How to open a bank account in Germany (via Internet)
You have decided on opening a bank account in Germany via the Internet?
Great, I will help you to do this.
I have developed this instruction page for you. Follow the steps and soon you can take advantage of a German bank account and the corresponding credit cards. The steps are for DKB and Comdirect account openings. Wherever differences apply, I will describe them in detail.
1. Choosing the Bank
In Germany, there are two very good banks at which a bank account opening is possible from a variety of countries without having to visit Germany. These banks are DKB and Comdirect.
I use both banks myself and can assure you that both are excellent. The differences are determined by the details. Therefore, I have worked out a comparison for you: Should you choose Comdirect or DKB? (german article)
2. Filling out the online application
The application for a bank account opening at the DKB is filled out and sent online (www.dkb.de). Once it is processed, the bank informs you about the possibilities for identification in your country. This is done by e-mail and/or telephone.
Nowadays, Comdirect only accepts customers of which it can query their credit ratings through the German SCHUFA organization. This limits a lot of people, because for this you have already had to „appear” in Germany as a consumer. So for example, if one made a mobile phone contract or a hire purchase.
This could change in the future as there are efforts to make credit ratings able to query in the whole EU-area. Moreover, the implementation of SEPA abrogated largely the national borders of banking in the Euro area.
People from all countries (except Iran and North Korea – they have EU-sanctions) can currently become customers at the DKB.
3. Proving the Identity
By law, German banks are required to know the identity of the bank account holder and beneficial owner – so the person to whom the money in the bank account belongs. DKB and Comdirect open bank accounts if the bank account holder also is the one who owns the money. A bogus account is not allowed!
There are three possibilities to prove the identity to the bank:
PostIdent is the easiest way for the bank, because it is common in Germany to identify persons this way. You go with the identification sheet of the bank and your identification document in any subsidiary of the Deutsche Post and the postal clerk will carry out the identity procedure. This procedure is free of charge. The costs are borne by the bank.
Most German Airports have post offices. However, there are alternatives without having to visit Germany.
Verification by a lawyer or notary
You receive an identity form from the customer service of the bank (DKB or Comdirect). This must be filled out and verified by a notary or lawyer. If the costs are within the usual, they will be reimbursed by the Bank on request.
DKB also accepts, if your main bank or another bank near your home confirms the information on the identity form.
Depending on the country, the way via a legal person or the verification by your own bank is easier.
To simplify this procedure at your bank, we have developed a sample letter that explains your needs in different languages.
Here you can find the English version to download: Service letter.
Important questions and answers!
How do I deposit money on the German bank account?
If you are European and can transfer money via the SEPA system, then do so. This kind of bank transfer only takes up to one day and cost as much as a domestic bank transfer. Therefore, it is free of charge at many banks!
If you come from another country with relatively low fees for international bank transfers, then make an international bank transfer using the IBAN and BIC.
If you come from another country with high fees for international transfers (e.g. USA), then send a check by mail to the German bank and it should withdraw the money. Here you can find how this exactly works, „Saving up to 66% of the transfer fees“.
If you are in Germany (e.g. on a business trip), you can make a cash deposit at almost any bank subsidiary to transfer to your online account. The fee for this service depends on the bank and will be between 5 to 15 Euros.
Difference: As a Comdirect customer, you can deposit money free of charge in any subsidiary of the Commerzbank.
Do I have to pay taxes in Germany?
No. If you do not reside mainly in Germany, no taxes in relation with the bank account in Germany will apply. For this, it is only necessary to fill out a form, in which you declare that you are subject to tax in another country.
Here you can find out how this works at the DKB: DKB bank account + securities tax free (german article).
How do I get my money back?
You have several possibilities:
You can withdraw money from your bank account using your Visa card at any ATM worldwide. It’s free of charge! No fees for withdrawals and neither for the currency exchange will be charged (at withdrawals in a country with another currency).
You even get reimbursed if you withdraw money in countries where ATM charges apply, such as the U.S. or Thailand. See the instructions for DKB and Comdirect (german articles).
You can make an international bank transfer. Both the DKB as well as the Comdirect transfer money via bank wire relatively inexpensive and at a good exchange rate to almost any country.
Write a check on yourself and redeem it at your main bank.
How safe is my money in a German bank account?
In Germany, a legal deposit insurance for 100,000 Euros per customer and per account applies. Additionally, DKB as well as Comdirect are in a second deposit insurance system, which secures account balances of up to well more than 10,000,000 Euros.
Moreover, both are medium-sized banks that have their core business in Germany and do not engage in speculative investments somewhere else in the world. Comdirect is to 80% a subsidiary of the Commerzbank. DKB is a 100% subsidiary of the Bayerische Landesbank (State Bank).
Germany is one of the safest places for assets
The private right to property is in Germany protected by the Basic Law Article 14, paragraph 1 (Constitution). As long as one is not wanted worldwide as a terrorist, one has not to worry that the assets will be frozen. This would only be possible by law or court order (e.g. criminal offences). Germany has an independent judiciary.
Requests for information in tax matters are provided by German banks. Germany is a location for „white money“. However, if in the country of origin no wealth tax applies (as in Germany) and one does not earn interests on the bank account (Comdirect), then you do not earn gains, which you have to state and pay taxes for. Using the right configuration, you can thus create a legal and discreet bank account in Germany.
What are the benefits of having a bank account in Germany?
That depends entirely on you. Here you can find an overview of common types of use:
- Foreign Currency Account Euro
- Travel Account (Frequently, banks charge high fees for the credit card usage or cash payments in foreign currencies. Therefore, you should use a Euro bank account in the Euro area. Both German banks also do not charge fees if you withdraw money with their credit cards in foreign currencies.)
- Spare Account (By the way, the possibility to save money in another safe country is often used by people from southern European countries.)
- Asset Generation (At the DKB and Comdirect (german articles) , the usage of a securities account is possible. Herein, one can generate assets on favorable terms over a long period of time – unfortunately, this is not possible for U.S. citizens)
- Bank account for bank transactions within the Euro area or to transfer money from Germany to other countries
Further questions? Use the comments box below the article!
Detailed information on German bank accounts:
Bank account opening is possible from more then 40 countries without having to visit Germany, see DKB Legitimacy (german article). Helpful article: Open DKB bank account with instructions.
Unfortunately, there is no official list of countries of the bank available.
Good news! (Supplement Christmas 2015)
There is a new complementary article ► How to open a bank account in Germany online (!) (that is for people from some countries in less as 10 minutes possible!)
According to the DKB web-site the PostIdent procedure requires to present a passport AND a recent proof of residence.
What proof of residence could I produce if I am only visiting and staying in a hotel or at my friend’s place?
Thank you for your help, I appreciate your effort.
sorry, the DKB will only accept an official place of residence. So you need an official residence paper. For residents in Germany for example a “Meldebescheinigung”.
But if your usual place of residence is in a foreign country, you give that foreign address to the postal clerk who does the PostIdent procedure. Now you can have either luck or no luck! Sadly you need luck, I have to say. Some people from the post offices believe you and accept your address – it helps to have it at least on some kind of document like a driver’s license or a letter – other postal clerks will say “sorry, it is not possible”. That is different from post office to post office. Be very friendly and try it at more than one post office. 🙂
The bank won’t open an account, if you provide a hotel address.
Recently I went to Germany and I applied online for the opening of a DKB bank account. Eventually I did the PostIdent procedure for proving the identity at a Deutsche Post office and all went well.
I really want to open a German bank account because its safety, great privacy, zero yearly fees for both VPay and Visa cards, as well as for withdrawing money all over the world. Plus I travel from time to time to Germany to visit my friends and I might as well look for a job there.
Unfortunately, it seems they will reject my request. Actually they sent me a letter which I didn’t receive yet (it is already stolen or lost). I asked them to send me another one. But I say, “it seems” the Entscheidung is negative, as they sent me only one letter, whereas if they would have accepted the opening of the account, they would have sent more letters (with the cards, PINs…).
So, could you please advise me what should I write on my application if I want to get an account with the DKB. And how about the comdirect (from their site it seems that if I want to apply, as I stay more than 180 days abroad, I can’t do it entirely online; I should fill in a PDF form instead)?
I hope you can help me.
Human beings work in banks. I think it would be best, if you would call the DKB and ask what has happened and what you can do. But sometimes a bank decides that they won’t open an account. They check the credit history – in Germany mostly SCHUFA. That is normal. Also in other countries.
For comdirect bank there is only the PDF form, if you are not resident in Germany. Comdirect does a credit check too.
If your credit history is low, than the first step would be to open a bank account with a local bank without credit card and “work” on a good bank history.
Thank you for your reply Tanja.
Actually, I’m not even interested in the Visa card. I just wanted the online account and the VPay debit card. And unfortunately, I I think I don’t have any data at all about my credit history in Germany (SCHUFA).
Thank you for your advice. I will try to open an account with a local bank first.
All the best,
I will be applying from Morocco. How long does it take for the initial paperwork to get to me once I finish my online application?
the bank will ask you to make an identification, which is currently composed of 40 states possible, but not from Morocco. Unfortunately.
PS: List of countries with opportunities for identification https://www.deutscheskonto.org/de/dkb/legitimation/ (in German)
Great, thanks Tanja,
I will be in Europe in the coming weeks, Italy, Spain even Germany.
My question is caused by the fact that I will be leaving for Europe in 2 weeks and I want to make sure that I receive the initial documentation before I leave.
Thanks for your help,
Unfortunately, the DKB account opening for people who are not resident in Germany close to 6/30. This was announced today. I’m working on an article about it.
Too bad that the bank after so many years includes this possibility.
I live in cologne and created a comdirect account online two weeks ago. I applied for a postident a week ago and still have not received any response. Is it usual to take more than a week? Or should i contact any customer care official regarding this.
This is not normal. The Comdirect is very fast when opening an account. Please call customer service and ask if the Postident has arrived.
I live in India and have just obtained Portuguese citizenship but I have not yet applied for the Portuguese passport. However, if I wish to apply for an on-line account from India, can you please advise what documents will be needed by the bank for identification / residence address ? For your information I still hold Indian passport.
Thank you for your comments as I will be traveling to Europe in October.
Until the 30th of June 2014, you would have even been able to apply for the account at the DKB from India. The legitimacy (legally required identification) could have been carried out by a bank, lawyer or notary in India. Unfortunately, this is currently not possible. Exception: if you had a German ID-card or passport.
