Gifts or money for opening an account? Make sure you’re well informed and you won't have any surprises


It sounds tempting. Sometimes it is cash; other times it is a tablet, a kitchen robot, etc. The battle to gain customers means that banks offer money or products as a

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for opening an account. But, is it as easy as it seems? You’ll only find out if you make sure you’re well informed.

Banks should give you full details of the promotions they offer, so don't hesitate to ask for any explanations you consider appropriate. In particular, look out for the following:

  • The requirements you must meet in order to benefit from the promotion, which are normally linked to
  • taking out products linked to the account (such as cards, insurance): in these cases, pay special attention to their associated cost
  • direct debit of recurring charges or payments (bills, salary or pension). In these cases, clarify whether or not there is a period of permanence, the minimum amount required for the salary or pension and the number of bills that must be paid by direct debit.
  • the maintenance of a minimum balance: check the period of time and amount required.
  • The possible penalties applicable:
  • In the event of non-compliance with the requirements, the penalties should be provided for in the contract.
  • Banks must be diligent in applying penalties, so that the charge is made immediately after the incident is known, otherwise they must inform the customer beforehand.
  • Taxes you have to pay:
  • If you are offered cash, check whether the amount offered is gross or net or, where applicable, whether or not the bank assumes the corresponding withholding tax.
  • If you are offered products as a gift, you should be aware that this is considered remuneration in kind for tax purposes. In other words, you will have to take it into account when you file your tax return. Your bank must inform you of their value and the withholdings made.
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