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Current Bank Account

Open a current account in Germany with our recommendations

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 something you have to do as soon as you get to the country. You will need a current bank account to receive your monthly payouts from your Blocked Account to pay for your health insurance and daily expenses.

Expatrio is here to help you with all you need to relocate to Germany, current bank account included. 

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

 

  Monese Commerzbank Vivid ING Tomorrow
Solution Monese Classic Girokonto Vivid Standard

Girokonto Studenten

Tomorrow Free
Price/month €0 (Mastercard) €0 €0 €0 €0
Banking card Yes Yes Yes (Visa) Yes (Visa) Yes (Visa)
Girocard No Yes No Yes No
ATM withdrawals Up to €900, 2% fee after allowance

Free at 9.000+ cash group ATMs

Free up to €1000

Free worldwide unlimited

Up to 3 free/month

Online opening Yes Yes (in German) Yes Yes (in German) Yes
English support Yes No Yes No Yes
Miscellaneous 100% mobile. Free upgrade to Monese Classic with code "XPSTUD19" Mobile & branch 100% mobile 100% mobile

100% mobile, sustainable

Link to open     MONESE COMMERZBANK VIVID ING TOMORROW

What is a Girocard?

Girocard is a German term to describe a 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 German banks and their current bank account offers so you can make a sound decision on which bank you chose for your life in Germany.

Commerzbank Girokonto

Commerzbank is a leading international commercial bank, and it has one of the largest branch networks in Germany. Commerzbank Girokonto 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. If you receive less than 700 euros in your account in one month, you will incur an account management fee of 9.90 euros for that month. This amount will be withdrawn from your checking account in the following month. There is no English customer support, but you can benefit from customer support either online or in one of their branches.

OPEN COMMERZBANK →

commerzbank

Vivid

Vivid Money is an international company headquartered in Berlin, with offices in Amsterdam and Moscow. The solution allows you to send, receive, spend, invest and save money in a variety of ways. The company offers a brand-new level of security. There is no card number, expiry date, and CVV on your physical card, the card details are securely stored in the app. Even if you lose your card, your details will remain safe.

Using the Vivid current bank account you may get up to 25% cashback on your everyday spending and immediately invest them without any losses in fractions of your favorite companies with 2000+ Stocks and ETFs with no commission. Also, with a Vivid Account, you could invest from 0.01 € in fractions of 50 available crypto assets.

OPEN VIVID →

vivid

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. 

OPEN MONESE →

monese

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 from 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.

OPEN ING →

ING card

Tomorrow Free

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 a few of the benefits you get with this provider. Tomorrow invests €31,500,000 in sustainable projects and every euro paid with your Tomorrow card protects 1 m² rainforest.

The sustainable and mobile bank account Tomorrow Free can be opened in just 8 minutes on your smartphone. You can save trees with every single euro spent with your Tomorrow card.

OPEN TOMORROW FREE →

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.