Best bank in Germany in 2017

Finding the best bank in Germany is not an easy task. There are a lot of banks on the market, and therefore you have a dizzying number of choices. We have compared the pros and cons of every bank and made overview for you. In that way, you can find the best German bank account that fits to your needs.

 
The main question that you hear nowadays is if the online banks offer better value than brick-and-mortar banks (banks that have a physical presence in a building). According to the ‘Bundesverband deutscher Banken’ banks are steadily getting rid of their brick-and-mortar offices in the last years. Meanwhile, there is a clear up-trend in online banking. In beginning of 2011 just half of the adults used online banking in Germany, and currently it is up to 80%. This means that online banks are gaining ground on the traditional banks. However, it is up to you to decide what you like best. Finding the best bank in Germany for foreigners is not easy, but with our tips we will ensure that you will find the bank that fits to your needs.


List of banks in Germany

What are the best banks in Germany? And, which of them offers the clearest contracts and the best conditions? We have listed below the most frequently used and reliable banks in Germany.

Free Account Minmum Input
DKB
Deutsche Postbank € 1.000 p.m
Commerzbank € 1.200 p.m
Volkswagen Bank € 1.000 p.m
Comdirect
Norisbank
DAB bank
Hypovereinsbank € 1.500 p.m
1822 Direct € 1 p.m
Hypovereinsbank

All these German banks offer different kind of checking accounts, discounts and credit cards. Are you wondering what best bank in Deutschland is? We have listed the best banks in Germany below. All of these banks offer clear contracts for non-German speakers and are used by most German inhabitants.


The best online banks in Germany

The banks that are mentioned in this section are online banks. Which means they don’t have branches in every city like the traditional banks. Online banks have become more and more present since they offer relatively high interest rates, good customer services, low fees and 24/7 access to your finances. Most traditional banks generally charge fees for withdrawals at another bank’s ATM within Germany. Most online banks don’t. The traditional banks are doing their utmost best to ramp up their web presence to compete with the online banks. Still, online banking is not for everyone. We have selected 2 of the best online banks in Germany for expats and english speakers:

Deutsche Kreditbank AG – DKB

DKB logoOne of the biggest and fastest growing banks in Germany is the DKB – Deutsche Kredit Bank. The bank was founded 1990 and serves now over 3 million German customers. If you are fine with doing all your banking online – this is the best bank account in Germany for you. It offers benefits and advantages that traditional banks do not offer and therefore DKB internetbanking very interesting for expats.

DKB benefits:

    • ✓ Free account with no monthly input
    • ✓ Free VISA card
    • ✓ Free worldwide cash withdrawals
    • ✓ 0.70% Interest paid on credit card balance
    • ✓ Free securities account
    • ✓ Monthly credit card and bank statements online

The DKB is a subsidiary of the Bavarian bank. The bank primarily focuses cash checking accounts for private and freelance clients, but they also offer financing of real estate and the granting of personal loans. Their main advantage is that they offer free VISA credit card with free worldwide withdrawals. That hey offer a free credit card in Germany is unique in the German banking world. This is something that can come in handy when you are often abroad. Moreover, you can withdraw cash from any ATM in Germany without paying additional fees. Also, DKB makes it easy to set up a German bank account for foreigners since they have a clear business model. DKB is therefore the best bank in germany for foreigners and the best bank in germany for students.

Norisbank GmbH

Best bank account germanyThe Nortisbank GmbH is an online bank which offers attractive rates. Norisbank is one of the best banks in Germany since it has recently moved all their business online and therefore can offer very attractive rates. It is a well trusted bank in Germany which was founded more than 60 years ago and a subsidiary of the Deutschen Bank. The Norisbank offers attractive rates at a very competitive level.

Norisbank benefits:

    • ✓ Free account with no monthly input
    • ✓ Free MasterCard
    • ✓ Free cash withdrawals outside Germany
    • ✓ Free Cash withdrawals at ATM’s from the Cash Group.*
* Cash Group are all ATM’s that belong to the Postbank, Deutschenbank, Commerzbank and Hypovereinsbank.

Norisbank offers interesting rates with a free checking account with no monthly input. They offer an easy understandable website where you can do almost everything online. Norisbank is a good bank if you are interested in easy online banking.


The best traditional banks in Germany

The growth in online banking does not mean that traditional banking is at its end. A lot of people still go to their trusted banks to access their accounts. If you handle more complicated transactions or banking products on a daily basis, it would be advisable to put your money in a traditional bank. Moreover, if you are in a business where you handle a lot of cash on a regular basis, this would be the right choice for you.

