What kind of debit or credit cards and bank accounts are available to you upon arrival to Norway?

Bank cardsPhoto: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB

If you intend to stay in Norway, either short or long-term, chances are you will want to open a deposit account in a Norwegian bank – or maybe get a credit card.

As Web Editor at lanfordeg.no, I often get questions regarding personal finance for foreign customers in Norway. A lot of people are uncertain about the rules and guidelines when it comes to establishing Norwegian bank accounts. That’s why I have gathered some of the most important information in this article.

So, what exactly do you need in order to open a bank account in Norway? 

National identity number or D number

Opening a deposit account is possible for anyone with either a national identity number or a D number.

If you are a registered citizen of Norway, you will be assigned a national identity number. But this is obviously not the case for everyone wanting to make a longer stay.

If you do not meet the criteria for being assigned a national identity number, you can apply for a D number at the Tax Administration office.

The D number gives you the right to open a deposit account in Norway.

Already have a D number? Make sure it’s active

All D numbers are inactivated in the National Population Register 5 years after the number was assigned. So, if you have a dated D number, make sure to activate it by booking an appointment with the Tax Administration.


Remember: To open a deposit account in Norway, you will also need a valid identification document, like your passport. There are also other documents of equal standing, like a Norwegian travel document or an Immigrant’s passport.

So, make sure you are all set with the necessary documents before heading to the bank.

Other approved means of identification are a Norwegian driver’s license or an ID card from an EU country.

Check your home country bank

Some banks in Norway are multi-branched across several countries, so make sure to check if your bank can help you establish an account in Norway. 

This can make your stay a lot easier since you will be ready to go once you arrive in Norway – and you avoid spending lots of time managing your economy while getting settled.

Opening a bank account

The process of opening a bank account may vary from bank to bank, but overall, the necessary documentation should be the same across all Norwegian banks. 

Some banks might also ask for a residential permit, registration certificate, or employment contract.

A good rule of thumb is to bring all relevant documentation, as it might speed up the process of you getting your bank account established.

Credit cards

When it comes to credit cards, things get a little trickier. Providing credit to foreign citizens is considered high-risk, especially considering how difficult it can prove to recover the used credit when the customer leaves the country. Therefore, many Norwegian banks require Norwegian citizenship from their customers.

Although, some banks have less strict requirements, and offer credit cards to anyone who has lived in Norway for a given amount of time (usually a minimum of three years).

Popular alternatives

Credit and debit cards like Visa, MasterCard, or Eurocard are all widely accepted in Norway. One alternative is, therefore, to obtain a credit card from your country of origin with good terms and conditions when it comes to international use. 

This can save you a great deal each time you’re swiping the card abroad and can help keep your economy flowing while getting settled.

Another solution is to open a new currency account in your country of origin. This allows you to hold NOK without having to own a Norwegian bank account.

Remember to be wary of hidden fees and expensive transactions for international use. I often see people forget to check their bank’s policy and thereby get a hefty invoice after their stay.

Norwegian banks

Most Norwegian banks follow the same procedures and guidelines for foreign customers, but there may be some local differences depending on their policies.

To give an example of a typical process in Norway, the bank SpareBank1 has a simple and straightforward solution for establishing your new bank account. You simply bring your passport to the bank, fill in an electronic form, and wait for your account and debit card.


To summarize – if you are planning to stay in Norway and want to establish a bank account or obtain a credit card, you should prepare the following:

  • National identity number.
  • Your D number if the aforementioned is not possible at the time.
  • Valid identification documents, like your passport, ID card, or Norwegian driver’s license.
  • If applicable, your residential permit, registration certificate, or an employment contract.

This article was written by Ingvild Aagre, Web Editor at lanfordeg.no. She has extensive experience in writing content related to personal finance and often receives requests about loans, bank accounts, and credit cards from foreigners who are planning on moving or have just moved to Norway. MSc in Anthropology with specialization in Economic Anthropology from the University of Bergen. Has also studied topics such as history, language, and sociology from other universities, including the University of Cambridge. 7 years of experience in teaching, professional counseling, and text production. Contributor at Great Norwegian Encyclopedia.

Source: #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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1 Comment on "What kind of debit or credit cards and bank accounts are available to you upon arrival to Norway?"

  1. Good information about how to stay in Norway.

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