Compiled for you: German banks with account opening from abroad

Open an online-current account in Germany ► this is possible here ✔

bank account opening in Germany from abroad

If you are interested in opening a bank account in Germany, then you at the right place.

Actually, there are many good reasons to have a bank account in Germany. An account can already be opened online from some countries, however, not from all countries.

1. Current status: Countries and Banks

(You can find details about the accounts and the account opening processes below the table.)

Your country German banks with possibility of account opening from abroad
  Most often chosen:
OnlinekontoOnlinekonto
Comdirect
Comdirect
DKB
DKB
Fidor
Fidor Bank
Number26
Number26
Available languages German German German, English [1] German, English [2] German, English [3]
DE
Germany
 
Webcam Postident
 
Webcam Postident
 
Postident
 
Webcam Postident
 
Postident
US
USA
 
Notar Postident
partially for German expatriates soon  
Postident
UK
Great Britain
 
Notar Postident
 
Postident
In Germany, it is a legal requirement that a bank identifies the future customer during the account opening process beyond doubt. For this, several methods are possible. You can see which identification method is offered by which bank by the icons. VideoIdent Webcam , PostIdent Postident , Notar Notar .
AR
Argentina
 
Postident
 
Postident
AU
Australia
 
Notar Postident
partially for German expatriates  
Postident
AT
Austria
 
Webcam Notar Postident
 
Webcam Postident
 
Webcam Postident
 
Postident
CA
Canada
 
Notar Postident
partially for German expatriates  
Postident
CZ
Czech Republic
 
Notar Postident
 
Postident
ES
France
 
Notar Postident
 
Webcam Postident
 
Postident
GR
Greece
 
Notar Postident
 
Webcam Postident
 
Postident
HU
Hungary
 
Notar Postident
 
Postident
IT
Italy
 
Notar Postident
 
Webcam Postident
 
Postident
LI
Liechtenstein
 
Webcam Notar Postident
 
Postident
LU
Luxembourg
 
Webcam Notar Postident
 
Postident
MX
Mexico
 
Postident
 
Postident
NL
Netherlands
 
Notar Postident
 
Postident
PL
Poland
 
Notar Postident
 
Postident
RU
Russia
 
Postident
 
Postident
ES
Spain
 
Notar Postident
 
Webcam Postident
 
Postident
CH
Switzerland
 
Webcam Notar Postident
 
Notar Postident
soon
Webcam Postident
 
Postident
TH
Thailand
 
Postident
partially for German expatriates  
Postident
UA
Ukraine
 
Postident
 
Postident
Detailed information Comdirect
Comdirect
DKB
DKB
Fidor
Fidor Bank
Number26Number26 OnlinekontoOnlinekonto
Account opening Instructions
Link to the Bank
comdirect.de
Instructions
Link to the Bank
dkb.de
Instructions
Link to the Bank
fidor.de
Instructions
Link to the Bank
number26.eu
Instructions
Link to the Bank
onlinekonto.de

Important note on the language

German is the official language in Germany and most often, also the only officially available language at banks.

However, it is becoming apparent that we are in a process of change and more banks will offer foreign languages in the future. Number26 is already fully available in English (during this year even Spanish, French and Italian will be added). Other providers will follow this example, at least in English language.

Nowadays, it is quite possible – depending on who attends at the telephone customer service – to have an English conversation too.

2. Details about the account opening

2.2 Comdirect Bank

The Comdirect can be interesting for German-speaking people around the globe, since the account opening is possible from many countries … but you have to communicate with the bank in German and possibly have a good reason, why you need a bank account in Germany and how you want to use it.

The current account is completely free of charge for customers, but it costs the bank money (account management, bank cards, staff, technic). Therefore, the bank strives to open accounts, which are actively used, e.g. these can also be investment accounts.

The Comdirect offers savings accounts (call money and fixed deposit) as well as one of the best securities accounts in Germany. The founder of DeutschesKonto.ORG himself uses the Comdirect-Depot!

Deposits usually take place through bank transfers, but can also be made three times a year for free through Commerzbank branches in Germany. Who needs more than three cash deposits has to pay only Euros 1.90 per deposit.

Transfers in Euros within the SEPA area are always free of charge (incoming as well as outgoing transfers). One can also receive money or send money in other currencies. For this, slightly cheaper fees apply as the German average. See price listing.

At the Comdirect, one can hold investment accounts in other currencies – USD, CHF, CAD, GBP, NOK, PLN, AUD, HUF, TRY, SEK, MXN, JPY and ZAR.

