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Debit cards are an essential financial tool for students and working adults alike. With debit cards being so popular, there is a huge range of choices available in Germany itself. This guide will help you pick the best debit cards for your specific financial needs.
Debit cards come with varying fees, features and perks. Ultimately, the right debit card for you would be one that suits your specific financial needs. For example, an avid online shopper would probably prefer a debit card with attractive deals and discounts. On the other hand, students may want to opt for debit cards that provide them with special privileges and student perks. Regardless, a good debit card generally comes with low fees and allows you to gain access to your cash anytime, anywhere.
Before jumping into the best credit cards in Germany, let’s take a look at what counts as a debit card. Debit cards are essentially cards that may be used up till the stored value, or linked account value, has been exhausted. This is different from credit cards, which allow you to spent on credit which you’re subsequently expected to repay. Because debit cards do not have this aspect of spending money that’s not in your account, the eligibility requirements to apply for debit cards are much more lenient. For instance, a credit card provider may stipulate a minimum monthly income from cardholders, and sometimes even a minimum SCHUFA credit score. In contrast to this, debit cards can usually be held regardless of income levels. This makes them widely popular, even with students.
It could be frustrating when you want to withdraw cash and there are no ATMs in sight. Beyond this, it could really pinch your wallet if your provider charges a fee on ATM withdrawals. If you prefer having cash on hand, then you might want to choose a debit card that comes with fee-free withdrawals and plenty of ATMs.
For example, ING Giroknoten offers a Visa debit and girocard that come with unlimited, free cash withdrawals in Euros. DKB Cash Active Account members also enjoy free, unlimited cash withdrawals.
Are you an avid traveller? If yes, you’ll probably be familiar with the additional fees and charges that are often levied on debit cards overseas. These costs include foreign transaction costs, foreign currency conversion fees and overseas ATM withdrawal fees. Such fees could really add up, so it’s important to choose a card that steers clear from these costs.
N26 You, for example, providers accountholders with a debit card that may be used for free ATM withdrawals worldwide, as long as you withdraw money less than 5 times a month. Revolut Metal, on the other hand, allows for no-fee international withdrawals for less than 1,000 euros per month.
What’s better than online shopping? Getting what you want at the lowest possible price. Online shoppers, therefore, tend to love debit cards that provide discounts, deals and cashback online. N26 Metal’s Mastercard, for example, can be used online with no markups and transaction fees.
Besides getting a good deal, online shopping is best when it’s done safely. That means getting a debit card that allows you to pay for your goods in a secure manner. One contender here is ING, whose cards are all protected by MasterCard® Id Check™ and Verified by Visa.
Debit cards are often used as an introductory tool for credit cards, making it especially popular with students and teenagers. There are plenty of deals for students in Germany who are interested in getting a debit card. One option is the Deutschebank Das Junges Konto account, which provides a Deutsche Bank debit card that may be used for free cash withdrawals in over 60 countries. DKB Cash also offers a free bank account for students, which comes with a Visa debit card that can be used for free cash withdrawals worldwide. That’ll come in useful for any study-abroad programmes or quick summer travel.
Regardless of which category you’ve fallen into above, almost all debit card users tend to gravitate to the cards with the lowest fees. That explains the popularity of debit cards linked to N26 accounts, where fees like currency conversion markups are nonexistent and ATM withdrawal fees are waived for the first five withdrawals per month. Another option is Revolut, whose Standard account comes with no monthly fees and a free Revolut debit card that may conduct transactions in over 150 currencies with no markups.
Debit cards are linked to bank accounts, so you should consider the pros and cons of that bank account in conjunction with the pros and cons of your desired debit card. For instance, the savings derived from having a debit card with no markup costs could be overridden by hefty monthly maintenance fees on the linked bank account.
Additionally, you should consider factors like the strength of customer service support, the availability of online banking or card-management tools and the eligibility requirements involved. You should only apply for a debit card that you are eligible for, and that you’ll be comfortable using.
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