If you are going to Europe in October, then visit Germany. However, a free account at an online bank is still difficult, because these perform stricter credit checks. For this, a residence in Germany is useful.
Most likely, you will be able to obtain an account with a bank branch office. However, these do not have the best conditions. You will have to pay a monthly account maintenance fee and in the beginning you won´t have a credit line nor credit card. These “extras” are almost standard for Internet banks, therefore the strict credit check.
If you become a client of the Deutsche Bank, you can choose between German and English online banking. This option is hardly offered by other banks in Germany.
The savings account would even be for free. This is called “SparCard”. Cash withdrawals through bank partners are free of charge in Germany and partly abroad. Unfortunately in India, there is currently no partner bank.
If one wants to perform transfers, a checking account is necessary. The cheapest is 4.95 Euros per month and is called “Aktiv-Konto”.
Regional banks, such like the “Sparkassen” (savings banks) and the “Volksbanken” (peoples banks) have difficulties with the opening of accounts at a foreign residence, because they act on the principle of regionalism.
Thank you for your reply. It is unfortunate that things have changed since June 30th 2014.
We have Deutsche Bank in India. If I become their client ( open a savings account ), will it help me to open a savings or checking account in Germany ?
Thank you for your help.
It’s 99 % certain that it won’t help. I know Deutsche Bank in Poland and Italy. Apart from
they don’t have much in common with Deutsche Bank in Germany. All foreign retail banking customers of Deutsche Bank seem to make that experience.
The banking systems are different. A branch in Germany cannot access data from India, so you would be seen as a totally new customer in Germany.
Thanks a lot Tanja.
Hi, I filled in the application for opening an account (from England where I live) only last night, and DKB has e-mailed me the form to take to my bank for identification. How id this possible if non-residents can’t open accounts from 30/6/2014?
Apparently DKB accepts applications for an account from non-residents – at least from England – again. Please keep us informed about how opening the account went.
Thank you very much and enjoy the free DKB account and Visa card.
I attempted to open an account with DKB previously from the UK and sent a notarized copy of my ID using a barrister.
They sent me a letter in German informing me that they couldn’t open the account because I don’t speak German.
Don’t both attempting to open an account if you don’t speak German.
Yes, that is a good advice. You have to speak German for apply this bank account. The DKB want that you are able to understand the conditions of contract and that you are able to communicate with DKB support.
Thank you for your posting here!
Hi, Tanja. i just presented my postldent to the post office today. How long will it take for DKB to email me details of my account?
Usually it takes three to five days until receiving the bank’s reply. You have made a good choice by choosing DKB, congratulations!
I am residing in Germany for last one month.I am here for one year.I have not received my residence permit card yet.
I want to open bank account which I will use mainly money transfer to my country India.
Can I use my passport for opening account?
Please suggest me good bank which can resolve my purpose.
Thanks in advance.
I’d choose Comdirect, if money transfer is the main concern. International money transfer is a little cheaper at Comdirect than at DKB. Apart from that the service is almost the same.
The passport is fine for confirming one’s identity during the PostIdent procedure. But also bring a “Meldebescheinigung” or another document which confirms your current address in Germany, as the passport does not include the address.
Sometimes there can be difficulties with the PostIdent procedure, as this article describes: PostIdent problems … go to a different post office in that case.
Last Friday I’ve done the PostIdent procedure myself. I’ve only shown my passport and told the postal clerk my address. It worked!
i am coming to Stuttgart, Germany for student project but i have got work permit permission via Company. They offer me a salary position as trainee. they also gave me a contract and work permission letter. they told me to open a bank account. although i have another account in Sweden bank and living there for almost four years. Can you please update it to me how to open a bank account in Germany. what option will be suitable for me and what document will be required. i will also be in Germany on 20th of this month.
your valuable comments will be highly appreciated!
Thanks to the single euro payments area SEPA and the introduction of IBAN it’s rather simple to transfer money to Sweden today, so it’s a little surprising some companies still ask for a German bank account.
Banks are usually hesitant to open a checking account for customers who plan to use it only for a very short time, because opening an account causes costs that usually pay off during a longer period. So the longer you plan to use the account, the better are your chances to get an account.
German banks are required to confirm the identity of their customers. You can use a passport and a document confirming your address, i.e. an ID card or, if you’re registered in Germany, a Meldebescheinigung.
Opening an online checking account might be difficult at the moment, because direct banks use mainly automated procedures that also rely on creditworthiness ratings by German credit bureaus. However, these credit bureaus are not likely to have sufficient data about you, if you haven’t lived in Germany yet.
So the chances to open a checking account might be better at a local bank where you can discuss your individual situation in person.
An alternative would be to just open a modern savings account (Tagesgeldkonto) connected to your Swedish checking account. It’s easier to open a savings account, because there’s no assessment of creditworthiness involved and there are no bank cards issued for the account. You can still receive any payments at a savings account, but you can only transfer money to your checking account.
I’m a French citizen and I live in UAE, I always wanted a European bank account but many require me to either have a home address in France or live in Europe!
Since I moved abroad from a young age I don’t have both, this article is very well explained though when I went to DKB website it was all in German with I don’t speak,
Do you know any English speaking bank that I can open an online bank account without being physically in place?
Thanks so much.
Surely such banks must exist, but we are the web portal specialized on bank accounts in Germany (and German language accounts in other countries).
We don’t have the expertise to recommend banks in another sector.
I hope you will soon be able to get your desired account (e.g. via Google search)!
thank you so much for valuable comments!
i am a permanent resident of sweden and I do not have Swedish passport yet. I have an Iranian passport. I live in Sweden now and I have my address there. Do you think is there gonna be a problem if I wanna open an account?
Currently I don’t know of any German direct bank that opens an account online if an Iranian passport is used to confirm the identity.
If it should be a German account at all costs, you could ask for options to open an account in a bank branch during a visit to Germany.
I am a US citizen having US residing in India. Is it poaaible for me to open an online account. And if so with this account can I receive and send funds within Germany and internationally.
It is for US citizen possible to open a checking account in Germany and receive and send money. But is it not possible to open a securities account for funds. You know, the US Government have strange laws for that.
Thank you. In that case can you please which is the best bank to open a checking account. Remember that I am not a resident of Germany
I have Slovenian Business Company (d.o.o = Gmbh, it is in EU) and I recently started working in Germany (in the NWR part). What I would like to know is, can I open Business account in Germany for my Slovenian Company. And if it is possible HOW?
yes, of course, an account opening in Germany on a D.O.O. is possible. But it probably will not be easy, as this case happens rarely. To make matters worse, the best German direct banks do not offer accounts for corporations.
The Deutsche Skatbank (http://www.skatbank.de) provides business accounts for legal entities at very good conditions. Please take a look at their offer, because this could be something for you.
The Deutsche Skatbank is a direct bank of the Volksbank, and therefore in the ATM network of the German Volksbank and Raiffeisenbank. This has the advantage that you can get bank statements and cash free of charge within Germany at any VR ATM.
The Deutsche Skatbank has sometimes made bad experiences with business accounts of foreign companies. Therefore, it will examine exactly what your business is and how you plan to use the account. Talk openly with the bank to obtain the account. And also important: Indicate the German address!
Opening an account at a local bank in NRW is surely easier, because you can speak directly with the staff of the bank during the opening hours. Unfortunately, the costs of business accounts at local banks are usually quite expensive.
If you are interested in opening a business account for corporations at a local bank near Memmingen (Memmingen is situated in Bavaria and has a regional airport as well as a railway station on the railway line Munich-Zurich), I could arrange an appointment with the business account manager.
I wish you will be able to have good business in Germany!
Hi, im planing to move to germany for 5 months while studying german. I am a swedish citizen with swedish passport. Since i will just travel to germany and then find a place to stay at. im wondering if it will be any problem to open up a bank account without a permenant adress.
I applied for a DKB account then went through the identification procedure at a local post office while visiting Germany then I got a rejection letter – without any explanations.
Called their call-center, but when I asked if I could speak to anybody in English I got a very polite, calm but also firm ‘Nein, es tut mir leid’. Twice 🙂
I’m just posting this here in case gets into the same situation.
Sorry. This is a German bank. In our articles we write again and again that one should speak and understand German to communicate with the bank.
But next year we will present a new solution for free currant account in Germany with support in Englisch!
I too recently tried to get an account with DKB from the UK, but have been declined. The letter suggests that they are only accepting applications from Germany, Austria or Switzerland now.
Has anyone else had this experience?
Yes, just had the same experience – only accepting applications from those three countries.
It starts a new bank in Germany soon … it is said that opening an account from abroad should be possible. Even in English https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/number-26/
Recently i visited Germany i have work permit for 1 year. I came only for 20 days so thought of not opening the bank account by my organization want a bank account there in Dusseldorf but i am in India and i can not come now to open a bank account. How to proceed from India without coming to Germany to open an account. Kindly advice.
Thanks & Regards
The banks with the best free current accounts in Germany are interested in establishing a long-term relationship with the customer. An account opening costs the bank a lot of money, even if it is free for the customer. This often pays off for the bank after years.
It will be difficult for you to obtain an account at these banks.
Having a short-term residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis), you will most likely get an account at a local bank. If you are not a student, the account usually costs a monthly fee. In order to open an account, you have to visit personally a branch office.
However, there is hope for you from the beginning of 2015. A new bank will start in Germany that allows the account opening from abroad. The identification is made using a webcam. Details regarding a place of residence in India are not yet known. But you can already sign up to get notified: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/number26/
Hello dear Tanja
Thanks for your valuable clarification. I am Sudanese. I came with my father for medication for THR revision surgery, medication plan is to stay for 24 days ( we got single visa valid for days. Unfortunately we faced complications so we are forced to extend our staying here. I experienced Western Union through post bank they have limitation for transferred money more over they got high charges.
Due to my father health situation I should meet Immigration office in Halberstadt to apply for multiple visa. If I got it is enough to have bank account & get credit cards considering that I am intending to use this account even. When I go home as you know due sanction embargo of USA towards Sudan. We can not capable do this in Sudan. I can transfer money from UAE to feed my account.
Is there a question?
I am a german citizen living outside the EU, will it be possible for me to open an account by showing my passport/citizenship copy, even if not living in the EU?
Thanks in advance.
You can try account opening at DKB or Comdirect. Both banks have identification system with webcam.
If you have an address in Germany, it could be more easier (because it is cheaper for the bank to sent the post with cards and pins). You can change the address every time at online banking. You want try it?
