How to set the credit card calculator to your personal requirements:
1. Annual transactions within the Euro-zone
Some credit cards do not charge the annual fee (Jahresgebühr), if one reaches sufficiently high annual transactions. For instance, the Barclaycard Gold is free from annual card transactions (Kartenumsatz) of Euros 3,000.
For the calculation of the fee exemption, also credit card transactions in foreign currency are integrated.
2. Annual transactions outside the Euro-zone
Not all, but at most credit card companies, one pays an additional charge for the use abroad (Auslandseinsatzentgelt), when using the card in a currency other than Euro. This charge is calculated as a percentage. Depending on the provider, the charge is between 1 to 2 percent of the credit card transaction.
The comparison tool calculates the applicable fees from the input of the total amount of your estimated payments in foreign currency (Fremdwährung).
For people, who frequently make payments or make larger payments with the credit card in other currencies, this is an important input field. Everyone else can let this option of the calculation slide.
3. Only show certain credit cards
Credit Card Company
In Germany, the Visa credit card and MasterCard are mostly accepted. In daily use, it makes no significant difference which brand you use, as the contact and service works through the issuing bank or credit card company.
American Express Deutschland is not comparable with American Express USA. The cards are much less accepted and are most often more expensive, although there is hardly a better service performance. However, people who are thinking of immigrating to the USA, should definitely consider a credit card at AMEX, as Kai Blum reports in his article ‚Credit History‘.
View / Status
The selection permits opting for Gold and Platinum cards, only Platinum cards or the display of all cards.
In Germany, the status of the “credit card colour” is not as respected as for example in the USA, because one does not have to earn the supposedly better colours. It is enough to pay the higher fee.
In order for credit card buyers to opt for a Gold or Platinum card, credit card companies almost always include an insurance package (Versicherungspaket) to justify the higher fee and they also include a supposedly better service performance. Whether this is always worth the higher annual fee, everyone should decide for oneself.
A short explanation of the different payment methods in Germany:
Immediate debit entry from the account
This applies to all Visa credit cards and MasterCards that are connected as a Debit Card to a current account. The term “credit card” is actually incorrect, but it is used colloquially.
In the credit card comparison, all credit cards are listed below that offer the transactions free of interest until the credit card statement – which takes place every month.
However, please pay attention: Some providers clear the credit card balance automatically and fully with the current account, so no credit card interest is charged (e.g. DKB). Others start the phase of interest rates, if not set up different by the customer, when the credit card balance is not fully settled (e.g. Barclaycard).
Partial payment feature
The partial payment feature is very handy, when one is short of cash. It is enough to deposit a minimum amount to the credit card account after the monthly billing or to debit the money from the current account for the credit card company to see that the customer uses his/her credit card debt. However, the recently deposited money can be used immediately through the credit card.
The interest on credit card debt is much higher than on special overdraft credit lines, as we have presented here. The banks and credit card companies earn very well from people who use the credit card loan.
To be fair, we would like to add that it is easier to get a loan on the credit card than a low-interest overdraft credit. This is especially true, if the creditworthiness is currently not very good.
- Previous Charging (Prepaid)
The spread and popularity of prepaid credit cards – again a contradiction in colloquial German – has greatly increased in the past years. These cards offer interesting advantages, such as:
- Safety: It never applies that more money gets lost than the deposited amount (keyword: theft or data theft (Datendiebstahl) and card fraud (Kartenmissbrauch))
- No credit check and no entry in the Schufa (credit investigation company): Since one can only spend the money that was deposited in advance, all the effort regarding credit check (Bonitätsprüfung) is eliminated.
- No debt trap: If the card has no funds, one can not use it to pay. This is a good protection for people, who are vulnerable to overdraw credit cards and accounts. When you (still) have a good creditworthiness rating, there are credit card companies that continuously increase the credit limit, if you use it as a customer and always pay the minimum rate on time. This does not work with prepaid cards.
Starting the credit card comparison
Once you have completed the settings in the fields 1 to 3 (you can also use the default settings), you click on “Kreditkarten vergleichen” (compare credit cards). Now, you are shown the updated results.
Explanations to the results page
Fees per annum (Gebühren p.a.)
In the first row of the column “Gebühren” (fees), you can see the annual fee of the credit card. If there is stated “0,00 €”, the credit card is free.
In the column “Extras”, different icons depending on the credit card offer are shown. Pass your mouse over the icons to see the details about the offered extras. The detailed description of the extras is found on the website of the provider. To get there, simply click on “Zum Anbieter” (go to provider) in the right column.
Extras could be:
- Bonus systems
Total costs (Gesamtkosten)
In this column, the estimated handling fee (field 2) is added to the annual fees.
An interest rate calculation can not be performed with this credit card comparison. Most German people use the credit line so that they do not have to pay the relatively expensive lending rates.
Applying for the credit card
To obtain your chosen credit card, please use the link “Zum Anbieter” (go to provider) in the right column of the result. This way, you can directly see the offer and order page of the chosen bank or credit card company.
Use the comments feature to ask your questions to our editorial staff.