Commerzbank and the new pricing policy – What does it mean for you?
The announcement of Commerzbank’s new pricing policy for its bank accounts earlier this year has led to quite some confusion and uncertainty among customers. Therefore we will explain in this article what the new pricing policy is about and what it means for you. In a nutshell, it’s some minor changes that have an effect on a small portion of customers only.
What happens if I open a new Commerzbank account now?
Nothing – your bank account will be free of charge if you receive monthly incoming payments of at least 700 EUR, otherwise a monthly fee of 9.90 EUR applies. To learn more about the bank account of Commerzbank, check out our detailed comparison of German bank accounts or directly open your Commerzbank here.
What happens if I’m an existing Commerzbank customer?
It depends – if you have opened a Commerzbank account after September 2020, then you have a so-called “Basic” bank account that works as described above This means if you receive minimum incoming payments of 700 EUR/month there are no fees, otherwise there’s a monthly fee of 9.90 EUR.
Now comes the tricky part: If you have opened your Commerzbank account before October 2020, you have probably one of the following accounts:
- PlusKonto Vorteil
These bank accounts are/were unconditionally free of charge and you can check the type of your bank account in your online banking. If you are in one of the above categories, you need to watch out. Originally Commerzbank had planned to charge for these bank account types 4.90 EUR/month as of July 1st, 2021. You as a customer would have had to actively opt-out of this model and go for the “Basic” bank account (conditions see above), otherwise Commerzbank would have charged you the monthly fee.
However to make things a bit more complicated, the highest German court (Bundesgerichtshof) has ruled in May that it is against the law to push customers from a free bank account into a model where fees are charged via opt-out. This means that the bank needs to get your opt-in before they can charge (higher) fees. It is still unclear how Commerzbank will handle this, however you as a customer are on the safe side. Most likely Commerzbank will ask you in the near future via the online banking if you agree to the new pricing model and you will have the possibility to accept or decline it.
If you change into the “Basic” bank account type your account won’t be unconditionally free of charge anymore. Furthermore some of the above accounts came with a credit card free of charge, which won’t be included with the “Basic” account anymore. If you are looking for a credit card that is free of charge, check out our credit card comparison.
To summarize this: Nothing has really changed… Commerzbank still offers a free bank account under certain conditions (minimum income/month) and if you still have an older bank account that is unconditionally free of charge you will be able decide if you accept the fee of 4.90 EUR/month or if you change the account type to a “Basic” account.
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Thanks a lot for this article, very helpful. It seems as Commerzbank now has sent out another communication in paper format asking for a general opt in, without giving the choice of what plan to opt into. Any idea what consequents will follow customers who don’t opt into to this?
it really depends in which account model you are currently in… In May 2021 there was a ruling by the highest German court (Bundesgerichtshof), requiring banks to get the customers opt-in before they can charge (higher) fees. You can read more about this here. Alternatively I suggest to get in touch with Commerzbank directly.