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Best Free Bank Account in Germany Open 20 German Bank Accounts Online

Last Update: 22 January 2024

1. Free German Bank Accounts for Individuals, Students, Business and Couples

Once you understand how to open a bank account in Germany, it is about finding the best German bank account for your style of life in Germany. We help you with the most comprehensive English overview for finding a current account (“Girokonto”). The good news: Our comparison shows options without monthly account fees, whoever you are, and whatever you need. There are international student accounts, joint accounts, checking accounts for individuals, business accounts, online bank accounts, and options with traditional banks. This list compares free bank accounts in Germany regarding complementary debit or credit cards, cash withdrawals, residence or job requirements, English customer support, sign-up bonuses, and more.

Table of Contents

Ideas: 
Best Free Bank Account in Germany

C24 is easy to open, features a user-friendly smartphone app, and sub-accounts.

Commerzbank student account includes a legit credit card, and a discount portal. 

norisbank Top Girokonto has an opening bonus and complimentary credit cards.

N26 Standard is accessible to most European residents and speaks 5 languages

FYRST Base includes a credit card as well as services for freelances and businesses.

2. Comparison of Free Current Accounts in Germany (“Girokonto”)

The following bank accounts are dedicated to private use, meaning your personal expenses and income as an employee, student, pensioner, or even unemployed person (credit checks may apply). It is indicated in the single account reviews whether an account can also be opened for exclusive personal use if you are a freelancer or self-employed person. However, in this case, you should get an additional business account for any business-related transactions, e.g., customer payments or settlement of supplier invoices. Otherwise, you risk that the bank will close your account because of infringing upon their conditions of use.

Commercial partner

1822direkt logo

1822direkt
Girokonto Klassik

Backed by Sparkasse and highest sign-up bonus!

Visa Credit (1 year free)
Free local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
Private use for freelancers
English mobile app
Online/ limited branch service
No monthly fee (conditionally)

€100 sign-up bonus

Commercial partner

1822direkt logo

C24 Bank
Smart

High sign-up bonus!

Visa Debit, Girocard

Free local cash withdrawals

Free cash withdrawals abroad

Free Euro transfers

Google/ Apple Pay

Shared accounts possible

German residence required

Private use for freelancers

German interface/ support

Online service

No monthly fee

€75 sign-up bonus

Commercial partner

comdirect logo

comdirect
Kostenloses Girokonto

Dense branch network and sign-up bonus!

Visa Debit
Limited local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
Worldwide residence possible
Private use for freelancers
German interface/ support
Online service
No monthly fee (conditionally)
€50 sign-up bonus

Commercial partner

Commerzbank Logo

Commerzbank
Girokonto

Backed by Commerzbank and selected services at branches!

Girocard
Free local cash withdrawals
Paid cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
No private use for freelancers
English interface/ support
Branches/ online service
No monthly fee (conditionally)
€50 sign-up bonus

Commercial partner

Consorsbank Logo

Consorsbank
Essential

Backed by BNP Paribas!

Visa Debit
Free local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
Worldwide residence possible
No private use for freelancers
German interface/ support
Online service
No monthly fee (conditionally)

Commercial partner

DKB Logo

DKB
Girokonto

Most popular!

Visa Debit
Free local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
Worldwide residence possible
Private use for freelancers
German interface/ support
Online service
No monthly fee (conditionally)

Hypovereinsbank
Pluskonto

Backed by UniCredit!

Credit & Debit Card, Girocard
Free local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdr. in 13 countr.
Free Euro transfers
Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
No private use for freelancers
English/ Italian mobile app
Branches/ online service
No monthly fee (conditionally)

Commercial partner

ING Logo

ING
Girokonto

Visa Debit
Free local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
Private use for freelancers
German interface/ support
Online service
No monthly fee (conditionally)
€75 sign-up bonus

Commercial partner

N26 Logo

N26
Standard

Best smartphone app and multi-language service!

