Choosing the best current account in Germany can be a nightmare, simply because of the numerous offers and the hidden costs that come with most offers. Here’s a breakdown to help you choose the best account:
Some of the things you should look into include:
How much the bank charges to withdraw or transfer money outside the country?
Infrastructure in place to allow you to withdraw money.
Major banks have more ATMs than small banks.
How many ATMs does the bank run and how many do they allow you to withdraw money from for free?
Banks that offer Maestro ATM cards allow you to withdraw money from ALL ATMs with the Maestro sign for FREE all over the world. This also works with the VISA symbol. In Kenya sometimes you find an ATM with the Maestro or VISA symbol but you can’t withdraw money, this is simply because in some places in Kenya they draw the signs as “decoration” and not to list available services.
How much does it costs to withdraw from ATMs from other companies within the country?
Traditional vs online bank?
Online banks are cheaper than traditional banks but traditional banks are more comfortable for older people who need face to face consultations.
Overdraft limit (Dispositionskredit) and the Rate of Payment
Some accounts come with the overdraft loan in place while for others you need to apply to get one.
Overdraft loan is simply the amount you’re allowed to take from your account albeit not having it in the account. If you have an overdraft of €2000, you’re allowed to withdraw that amount more than what you have; so if your account had €10, then you can withdraw €2010.
Most online banks will offer you the credit bank for free while traditional banks you have to pay to get it.
Can you open the account from outside Germany?
This is important especially for the foreigners coming to Germany for their studies or work and need to have an account in Germany before they arrive. Some banks that allow you to open an account while still living outside Germany are: DKB (Deutsche Kredit Bank).
What is the account for?
Some accounts only accept salaries, others are only for students, others don’t accept freelancers or self employed peeople.
Below are some websites where you can compare different Banks
Please feel free to add some other factors to consider when opening a bank account in Germany.