Experiences and tips

ING-DiBa for the use abroad

The ING-DiBa is Germany’s biggest direct bank and this has an important reason: It is the optimal bank within Germany for a whole lot of people regarding price, performance, product scope and service.

How does it look like with the use abroad?

  • First of all, I show you the conditions for the use abroad and
  • depict my own experiences, especially of my latest USA-journey.
  • At the end, you get a recommendation of combination for a really optimal use abroad!

Direct link to the offer of the ING-DiBa ► www.ing-diba.de/girokonto/.

Which DiBa-card should be used in which country?

We created an overview for you; detailled explanation below the table:

The ING-DiBa makes two free cards available for its customers. ING DiBa Visa Card
ING-DiBa Visa Card
ING-DiBa Girocard
ING-DiBa Girocard
Countries with Euro as its currency
for example France, Italy, Spain
free card payment and free cash withdrawal free card payment
Euros 5 per cash withdrawal
Countries with RON and SEK as its currency
these are Sweden and Romania
1.75 % foreign transaction fee for card payments and cash withdrawals free card payment
Euros 5 per cash withdrawal
Countries with all other currencies
for example Poland, USA, Canada, Thailand
1.75 % foreign transaction fee for card payments and cash withdrawals 1.75 % foreign transaction fee, but at least Euro 1
Euros 5 per cash withdrawal
Overdraft facility
(card limit)
Euros 4,000 per week for card payments
Euros 1,000 per day for cash withdrawals
Please note that it can be that ATMs charge additional fees for withdrawing cash depending on the country (so-called direct customer fee / ATM Fee). The ING-DiBa has no influence on that.

The ING-DiBa is completely free of charge (only) within the Euro-area!

Details on the conditions

The ING-DiBa offers a completely and unconditionally free current account for people with their place of residence in Germany. This is an advantage in contrast to most other banks!

Just as advantageous is that it makes a card available, which is the ING-DiBa Visa Card, with which you can withdraw cash without withdrawals fees around the globe. Herein, fees apply at most banks and savings banks that are partially horrendous.

ING-DiBa – great card in the Euro-land

However, truly free of charge is the cash withdrawal only within the Euro-area. For withdrawals – just like with card payments – in a foreign curreny, the ING-DiBa adds a 1.75 per cent foreign transaction fee. This is common in this industry, but not ideal for smart bank customers.

Whoever uses the current account of the ING-DiBa mainly in Germany and makes a journey abroad only once a year, does not have to think a lot about it. Cost and saving regarding the foreign transaction fee are in perspective. Nevertheless, I will present a thrilling supplent to the DiBa-account in the last part!

Interesting for trips to Sweden and Romania

Who travels frequently or for a long time to Sweden and Romania, could perhaps open an account at the ING-DiBa just out of this reason. For card transactions in Swedish Krona or Romanian Leu, no foreign transaction fee applies (Girocard!).

Perhaps interesting for a semester abroad / study abroad?

Overdraft facility, card limit

Being a DiBa-customer, one can withdraw Euros 1,000 per day and card at the ATM.

These are Euros 7,000 per week and due to the fact that one gets the Girocard as well as the Visa Card for free automatically after the account opening, one can withdraw cash up to a maximum of Euros 14,000 per week from the ATM. This is proportionally a lot!

… or Euros 60,000 per month!

Tip: If the ATM – just like in my case in Canada – gives you Dollar 1,000 per withdrawal, then you can withdraw CAD 1,000 once and immediately after another CAD 460 (according to the current exchange rate). Multiple withdrawals on the same day are possible!

ING-DiBa im Auslandseinsatz

With both cards together, you can withdraw up to a maximum of Euros 2,000 (or the countervalue in the foreign currency) per day. This is a whole lot of money!

Card payments

However, limited is the cash-free transaction with the cards to up to Euros 4,000 per week!

Do you need more?

On the Visa Card, you can increase the limit temporarily, for example for a flight booking or payment of a hotel bill.

The increase of the limit can take place by phone and is valid up to one week. Afterwards, the limit decreases again to the Euros 4,000 as a standard.

What you can learn from my personal experiences abroad with the ING-DiBa

Who reads this blog since some time, knows that the ING-DiBa is my emergency account in Germany. This is why I usually do not take the Visa Card and the Girocard with me on my trips abroad.

In order to test the use abroad for this article, my cards accompanied me this year on several occasions, but where rarely used due to the foreign transaction fee and no up-to-30-days-interest-free-use-of-the-credit.

Chronology of non-functioning uses abroad

  • Payment of urgently-needed medicine at the car-counter at Walgreens (US drug store chain) in the amount of USD 1,109.97 in March 2017.

    To safe the honour of the ING-DiBa, I must add that neither the Comdirect Visa Card and not even my US bank card worked at the car-counter and for the desired amount.

