Best Credit Cards in Germany
Surprisingly, credit cards are not that widely spread in Germany as in other countries.
But believe us if we tell you that having a German credit card will make your life so much easier.
The obvious reason is that you will be able to do shopping even if your German bank account is in overdraft.
But more importantly German credit cards are great for anyone travelling a lot as you can withdraw money for free abroad and pay without extra fees in foreign currencies if you signed up with the right credit card/bank account.
If you do not have a German bank account yet that would be a very important first step.
Continue reading about the best German bank accounts, many of which already come with a free Debit Card or with a Credit Card for a small monthly fee.
But if you do not with to pay for a real credit card we have great news for you – Barclays is a completely free of charge credit card.
Before we dive into details let’s make sure that you understand the very important difference between a debit card and credit card and then compare all your options.
Difference Debit Card and Credit Card
The most important difference between a Credit Card and Debit Card is that with a Debit Card all your purchases are directly withdrawn from your bank account.
So if your bank account is in overdraft you will not be able to make any purchase with a debit card.
With a debit card your bank account will be charged every time you do a purchase.
With a credit card you can spend money regardless of if your bank account is in overdraft or not. However, at the end of the month all your purchased will be charged to your bank account.
And if you are travelling a lot you also need to remember that hotels and car rentals do not accept debit cards as a safety deposit.
So make sure that you at least have one real German credit card.
As we already pointed out we highly recommend Barclays, continue reading to find out why.
Overview & Comparison Best German Credit Cards
|Signup from abroad||No||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Monthly cost Credit Card||0€||2,49€||0€ first year|
29€ yearly afterwards
|Only Debit Card right now||Only Debit Card right now|
|Bank account fees||Does not include bank account||0€ for Aktivkunden (700€ monthly transaction volume)||4,85€||0€||0€|
|Free withdrawals worldwide||Yes||Yes||No||Yes, ATMs with Visa Sign||Yes|
The only real credit card right now that we can recommend that is completely free of charge.
Barclays is a well known international company and recently started to offer their Barclays Credit Card in Germany.
This is in fact a real Visa Credit Card with all the advantages you want to find in a credit card.
You can withdraw money when travelling completely free of charge and also use it abroad and in Germany to pay in restaurants and shops and not pay any fees.
Once a month Barclays will clear the balances with the German bank account that is connected with the Barclays Visa card.
So as you can see if you sign up with Barclays for a free Visa Credit Card you need to have a German bank account first.
In case you are still on the hunt for the best German Bank Account keep on reading our article.
Of course you can also connect your Barclays Card with Apple and Google Pay.
Just sign-up for your free of charge Barclays Credit Card online.
Another great alternative for a German credit card is to sign up with DKB.
All DKB bank accounts come with a free of charge Visa debit card.
Remember, when we told you to watch out closely for the difference between a debit card and credit card?
Exactly, so while DKB is one of our favorite German bank accounts, in order to have a real credit card you will need to pay a small monthly fee of 2,49€ for your Visa credit card.
But that small fee really is a small price to pay for what this credit card has to offer.
Free unlimited cash withdrawals at any ATM worldwide, can it get better than that?
Also in Germany you can use any ATM you want free of charge – naturally avoid those dodgy ATMs that charge an extra fee (this will always be stated before greenlighting the withdrawal on the ATM scree) which of course will not be covered by the free cash withdrawal.
Postbank is another good alternative if you are looking for a German Credit Card and bank account.
However, compared to our other alternatives, Postbank is a slightly more expensive option.
The mandatory bank account will cost you a monthly fee of 4,85€.
And if you want a real credit card instead of a debit card you will need to pay 29€ a year after the first year, which is for free.
But in case you do not feel comfortable to do most of your banking online Postbank is a very good alternative with many brick and mortar locations around Germany.
You might ask yourself why we do include N26 in this overview of the best credit cards in Germany when they only offer their bank accounts with a free of charge virtual debit card.
The answer is easy, N26 is the only German bank that offers online banking via Web and App in English.
Also the whole signup process is in English, which makes life incredibly easy for all foreigners and expats.
And best of all, you can sign up with N26 from abroad without the need to have a German address.
This is the best feature of all for N26 and we feel like we needed to tell you this.
So our recommendation would be to sign up with N26 from abroad already and then once you have the N26 bank account get a free of charge Barclays Visa Credit Card.
Comdirect was one of the first German online banks.
However, recently they have stopped issuing a real credit card with their free of charge bank account.
So the only alternative for this would be to get a free comdirect bank account and connect your Barclays Visa Credit Card with this account (similar to our N26 recommendation).
Now that you have succesfully signed up for a German Credit Card we recommend you enjoy life in Germany.
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