In the previous article, we have gone through the German banking system. You can take the overview and decide which banking system will suit you. Here in this article, we will do a comparison of bank accounts and discuss the benefits and offers provided by particular banks. According to that, you can choose the bank services provider as per your requirements.
Table of Contents
- Comparison of Bank Accounts in Germany
- Private German Bank Account
- Sparkassen Savings Bank Account
- Volksbanken / Raiffeisenbanken Cooperative Bank Account
- Procedure to Open a German Bank Account
- International Bank Account
- Procedure to Open an International Bank Account
- Digital and Mobile Bank Account
- Procedure to Open a Digital or Mobile Bank Account
- Which Bank is Better for Expats?
Comparison of Bank Accounts in Germany
There are a lot of options for bank account opening in Germany. First, you need to decide in which bank you want to open a bank account. You can go to a private German bank, public savings bank, cooperative bank, international bank, and online bank.
Private German Bank Account
Deutsche Bank is one of the private banks in Germany with the most extensive customer base. This bank has two subsidiaries known as Postbank and Commerzbank. Opting for one of the largest and most popular banks is a wise choice for foreigners. These banks have more experience in working with foreign customers and foreign banks. These banks are easily accessible whenever you are traveling abroad.
- Deutsche Bank is offering three types of current accounts.
Active Account; You will get the online and mobile banking services with this account. Initially, the active account is free to use; later, there is a monthly charge of €5.90.
BestKonto Account; This is a premium account. You’ll get a MasterCard Gold credit card and international health insurance options. This bank account has a basic monthly charge of €11.90.
Free Young Account; This account is primarily for the students, apprentices, and volunteers from EU members below age 30. You’ll get a debit card for banking services. There is no cost to maintain a free young account.
- Commerzbank is also offering three types of current accounts.
Girokonto Account; This bank account is a free basic account. You’ll get a debit card, which can be opened as a digital or mobile account. You will get the starting balance of €100. You can also earn an extra €100 for recommending new customers to the Girokonto account.
KlassikKonto Account; This account will offer you an extra MasterCard debit card and money transfer options. There is a monthly charge of €4.90 to maintain this account. This bank account also offers €100 as a starting balance.
PremiumKonto Account; There is a monthly charge of €12.90 to maintain this account. You’ll get up to four credit cards and free cash withdrawals at all ATMs. This account also offers insurance options.
- HypoVereinsbank is offering four types of current accounts.
Free Starter Account; This account is for students and apprentices below the age of 26. This account is free to maintain.
Active Account; The monthly cost is €2.90 to maintain this account. You will get the girocard debit card with an annual charge of €5.
Plus Account; The maintenance charge for this account is €7.90 monthly. You’ll get a broader range of money transfer options and credit cards.
Exclusive Account; You will get services that include worldwide withdrawals. The maintenance charge for this account is €14.90 per month.
Sparkassen Savings Bank Account
The Sparkassen bank is one of the public savings banks. These banks are very popular with German customers. This bank is available in central German cities. You can find these banks with the names of BerlinerSparkasse, Frankfurter Sparkasse, and Stadtsparkasse Munich. This bank offers a basic current account.
- Current Account; There is no charge to open the current account. You’ll get an EC card, a debit card, and mobile banking options. You can also choose the different account models. You can also get an instant savings account and a fixed-term deposit account. You must be a German resident to open a current account with Sparkasse bank.
Volksbanken / Raiffeisenbanken Cooperative Bank Account
These are the cooperative banks that come under Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken umbrella. Cooperative banks favor a more communal approach to banking. There are different current accounts offered by the banks.
- Basic Current Account; This bank account offers you free banking. This account allows you to get debit card payments, money transfers, and online banking.
Procedure to Open a German Bank Account
Citizens who have German addresses will not face any problem in account opening. Non-EU nationals need to prove their registration in Germany along with a German work permit. Showing your financial history is also essential. To open a German bank account, you must visit the branch in person with your documentation. This includes;
- Passport and photo ID with a valid visa or residence permit.
- Proof of address.
- Evidence of income and employment.
- For a student account, proof of being a student.
- SCHUFA credit rating may be required by some banks.
Following the post-ident procedure, you must prove your identity online or at a post office. Bank accounts are usually opened within 2-3 working days.
International Bank Account
You can find many local branches of the international banks in Germany. The main advantage of opening an international bank account is opening an account in your home country, and later you can transfer that account to a German branch. International banks are famous for offering expat-friendly and similar accounting services to the German central banks.
Barclays Bank, BNP Paribas, Citibank, HSBC, ING Bank, and Santander are the international banks available in Germany.
Procedure to Open an International Bank Account
Bunq, DKB Bank, ComDirect, and N26 allow customers to open bank accounts from abroad. You can submit your documents online, and your account will open within a few minutes with your phone number.
Digital and Mobile Bank Account
Digital banks are known as direct banks in Germany. These banks don’t offer local branches, but you can use the other banks’ cash machines. Because the bank is saving the cost, it can provide more financially attractive conditions. However, some direct banks are offering free bank accounts with no minimum deposits.
Bunq, DKB, N26, Revolut, and Wise are Germany’s popular online and mobile banks.
Procedure to Open a Digital or Mobile Bank Account
Firstly, some German banks offer account opening online without visiting the branch. If you already have an account and want to switch to a mobile banking app, then simply download the app on your smartphone. Generally, a Digital or mobile bank account can be opened with an email address, mobile phone number, and valid ID.
Which Bank is Better for Expats?
There are a lot of essential factors that you should consider while choosing the best bank for account opening.
- Costs: Eventually, most German banks are offering free basic current accounts. Online and mobile banks are economical when it comes to money transfer services. It depends on how many services you need accordingly to that you can choose the bank. However, a free bank account usually offers limited services.
- English Language Services: If your priority is English-speaking staff, websites, and mobile apps, then you should choose the international banks and mobile banks. Larger German multinational banks also provide English-speaking services.
- Range of Products and Services: Expats like free services such as free worldwide withdrawals and low-cost international money transfers. To add flexibility to your bank account, you can also go for other services such as credit cards, overdraft facilities, and free nationwide ATM use.
- Ease of Access: With an online or mobile account, certainly you can get 24/7 access to your bank account. Most of the big banks also provide this service.
- Non-resident Account Availability: If you plan to open a bank account before moving to Germany, then a direct and international bank are the best options for you. Basically, German banks offer account opening services to customers with German addresses.
With the help of this information, undoubtedly you can choose the best bank to avail of the banking services. Moreover, the account opening procedure will help you easily open a bank account. Additionally, many options are available to fulfill your requirements related to banking services.