Deutsche Postbank AG

Deutsche Postbank AGThe German Postbank AG is one of the largest traditional banks in Germany. It has around 16 million customers in Germany alone and has offices in every major city. This makes it the largest bank when it comes to dealing with current or checking accounts. The Postbank has offices in every major city and can be found and almost every village. It does not matter if you live in Berlin, Munich, Hannover or Frankfurt – you will find a Postbank branch in your city. If you prefer face to face banking- this could be an option worth concidering.

Postbank benefits:

    • ✓ Free account (at 1000 euro’s input per month)
    • ✓ Free cash withdrawals at most ATM’s in Germany
    • ✓ Free withdrawal with the credit card at home and abroad
    • ✓ Free securities account
    • ✓ VISA card for 22 euro per year (1st year for free)

The Postbank offers a lot of options; whether you want a personal savings account, a deposit or a trust fund – the Postbank can offer it. With a total asset of 147 billion and 18,000 employees Postbank is a big player in the market. The Postbank is well known for its high customer satisfaction rate. The Deutsche Postbank primarily focusses on business with private customers and on small and medium-sized companies.

Commerzbank

Commerzbank bank logoCommerzbank is the second largest bank in in Germany. With around 1200 bank branches in Germany alone, it is one of the most represented banks in Germany. It has around 14,5 million customers worldwide and was founded in 1870. The Commerzbank is a strong entity that offers almost everything a normal customer may need from their bank. They are well represented within Germany and can be found in every city and almost in every village.

Commerzbank benefits:

    • ✓ Free account (at 1200 euro’s input per month)
    • ✓ Free cash withdrawals at most ATM’s in Germany
    • ✓ VISA or Mastercard for €29.90 per year

If you handle a lot of cash on a day to day basis, this company could be something worth considering because they have a lot of branches. All activities of the Commerzbank can be managed online. Think about account management, retirement or mortgage planning. This can all be done relatively easily at the Commerzbank.


Opening a bank account in Germany

If you are from German origin and you possess a German ‘Personalausweis’ you can easily open a bank account using the AusweisApp. The sign-up process is very similar in every bank. It does not matter if you go to DKB, Norrisbank, Postbank or Commerzbank they all request the same basic data. It is relatively easy opening a German bank account, also when speaking little to no German. To ensure that you understand the requested data we translated the most important fields for you. If you still don’t understand what exact data they require from you be sure to translate the page in your browser, as described on top of the page.

Vorname(n): First Name
Name: Last name
Titel: Titel
Geburtsname: Maiden Name
Geburtsort: Place of Birth
Staatsangehörigkeit : citizenship
Steuerliche Ansässigkeit: If you only pay taxes in Germany
Geburtsdatum: Date of birth
Familienstand: Civil status
wohnhaft seit (Jahr): Resident on this adress since
Wohnstatus: Resident status
Aktuelles Nettoeinkommen pro Monat in Euro: Current net income per month in Euro
Zweiten Kontoinhaber: Secondary account holder

After you have provided all the requested information you will have to agree with the terms and conditions of the banks. You can easily do an online-id-process, which is quite convenient. You will have to identify yourself via a webcam where you must show your current ID or passport and a pin number which you will receive via email. That’s all there is to it! You now have officially opened a German bank account.

So what is the best bank in Germany for foreigners? DKB makes it is possible for foreigners or future expats to open a German bank account from abroad. If this is an important point for you, then it could be smart to open a bank account with the DKB, because their online presentation makes signing up really easy! During the process you simply state your current foreign address and you can open a German bank account and receive their free DKB Visa Card.


Conclusion

Everybody is different, and therefore there is not one bank that can fulfil everybody’s needs. Therefore it is hard to say what the best bank in Germany is because everybody has other needs. One person likes to do business in person while to other is fine with the anonymity of an online bank. It does not have to be one or the other, you can also choose both! Open one account at an online bank and one at a traditional bank. In this way, you can use the best of both worlds. Use the benefits of an online bank – high interest rates and free ATM usage- and use the benefits of traditional banks- tailored service and personal assistance.

When it comes to online banks, DKB offers the best rates and benefits in the online banking segment. Furthermore, when it comes to traditional banks, Deutsche Postbank offers tailored service and is well represented within Germany. If you want more information about these topics, just have a look on the websites of DKB and the Postbank – they both have an excellent website where everything is clearly explained. If you don’t understand German that well, be sure to check their website with the trick we described on the top of the page. Good luck banking!