Just arrived in Germany? Opening a bank account should be top of your to-dos
Moving and settling down in a new country can be a stressful process, especially when it comes to finances. Figuring out the best way to manage your money and open a bank account can be a daunting task.
If you are planning to, or already have relocated to Germany, you’ll know that one of the biggest requirements for living in Germany is your blocked account. This account is a mandatory requirement for getting your German visa. But once you have your blocked account, what happens next?
You'll need to open a current account in Germany to disburse your money that originally funded your blocked account. This is why it is essential to choose the best bank that suits your needs. From online banking, to free ATM withdrawals, there are many features to consider when choosing your German bank account provider.
In this article, we’ll recommend the best banks for your stay in Germany, as chosen by us, Expatrio. With years of experience helping international students and expats, our list is compiled of some of the best current accounts in Germany. Read on to discover the top banks we recommend.
- N26* (our top recommendation):
Voted best bank in the world by Forbes, N26 is a fully licensed online German bank that offers a wide range of banking services to residents and non-residents. We believe it’s one of the top choices for students and expats in Germany due to its simplified online account opening procedure, German IBAN, and no hidden fees - including fee-free international transfers.
With N26, you can open an account in only a few minutes with just your passport. N26 offers a free bank account, a virtual card, and 24/7 English-speaking support. You can access your account from their mobile app or web version, meaning you can make transfers, track your spending, and more all while on the go.
For people looking for even more features, N26 offers four different membership plans. Choose from extras like purchase protection, a higher number of free ATM withdrawals, and premium partner offers.
Commerzbank is one of the most popular commercial banks in Germany, boasting a vast network of more than 1,000 branches across the country. It’s particularly good for students under 30 who are looking to open a current account in a traditional, physical bank branch. The Commerzbank account does not have any monthly subscription costs and offers free ATM withdrawals at more than 7,000 ATMs, making it a cost-effective option for students and expats alike.
Another traditional bank popular in Germany is Postbank. Postbank has been a leader in traditional banking for over 130 years. With more than 10 million customers, you're in good hands when it comes to reliability and convenience. Postbank also offers a range of services, from online banking to debit and credit cards.
Monese is another bank that caters to the needs of international students and expats. It’s a fully licensed UK mobile bank that provides customers with a European IBAN, ensuring easy access to the European banking system. Monese offers a mobile app that allows you to manage your account on the go. It also supports multiple languages, including German, English, French, Spanish, and more.
For those looking for a cost-effective and convenient banking solution, Revolut is a great banking choice. As a digital-only bank, Revolut offers the convenience of traditional banks without the extra charges and fees. You can open an account in minutes, send money to friends and family instantly, and access your funds 24/7 from anywhere in the world. On top of this, Revolut offers a range of features that make it a great choice for those looking to manage their finances on-the-go. With its intuitive app and budgeting tools, you can track your spending and stay on top of your finances wherever you are. Plus, you get access to exclusive discounts and rewards – something that traditional banks can't always offer.
Tomorrow Bank is a sustainable bank that focuses on promoting ecological and social sustainability through its services. It’s an excellent choice for expats who are environmentally conscious and looking for a modern banking experience. Tomorrow Bank offers a free basic account, a transparent fee structure, and the option to upgrade to a premium account for additional features. Additionally, Tomorrow allows you to track your carbon footprint and offset your CO2 emissions with each transaction you make.
Opening a bank account in Germany doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With Expatrio’s top recommendations, you can choose the most cost-effective and efficient way to manage your finances while studying or working in Germany.
We highly recommend N26 as our top pick because of its convenience, no hidden fees, and German IBAN. Commerzbank, Postbank, Monese, Revolut and Tomorrow are all great options to suit varying financial needs and preferences. Don’t forget to do your research and compare the banking services before making your final decision.
So, with all that info, which bank are you going to choose?
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