14/10/2016, updated 15/06/2023
What is a CuentaRUT?
The cuentaRUT is a specific account issued only by BancoEstado (bancoestado.cl). It is a relatively limited bank account, but which can enough for you, or at least good to start with when arriving in Chile.
Basically, this is an account with a debit card that allows you to withdraw at all ATM in Chile. You can also do wires, and pay online or in shops.
The application must be done online on the website of BancoEstado. It is very simple. You just need your RUT and your ID card number (numero de documento) to register. Then, you choose the branch where you want to withdraw your card. And you go there directly. Within one hour, you have your card.
To open it, all that is required is a valid Chilean ID card (not blocked or expired). The account is indeed available for all people living in Chile with residency, without conditions such as minimum income. Please note that a temporary RUT is not enough.
- Max balance: $3,000,000
- Max monthly deposit (cumulated): $2,000,000 (you can deposit more, but the bank will ask you to withdraw the amount above $2,000,000)
- Daily withdraw limit: $200,000
- Daily wire transfer limit: $1,000,000 (above $100,000, it will not work the first time for security reason, you need to call them to enable wire above $100,000)
- Immediately available as soon as you have your Chilean ID card (can be opened in a single day)
- No monthly fee
- A debit card that allows paying in almost all shops in Chile
- Rather limited maximum balance
- Fee each time you withdraw from an ATM (300 pesos)
- No credit card, which prevents you from using certain online services that require this type of card
- You can not use your account and debit card abroad
- No chequebook
- No overdraft
You can overcome the two first disadvantages quite easily:
- For the maximum balance, you can transfer to a foreign account, or to a saving account (cuenta de ahorros). If most banks are reluctant to open a checking account, they have generally no problem to open a saving account or to allow you to do a term-deposit.
- For ATM fees, you can really limit them (in percentage) by withdrawing the maximum amount each time (200,000 pesos). Another solution: at most supermarkets, when you pay by debit card, you can ask to withdraw $10,000 to $30,000 more than the amount due). They are charged on your card, and the cashier gives you cash, without fees!
Below a photo of the limits regarding operations you can perfom at a ServiEstado office. For higher amounts operations, you will need to setup an appointment with the bank.
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