An overview of the account details

  • account opening and management free of charge
  • Visa Card and Girocard free of charge
  • cash withdrawals free of charge worldwide (depending on the country, use one of the two cards)
  • no minimum deposit, no minimum cash flow
  • account opening online from German-speaking countries and many others via mail are possible
  • language of the account opening and the online banking: German

The account opening

Holders of ID-cards or passports from Germany, Austria, Switzerland or Luxembourg can make the account opening already completely online, as shown in this video clip:

Go to the online application ► to the Online Application (www.comdirect.de)

Everyone else can use the PostIdent-procedure. Alternatively, a legitimating through a notary is possible from abroad in some countries. You can find details about the account opening outside Germany here: open the Comdirect-current account successfully.

3 important articles about the Comdirect Bank

2.3 DKB

For many years, the DKB was the bank, which has opened most accounts for people from abroad. Today, it opens bank accounts for people residing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as for German citizens residing or having their current place of residence anywhere in the world. That is why it is particularly popular among German expatriates.

Who opens an account at the DKB, obtains the free current account “DKB Cash” with Visa Card in the basic version. The Visa Card is a real credit card; therefore, the account opening is preceded by a creditworthiness check.

The opening of joint accounts is possible and offers many advantages.

In the article “How to not mess up the account opening”, you can find out what you should pay attention to especially at the account application. With the transfer of salary payments, the overdraft facility and thus the credit line of the Visa Card can be increased to up to Euros 15,000.

The transfer of salary payments is not necessary in order to get the free account management and the overdraft facility of the Visa Card can be increased as you wish through deposits.

You can deposit money via bank transfers to the DKB account or free of charge at the few deposit machines (Article in German) in Germany. Foreign currencies can be deposited to the DKB account at the bank counter in Munich (Article in German). However, the money is exchanged, as the account is exclusively held in Euros.

The DKB can receive money by bank transfer in foreign currencies. Again, it will be automatically converted into Euros. International transfers can be made in more than 50 currencies.

Particularly interesting is the DKB Visa Card, because one can withdraw cash free of charge worldwide. Even the usual foreign transaction fee for cash withdrawals at ATMs is not charged by the bank.

Even better: So far, it also refunds foreign fees of withdrawals. This makes it particularly interesting for people, who are often in the USA or Thailand.

Account details at a glance

    account opening and account management free of charge
  • Visa Card and Girocard free of charge
  • withdrawing cash is free of charge worldwide (with the Visa Card)
  • no minimum deposit, no minimum cash flow
  • account opening online for German passports, otherwise via PostIdent or an identification through a notary, lawyer or bank from some other countries
  • language of the account opening and online banking: German

The account opening

This video clip shows the online account opening via WebID:

3 important articles about the DKB

3.4 Fidor Bank

We have added the Fidor Bank since recently to our special portal. It should become quite interesting in the coming years, because the board of the bank would like to expand to a European bank.

Already today, opening accounts are possible with a GBP account in England. Soon other EU countries will follow and one is even talking about entering the US-market. We will observe the Fidor Bank and report about the further developments on our blog.

How to apply for the free current account of the Fidor Bank in Germany including the also free Smart Card (combination of MasterCard and Maestro Card), you can read in this article: instructions of account opening.

3.5 Onlinekonto

The Onlinekonto is the only account in this comparison that is subject to charges. Nevertheless, it is worth considering to be the best option for some people: business account!

About half of all private accounts are managed free of charge in Germany. This is not common for business accounts. In general, it is difficult to open a business account in Germany from abroad or for a foreign company.

This provider permits the personal use as well as the business use. Freelancers and self-employed persons can open the account quite simply. Legal entities, such as e.g. LTD or LLC however, have to be entered in the commercial register of Germany.

An account opening is possible within minutes. The account number is provided promptly, so you can start right away to make the first transfer or use the account number for invoices.

The complete activation of the account (production of the MasterCard, outgoing transfers) takes place after the legitimating. For this, the PostIdent-procedure is available at any branch office of the post in Germany. A video identification procedure is still in planning.

The account has a maximum upper limit of Euros 15,000. Therefore, it is not suitable for everyone, but this limit is suitable for most people.

3 important articles about Onlinekonto

3. Q&A: Questions and answers about the account opening in Germany

a) Do I have to live in Germany in order to open a current account?

This is true for many German banks. On this page, we introduce banks in which a foreign place of residence is not a problem. Nevertheless, it depends entirely on the country in which you reside. Please take a look at the details of point 1 in the table above.

b) Do I have to report my new German bank account to my home country?

