Best Bank Accounts in Germany

Compare 11 Free German Current Accounts and Credit Cards

We offer the most comprehensive English overview to find the best German bank account for you. This list includes retail and online banks. Compare free German current accounts in terms of debit and credit cards, cash withdrawals, residence/ job requirements, English customer support, sign-up bonus and more. Get more information and directly open a German bank account following one of the links on the right side.

Last Update: 04 November 2019

This overview is a non-binding service to compare free German bank accounts. We do not take responsibility for the accurateness and up-to-dateness of the information provided on the list. Please re-check the final conditions and prices on the banks’ websites.
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Info

Get to know the basics about German banks in our article about opening a bank account in Germany.

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N26 "Bank Account"

Best smartphone app and multi-language service!

MasterCard Debit, Maestro
Free domestic cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
No couple accounts/ partner cards
EU / EFTA residence required
Available for freelancers
Multi-language interface/ support
Online service
  • Language and application

    N26 is probably the first option and best bank account for Germany newbies. The account comes without any monthly fees. It offers the most comprehensive multi-language interface and support (German, English, French, Spanish, Italian) and does not conduct rigid credit checks. Accounts can be easily opened online from Germany and abroad.

    Service and usage

    The smartphone application is probably the most advanced one on the market. It allows you to do transfers, follow transactions or block the card. Users receive automatic push notifications after incoming payments and anytime when their card is used. The balance is updated in real-time.

    Cards and payment

    The account comes with a debit MasterCard that is suitable for store payments or online shopping. However, it may not always be accepted as a guarantee for hotel bookings or car rentals. Unfortunately, N26 does not offer real credit cards. There is also a free Maestro card, which however does not provide Girocard functionality. On the other hand, N26 supports Apple as well as Google Pay.

    Cash withdrawals

    Within Germany, the account allows free cash withdrawals at ATMs (3-5 times per month) and retailers (unlimited at associated partners). At these retailers you can also conduct free deposits of up to €100 per month. Furthermore, users enjoy free cash withdrawals worldwide (a foreign currency transaction fee of 1.7% is applicable for non-Euro withdrawals and payments).

DKB "DKB-Cash"

Most complete package and benefits!

Visa Credit, Girocard
Free domestic cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
Worldwide residence possible
Available for freelancers
German interface/ support only
Online service
  • Language and application

    DKB is probably the most established online bank in Germany. It is backed by the state bank of Bavaria and offers one of the most popular and best German current accounts. The account comes without any monthly fees. Unfortunately, customer service and the entire interface (web and online) are exclusively provided in German language. Credit checks are quite rigid so that you may be rejected in case you do not have any credit history, yet. In that case you may chose another account and apply again after spending some months in the country. As a non-resident, you can also use a foreign address to open the current account. However, as online identification is only available with a German address, you always have to be in Germany.

    Service and usage

    DKB is a pure online bank. Accounts can be managed online as well as via the smartphone application. If opened as a couple account, both account owners receive free credit and debit cards.

    Cards and payment

    The account comes with a Visa credit card that may be used for store payments, online shopping, hotel or rental car bookings. There is also a free Girocard with VPay functionality that can be used in case credit card payments are not accepted. Additionally, DKB supports Apple as well as Google Pay.

    Cash withdrawals

    Within the Eurozone, DKB allows free cash withdrawals at ATMs using the free Visa credit card (€50 minimum withdrawal amount) and retailers (between €50 and €300 at associated partners). At these retailers you can also conduct free deposits of up to €1,000 per day. For higher amounts, you can use one of their cash deposit machines (about 20 machines in Germany, i.e. Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Dresden). Furthermore, users enjoy free cash withdrawals worldwide. During the first year and afterwards also “active customers” (receiving funds of at least €700 per month on their account) are not subject to any low foreign currency transaction fee for withdrawals or card payments. For other account owners, non-Euro transactions are subject to a fee of 1.75% of the turnover.

Commerzbank "Kostenloses Girokonto"

Own branches and high sign-up bonus!

MasterCard Credit, Girocard
Free domestic cash withdrawals
Paid cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
Not available for freelancers
English interface/ support
Branches/ online service

No monthly fee

€100 sign-up bonus
  • Language and application

    Commerzbank is one of the most established banks in Germany. It is a full retail bank with branches all over the country and one of the few ones that features free bank accounts. The online banking and smartphone app are available in English, too. Unfortunately, the account opening site is only featured in German. However, in order to receive the sign-up bonus, we recommend you to only open the account online using the German site. You may only use a German address to open the account.

