Low-cost bank account for expat on a relatively low income

I've just arrived in Prague on a 6-month contract, and I've been asked by my employer to open a local bank account. However, as my monthly income is less than 15,000 CZK, I don't think I'd qualify for Equabank's decent offering, so I don't know who to go with, as they all sound like such a rip-off! Also, I don't (yet) have much Czech, nor German, so I'd need a branch where they're willing to do the whole thing in English. I don't mind popping to Prague 1 if that makes it easier. If anyone has any suggestions/experience in this, I'd really welcome your input. Thanks so much, Sarah

23:07:30 08.01.2012 SFD

try going to one of the prague banches of Fio http://www.fio.cz/spolecnost-fio/kontakty?region=10#mapBranches although they have no english website, i know someone who speaks no czech who had no problem opening an account at one of their branches elsewhere, so i would think that the prague offices would have some english speakers as well ... pricelist (sorry czech only) http://www.fio.cz/docs/cz/cenik_bankovni_sluzby.pdf their standard account has no fees for the most common banking transactions and there is no minimum associated with it - the most simple debit card they offer also has no associated fees ....

23:33:03 08.01.2012 meluzina

I would recommend raiffeisen if you need english customer service but not sure if www.rb.cz is cheaper.

23:20:52 09.01.2012 RaymondS

I will also recommend Raiffeisen and I've had some brutal battles with them over the last 12 years (going back to when it was Ebanka, etc). At least their website is in English so you won't be prone to mistakes as with others.

06:49:43 10.01.2012 paulrm

If you want a cheap account, it depends on your language requirements FIO are cheap but they don't have anything in English. LBBW have a 'free' account which doesn't depend on your income, but they charge 50 CZK for the embossed payment card (most people want to be able to pay on the internet in this day and age). Their website has an English translation. Airbank might also be worth a look, again nothing in English yet though... RB have good English skills, but are not cheap if you are on a low income.

11:18:36 10.01.2012 Rob_Prague_2004

as far as FIO is concerned - i was going to log into my account and just noticed they have an english version up (i swear it wasn't there the other day as i specifically looked) :) http://www.fio.cz/bank-services/bank-accounts/current-account although i think it must be new - the link to internet banking from the english page doesnt work and theri online banking iosn't in english

11:28:38 10.01.2012 meluzina

Wow! Thanks for the tip Mel. I am sure it wasn't there when I last checked (a few weeks back).

12:59:27 10.01.2012 Rob_Prague_2004

Quote: Rob_Prague_2004Wow! Thanks for the tip Mel. I am sure it wasn't there when I last checked (a few weeks back).

oh good - then it wasnt just my imagiantion that one wasnt there before :) like i mentioned before though, i had a friend who knew absolutely no czech and needed a bank account - she went in on he own to the fio branch in tabor and the fellows there knew enough english to get her set up ... so i think the prague branches will more or less also have english speaking staff - both the blokes in tabor were friendly and helpful in both langaugaes the time i went there with her and opened my account :)

13:02:25 10.01.2012 meluzina