Another important thing is that I am not a German speaker, is it still possible?
That is a problem for most german banks. Communication and Online-Banking is mainly in German.
Tip: The Online Banking at Deutsche Bank is in German and English. So speak with this bank about account opening.
Deutsche Bank charge account fees of 5 or 10 euro per month.
Number26 has also an english service: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/number26/
I am a South African citizen who is interested in opening a bank account in Germany and investing some of money there. I noticed that we are one of the countries that can open an account through Internet. Please advice what to do next.
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Here are step-by-step instructions for opening the DKB account: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/open-dkb-bank-account/
Note that opening the account has been difficult for people from countries where German isn’t an official language since summer 2014. We are looking for alternatives. So it depends on what you want to use a German bank account for?
I want a German account for offshore investment. To be very specific with you I am looking at investing €300 – 500 000.00 to start with. Is that a possible option?
It depends on what you want to do with the capital …
The securities account of the Comdirect Bank is better than the one of the DKB. If the money should only stay in the account, then the interest rate of 0.9% of the DKB is better.
Both banks allow – theoretically – an account opening from South Africa. However, in the last months, they have become more cautious. Simply apply for the account through the direct links on this special portal and wait to see what happens. You will receive an e-mail message from the bank (Yes / No / Further inquiry).
Tell the bank about your intentions and the chance of a successful account opening will increase.
At your investment amount, you can also opt for a bank that specializes on private banking. This is probably more comfortable than opening an account at a direct bank that offers free accounts …
Thank you for your good service. I did fill in online application, but there was no space on the form to tell the bank what my intentions are. Please advice how can I do that, inform the bank about my investing intention.
Tomorrow, we will meet the department head of the bank and will propose to add an optional field “notice to the bank” in the online application. This would be helpful for additional information regarding the account opening. This way, for example in your case, one could specify the reason for account opening and the bank might do easier making a positive decision.
So, unfortunately, you can only hope and see until the DKB responds via e-mail.
If the bank prompts you to legitimating, then the account opening is virtually certain. If the account opening is rejected (for now) in the e-mail – which happens more frequently at a residence abroad since summer 2014 – you can reply to this email and explain the planned use. If this is in the interest of the bank, it could still work with the account opening.
Hi we are Hong Kong company staring to invest some fund in german
Can we open an corporate account in german or others
Germany is a good place for making invests. There are also some special banks for corporate accounts in your industry. But with this little information is it not possible to give a good advice in is special sector …
Any expierience or opinion of http://www.ikb.de? They offer accounts with euro and usd, and have physical brick and morter branches in major German cities. I just came back from sparkasse where I had an account 7 years ago and they still require registration with the burgerampt (which requires an address) as well as a visa like a selbtsomething Aufenthaltserlaubnis
Can you please let me know which banks will allow me to open a checking account online from United States?
I was there in Germany for my Tante’s funeral. I stopped by at couple of banks including Deutsche bank and I was told I needed to be a resident before opening my account. I wanted to establish an account as we’re planning on making a flat sale or small haus in Germany.
I have U.S. passport to provide. So, from reading the blogs, no banks will open a simple checking account for me? We also have relatives in Austria (brother in law). I am not sure if that will help.
Okay, we understand. Of course, it is easier to obtain a checking account, if you live in Germany. However, there will be ways to solve this problem somehow. We made this website especially for this purpose.
Until summer 2014, it was quite easy to open a checking account with Visa Card at the DKB directly from the USA. Unfortunately, the bank is currently only accepting US customers, who have a German passport … or live in Germany. So, that option does not help.
The Comdirect Bank still accepts clients from the USA, if their creditworthiness check is positive. However, the creditworthiness will be checked on German data. Here, one will probably only succeed, if one has lived in Germany.
The online account of PayCenter can be opened from the USA (first step) and one can already transfer money up to Euros 15,000. However, the functionality of online banking will only be activated, if one has performed the legitimating in Germany at a branch office of the post (PostIdent-procedure). The MasterCard can be sent to an address in the USA.
Weeks or months may elapse between the account opening /deposit and the identification. That does not matter. So you can do this during your next trip to Germany.
Brand new is a checking account for smartphones, which is offered by number26. Currently, one can register the e-mail address in order to be notified as soon as one can open the account. This limitation has been made to channel the onslaught of customers. At the moment, the MasterCard will only be sent to an address in Germany or Austria. In this case, your family in Austria could be useful.
If these are not the appropriate solutions for you, we will continue our search …
Thank you for this information. We only want to establish a checking account because we are planning on buying a flat or small house in Germany. Would it help if we use relative address But do we need to live or show proof that we live in the address?
Some banks need a local address, some not. It depends on what you decide which bank you prefer to open an account.
In which city or area you want buying a property?
We are looking in the area of Passau Germany. We are still looking, but would be great to have account already before we purchase a property. I’m hoping one of the bank in the area will allow us open a non interest account for now.
It will not be a problem to find a bank for the account opening in Passau. In the end, you have a good reason for opening the account: The house purchase.
There are one-time payments (e.g. notary, real estate broker, real estate transfer tax) and regular payments, such as the property tax (in Germany not as high as in the USA), water and electricity costs. At best, you transfer them using a German current account.
A current account at a local bank is usually a little more expensive than in a pure online bank, but you could perform the account opening personally in Passau. There is also a branch office of the Deutsche Bank that offers online banking in English. This is usually not common in Germany.
Maybe you contact us again as soon as the time comes … incidentally, we are in Bavaria too.
I am a South African who would like to open a private account for private investments. I dont mind coming toFrankfurt /Germany for a day to do so, since you dont allow internet applications from our country.
I would like to know the following:-
1. Is it possible to open private bank account in a day?
2. What documents should I bring with?
3. What is the initial amount that I need to deposit, before I can make a large amount.
Here are our answers to your questions:
Maybe it could be a good idea to make an appointment with the right bank for you, that the bank have enough time for you. An account opening in a local bank can takes 20 until 60 minutes. With first consulting maybe two hours.
Thank you for the response, with which bank can you make the appointment for me and where will that be Frankfurt or Berlin? Can you make any suggestions or recommend a good bank that opens non-resident private account for investments.
Please excuse and understand that our expert range is German direct banks, not local banks. There are more than 1,000 of them in Germany. We know some local banks in Frankfurt and Berlin, however, we do not have such good connections as to the local banks in our region, which is southern Germany.
Moreover, we do not know how you want to use the checking account. Depending on your personal needs, a different bank can be the better option. As in the USA, banks are different to ours.
Basically, one can say that a checking account is possible at the Deutsche Bank. This is not our favorite bank and it costs monthly account management fees, however, opening an account at a branch office in Frankfurt or Berlin should be possible in English too after fixing an appointment by telephone. Additionally, the Deutsche Bank is one of the few banks in Germany that offers online banking in English language.
You can find an appropriate branch office of the Deutsche Bank using Google search.
(Depending on what you want to do with the account and how good your German language skills are, other banks may meet your needs better).
Thank you for the information. Let me explain my intention to you. I want to open an investment account and save my money. The money that I an going to invest I am not going to use it, its going to be a long-term invesrment. Which bank in Germany can give me that kind of service for non resident account? I hope you understand my intention now. How long will it take to open that type of account?
That is an interesting idea. Germany is an outstanding place for long-term investments. Many wealthy foreigners hold parts of their assets in Germany.
In Germany, there are some excellent online banks that offer very good conditions for the one-time or regular purchase of securities. Additionally, the account management is usually free of charge. Moreover, no charges for credits on dividends apply.
However, there is one problem: US-Americans cannot get this anymore. This is due to the policy of the US-government, which ensured through a unique tax law (and the suing politics with huge fines) that US-Americans cannot obtain any investment accounts in most countries of the EU and Switzerland.
Just imagine this: We Europeans are required to confirm at the opening of a securities account that we are not US-citizens and that we are not subject to taxation in the United States!
We hope that this will change again in the course of the negotiations on a free trade agreement between the USA and the European Union. This is a limitation of the financial freedom of American citizens, as the US government ensures that US-citizens cannot get any investment accounts in other countries anymore!
We know of cases – especially from Switzerland – in which investment accounts of US-citizens have been canceled, precisely out of these reasons.
Obtaining a checking account in Germany is still possible. You can also buy property or invest in companies, but unfortunately no longer using the simple and practical way of an investment account.
PS: There is probably still the opportunity to open savings accounts … but I think you did not mean that with “Investment Account”, right?
Thanks for the information. I am not American. I am a South African Citizen. I actually dont mind coming to Germany to open a bank account, since you dont allow South African’s to open accounts online anymore. It should be an account where I can save money, but not using it, so that is an investment in my understanding.
Sorry, sometimes we make mistakes!
You don’t need a deposit account; you looking for a saving account with some interest? Or without interest because taxes and information about that?
I need a savings account with interest but I dont think I will be paying tax because I am looking for a non-resident savings account. Apparently.the bank doesnt allow South African’s anymore to open online banking, that is why I said I dont mind coming to Germany to open a savings account.
We found a great bank for you!
The bank is called “Grenke Bank AG” and offers two types of Savings accounts:
The account opening is possible online. The legitimating can be done by mail. The account has online banking too. An account opening from South Africa is not a problem. This was confirmed today by telephone.
For the legitimating, a certified copy of the identity card or passport is required.
If you will come to Germany anyway, then the legitimating (via PostIdent-procedure) can be performed at a German post office (Deutsche Post).
The only challenge: the account application as well as the online banking are only available in German language. Please let me know, if you need help with the opening of your account.
Good luck with your account opening: http://www.grenkebank.de/de/jetzt-konto-eroeffnen.html
PS: Yes, it is true. You do not pay taxes in Germany.
If I can do it online then I dont need to come to Germany. The only help I will need is interpretation in English. I guess I will have to go for a course to lean German, because that is going to be a challenge. I opened the link you sent but there was no form? How will they send bank cards to me after opening the account online?
If you do not speak German language, then 99% of German banks are not suitable for you. We only know that the Deutsche Bank provides online banking completely in German and English.
The Grenke Bank offers savings accounts. I understood that you wanted to obtain an investment account. Usually, savings account with a good interest rate do not have bank cards.
If you want to have a savings account with a bank card, which entitles you to withdraw cash from ATM – but no electronic payments – then you should become a customer of the Deutsche Bank. The ideal product for you is called: Deutsche Bank Sparcard (savings card).
