Since the financial crisis, people have become more aware about the safety of their money and property.
Many new accounts (checking, savings and custody accounts) have been opened in Germany in recent years. Because of Germany’s economic strength, people are most confident in its ability to maintain a stable and secure banking system. An account in Germany is simply safer!
Objective arguments for an account in Germany:
- free checking and saving account maintenance
- free custody account maintenance
- free Visa card
- free withdrawals (including ATM transactions in your home country)
- low fees for securities trading
- fair return on assets
- 24/7 hotline
This applies to our recommended accounts.
Opening an account is often possible from one’s home country!
We recommend only the best providers and cover them in detail (with tricks and hints). This saves you amounts of endless research to find the optimal bank for you.
The contractual language with German banks is German. Therefore most of this website’s pages are written in German. But it isn’t a problem if you are not perfectly fluent in German (yet). People who speak more languages (English, Spanish, French, Polish and Russian) work in the international departments of the recommended banks.
Nevertheless you should know some German to be able to apply for an account successfully and understand the online banking.
3 main motives for opening an account in Germany
People from three main groups have opened accounts in Germany in recent years:
a) People who love to travel
Germans love to travel. Therefore some banks have made their accounts and cards very travel-friendly. Banks offer free withdrawals from any ATM (that accepts VISA cards) at any bank.
Furthermore, exchange rates are very favorable at German banks (including withdrawals at ATMs) as additional charges for currency exchange are unusual for our banks.
So a German bank account is not only suitable for traveling within the eurozone, but also in other currency zones.
Some people (particularly from the U.S.) transfer money to their German bank accounts whenever the exchange rates are most beneficial. This money is then used on their next journey to Europe. Fees only occur once when transferring money from abroad to the accounts. Afterwards, everything is free.
b) People who want to build up a fortune
There is a wide choice of stocks, bonds and funds in Germany. Buying German values is particularly inexpensive. But fees for international securities are absolutely competitive at German banks (that we recommend) as well.
Mutual stock and fund savings plans can be established cheaply for a long-term asset accumulation.
As “nonresident taxpayer” you do not pay taxes on assets in Germany.
c) People who want to secure their money
This group comes mainly from southern member states of the European Union. They fear compulsory levies (as in Cyprus in 2013) or that the eurozone breaks apart.
The other country’s currency would probably devalue in this case. Money in a German account would be safe from this. Transferring the money home afterwards would bring an appreciable currency gain.
People from countries with a higher inflation rate opened accounts in Germany because it ensures that at least a portion of their money is stable.
Furthermore, there are people in this group who appreciate the German banking system with its high deposit safety. In Germany there is a deposit insurance system, which is considerably better than the minimum standard in the European Union.
The DKB (Deutsche Kreditbank) is customers’ favorite
People from all three groups chose the model internet bank DKB most often because
- their checking account is free
- you get a free VISA credit card automatically
- worldwide withdrawals are free
- there is a fair return on assets (monthly interest credit!)
- investing in many securities is inexpensive with DKB-Broker
- opening the account is often possible from abroad
- currency exchange rates are fair
- the DKB service can be called up at any time
“Apply for DKB-Cash now”
… the globally most attractive account!
You can find more very good banks in the German part of this web portal.
Images: made in Germany (jokatoons), travelers (Elnur), map of Europe (Irina MANSIEUX) = all from fotolia.com