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Socium
6/24/2018 17:56 EST

When a foreigner is able to get a labor VISA, or a temporary visa, or any visa that provides him with a Chilean ID ard ( cédula de identidad), then he is able to open a RUT account at Bancoestado. It is normal bank account, without checks. It will give you a debit card called REDCOMPRA, and you can withdraw funds on hundreds of ATM machines that have a sign on the entrance REDBANC. All the Chilean banks are a partner of this company owning the ATMs, so there are thousands of them throughout the country. Banco Estado probably may have over 2.000 ATMs machines. Banco Chile around 1.500, etc. When you withdraw funds from this ATM machines, you pay CL$ 300, or aprox. 47 US$ cents per time. However this RUT accounts only provides CHILEAN PESOS. Of course you can pay in all stores, small and big, as it functions as a Debit Card. The account has some monthly limits that you need to check. The largest deposit may not be above CL$ 2.000.000 or around US$ 3.125 at an exchange of CL$ 640 per US$ dollar. In total at a given month, the maximum balance can only be up to CL$ 3.000.000 or US$ 4.687. Most of Chilean workers use this account to receive their wage. The same is used by immigrants. There are over 8.000.000 RUT accounts. The only requirements are to be older than 18 years old, and have the cédula de identidad mentioned above. As this account has full access to internet, you can transfer Chilean Pesos from any account, or deposit into it. And you can transfer freely from this account to any other account in pesos. The cost for transferring money to other account is the same said before CL$ 300, or 47 US$ cents per each transference. Besides you can pay all your Chilean bills. For instance, you enter the web site of the mobile phone company, and you use this account to pay. The same for any utility company, as water, electricity, etc. The bank at the moment of opening the account, will give you the card with the coordinates or keys to use on each transference. I have read on many post, the difficulties of foreigners to operate financially in Chile. But there are solutions available for all if you ask the proper advise. As this RUT account, that has no fees other than those mentioned. When you use it as a debit card for instance to pay the restaurant bill even including the tip, there is no fee at all. Not on any purchase. Bancoestado has hundreds of branches that are open from monday through friday from 9: to 14:00; plus hundreds of offices called SERVIESTADO, that are open from 08:00 to 19:00 pm monday though friday, plus opening on saturday. So, you can always have access to deposit there. On any Serviestado, you can sell the dollars you withdrew from an ATM in dollars from another bank, and then deposit the pesos directly on this RUT account. All on the same counter. There are solutions to small business open owned by foreigners. Those need a close look and professional advise. Regards, Teo www.businessinchile.cl

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Encourager
6/24/2018 19:15 EST

But my "official" ID card is NOT a RUT card. It is a RUN card that also says "EXTRANJERO" Above my picture on the front of the card and "TEMPORARIA" on the back of the card. My friend who has been helping me pay my bills with his own credit card (once I give him the appropriate CLP in cash) went with me to several banks on Friday of this past week as he is Bi-lingual and can communicate in Spanish much better than I can. We went to Banco Chile, Banco Estado and BCI and again to Scotia Bank and showed all of the administrators at these banks my "official" Chilean ID card and the number begins with "RUN" and not "RUT" so they all said I cannot use that ID to open an account with them to enable me to get my funds transferred directly from my monthly SSI and Company Pension (which totals over $2,000 USD per month). The only Chilean bank that has a relationship with a U.S. bank is Scotia Bank and they require me to get a Permanent Visa (which takes 2 years) to open an account with them. If I attempt to transfer my monthly payments from Bank of America to another banking institution, it will cut off my access to my monthly payments until that transfer is officially approved and finalized by SSI and my company pension. I am retired and cannot operate without access to my funds until this all gets completed and established with another banking institution here in Iquique, Chile. It took over 3 months of waiting to get a simple "Proof of Benefits" letter sent to me that Chile Immigration required for me to get my RUN card. I finally had to give up and spend over $2,500 USD to personally make a trip to the closest U.S. SSI office to me here in Chile to personally visit the SSI office in Miami, FL in order to get that critical "official" document. I even sent the U.S. SSI office a written statement that they had my permission to send the required "Proof of Benefits" document authorizing them to send the required "Proof of Benefits" letter to my sister in Seattle, WA (my only living relative). She would then be able to forward that document to me here in Iquique, Chile. They said that they would do it, but nothing was ever sent to her. My only option was to make the trip myself to the Miami, FL SSI office in person. I don't want to go through all of that again with re-setting up the transfer of my SSI and pension benefits. I need those funds to continue to pay my bills. I can't wait for the "bureaucracy" to make this change and then be without my income drying up while I wait. Or to run out of my retirement savings that I try not to touch as my "security blanket" funds of last resort. Who knows if that would ever happen? From my past experience with bureaucracies, I would probably wait forever and die before anything would happen. Thank you for trying to help. At this point I think I should keep doing what I have been doing to be able to pay my own way with my own Chilean Credit Card here in my new home for another year. Anything else that I may try is too risky for me. Do you agree? I appreciate you wanting to help me with this situation.

