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Opening a savings accounts in a Polish bank


Smokeyone 17 | 62  
17 May 2008 /  #1
Hello
I was going to open a savings account with BZW the other week but the que was upto the door and after twenty minutes I gave up. Just before I try again when I visit Poland next month, any particular problems I should be aware of. I'll take my UK passport with me and I have a Polish address - assume I'll receive a passbook and can pay money in as and when and take it out in cash when ever I wish..

Thanks for any tips
Wroclaw Boy  
17 May 2008 /  #2
can pay money in as and when and take it out in cash when ever I wish..

Take your money out of a bank in cash! oh heaven forbid no. Be sure to have atleast 10 forms of ID with three being photo ID such as a passport / driving license etc..l
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
17 May 2008 /  #3
Alternatively a gun and a good escape plan may suffice.

Well, many Polish banks charge you a fee (not sure about BZW though), if you want a small amount of cash from the cashier.
It's usually better to use an ATM card (in my bank I can draw up to 5,000 zł daily from an ATM, so if I need more than that limit, I can go to the counter and there's no fee).
OP Smokeyone 17 | 62  
17 May 2008 /  #4
Are you saying it might not be worth the effort just to earn 100 or 200 PLN a year interest because that's exactly what a mate of mine said.....
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
18 May 2008 /  #5
No, I was just saying that you have to check carefully what bank suits your needs, because every bank gives you some freebies and charges you for other things. Some banks charge for taking the money at ATM machines, some for taking the cash at the counter.

The monthly fees for running your account can vary too.
OP Smokeyone 17 | 62  
19 May 2008 /  #6
Just so I have this straight, the bank would give you interest on a savings account but then charge you for having the account...so unless you have loads of money in the account it probably isn't worth having the account in the first place....

I do not need ATM - a passbook would have been okay - just cash in and cash out.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768  
19 May 2008 /  #7
do not choose bank ING, their rates are terrible imho.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
19 May 2008 /  #8
Really? Damn, I knew something was wrong.

the bank would give you interest on a savings account but then charge you for having the account...so unless you have loads of money in the account it probably isn't worth having the account in the first place....

I'm sorry I've read your question in a wrong way.
I didn't notice the word "savings" or rather got confused by the part when you wrote about "taking out cash whenever you wish" :)

1/ Savings account (lokata oszczędnościowa) - in Poland it is usually an account where you put your money for a longer period (3, 6, 12 months for example) and take it

out at the end of this period.
Then you don't pay fees. But if you (for some reason) need the money before the end of the declared period, then you pay fees like for a current account.

2/ Current account (rachunek bieżący or some similar name) is an account where you keep your money and you're allowed to take it out at any time (in cash at the counter, from an ATM, using a debit card, like Visa Electron or Maestro to pay in shops etc.). A debit card can be used to pay up to the amount of the money you have on your account (or up to a fixed limit, usually for safety reasons), it's not a credit card, and the payment is immediately charged on your account.

I'll tell you how it works for me:
I'm not talking about all the banks in Poland, because there may be big differencies in their offers.

I have a current account and a savings account (both in ING Bank Śląski :)

I pay the bank monthly 11 złoty of fees for running my current account (8 zł is for the account and 3 zł for a Visa Electron debit card). There are some additional fees though (unfortunatelly, I don't remember them, because I avoid any operations that are payable extra) for taking out cash at the counter, for using ATMs belonging to foreign banks (cash from an ATM belonging to ING = 0 zł fee, from ATMs of most other Polish banks = 4 or 5 zł, at least last time I used a foreign ATM) and probably for other operations. What is free (or rather included in the basic fee of 11 zł a month);

- using debit card with ING's ATMs,
- using debit card in shops or for online payments (but not all debit cards can be used for this, Visa Electron - not),
- money transfers to other accounts (yours or someone else's) in ING.
- money transfers to other accounts (yours or someone else's) in all Polish banks, but only if made via their online system (maybe phone system too, but I'm not sure, I use only internet banking).

I also have a savings account in the same bank.
But I don't have any passbook to it.
I can transfer the money to my current account, if I need them.
The advantage of "OKO", that's how they call it in my bank (Otwarte Konto Oszczędnościowe, open savings account) is that you can take out money once a month without breaking the contract, so you will keep the interests on the remaining money, without paying any fee.

Interests on a savings account are changeable, currently ING offers (in reality) 0,385% a month (so having a 20,000 zł, equal to about 4,750 pounds, you get 77.12 zł of interests a month, minus 19% for taxes, because there's a 19% tax on savings interests in Poland, so effective interests (19% of 77.12 zł = 14,65zł, rounded up to 15 zł, because tax systems accepts only payments rounded up/down to a full złoty) would be 77.12-15= 62.12 zł a month (from 20 thousands zloty savings), about 0.311%. Those interests will be added to your account each month, so next month your earning will be a little higher (because you'll have 20,000 zł + 62.12 zł as a basic amount).

Edit:
As I mentioned before, the banks in Poland may have very different offers, so you must check several different banks (for example those that have a good web page in English) and choose what is best for your needs.
Yankee83  
19 May 2008 /  #9
I opened an account with mBank. My German ID was not enough, a passport was. I didn't need anything apart from that and a Polish address to have some documents sent to.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
19 May 2008 /  #10
Generally "saving accounts" don't give any profits (or hardly any) and only "protect" the money from being eaten by inflation...

