Why Do You Need To Open A Bank Account In Germany?
If you’re going to live in Germany then you need to open a bank account in Germany. Without one, you’ll run into a lot of problems. Most German companies are “old school” when it comes to making and accepting payments. In other words, paying with credit cards or PayPal is often not an option. For example, a few things you will need a German bank account for are:
- Paying rent
- Direct deposit payments from your German employer
- Paying for cable and internet
- Getting German insurance
- Paying for utilities
There are many German banks and credit unions, so picking the right one can be tough. Especially as an expat, you may need a bank that offers certain services like English support, or the option to transfer money to/from your home country. This can complicate an already stressful process.
Our goal at Germany2Go is to make the process simple. We want to help you find and get set up with the bank that’s right for you.
How To Open A Bank Account In Germany
It’s easy to make mistakes when opening a bank account in Germany. Here’s what to bear in mind:
Never walk into a bank and attempt to set up an account without being able to speak fluent German! Even most people who speak intermediate German are lost in minutes. Banking terms are extremely confusing, and most bankers cannot speak sufficient English. You would probably end up with more questions than answers.
For a non-German, the best place to open a German bank account is online! By opening your account online you can:
- Have everything in English
- Avoid unnecessary bureaucracy (Germans love bureaucracy)
- Avoid set-up fees
- Verify your identity via video call (No walking to the “Deutsche Post”)
This can usually be set up in 15 minutes or less, and all from the comfort of your home.
Which Bank In Germany Is Right For You?
Opening a German bank account through the Internet is the most straightforward option. Here are our top choices for German banks that allow online set-up and have no monthly fees:
- Monthly Fees
- Free Credit/Debit Card
- ATM Fees
- English Website
- English Speaking Customer Support
- German Residency Required
- Banking For Selfemployed/Freelancers
- Works With Apple Pay/Google Pay
Not only is N26 our first choice for you, it’s also the bank my wife and I use!
So what do you get with an N26 account?
It’s free (including credit/debit cards), in English, and available for non-German residents. Additionally, you can do your banking through their app from your phone or tablet. With their app you can:
- Get instant push notifications on account activity
- Complete transfers anywhere and anytime
- Lock your account if a card is lost or stollen
- Track your balances/spending with automatic categorization
- Make international transfers in 19 currencies
- Login quickly and securely with your fingerprint
Who Wrote This?
My name is Bastian and I am a certified, independent insurance broker in Germany. My wife is American and together we help English-speaking expats figure out insurance, banking, and other issues encountered when moving to/living in Germany.
I also own Germany’s biggest Youtube-Channel about insurance knowledge and was honored with the “Education Award of the German Insurance Industry” in 2018 and became “Young Broker of the Year” in 2017.