Best German Bank Account

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Find the Best German Bank Account for English Speakers – Comparison

Last update: 1 October 2020

comparison best bank account germany english speakersYou just arrived in Germany and need to open a bank account? This comparison will help you to find the best German bank account. Most of them are completely free of charge. For some of them you need a minimum incoming payment of a certain amount per month. And the best thing is that most of the bank accounts presented in this article offer their online banking also in English which makes them ideal for expats or students who have just arrived to Germany.
Below you can find a summary of Top 3 German bank accounts, followed by a detailed overview of the best bank accounts with English online banking and bank accounts with online banking in German only. If you need help opening a bank account just leave a comment or send us a message via the contact form.

N26
o €per month
  • No monthly or annual fees
  • Online banking in English, Spanish, French & Italian
  • Free Mastercard
  • Apple Pay & Google Pay
Commerzbank
0 €per month
  • Free of charge if you receive at least 700 EUR/month
  • Online banking in English
  • Free debit & credit card
  • Apple Pay & Google Pay
Tomorrow
0 €per month
  • No monthly or annual fees
  • Online Banking in English
  • Free debit card
  • Three free cash withdrawals per month

Detailed Overview – Bank Accounts with English Online Banking

N26

Best free bank account Germany N26N26 is a relatively new bank targeted at the tech-addicts amongst us. It offers an app-based bank account that comes with a lot of nice features. The bank account “N26” is completely free of charge and comes with a credit card (Mastercard) and a debit card (Maestro card – optionally). You can withdraw cash at any ATM in Germany free of charge up to five times per month if you receive a salary, pension, student allowance or government benefits for two consecutive months, or if you receive payments of at least 1,000 EUR/month or if you are younger than 26 years. If you do not qualify for this you still have three free cash withdrawals per month (any further withdrawals cost 2 EUR/withdrawal). Cash withdrawals within the Eurozone but outside of Germany are always free of charge. Cash withdrawals outside of the Eurozone cost 1.7%.
The highlight is definitely the app that is available in German, English, Spanish, French & Italian and has very useful features. For example you get push notifications on your smartphone for all transactions on your bank account. Furthermore the app automatically categorizes your transactions so that you can easily keep track of your financials.

   Banking app and support in English, Spanish, French & Italian
   Completely free of charge (no monthly fees)
   Free debit card and free credit card with contactless payment (Mastercard)
   Five free cash withdrawals per month within Germany (unlimited free cash withdrawals within the Eurozone)
   Open your account easily from your smartphone via VideoChat
   Apple Pay & Google Pay supported
   Cash withdrawals outside of the Eurozone cost 1.7%

Open your N26 bank account now!


Commerzbank “Girokonto”

open commerzbank bank account englishUnlike N26, Commerzbank is a traditional bank with a lot of branch offices throughout Germany. The Commerzbank “Girokonto” is free of charge if you receive monthly incoming payments of at least 700 EUR, otherwise a monthly fee of 9.90 EUR applies. The Commerzbank account comes wiht a debit card with which you can withdraw money free of charge at CashGroup ATMs (Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HypoVereinsbank & Postbank). For cash withdrawals at non-CashGroup ATMs and ATMs outside of Germany a fee applies. A free Mastercard credit card is also part of the Commerzbank bank account package and the online banking portal is available in English. A big advantage compared to the N26 account is the fact that they have branch offices with staff that often speaks English . The main features:

   Online banking portal in English
   Free of charge if you receive at least 700 EUR/month

   Free debit card (Girocard) and free credit card (Mastercard)
   Branch offices with personal advice (often in English)
   Open your account easily from your smartphone via VideoChat
   Apple Pay & Google Pay supported

   Free cash withdrawals only at CashGroup ATMs

[SPECIAL OFFER]: Currently you get a 50 EUR bonus when you sign up for a Commerzbank account

[NEW] For a step-by-step manual on how to open your Commerzbank account click here

Open your Commerzbank account now!


Tomorrow

tomorrow bank account sustainable englishTomorrow Bank is a new player on the market with a business model that is quite different to the one of traditional banks, as sustainability is their core value. Tomorrow Bank uses customer deposits to finance sustainable projects (e.g. microcredits) and every time you use your Tomorrow credit card, a portion of the so-called merchant fee (the fee that the merchant pays to the bank) is put into international climate protection projects by Tomorrow Bank. What makes this bank account even more attractive: It’s completely free of charge! There are no monthly/annual fees and the bank account comes with a free Visa debit card. You can withdraw cash from ATMs free of charge three times per month and there are no foreign exchange fees (e.g. if you pay in USD). Another great aspect of this bank account is the simple and intuitive banking app that is available in both German and English. Here is a short summary:

  Completely free of charge – no monthly or annual fees
   Banking app available in German and English

   No foreign transaction fees – pay in any currency without paying fees
   Up to three free cash withdrawals per month

  Easy ID verification via VideoChat
   Cash withdrawals in foreign currencies cost 1.5%

Open your Tomorrow bank account now!


