Instructions on saving money on journeys abroad with the Comdirect Visa credit card

Comdirect credit card and its use abroad

On this page you will find out how to optimally use the credit card of Comdirect abroad. You will learn what is free, where fees apply and how to avoid these cleverly!

I have recorded the video to the article on a trip to the USA. The statements therein can be directly applied to other countries with a foreign currency:

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What Comdirect customers especially love about the credit card:

  • free credit card including free current account
  • withdrawing cash free of charge abroad
  • refund of foreign fees at cash withdrawals from ATMs
  • no minimum transaction or the like required
  • simple online application with legitimating through video chat (or PostIdent p rocedure)
  • application from abroad and credit card delivery to the abroad residence is possible

Go directly to the provider:

Credit card explained in detail …

1. Withdrawing cash free of charge abroad

With the credit card of Comdirect, you can withdraw cash in any country outside Germany free of charge. The only thing you need for this is an ATM that accepts the Visa credit card and there are more than 2 million worldwide.

… and it works like this:

  • you insert the Comdirect credit card into the ATM,
  • you choose the appropriate language for you,
  • you enter the PIN (four-digit secret number),
  • choose the withdrawal amount,
  • get the money paid
  • and you are done. 🙂

Withdrawing money abroad: always free of charge!

1a. Important note for travellers in Eastern Europe, Great Britain and Switzerland

Many ATMs in these countries are trying to rip off travellers by offering them a convenient billing in Euros and let it appear as transparent as possible. In fact, the exchange rate is extremely poor, because there are up to 11 % fees hidden. However, who compares the exchange rate when withdrawing money from the ATM? Only the fewest people do that!

Withdrawing cash in Hungary.

Example: Withdrawing cash in Hungary. If you are not familiar with this ATM, then please read the article: Pay attention when withdrawing money in Hungary.

1b. Important note for travellers in the USA and Thailand

Good news: In the USA, you do not have to expect to encounter an exchange scam. US banks do not care about the exchange rate. They leave the conversion always up to the card-issuing bank, which is in your case the Comdirect bank.

The Comdirect bank uses for the billing of foreign currency transactions the exchange rates of the Commerzbank. These are not always the best for all countries, but it does apply to the US-Dollar! Finally, the Commerzbank operates on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Comdirect credit card is the test winner

Best credit card for cash withdrawals in the USA (own test).

In this comparison, the credit card of Comdirect turned out to be the best credit card for withdrawals in the USA.

Test winner at money withdrawals abroad

However, pay attention: In the USA, ATMs regularly charge the customer directly with the withdrawal fees.

In most other countries, the withdrawal fees are charged to the card-issuing bank and the Comdirect is bearing these fees for you. You do not notice anything of the cost bearing.

In the USA and Thailand, the fee is indeed directly indicated on the withdrawal receipt – which is why you should always print and keep it – but it is settled in one sum at the Comdirect.

For example, you withdraw US-Dollar 100, however, the credit card account will be charged with a sum of US-Dollars 103.50. Of course, you have been informed in advance on the monitor about this and you always have the option to cancel the withdrawal process.

You do not have to do that being a Comdirect customer, because you will get this fee refunded by Comdirect (unlike almost all other banks – only the DKB also refunds).

How to do this, you can find out here: Comdirect refunds fees.

Alert when withdrawing money abroad

Do not worry at such indications on foreign ATMs: The Comdirect does not charge you the withdrawal fee and the foreign fee of the issuing ATM will be refunded on your request!

Comdirect refunds foreign fees of cash withdrawals

2. Paying with the credit card

Payments using the credit card are divided into:

  • Payments without foreign transaction fee

    Whenever you pay in Euros – i.e. in Germany and in other countries of the Euro area – no additional fees will apply to the payment.

  • Payments with foreign transaction fee

    If you pay in another currency, then you will be charged a fee for the payment in the foreign currency. This is currently 1.75 percent of the transaction at the Comdirect.

