Best Bank in Germany
We will compare the advantages of disadvantages of the most famous German banks and find the perfect choice for you.
Signing up with a bank in Germany is very important as you will not be able to rent an apartment or sign up for internet without a German bank account.
Therefore this should be one of the first things to take care of when moving to Germany.
It still seems like that banks in Germany are still stuck in the last millennium. Believe it or not, but right now N26 is the only bank in Germany that let’s you sign up for a bank account on an English website.
While at most other banks you still need to show up at an office to prove your identity, N26 let’s you sign up completely online. So setting up your German bank account has just become incredibly easy.
Once you sign up with N26 you will get both a free of charge Maestro card, which you can use in shops and restaurants and a free of charge Mastercard credit card.
So on top of being very convenient N26 is also free of charge, which is an exception nowadays with the low interests where banks need to earn money by charging for their accounts.
With your N26 account you can get out cash for free up to 5 times a month at any ATM in Germany. If you are travelling a lot it gets even better as you can get out cash for free at any ATM worldwide as often as you want.
And on top of that there are around 7.000 retail stores in Germany where you can get cash for free.
In summary there is no reason at all not to sign up with N26 right now. The signup process is online and in English, the account is completely free of charge and you can get out cash for free at any ATM. Continue here if you want to check out N26 and sign up with them.
DKB – Deutsche Kreditbank is a direct bank from Berlin that has been voted best direct bank by Focus Money for already the sixth time in a row. This is something no other German direct bank has achieved ever before. That is a good indicator that DKB is a great choice for your German bank account.
+ Free money withdrawal from any ATM in Germany and worldwide with DKB Visa card
+ Very easy and clean online banking interface
+ Great customer service
+ Ability to sign up without German address
– If you can’t provide a steady income application might get declined
Free money withdrawal
Getting out cash without paying fees at any ATM is a big plus for signing up with DKB. With traditional banks like Sparkasse or Hypovereinsbank you can only withdraw money without a fee at ATMs of their branch.
But especially in rural areas or in Berlin finding an ATM of your branch is very difficult.
And even better, with your free DKB visa card you can also withdraw money from any ATM worldwide free of any costs.
Online banking interface
DKB’s online banking interface is state of the art and makes online banking easy and fun. Everything, that you needed to go to your local bank to in the past now can be done online.
DKB of course offers a secure line (SSL) and transfering funds can be done with the usual TAN system.
Great customer service
DKB offers a local 24/7 service hotline concerning any problem that you might run into. So whether your account got closed due to suspicious login attempts or you have some questions regarding your account there will always be a friendly DKB employee to help you with your problems.
Ability to sign up from abroad
In the past (and with most other banks still today) you needed to provide a German address in order to get the final documents sent.
So if you did not have an apartment (because you did not have a German bank account yet) things could get very tricky. So if you already know that you gonna move to Germany sign up already from abroad with DKB.
We have heard that DKB sometimes might decline applications without telling you a reason why. We suspect that in order to offer that great service and good rates DKB makes sure to minimize the risk of getting ‘bad’ customers that might not have enough money on their bank account.
But if you get accepted, which is usually the case, you can be sure to have made the right decision to sign up with DKB.
DKB – Deutsche Kreditbank has been rated best bank in Germany in many leading consumer magazines from Focus Money to Handelsblatt. This comes in as no surprise as DKB really offers outstanding advantages to many other traditional banks such as free money withdrawal worldwide or 24/7 service hotlines.
So if you are looking for a bank account in Germany make sure to sign up with DKB. Especially foreigners will appreciate the ability to sign up from abroad and their customer service that also usually speaks English.
Similar to DKB also Postbank has won several awards in the past including the one for safest online bank by Focus Money. Doesn’t this give you some peace of mind moving all your banking from traditional banking to online banking?
+ Local branches throughout Germany
+ Girokonto just 3,90€ per month
+ Free withdrawal from 10.000 ATMs from Cash-Group in Germany
+ Free Visa Credit Card for 1 year
– Only free cash withdrawal from cash group ATMs
If you do not feel comfortable yet to open up an online bank account then Postbank is your best choice. Postbank is a traditional bank where you do all your banking in their local branches. But of course if you want to do your banking online, Postbank also offers that option.
Girokonto just 3,90€ per month
Good news is that Postbank is less picky when it comes to accepting applications. But this means that they will charge a little fee for the Girokonto plus.
Free withdrawal from cash group ATMs
With your Girokonto you will automatically get an EC-card which will enable you to withdraw money from any Cash Group ATM free of charge and also pay in most supermarkets/restaurants/shops cashless and also free of charge.
In fact Germans do love paying with their EC-card even for goods less than 5 Euros. So get prepared to always bring your EC-card wherever you go.
Free Visa Credit Card for 1 year
Make sure to opt in for a free of charge Visa Credit Card. This way you will be able to also withdraw money for free worldwide if you are frequently traveling. Be aware that the Credit Card will cost 29€ per year from the second year onwards.