Deutsche Bank

deutsche bank free bank accountLike Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank is also a traditional bank with a big network of branch offices in Germany. The Deutsche Bank “Das Junge Konto” is a bank account specifically for younger people as it is completely free of charge if you are a student and 30 years or younger. If you are not a student or older than 30 years the bank account costs 6.90 EUR/month (this account is called “AktivKonto”). The bank account comes with a free debit card and you can withdraw cash free of charge at CashGroup ATMs (Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HypoVereinsbank & Postbank). Furthermore Deutsche Bank has partner banks in more than 60 countries worldwide where you can also withdraw cash free of charge. Their online banking is also available in English and they often have English-speaking staff in their branch offices (especially in bigger cities). Here is a quick summary for the Deutsche Bank account:

   Online banking portal in English
   Free of charge if you are a student and 30 or younger (otherwise 6.90 EUR/month)
   Free debit card with cash withdrawals free of charge at CashGroup ATMs
   Branch offices with personal advice (often in English)
   Open your account easily from your smartphone via VideoChat
   Apple Pay supported

   No credit card included (can be requested separately)
  
Free cash withdrawals only at CashGroup ATMs

[NEW] For a step-by-step manual on how to open your Deutsche Bank account click here

If you are a student and 30 years or younger you can open the Deutsche Bank “Das Junge Konto” which is free of charge:

Open your free Deutsche Bank account!

If you are not a student or older than 30 years you can open the Deutsche Bank AktivKonto for 6.90 EUR/month:

Open your Deutsche Bank account!


Detailed Overview – Bank Accounts with Online Banking in German only

ING “Girokonto”

ing free bank accountThe ING bank account used to be completely free of charge. Unfortunately this has changed in May 2020… However the good news is that the bank account is still free of charge if you are younger than 28 years or if you receive a monthly payment of at least 700 EUR (for example your salary). Otherwise a monthly fee of 4,90 EUR applies. The bank account comes with a debit card (ec Karte/girocard) and a credit card (VISA).  You can withdraw cash free of charge from any ATM within the eurozone. The “Girokonto” from ING comes with a very functional and clear online banking portal. In addition to that they have a very good banking app so that you can easily manage your account on your smartphone. Here are the main features:

   Free of charge if you are younger than 28 years or if you receive at least 700 EUR/month
   Free debit card and free credit card with contactless payment (VISA)
   Free cash withdrawal in the eurozone
   Easy-to-use banking portal and app
   Open your account easily from your smartphone via VideoChat
   Apple Pay & Google Pay supported

   Foreign transaction fee and cash withdrawals outside of the Eurozone: 1.75%
   Online banking only in German

Open your ING bank account now!


Deutsche Kreditbank “DKB-Cash”

Best free bank account

The “DKB-Cash“ bank account is one of the best German bank accounts in terms of the conditions offered. You get a debit card (ec Karte/girocard) and a credit card (VISA) completely free of charge. Furthermore you can withdraw cash from any ATM worldwide free of charge if you are a so-called “active customer”. Active customers are customers that receive payments of at least 700 EUR per month onto their account. Active customers also do not pay a foreign transaction fee if you pay with the credit card in a currency other than Euro (e.g. if you pay in dollars).
If you are not an “active customer”, i.e. you do not receive payments of at least 700 EUR/month, the conditions of “DKB-Cash” are still very good. The only difference is that you can withdraw cash for free only in the eurozone (outside you pay a fee of 1.75%) and for payments in a currency other than Euro you pay a foreign transaction fee of 1.75%.
So as you can see, the “DKB-Cash” bank account is probably one of the best German bank accounts as it is completely free of charge and you’re very flexible due to the possibility to withdraw cash free of charge at any ATM. You can find the main features in a nutshell below:

   Completely free of charge (no monthly fees)
   Free debit card and free credit card with contactless payment (VISA)
   Free cash withdrawal worldwide (for “passive customers” only within the eurozone)
   No foreign transaction fee (for “passive customers” 1.75%)
   Open your account easily from your smartphone via VideoChat
   Apple Pay & Google Pay supported

   Online banking only in German

[NEW] For a step-by-step manual on how to open your DKB account click here

Open your DKB bank account now!


comdirect “Girokonto”

best free bank account comdirect germany

The comdirect “Girokonto” is also completely free of charge and you get a debit card (ec Karte/girocard) and a credit card  (VISA) without any fees. Cash withdrawals are worldwide free of charge, but it’s a bit trickier: In Germany you can withdraw cash free of charge with your debit card at Cash Group ATMs (Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HypoVereinsbank & Postbank). Within the eurozone you can withdraw cash free of charge with your debit card at any ATM. Outside of the eurozone you can use your credit card to get cash free of charge at any ATM. Therefore all in all a bit trickier than the above two options but still comdirect offers a very good bank account for free. A very useful feature is the so-called “Finanzmanager”. This tool within the online banking portal automatically categorizes your transactions so that can easily keep track of your financials: Here’s a summary:

   Completely free of charge (no monthly fees)
   Free debit card and free credit card with contactless payment (VISA)
   Free cash withdrawal worldwide
   Personal Finance manager – automatically categorizes your transactions
   Open your account easily from your smartphone via VideoChat
   Apple Pay & Google Pay supported

   Foreign transaction fee of 1.75% applies for payments in foreign currencies
 
 Online banking only in German

Open your comdirect bank account now!