    Service and usage

    As a retail bank, Commerzbank offers a large variety of branches and services. The English skills of the individual clerk may vary. Accounts can also be managed online as well as via the smartphone application. If opened as a couple account, both account owners receive free debit cards.

    Cards and payment

    The account comes with a free debit card (Girocard) with Maestro functionality that can be used for store payments and cash withdrawals. With Commerzbank you first open the account in order to receive a welcome letter and the Girocard. In case you also want the free credit card, you can apply with a clerk at a branch afterwards. It is a full credit card (MasterCard) that may be used for store payments, online shopping, hotel or rental car bookings. Commerzbank supports Google Pay.

    Cash withdrawals

    Within Germany, Commerzbank allows unlimited free cash withdrawals at Cashgroup ATMs (i.e. Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Postbank, HypoVereinsbank). Cash withdrawals at other ATMs and abroad come at cost.

Comdirect "Girokonto"

Visa Credit, Girocard
Free domestic cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
Worldwide residence possible
Partly available for freelancers
Mainly German interface/ support
Online service

No monthly fee

€25 sign-up bonus
  • Language and application

    Comdirect is one of Germany’s most popular online banks. It is a subsidiary of retail bank Commerzbank. The website and customer service exclusively work in German language. The smartphone application is partly available in English.
    You may use a foreign address to open the account, too. However, online identification is only available with a German ID/ passport. With an EU passport and the necessary documents from the website you can also visit a notary abroad to get identified. Alternatively, you may identify at a post office in Germany.

    Service and usage

    Comdirect is an online bank with remote service only. However, it is one of the best banks in terms of customer satisfaction as some services (e.g. cash deposits, self-service terminals) are available at physical Commerzbank branches. If opened as a couple account, both account owners receive free debit (Girocard) and credit cards (Visa). Moreover, it features an attractive sign-up bonus.

    Cards and payment

    Comdirect issues a free Girocard with VPay functionality that can be used for domestic and Eurozone cash withdrawals as well as store payments. Additionally, the account comes with a free Visa credit card that may be used for store payments, online shopping, hotel or rental car bookings. In case of insufficient credit ratings, Comdirect may issue a VISA prepaid card. The VISA card can be connected with Google Pay and Apple Pay.

    Cash withdrawals

    Within Germany, Comdirect allows unlimited free domestic cash withdrawals at Cashgroup ATMs (i.e. Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Postbank, HypoVereinsbank) and all ATMs in other Eurozone countries when using the Girocard. Free cash withdrawals in non-Euro countries are free using the Visa card (foreign currency transaction fee of 1.75% is applicable).

ING "Girokonto"

Visa Credit, Girocard
Free domestic cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
Partly available for freelancers
German interface/ support only
Online service
  • Language and application

    ING is the largest Dutch retail bank and cosidered one of the most reputable and best banks in Europe. Even though being an international institution, ING customers must have a German residence. Moreover, the web interface, smartphone application and customer service are only available in German language.

    Service and usage

    In Germany ING acts as an online bank featuring exclusively direct banking services without any branches. However, it maintains an own network of 1,200 ATMs nationwide. Free deposits between €1,000 and €25,000 are possible at ReiseBank AG branches. Generally, accounts can only be opened for private purposes. There is no dedicated business accounts.

    Cards and payment

    The account comes with a full Visa credit card and is perfectly suitable for store payments, online shopping, hotel bookings or car rentals. There is also a free Maestro card that provides Girocard functionality. Couple accounts are available, with both owners receiving free Girocards and Visa credit cards. ING supports mobile payments by Google Pay.

    Cash withdrawals

    Within Germany, the account allows unlimited free cash withdrawals by Visa card at any ATM (minimum withdrawal amount of €50). Free withdrawals by Girocard are possible at ING ATMs and associated retailers (i.e. dm, Netto, REWE, Aldi, Penny). Furthermore, users enjoy free cash withdrawals worldwide when using their Visa card (minimum withdrawal amount of €50, a foreign currency transaction fee of 1,75% is applicable for non-Euro withdrawals as well as payments).

