When to use which card optimally:

DKB: Giro-card or Credit Card?

“Withdrawing cash is not always free of charge”, was the complaint of a young mother on our web portal some time ago. She had recently switched to the DKB and continued to use the account just as she had used her old one. Just without paying monthly account management fees.

Unfortunately, the video is only available in German (it is congruent with the text here, so the images in the video will be useful for your comprehension!). It is a preliminary release of a lesson from the DKB-video course that normally is only available for our registered readers.

What happened?

As usual, she had made all payments with her Giro-card – as well as the cash withdrawals. So …

  1. she could not collect any DKB Club Points
  2. she did not take advantage of the interest-free period on the credit card account
  3. third-party fees incurred for withdrawing cash.

I guess, it would not have happened to you, if you would have read the Post of the DKB (or our special portal) carefully. In order for you to obtain the best of the DKB account, I decided to introduce the cards in detail to you:

At account opening, you automatically obtain two cards from the bank by post:

You use the DKB Girocard …


  • as an acceptance Joker, where no credit card payments are accepted, for example in discount stores like the penny market,
  • as a chip, if you have chosen the Chip-TAN-procedure to confirm orders in online banking,
  • to deposit cash at the own DKB cash-deposit machines.

… if you do not use it for the mentioned purposes, simply keep the card safe at home. I personally do not carry it in my wallet.

For everything else, please use the DKB Visa Credit Card:

DKB Visa Card

  • cash withdrawals within Germany and abroad,
  • all online and offline-purchases,
  • to collect points,
  • as a savings account (see lesson: Visa Sparen (Visa savings))
  • Details on the optimal card use

    After stating when to use the card, you now find out why it is so useful:

    1. Cash Withdrawals

    When withdrawing with the Giro-card, there are third-party fees of the ATM-operator in Germany. Moreover, it is really expensive abroad. Only withdrawing from the own DKB ATMs is free of charge.

    This, of course, has a background: The bank wants that the customer uses the Visa credit card, because it wants to earn from the interchange fees – these are the fees that must be paid by the payee (eg. the retailer) for the card payment.

    Therefore, the DKB has equipped the Visa credit card with a few nice extras. We will look at it briefly.

    Note: Withdrawing cash ⇒ credit card

    Withdrawing money with Visa credit card is worldwide always free of charge. You will even get refunded foreign fees, if any incurred (see lesson: Refund of foreign ATM fees).

    2. Cashless payments

    Payments with the Giro-card will be debited immediately from your current account. The Giro-card is a classic debit card.

    In contrast, all payments made with the Visa credit card are collected on the credit card account, in order to be charged once per month on the current account. During this period, no interest has to be paid. You virtually get an interest-and-cost-free loan at the DKB for up to 30 days.

    Note: Payments ⇒ credit card

    3. Collect points

    You automatically collect points when using the Visa credit card.

    1 Euro card payment = 1 point

    The points will be credited monthly. You can have an insight in online banking in the right navigation bar under the tab “DKB Club”. The points can be redeemed for rewards, however, that would be the subject of another post.

    4. Savings account

    In addition, it is possible to use the credit card as a savings account. You can do this by transferring money from the current account to the Visa credit card. The interest rates on the credit card are much higher than on the current account. In addition, the interest is credited monthly.

    Note: Saving money ⇒ credit card

    As it does not really make sense to let the credit card balance go interest-free into the red and on the other side, transfer the money to earn interest, it is advisable to apply for a second Visa credit card for free, if you want to. How this exactly works, you will learn in the individual tutorials “Visa Sparen (Visa savings)” and “Second Credit Card”.

    Summary & Rule of thumb

    DKB-customers get a Giro-card and a credit card. If you do not need the Giro-card for the chip-TAN procedure, you can keep this card safe at home.

    Make all possible payments with the DKB credit card. Card payments are interest-free for up to 30 days, and you automatically earn points that you can redeem for rewards.

    If a store should not accept credit cards, simply withdraw cash at the nearest ATM. Cash withdrawals are always free of charge with the Visa credit card!

    Any questions?

    Do you have questions about the best use of the DKB-cards? Please post them using the comments feature. If I can, I will be glad to help you.

    More DKB topics:

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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.

    One Response to “DKB: Giro-card or Credit Card?”

    1. Redaktion says:

      This article is a section of the DKB-video course, which has more than 20 parts and is available in German language: Subscribe to the course now!

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