    With this percentage, the Comdirect is one of the cheap providers. Of course, there are few providers that waive on this additional fee: credit cards without foreign transaction fee), but it is usually from 1.75 to 3.50 per cent.

Tip: How to save the foreign transaction fee

Withdraw enough cash at the ATM and pay all possible expenses in cash. In many stores, you will be even more welcome with this strategy, because the store will therefore not have to pay the fee for the credit card payment to the payment service provider!

Important to know: When withdrawing cash in a foreign currency, the Comdirect does not charge the foreign transaction fee! It is part of the advertising promise of the bank that you can withdraw cash abroad completely free of charge!

Lifted cash with comdirect credit card

I withdrew US-Dollar 60 for our test at the Bank of Hawaii. Usually, I withdraw more money at once in order to do not strain the “refund-friendlyness” of the Comdirect too much. Thanks for the great conditions. 🙂

Quite some banks charge this additional fee also for cash withdrawals.

… and you already know: the foreign fees that incur on a regular basis in the USA and in Thailand will be refunded on your request.

3. Settlement of the credit card transactions

Here, we distinct between a

  • “true“ credit card with credit line

    This is the classic: When applying for a credit card, then a bank account will be opened automatically. This acts as a settlement account for the credit card. All transactions of the credit card are collected until the first banking day of the month and then automatically settled with the current account (until the 2nd of November 2015, there was a weekly settlement).

    This is a fairly short “credit time”, but it is 100 % free of interest. There could only apply loan interest, if the settlement with the current account takes place and this is in the overdraft.

    You can specify the desired credit limit already during the application and it shall be granted entirely or partly, depending on the creditworthiness rating of the bank. The credit line can be increased over time, especially if you transfer your salary payments to the current account (up to three times the salary amount).

    Here we have an example of the establishment of the credit line even at a low income statement: Immediate credit line.

    As the Comdirect is a full bank and one can also make cash deposits and invest in securities, there are different ways to get an appropriate credit line as a customer.

    If your credit line should be too low at first – for example, if you have decided until shortly before your journey to apply for a credit card at the Comdirect, and the bank still does not know you good enough to set a credit limit of Euros 10,000 or more – then you can increase the credit limit by transferring money from your current account to your credit card. This is done very simply in online banking.

    You can “top up” a maximum of Euros 5,000 to the credit card account.

  • Prepaid credit card

    For applicants with an average creditworthiness rating or if the creditworthiness cannot be assessed due to little available data, then Comdirect offers to initially issue the credit card as the prepaid version.

    This is a great advantage of Comdirect, because other banks do not have this ability and therefore reject the credit card issuance and the account opening completely.

    If you apply for the Comdirect credit card and are first offered the prepaid version, then you should be grateful please. This is an invitation for you to improve your creditworthiness with this credit card, until it can be exchanged for a true one with credit line (and overdraft facility).

    The prepaid credit card of Comdirect can also be topped up with up to Euros 5,000 by transferring money from the current account.

    Moreover, it has all the other advantageous conditions of the “true” credit card, such as free cash withdrawals abroad and, if applicable, the refund of foreign fees. Where else can you find these conditions for prepaid credit cards?

Example of a customer account at the Comdirect with credit card

Credit card online banking comdirect bank

The credit card here has a credit limit of Euros 2,000. Additionally, it was topped up with Euros 467.99, therefore there is a credit limit of Euros 2,467.99.

4. Telephone and online banking

You always have the opportunity to log into your account at the Comdirect bank via telephone or computer (also smartphone app) and see the credit card transactions there.

You can transfer money via an internal transfer from the current account to the credit card or vice versa.

Thanks to the automatic billing, however, there is no necessity to do so. Once your account and credit card is created, you can keep these for years. With the automatic billing, everything happens automatically. You do not have to pay attention to payment deadlines in order to avoid expensive default interest. This does not exist at the Comdirect.

Additionally, telephone contact is available for you around the clock. Also on Sundays and holidays. The Comdirect bank is there for you always calling the phone number +49-4106 -7082500.

I have tested it on Christmas Eve – a great conversation completely without queue!

