I get to hear from more and more people that they have to pay account management fees since recently (Kontoführungsgebühren) or that the previous charges have been increased.
Just yesterday, my neighbour asked, who is customer of the HypoVereinsbank, where to switch to (he is now charges Euros 7 instead of 0 per month).
This gives hope!
As the question is not whether one should switch or not, but where to!
And this exact question is correct, because the banks that provide our top 3 current accounts do not plan to introduce account management fees, not even in the coming years.
If you are new to our special portal, then you might also want to read the article “The 3 best current accounts in Germany“ first. There, you will also find out, which bank I use for what purpose. All three are excellent recommendations.
Find out what account suits you best!
No hope for customers of savings banks?!
When researching for this article, I came across a quote by the top representative of the savings bank Georg Fahrenschon in the newspaper “Zeit”, who said, “The time of offerings of free account management is gone, in my point of view”.
In fact, it is also the savings banks, which can afford an increase of account management fees most likely. Finally, they have lost millions of customers in the past 15 years.
The people, who are still savings banks customers, are mainly:
- trainees or students (subsidized customers)
- people, who do not trust in online banking (from their point of view, they cannot switch to a direct bank)
- unemployed, low-income earners (due to the creditworthiness check at direct banks, they have little chance to get a free current account with a credit card)
- savings banks employees and their family members (again subsidized customers).
And then there are people, who deal only little with finances …
However, the current increases of the account management fees are likely to provide a good reason to change that! After all, the consumer (protection) magazines are now full of reports on this subject.
Finanztest, Wiso and the like recommend: Switch account!
These magazines generally recommend to switch the bank, because most banks reject the negotiation of the account management fee. This is understandable, after all, also savings banks, Volksbanken and other banks with branch office presence work more and more efficiently behind the scenes and cannot afford to set up a personal price list for each customer. 😉
However, it does not always have to be a switch to a direct bank. Often, the Sparda banks were mentioned as an alternative to a free current account with an at least sparse branch network.
However, I cannot tell a lot about this banking group, because we at DeutschesKonto.ORG have focused – in our view – on the best direct banks in Germany.
Masterplan against account management fees
Open a new current account at one of Germany’s best direct banks (► Selection)
This gives you immediate confidence when dealing with your previous bank, because you have an alternative. Try the new account. Test the cards, online banking and customer service.
Try the account and learn how to use the online account
If you like the new account, then start to shift the standing orders and direct debits.
Cancel your old and paid current account
When all transactions are shifted to the new account and a waiting period of three months for possibly forgotten changeovers expired, you can cancel your old account and save future payments of account management fees for the future.
Comdirect Bank, because he can possibly use the ATMs and/or the counters of the Commerzbank.
With the switch, he now saves Euros 84 per year in account management fees (Euros 7 × 12). Savings bank customers often save a lot more, because they are additionally charged a credit card.
Other customers partially pay Euros 125 bank fees year after year!
If one adds the savings potential through the free cash withdrawals abroad, one can easily sum up savings of about Euros 125 each year.
Online savings bank (Sparkasse) newly discovered!
By the way, an exception to the fee increase is the online savings bank 1822direkt. It waives on the account management fee of Euros 3.90 per month, even if only one incoming transfer per month takes place. This is super-easy to implement through a standing order.
As this year “disasters” threaten us bank customers not only by account management fees, but also by the “direct customer fee” for cash withdrawals at third party ATMs as part of the cash-bashing, we have developed a solution idea that you can read here: Online savings bank as an option for free cash withdrawals within Germany!
Which experiences have you made with the account switch?
From the numerous contacts with our frequent readers I know that most of them are at the DKB. After this bank, the following are popular: Comdirect, ING-DiBa and the Consorsbank. Many of these readers have no experience with account management fees (unless, they still have an old account somewhere).
If you are among our new readers, I would be very happy, if you could add your experiences with account management fees to this article and also post to which bank you have switched using the comments feature.
I am particularly interest in the “why”, as this would certainly be a good suggestion or decision aid for other readers.
Articles, which helped our readers a lot:
- DKB account opening solely through the Internet (WebID)
- How to increase the credit line of the Barclaycard to Euros 9,500
- TransferWise in a Test: Transfer to the abroad for only Euro 1