Santander "Best Giro"

Visa Credit, Girocard
Free domestic cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
No Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
Not available for freelancers
German interface/ support only
Branches/ online service
  • Language and application

    Santander is Spain’s largest retail bank. Even though being an international bank, Santander customers must have a German residence. Moreover, the web interface, smartphone application and customer service are only available in German language. When visiting a branch, the foreign-language skills may depend on the individual clerk.

    Service and usage

    In Germany Santander features not only direct banking services but does also maintain branches. At these branches customers enjoy personal service and can also deposit cash. However, the network of branches is limited so that there might not always be any branch close to your place of living. Generally, accounts can only be opened for private purposes.

    Cards and payment

    The account comes with a Visa credit card and is completely suitable for store payments, online shopping, hotel bookings or car rentals. There is also a free Maestro card that provides Girocard functionality. Couple accounts are available and both owners equally receive free Girocards as well as Visa cards. Santander does not support mobile payments (i.e. Apple or Google Pay).

    Cash withdrawals

    The account allows unlimited cash withdrawals worldwide at any cash machine when using the Visa card. There is no foreign currency transaction fee at countries not belonging to the Eurozone. Within Germany, unlimited free cash withdrawals are also possible by Girocard when making use of a CashPool-ATM (i.e. Santander, Sparda-Bank, Wüstenrot, TARGOBANK, BB-Bank).

Consorsbank (by BNP Paribas) "Girokonto"

Visa Debit, Girocard
Free domestic cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
Worldwide residence possible
Not available for freelancers
German interface/ support only
Online service
  • Language and application

    Consorsbank is part of France’s largest retail bank BNP Paribas. Accounts at Consorsbank can be opened with a worldwide residence. However, online identification is only possible with a German ID or passport. Other nationalities need to be present in Germany to identify themselves at a post office. The website, smartphone application and customer service are exclusively provided in German language.

    Service and usage

    Unlike BNP Paribas in France, Consorsbank in Germany does not have any branches but only features online banking services. Accounts cannot be opened as a freelancer or self-employed person.

    Cards and payment

    The account comes with a free Visa debit card that is suitable for store payments or online shopping. It may not always be accepted as a guarantee for hotel bookings or car rentals. Credit cards (Visa Gold) are only available at extra cost but come with additional services (e.g. insurance package). There is also a free VPay card that provides Girocard functionality. Couple accounts are available with both owners receiving free Girocards and Visa cards. Consorsbank does support mobile payments with Apple Pay.

    Cash withdrawals

    The account allows unlimited free cash withdrawals by Visa card at any ATM worldwide (minimum withdrawal amount of €50, a 1.75% foreign currency transaction fee is applicable for non-Euro withdrawals and payments). Free withdrawals by Girocard are possible at associated retailers (i.e. REWE, Aldi Süd, Penny).

norisbank (by Deutsche Bank) "Top-Girokonto"

MasterCard Credit, Girocard
Free domestic cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
No Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
Not available for freelancers
German interface/ support only
Online service

No monthly fee (conditionally)

€100 sign-up bonus
  • Language and application

    norisbank is the direct banking branch of Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest private retail bank. Accounts at norisbank can be opened with a German residence only. Moreover, the website, smartphone application and customer service are exclusively provided in German language.

    Service and usage

    Being an online bank, service is only provided remotely (phone and online). Some services (e.g. cash deposits) are available at self-service machines at Deutsche Bank branches. Deutsche Bank offers one of the most dense and best bank networks in Germany. Accounts cannot be opened as a freelancer or self-employed person.

    Cards and payment

    The account comes with a free Girocard (Maestro/ VPay) that is suitable for cash withdrawals and store payments. A MasterCard credit that is fully accepted for online shopping, hotel bookings or car rentals is free of charge in case of monthly incoming payments of at least €750. Couple accounts are available with both owners receiving free Girocards (and MasterCards if above mentioned conditions regarding incoming payments are fulfilled). norisbank does not support mobile payments with Apple or Google Pay.

    Cash withdrawals

    Within Germany, the account allows unlimited free cash withdrawals by Girocard at CashGroup ATMs (i.e. Deutsche Bank, Postbank, Commerzbank, HypoVereinsbank) and associated retailers. Furthermore, users enjoy free cash withdrawals worldwide when using their MasterCard (a foreign currency transaction fee of 1.75% is applicable for non-Euro withdrawals/ payments).

o2 Banking "Girokonto"

MasterCard Debit
Free domestic cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Apple Pay
No couple accounts/ partner cards
German residence required
Not available for freelancers
German interface/ support only
Online service
  • Language and application

    Accounts at o2 Banking cannot be opened with a foreign residence. Moreover, the website, smartphone application and customer service are exclusively provided in German language.