Here you can find our article about the Deutsche Bank: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/deutsche-bank/
However, the description of the SparCard on our web portal is only available in German: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/de/deutsche-bank/sparcard/
To open an account at the Deutsche Bank, one has to come to Germany. An account opening from abroad via the Internet is not possible according to the telephone customer service of the bank.
In Frankfurt and Berlin there are several branch offices of the Deutsche Bank.
Yes, I need investment account and also a savings account that I can use money from it when I am abroad and travelling. To be honest with you, I want to deposit €800 000.00 to my investment account that I wont be using and over €100 000.00 to my savings account that I can use when travelling, I will need a card for that account.
I will come to Germany and open both accounts with Deutsche Bank, I hope it will only take a day, because I will only be coming for one day from South Africa. Does Deutsche bank have staff that can speak English?
Yes, as have some who speak better English than we do … it’s best to make an appointment at a branch of your choice, that they have time for you. Good luck!
Thank you very much for your excellent service and patience. I will call them and make an appointment. We do have Deutsche bank in South Africa but they are only allowed to do Commercial banking unfortunately, they dont offer personal & private banking.
I tried to register online and received the following message
Leider konnten wir Ihrem Wunsch nach einem DKB-Cash im Rahmen unserer automatischen Entscheidung nicht entsprechen. Die notwendigen Voraussetzungen für ein DKB-Cash liegen gemäß Ihren Angaben nicht vor.
Bitte beachten Sie, dass wir nur für Kunden in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz Konten eröffnen.
At present I am residing in India. I guess I may not be able to open account at DKB.
Yes, that is right mentioned DKB bank. Here is our update for which people and countries the account opening current works: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/dkb-foreigners/
We are looking for alternatives! For example this online account with MasterCard: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/account/online/ – you can open from abroad, but the issue is the legitimation over the PostIdent at German post office.
We’ll find another alternative in the future …
I am in india…..can I open an account in the accounts mentioned above?
Yes, this online account, if you are able to understand German and make the legitimation at a german post office.
Hello. I am pastor Sohail Maish John want to get my bank account opened in the germany bank. I am resident of Pakistan. Is it possible?
Currently this is only possible with a legitimacy in Germany. We are already working on alternatives.
Stay away from DKB bank, this is a joke not bank. I contact them to sort few questions before i even try to apply and i got a short answer telling me how i need to rewrite in german language and “Therefore we kindly ask you to re-send your request, enabling us to be of assistance”.
For a bank who is supposedly open to foreigners i find hilarious how they are not able to answer few simple questions in english. Actually until now i never encounter a bank who is not capable to deal with english language. After i got this answer i dont even want to try to open an account with them. They made so big problem to answer my few questions can you somehow imagine they are willing to open an account without my presence and/or me speaking in german?
Thank you for you comment here, Dario!
The DKB is a very good German bank for German speaking people. But apparently is the DKB not the right bank for you. We hope that you’ll find soon a matching bank for you!
It could be good German bank for people in Germany or at least the one who know German language. But last time i check English language is still official language especially in business. So to say how this bank is open for foreigners but they dont speak English is same as to say you are a car dealer but you never saw a car or even know what is a car. Just doesnt make sense. Like i said, maybe is good bank for people in Germany but you gave them a credit for something they do not deserve, not even remotely.
It doesn’t seem unreasonable to me that a German bank should conduct business in German. English may be widely used in business, but if the bank does most of its business in Germany there’s no requirement for the staff to speak English.
I’ve read on other internet forums that they now only accept applications from Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
If you’re a UK resident and want English-speaking banking in a Eurozone country, you could check out Britline in France. It’s not free (€0.60 / month for the basic account, about €20/year for a debit card) but I’m not sure if there are any free options now.
I’m Irish but I am living and working in England. I’m interested in opening a bank account in Germany for a few reasons. My girlfriend is German so our plan is to move to Germany in a few years time to live so I would like to open a bank account that i can start transferring over my savings from England and storing them in Germany. I want to take advantage of the fact that the sterling is stronger than the euro so in turn I will be getting more for my money. Is it possible to open an account with a German bank? If so would I have to pay taxes of some sort on my money? I would probably only deposit a lump sum every year, would my account be frozen due to lack of activity?
Whenever you are in Germany, you can get a bank account at almost any bank. But why should you choose any account, if you can get the best?
However, can you not get it by yourself, because the DKB currently does not open bank accounts for foreigners in non-German-speaking countries. But you could open a joint account together with your girlfriend. As she is a German citizen, it should work. She can include a second account holder. Here you can find the information on this subject: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/dkb/joint-account/
I just went to DKB website with your link to open a bank account. I currently reside in the Czech republic.
Is it correct that DKB does not open bank accounts anymore for resident out of Germany, Austria and Swiss?
“Bitte beachten Sie, dass wir nur für Kunden in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz Konten eröffnen.”
Yes, that is right. Here are some article at this special portal about this issue.
Do you have any recommendations for someone trying to open a German bank account for only a 3 months? I am from the US and am doing an internship in Germany over the summer, so I need an account, but not for an extended period of time.
If you are in a city, go to the Deutsche Bank. It is probably not the best bank in Germany, but it will open an account for you within a short period of time. Using your student card, it will probably be even free of charge.
On the countryside, there are no branch offices of this bank. The Volksbank would be a recommended option. However, it does not offer an online banking in English language and the account probably costs fees.
We wish you a good time in Germany!
Im Iranian and as i read in your site i can not open an account , is it any other banks to open an account in Germany?
If not, so what should i do?
I am Australian and have just been offered a job with a German cruise line starting at the end of June. I will be living in Germany for a couple of months during rehearsals and then I will be onboard one of their ships.
I will be paid in Euros from Germany and would therefore like to open a German bank account. I don’t want to lose money on currency conversions and bank fees every time I get paid. Also when I am on board the ship I will be paying in Euros. I would obviously rather keep my money in Euros (instead of going from Euros to AUD and back to Euros again).
I am unsure how to go about this! And my employer is requesting my bank details, so I am a little pressed for time. I have been told that Commerzbank might be a good option, but I’m not sure. I don’t need a credit card, just a savings/debit (Not sure what the correct name for it is over there).
I will be staying in a hotel, but is there a way for me to apply for a German bank account given that I am employed by a German company? Perhaps a letter from the company to prove this would be enough.
I would appreciate any assistance.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Do you speak and understand some German, Bonnie? Because the circle of English speaking banks is in German very small …
Not yet. I’ve only just started
Then the Deutsche Bank will be a good option, because there is an english version of online banking.
You can open your account in a branch. It is better to make an appointment, that a english speaking person have time for you.
Great! Thank you so much for your help!
Enjoy your time in Germany!
I have an ING Espana account and want to open perhaps an ING Germany account or another bank option. It is frustrating that there is no pan-Euro banking per se. ING Spain is totally separate from all the other ING banks.
I am an American with Spanish permanent residency. Also I also plan to be an OLDER student come Oct 2015, who will not have a job. Every country is different when it comes to banking…Spain has non-resident accounts, France, and it seems Germany, require you to be a resident.
Can I open a German account before I start school and before I register an address with the local Amt? It would seem that any legal EU resident should be able to open an account…harmonization of standards and equality of treatment???
At the ING-DiBa, a place of residence in Germany is a requirement to open a current account. Presumably, the ING Group does not want their national banks compete with each other.
We think alike: It is a disaster that it is so difficult to open a good current account within the EU. However, this will (have to) change in the next years.
As a special portal, we will accompany this change and, whenever possible, we will encourage and ask for this change!
Being American, you can open a current (checking) account at the Deutsche Bank, even if you do not speak German. A residential address in Spain would be okay. However, the account opening is only possible offline in a branch office.
On this portal, you will also find more ideas for solutions, but in most cases, the German language is a requirement for the implementation.
I’m a Kuwaiti citizen and I need to open a bank account in Germany in which I can transfer money from my account to the German account, I intend to buy a property in Germany, what’s the best bank in terms of service charges on money transfer, your help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks & best regards
I am a German citizen with a German passport living in the UK. I am thinking of opening a bank account but I am still learning to speak German. I do have a few German friends who could help me translate anything I am not sure of. I am worried about the UK coming out of the EU so I want to try open a savings account. Do you think it would be possible to do this? Thanks Jo
Of course. You have two options to account opening without a flight to Germany:
The identification works with german passport and video chat. Most of bank employee speaks English, but the online banking is only in German.
I read in the site that the Iranian can not open an account, is there any another banks to open an account for Iranian ?
It is not possible over internet. I guess there is a way, if you go in Germany in a branch … because we have Iranian people in Germany and I guess they also use bank cards and accounts.
Maybe an Iranian gentleman who life in Germany can help here in this point? (Saldy I know direct banks in Germany good, but not so much about the more over 1.000 local banks)
My boss has been in Europe for the past year. She is currently in Berlin and will be staying there for the next month or so. She is a US Citizen and is looking to open a German Checking Account in order to curb some of the international bank fees she’s accrued over the past year.
Which bank do you recommend? What documents does she need to have? She is currently renting a flat, but it is not considered a permanent resident. How can she prove residency when she has been traveling this past year?
It depends on the amouts of money transfer. We use TransferWise for transfers between USA and Germany: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/transferwise/
I don’t know the details what your boss like on banks and cards, but I know for new people in Germany it is the easiest way to go into a local bank branch and open there the first checking.
If you have build up a good credit history, we in Germany use the SCHUFA-System, you can get an account for free with free cards and a lot of other benefit at the best direct banks like DKB or Comdirect.
For an account opening she need usually the passport and an address of residents in Germany.
Good luck and best wishes for Berlin, Berlin is a great city!
PS: In summer there will start a new bank in Germany with a free debit card and without prove the creditworthiness … we will report on this web portal.
could u plz informing me about the name of the banks who maybe could accept the iraninan passport holder to oppening a bank account.
Do you have a permanent resident (address) in Germany?
I do not, But I have a firend who has, Does it help?
I am still waiting for an answer of a bank, then we’ll see …
Thanks for your following up. just for your information I will be in Zurich tmr and can visit Germany too, if there is a chance for oppening the account.
Look forward to hear from you soon.
I have spoken with the Comdirect bank and after an internal clarification, I have received the answer that an account opening would be possible in principle.
The decision on whether the account will be actually opened or not ultimately depends on the overall assessment by the bank. As soon as the filled application documents are at the bank, one will make a decision (creditworthiness check for the current account).
