Withdraw cash with the Girocard in Germany?
No, thanks, smart bank customers use the Visa Card free of charge!
The idea to this article came up because of a test by the consumer magazine Finanztest, in which a whole bunch of pull-ups were made in order to help bank customers to pay only Euros 1.95 instead of Euro 7.99 (most expensive ATM in Germany) per withdrawal, if no ATM of the own bank is situated nearby.
What? Come again?
Normally, I do not read this magazine and therefore, I did not realize how far away we smart bank customers are from the worries of “Mister Average”!
We would never settle for paying Euros 1.95 for a cash withdrawal in the cheapest case. Never ever!
Let’s continue with the facts!
In most briefcases of us German people, there is a Girocard (often still called EC-card). This is used for paying and to withdraw money.
Many banks issue only the Girocard free of charge as a standard or with a low annual fee. Local banks rather offer their credit cards in combination with journeys (“up to 7 % refund, if booked through our affiliated travel service*”).
Such a credit card is offered for an annual fee of Euros 25 to 100. Withdrawing cash using the credit card is expensive. Often seen: 2 % of the withdrawal amount, but at least Euros 5.
No wonder that Mister Average will never think of withdrawing money with a credit card.
Unfortunately, this habit sometimes remains, if the bank is switched and one immediately disposes of two cards of one bank. Let’s take the example DKB.
Two free cards are standard at a good direct bank
Being a new DKB-customer, one automatically gets two cards: 1 Girocard and 1 Visa Card (credit card). There are people, who keep the Visa Card in the bank folder and use the Girocard as accostumed for the everyday use.
When paying, this works as used to – however, when withdrawing money it becomes expensive. Herein, the article of the magazine Finanztest could come up cost-cutting.
Nevertheless, this is not necessary at all, because if one is using the Visa Card for the cash withdrawals, then one does not have to think of the costs of foreign ATMs!
The direct bank bears all these fees
This is namely borne by the DKB for us smart bank customers. And it does not matter how high these costs are. This takes place automatically, so that we DKB-customers do not notice it at all.
Moreover, do not let yourself be irritated by the fee-note stickers of local banks of Euros 5 per withdrawal. These simply do not apply to DKB-customers in Germany, because the bank bears these costs for us.
This should also mean: please use the cash withdrawals meaningfully, so that the DKB will continue to bear these costs for us. For example, withdraw Euros 350 per week instead of Euros 50 per day.
This is only an example. I know people that do not need more than Euros 50 cash per month – others do not feel safe, if they carry less than Euros 1,000 cash!
If you think of opening an account at the DKB, then please take a look at this video, in which I explain how to optimally use both cards:
Go directly to the bank: www.dkb.de ✔
Why it will be even more meaningful in the future to be customer of a top bank!
In the article of the magazine Finanztest, one also learns that there are now ATMs that charge higher fees depending on the time of day for withdrawing cash with the Girocard!
The background idea: when it is late at night, the customer is less willing to go to another ATM and accepts the higher fee for the withdrawal.
It was also revealed that the withdrawal fees are higher in some districts (discotheques and bars) than in other areas!
Also here the strategy that one does not pay great attention to the withdrawal fee of the ATM after having some drinks.
Moreover – and this has been nicely confirmed by the article of the Finanztest – the ATMs increasingly show the “direct customer fee” when withdrawing with the Girocard, when one already entered the PIN as well as the withdrawal amount, so in the last moment before the payment.
Withdrawal fee is often shown very late to the customer
The background of the strategy is also well calculated from the perspective of the ATM-providers: the customer has already invested time and effort to get through the menu and is less willing to cancel the payment, when one is presenting the fees at this point of time.
To make things worse, some banks show the withdrawal fee in the “small print” on the monitor and not particularly evident. You can find an illustration of that in the current issue of the Finanztest or in my spontaneously recorded video about this subject. Here I am holding the magazine in front of the camera:
You can avoid this trouble using the Visa Card of two of our top providers!
If you know our article “The 3 best current accounts of Germany“, then you know that we recommend the direct banks
in the mentioned order.
If you are a customer of the DKB or the ING-DiBa, then you can forget the drama around the subject withdrawing at third-party ATMs with the Girocard. This simply does no longer apply to you.
You have freedom of ATM-choice using the Visa Card. It is free of charge for you. End of story.
As I mentioned in the accompanying video to the article, anybody can apply for the DKB-current account – however, due to the usual income and creditworthiness check, not everyone can get it.
Of course, a bank that offers a free current account with free cash supply must find other points in order to recoup the costs. This is done through the interchange fees at card payments (0.3 %, which have to be paid by the card payment receiver) and if the customer uses further products, such as the overdraft facility or a securities depot. This is rather the case for people, who dispose of a good to very good creditworthiness.
Tip: pay attention to the rating of your creditworthiness. With a free Schufa-query, you will have a great clue.
From my experience – or better said: from the experiences of some habitual readers here – I know that after being rejected by the DKB, the account opening at the ING-DiBa worked fine.
This is why I am inserting here the explanation video for the optimal use of both cards that you get as a new customer of the ING-DiBa:
Accompanying article to the video: Cards of the ING-DiBa.
Tips for withdrawing cash in Germany!?
No matter whether you switched to a recommended direct bank or whether you found another good bank solution for your personal purposes and objectives, I would be glad to read your comments on the subject: tips on how to withdraw cash free of charge.
Because this is our forte as smart bank customers that we can help each other with tips. Welcome are also recommendations on how to get cash free of charge on the road besides the options DKB, ING-DiBa and similar banks.
No matter how comfortable the card payment became through the contactless-feature – the freedom that people can decide for themselves, when, where and how they want to pay should be a personal decision. 🙂
Thank you for reading this article and possibly your commitment through the comments feature!
- Tip for the emergency: fee-free cash through the DKB Girocard (German)
- How to not mess up the DKB-account opening
- ING-DiBa current account is also suitable for emigrants
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