German Banks for Expats
An important first step to moving to Germany is getting a German bank account. Oftentimes you’ll need a German bank account to set up internet services and utilities, and purchase different types of German insurance. You might even need to show proof that you have a German bank account to put down a deposit for an apartment. For many expats, getting a German bank account can seem like a big challenge, especially if they don’t speak German. There’s a lot to consider, but this article will make it less overwhelming! You can open a German bank account in English and online.
Choosing The Right Bank
There are many factors to look for when you’re choosing a bank.
Here are the top 6 things to consider:
- Monthly fees
- Banking through an app
- Costumer support in your language
- No foreign transaction fees
- Free to open an account
- Safe & secure
A Bank That Meets Your Needs
Expats in Germany have different banking needs than a normal German citizen. You might not speak German, so you’ll need a bank with services in English. You might need to open a bank account before you get to Germany, so you’ll need the option of online banking. Maybe you travel a lot, so you’ll need a bank with no foreign transaction fees. The list goes on…
From our experience and research, we’ve found that the N26 bank account has all of these features. It’s a great option for expats. In fact, people working for the Germany2Go team have an N26 bank account precisely for this reason.
For starters, you can open an N26 bank account for free and online through their website or app. This means that you can get ahead of the game and open a German bank account before you even arrive to Germany!
In addition, every N26 bank account comes with a free Mastercard debit card. This card is accepted worldwide. There are also no foreign transaction fees when you use your N26 debit card. Furthermore, you can make purchases from anywhere in the world, online or in stores, without any extra costs or markups.
N26 also has customer support services in 5 languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.
N26 also offers a lot of great safety features. Not only does the app let you set daily spending limits, but you can lock or unlock your card directly from the app. This is super helpful for protecting your account. For example, you can adjust your settings so that the N26 app sends you a notification every time your card is used. Then if you get a notification that your card was unknowingly used, you can immediately go into the app and lock your card so it can’t be used again. You can also reset your PIN wherever you are, at any time of day.
Your N26 Mastercard also has 3D Secure for online transactions. Simply put, 3D Secure protects your N26 card from fraudulent use when making purchases online. It lets you validate transactions so no one can steal your card information to make online payments.
4 Types of Bank Accounts with N26
You have options! N26 offers 4 different types of German bank account for expats: N26 Standard Account, N26 You, N26 Metal and N26 Business.
Every account offers zero foreign transaction fees, online banking, direct access through the N26 app, customer support in your language, and safety features.
There are a few differences, however, shown below.
|N26 Standard Account||N26 You||N26 Metal|
Free debit card
ATM withdrawals in EUR1
ATM withdrawals in non-EUR currencies
1.7% of amount drawn
Allianz insurance package2
9.90€ / month
16,90€ / month
ATM withdrawals in EUR1 → Cash withdrawals at ATMs can only be made using your N26 debit card. You have 5 free ATM withdrawals per month.
Allianz insurance package2 → The package includes the following:
- Coverage for medical emergencies abroad
- Mobile phone theft insurance
- Air travel insurance (If your flight or luggage is delayed for more than 4 hours, you get reimbursement)
Partner discounts3 → N26 has partnerships with brands that give you discounts. For example, you’ll receive access to discounts from WeWork, Hotels.com and GetYourGuide.
The N26 Business card is specifically for freelancers and anyone self-employed. The account is free and can be used worldwide! In addition, you can earn 0.1% cash back on your purchases.
Another perk is that you don’t have to make a minimum deposit. Therefore, even if you’re just beginning your business, you’re able to open an account.
The N26 business bank account also automatically categorizes your purchases. You can see a clear layout on the app of how you’re spending your money.
In addition, you can print a list of all your transactions. With N26, it’s possible to download the list as a CVS or PDF. This is especially helpful for tax returns and invoicing.
In conclusion, N26 is a great German bank account for expats. They have many options and it’s really easy to use! Click here to go to N26’s website to learn more.
Lastly, if you’re ready to open an N26 account, you can read our article, “Open a German N26 Bank Account in 10 Minutes,” for step-by-step instructions!
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