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  • Writer's pictureCreimerman Product Team

How to Open a Bank Account in Chile.

Opening a bank account in Chile can be a relatively straightforward process if you have the required documentation and follow the necessary steps. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through this process.

Types of Bank Accounts

Cuenta Corriente (Current Account):

Suitable for daily transactions and managing finances.

Comes with a checkbook and a debit card.

Usually requires a minimum balance and might have maintenance fees.

Cuenta Vista (Vista Account):

Ideal for individuals who need a basic account for everyday transactions.

Comes with a debit card.

Generally has no checkbook and lower fees compared to a current account.

Cuenta de Ahorro (Savings Account):

Designed for saving money and earning interest.

May have restrictions on the number of withdrawals.

Steps to Open a Bank Account

Choose a Bank

Research and select a bank that suits your needs. Some of the prominent banks in Chile include Banco de Chile, Banco Santander, and BancoEstado.

Check Eligibility

Verify the bank’s requirements for opening an account, especially if you are a foreign national.

Gather Required Documents

Identification: Passport or Chilean ID (Cédula de Identidad for locals).

RUT Number: Rol Único Tributario, the tax identification number. Foreigners can obtain a RUT from the Servicio de Impuestos Internos (SII).

Proof of Address: Recent utility bill, rental agreement, or another document showing your current address.

Proof of Income: Employment contract, pay stubs, or other documents showing your source of income.

Reference Letters: Some banks may require reference letters from existing customers or employers.

Visit the Bank

Go to the chosen bank with all the required documents. It is advisable to make an appointment to expedite the process.

Complete Application Forms

Fill out the application forms provided by the bank. Bank staff will assist you if needed.

Initial Deposit

Make the required initial deposit if applicable. The amount varies depending on the bank and the type of account.

Wait for Approval

The bank will review your application and documents. This process typically takes a few days to a week.

Receive Banking Materials

Once approved, you will receive your debit card, checkbook (if applicable), and other relevant banking materials.

Tips for Foreign Nationals

Residency Status: Having temporary or permanent residency can simplify the process, although some banks may allow non-residents to open accounts.

Language: Bank staff may primarily speak Spanish. Having a basic understanding of Spanish or bringing someone who can translate can be helpful.

Currency Exchange: Be aware of the regulations regarding currency exchange and transfer limits.

Major Banks and Their Features

Banco de Chile:

Offers a wide range of personal and business banking solutions.

Provides good customer service and a robust online banking platform.

Banco Santander:

Known for its comprehensive financial products and services.

Provides online banking and a mobile app for easy account management.


State-owned bank with extensive branch coverage and ATMs.

Offers basic accounts with low fees, ideal for everyday transactions.


Opening a bank account in Chile involves selecting a suitable bank, ensuring you meet eligibility requirements, gathering the necessary documentation, and following the application process. With the right preparation, you can open a bank account that meets your financial needs in Chile.

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