Now some banks have current accounts with not bad interest rates, so that may be a better idea...
davidpeake 14 | 451  
20 May 2008 /  #11
So,

can i ask what actual ID do you need to open an account?
morella 11 | 65  
20 May 2008 /  #12
hi can anybody tell me about the interest rates of USD, EURO and ZLOTY seeprately for 1 monthed savings account in Polish banks? is it possible to have 1 monthed savings acoount or it should be 3 monthed minimum?I will be glad if somebody who knows can answer me...thank u
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
20 May 2008 /  #13
can i ask what actual ID do you need to open an account?

I'm not sure, my younger brother just opened an account a few months ago, but he already forgot what he needed :)
For Poles it's certainly a "dowód osobisty" (the main ID card with photo and PESEL number), but he can't remember if a second photo ID was required (in that case a driving license would be enough). I think we (and of course foreigners) could also use a passport instead of dowód osobisty.

To take money out from the bank dowód osobisty (or a passport) is enough, driving license probably not.
dheva 3 | 28  
20 May 2008 /  #14
So,

can i ask what actual ID do you need to open an account?

i open acc in Millenium Bank(the best bank in Poland).. in my opinion of course...
all you need as a foreigner is Passport..

pozdrawiam,
Yankee83  
21 May 2008 /  #15
can i ask what actual ID do you need to open an account?

As I wrote above, you only need a passport, at least for mBank.
Harry  
21 May 2008 /  #17
hi can anybody tell me about the interest rates of USD, EURO and ZLOTY seeprately for 1 monthed savings account in Polish banks?

Yes. I have accounts in GBP, EUR and PLN. All with Citibank. I can move money between them online or over the phone (or at a branch).

is it possible to have 1 monthed savings acoount or it should be 3 monthed minimum?

You can have one month accounts.
Makdaam - | 30  
21 May 2008 /  #18
You need one document confirming your identity (in PL only the "dowód osobisty" or your passport can confirm identity). So if you're a foreigner you need a passport. In most cases starting an account is as easy as leaving/sending them a photocopy of the page with your data and photo + signing an agreement (usually available on their webpages).
matt128 1 | 6  
23 May 2008 /  #19
I would advice not to start an account with Bank Pekao. You would hardly find any one who speaks English there or over the phone.

Intermit banking facility is limited.

I filled all the forms in the branch in last week of April and the documents haven’t arrived yet. When i asked, the answer was 'I dont know...how to find it'

I still have not clue whether they have managed to open an account for me or not!

I heard MBank(Millinium) is good.

I've started an account with Citibank. They have given me an account in PLN and one in GBP. They don’t charge for most transactions (including international) via online.
Somerled 5 | 93  
31 May 2008 /  #20
I was thinking of keeping my cash in my US account. Now I'm trying to figure out the best/cheapest way to change it to zloty when I need it. Someone told me the cheapest exchange rate was through the ATM, but I don't know. Any tips?
dheva 3 | 28  
31 May 2008 /  #21
get cash from the Bank, and go to money changer, but you have to searching which the best one.. in Money changer you still can ask for better value.. than what they put on screen.. GOOD LUCK...
Somerled 5 | 93  
31 May 2008 /  #22
Wouldn't the bank give me zloty anyway, already having charged me the exchange fee?
groovyg 3 | 70  
1 Jun 2008 /  #23
I heard MBank(Millinium) is good

mBank and Millennium are different banks.

Millennium is very good.
Yankee83  
2 Jun 2008 /  #24
dheva:
Wouldn't the bank give me zloty anyway, already having charged me the exchange fee?

I assume dheva meant to withdraw money in your own country (in your currency) and to exchange that at a kantor's in Poland. As far as I have experienced, this way you get the best rate.
AndyA  
2 Jun 2008 /  #25
mBank and Millennium are different banks.
Millennium is very good.

mBank is a daughter company of BRE Bank. The biggest plus of mBank is that for the most standard 'current account' (eKonto) you don't have to pay any fee (in other words - it's free). The biggest point however, they don't have offices (well now they are starting to have offices in big cities for credits etc. etc. but no 'normal' bank offices). All the forms you have to fill in and wait for confirmation goes by post - and first time setting up your login details for internet banking have to be done by phone (luckly thay have usualy always someone there that speaks English). The biggest 'problem' is to deposit money - you need to transfer it from an other bank account to your mBank account - or find a deposit spot of mBank (they have various spots/machines around cities where you can deposit money). There is no office (at least not that i know of) where you can walk in, have a chat, and deposit your money.
Somerled 5 | 93  
2 Jun 2008 /  #26
I assume dheva meant to withdraw money in your own country (in your currency) and to exchange that at a kantor's in Poland. As far as I have experienced, this way you get the best rate.

Thanks.
mad_one  
3 Jun 2008 /  #27
Don't bother dealing with banks in Poland - get paid in cash and keep your savings under the mattress - at least it should be worth the same as when you put it there. And don't bother bringing travellers cheques - bring cash and change it at the Kantors - better rates less charges and less chance of being ripped off (and you will get your money a lot quicker - took me 40 minutes to cash 2 traveller cheques with id!)

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