  • Payment of a service in the amount of USD 45 in Novembre 2017.

    Neither did the ING-DiBa Girocard work at this terminal; the payment was then performed with my DKB credit card.

  • Purchase of a postcard in the amount of USD 0.22.

    A little nervous about what could have happened to my account, I went to the next Publix-supermarked and tried to purchase postcards of USD 0.22. The payment with the Girocard worked fine (which cost me Euros 1.19 – more on that in a minute), however, the payment with the Visa Card was still denied.

Revelation of the rejected payments

Through Skype (in order to avoid expensive telephone costs from abroad), I called the hotline of the ING-DiBa to find out what could have happened.

Unfortunately, I did not receive any information and with this no help at all by the bank, because I did not take the telephone-PIN with me on my journey. Apparently, there are no alternative possibilities to legitimate, if one faced trouble abroad.

No information / help without telephone-PIN

That I should prefer to withdraw higher amounts with the Girocard – which is fortunately issued by Maestro at the ING-DiBa and works most often in the USA, in contrast to the V Pay Cards –, to save withdrawal fees, the telephone banker could give me this tip as a little help.

When I was back in Germany and had my telephone-PIN again, I could find out what went wrong at my card uses abroad:

  • The PIN of the Visa Card was entered incorrectly too many times and out of that reason, the card was blocked (and could be activated again during the same telephone conversation)
  • At the USD 45 payment, there was a rare problem with the data connection.
  • The payment attempt of March was too long ago to make statements.

Do not pay low amounts abroad with the Maestro-Card!

The purchase of the postcards was, of course, chosen intentionally to demonstrate that the Maestro-Card (Girocard) should not be used for paying low amounts in the foreign currency abroad. The foreign transaction fee is 1.75 per cent, but at least Euro 1.

On a percentage basis, the 1.75 per cent of the Euros 0.19 are less than one cent foreign transaction fee (0.3325 cent). But the minimum fee of one Euro was charged, as you can see here:

ING-DiBa Auslandseinsatz – Umsätze

Screenshot of the online banking of the ING-DiBa.

As a comparison, I have bought another postcard with the DKB Visa Card with only seconds of time difference (even if the booking days make you suspect different):

DKB-Abrechnung vom Auslandsumsatz

Screenshot of the DKB online banking

Tips on the abroad usage of the ING-DiBa

  1. Wonderful bank

    The ING-DiBa is one of the best banks in Germany and above all, very advantageous and free for the use within the Euro-area.

    Supplementing products, as the presented credit line by us, could get you a credit line of Euros 30,000 or more to the current account completely without a salary transfer.

  2. Two cards on one account

    Some of our readers love that the Girocard and credit card directly debit the transactions from the current account. They think that it is comprehensive and always know how much money still is at their disposal (no surprise when the credit card settlement is sent once a month). Moreover, one can build a credit line for the cards by setting up an overdraft facility.

  3. Take the telephone-PIN with you

    If you use the ING-DiBa as your main current account, then you may learned the telephone-PIN by heart. That would be practical. If not, then absolutely take it with you to the abroad (store it separately from the Girocard). The bank cannot help you, if you cannot legitimate yourself via your telephone-PIN.

  4. No registration of journey necessary

    It is comfortable that you do not have to report your trip abroad or card use abroad at the ING-DiBa. This is the case with quite some banks and credit card companies.

Good result!

Besides the top current account in Germany, the ING-DiBa is a good partner also on journeys abroad.

But it can be even better, as you can see in the next part of the article, and you may possibly think of taking a secondary account for longer uses abroad.

Use abroad: ING-DiBa and DKB in a comparison!

ING DiBa Visa Card
ING-DiBa Visa Card
DKB Visa Card – Das kann Bank
DKB Visa Card
Countries with Euro as their currency
for example France, Italy, Spain
free card payment and free cash withdrawal
Countries with other currencies
for example Poland, USA, Canada, Thailand
1.75 % foreign transaction fee for card payments and cash withdrawals free card payments and free cash withdrawals
Overdraft facility
Card payments
Euros 4,000 per week individual (complete balance + credit line)
Overdraft facility
Cash withdrawals
Euros 1,000 per day
Emergency card
Delivery within 48 hours
Emergency cash
Immediate-retrieval at Western-Union
If you do not have both cards yet, then you can change this using the following links (both accounts and cards are free of charge!):
Account and card order: www.ing-diba.de/girokonto/ www.dkb.de/dkb_cash/

Which card do you take with you to the abroad?

Dear smart bank customers,

I am looking forward to your supplements, experiences and tips through the comments feature.

Many thanks!
Gregor of DeutschesKonto.ORG

Video to the article for our YouTube-people (english subtitle):

Further information directly at the respective bank ► ING-DiDa.de or ► DKB.de.
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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.

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