How to open a bank account in Denmark as a US citizen?

Adam Rozsa

In this handy guide, we’ll walk you through how to open a bank account in Denmark. This includes the best Danish bank for foreigners, the documents you’ll need for your application, and any fees you need to know about.

Plus, info on a money-saving alternative for managing your money internationally - the Wise multi-currency account. Open a Wise account online to send, spend and receive money across borders for low and transparent fees¹.


Can foreigners open a bank account in Denmark?

You don’t need to be a Danish citizen to open a bank account in Denmark, but you do need to be a resident. You could be renting in Copenhagen or own a property in the countryside - all that matters is that you have the valid documentation.

For Danish banks, this means a CPR (Centrale Personregister) number. This is issued by the Borgerservice once you register as a Danish resident. It’s unique to the person and is used as an ID number.

Therefore, you can not open an account as a non-resident. If you’re about to move to Denmark and want to get started before you arrive, you may be able to start the application process online and then show your CPR card in person once you arrive.

There is another important thing to know about the Danish banking system as an expat. Anti-money laundering laws introduced in 2013 instructed banks to take extra steps to confirm the identity of new customers. But the laws didn’t necessarily lay out guidelines on how banks should do this, leading to inconsistency in application procedures between banks.

For you as a new applicant from overseas, it could mean that you’ll be asked for additional documentation. For example, some banks are asking for health insurance cards (which can take a while to arrive), while others are requesting a Danish address. So, it’s important to check with the bank in advance what you’ll need to provide.

What do you need to open a bank account in Denmark?

Here’s the full list of documents you’re likely to need to open your new Denmark bank account²:

  • Photo ID, such as your passport, driving licence or work permit
  • EU registration certificate
  • CPR number issued by the Borgerservice.

You may also need to provide a yellow health insurance card (Den gule Sygesikringskort) and proof of address, depending on the bank’s requirements.

Skip the hassle and get a Wise account to cover your international banking needs

Want an international account you can apply for online and use almost right away? Save time and hassle with a Wise account.

It offers the convenience of one account for all your international banking needs. You can manage 50+ currency balances at once, receive money for using local bank details (USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, NZD, CAD, HUF, SGD, TRY, RON) – and even set up direct debits.

Plus, it’s cheap, fast and easy to send money worldwide. You can send in over 50 currencies all over the world for low fees¹.

And for low-cost spending in 174 countries, including Denmark and the US, you can order a Wise international debit card for a fee¹.

It takes just minutes to open a Wise account for free¹.

Open a Wise account for free

Can I open a Danish bank account online?

New customers will usually need to visit a branch or call the bank in order to open an account.

However, some banks like Nordea will let you at least start the process online³, completing an online form before a customer service representative gets in touch to discuss banking options.

How much does it cost to open a bank account in Denmark?

Many bank accounts in Denmark come with regular maintenance fees. For example, choose Danske Bank to open an account, and you’ll pay 18-30 DKK (approx. $2.50-$4 USD) a quarter⁴.

You may also pay an annual debit card fee, which is between 60-150 DKK (approx. $8-$20 USD)⁴ at Danske Bank.

Before opening an account, it’s also a good idea to check the fees for international transfers and for using out-of-network ATMs.

Which bank is best in Denmark for foreigners?

Here’s a quick list of some of the biggest banks in Denmark for new arrivals:

  • Danske Bank
  • Nordea
  • Jyske Bank
  • Sydbank
  • Spar Nord Bank
  • Nykredit
  • Arbejdernes Landsbank

And remember, banks aren’t your only option - especially for international payments. Open a Wise account online for free, and you can manage your money in 50+ currencies, which is handy if you’ll be travelling between the US and Denmark.

Sources used:
  1. “Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing: Only Pay for What You Use for the most up to date pricing and fee information.”

All sources checked on 19-Jul-2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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