Summary – Best German Bank Account

We hope that this summary will help you to find the best German bank account. As mentioned above please feel free to post a comment to this post or send a message via the contact form if you need further help.

If you are just looking for a credit card, check out this post for a summary of the best German credit cards.

 


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I earn a commission if you use those links.

Information in regards to § 18 Abs. 6 Zahlungskontengesetz: This is not a complete market overview.

70 Comments. Leave new

  • Soonruta Kothadia
    September 17, 2020 10:54

    Hello! Thanks for great article!
    My husband and I have moved to Germany from India as freelance dance artists. We are looking to open a bank account. Will we need separate accounts for our personal and professional banking? Also would you know if we can open a joint account for getting paid as we work together?

    Reply
    • Dear Soonruta,
      first of all: Welcome to Germany and all the best for your business!
      Well, it really depends on the legal form of your business. If you run the business self-employed/as a sole proprietor you do not need a separate bank account necessarily. However I would recommend to separate your business finances from your private finances.
      If you run your business in a legal entity (e.g. GmbH or UG) you definitely need a business bank account.

      Check out this comparison of business bank accounts (both for self-employed/sole proprietors and legal entities).

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hello Dominik

    Could you please enrich this article with more information on which banks offer free sub accounts alongside the main account?

    I had a terrible experience with the Commerzbank after having switched to them from the deutsche bank because of their free current account offer; to find them completely unaware of such a service that I already enjoyed for years in the deutsche bank of 3 additional free sub accounts.

    Thanks very much.

    Regards

    Reply
    • Dear Romero,
      thanks for your question. This is definitely an interesting topic and I will soon post a dedicated article about bank accounts with sub-accounts.
      There are two types of sub-accounts:

        1. Sub-accounts with an own IBAN
        You can use these sub-accounts like a normal bank account (e.g. direct debits, transfers to other bank accounts, etc.). This kind of sub-account is for example offered by Deutsche Bank or also Commerzbank.

        2. Sub-accounts without an own IBAN
        These are sub-accounts that you can only use within your main bank account (e.g. transfer money between your bank accounts). This is what N26 calls “spaces” or Tomorrow “pockets”.

      Hope this helps! Stay tuned for the article on sub-accounts!

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Dear Dominik,
    Very interesting post. Let me kindly ask you a question. Would there be any shared account (2 holders) including 2 debit or credit card free of charge? If not, which brand would be the best option to do so? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Dear Pedro,
      there are plenty of banks in Germany offering joint accounts. In my view DKB offers one of the best packages when it comes to joint accounts.
      The bank account is free of charge and both account holders get a debit and credit card free of charge. Check it out on the DKB website.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • I am from India, and I have Deutsche bank account in India. Is it transferable? Please let me know.

    Reply
    • Dear Jaiganesh,
      no, it’s not possible to transfer your Indian Deutsche Bank account to Germany. However it might be easier for you to open a new account at Deutsche Bank in Germany, as they already know you as a customer.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • how good and secure is Tomorrow Bank? can i bank with peace of mind with them,since they don’t have physical presence or branches

    Reply
    • Dear Ada,
      Tomorrow Bank is more a banking brand than a real bank. Their banking infrastructure is run by solaris Bank, a well-know and established bank based in Berlin.
      This bank is officially registered in Germany and under supervision of the German financial regulatory authority (BaFin). Private deposits up until 100,000 EUR are for example protected by a deposit insurance.
      Therefore Tomorrow Bank is definitely a good and secure choice when it comes to banking in Germany.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Bahar Al Bahar
    June 2, 2020 22:29

    Dear @Ebrahim Altajer

    No disrespect to Dominik, but it is not true his answer is inaccurate, or at least incomplete. In my experience it does very much matter if you have a syrian passport if you want to open your account in a private bank such as DB, Commerzbank, n26 online bank…
    However, state banks will usually open an account for you such as Spaarkasse of any given state or BW bank in the state of Baden-wuerttemberg.
    I have not only live here for more than 4.5 years, I have visited and spoken to multiple of those banks, and they respond with varying levels of honesty, from claiming they dont open accounts for temporary residents which my colleagues and friends proved is not true, or by sending a rejection letter that your account type is not in the interest of their business at the time being.

    Please do not spend your time with private banks – the only online bank I know to have a reasonable criteria of accepting valid residents of EU and european economic zone is Revolut, but I have not tried it so I cannot recommend it.

    Sadly, I had to find this out after wasting my time, and eventually finding similar experiences on blogs. I hope this will save you some trouble and time, and certainly frustration.

    wishing you the best of luck

    Bahar

    Reply
    • Dear Bahar,
      thanks for sharing your experience on opening a bank account in Germany. This is very valuable input for the readers of this article!
      I’m really sorry to hear that you have made bad experiences with opening a bank account in Germany, especially given the fact that everybody in Germany is entitled to have a basic bank account. But stay tuned, an article about how to open a basic bank account will be published soon!

