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Cheap bank accounts in Germany
Find out how to pay less and save more with a cheap bank account.
Germany offers four main types of bank accounts: current accounts (Girokonto), savings accounts (Sparkonto), non-resident accounts and digital accounts. Current accounts, in particular, are used for salaries and paying bills. This guide will cover cheap bank accounts in Germany, and how to choose the best one for your finances.
Cheap bank accounts in Germany
Here are some cheap bank accounts in Germany, including a few free ones, for you to consider:
- Deutsche Bank Junge Konto. This account is for pupils, trainees, students and federal volunteers up to and including 30 years from EU member states. It comes with no monthly fees and a complimentary Deutsche Bank debit card.
- Comdirect Girokonto. Comdirect’s current account comes at no cost, with free cash withdrawals at all Comdirect ATMs. What’s more, this cheap German bank account is compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay, with first-time users getting a €25 bonus.
- Commerzbank Girokonto. Commerzbank’s bank account is completely free, with a €50 start bonus. The entire application is completed through an online form and video ID check.
- Postbank Online-konto. This standard German current account comes with a €1.90 per month account management fee but is free of charge for students and trainees. Alternatively, deposit €3000 per month into a Postbank Komfort-Konto and enjoy no account management fees, inclusive of a Postbank Visa Card or Mastercard and low interest rates for overdraft.
- HVB Start Account. A free baank account in Germany for those under 26 that comes with a HVB GiroCard, free access to the SB-terminal and Europe-wide free payments and withdrawals.
- 1822direkt Girokonto Klassik. This cheap bank account is completely free from any management fees, with fees for the accompanying credit card also waived for the first year. This current account can double as your receiving account to deposit your salary in.
Fees to watch out for
Bank accounts in Germany may seem cheap, but hidden costs can sometimes add up. Keep an eye out for the following fees when comparing seemingly cheap bank accounts:
- Fall-below fees. These fees apply when the balance in your current account falls below a stipulated level. This could be a daily minimum or a monthly minimum.
- Monthly account fees. An administrative fee is charged for maintaining your account.
- Early account closure fees. This is usually incurred when accounts are closed within six months of opening and varies across banks.
- Service charge for overseas withdrawals. If you frequently travel overseas and withdraw cash from overseas ATMs, be sure to pick a current account in Germany with lower service charges for overseas withdrawals.
- Additional service fees, such as for performing overseas transactions. German current accounts tend to offer less flexibility in the number of monthly overseas transactions permitted, compared to online banking accounts or digital wallets.
Factors to consider with cheap bank accounts
Besides account fees, here are other factors to consider before choosing the cheapest bank accounts for your needs:
- Interest rates: Higher interest rates will make up for account fees.
- Perks and features: Some bank accounts in Germany come with debit cards, online banking, or health insurance. Pick a bank account that contains features you’re interested in.
- Customer service: Being able to communicate with your bank and understanding the state of your money is essential. Choose a bank with customer service platforms you prefer, whether it’s online chats or phone calls.
Traditional banks vs digital banks
You can find cheap bank accounts from a range of providers in Germany, including traditional banks such as Deutsche Bank and new money apps such as Revolut. These providers help you save on a range of fees including monthly fees, ATM fees and foreign currency fees.
The main difference between these providers is how they are licenced. Traditional banks and some digital banks, such as N26, hold bank licences. This means they can accept deposits and your money is protected up to €100,000 by the government guarantee. Other finance apps, such as Revolut, do not hold a bank licence. They cannot accept deposits and your money is not covered by the government guarantee.
Compare cheap bank accounts in Germany
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