Help for using the comparison tool
1. Receipt of payment per month
In Germany, there are few banks that offer their current account (Girokonto) unconditionally free (e.g. DKB and Comdirect). Others, especially if they offer the use of the branches additionally to the online current account, the account is only free from a certain monthly receipt of payment.
Depending on the bank, this is often Euros 1,000, 1,200 or 1,250. Play with the calculator in order to see the differences in comparison. If an account management fee (Kontoführungsgebühr) applies, you can see that in the calculation in the column “Kosten p.a.” (costs per year). The monthly rates were projected to an annual rate.
2. Cards for the current account
A normal bank card (debit card) – called “EC-Karte” in the comparison tool – is standard for German bank accounts. Only few banks charge an annual fee for this card.
Besides the EC-card (debit card), the Visa or MasterCard credit card have been established by direct banks (Direktbanken), which have often, but not always, a credit line. In the current account comparison, you will generally find “Kreditkarte” (credit card).
Banks with branch offices often charge fees for a credit card and it is not quite easy to get as a new customer. Here, you can find more details on credit cards in Germany.
3. Special Group
Banks often offer free accounts for pupils, students and trainees and the creditworthiness check is not as severe as for adults. If you belong to this group, then please select this option in the comparison tool.
4. Average Balance in the account
This data is necessary for the calculation of interest. However, there are not many banks left that pay interest on balances in current accounts. You can see the result of the calculation projected for the year in the column „Haben-/Dispozins p.a.“ (balance/overdraft interest per year).
Please note that for a precise calculation at point 6 in the comparison, the days with balance in the account have to be stated for each month.
This calculation could be interesting, if you have a residence abroad in the EU-area and if you are classified as a “non-resident taxpayer” (Steuerausländer) in Germany. Within the European Union, banks are required to report interest income in the following year to the central tax control authority of the country of the bank customer because of the EU Savings Directive (EU-Zinsrichtlinie). If no interest arises, then there will be no report of interest …
5. Average Deficit in the Account
The comparison calculator assumes that you will obtain an overdraft facility (Dispositionskredit) by the bank for the current account and calculates the interest paid on overdraft.
Most banks have as a prerequisite a receipt of payment for granting the overdraft facility. The amount of this credit line is usually 2 to 3 times the monthly salary.
Some direct banks grant this type of loan on the current account without receiving payment; this is then usually Euros 100 to 2,000. At a corresponding salary payment, this can be increased of course.
Information on a possible increase of the credit line can be found here: Additional overdraft facility? Instructions here!
The number of days with the average loan use is the result of the days in which no funds were present in the average amount (point 4). The calculation is done per month with 30 days, because the banks also calculate only 360 days instead of 365 days per year.
The costs of the credit use can also be found in the column “Haben-/Dispozins p.a.“ (balance/overdraft interest per year) in line two prefixed with a minus sign. In column “Ertrag p.a.” (annual return), you will find the result, so expected annual revenues or costs of the account. The calculation in the background is: interest on account balances deducting interest paid on used overdraft facility and, if given, deducting account management fees.
6. Days in plus and, if given, in deficit
Here, one states the number of days in which the account is expected to have the average balance (point 4), indicated per month. Automatically, the remaining days are the ones without money in the account.
Unfortunately, no further adjustments are possible. The calculation with the conditions of the many banks that are included in the comparison is already complex enough and well-suited for a rough simulation for pre-selecting an appropriate current account.
Comparing current accounts
After you have changed the points 1-6, always click on the button “Girokonten vergleichen” (compare current accounts), to view the new result. You can repeat this calculation as often as you want.
Account opening and further information
If you have decided on a bank or want to find our more, then please click on the link “Zum Anbieter” (go to provider). You will be forwarded automatically to the right page of each bank.
Thank you for using our service!
You are welcome to ask questions about the comparison to our editorial staff through the comments feature.
PS: The comparison always shows the top 10 accounts according to your adjustments. However, there are more banks in the database. You are able to see that if you change your adjustments considerably …