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Dear Dominik,

    Thank you so much for such a great article. I find it very helpful and beneficial.

    I had a Basiskonto in Hypovereinsbank since August 2016, at that time I was just a tourist holding a Schengen Visa with no need for Meldebescheinigung. I used this bank account for 2 years then I moved to Germany for Master studies then I registered my address in September 2018. After my registration I was able to open a bank account with N26. Since then I’ve been using both accounts and have a good history in both
    banks with absolutely Positive Schufa report.

    I finished my Master studies, got an employment contract in Germany, applied for a blue card and I’m working since 01.April.2020
    Since I’m completely not satisfied with the poor customer service of Hypovereinsbank, I’m willing to switch to another bank.

    Now since you have my bank accounts history as well as my Residence Permit status in Germany, I’m looking forward to your answer to a couple questions.

    1- What bank is the best when it comes to Car loans and Private loans as well? I need both loans (at least car loan is a must-take for me).

    2- Which banks (apart from Hypovereinsbank) are also offering Basisaccounts with NO NEED for meldebescheinigung? A friend who comes regularly to Germany as a tourist and holds a 3-year schengen Visa needs such account to save his money and facilitate his shopping across EU.

    Looking forward to your answers.
    Kind regards,
    Moustafa

    Reply
    • Dear Moustafa,
      thanks for your comment. Just to clarify as you mentioned…

      Now since you have my bank accounts history

      …germanymore.de is a portal giving advise to foreigners living in Germany in regards to bank accounts, credit cards etc. So we do not have insight into your financial history.
      In order to check your credit worthiness in Germany I strongly recommend to get a Schufa report. It’s completely free and gives you a good overview of your current rating. Read this article to find out how to get your Schufa report.
      Regarding your questions:

      1. Car loan – given the sheer amount of car loan providers on the market, it’s difficult to judge which one is THE best one. Here is for example a comparison calculator for car loans
      2. Basiskonte (Basic payment account) – According to the German banking/finance regulator “BaFin” you can open a basic payment account, when you qualify for one of the below requirements:

    • Legal residents of the European Union (including persons without a permanent place of residence and asylum seekers)
    • Persons without a residence permit who cannot be deported due to legal or factual reasons (persons with a suspension of deportation) are also entitled to hold such an account.
    • You can find more infos regarding this topic on the BaFin website.

      Hope this helps!

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

Reply
  • Hi Dominik
    This is such a wonderful article also the Q&A section. I have a student account in Deutsche bank right now and i will be starting full time employment from May onwards. I wanted to open an account in commerce bank just to save monthly fees which in case of DB i had to pay.
    I am not EU resident so I showed my resident permit and passport etc while opening an account at commerze bank. The worst part was after confirmation email they called me and said they cannot open my account as my resident permit is limited. It is valid till end November and after that we non EU residents always renew it. I visited them against and explained this scenario of my student status and then future job etc but the accountant was reluctant to hear stuff and directly said it won’t change anything as for some nationalities it works like that. I asked them that they should have mentioned it somewhere minimum limit of residence permit so to save our time.
    That’s all i wanted to share that it may vary for individuals.
    Now i am not sure either i keep deutsche bank or opt some other bank in order to save additional fees and costs.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Dear Shaheera,
      thanks for sharing your experience with Commerzbank. It’s a pity, that they do not accept your limited resident permit.
      I would give it a try with N26 as they are usually a bit more flexible than the traditional banks.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hi Dominik,

    Thank you for the article. I have two questions:

    1. Is there an obligation for a person/a bank to close a bank account if a person leaves Germany or could be kept open?
    2. In N26 paid plans there is an option for 10 sub-accounts (they call them “spaces”). I wonder if other banks (e.g DKB, Santander etc.) have the options of sub-accounts?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Dear Alexey,
      Re. 1: To my knowledge there is no general obligation to close your bank account when you leave the country. However most banks will close your account if you don’t use it for a longer time or if you do not respond to their letters (which will be sent to your German address that most likely doesn’t exist anymore…)
      Re. 2: Yes, a good alternative to N26 in regards to spaces is Tomorrow Bank. The free bank account of Tomorrow bank comes with two so-called “pockets” (same concept as N26 spaces), the paid plan comes with an unlimited amount of pockets. By the way… I will shortly publish an article about Tomorrow Bank, explaining the bank accounts in more detail. So stay tuned!
      The “traditional” banks like DKB or ING don’t really offer something similar. In most cases you can just open one additional savings account within your bank account.

      Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Ebrahim Altajer
    March 8, 2020 17:24

    Dear Dominik
    Hi I am from syria and i will come to germany next month which of those banks can i open an account especially my Nationality is syrian?