Only free cash withdrawal Cash Group ATMs
Usually Cash Group ATMs are everywhere to find, but sometimes, especially if you need to get out cash urgently, it might happen that you need to use a non cash group ATM. And this will cost you money.
If you don’t feel comfortable with online banking yet then Postbank is a very good choice to open up your German bank account with. The Girokonto will cost a monthly fee but with just 3,90€ a month that is a fair offer.
Oh and their local branches are usually very modern and service is very good. Not without good reasons Postbank was voted “best Girokonto” in 2014.
But why did Netbank only come in on third position to be the best bank in Germany? Well if you go for the standard credit card you can get out cash for free at any ATM worldwide – with the limit of 5 withdrawals for free per month.
Most of you will not reach 5 withdrawals a month and therefore this would not bother you. But it is such a close call between DKB and Netbank that this limitation set Netbank to second place only.
+ Free money withdrawal from any ATM in Germany and worldwide with free Master Card
+ Very easy and clean online banking interface
+ Free account management
+ 24h customer service
– Limit of 5 free withdrawals per month with Master Card
Free money withdrawal
Very important nowadays that you can take out cash at any ATM for free worldwide. Imagine travelling and having to pay each time you get out cash in another country.
Great online banking
It should be standard nowadays that you can do your banking online and without any hassle. But you would be surprised how many traditional German banks still struggle with the digital age. Luckily Netbank is an exception and offers a very user friendly online banking interface.
Free account management
Another great plus (especially nowadays with very low interest rates) is the fact that Netbank doesn’t charge for your account. Other German banks want up to 10€ a month just for you to park your money there – crazy, isn’t it?
24h customer service
You will love this once you run into any troubles with your account, because usually such things always happen on a Sunday with nobody working. But with Netbank you can reach somebody to help you 24h a day.
5 withdrawals for free a month
As already mentioned, this won’t affect most of you, but as we have to decide which is the best German bank this is what made Netbank come in 2nd place.
Free cash withdrawals worldwide, free Master Card and 24h customer service. This is what we want when we think of good banking. In order to sign up with Netbank you need to fill out their online application plus follow the PostIdent, which means that you have to go to any Post in Germany and prove your identity. Easy and quick as that.
Comparison of Best German Bank Accounts
|English sign up process||Yes||No||No||No|
|Sign up from abroad||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Bank account fees||0€||0€||3,90€/month||1€ - 3,50€/month|
|Free cash withdrawal Germany||5 times/month at any ATM||Yes, unlimited|
For Aktivkunden with more than 700€ monthly income
Free withdrawal at 10.000 ATMs of Cash Group
1x per month with Mastercard Debit
|Free cash withdrawal worldwide||Yes, unlimited||Yes, unlimited||No||Yes, limited|
1x per month with Mastercard Debit
|Credit card included||Yes 0€/month|
Extra Visa Card 0€ first year, afterwards 29€/year
Mastercard Debit 0€ - 10€/month
|Overdraft fees||8,9% interest p.a.||6,9% interest p.a.||10,55%-14,95% interest p.a.||8,0% interest p.a.|
|Additional services||Unlimited free cash withdrawal at 7.000 retail stores||DKB Live|
Free tickets for football, icehockey & much more
|Sign up bonus of up to 250€ worth of vouchers (certain conditions apply)||Online ATM finder|
How to open a German bank account
If you open a bank account in Germany be sure to have all the information needed available. Sign up processes may vary from bank to bank but here is a list of which information generally is needed when you open a German bank account:
Vorname – First name
Name – Family name
Geburtsdatum – Date of birth
Familienstand – Marital status
Staatsangehörigkeit – Nationality
Telefon & email – Telephone number & email address
Land – Country
Wohnhaft seit – Resident since (since when do you live at this address)
Wohnstatus – Resident status
Tätitgkeit – Occupation
Aktuelles Nettoeinkommen pro Monat in Euro – Current net income per month in Euro
Zweiten Kontoinhaber – Secondary account holder
Usually it will take up to 5 working days until the papers from the bank arrive at the stated address. Therefore if you open a German bank account you better should do this as soon as possible after moving to Germany.
Finding the best bank in Germany
N26 is clearly a top choice for everyone who feels comfortable with banking purely using and App. N26 is definitely the easiest way for English natives to sign up for a German bank account.
There are only few reasons that speak against DKB and these are mainly that DKB is a pure online bank, so you need to feel comfortable with doing all banking online.
And the other reason may be that you have been declined by DKB, which sometimes might happen if you do not have a steady income.
As mentioned before make sure to sign up with DKB already before moving to Germany as it comes in very helpful to already have a German bank account before moving to Germany.
Once you have sorted out your German bank account you should consider finding the best German internet provider or the best German phone provider. With our help you will be able to pay less for more service and quality.
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