Get a Bank Account in Germany

No matter for what reason you move to Germany, you will not be able to avoid opening a bank account sooner or later. You are not required by law, but it is almost impossible to get a foothold in Germany without a German bank account. Why? Many institutions want to see your German bank account number. You need a German bank account to:

  • Get an apartment and pay your rent
  • Receive your paycheck without delay and problems
  • Do business in Germany
  • Transfer money faster within Germany
  • And much more

What account type are you looking for?

Private Bank Account Germany

Private Bank Account

Are you moving to Germany? To settle in you need a Bank account. Have a look at the best private accounts for expats in Germany.

Private Bank Account Germany

Student Bank Account

You are planing to study in Germany? Then you will need a blocked bank account for foreign students. Have a look at you possibilities.

Private Bank Account Germany

Self-Employed Bank Account

Do you want to earn money in Germany with your own business? Enjoy the advantages of German bank accounts for the Self-employed.

Private Bank Account Germany

Company Bank Account

Are you expanding your business to Germany or are you growing? Then you will need a bank account that fits your needs! Click on “learn more”.

9 Facts About Banking in Germany

Banking in Germany has some unique features that newcomers should be aware of, such as the use of debit cards and the duration of national and international transfers. It is important to do research before opening a bank account to find the best option.

Do I need to get a German bank account?

It is not mandatory to have a bank account in Germany, but having one is recommended. If you already have a bank account in the Eurozone, you can use it for transactions. However, it is advisable to open a German bank account as many institutions, including employers, require a German bank account number. Having a German bank account can make your life easier, so it is worth considering.

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Can anyone open a bank account in Germany?

To open a bank account in Germany, you need to register in Germany first and have a rental agreement. Once you register, you get a confirmation which is required to open a bank account.

Exception: If you are an EU-citizen, you can open a bank account with N26 in Germany without being registered.

What if I don’t speak German?

N26 offers everything in English and is entirely online, with easy and quick transfers and 24/7 English customer support. Commerzbank is another option, with English-speaking customer service and easy payment options. The Basic account is free with a minimum monthly deposit of €700. The form can be filled in English, and there are bonuses available.

Which documents do I need?

To open a bank account in Germany online, you’ll need your passport and registration confirmation (Meldebescheinigung). Some bank branches may also require a pay statement from your employer and work permit (if applicable).

What kinds of bank cards do Germans use?

Germans primarily use debit cards called “EC-Karte” and cash, with some shops charging extra fees for VISA-card payments. Most banks also issue VISA and Mastercards that come with additional fees. Four-digit secret pins are provided for the EC-Karte, and sometimes signatures are required. Using cash is still popular, and smaller places like cafes may not accept cards.

Is there a German bank account that is for free?

In Germany, most banks charge a fee for basic cheque accounts, but there are some options for free accounts. Online bank accounts like DKB, Comdirect and Number26 are usually free, while traditional banks like Deutsche Bank, Postbank, Commerzbank, Sparkasse, and Volksbanken charge a small fee. Students and those under 18 are generally exempt from bank fees.

How does online banking in Germany work?

Online banking in Germany requires a login number, pin number, debit card and TAN numbers. With this, you can log in to your bank account, see its status, make bank transfers using the TAN number, and view previous payments. Mobile banking using Photo Tan or Push Tan is becoming more common, and is often offered through a bank’s app. This makes online banking more secure and paperless.

How long does it take to transfer money?

In Germany, transferring money between accounts within the same bank is instant, while it takes one to three working days if transferring between different banks. This is longer compared to other European countries. Although it can be inconvenient, there is no way around it.

How do I send money abroad?

To send money abroad from a German bank account, it usually takes longer than sending within the Eurozone, usually 1-3 working days. Wise is a recommended service for transferring money between EU and non-EU countries, as it can save you up to 90% compared to traditional bank transfers. By matching you with people sending money in the opposite direction, Wise keeps your money within the country, and transfers can arrive within 1-2 days using a debit card or bank transfer.

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Banking in Germany