    Thank in advance
    Ebrahim Altajer

    Reply
    • Dear Ebrahim,
      your nationality doesn’t really matter when you want to open a bank account in Germany. The important thing is that you have a valid registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung) because you need to be a legal resident in Germany in order to be able to open a bank account. Once you have that you should be able to open a bank account at any bank.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
      • Hi,
        We should submit only city registration certificate or we can use tax number certificate for opening bank account?
        Because I got my tax number certificate but still haven’t recieved city registration certificate.

        Reply
        • Dear Lokesh,
          in the current situation with a lot of public authorities being closed I would talk to the bank and check with them if they also accept the tax number certificate.

          Best Regards,
          Dominik

          Reply
        • Daniel Herrera
          April 6, 2020 20:56

          Hi, what type of bank account do you recommend for children with the intent of saving for the future?

          Reply
          • Dear Daniel,
            most of the bank accounts presented in this article include a savings account (in German a so-called “Tagesgeldkonto”). For example:

            ING
            DKB
            comdirect

            But of course there are also banks that offer a savings account without the need to open a bank account, such as 1822direkt or RaboDirect.

            Hope this helps!

            Regards,
            Dominik

  • Dear dominik:
    Information was so useful.I opened a n26 account standard and install the app but for the video ident the operator asked me the resident permit (aufenthalt) and I didnt have it because im newly hear and told me to contact support for post ident .what other bank do you suggest that doesnt need aufenthalt at first ?and with the post ident of n26 is it possible to activate the account without aufenthalt?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Dear Parsa,
      depending on your nationality/employment status, banks in Germany might require your residency permit for authentication purposes. N26 has for example published this list, where you can see what documents are required to open an N26 bank account, depending on your nationality.
      For other banks you would have to check individually. But I would recommend to give it a try with N26 and Commerzbank.

      Hope this helps! If there’s anything else I can help with, please let me know.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
    • Hi, I am Lebanese and had the same issue, IT DOES MATTER what nationality you are. Commerz bank for example will only open a bank account for me if I have Permanent residency. I also only managed to open an account with N26 bank only 4 months after I arrived when I got the EU Blue Card. The best thing I ever did was get a TransferWise Borderless account (EU IBAN) just by using my Passport + Creditcard. It was literally a life saver.

      Reply
  • Dear Sir

    Thank you so much for this article

    I have a question, I am 33 y old, man from North Africa, right now am student (studying at privet sprachschule) I have a blocked account at Fintiba, ans I ant to open an account to start transfer money to my new account from Fintiba.

    What is the most good option for me? I mean I want a bank free of charges, have a debt card and VISA or MasterCard, and can withdraw money easily from ATM’s

    Please help

    Reply
    • Dear Mohammed,
      If you are looking for a bank account without fees, free cash withdrawals and including a credit card my recommendation would be either N26 or DKB as they both fulfill your requirements. You can find more information about these bank accounts in the above article.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Thanks a lot Dominik, this is really very helpful. I’m planning to shift my account from a Sparkasse to N26 soon and your detailed article helped me a tremendously.
    All the best
    Nasser

    Reply
  • I find this article very insightful and helpful.
    I recently moved to Germany for postdoc and I have been actively seeking to open an account. I had in the past used Deutsche Bank during my PhD years ago. After leaving Germany I wrote the bank that I would no longer be in need of the account. Do you think it is advisable to go to the same back to open an account or you have another bank to recommend. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Dear Dayo,
      I would check with Deutsche Bank if your account is still active or if they can reactivate it (depending on how long ago you have used it the last time…).
      Just go to a Deutsche Bank branch office close to you and ask them.

      However I would recommend to check also other alternatives, as the Deutsche Bank account is only free of charge if you are a student and 30 years or younger (otherwise 5.90 EUR/month). There are plenty of alternative accounts that offer the same or an even better range of services for free or a lower price than Deutsche Bank.
      Good alternatives are for example N26, Commerzbank (both with online banking in English) or DKB.

      If there’s anything else I can help you with, please let me know!

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • hello,
    I live in germany since one month, i study here and i also started to work. my salary is being paid cash so i was wondering which german bank is the best one for depositing cash regularly. because i heard that its not free of charge with every bank for example with n26 and its not possible with dkb in every city – i live in hamburg and they dont have atm machines here etc.

    Reply
    • Dear Lupita,
      yes, you are absolutely right, most banks in Germany do not offer free cash deposits.
      N26 for example offers free cash deposits up to 100 EUR/month. You can deposit cash via “CASH26” at retail partner locations across Germany (e.g. REWE, Penny, Real and dm). If you want to deposit an amount higher than 100 EUR a fee of 1.5% applies.
      DKB offers the same option for depositing cash. However you’ll always have to pay a fee of 1.5% for every cash deposit.
      Commerzbank charges per cash deposit a fee of 1.50 EUR.

      Another option would be to check with one of your regional banks such as Sparkasse or Volksbank. Some of them still might offer free cash deposits.

      Hope this helps!