(Virtual) MasterCard Debit, Maestro
Free local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
One account/ card holder
EU/EFTA residence requir.
Private and business use
Multilingual interface/ support
Online service

Commercial partner

N26 Logo

norisbank
Top-Girokonto

Backed by Deutsche Bank and use of self-service machines!

MasterCard Credit, Girocard
Free local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
No private use for freelancers
English mobile app
Online/ limited branch service
No monthly fee (conditionally)
€50 sign-up bonus

Commercial partner

Santander Logo

Santander
BestGiro + BestCard Basic

Visa Credit, Girocard
Free local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Apple Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
No private use for freelancers
English mobile app
Branches/ online service

No monthly fee

€75 sign-up bonus

Commercial partner

TARGOBANK Logo

TARGOBANK
Online-Konto + Classic Karte

By Crédit Mutuel!

Visa Credit, Girocard
Free local cash withdrawals
Paid cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Apple/ Bezahl-App Pay
Couple account/ partner cards
German residence required
Private use for freelancers
Multilingual interface/ support
Branches/ online service
No monthly fee (conditionally)

VR-
Perfekt

Backed by Volksbank-Raiffeisenbank!

MasterCard Debit, Girocard

Free local cash withdrawals

Paid cash withdrawals abroad

Free Euro transfers

Apple Pay

Shared accounts possible

German residence required

Private use for freelancers

German interface/ support

Online service

No monthly fee (Conditionally)

Vivid Money
Standard

Cashback program!

Visa Debit
Free local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
Shared accounts possible
European residence required
Private and business use
Multilingual interface/ support
Online service
No monthly fee (conditionally)

3. Comparison of Free German Business Accounts (“Geschäftskonto”)

Corporate entities are legally obliged to have a separate bank account to split business-related and personal transactions. In practice however, most banks prohibit the business use of their current accounts (Girokonto) even for freelancers as well as self-employed people. Generally, the amount of free business accounts is very restricted and they offer fewer perks. Not only from an accounting point of view, it therefore makes sense to maintain two accounts: a business account where you pay business expenditures and receive customer payments as well as a current account where you transfer your “salary” and pay private expenditures.

Commercial partner

Finom Logo

Finom
Solo

Visa Card Debit
Paid local cash withdrawals
Paid cash withdrawals abroad
Limited free transactions
Google/ Apple Pay
One account/ card holder
EU residence required
Services for freelancers
Multilingual interface/ support
Online service

Commercial partner

FYRST Logo

FYRST
Base

Backed by Deutsche Bank and free debit + credit card!

Visa Credit, Girocard
Free local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdr. in multiple countr.
Limited free transactions
No Google/ Apple Pay
One account/ card holder
German residence required
Services for freelancers
German interface/ support
Online service

Commercial partner

Kontist Logo

Kontist
Free

Accounting and tax services available!

Virtual Visa Card Debit
Paid local cash withdrawals
Paid cash withdrawals abroad
Limited free transactions
Google/ Apple Pay
One account/ card holder
German residence required
Services for freelancers
Multilingual interface/ support
Online service
No monthly fee (conditionally)

Commercial partner

N26 Logo

N26
Standard

Best smartphone app and multi-language service!

(Virtual) MasterCard Debit, Maestro
Free local cash withdrawals
Free cash withdrawals abroad
Free Euro transfers
Google/ Apple Pay
One account/ card holder
EU/EFTA residence requir.
Private and business use
Multilingual interface/ support
Online service

4. For Every Purpose: Find the Best German Bank Accounts

What is the Best Online Bank Account in Germany?

Nowadays, online banking is the norm, even with traditional banks. All bank accounts in our list can be easily opened and managed online 24/7. Nevertheless, some digital banks excel with a straightforward account opening process, user-friendly applications, and real-time transactions.

Two famous options are C24 Bank and N26 as native digital banks. Their easy account opening processes are easy. You can check transactions, block cards, or manage the account in real time through the app. While C24 offers sub-accounts without fees, N26 accounts can be even registered from abroad. 

Where do I Get a German Student Bank Account?

