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Current Bank Account

Expatrio 2024-02-15
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Current bank account for international students in Germany

Securing your account should be on top of your arrival-in-Germany list

Opening a German current bank account (or Girokonto) is a necessity as soon as you get to the country. You will need a current bank account to receive your monthly payouts from your blocked account and to pay for things like your health insurance and daily expenses.

Here at Expatrio, we're all about making things easy for you. We'll help you find the best current account deals and providers, so your journey is as smooth as can be.

Our top recommendation? Commerzbank*! 
Here's why:

  • Commerzbank offers the flexibility of physical branches for in-person service and online options for convenient banking from anywhere
  • Commerzbank is a fully licensed German bank meaning you’ll have a German IBAN, simplifying your life in Germany.
  • Commerzbank offers both a Girocard and a debit card. Both of these are used for payments, but a Girocard is unique in Germany and is accepted widely in most shops. Having both options means you have more flexibility in your financial transactions.

Open your Commerzbank* current account for free now!

Compare our list of recommendations below and choose the provider that best fits your needs.

  Commerzbank Wise N26 Postbank Bunq Revolut

Tomorrow

Solution Girokonto Wise multi-currency account  N26 Standard Giro direkt Easy Bank

Revolut Standard

Tomorrow Now
Price/month €0  €0  €0  Free of charge for students and trainees €2.99  €0 €3
Banking card Yes Yes Yes Yes  Yes Yes  Yes 
Girocard Yes No No No No No No
ATM withdrawals Free at 7000+ cash group ATMs 2 free p/m 3 free p/m Free at Cash Group ATMs and Shell gas stations 5 p/m at €0.99, the rest €2.99 

€200/or 5 free p/m

€2 per withdrawal

Online opening Yes (in German) Yes Yes Yes (in German) Yes Yes  Yes
English support In some cases Yes Yes In some cases Yes Yes Yes
Miscellaneous Mobile & branch 100% mobile 100% mobile Mobile & branch 100% mobile, savings account 100% mobile

100% mobile, sustainable

Link to open     COMMERZBANK* WISE* N26* POSTBANK* BUNQ* REVOLUT TOMORROW*

 

Please note: Wise is not a bank, it is a trusted Money Services transmitter that is regulated by Federal and State regulators

 

What is a Girocard?

Girocard is a German term to describe a type of debit card issued by a bank that is not a credit card but a German particularity. Girocard was previously known as EC-Karte (EC card) or Maestro Card. A Girocard can be pretty useful especially in small cities because several shops and restaurants only accept cash or payments with a Girocard. 

On our page about finance and banking in Germany, you can get more insights on Germany's banking system, types of bank accounts in Germany, bank transfers, and much more. You might also want to check our page about international money transfers from abroad to your German Blocked Account or your German current account.

 

Have your documents handy

When opening your German current account, make sure you have all your documents handy. This usually includes your passport, city registration, or other documents supporting your local address. In some cases, you might be asked to provide a copy of your residence permit.

 

More about German current bank accounts

Now that you have compared the current bank accounts in the table above, you might wonder about the banks offering those services.

Read on to find out more about these providers and their current bank account offers so you can make a sound decision on which bank you chose for your life in Germany.

Commerzbank

Commerzbank* is a leading international commercial bank, and it has one of the largest branch networks in Germany. Commerzbank Girokonto is an excellent fit for those aged under 30 who want to open a current bank account in a traditional bank. 

Their Girokonto has no account fees and you are able to get both a Visa credit card and a Girocard, which you can use in several stores within Germany. Please note that if you receive less than €700 in your account in one month, you will have to pay an account management fee of €9.90 for that month. Commerzbank does not offer English customer support, but you can benefit from customer support either online or in one of their branches.

Commerzbank Visa-Karte

 

Wise

Wise was launched in 2011 with the vision of making international money transfers cheap, fair, and simple. t's a quick setup for those new to German banking, and the user-friendly app accommodates speakers of all languages. Wise ensures practicality and efficiency, making it a reliable choice for managing your finances in Germany.

Bankkarte von Wise

 

N26

N26* is a fully licensed German bank, offering a German IBAN. No more waiting around or hidden fees – their online application takes just 8 minutes. With N26, you'll have a free bank account, a virtual card, and 24/7 English-speaking support. Their user-friendly mobile app and web version allow you to manage transfers and track spending with ease. Perfect for expats, N26 delivers a straightforward and digital banking solution.

n26

 

Postbank

Postbank* is a retail banking branch of Deutsche Bank and is a leading provider in Germany. With physical branches as well as mobile banking, it is a great choice for those who are living in Germany.

Postbank Mastercard Karte

 

Bunq

Bunq* is the second largest neobank in the EU, redefining the way you manage your finances. With their mobile-first platform, they offer personal and business accounts, empowering you with real-time payments and multicurrency capabilities. Experience the ease of splitting expenses with friends, setting savings goals, and enjoying virtual debit cards for secure online transactions. Bunq also takes sustainability seriously, allowing you to plant a tree with each €100 spent. Bonus, they also offer German IBANs! 

Bunq Debit-Karte

 

Revolut

Revolut is one of Europe's top digital bank, with over 30million users worldwide. Their goal is for all things money to be accessible  to everyone including spending, saving, investing, borrowing, and more.

Open your Revolut account in just a few clicks all via their mobile banking app. 

Visa-Karte von Revolut

 

Tomorrow

Tomorrow* is a transparent, digital, and sustainable solution for mobile banking. Real-time payments, a transparent overview of your spending, and a free Visa card are some of the benefits you get with this provider. Tomorrow invests in sustainable projects and contributes to environmental protection projects with every card payment.

Tomorrow Now's sustainable and mobile bank account can be opened in just a few minutes on your smartphone. You can save trees with every single euro spent with your Tomorrow card.

Visa-Karte von Tomorrow

 

Alternative German banks

Germany has more than 1,900 banks, so we can only give you an overview of the banks frequently chosen by Expatrio's customers. You can read more on our article about finance and banking in Germany. The following banks are also often referred to as good banks for expatriates and international students in Germany:

 

FAQs

Do I need a German Current Account?

You will need a German Current Account in order to receive monthly transfers from your Blocked Account. To clarify, the Current Account is different from the Blocked Account.

How to open a Current Account in Germany?

You can open a Current Account in any of the local branches of any German bank by coming there in person after your arrival and requesting to open a “Girokonto”. Alternatively, you can open a Current Account already from abroad, completely online at the digital bank N26 or Monese.

How can Expatrio help to open a German Current Account?

Expatrio suggests to our customers a few current account providers, such as N26, Monese, and Commerzbank. Customers are free to choose the current bank account that suits their needs.

Which Current Account should I use to receive my funds from Blocked Account?

You can use any Current Account from a German bank in order to receive monthly disbursements from Blocked Account. In case you want to open a current account from abroad, we suggest N26 or Monese.

 

*These are affiliate links with advertising intent. We might earn a small commission if you see value in the products and decide to buy them.

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