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Thank you man very useful and nice ,
    Good Luck

    Reply
  • Dear Mr. Dominik,

    Thank you for this amazing article. I have a question if you do not mind answering. I am a Lebanese Citizen, who is currently enrolled at a German University. I have not yet received the Residence Permit and I require a bank account before the end of the month of October. Initially, I checked N26 but they require that I provide the passport and residence permit for verification. Because the residence permit would take decent time before I receive it, I decided to look at other online banks and I was thinking of ING Student/Basic but I have not gained any information regarding the requirements for legitimisation. Is it possible to state whether they require the residence permit or is the registration certificate enough? Also, what other documents are required for legitimisation? Furthermore, could you provide the difference between ING Basic and ING Student? Thanks a lot!

    Regards,
    Mark

    Reply
    • Dear Mark,
      I’m happy to hear that you liket this article 🙂 In your special situation with not having the residence permit yet it’s nearly impossible to open an account remotely with the usual ID verification methods such as VideoIdent or PostIdent. This also includes ING.
      I would therefore recommend to go to an office of a local bank (e.g. Sparkasse, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, etc.) and try to open an account there. If they refuse to accept you as a customer, simply ask for a “Basiskonto”. By law you have the right to get such a bank account since a new law has been introduced in 2016. Some of these basic accounts are for free, others cost you a monthly fee. Just give it a try with some banks close to you.

      Regarding your question in regards to the difference between the normal ING bank account and the student account: there is no difference. They have both exactly the same conditions is just a matter of marketing.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hi – thank you for the article!

    I recently opened an account with ING and I wondered if you could go into more detail about the cards you Get. In other words, which is best to be used where (travelling, shopping online/in store, dash withdrawals e.t.c)

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Chioma,
      yes of course! You get two cards with the ING bank account: a VISA credit card and a girocard (debit card). I would recommend to use the VISA card for cash withdrawals as there are no fees if you withdraw cash within the Eurozone. Cash withdrawals with the girocard are only free of charge at ING ATMs in Germany and they are very rare… (approx. 1,200 ING ATMs compared to a total of approx. 60,000 ATMs in Germany). You can furthermore use the VISA card for online and offline shopping.
      The girocard I would mainly use for offline shopping in Germany as there are still a lot of shops/restaurants that dont’t accept credit cards.

      Does that help?

      Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • I visited Deutsche Bank literally less than thirty minutes ago. They no longer offer free accounts for students. Students also have to pay the monthly fee of €5,90 or yearly fee of €70,80

    Reply
    • Dear Eni,
      thanks for the information. Then most likely the Deutsche Bank service agent was not informed correctly… Because Deutsche Bank is still offering actively the “Das Junge Konto” on their website. If you are a student and 30 years or younger you qualify for a free bank account at Deutsche Bank. My suggestion would be to open the bank account easily online.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hello , thank you for the article very helpfull . Please , i wanted to know what do you suggest for a 25 years old student in berlin who have a scholarship and a blocked account , means gets around 1000 per month . I want a bank easy to handle , fast openning account , english speaking with online service in english and no fees , i don’t know also if commerzbank allow you to withdraw money free of charge outside germany ? Please what do you recommend and what about sparkasse?

    Reply
    • Dear Nouha,
      in that case I would recommend an N26 bank account for the following reasons:

      – You can open the bank account easily from your smartphone
      – Their app/online banking and customer service is available in English
      – You can withdraw cash free of charge at ATMs in Germany five times per month if you receive payments of at least 1,000 EUR/month or if you are younger than 26 years (otherwise still three free cash withdrawals/month). Cash withdrawals within the Eurozone are always free of charge. Only cash withdrawals in other currencies than Euro cost 1.7%.

      For the Commerzbank account cash withdrawals are only free of charge in Germany at CashGroup ATMs. For cash withdrawals outside of Germany fees apply.
      In most cases Sparkasse bank accounts cost a monthly fee, therefore I would not recommend it.

      Hope this helps!

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hello!
    What does it mean a passive customer? For example at DKB bank foreign transaction fee is payable for passive customers.

    Reply
    • Dear Timur,
      DKB defines an active customer as a customer who receives monthly payments of at least 700 EUR. The main benefits of being an active customer are:

      – no foreign transaction fees (as a passive customer you pay a 1.75% fee on payments in a currency other than Euro)
      – free cash withdrawals worldwide (as a passive customer you pay a 1.75% fee on cash withdrawals outside of the Eurozone)

      The bank account itself is still free of charge for passive customers. The only difference is that you will have to pay the above mentioned fees in case of payments/cash withdrawals abroad as a passive customer. By the way, in the first year after opening your account you are considered as an active customer by DKB which means you can enjoy the benefits of an active customer without having to receive monthly payments of 700 EUR.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hello all,

    I am self-employed. I am registered in Germany , but work across EU. Now the question is if I will be able to open a bank account in Germany. Any thoughts?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Dear Wali,
      yes, of course. If you are registered in Germany and have a “Meldebescheinigung” you can easily open a bank account.
      If you are looking for a bank account for your personal use, I would recommend to go for one of the providers presented above.