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Socium
6/24/2018 21:43 EST

Encourager, You have to ease your life with tools that are familiar to you and you feel safe with them. That is the most important issue. However I see that you are paying extra costs for living in Chile and those are unnecessary. In addition, as you have chose this country lo live, you better try to "blend" a little bit deeper with our way of doing things. So, you may feel also more comfortable with your new host country. So, in spite the said at the start of this message, I believe you have already taken the more risky step: traveling and already living in foreign country. So, I don't see the reason to do not expand your links to live better in Chile.

Although, I realize you have not had the best advise from some Chilean fellows. RUN is Rol Unico Nacional, which is the technical name for our identification number. This RUN is the acronym and it is given to ALL Chileans, like it was also given to you.

The RUT is the Rol Unico Tributario, which is the taxpayer number. On the case of Chileans, RUN and RUT are the same number.

On the case of foreigners it may be different, so this may have caused the confusion on the people attending you.

Companies and organizations for profit and nonprofits, do not have a RUN, but they have as identification the RUT number.

So, I foresee your troubles of identification to get a RUT account are easy to solve.

Kind regards

Teo

www.businessinchile.cl

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FAIRCLOUGH
6/25/2018 10:16 EST

Yes. Banking in Chile is a far cry from banking in the US.
Paying bills is a nightmare with at least a half dozen numbers and codes required. I had a resident friend with good contacts in BCI Temuco who managed to get me a USD savings account set up as well as a debit card and a peso account with a box of checkbooks. Transferring from one account to the other requires signing a form at the bank but it works. I can deposit US dollar checks from my Chase bank into my BCI dollar account and transfer to my peso account at the current exchange rate. I tried to get Social Security to deposit my monthly payments directly to my Chile dollar account but it never happened and I am leaving it that way. It goes to my US bank and I just deposit checks into my Chile dollar account.
To do all this I had to get a RUT number from SSI in Chile and a RUN number at the registro civil. Unfortunately they call the RUN number a RUT number so when they say enter your RUT number I never know which they want. Try one and then find out it is the other one.
Opening these accounts took months even with help of an attorney in Santiago and many many calls and emails. A credit card is next. There are things you cannot pay for online with a debit card. Others you cannot pay with a credit card. Considering the great life there, I don't mind having to go to the Bank, to the Entel office etc. The employees could not be nicer.
BCI is the leading bank with the best rated customer service. Santander is a distant second.

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Encourager
6/25/2018 11:12 EST

Thank you for all your valuable information. I will try your recommendations and let you know how it worked for me. Encouraging news from you. Thank you.

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Encourager
6/29/2018 09:29 EST

Teo, You are WRONG. You gave the wrong information.

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Socium
6/29/2018 10:12 EST

In what regards.?

I have opened several bank accounts for foreigners as persons when possible.

Or on the name of their business when possible.

Either in Bancoestado or in other banks trough the years.

Every case needs a particular approach. Hope you can open yours.

Regards.

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Knowing567
1/2/2019 10:21 EST

Fairclough,
You wrote that:

"To do all this I had to get a RUT number from SSI in Chile and a RUN number at the registro civil. Unfortunately they call the RUN number a RUT number so when they say enter your RUT number I never know which they want. Try one and then find out it is the other one."

I understand that, in order to function in Chile, the first thing you do, after arriving there, is to get a RUT and a RUN number. Can you provide the address in Santiago for the SSI (what is the meaning of SSI?) and also the Registro Civil?

