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Joint bank accounts in Germany
How do joint bank accounts in Germany work? Find out here and compare your options.
It can be mind-boggling trying to figure out how to split finances between a couple. Who’s in charge of bills? Who’s in charge of necessities? Without proper communication and organisation, things can get frustrating and messy! But with joint bank accounts, tracking savings and expenses could be much easier. Here’s our guide to joint bank accounts, also known as current accounts in Germany, including their benefits and downsides.
What is a joint bank account?
A joint bank account works just like any other German bank account, with the exception that it can be managed by more than one person. This is usually used between partners, family members or even flatmates. With a joint account, you’ll be able to pool your savings together for shared household expenses, such as mortgage payments, grocery expenses, or utility bills.
Compare joint accounts in in Germany
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What are the benefits of joint bank accounts?
- Centralised management of finances. Instead of constantly checking your significant other’s bank statements and fretting over forgotten bills, you can easily manage your joint finances with a joint bank account. This not only allows for hassle-free money management but also adds an extra layer of transparency in how your joint finances are spent, which is great for trust.
- Budget as a team. Perhaps you’re working towards saving up for a quick trip with your partner. Having a platform to monitor joint transactions is great for the overall budgeting, giving you a birds-eye view of your monthly spending habits.
- Benefits arising from pooling your money. Pooling your money together into a joint account could help you meet minimum balance requirements for benefits like higher interest rates and rewards.
What are the potential downsides to having a joint bank account?
In spite of the benefits mentioned above, there is one big potential downside that you should consider before choosing a joint current account.
- Should not be used without first establishing rules. Having a joint account is akin to giving someone else complete access to your money. It’s therefore essential that you trust your joint account-holder with your expenses and firmly believe that he/she is responsible enough to use that money wisely.
How to compare joint current accounts in Germany
Joint accounts come with a range of features. Here are some criteria that you can use to compare joint current accounts offered in Germany.
- Fees. Joint account fees may include monthly fees, fall-below fees, overseas transfer fees, ATM withdrawal fees and many other forms of expenses. Always read the fine print before choosing a joint account, so as to avoid unexpected costs.
- Interest rates. If your joint account is to be used for long-term savings, you should choose a joint current account that offers higher interest rates for you to grow your pool of money.
- Features offered. Some joint bank accounts offer simple features that allow for mainly receiving and sending money. Others include a host of features for investing, purchasing health insurance and tax payments. You should choose the account that offers features suited to your financial needs.
- Mobile banking availability. Mobile banking offers a whole new level of convenience and control to your joint finances. If those two traits are essential to you, you should pick a bank that offers online banking features with their joint bank accounts.
- Perks and rewards. Joint bank accounts essentially transact amounts fit for at least two individuals. Greater transactions tend to come with greater rewards, including cashback or shopping vouchers. If receiving such rewards is exciting to you, then you might want to choose a provider offering frequent perks.
Which joint bank accounts are available in Germany?
Here are some joint bank accounts you may wish to consider:
The application process for a joint bank account
You can open aa joint bank account just as you would open any other German bank account: via online registration, registration over the phone, or by visiting a local bank branch. You’ll generally need to provide your German ID and proof of residence. You may sometimes be required to further provide your driver’s license or passport. Once you have these documents, you should fill up a simple application form and then wait for your application to be processed.
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