      However if you intend to use your bank account for business purposes (e.g. you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer) I would recommend a business bank account.
      Good options are for example Penta or Holvi.

      Is there anything else I can help you with?

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hello, I need your best recommendation for a bank account for a fresh student 18 years old. He has already a blocked account. He still has a 6 months student visa & will have a stable address in the ten days time. What are the needed papers in this case.

    Reply
    • Dear Faten,
      my recommendation in this case would be an N26 bank account as it is usually quite easy to open a bank account with them.
      The required papers for opening the bank account with N26 depend on your nationality. E.g. if you are a EU citizen your ID card is in most cases sufficient. For other countries, e.g. if you are from Brazil you need to provide your passport and your German resident permit. This overview will help you to identify which documents you will need to provide.

      The account opening itself is really easy with N26 as you can do it completely online with your smartphone, and your bank account is activated within minutes.

      Hope this helps! If there’s anything else I can help you with, please let me know.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hello,´

    I’d like to open a bank account for my 15 years old daughter but, since my ex and me are separated and we have 50% rights on our kids, I cannot open a bank account for my kid without the signature of my ex wife.
    How can I do? Is there a bank that has accounts for kids?
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Dear Marco,
      yes there are lots of banks offering bank accounts for minors (i.e. under 18). From the banks presented in this article the following banks are offering a bank account for minors:

      – Commerzbank (StartKonto)
      – DKB (DKB-Cash u18)
      – comdirect (JuniorGiro)

      However as you have shared custody for your daughter, both parents will have to sign the banking agreement.
      Hope this helps!

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hello,
    Is it possible to open an account in Commerzbank today if my job starts only on 02.09.2019?
    I tried to do it in DKB and they said the start date of job is too far in the future.

    Thanks, Ina

    Reply
    • Dear Ina,
      I would give it a try… If they come back to you, just let them know that you’ll start with your new job soon.
      Some banks are bit picky, but a job is usually not necessarily required for opening a bank account.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hi,
    I really confuse right now, as the banks here in germany dont really give much info for some special cases. My qst is:
    What s the best bank account for student above 30 years old in germany?
    I want to know also how much u pay monthly in this case?
    And in case u r working also as student and hav monthly income between 400 and 700 euro? Any benifit in this case? With some banks of corse.

    Reply
    • Dear Zine,
      as a student above 30 you usually do not qualify for a free student bank account with most banks. I would therefore recommend to go for a normal bank account that is free of charge. There are plenty of banks on the market that offer bank accounts free of charge. For example all the bank accounts presented in this article are free of charge. For some accounts such as DKB you don’t get all benefits (e.g. no unlimited free cash withdrawals) if you do not get a monthly payment of e.g. 1,000 EUR, however the bank account itself is still free of charge without any monthly charges.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hey, I would like to ask you about which bank is currently stable in Germany. I already maintain my account in the Deutsche Bank but there are a lot of News that it might bankrupted. Therefore, I am thinking right now to switch to ING or maybe you can suggest me which other bank could be absolutely the right option? Thanks in Advance!

    Reply
    • Dear Yahy’a,
      well… Deutsche Bank is at the moment definitely not in the best shape but in my eyes far away from bankrupting. In general there is a deposit insurance within the European Uniont that protects private deposits up until 100,000 EUR. In addition some private & public banks (e.g. Deutsche Bank, Sparkassse) run voluntary additional guarantee schemes, which go beyond the European minimum of EUR 100,000. For more information check for example this guide https://bankenverband.de/media/publikationen/13012016_Kurzinfo_ELS_engl_web.pdf (You’ll see that Deutsche Bank is for exampler also included there).

      Of course nobody knows what will actually happen with these guarantees in a worst case scenario (e.g. severe financial crisis/bank run), but that’s a different story…

      Hope this helps!

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • James Miller
    June 27, 2019 21:18

    Hello. I’m really curious about which bank account I should open, but I heard some friends who recommended Deutsche Bank for me. I’m a student and I’m only 23 years old, but I don’t know if I can be eligible for the Das Junge Konto cuz I’m not a German citizen. Is Das Junge Konto available even for non-German citizens and is also free of charge??

    Thanks in Advance.

    Best regards,
    James Miller

    Reply
    • Hi James,
      yes, Deutsche Bank is also a good option. The “Das Junge Konto” is free of charge if you meet all of the below conditions:

      – You’re not older than 30 years
      – You are a student or apprentice (“Azubi”)
      – You’re citizen of a member state of the European Union

      If you meet these requirements you can open your Deutsche Bank account here.
      Please let me know if you have any further questions.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
      • Hello Dominik,

        Many thanks for the detailed explaination and more then that all the replies to the different questions in this article. Really appreciate your effort. Learnt more about how banks work here. Thanks☺️.
        Now coming to my question (could not find exact scenario like what i am looking for in the above thread, so posting it. Sorry in case I missed your reply to same question).
        I am currently staying in Germany and after few years plan to return to my home country (outside EU). I would want to start investments in ETF and keep this investment active even after I return. As I understand, when I sell my investments I would need a bank account where I can get the money back.
        1. Are there bank accounts which I can keep open even after I return? Especially that I would no longer have any German address.
        2. Which bank account would you recommend for this scenario?
        3. My requirement is that I use this account only for investment and then transfer the money to my home country using 3rd party applications like Transferwise. Do you see if such thing is possible?

