You may not be aware that most banks here in Germany charge a monthly administration fee for the pleasure of you holding a current (US: checking) account, known as a Girokonto in German.

This article aims to save you time and money!

We're going to take a look at 4 popular banks in Germany which offer completely FREE accounts. The aim is to help you decide which of these is the best for you. All of these accounts often come recommended on various expat blogs and in expat Facebook Groups, hence why we've focused on these 4:

 

  • N26

  • comdirect bank

  • ING DiBa

  • DKB

 

 

Which is the best bank account in Germany for expats?

Before we get to the list…

 

There are a number of accounts out there which claim to be free…but the small print can sometimes have nasty surprises. For example, some stipulate a minimum monthly salary which has to be paid in.

The ones we compare below are all free for the following and do not have a monthly minimum pay-in requirement:

  1. Cash withdrawals from their own (if applicable) and partner organisation cash machines
  2. Transfers from your account to any other bank account as part of the SEPA-transfer protocol, made in Euro and inside the Eurozone
  3. Day-to-day transactions and management of the account
  4. Issuance of a debit card 
  5. Monthly statements or balance requests, as long as you receive these online and you clear out your mailbox regularly
  6. Calling or chatting with customer service (this also applies to email queries which are responded to by a person, not just a link to their FAQs)

 

In the following sections we explain in more detail how each of these banks differ in what they offer, so as you can decide yourself which one is the best bank account in Germany that suits your needs.