Available for you 24 hours every day!

5. Help in emergencies

Fortunately, it rarely happens that one loses the credit card or it even gets stolen. The first thing you have to do is to block the credit card to prevent (further) damage. You can do this anytime calling the telephone customer service: + 49-4106-7082500.

But what then? Many providers supply you with a replacement credit card, which is sent to your home address. This also exists at the Comdirect bank and does not even cost you a penny, however, it will help you only little, if you are staying two further months abroad.

Moreover, there is the possibility to get the replacement credit card sent to a desired destination (e.g. resort, abroad workplace). For this purpose, an express courier is hired. Nevertheless, the delivery may take between 5 to 7 days, depending on the distance to the desired destination.

Comdirect Visa Card

Replacement credit card = true credit card (no limited functions!)

The replacement credit card is a “true” credit card with chip, which is valid for several years.

There are providers, who offer an emergency card, which can indeed be delivered within 48 hours, but is only valid temporarily (valid for a maximum of 6 months). Therefore, you won´t jump for joy with this emergency card, because it does not have a chip and thus no free withdrawals at ATMs are possible, but withdrawals at the bank counter paying high fees.

However, if you should need a solution within 48 hours, you can take advantage of the Notfallgeld-Service (emergency cash service) of the Comdirect. This works in way that you get paid cash through another bank abroad.

The only limitation at the emergency cash is the amount of your account balance. Depending on the status and needs, you can also get paid Euros 50,000 – as far as the paying bank accepts to make the payment.

The express courier as well as the organization of the emergency cash cost time and money and therefore, these services are priced. You can find the current fees in the price list of the bank. However, the issue of the replacement card and the shipment to the place of residence – duration 7-10 days – are free of charge!

6. Desired PIN

I do not know how about you, but I cannot stand PINs that are generated randomly. Most often, these are numbers that I do not like. The more I appreciate the possibility to choose a desired PIN freely.

The Comdirect offers this possibility too.

Summary in bullet points:

The Visa credit card of the Comdirect is

  • a free credit card
  • with which one can withdraw cash free of charge
  • and get even refunded the foreign fees.
  • There are no minimum requirements (except being 7 years or older and having a medium to good creditworthiness as usual for credit cards – if needed, a prepaid version is available)
  • online banking and telephone customer service around the clock.
  • order with residence abroad is possible,
  • application and legitimating online and through video chat.

“Yes, I want to have this credit card”

There are even more credit card features, as you can see in this Comdirect video:

Here you can order your account + credit card ►
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and experience further clever ideas ✔

Frequently read pages about the Comdirect Bank

Own experiences

Since several years now, I take the credit card of the Comdirect with me on my journeys abroad (from Australia to Ukraine, from the USA to Hungary). So far, I had positive to very positive experiences. The thing I like most is the telephone customer service. Many other banks can learn a lot from it!

Manhattan, Interview

The author at a video production about the usage of German credit cards in the USA in front of the skyline of Manhattan and its Freedom Tower.

PS: Who wants to apply for the Comdirect credit card from abroad, please take a look at the possibilities on this page: open a current account with credit card.

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Who writes here?

Someone who gained experience with more than 100 banks in more than 20 countries during the past 15 years. My name is Gregor and if you click to continue you can find out why I am here and what this site is for ⇒ continue.

3 Responses to “Comdirect credit card and its use abroad”

  1. Gregor says:

    As the article became much longer as originally intended – there is really a lot more to write about good credit cards than about others – I have produced a video summary for you:

  2. Luis says:

    First I really want to thank you guys for this website, it had been extremely helpful to me!
    I have a quick question, now that the creditstand settles every month (not weekly) how can I increased the available credit line in my Visa card.
    In short, my question is: how do I settle my card before the end of the month so I don’t deplete my credit line?
    Can I transfer funds from my girokonto to the credit card? How do I do this?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Redaktion says:

      You can internally transfer money from your giro account to the credit card account. You can transfer EUR 5000 max. to the credit card account like that.

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