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Savings accounts in Germany
Learn about the options available and pick the best savings account for you.
Savings accounts are standard financial tools to help you grow your wealth. This guide will cover the range of savings accounts available in Germany, and help you compare savings accounts to pick the best one for your needs.
How do savings accounts work?
A savings account is a bank account in which you store money that you don’t intend to use for daily expenses. This account receives interest from your bank provider.
Once you deposit your money into a savings account, it may or may not be locked-in. Flexible accounts in Germany that have no restrictions on withdrawals are called Tagesgeldkontos. Locked-in accounts, which do not allow you to reap interest rate benefits if you withdraw your savings before a stipulated date, are called Festgeldkontos. Besides these, there is a range of savings accounts available, including high-yield accounts, joint accounts, and multi-currency accounts. Each of these accounts comes with different eligibility requirements and perks, so be sure to choose the right type that suits your banking needs.
What features come with savings accounts in Germany?
The features offered by standard savings accounts will differ across providers and account types in Germany. However, you can generally expect the following:
- Online banking options
- Mobile payments
- Reward schemes
- Preferential interest rates
What fees are charged with savings accounts?
Opening a savings account in Germany is usually free, but watch out for these potential costs:
- Maintenance fees. This is the monthly or annual fee that the bank charges for running the account. It may be waived if your account has a certain minimum balance threshold.
- Currency conversion fees. If you’re looking to transact in and out of a multi-currency savings account, you might rack up currency conversion costs.
- Fall-below fees. Select bank providers charge a small fee when your balance dips below an agreed-upon level.
- Paper statement fee. If you opt to receive paper account statements in the mail rather than electronic statements, you may need to pay a small fee.
- Early closure fee. Select savings accounts come with early closure fees if you terminate the account before a stipulated period of time.
- Application fees. Some accounts may come with a registration fee, which includes girocard delivery costs.
How can I find the best savings account for me?
The savings account best for you is one that perfectly suits your banking needs. Here are some factors to consider before making a decision:
- Interest rates. Savings accounts offer a variety of interest rates, especially when comparing standard accounts to high-yield accounts. If you fulfill the conditions required by the bank and want to grow your cash with higher interest rates, a high-yield account might be best for you. On the other hand, if you’re a parent looking to open a joint savings account for your child to withdraw an allowance from, then interest rates might not be a priority.
- Access to cash. If you rely on cash for day-to-day transactions, you’d probably favour savings accounts from providers with multiple ATMs across the country.
- Fees. Hidden costs can eat away at your savings. Watch out for monthly fees, fall-below fees and conditions that lead to the withholding of interest rate payments.
- Ease of online access. Having reliable access to your finances is essential. If you want the ability to monitor your finances around the clock, you should choose a savings account that comes with intuitive online banking solutions.
- Minimum or maximum account balances. If you fail to meet the minimum account balance, you may not be eligible for a particular savings account. On the other hand, if you have a sizeable amount that you wish to place in a consolidated savings account, you should check the maximum account balance beforehand.
- Special discounts. If you’re part of a special income or demographic group, you may be entitled to discounts when you sign up with certain bank providers. For example, university students in Germany tend to be exempt from account charges until the age of 29.
- Expat considerations. As an expatriate in Germany, you should consider whether the bank you’re signing up with has branches in both your home country and Germany. This would make it much easier for you to manage your payments and savings.
What savings accounts are available in Germany?
There are plenty of savings accounts in Germany suited to a range of banking needs. Here’s a shortlist of popular providers to help you understand the breadth of options available.
- Comdirect. Comdirect accounts allow for cash withdrawal in Germany and internationally. Its accounts are convenient to sign up for and do not require a German postal address.
- Commerzbank. Commerzbank savings accounts come with promotions like a free bank account and girocard if you sign up online. If you’re an expatriate in Germany, this account may be easier for you to manage as their website and customer service operators work in English.
- Deutsche Bank. Besides standard savings accounts, Deutsche Bank offers specialised accounts targeted at students, parents and their kids.
- Sparkasse. Sparkasse savings accounts are well-known for the number of ATMs located throughout Germany. If having quick access to cash is important to you, their accounts might be what you’re looking for.
- N26. N26 is a digital bank that offers easy signups, a quick turnaround period and secure online management of your savings accounts.
- DKB. Another popular digital bank in Germany is DKB, which offers low-fee savings accounts and a free girocard.
How do you open a savings account in Germany?
Savings accounts are convenient and quick to open, similar to most other German bank accounts. First, make sure that you have the required documents for signing up. In general, you should have
- A valid passport or German ID
- A driver’s license that is valid in the EU
- A recent utility bill or mortgage bill
- Evidence of employment
- SCHUFA credit score (only for certain banks)
If you are an expatriate, you’ll provide your visa or residence permit instead of a German ID.
Frequently asked questions
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