The savings account does not include a creditworthiness check: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/opening-bank-account-germany/
As you are currently staying in Switzerland, it would be an excellent opportunity to enter Germany for the legitimating.
You should proceed as follows:
Close to the Swiss border, people have reported us problems when using foreign ID-documents / passports for the legitimating … if you should encounter difficulties, then simply visit another branch office of the post. Here in Bavaria, the legitimating presenting foreign ID-documents works pretty well.
Thank you very much for your commnents.
Yes i’m still in zurich, today I will complete the related forms and try to be in Bavaria by tmr for following the issues.
I appreciate it if you could send me the proper post office address.
Best regards, Baktash
In generell you can use every post office in Germany … this is my favorite one: Postfiliale im Feneberg-Markt in Memmingen (Dr.-Karl-Lenz-Straße 4) Google Maps.
A friend of mine is coming to düsseldorf at 7th of June, 1- Does he be able to post the documents or need to be done by myself?
2- how about the swiss post office?
hi, I live and work in uk (London). Few Times a year I travel to germany and poland (I’m polish) and I want to buy a car in germany and I’m thinking I’m gone need bank account to make payments for that car and insurance. is there a bank that service is in English and can operate on-line ? no german address and I don’t speak german
is it possible for me to get some kind of bank account?
thank you for your reply
In this case there is not need to open an bank account (for buying a car / insurance). You can pay cash or use your UK account with IBAN and BIC.
There is no easy bank account to open without German language, without German address and without go into a branch. Unfortunately.
But we believe that will be change in the next years or month. That is also a reason that me make this special website. We will inform our reader, if easy options are available.
I would like to buy a better car (euro 40.000 to 50.000)
for that reason I’m gone need some sorts of loan.
Is there any Chance I can open the Account in Germany or Any other EU Countries in Euro Currency, where I can deposit the cash / Transfer cash from entire EU Countries and withdraw the money in EU and India.
I am from India and have Indian Passport, Deutsche Bank and ING Bank is here in India, but I think they will not help in this regards.
Where should I can open the Account in EU and in which bank and how to start.
I never visited Germany, however went to Spain one time in life and don’t know German Language.
Please guide what to do and how to proceed ?
What is your reason for that account? You need a current account / saving / securities account? How much do you want deposit? That are the important question for make a good advice.
I need my local customer to transfer funds to us in our that account to Save the credit card companies 8 to 15% charges.
I need saving or current account
I will not deposit anything, my customers will pay around 2 to 4 thousands Euros per week to that account and I will take out that to India on 15 days or every monthly basis.
You need a business account. That is current not possible to open it online from India. We will work on solutions in the next month on this issue (for Germany).
It could be that you find a bank in Lativa – also EU – which make that deal with you. Google “Rietumu”. Latvia is becoming a financial place in EU.
I want to open in Latvia and then transfer to India from Latvia.
what’s the procedure and how safe will be that account ?
Is any of this information valid for a New Zealander? From what I have read both DKB and Commdirekt are no-goes for foreigners who aren’t in Germany, Switzerland or Austria.
Here are the last information about account opening from abroad: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/german-bank-account/
Re: DKB Cash Konto. I’m a German citizen living in the US but also have a house in GER. I’m in Germany for 2 1/2 more weeks and was told over the phone that the account would be open and running before I leave with the cards and TANs being send to me while still in GER. I just completed the application online but cannot do the video ident even though I was told that I could when I talked to the rep via phone. Doing via the post office will now delay everything so much that I won’t be getting my cards, etc before I leave back to the U.S. Thereby killing my entire plans to transfer my money to an account accessible from the U.S. Absolutely annoying!
The DKB ist a great german bank for german citizen all over the world. But if you are slightly better accustomed, than is DKB not the right bank for you. We wish you good luck with another bank.
Do you know if it will be possible for my CANADIAN 16 year old son to open a bank account in Germany? He is going to be in Germany for 6 months as an exchange student.
Mh. This is a challenge in Germany, because one can open a bank account by oneself from the age of majority. In Germany, one reaches the age of majority at the 18th birthday. There are bank accounts with bank cards for minors. However, the parents must sign at the account opening too.
Unfortunately, I cannot think of an easy solution for this challenge.
I hope that this will change in the future. In the end, more and more is paid with a bank card and less with cash, so one should be able to open a current account on a credit base already from the age of 14 years.
I will encourage this at the next opportunity.
Thank you for your question. I am sorry that I have no quick solution.
PS: You can buy prepaid credit cards at gas stations, but I do not know if these are actually good.
Bye the way: You have a German name. Do you have a German passport too? You could open a bank account easily with a German passport through the Internet and set up a junior account for your son consecutively.
dear tanja i m pakistani ifi want to open a account then how should i receive the visa debit or credit card and how to use it online for transaction
I just wanted to open a comdirect account and they asking for IBAN (Auszahlungskonto für Überweisungen). I do not have ANY idea how to obtain it …where…but it is compulsory for further opening.
I am just moved to Germany, and have eu passport, flat. This should be my 1st bank account here.
If you have any idea?
Would you like to open a call money account (online savings account)? I have recommended this in an article, because there is no creditworthiness check, in contrast to opening a current account.
You can state your former foreign IBAN as a reference account. This is only for reverse transfers and can be changed anytime.
However, there is a new development: in Germany, one can now open a current account on a credit basis without creditworthiness check, which is moreover free of charge. Even a MasterCard is included.
Do you want to take look at this account? Here are the 12 most important facts about it: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/n26-account-facts/
we are looking for an account for a UK limited, operated from South Africa, that does occasional business in Germany. Any experience with Fidor or Deutsche Handelsbank?
Online Konto looks good but does not offer transfers outside SEPA. Other european countries would also be OK. I had a look at Rietumu but their fees and minimum balance are exorbitant.
I opened a bank account with Deutsche Bank in Munich, as I am here for three months, mainly for day to day expenses and also I need to transfer money to my landlady here . I am still to deposit cash in my account, but could you please clarify whether they will deduct tax or not ? I am an Indian citizen, here only for work purposes, not taxable in Germany and I will be going back to my country after 4 months. How do i avoid tax, please help
Sorry, we are a special portal for clever banking (not for technical taxation questions).
Hello from Greece. I would like to learn if I can open account from internet and not need to go in a branch of these german banks or other safe banks in Germany.
I am waiting your reply.
If you have an address in Germany or Austria, you can apply now over internet: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/number26/ (the address is for the mail delivery of MasterCard.
In the German version of this web portal there is currently an Invite Code for immediate account opening: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/de/n26-invite-code/
Is that helpful?
If I don’t have address in Germany but I stay in Athens, Greece what need to do for open account ?
What don’t works with this banks. We will create another solution and publish on our website.
I am sorry for the other answer I don’t know if you understand me.
If someone is foreigner ( stay in Greece or in other country ) how can open online bank account in a Germany serious bank ?
I mean not need to visit a Branch in Germany and can send all documents etc online or via post office from Greece.
Sure. I understand. That was the reason why I reply what I wrote.
Thank you. When you uploaded a new article about that please send a notification or message 🙂
Have a great August !
I have a few questions:
1. What document does my lawyer or notary have to confirm to be valid identification? I cannot go to Germany or my local bank, but I am able to have notary or lawyer come to me because of my illnes.
2. I am from Slovenia, am I eligable to open bank account over the internet ?
3. Are there any limits how much I can transfer on my account and if so, how much ?
Thank you very much for your help, your site is very resourceful.
Best regards to you!
I was hoping you could advise – I am moving to berlin in 10 days and wanted to open a euro account i can use there. I do not yet have a german residence – can i still get a DKB account using my english address (i still will have an english address) and if so, would i ned to send off my passport and so would I be best to do it once i am in Germany?
Many many thanks, your site is v. helpful.
It is recommendable to apply for the account only when you are in Germany. At the DKB, you will receive 7 letters with the complete access data and bank cards after the account opening. This takes 2-3 weeks and at that time, you will be already in Germany.
Do you know that the DKB account does only exist with a “real” credit card and that a creditworthiness check will be performed because of this? Due to your short time in Germany, it could be that it works or not. Please read the 3 most important tips before applying for the account: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/account-opening-dkb/
If you do not need a credit line, then Number26 is currently the best alternative to the DKB. Since it is an account on a credit base, no creditworthiness check will be performed. There is virtually an account opening guarantee. The shipping of the card only takes about 2-3 days. Please only apply for it as soon as you have a mailing address in Germany, because there is no card delivery to the UK. Here, you can find everything important about Number26: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/number26/
I wish you a good start in Germany!
I’m really confused by this site as comdirect, dkb, number26 all require official German residency, which from my understanding requires you to be working here and not on a tourist VISA.
I’m on a 3month VISA from USA and will be here at least that maybe longer. I’m undergoing medical procedures, so may get a medical extension if needed. I have a rental contract in Germany. I just want an EC card as everywhere I go that is all they take. I don’t care about earning interest etc. as I understand that can cause more difficulties getting the account. Having to use my US ATM card everytime to get cash is a waste.
My passport does not list my US address, as I got it when I was abroad, but my drivers license has my US address.
Do I have any options?
A german friend said to drive to the Netherlands and just give the German address and open an account at ING Diba. Is that an option or just for Germans?
I cannot tell you anything about Dutch Banks, as we are the wrong portal for this 😉
However, please have a look again on Number26: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/number26/ (a residence with proof of registration is not required – you only need to state an address in Germany, so Number26 can send you your bank card).
There are no further mailings, so it does not matter, if you have a different address after 3 months. Later on, you can change it in the app. However, no later than the expiration date of your card, as you get a new one sent. That would apply in 3 years.
Does this help you?
PS: In the video chat, you show your passport – from it, the available data is taken – addresses are not stated anyway and you can state it orally.
Number26 got back to me but they said they don’t have EC cards, and you cant send wire transfers from outside Europe. I guess I just don’t understand why this site says comdirect is an option. It definitely isn’t. You need residency apparently. The online application seems to correspond with this as it does not allow you to put a non german address.
Yes that is correct. There is currently no EC card (debit card) at Number26. Number26 is developing a combination of cards. Such bank card will be a MasterCard and debit card in one.
And it is also correct that bank transfers currently only work within the SEPA area. Who combines Number26 e.g. with https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/transferwise/ can send money to other parts of the world without problems. Often even cheaper than with pure bank to bank transfers.
