Idea for owners of property in Germany who are overseas

DKB: withdraw rent for free while abroad

From time to time when traveling, I meet people who would benefit from a good, German bank account (for example, one at the DKB). This is the first of a small series of articles on this topic.

DKB Visa Card and 500 Dollar cash from ATM

The solution is the DKB Visa Card and free ATM access!

I met an elderly man in California, we’ll call him Rod. In 1962, Rod emigrated from Germany and has now acquired American citizenship. A few years ago, he inherited his parent’s house located in a city in Southern Germany.

This house has been occupied by another family for many years now which generates rent income. An account was set up at the “Postbank” for this purpose. Each month, the rent is paid to this account.

However, because of the expensive transfer fees, Rod always waits a while as the income from rent accumulates. He only transfers money to his American account once or twice a year. After all, he has to pay the Postbank international transfer fees, as well as incoming payment fees to the American bank. Plus, his American bank sadly doesn’t exchange the money at the best rates.

When I told him that I know of a bank that would provide him with all of that for free and that he could withdraw the rent any time he wanted to at an ATM in California, Rod’s ears really perked up. Being retired doesn’t exactly leave much room to hand out fees!

Money with DKB Visa Card transfer for free into USA

This is how the plan looks in detail:

Rod applies for a DKB Cash account online. He visits Germany every or every other year, but wouldn’t have to in order to open the account. Soon after applying online, he receives an e-mail that explains different ways that he can prove his application as legitimate, or, in other words, prove his identity.

DKB way to apply for account

Another alternative would be to identify oneself at any time using the postal identification method in Germany, at the Airport, for example.

He chooses to confirm his identity through his local bank since he has a trusted relationship with them. That doesn’t cost him a thing. The DKB would even be willing to pay for the expenses of an identity confirmation through a lawyer or notary.

Phone call from the DKB

Even before Rod receives a written confirmation of his account being opened, he gets a friendly phone call from the DKB. Rod is happy to have the opportunity to speak German. The conversation only lasts a few minutes and the employee from the DKB assures him that his DKB Visa card will be sent to him in the mail within a few days. And it really doesn’t cost anything!

Free international shipping

Sure enough, Rod receives the following separately in the mail a few days later: a welcome letter with his account number, access to his online banking account, and the DKB Visa card.

He gives his new account number to the people renting his house. As of now, the rent goes directly to his DKB checking account.

Now he goes to the ATM with his DKB Visa card twice a month and withdraws 500 dollars. Rod is happy.

Summary: What did Rod pay for?

DKB checking account 0 €
DKB Visa card 0 €
incoming and outgoing payments 0 €
fees for using an ATM 0 €
fees for currency exchange EUR/USD 0 %

The ATM at his local bank merely charges 3 USD per withdrawal, which is common in the US. The DKB would even refund those fees, as described here. But Rod says “live and let live” and hasn’t used the advantages of this offer thus far.

He is pleased that the DKB provides him with such an elegant way to transfer his rent income from Germany to the U.S. free of charge.

The idea of withdrawing the rent using the DKB Visa card at ATMs is ideal!

Idea of optimization

To increase his interest income (there are better interest rates on the Visa account), Rod could make sure the rent is automatically transferred to his Visa card at the end of the month, or after it arrives on his account.

If he doesn’t, the Visa card would go in the red at zero interest, and the amount would be charged from his checkings account once a month. The account balance is settled through the DKB, this way there are no interest costs on the Visa card.

Bildmaterial: Kopffigur Pekchar,

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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.

22 Responses to “DKB: withdraw rent for free while abroad”

  1. Harsh Ghesani says:


    I want to know how much does dkb charge as transfer fees to transfer money from dkb to an account abroad like in US or India ? Is it less than other banks ?

    Please let me know.



    • Tanja says:

      At DKB, foreign transfers to the U.S. or India cost 0.1 % of the transferred amount, but at least 12.50 EUR. It’s possible that the receiving bank or an intermediate bank charges additional fees.

