and Swedish ID. Then your account is set up!


So, I heard about this bank because I was so curious on how you hardly hear about a savings account that pays interest. So, with SBAB, you get a 0.65% interest rate and you can save monthly. It is all done virtually. Here is the link if you are interested in knowing more or you want to open such an account:

SBAB information


There goes the end of the list and I hope this post helps you make your decision!

This post won’t have been possible without help from the following people: Hsin Ting, Lian Yi, Ioannis Thermos and  Andres Amezcua. Thanks, guys!

4 thoughts on “Banking for International Students in Sweden”

  1. This is so helpful!
    Many friends and I have been wondering about which bank should we be getting an account from.
    Thank you so much!

  2. Thank you for your kind words. I am glad that I could help 🙂

  3. I have ICA Banken Maestro card. Are you sure they give Debit/Master card too?

    1. Yes, they do. I have a friend who got a Master debit card from ICA last week.

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