Of course, it is possible to open an account at the Comdirect without an address in Germany (provided one passed the creditworthiness check). However, not through the online form, but through the PDF account application. How to do this is shown on several occasions on this special portal. For example here: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/comdirect/tagesgeld/opening/
Hello,I will be in Germany for some days to participate in an exhibition (it is mentioned on my visa that im a visitor to the exhibition ) I would like to take my chance and try to open an account in order to receive a debit card
Do I have the chance to do it in two working days?
where can I apply?
This is what I heard from Comdirect today ”
Sehr geehrter Interessent,
vielen Dank für Ihr Interesse an einer Kontoverbindung bei comdirect.
Wir bedauern, Ihrem Wunsch auf Eröffnung eines Kontos nicht entsprechen zu können.
Die konkreten Gründe für diese Entscheidung können wir Ihnen nicht mitteilen, da es sich hierbei um bankinterne Richtlinien handelt.
Wir danken Ihnen für Ihr Verständnis.
I appreciate your answer
All the best
P.S.I’m from Iran !!
We are a Non-Profit Organisation based in East Africa Uganda registered under the government of Uganda and we would like to open up an account with your bank. But we tried to fill in the form but insisted that it’s not reliable. We need your help please as soon as possible.
Yours Alpha Initiative Uganda.
Sorry, we aren’t a bank. We are a webportal.
Hello. We are going in a few days to Munich as Master students with my girlfriend. We are from Greece, but we have only booked an airbnb so far and will be searching for accommodation (therefore no residence at the moment). We would like to open an account to deposit the money that we will be bringing with us for these first weeks + kaution for apartments, which is an amount that is uncomfortable for us to carry around (Remember we can’t transfer money directly outside the country at this moment besides student rent costs +500 per month for each person).
IS there a way to put our money in the bank before we find a home?
This article could help you: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/immigration/
I’m trying to open an account online with DKB but they say I need to be a resident od Germany, Austria or Switzerland to do it. Is this new?
The article about that: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/dkb-foreigners/
I want to open a German bank account to use with my company which is based in Belize. Can it be achieved?
I have identification (passport and drivers licence) for myself and a certificate of incorporation for my company
This is not possible with the here presented banks. Generally, most banks in Germany are quite cautious regarding bank accounts for Offshore-Companies.
Depending on the tendency of interest, we will look for an appropriate bank.
I am a resident of Pakistan, can i open an account with DKB, what kind of documents you need to open my account. My monthly transactions would be $2000 to $5000 less or more.
Sadly, it is not possible with DKB.
It is September 18th, 2015 and I have some news: DKB will not accept applications from people who are not resident of Germany, CH and OS…USA certainly not…so don’t waste your time with the application if you aren’t from those countries. comdirect I already know about: no USA residents, period! Its not their (banks) fault, the US authorities have clamped down hard on money laundering and other activities which SOME people take part in by having these accounts. Bad luck for the rest of us…..law abiding ones.
Yes. That is right. But don’t forget: You can open DKB account from all places in the world, if you have the German citizenship.
Comdirect open checking accounts also for US people (not a securities account) if there a good reason and if you can speak and understand German.
We work on a new solution for US people to open a checking in Germany over internet. We are in contact with to providers. Ones accepted US passport but you need a german address for get the card. But this can in future change. The other one have to implement the ID Check over webcam. This provider can ship the card in the USA. But that is not for free.
We will inform you over new articles if it possible to apply. Thank you for your post!
Gregor, the reality is that comdirect puts up so many barriers and overwhelms you with paperwork if you are a “US Person” (citizen or permanent resident like me). They basically make it too difficult, even though I meet the conditions you state: I live part time in Germany (2 mos a year or so); I have worked here as a consultant on and off for years; I speak fluent German; and I am a GB/EU citizen. None of that made any difference! Trust me they don’t want US based accounts…and many on the Internet in the US are now recognizing this fact, for the reasons I stated in my piece above, i.e. the demands of the US government based on money laundering and terrorism fears. I just think there should be a happy medium and I do hope it changes, many US people would benefit from Euro accounts.
Let me make it clear about something: I do have a German bank account where I live part time, I have had one for years. I just wanted a less expensive, internet-based one like comdirect or DKB.
I would like to open a bank account in Germany. Can you please advise on what procedure to follow as I am a citizen of South Africa and I am based in Pretoria, South Africa. I also want to know what is the minimum amount of money I will need to open such an account
I’m a exchange student from latin america in Germany with the EU Citizenship and i will be living and, with some luck, doing an internship there.
I already have a number26 mastercard thanks to your site (amazing card by the way!).
My question is : could i receive payments from my freelance work in this account (US/UK transfers) ? or i would need to open another type of account ?
Can you give me some advice on this matter ?
Thanks for all your work !
Hi, I am a German citizen but lives at Israel.
I have never lived in Germany but I would like to open a bank account there.
Is it possible to open online account from Israel?
Will I have to pay Taxes in Germany, or because I live in Israel I don’t need too?
Do they send all the cards and letters to Israel by mail and is it possible to get the letters in English from them
My husband worked in Germany for many years and I now receive his pension, I would like to open a German bank account for his German pension to be deposited. We have adult grandchildren that are German citizens. Would you be so kind and recommend a bank for me? I live in the USA, should I also have my oldest Grandchild on the account with me? Thank you in advance.
The usage of this special portal is free and you can find a lot of important information about the account opening in Germany from the USA, just like on this page: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/open-dkb-account-from-usa/
However, we do not do individual consultations, as this is in contrast to the intention of the portal. Good luck.
Catherine if you read my comments above you will see that this is now very difficult, and the reasons why. I am not an expert, but believe it is YOUR citizenship and country of residence that is crucial here. I also wish you good luck…
I am a UK citizen currently living in London, planning on moving to Berlin in January. I would like to open a German bank account prior to my move. Would I be able to use a friends home address in Cologne for the online application?
If you could also recommend the best current account with debit/cash card for purchases and atm use I would really appreciate it!
Thank you in advance!
Not every current account is the same. In Germany, there are many differences in this type of account. This is also the reason for our introduction page: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/account/current/
Currently, a lot of young people, who approve the banking on the Smartphone, decide for Number26. Please take a look at it, whether this is something for you: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/number26/
I am a marine officer working at sea for a long periods, I am planning to open an account in germany to transfer my monthly salary in to it. Is that possible to do the account while I am currently at sea. Please advise
I am trying to open up an account with DKB, however it requires that I have some kind of monthly net income. As a missionary, I do not have a monthly income however I have enough money to live without taking from the government. Do both banks require some kind of proof of monthly income?
Yes, the DKB as well as the Comdirect only open the free current account with Visa credit card, if there is enough monthly income and the creditworthiness is alright.
Other providers, such as Number26 or Onlinekonto do not have this obstacle, however, one either has to have the place of residence within Germany or pay account management fees.
Hello, i have dual citizen with germany, and have a german passport. I live in the USA. How do i go about opening a german bank account online from The States?
Good idea! This site is for you: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/open-dkb-account-from-usa/ (infos + instruction). Good luck 🙂
I am an Egyptian entrepeneur and want to start a business in Germany. Can I open an online German bank account from Egypt? Or do I have to be present in Germany? Also what bank would you recommend? I speak fluent german.
Sorry, we don’t know a option from your country and sadly we don’t offer consultations in English.
thank you so much for this article, it is very helpful. I have some questions though. I am coming to Germany on a job-seeker visa on the 26th of February; I am originally from Istanbul. The visa is valid for a six months. I really want/need to open a German bank account, and these two seem like the only option for me. Until I find stable work in Germany, I am going to be subletting apartments through craigslist and airbnb; and that’s why I will not have rental agreement, thus I cannot register myself within the city of Berlin. I am wondering is it still possible to open the account in Germany without having a rental agreement (or Berlin city registration) or so; but I am going to be present there. Or can i open the account from Turkey, and then what would i have to do when i arrive to Germany? Do .comdirect have an adress?
thank you so much for your help, and sorry for the long message 🙂
A rental agreement does not have to be presented at the account opening. However, one requires a registered address, so that the bank can perform the creditworthiness check. As you do not have a credit history in Germany, it will be difficult at the account opening.
Take a look at this bank: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/number26/ – maybe it is something for you? As this account does not have a credit line, no creditworthiness check takes place. It can practically applied by anyone who has a modern smartphone and one also gets the account.
For the application, you need an address in Germany, as the bank card cannot be sent to Turkey.
I am an Austrian with a Euro Passport living in South Africa.
I have been a collector of fine antiques for the past 55 years but am now selling them on ebay and the Dorotheum. Is it possible for me to open and account in Germany or Austria without going to the actual bank? I need to open a account for my grand children’s future as the will probably one day when old enough go back to Europe.
regrettably, regarding Austrian banks we cannot give you any advice or information, since wie are specialized on German bank accounts. Regarding this, you can find the information on our web portal, most of it in the German language version.
Regarding an account in the USA, we offer a “remote service” to open a bank account there – a service that has been very well received by our readers. Here, people are willing to compensate us for the organization of opening such an account – but oddly enough not, when it comes to opening an account for them in Germany, which is why we don’t offer this service for German accounts.
Nevertheless, you can of course find all related information here for free, in order to organize this. Good luck!
Do you have any updated information for opening a bank account in Germany as a non-resident? Is it getting any easier? I am a Canadian/UK citizen living in Canada. I worked and studied in Germany in the 70s. Now I am retired I am entitled to a very small pension which has finally been granted after several years and many letters back and forth submitting endless detailed documents. I was hoping that the Pension Service would send my money in Euros – they asked for my bank details here so I opened a Euro account here in Canada for that purpose, so I can let the money accumulate and spend it on visits to Europe. Now they have sent me a letter saying they have to send the money in Canadian dollars. When such a small amount is involved (around E 30 a month) I am reluctant to incur fees for currency exchange which will be deducted from that.
The Pension Service recommended that I should open a bank account in Germany if I wish to receive my pension in Euros. However on reading through all the other posts on this page I see that is easier said than done. Any information you can give me would be much appreciated. p.s. I do speak German.
You have already viewed this article? https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/receive-pension-from-germany-open-bank-account/
This is a great site. Perfect.
I’m from Hong Kong.
I sell some items on marketplace in German. The marketplace website charged me ultra high currency conversion rate.
I’d like to know can I open a German bank current account for receiving money online if I do not live in German?
Also, is there an option of German bank to transfer money to my country? What is the charge?
That is sadly not possible from HK, if you not come here for identification process.
