Opening a euro-denominated bank account is essential if you travel or work in Europe. The European Union has 27 member countries, of which 16 have adopted the euro as their currency. You benefit from being able to use your credit and debit cards in any of the 16 countries without concerns about exchange rates and associated charges. ATM withdrawals are usually free. The euro is also widely accepted in European countries that haven’t adopted the euro. U.S. citizens can open a euro bank account as the U.S. government doesn't impose restrictions. However, the Internal Revenue Service does require you to declare assets in a euro bank account if the amount deposited exceeds the currency equivalent of £6,500 (U$10,000). You should also declare dividend and interest payments credited to your euro account.
Choose one of the 16 European countries to open a euro bank account (see Resources). Select one of the major countries; it is likely to have a branch in the U.S. It makes it easier to open and manage your euro bank account. Check the banking supervisor’s website to get a list of banks (see Resources). Contact a local consulate office of your chosen country in the U.S. to find if it has a branch in the U.S.
Call the bank in the country where you want open a euro bank account or, call the branch in the U.S., if it has one. Request the bank to send an application pack by mail.
Read the application pack carefully. Ensure you can comply with opening requirements. You will need a passport, evidence of income (payslips or bank statements from your existing bank) and proof of address. You will also need to make an initial deposit to open a euro bank account.
Complete the application form accurately. Enclose the application form, documents (must be originals) and your deposit in an envelope, then mail to the bank in your chosen country, or a branch in the U.S. Use secure mail.
Wait for your application to be processed and your bank details mailed. It may take two or three weeks (quicker if using a branch in the U.S.). Your documents and bank cards will be mailed separately.
If you travel to the country where you want to open your euro bank account, apply in person. Visit your chosen bank. Appointments are not usually required. Ensure you take your documents. Your account will be open in a few days. You can start the application process online in some countries. You will need to mail your documents to verify your identity. To find details of the banking supervisor, click the link in the Resources section. Copy and paste the details for your chosen country into your browser to search for its website. Click on the website and select “English Version.”