We recommend that you open a bank account as soon as you have a Norwegian identification number: Either a d-number or a national identity number.
In the longer run, you might find this overview of Norwegian banking services useful.
Online banking is the easiest way to transfer money and pay bills and is therefore recommended. For services within Norway no fees are charged.
- Banks offer either an ordinary magnetic-stripe bank account debit card that can be used at any Cashpoint (ATM) or Point of Sale terminal in the country, or you will be offered an international debit card, such as Visa.
- Any debit card also serves as an identity card in Norway, as it has your photograph, National ID-number and signature printed on it.
Most banks also offer a credit card, such as MasterCard.
Transferring money abroad
- Online banking is the easiest way to transfer money to a foreign bank account. However, you may also use money transfer companies or banks.
- Prices vary. The Norwegian Consumer Council financial services portal offers the online service Sending money home (finansportalen.no) that helps you find the best way to send money from Norway to other countries.
- For exchange rates see Exchange rates (norges-bank.no).
- Housing loans require some form of security, for instance income or a surety. Contact your bank to find out how much you can borrow and what interest rate the bank offers. Most mortgages have a floating rate that varies according to the market rate. The website finansportalen.no (mainly in Norwegian) offers a useful overview of current mortgage rates.
- Please note that all members and pensioners belonging to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund (SPK) can apply for a housing loan with advantageous rates under the housing loan agreement. You may also be granted a loan to refinance a housing loan. Read more about SPK's housing loan (spk.no).
- UiO employees may also apply for an advance of up to two months' salary when buying a home. Check out the conditions.
Checks are no longer in common use in Norway. The closest bank to cash a check is the Post Office at Majorstuen (posten.no) (Norwegian).
Is your money safe in Norway?
- Bank deposits in the Norwegian banking system are guaranteed through a very solid deposit guarantee scheme.
- All deposits in any account are guaranteed up to the amount of NOK 2 million (not including interest earned). The guarantee is valid for all banks, also the foreign-owned banks like Nordea and Danske Bank. However, banks with different names but with the same owners, count as the same bank when it comes to the insurance scheme coverage.
- The deposit guarantee does not include shares and other investments. For detailed information please visit the website of the Norwegian Banks' Guarantee Fund (bankenessikringsfond.no).