Thank you very much for your reply.
Is it because of Hong Kong ID or all foreigners must visit Germany to complete the ID verification?
How about Canadian citizenship, my brother is Canadian.
Is he able to apply?
Hope you can help me.
What is your opinion about Germany? German laws do not know favouritism or discrimination of nationality or other differences. Exactly because of our legal system and of the excellent conditions of our direct banks, many people choose Germany as the site of their bank account.
Everyone, regardless what passport he/she possesses, has to properly legitimize at the account opening.
Moreover, it is not a good idea to set up a bank account in the name of another person.
We are a Jordanian company and not established any where else. We are planning to ship products to store in German (public warehouse) and then distribute to customers (online sales). We’ve obtained an EORI number and in the process of obtaining a German VAT number.
We need a bank account in Germany so our customers can deposit in. We’ll also use it to pay for expenses in Germany.
Is there a way to open an account online (without the need to visit Germany)? Also, do any of the banks have an English website?
Honestly, the market niche (foreign companies that want to open a bank account in Germany without coming here personally) is too small in order for German banks to create a special account. Moreover, there are strict legal requirements for the identification of the account holders and ultimately the “beneficial owners”. A German bank expects a personal account opening especially at a business account. By the way, this is common for foreigners in all countries known by me.
We are working on a special solution, how to open a current account (in English language) from abroad. The performing provider will probably not offer this product officially before autumn 2016. More about that will be published later on our web portal.
Thanks for information.
If I have to make a trip to Germany to open the account, I’ll do that. Frankfurt would be the easiest for me.
Which bank do you recommend (a bank with English online banking), how much time I should budget to stay in Frankfurt to finish the process and what documents will be required?
I do not know business accounts in English language (consultant + online banking), only by the Deutsche Bank. Please make sure to agree on an appointment with the branch office for the account opening (business account), so that an English-speaking consultant will have enough time for you.
You can find according branch offices of the Deutsche Bank on Google or calling +49 69 910-10000.
That is all I can do for you. The Deutsche Bank is not one of the banks anymore that we constantly observe on our special portal. Good luck!
Thanks for sharing this great info. I am an Indian Citizen and a resident of Austria. I studied in Germany before taking a job in University of Vienna. I am now moving to Germany again as I have got a job in the Von Thünen Institute, a Federal Govt Reseach Institute.
I want to open an all online bank account there. I quite liked the DKB Bank. I currently have an account in the Austrian Easy bank which has great features.
I am in need of a personal loan of 15000 Euros. Is it possible to get Kredit from DKB Bank?
Anybody, who has the place of residence in Germany and earns the income in Germany, can apply for a loan at the DKB. Here you can find a video on this subject: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/dkb/loan/
However, it is not me who decides, but the loan department of the bank decides whether it grants the loan or not. Good luck!
Thanks for a great site, and thanks for all the info. Sorry if a question like mine has been addressed.
Ich bin Süderafrikaner, aber kann Deutsch verstehen, sprechen und lesen. (schreiben, vor allem im Geschäft, kommt jetzt noch schwerer).
I have never lived in Germany and obviously do not have a credit history. I saw that the DKB option does not exist anymore. Does ComDirect still serve non-residents?
I have many proofs for my address in South Africa, I am wondering which would be acceptable.
I do business with a company Austria, so a EURO account would be very convenient. I will make a side trip into Germany on my next visit to Austria if I can open such an account.
If you have a link, I will read it.
Regards Wim Kotzé
There is a German current account / business account – on Euro base – with guaranteed account opening. Perhaps you want to take a look at it? https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/account/online/
Hi, We are living in Australia and want to open an Euro account for travelling around in Europe. However we would like to open it before we come while the exchange rate is favourable. Is there a bank that will do this for us. We do not require any credit card facilities only a Eftpos card. Kind Regards, Mary
I made a functional account with Deutsche Bank and have been using it over the past year. However, as I notice now, I did not receive my online banking details from them. Is this possible?
I’m worried they may not give it to me.
I didn’t have to use online banking over the year so I didn’t check (and I’m also a student, so I’m a little clueless) but now I’m not in the country and am kind of stuck.
Any help would be appreciated.
Hi! Please contact the Deutsche Bank directly. We are not the Deutsche Bank.
Often we are able to help people with their banking accounts. But we can only do this in case of general questions/issues (as we as a web portal don’t have any access to the customer files of a bank), and only with such banks, where we ourselves have active accounts.
Wondered if you can answer me this question: (background first)
My mother was a German citizen, married my dad, moved to the states and became an American Citizen. I don’t think she maintained her German citizenship. When her mother died, she left my mom money in a German account, which she still has. My mother recently died and left me her only heir. Here’s my question for you: how easy/hard is it going to be to get her money our of her account(s) and transferred to me here in the US? And 2nd, will I have to pay any taxes on those funds in Germany?
Thanks for any information you can provide.
Very sorry for your loss …
I’m afraid your inquiry lies quite outside our special purview, since it potentially involves national and/or international inheritance law as well as tax law.
I have tried to research your question, but since your situation is rather individual and we don’t know all related facts, I was not able to find an answer for you. I would say that the difficulty and tempo of the proceedings depend on questions like: Is there a formal will and executor, in whose name is the bank account etc.? I recommend contacting a German attorney who is specialized on inheritance law and maybe even a tax consultant.
Sorry that we cannot be of more help in this case. Good luck!
I am a German citizen but been living in the us for over 20 years. My mom passed and I have to open an account to get rent deposit from a heritage
I did the web I’d and send documents over email plus I have send 2 emails , to find out why nobody is notifying me and why I have not received any papers in the mail
Can you help me it’s been over two week 07/01/2016
The best would be if you called the bank and inquire directly after the status of your account opening. We ourselves are not a bank and also don’t know at which bank you have opened your account (otherwise we would have looked up their hotline number for you) Good luck!
It’s the DKB
I did the web Id got tan number plus I’d numbers but never heard back from them
Hello Mr. Tanya,
I live in London. I would like to open an account with DKB. Should I travel to Germany for one day to proof my identity? Or is ok just to go to Barclays bank and let them verify my details? How will Barclays bank send requested data to DKB? Will I receive my bank card from DKB to my British address? Thanks
Regrettably, the DKB does not open any accounts for customers abroad/worldwide anymore. You can read more about this in our article: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/dkb-foreigners/
Do you really need the DKB in particular – or would another account elsewhere work as well?
The online account, despite higher fees, gets more and more popular and will soon be available in English as well: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/online-account-opening/
Does any of these banks offer english support?
And do they charge any fee?
The english language is not common at German banks. This accounts have an english support: PayCenter and Viabuy. Both are not for free.
I am quite lost here because of all informations, I just would like to ask if it is possible to open any banking account without living in Germany. (could be online bank and I can travel one time if necessary but I don’t live there) Could anyone give me actual informations abut that.
Yes, this Onlinekonto.
I have a small German pension which I currently have paid into a UK based “Euro Account” Getting access to this money when I want to travel to Europe is a nightmare and I wondered if I could open an account in Germany into which I could have the pension paid.
The account would obviously have to provide an ATM card so I can get my money easily.
I see that, sadly, DKB no longer provide these accounts and I wondered if you could recommend any other banks that can help me.
Right, the time for free bank accouts for foreign people is over. Often they took only the incoming money with a card free of charge from outside ATM. That costs paid German banks like DKB a lot of money.
This Onlinekonto and Viabuy open accounts for foreign people. This accounts are not free of charge. You can transfer the money with TransferWisey to UK or other countries. That is cheaper than get the money from ATM, because there are fees for that (ATM fee and foreign transaction fee).
I am a canadian who need a bank account in both Euro and GBP. Will i be able to accept a wire into these accounts and then wire euro back to Canada? Are there any currency account limits on these accounts?
Thank you for your time.
I want to know some information.
I am brazilian, I live here and I will be in Europe for 25 days, in January and February. I want to open a bank account to be able to transfer money from Brazil to Germany in an easy way.
Once in Europe i want to withdraw the money transfered, to use as a tourist in my travel.
Can I open an account and use it the way I need?
Tks in advance for the help.
I am a German/Us dual citizen living in the US. I do not speak German and only recently got a German passport due to my family history. I would like to create a bank account in Germany for emergency use in case the political situation in the US deteriorates over the next four years. I understand that rules have changed making it harder for people not living in Germany currently to make an account. As a German passport holder living outside of Germany are there any banks where I can open an account. Preferably one without fees.
Yes, that is an interesting idea!
Do you plan to have money deposited/transferred there? At DKB, If there are at least 2,100 EUR coming in quarterly on your account (can be transferred inexpensively via TransferWise), there won’t be any foreign transaction fee worldwide — most US banks charge 2% for all transactions other than US-Dollar.
In addition there would be the emergency card or emergency cash free of charge (e.g. in the case that a card gets lost while travelling).
But even if this amount does not come in, the account remains free of charge.
Here you can read more about the new DKB terms and conditions (in effect from Dec 1, 2016 onwards): https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/new-dkb-conditions/
There are two challenges, though:
– Like every German direct bank with a free of charge giro account, DKB performs a credit check when opening an account. The question will be, whether you, since you live abroad, will be able to obtain the necessary credit score in Germany. Some manage it, some don’t. In any case, your income will be important.
– Contract language und language for the online banking is German.
Germany is lacking in banks with an English language offer!
Providers with an English language option are regrettably subject to charges, and the terms and conditions not as good as Germany’s best direct banks , either.
I am a translator living in the US working for agencies in Germany. I tried to open a DKB online account but at the end it said this was not possible living in the US. And yet I read the US on the list of countries it accepts. Has this changed?
Yes, that is correct. DKB sees their target group in Germany. Without advertising, customers from Austria and Switzerland are accepted. Also, German expats have good chances for an account. In such cases, a connection to Germany is obvious, and a legitimization via ID in German relatively easy.
This means: German citizens in the US (provided they have a current passport or ID/Personalausweis) could apply for the account. But they, too, have to pass the credit check, just like in Germany, for an account application with credit card at a direct bank.
This for your information. Maybe this post will help as well: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/comdirect-opening-current-account/ – but we will work on other solutions as well.
Hi I would like to open an account in Germany, though I am a Swedish citizen and reside in Sweden. I want the account opened because for business purposes buying trucks and vans in Germany and shipping to Sweden. Now my questions that there is a company in Germany that offer non residents in Germany addresses to get their mails and it’s forwarded to them. Now can I use that kind of service to open an account. Hope to hear from you.
