I was expatriated in the Netherlands for a little under three years, and am now back in my home country (Palestine/Israel). I don't expect to live in the EU again in the near future.

I still have an active Dutch bank account (ABN AMRO) and a credit card associated with it (ICS).

Should I cancel my credit card? Should I close my bank account? (Or rather, what are the pros and cons of doing so?)

Also, if I do close them, how soon should I do so after I've left?

  • 1
    Do you pay a service charge on either account? Do you still have any possibility of a tax liability or tax refund in the Netherlands? Nov 2, 2018 at 15:33
  • @MartinBonner: I pay some kind of minimal service charge of a few EUR a year. Let's assume I don't have any tax liabilities in NL and that no payments are forthcoming to me.
    – einpoklum
    Nov 2, 2018 at 16:18
  • 2
    This asks for opinion. On the one hand, you don't need or expect to use the accounts while you're in your home country. OTOH, maintenance costs of the account and card are low, and if you do return to the Netherlands (or, perhaps, elsewhere in the EU) in the future, it'd be much easier to have retained these accounts, compared with work of setting them up again. You'll have to resolve this tension on your own. Nov 2, 2018 at 19:23
  • @David: A huge part of the questions here on expatriates.SX are "what should I do?" Or "what is my best course of action?" the pros and cons are a good answer of course.
    – einpoklum
    Dec 7, 2018 at 23:12

2 Answers 2


You might get a tax refund, as I did when I returned. And then it will be very difficult for you to get that money to you if you do not have a local bank account. If you are sure of not getting any tax refunds in future, go ahead by closing the account.

  • 1
    Why would it be difficult to get a tax refund to the OP without a local bank account? Dec 7, 2018 at 13:52
  • @PatriciaShanahan Because the tax office will not go out of its way to send the money to "anywhere in the world"?
    – deviantfan
    Dec 8, 2018 at 1:12

I still have my Dutch bank account even though I have not lived there for 5 years. My wife and I still own a house there and my sister in law lives there so our situation may be different than yours.

That said, I have found it very convenient to have my Dutch bank account. I use It every time I visit. There are many places where it is only possible to pay with cash or a Maestro card so it's convenient to withdraw money from my account there or use by bank card to pay.

The fees are about 25 euro per year, which I consider worth the hassle since I visit at least once per year. I can also use my Maestro card in other European countries.

The other consideration is that, if I close my account, I would not be eligible to open a new bank account there unless I moved there again.

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