If you live in the Netherlands, it is highly recommended that you open a Dutch bank account since the cards you use in your home country might not be accepted in a lot of places. TU/e provides you with some help about how to open a bank account on their website. To summarize, the procedure for students moving from abroad goes as follows:
- Register as a resident at the City Hall of Eindhoven. TU/e can help you set this up, but you need to indicate this in the confirmation statement.
- Wait until you receive your BSN number (approx. 2 weeks).
- Visit a bank to open your account.
Regarding which bank to choose, it depends on your preferences. A popular option is Rabobank which used to collaborate with TU/e and therefore they have experience with setting up accounts for international students.
You might find yourself in the situation that your card from your home country is not accepted and, at the same time, you can't open a bank account yet because your are waiting for your BSN. A temporary solution can be Bunq, a mobile-only bank that offers a service whereby you can open an account and provide your BSN up to 90 days later.
Card and Cash Acceptance
Most shops in the Netherlands do not accept credit cards (e.g. VISA, Mastercard, etc.). This lack of acceptance is valid even for VISA debit and Mastercard debit since these cards still use a dual-message system and therefore, from the merchant's perspective, are still credit cards (this article provides an excellent explanation on the differences).
However, almost all places in the Netherlands accept payment by Maestro debit cards. Some even choose to forgo cash altogether, meaning you cannot pay by cash at all. The choice to forgo cash also applies to vending machines, many of which by now only accept contactless payments.
It is also important to note that most shops will not accept banknotes of €100 or more, due to cases of fraud in the past.