Yes, we have a guess article by Laura about this issue and solution – I hope that will help you: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/eburo-post-address-germany/
Am searching for a solution to help my business start working. I have an online business selling product online.
I have a Shopify, website, eBay,
But the problem that am in now is my country can’t access online getaway payments. but transfer money yes.
I need a bank account that i can use on my website where the Clinte’s can ise there visa or any credit card to buy my products. Please help well be so glad.
My name Amin and am from aruba island in the Caribbean,
Thank you in advance
Nice, I read an interesting article about Aruba. I am not sure what your business is and if it a option to found an company in Germany (that is easier to get a business bank account). But maybe a Paypal account is enough for you?
Hello, I opened a bank account in Germany with Comdirect Bank. I have a hard time figuring out how I can now transfer money from my US bank account to my Comdirect account in Germany.
What is the best way to go about transferring money without paying a lot of fees?
Thank you for help in advanced.
I’d like to ask you how can you open a bank account in Germany?
I live in Hong Kong. What requirements do I need?
you might want to give Transferwise a try. I have actually tested them myself, since I have both a German and a US banking account. You can find the article here: https://www.amerikakonto.com/en/transfer-money-usa-germany/
It basically guides you through the whole procedure 🙂
Hi, I am a UK resident but of Singaporean nationality (on a student visa). Can I open an the bank account online?
Great thanks for the wonderful article. Cheers.
Pls gimme some information, as am an expat will be settling in Germany for work, which bank should i approach?
And also will be transferring money to my country bank account, considering these which bank should i opt for.
Thanks in advance.
I am a dual American/German citizen living in the USA. I wish to move to Germany in the next few months. It would be most convenient to already have a German bank account when I arrive.
As a dual citizen, will I have any problems applying from the United States? What form of identification should I use. Getting it notarized at my bank here would be no problem, nor would be a transfer. I have transferred money to Germany with no problem.
Interesting – to which German regions will you come?
Do you have a valid German passport? Then you could try the account opening at DKB. You can find a bilingual instruction here: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/open-dkb-bank-account/
In the best case you will get an e-mail invitation to identify yourself via a video chat. Alternatively, a certification of your identity by your US bank is possible as well, it will just take longer because of the sending through the post.
Due to the automated and partly manually reworked credit checks in connection with online account applications one regrettably can never say in advance whether your account opening will work out at the first attempt. Directly from abroad it’s always a bit harder than when you already have a (registered) address in Germany. But DKB and Comdirect open accounts for people living abroad on a daily basis.
Do you already know Susanne‘s instruction on how to – very inexpensively – transfer amounts of up to 5,000 USD to Germany? This might be a tip for you: https://www.amerikakonto.com/en/transfer-money-usa-germany/
I am a German citizen/passport holder but a non german speaker. I reside in the US. I applied for the DKB account and got the email saying I could prove my ID in video chat. I’m wondering if I can do this with the mic off just by texting back and forth so that I can use google translate to communicate …since I won’t be able to conduct an interview in German.
At least 90% of the customer service employees who do the legitimization via video chat speak English well. They will be able to communicate with you, and the identification process should work well.
Please note though that the contract and general communication language with the bank is German. This means: If possible, the bank will help you with the English communication, but you don’t have any entitlement to this. Regarding the general use, this should work well. In case of problems though, it might possibly be a good idea to use a translator – because the contractual matters are done in German language and in accourdance with German law.
We hope you’ll enjoy discovering the new possibilities with one of the best German banking accounts!
vielen Dank, for your help!
I will be visiting both Dresden and Liepzig. I plan to look for a wohnung in Leipzig. So having a bank account in advance would be good. I am worried about Schufa since I will just now be moving to Germany. Do they share information with the US credit bureaus ? I have good credit here in the USA and own my own home ( which I would sell ). I am already in my late sixties. I had planned this move for many years, but had been caring for my Mom who just passed away at 96.
No I have not looked further into the money transfer, but will check the link and learn further.
I’m interested in opening an account in Germany as a UK resident. I read all the first section of the thread up until it said it was no longer possible from 30/6/14. Has anything changed since then? I do not have a German address nor do I intened visiting Germany just to open a bank account. Thanks in advance.
I am in the process of applying with DKB and I live in the UK. I used their German Passport identification method yesterday.
I am waiting patiently to get my answer.
I’m from Israel and would like to open a girokonto in germany. I’ve visited germany several times but never actually stayed so i don’t think I’m schufa registered. Also I think Israel is not one of the 40 countries. I studied german and can speak a bit but it’s difficult to make conversation, so I think using text is best.
Thing is I’m not planning a trip to Germany at the moment and need the account from local transfers ASAP. Is there some other way to do this that I’m missing?
Hello, your webpage is very informative and helpfull!
Is it possiblle to have an account in German Bank for company registered in Poland?
Yes, of course. You just have to find a bank that is willing to do that for the specific company.
Our specialty portal is aimed at privat customers.
We live in South Africa. My daughter is 16 years old. She will be staying in Germany for 3 months as an exchange student. Can she open a bank account? What do you suggest?
Her grandfather offered to give her some spending money, but it has to be a German bank account, as he is a German citizen.
that is going to be problematic, because when it comes to opening an account for a minor (which in Germany you are considered to be until your 18. birthday), a parent/legal guardian needs to co-sign the application.
Hi Tanya – we would like to open a bank account in Germany. My husband and daughter are both German citizens (with valid passports), but were are based in Zimbabwe. Personal advise on the way forward will be greatly appreciated – if possible to open 2 accounts one for my husband and l (joint) and a savings account for my daughter.
Hi. I am in the process of opening a DKB account per your instructions. I verified my identity using the online video procedure. (I spoke with a representative from DKB, held up my passport, and so on.)
Now DKB wants:
– “a copy (front and back) of the current residence of [me]”
– “a copy of your electricity, gas or water bill, a bank statement or your bank a registration certificate (maximum 12 months old) from the / stating the current address / registration address of [me]”
These things will be impossible for me to get. Thus is seems your article is falsely presenting information – it is not possible to open a German bank account “via [the] Internet” “without having to visit Germany”. At least not with DKB.
Please correct me if I am wrong
Hey, hey! DKB opens the absolutely free Giro account with Visa Card for people living outside of Germany more than any other bank. But not for everybody. For banks in Germany there is a statutory due diligence. And if you cannot provide an address that is actually your residence, the bank will not open an account for you. That is actually quite logical: You cannot send a Visa Card to somebody without an address.
If one has already gotten that far that they have gotten an invitation for a VideoIdent, then one has already gotten very far and is very close to the actual account opening.
> you cannot provide an address that is actually your residence
Does it mean “address in Germany” or any other country besides Austria and Switzerland will do just fine?
You can apply for a DKB account with a residential address in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. German citizens can do that from any country in the world. DKB is basically the home bank for Germans that have gone abroad. 😉
If my daughter is going to university in Germany, can I set up a bank account for her? we might be traveling to Germany to set her up at school. Would it be best to wait until then and go to a DKB bank to set it up in person.
An unrelated question. If we deposit USD into a Germany account and the dollar goes down relative to the Euro, does the amount of Euros in the bank remain the same?
Thank you for all the work you are doing to help people.
Hey hey, DKB is a direct bank. An account opening is only possible online. The minimum age is 18 years. There is no account opening possible for tourists. Once your daughter has arrived in Germany and has registered her residence here, she can apply fort he account. Please keep in mind, that her „credit history“ will be checked and will probably not turn out to be very comprehensive.
It would probably be easiest to open an account at a local bank. The conditions might be works in many aspects, but a high-end account without a monthly fee will only be granted after a credit history check turns out to be favorable.
Only very few German banks accept cash deposits in US-Dollar. At some banks, you can exchange the cash to Euro and then deposit it there.
I just tried to open an account with DKB as will be moving from the UK to Germany later this year. On completing the application I pressed submit and it rejected my application because as it said only residents of Germany, Austria and Switzerland can apply. Is this correct now?
Yes, sadly. The DKB sees its market in the German-speaking area.
I am an American residing in Ecuador, and I am a contracted teacher for a Chinese company. I will be working in Spain in the coming year. I would like like to know the following:
1. Can I open an online bank account with Deutche, so I can receive my pay from the Chinese company into a Deutche bank account?
2. If so, can I withdraw my money with an ATM card within Ecuador, and what would the fees be?
One can always apply for a bank account, but if one does not have any touch points with Germany, it might not make that much sense!
From the side of the above recommended DKB there are no fees for cash withdrawals abroad at the ATM or for card payments, as long as there is an amount of 700 Euro or more coming in on the account on a monthly basis.
I am starting a business in the US which will include importing products from a business headquartered in Munich. My company will sell also in South America. We would like to receive payment from South America in Euros and transfer some of these funds to to our business associates in Munich. Receiving funds into the US and then turning around and sending funds to Germany would require currency transfers and various US-based fees. So, we would like to open an account in Germany. Can you please tell me if opening an account in Germany from the US for the purposes described seems possible. I will likely be in Germany on a business trip within the next 2 months.
Hey, hey! This page is about the opening of private checking accounts. These are standardized processes and if anyone has questions, we are happy to help on a “vol-unteer” basis.
Opening business accounts with headquarters abroad are very individual and compli-cated processes. Often you even need good relationships, because no inexpensive German online bank is interested in this kind of business. This is something we cannot provide via the commenting feature.
But maybe this tip is alreay the solution for you ► Opening TransferWise’s Borderless Account . Does that work?
Hi I’m wondering how long will it take for me to get a company account in Deutsche Bank after I open my company in Germany.
Also how long does it take for the Deutsche Bank to accept me?
Looking forward to your answer
Please enquire directly at Deutsche Bank (we are not the Deutsche Bank). Best of luck!
In case I come from another country with high fees for international transfers and high foreign currency fees in general. Is it possible to send a check by mail to the German bank in foreign currency.
How much will it cost to deposit and exchanging the money into Euro in the DKB Bank account?
For a value of up to 12,500 Euro, check payments cost a flat rate of 25 Euro – at least when I last submitted a foreign check. If possible, I recommend making international payments via TransferWise. With TransferWise only relatively small fees are incurred, the exchange rate is good and at DKB, the cash receipt counts as a national transfer. Thus, the credit is free of charge. Is that an option for your country?
Can I have a bank account in Germany that is in Canadian funds? In Canada it is possible to have a US fund bank account.
Have a look here.