        One additional background for this question, I believe that investments in ETFs need a long term horizons and I don’t want to sell them when I return in couple of years. So imagining how can I make it work.

        Thanks in advance for your reply.

        Best Regards,
        Sunil

        Reply
        • Dear Sunil,
          this is actually a very good question 🙂

          So you want to invest money and keep your money invested after you have moved away from Germany.
          In the first place you need a brokerage account for that as a normal bank account won’t do the job. There are plenty of providers on the market and I will actually publish a comparison of brokerage accounts soon. My recommendations for a brokerage account would be either ING (traditional bank with good online banking) or Trade Republic (fintech bank with easy to use app and low fees).
          You can then transfer money from your bank account to your brokerage account and vice versa.

          Regarding your question if you can keep your account in case you move away from Germany, it really depends on the bank… I have heard from banks that do not have a problem with this and others that have terminated the contract with their customers. So you would really have to check with your bank…

          Hope this helps!

          Best Regards,
          Dominik

          Reply
  • Hi,
    Thanks for all your efforts giving us all possible information necessary.
    Could you please advise my about Deutsche Bank account? Why is this not a possibility on your article?
    Thank you so much for your time

    Reply
    • Hi Ana,
      the reason why I haven’t included Deutsche Bank in this comparison is because they currently don’t offer a bank account that is generally free of charge. Only their “Young Account” (“Junges Konto”) for students up to 30 years is free of charge. The other two bank account models offered by Deutsche Bank cost 5.90 EUR/month (AktivKonto) or 11.90 EUR/month (BestKonto).
      However if you are a student, the Deutsche Bank account is of course a good option. You can open it here: https://www.germanymore.de/out/deutsche-bank-young-account

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
  • Hello,
    Please could you advise me on my best options for a German Bank to join. I have a large sum of US dollars in cash and I wish to open a account and find the best exchange rate etc.. I am a English speaker and learning German but wish to either manage my account on line or visit a English speaking branch to further develop my banking in Germany..
    I will be receiving a monthly pay amount and plan so for the foreseeable future.
    Any advice?

    Reply
  • Thanks a lot, this article saved a lot of time for me! ?

    Reply
  • Thank you for your effort. we have one question please. My wife and I have arrived recently in Germany to visit a language course. We have have blocked accounts and did not open a current account (Girokonto) yet because we have to wait for the (Steuernummer). I wonder what is best banking option for us? knowing that we are not working here and with no monthly salaries.
    We would be grateful for a reply.
    Best Regards

    Reply
    • Dear Shadan,
      thank you for your message. As long as you are a resident in Germany you can open a bank account. I suggest you give it a try with N26, as they offer their services also in English (https://www.germanymore.de/out/open-n26-account).

      If you do not get a bank account at N26 just go to a local bank (e.g. Sparkasse, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank) and ask for a “Basiskonto”. By law you have the right to get such a bank account since a new law has been introduced in 2016.

      Please get in touch with me, in case you have further questions.

      Best Regards,
      Dominik

      Reply
      • I found this reply very helpful. Make me ask a question I have in my mind. I have an account here in Germany but I would like to change my bank. I have no job but I received regularly cash money. And this cash I putting in my account regularly but for me my bank is to complicated to used specially my German is not that good. They take monthly charge. The Visa debit card I using is complicated too. I muss always make a call to the Visa hotline to say to take money in my account and transfer it to the visa. I’m looking for the best bank that I can use Visa base on my regular account money and that I don’t need to call. Will you help or give me some advice Mr. Dominik?

        Thank you very much,
        Ann

        Reply
        • Hi Anna,
          in that case my recommendation would be to open a bank account at a traditional bank with local branch offices. This makes it easier for you to deposit your cash money on your bank account. Commerzbank is such a bank and they often have English-speaking staff and offer their online banking also in English. After opening a Commerzbank you can also apply for a free Mastercard. You can open your bank account here: https://www.germanymore.de/out/open-commerzbank-account

          Another option would be N26 which is an app-based bank that offers their services also in English. Although they don’t have local branch offices you can still deposit cash money on your bank account as N26 have partnered up with a company called “Barzahlen”. Like this you can deposit cash with the N26 app in a lot of supermarkets (e.g. Rewe, Penny, dm, etc.). Depositing up to 100 EUR is free of charge, for deposits greater than 100 EUR a fee of 1.5% applies. You can open an N26 account here: https://www.germanymore.de/out/open-n26-account

          Both banks are a good option. And don’t worry about changing your bank account… Both, Commerzbank and N26 offer a free bank account switching service.

          Hope this helps! Should you have any further questions, please feel free to ask.

          Regards,
          Dominik

          Reply
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