I thank you very much for help and wish you a very good 2019.

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MDGringo
1/2/2019 11:07 EST

The website http://www.sii.cl
is very clear and well organized. You can find the office locations and office hours easily. BUT make sure you call in to make sure they are there on the day you want to go. I went in during a visit to Santiago from the states, and it was a holiday (two days in a row) with no warning on their website. If you are chileno, I guess you just know all the "bank" holidays, but All Saints Day and the day after were not on my radar as holidays being a gringo. The holidays aren't listed anywhere on this otherwise wonderful website. There are many office locations in Santiago, and there is a least one in most of the major cities throughout the country.

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Knowing567
1/2/2019 12:32 EST

Thank you very much MDGringo. I am sure the info you provided will help many new expats.
Do you have an address or website for Registro Civil also?

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MDGringo
1/2/2019 12:37 EST

http://www.registrocivil.cl/

on this site foreigners can actually make an appt.

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liewald
1/2/2019 13:15 EST

Hi,
For Chilean and residents, the RUN (ID) and °RUT numbers are the same, so no need to worry.
Non residents and Companies can only get a RUT (Tax ID)
For instance, my 8 years old son, has a run number, when he starts working or paying taxes his RUT will be the same.
My company has only a RUT number.
I have both with the same number.
Legally any person or company can get a "RUT Provisorio" not to be confused with "RUT temporario" which actually doesn't exist.
Some transactions require the NON-resident to have a legal representative.

Don't waste your time, unless you are buying property or investing and use that as grounds to apply for TR.

Holidays in Chile can be check here:
https://www.feriados.cl/

You can't open a bank account until you are a resident and your Chilean "green card" ID is physically in your hand.

You can own a company and the company can have a bank account but that will be tied to the legal representative of your company.

You can only go to the registro civil once your TR visa is stamped in your passport.

Best
Walt

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Knowing567
1/2/2019 18:22 EST

Hi Walt,
Just when I felt I am out of confusion you threw me back. You said: "For Chilean and residents, the RUN (ID) and °RUT numbers are the same, so no need to worry." I do not know why you volunteer this info since, we, here, in this forum are mostly non-chilean and not residents yet.
Then you also said: "Legally any person or company can get a "RUT Provisorio" not to be confused with "RUT temporario" which actually doesn't exist." Why we will confuse with RUT temporario if we never heard of it, except you mentioning it.
The following is even more confusing: "Don't waste your time, unless you are buying property or investing and use that as grounds to apply for TR." Don't use our time to do what? To get a RUT or a RUN? And what is this new TR that seems to be important?
Also you said: "You can't open a bank account until you are a resident and your Chilean "green card" ID is physically in your hand." How this info connects with RUT or RUN? How do you become a resident and how is the chilean green card called?
And how do I have to understand this: "You can only go to the registro civil once your TR visa is stamped in your passport." Well, previously I understood that you go to the Registro Civil for the RUN. So, where do you get this misterious TR stamped in your passport? Before applying for RUT, after you applied for RUt or is the TR some kind of RUT?
I would love to have the steps clearly delineated:
1. Get the RUT
2. Get the TR
3. Get the RUN
Is thisn the correct scenario?

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encourager89503
1/3/2019 08:09 EST

I have a Bank of America debit card and credit card. I can get maximum of 200,000 CLP per day using my debit card from the Banco de Chile or any other international bank's ATM but at a huge expense. 1,000 CLP transaction fee + another bank fee of 6,500 CLP per transaction. I have personally visited every international bank in Iquique and they all say the same thing. I have to wait until I am here for 2 years before I can open an account at the ONLY bank in Chile that has a direct interconnectivity with an american bank: ScotiaBank. My retirement funds can then go directly from my SSI and company pension to ScotiaBank. In the interim I am paying @ $11.00 for each 200,000 CLP. This is a huge bank charge for about 6 times a month to pay all my bills. Utility charges and rent. My credit card is accepted by every store except utility companies. This is a VERY expensive handicap that banks in Chile imposes on non-citizens. I have a RUT. It makes no difference. I have to wait another 6 months before I can get my own bank account here in Chile. Please stop giving your misinformation. My personal experience contradicts your "advise".

