Banking in Germany

From Expat Wiki
< Germany
Revision as of 00:01, 1 August 2022 by Jorges (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

When living or doing business in Germany, a German Bank Account can be useful for receiving salary, paying rent & other spending. Find here an bank for your purpose.

Questions & Answers[edit]

Do I need a German or a Euro bank account? [edit]

To pay rent and most bills or receive salary, you usually need an account that can send and receive SEPA transfers in EUR.

So your bank account does not need to be from Germany. It must only be able to send and receive SEPA transfers in EUR. Many accounts from other EU and EEA countries can do that.

However, some companies and authorities have problems using non-German account number (IBAN). This is illegal but it may happen. Then, a German account number is more convenient.

What do I need to open a German bank account? [edit]

This varies from bank to bank. However, these things are common:

  • You always need prove your identity, e.g. with a passport or national ID card.
  • You often need give an address, so that the bank can send you a credit or debit card.
  • Sometimes, you need to show your registration (Anmeldung)
  • Some banks want to see your income and credit history. (E.g. DKB[1] is known to be picky.)

Which type of bank account can I use as a freelancer? [edit]

To receive income from freelancing or your business, you usually need a business bank. Banks listed here are for individuals who want to receive their salary from being an employee, their scholarship or similar.

Do I get interest on my money? [edit]

On giro accounts in Germany, you usually do not get interests paid out. For such offers, check the List of German Savings Accounts.

Which bank is the best for me? [edit]

A bank that

  • speaks your language. There many offers with support in English or even more languages.
  • has free cash withdrawals. While nearly all supermarkets already allow card payments, you will still need to use cash at smaller shops, cafés, restaurants or food trucks.
  • has no monthly fees. There are so many banks even without fees, so you don't need to pick one that costs money.
  • lets you sign up with our documents. If you do not have an registered address (''Anmeldung'') yet, this can be difficult.


  1. This is an affiliate link. If you click on it and then buy something or sign up for a service, we may earn a commission which covers our expenses. This does not change the price for you.