    Service and usage

    o2 Banking is a special offer by the innovative online bank Fidor. The smartphone app belongs to the most advanced ones on the market, showing real-time transactions and letting you block as well as unblock your card instantly via phone. Service is only provided remotely (phone and online). Accounts cannot be opened as a freelancer or self-employed person.

    Cards and payment

    The account comes with a free MasterCard debit that is suitable for cash withdrawals, store payments and online shopping. o2 Banking does not provide credit cards that are completely suitable for hotel bookings or car rentals. Couple accounts or partner cards are not available. o2 Banking supports Apple Pay.

    Cash withdrawals

    The account allows 3 free monthly cash withdrawals at any ATM worldwide (a foreign currency transaction fee of 1.75% is applicable for non-Euro withdrawals/ payments). Moreover, unlimited free cash withdrawals (between €50 and €300) are possible at associated retailers within Germany (i.e. REWE, Penny, dm, Rossmann).

Wüstenrot direct "Top Giro"

Visa Credit, Girocard
Free domestic cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
No Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
Not available for freelancers
German interface/ support only
Online service

Fidor "Smart Girokonto"

MasterCard Debit/ Maestro
Free domestic cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Apple/ Fidor Pay
No couple accounts/ partner cards
German residence required
Available for freelancers
German interface/ support only
Online service
No monthly fee (conditionally)
  • Language and application

    Accounts at Fidor can be opened with a German residence only. Moreover, the website, smartphone application and customer service only come in German language.

    Service and usage

    Fidor is one of the most innovative and best online banks. Its smartphone app can be considered one of the most advanced on the market. It shows real-time transactions and lets you block or unblock your card instantly via phone. Service is only provided remotely by phone and online. Accounts for freelancers and self-employed people are subject to special conditions (e.g. a yearly fee for the MasterCard of €24.95 is applicable).

    Cards and payment

    The account comes with a free MasterCard debit (called Smart Card) that is suitable for cash withdrawals, store payments and online shopping. Fidor does not provide full credit cards that are often required for hotel bookings or car rentals. Couple accounts or partner cards are not available. Fidor supports Apple Pay. On Android devices there is no Google Pay. However, contactless payments can be done using the Fidor Pay function of the Fidor smartphone App.

    Cash withdrawals

    The account allows 2 free monthly cash withdrawals at any ATM worldwide (a standard of 1.75% foreign currency transaction fee is due for non-Euro withdrawals/ payments). Moreover, unlimited free cash withdrawals (between €50 and €300) are possible at associated retailers within Germany (i.e. REWE, Rossmann, Penny, dm).

  • Language and application

    Accounts at Wüstenrot direct can be opened with a German residence only. Furthermore, the website, smartphone application and customer service are offered in German language only.

    Service and usage

    Wüstenrot is a popular building society in Germany. The subsidiary of Wüstenrot direct is an online bank that provides its services only via phone or web. Accounts are not available for freelancers or self-employed people.

    Cards and payment

    The account comes with a free Girocard (Maestro) that is suitable for cash withdrawals and store payments. A Visa credit that is fully accepted for online shopping, hotel bookings or car rentals is free of charge in case of a yearly turnover with that card of at least €2000 (otherwise a yearly fee of €19 is due). Couple accounts are available with both owners receiving free Girocards. Neither Apple nor Google Pay are available.

    Cash withdrawals

    Using the Girocard, Wüstenrot direct allows unlimited free cash withdrawals at CashPool-ATMs (i.e. Santander, Sparda-Bank, Wüstenrot, TARGOBANK, BB-Bank) as well as selected retailers. Furthermore, 24 worldwide cash withdrawals per year are free of charge when using the Visa card (a foreign currency transaction fee of 1.5% is applicable for non-Euro withdrawals/ payments).

2 Comments

  1. Ross
    June 21, 2019 @ 4:31 pm

    Thanks a heap! This site is great and the best I found for non-natives. Your comparison helped me a lot to open a German current account.

    Reply

    • Chris
      July 1, 2019 @ 9:08 pm

      Thank you so much for the compliments. We hope that you found the best current account and you are happy with your choice.

      Reply

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