We do not know the specific laws of all countries in the world … in general, bank accounts are stated in the annual tax return, if revenues incurred on them that are taxable in the home country.

Currently, there is no interest on the above mentioned accounts and therefore, no capital gains have to be reported for most. For a personal consultation, it is recommended to consult a tax advisor in your home country with international experience.

c) Can I have multiple bank accounts in Germany?

Yes, of course! Strategically, it is advisable to apply for them at different points of time, not simultaneously. Especially at banks, which perform a creditworthiness check (Comdirect, DKB), the application for account opening is saved at the Schufa. This is the largest German central register for creditworthiness queries.

d) Will my card be sent to the abroad?

Yes, most banks do this (Comdirect, DKB, partially Number26, Onlinekonto charges extra postage). However, we also know that some applicants state a delivery address in Germany and let the cards be picked up there or let them be sent privately to the abroad.

Further questions?

The comments box is activated for you … you are welcome to supplement this page with your experiences and recommendations for the benefit of other readers. Many thanks!

Pictures: Webcam: WonderfulPixel; personally + PostIdent + Notary, Do Ra; (all of fotolia.com)

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11 Responses to “Open an online-current account in Germany ► this is possible here ✔”

  1. Jing Miao says:

    Hi,

    My sister have an account in your bank, and will migrate to NJ, USA soon from China.
    Do you have a branch in New Jersey so she can access the money when she live in NJ, USA? If not what is the best course you suggest for her?
    Thanks.

    Jing

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0
  2. Kamar says:

    Hello,

    on the following link german post said that it is possible to POSTIDENT by video chat, correct me if i am wrong:

    https://www.deutschepost.de/en/p/postident/postid.html

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0
    • Editorial Team says:

      Hello,

      As far as I understand the Site, the PostID service is for banks and other companies that want to legitimize their customers – not for interested people that want to open a bank account. It’s an exemption if that person wants to open an account at a bank that already works with PostID. Such a bank we don’t know yet, probably it is a new service. Many thanks for your posting!

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      0
  3. Markos Vassiliou says:

    Hello
    I want to open an online savings account in Germany for my job seeking visa. I cannot find where or how to do that. Any idea on how to do this?
    Thanks

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0
    • Editorial Team says:

      Hello!

      Comdirect Bank offers savings accounts to foreign nationals – but the interest is so low within the Euro zone (current central rate being 0,0%) that as far as interest is concerned a savings account is not worthwhile.

      Nevertheless, it is a clever idea to initiate business with a bank via a savings account, because with a savings account you won’t have the credit check, which would be obligatory with a free giro account.

      Customer service as well as online banking are – as customary in Germany – only available in German language.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      0
      • Markos Vassiliou says:

        Thank you.

        Is there a way to open a blocked Sperrkonto account for Job seeking visa without it being related to students?

        Thank you

        VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
        0
  4. Nick says:

    I have read about the new Basiskonto, which every bank is required to offer to any EU resident. The Basiskonto offered by Consorsbank looks very interesting. The package includes a Girokonto, VPay/Girocard and Visa debit card all for free and also worldwide free ATM withdrawals. Since I live in Holland, it would be no problem at all to visit a German post office for the Postident procedure.

    Have you heard about any successes opening these kinds of accounts?

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0
  5. Joseph says:

    Can one open an account in Germany from South Africa or Ireland?
    Thank you.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0
    • Editorial Team says:

      That depends on the bank, the customer’s citizenship and potentially on the purpose the account opening. From Ireland, N26 is the easiest, but wie do not support this bank anymore.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      0
  6. James Chu says:

    Hallo Gregor und Team!

    I’m a US Citizen living in the U.S. but have a cousin in Germany (and do visit from time to time). Very interested in either N26 or DKB – and have questions:

    1. Are you still recommending N26 to your audience? (I read somewhere that you don’t like what they are doing). If you are, would N26 flat out refuse an account because of my U.S. Reisepass? (Ich kann ein bisschen Deutsch sprechen, lesen und schreiben)

    2. Are you still discouraging people from opening an account at DKB? I have read some success story from a Japanese resident opening one from Japan (although she has to send a notarized copy of her passport).

    3. I am a little worried about the WebID or the IDNow process. I assume they would insist that I speak Deutsch (which I can a little bit) but I will not be able to understand it 100%. Would they be suspicious then and deny my verification? Would they also be asking why I wanted to open an account (which is really for travel and possible investment in Germany) or is their scope to simply verify identity?

    Vielen Dank for your response! Ihren Website ist prima!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0

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