How to Open a Bank Account in Germany

bank account germany

If you’re planning on moving to Germany, one of the first things you’ll need to do is open a German bank account. In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to open a bank account in Germany. We’ll also provide some tips on choosing the right bank for you, and explain what documents you’ll need to open an account.

So, if you’re ready to start the process of opening a German bank account, read on!

Why you might need a bank account in Germany

If you’re thinking of moving to Germany, or are already living here, you’ll probably need to open a German bank account at some point. Whether you’re looking to receive your salary, rent an apartment, or just need a place to store your money, a German bank account is essential. In this article, we’ll explain how to open a bank account in Germany, what kind of accounts are available, and what documents you’ll need.

Who can open a bank account in Germany

In order to open a bank account in Germany, you’ll need to have a German address and be able to prove your identity with a valid passport or ID card. If you’re not a German citizen, you might also need a residence permit.

What to do if you don’t have a German address yet

If you don’t have a German address yet, don’t worry – you can still send and receive mail using a service like Deutsche Post. All you need is a valid ID and proof of your current address. Deutsche Post can forward your mail to your new address once you’ve moved, or you can have it held at a post office for pick-up.

The different types of German bank accounts

The first step in opening a German bank account is deciding which type of account is right for you. The two most common types of accounts are checking (Girokonto) and savings (Sparkonto) accounts.

Checking accounts are the most common type of account in Germany, and are suitable for everyday transactions such as receiving your salary, paying bills, or shopping online. Checking accounts usually come with a debit card that can be used to withdraw cash or make payments.

Savings accounts, on the other hand, are designed for long-term saving. Interest rates on savings accounts are usually higher than checking accounts, but you may have to pay fees if you want to access your money before a certain date.

How to choose the right bank for you

Choosing the right bank is an important decision, and there are a few things you should keep in mind when making your choice. One thing to consider is whether you want an online bank or a traditional bank. Online banks are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer many advantages, such as lower fees and greater convenience. However, traditional banks still have their advantages, such as a large network of branches and ATMs.

Another thing to consider is whether you want a free credit/debit card. While most online banks offer free credit/debit cards, traditional banks usually charge fees for these services.

Online bank advantages:

  • Lower fees
  • Free credit/debit cards
  • More convenient (you can manage your account from anywhere)
  • Better interest rates on savings accounts

Online bank disadvantages: 

  • Limited customer service
  • Fewer branches and ATMs

Traditional bank advantages:

  • More personal service
  • More branches and ATMs

Traditional bank disadvantages:

  • Higher fees
  • Less convenient (you can’t manage your account from anywhere)
  • Lower interest rates on savings accounts

How to open a German bank account

open a german current account

There are a few different ways to open a bank account in Germany. The most common way is to visit a branch of your chosen bank and submit the required documents in person. However, some banks also offer the option of opening an account online or by post.

If you choose to open an account in person, you’ll need to make an appointment at your chosen bank and take along your passport or ID card, proof of your German address, and any other required documents. Once your identity has been confirmed, you’ll be able to open an account and start using it immediately.

If you’d prefer to open an account online, you can usually do so by providing some basic personal information and uploading the required documents (Video Identification). Once your identity has been confirmed, you’ll be able to access your account immediately.

Best bank account in Germany

If you’re a foreigner living in Germany, you might be wondering which bank is best for you. There are a lot of options out there, but one stand-out choice is N26. Here’s why:

N26 doesn’t charge any fees for foreign transactions, so you can use your card abroad without worrying about racking up extra charges. They also offer free ATM withdrawals in any currency, so you won’t have to pay to get your hands on your own money. Plus, their customer service is excellent – they have English-speaking support, so you can always get help when you need it.

So if you’re looking for a bank that will give you peace of mind, N26 is the way to go. More informations about the best bank account in Germany can be found in this blog post.

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

Some final things to keep in mind

Once you have a German bank account, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to avoid any problems. For example, it’s important to keep track of your account balance to avoid going into overdraft and incurring fees. Additionally, you should make sure to keep your bank card safe and report it if it’s lost or stolen.


Opening a German bank account is relatively easy and should only take a few days. Once you have an account, you’ll be able to manage your finances more easily and enjoy the many benefits of banking in Germany.

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