current bank account for life in Germany

Current Bank Account

Set up a current account with Expatrio’s help!

Moving to Germany can be a bureaucratic process. Opening a current bank account is usually something you have to do as soon as you get to the country, as you need it to pay your daily expenses and you also depend on it to receive your Blocked Account funds.

At Expatrio, we help you find the best current account for your needs and profile.

Current bank account for students in Germany

Compare current bank accounts and open them directly online

Opening a German bank account (or Girokonto) can seem complex, especially if you are not yet living in Germany or if you had just arrived. Expatrio is here to help you with all you need for your relocation and this could not be different.

We have listed the best current account providers so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

  Monese Commerzbank ING Sparkasse
Solution Monese Classic Startkonto Girokonto Studenten Girokonto für Studis & Azubis
Price/month €0 €0 €0 €0
Banking card Yes (Mastercard) Yes Yes (Visa) Yes
Girocard No Yes Yes Yes
ATM withdrawals Up to €900, after 2% Free at 9.000+ cash group ATMs Free worldwide unlimited Free at 23,600+ cash group ATMs
Online opening Yes Yes (in German) Yes (in German) No
English support Yes No No No
Miscellaneous 100% mobile. Free upgrade to Monese Classic with code "XPSTUD19" Mobile & branch 100% mobile Mobile & branch


What is a Girocard?

Girocard is a German term to describe a debit card issued by a bank which 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 to get more insights on Germany's banking system, types of bank accounts in Germany, bank transfer and much more. You also might want to check our page about international money transfer 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 German banks and their current account offers so you can make a sound decision on which bank you chose for your life in Germany. 

Monese Classic

Monese is one of the most popular and trusted banking services in the UK and Europe. The virtual bank accepts customers from every nationality who wish to have a bank account in one of the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). That means that you don't need a local proof of address and proof of credit history. Plus, you don't need to go anywhere in person to open your current account, as Monese’s service is 100% digital.

With Expatrio you get a free upgrade to Monese Classic plan instead of Monese Simple. Monese Classic comes with more benefits. Make sure to use the code "XPSTUD19" when applying, which only works with our dedicated Monese Expatrio upgrade page.

Monese's confirmation of ID is simple. You can use your smartphone's camera to take a selfie with an ID document (preferably a passport or ID card). Moreover, the bank provides customer support in 14 languages. 


Monese card

Commerzbank Startkonto

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

Their Startkonto 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. There is no English customer support, but you can benefit from customer support either online or in one of their branches.


Commerzbank card

ING Girokonto Student

ING is one of the largest banks in Germany, with the third-largest amount of customers in the country, totaling more than 9.5 million people. ING's Studenten-Girokonto comes with two cards: a Visa credit card and a Girocard. You are able to withdraw cash in almost every ATM in Germany.

This current account is only free if you are under 28 years old or if you received a monthly payment of at least €700. That means that as a Blocked Account holder, you are covered, even if you are aged over 28. If you do not fulfill either of those conditions, ING charges €4.90 per month for the Girokonto Student. You won't benefit from English customer support, but you will be able to manage your bank account online.


ING card

Sparkasse Girokonto für Studis & Azubis

Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe is Germany's largest credit institution with 385 bank agencies throughout Germany. With this current account for students, you can withdraw money in more than 23,000 ATM in the country. You can also manage your money online either on your laptop or your smartphone.

You won't be able to open your current account online or have customer service in English, but you can go to a bank's branch to solve your problems solved there. The bank account is free for all university students aged up to 27. You can also request a credit card, but it comes with additional fees.


Sparkasse card

1822direkt Girokonto Klassik

If you wish to open a Sparkasse bank account, but want it to be more digital, 1822direkt is an option to consider. 1822direkt is a company that is part of the Frankfurer Sparkasse. Their Girokonto Klassik is a good alternative for students. The current account features are almost the same as Sparkasse's account, but you can open it online.

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:


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.