Best Bank in Germany for Expats – The Ultimate Guide

finding the best bank in germany for expats

When it comes to finding the best bank in Germany for expats, there are a few things that you need to take into account. In this article, we will provide you with a list of the best banks in Germany for expats, as well as some useful information that will help you make the right choice for your needs.

What expats need when opening a bank account abroad:

Low or no fees:

When you are living and working in a foreign country, the last thing you want is to be hit with high fees from your bank. Look for banks that offer low or no fees on things like international transfers, ATM withdrawals, and account maintenance.

English-speaking customer service:

This is important for expats who do not speak German. It can be difficult to communicate with a bank if you do not speak the language, so English-speaking customer service is a must.

Online banking services:

Online banking services are becoming increasingly popular among expats. They allow you to manage your account from anywhere in the world, which is very convenient.

Easy and fast to open the account:

When you are an expat, you often have to move around a lot. Therefore, it is important to find a bank that is easy and fast to open an account with.

No bureaucracy:

Bureaucracy can be a nightmare for expats. Therefore, it is important to find a bank that has little or no bureaucracy involved in opening an account.

What to consider about banking in Germany:

best Bank account in germany

There are a few things that you need to take into account when it comes to banking in Germany.

The banking system is one of the safest in the world:

This is because German banks are subject to very strict regulations. Your deposits are protected for up to 100.000 € by the government. This means that if your bank goes bankrupt, you will still get your money back.

ATMs are widespread:

You will be able to find an ATM almost anywhere in Germany. However, you should be aware that some banks charge fees for withdrawals from foreign ATMs.

Credit cards are not widely accepted:

Credit cards are not as widely accepted in Germany as they are in other countries. Therefore, it is important to have cash on hand.

How to open a bank account in Germany

Opening a German bank account is relatively easy. The required documents and more information can be found in this blog post.

The best banks in Germany for expats

There are two main types of banks in Germany: traditional banks and online banks. Traditional banks are the ones that you typically think of when you think of a bank. They have brick-and-mortar branches that you can visit, and they offer a wide range of services. Online banks, on the other hand, are purely digital. This means that they do not have any physical branches, and all of their services are provided online or through mobile apps.

So, which type of bank is best for expats?

It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you prefer to visit a branch in person or if you need a wide range of services, then a traditional bank is probably your best option. On the other hand, if you are comfortable banking online and you are looking for low fees, then an online bank is probably a better choice.

Top 3 banks in Germany for expats

N26:

N26 best bank in germany for foreigners

N26 is the perfect choice for expats who want a simple and convenient way to manage their finances in Germany. With their comprehensive range of features and benefits, they make it easy to stay on top of your finances while you’re living abroad, including:

  • Reliable provider (over 2 Million customers in 25 countries)
  • A free Mastercard debit card for easy and secure payments in euros
  • Free cash withdrawals at any ATM in Germany
  • No monthly fees with the standard account
  • A dedicated customer support team available every day from 07:00 to 23:00 CET in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian
  • A user-friendly mobile app with features like real-time spending insights and instant notifications
  • The ability to open an account on your smartphone in minutes

Open a free bank account at N26
in less than 8 minutes

Vivid:

Vivid is a great choice for expats who are looking for an online bank with low fees and a comprehensive range of features like cashback and crypto investing. With their state-of-the-art mobile app, they make it easy to manage your finances on the go. Some of the features and benefits that they offer include:

  • A free Mastercard debit card for easy and secure payments in euros
  • No monthly fees with the standard account
  • A user-friendly mobile app with features like real-time spending insights and instant notifications
  • Cashback and crypto investing features
  • English speaking customer support from Monday to Saturday 8:00 to 23:00 CET
  • The ability to open an account on your smartphone in minutes

Open a free bank account at Vivid

Commerzbank:

Commerzbank is one of the largest banks in Germany. It is not the cheapest service but your choice when you prefer a traditional bank with local branches all over Germany. They offer most basic packages like a checking account, savings account, and credit card. You can also get investment products and insurance. Commerzbank also has a large network of branches and ATMs across Germany, so you can easily access your account no matter where you are. Their benefits include:

  • Reliable provider (over 18 Million customers and 1.000 branches)
  • Free current account (Girokonto) when 700 € are deposited monthly, otherwise you pay 12,90 € monthly
  • Debit card for 39,90 € per year
  • English-speaking customer support available 24/7
  • Over 50.000 ATMs for free cash withdrawls
  • Free, unlimited cash deposit
  • 50 € welcome package when you open a new account

Open a free bank account at Commerzbank

Conclusion

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing the best bank in Germany for expats. It really depends on your individual needs and preferences. We mostly recommend N26 and VividVivid, as they are both convenient, offer a basic account without any fees and provide a wide range of features. Commerzbank is also a good choice if you prefer a traditional bank with local branches.

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