      The basic fee at Comdirect, which is the second top bank here, is only 7.67 EUR. That’s very good. But DKB’s 12.50 EUR are still fair compared to other German banks.

      Withdrawing money from a foreign ATM is completely free, as the article describes. You cannot withdraw more than 10,000 EUR cash per month, though.

      • Harsh Ghesani says:

        Hi Tanja,

        I filled the two page form online for opening a bank account. When I downloaded it, it was a 91 page document. Do I need to mail entire 91 page document or just the first page.

        Please let me know.


        • Tanja says:

          If I was in DKB’s management board, I’d reduce the 91 pages to one or two. Who is going to read a book about the contractual terms of a bank account?

          Fortunately you don’t have to print a single page of these. All data has been electronically transmitted to the bank. Your application for opening the account will be checked now. Afterwards you will get an e-mail:

          Good luck!

          • Harsh Ghesani says:

            Hi Tanja,

            I already applied and opted for the PostIdent procedure. Is there any way to find out the status of my application ?


            • Tanja says:

              DKB will contact you by e-mail or, if they have a particular question, by phone. This can take few hours or days.
              There’s no procedure for customers to check the status of the processing of applications.

  2. Kris says:

    I would like to open an DKB account from USA. Can you please tell me how can I transfer money from US account to DKB account and what are the fees?
    Thank you.

  3. Aileen says:


    Is it possible for foreign bank accounts (non-SEPA) to transfer money to DKB? I heard it’s not possible for some banks (like Number26). I made Number26 account because it looked really modern, but it’s basically useless because the money I receive have to be wire transferred from the US and Korea, and apparently N26 is for only SEPA accounts.


    • Susanne says:

      We can’t really assess foreign banks like that ;-), but the DKB can receive international payments in Euro as well as in other currencies. Other currencies are converted in Euro upon receipt.

      A transfer from Number26 to a DKB account works fine within 0-1 days and is always free of charge.

      • Andrea says:

        I would like to open a DKB account and I would like to know if my company which is based in I███ where I work can send an international bank transfer of my salary in USD to the DKB account.


        • Gregor says:

          DKB does not open any accounts resident in that country. It is different, if you live in Germany first and move then, then you can keep the account. That’s why we recom-mend getting the right bank accounts before emigrating or before starting an expat time.

  4. Hesam says:

    Is it possible to internationally wire transfer by swift code in DKB online banking?

  5. mbr says:

    hello! i have a dkb account and id like to know how long does it take to arrive to a spanish account?

    • Editorial Team says:

      Hello! If you are referring to the duration of a money transfer to a Spanish account, that might be done from one day to the other or even less.

  6. Gabriel Kwame says:

    How long does it take to transfer money from a DKB account to a bank in The United States Of America, precisely Bank Of America?

    • Editorial Team says:

      From our experience it should take about 2-3 days. For our own transfers in such cases we have been using TransferWise for years. Here, it’s – most of the time – one day quicker.

  7. frm says:

    Hi, are SEPA transfers free in DKB? (like from my German DKB account to my ING Spanish one). Cheers!

  8. Carla Labat de Hoz says:

    Hello! I have just opened a DKB account in order to receive a scholarship from the DAAD in Germany. I will be using the VISA card also in Japan, while I study abroad. If it is not too much of a problem, I have several questions regarding the account.

    -How can I transfer money from the DKB account to other bank accounts? The account is all in German and I am worried about how to make the payments for my dorm through the website.

    -How much does each transfer cost normally?

    Thanks for all the help in advance 🙂

    • Gregor says:

      Congratulations re. the account opening. Transfers within the SEPA area (Germany + other Euro countries) are completely free of charge … and since you have DAAD scholarship, your German will improve day by day anyway. Banking in Germany is usually done in German. Wishing you many great experiences!

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