When you are a local or international student in Germany, you can profit from the perks of a free student bank account. This means no minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees, more perks and discounts. Almost any bank offers a free student account. You can find detailed reviews on our site.

Which Banks in Germany Offer a Joint Account?

Currently, ten banks offer free joint accounts. These banks are 1822direkt, comdirect, Commerzbank, Consorsbank, DKB, HypoVereinsbank, ING, norisbank, Santander and TARGOBANK offer free joint accounts. If you move to Germany as a couple or in a partnership, you might want to choose a bank that can register the shared account under both names. With a joint account, both of you will not only receive online access but also debit and/or credit cardsCheck our detailed reviews above about the different bank features in our overview.

Is there a Free Business Bank Account?

You require a particular business account if you are a freelancer, a self-employed person, or a larger company. Regular bank accounts are only available for private purposes. There are currently five business bank accounts without monthly fees (check list of German business accounts).

What are Good German Bank Accounts for Foreigners, Expats and Non-residents?

While some banks require a German address, others allow non-residents to benefit from the German banking system. Currently, six banks in Germany offer free accounts and allow you to open them without a German residence permit. Some require an EU residence, while others allow a worldwide residence. These banks are comdirect, Consorsbank, DKB, N26, Vivid Money, and Finom.

Moreover, many banks increasingly offer services, mobile applications, or online banking in English, too. This can be great if you need a German bank but cannot speak German. We have marked these banks in our overview above.

5. How to Open a Bank Account Online for Free?

If you require a German bank account, the process is straightforward. Our dedicated article here also outlines a detailed description of all steps to open an account:

  • You choose your personal best bank account in Germany. Please remember to choose a bank that permits an international residence if you want to open an account outside of Germany.
  • You can directly apply for the account online on the bank’s website.
  • There is a subsequent identification process, which in most cases includes a video call, personal identification at a post office, or submitting a copy of the ID.
  • Afterward, you will receive a German bank account number, access codes for online banking, and banking cards via e-mail or post. Then you are ready to use your bank account.

6. Conclusion

You can be an expat living in Germany, a non-resident, an international student, a freelancer, or a self-employed employed person. There is no need to pay for a bank account since many free options exist. Modern online banks or more traditional banks like Deutsche Bank offer free or cheap accounts.

Our overview consolidates all the banks we could identify that offer accounts without monthly fees. Some of them have no restrictions, but sometimes there can be certain conditions, like monthly active use. If you want to make a quick choice: We consolidated ideas for digital accounts, expat accounts, joint accounts, business accounts, and student accounts.

7. Frequently Asked Questions

Disclaimer:

  • The information provided in this post is non-binding and for informational purposes only. It does not represent a complete market overview. We do not take responsibility for the accuracy and up-to-dateness of the information provided on the list. Please re-check the final conditions and prices on the providers’ websites (§18 ZKG).
  • We do not intend to provide financial advice. All investments involve risks of loss.
  • Some of the links in this article are promotional links. We gain a commission if you purchase an item or open an account following this link. It helps us keep this site running and does not come at any cost to you.
Tip

Put your mouse cursor over the symbols to find out more about the features of the current account.

Info

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

Questions

Do you need help? Just use the comment function on the bottom and we are glad to provide individual support to find the best bank account and credit card.

5 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.

    • 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.

  2. ปั้มไลค์
    July 3, 2020 @ 6:45 am

    Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

  3. Javier
    September 24, 2020 @ 8:42 am

    even though my german isn’t good, i opened a bank account with DKB. it was super easy and i’m very happy. thanks for providing all this information.

    • Chris
      September 28, 2020 @ 8:01 pm

      Thanks Javier. Glad to hear that you are happy with the account. Feel free to drop a message if you have any questions.

Data protection
The.Bu, Owner: Simmerl, Christian (Registered business address: Germany), processes personal data only to the extent strictly necessary for the operation of this website. All details in the privacy policy.
Data protection
The.Bu, Owner: Simmerl, Christian (Registered business address: Germany), processes personal data only to the extent strictly necessary for the operation of this website. All details in the privacy policy.