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Becerra65
1/3/2019 10:23 EST

My husband and I moved here a year ago. He is a returning citizen of Chile with RUT and bank account. We still bank in the US. How? We have a US bank account and western union ourselves a monthly allowance and pick up here in town.. it’s a $21 fee with WU. We are members of WU and earn points so some months the fee is minimal. Also, we both have American Airlines Aviator Red Mastercard. They charge no foreign transaction fees. We use it to purchase groceries and supplies for our property. We then pay off the balance with our US bank account. All while earning air miles. I first signed up for this credit card a year ago and the bonus was 60,000 air miles which is a free round trip ticket anywhere in the world. My point is that for me a US citizen this has worked great. I can still manage my money. Any income can be direct deposited and any expenses for example a small loan in the US is on automatic debit. As far as purchasing a cell plan, I don’t. I use Facebook messenger to communicate with my family. As long as you have wi-fi. If I need to make a call to a person who doesn’t have messenger there is a free app called “What’s Call” and you watch marketing ads which earns you points for free phone calls anywhere in the world.

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encourager89503
1/3/2019 10:30 EST

Did you mean WhatsApp? I use that free service instead of buying Entel or WOM minutes. You just use the same phone number as your cell phone number after downloading the WhatsApp program. You can text or use voice to communicate. The only drawback is that it isn't interactive like a phone call. But it still works well for my needs.

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Becerra65
1/3/2019 10:42 EST

Yes I know of the WhatsApp. There is also one called WhatsCall. You look at ad’s and watch short marketing video’s and earn points for free phone calls. I call family in Hawaii and clients in California. Reception is great. So buying a cell plan is not a challenge for me cause I don’t need one. I guess my point is it’s not as difficult as some make it seem to live in Chile as a US citizen. My only challenge is learning fluent Spanish. They talk so fast here. Im now working on trying to make friends with some US citizens. Although my husband is Chilean and Spanish is his first language he hasn’t lived here in over 37 years. So this is a new experience for both of us. We live in San Vicente T.T.

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Knowing567
1/6/2019 12:38 EST

Hi Bercerra
You said: "We have a US bank account and western union ourselves a monthly allowance and pick up here in town.. it’s a $21 fee with WU. We are members of WU and earn points so some months the fee is minimal."

What do you mean "member of WU", how do you become a member of WU?
And what is the amount for which you pay 21$?

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Knowing567
1/6/2019 12:54 EST

I looked on the WU website and found the following:

"Get rewarded with My WU® Membership
Earn reward points*** for the money you send.
With the My WU® Membership program, you’ll earn points when you send qualifying transfers and bill payments. You can redeem these points for benefits like fee reductions* and more. Sign up** and start enjoying the rewards today!"

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Knowing567
1/6/2019 13:04 EST

But, also on the WU website it says:

"Joining the My WU program is optional. Joining requires e-mail and a mobile number. By joining, you authorize us to send an automated text message to your mobile number with program materials and request consent to send future promotional texts. Consent not required for purchase and may be revoked at any time. Msg & Data Rates Apply. Reply STOP to stop, HELP for help."

I have no problem with providing an e-mail but once I move to Chile I will not have a USA cell phone. What to do?

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liewald
1/6/2019 13:45 EST

Hi, "encourager?"
I'm sorry that you have chosen to have a bad experience or have been severely misinformed.
I also have a Bank of America account and use https://transferwise.com/ or
https://www.xoom.com
to transfer directly from my BoA to my Chilean Banco de Chile or Banco Estado RUT account.
My clients as soon as they have their "Cedulas" at hand have been able to open RUT accounts at Banco Estado.
Yes, Scotiabank has a connection to BoA and you can use their ATMs with no local Fee but BoA will still charge 3%.
I closed my accounts at Scotiabank due poor service and clerical errors wrong commisions and no way to fix it, also they won't accept a foreigner until having "Permanencia Definitiva" which now takes almost 2 years.

Bottom line, all residents in Chile as soon as they have their Chilean ID in hand can get a Banco Estado RUT account, it is as easy as register online and pick it up at the nearest agency a couple days later. btw the Insurance is Optional.

So I encourage you to stop discouraging newcomers based on your bad personal experience, it is OK to share but don't think your reality applies to all.

Best
Walt

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