Are you moving to Germany and in need of a German credit card (Kreditkarte)? Don’t panic! This can easily be arranged. This is one of the first tasks in that you will have to arrange once you arrive in Germany. Comparing German credit cards can be time-consuming. You can get different kind of credit cards issued by different banks at different costs and it is therefore easy to lose overview. With our tips we will ensure that you will sing up for the credit card that fits to your needs.
First of all, it is important to understand that there are different types of credit cards with different functions. Moreover, it is important to understand that there is also different requirement for a successful application.
Credit card with current account
This is the most commonly used way of receiving a credit card. A current account is called in German a ‘Girokonto’. Keep in mind that it is less easy to receive a current account with credit card since it often requires regular salary payment. The main advantage of a credit card in combination with a current account is that you can do all your banking from a single source or that you can establish automatic billing on the current account – which saves the transfer of the credit card billing amount. Moreover, the creditworthiness of the customer is known, which can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on the amount of money in your current account.
One of the best banks to get a Visa Credit card is at DKB the (Deutsche Kredit Bank). When opening a DKB current account you will get a free debit card and a free DKB credit card, which are both free of charge. DKB is well known in Germany and highly popular among expats and foreigners since they offer benefits that only an online bank can offer. Benefits include:
- ✓ 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
These are benefits that no other bank currently offers in Germany. It is however not easy to get a current account from the DKB if you don’t receive regular salary payments. If you do, then it should be easy receiving a current account with credit card from the DKB. The online sign-up process makes it easy to open a German DKB bank account – even from abroad!
Another bank that offers a current account with credit card is the Postbank AG. The Postbank AG is one of the largest banks in Germany and has several offices in almost every German city. With more than 16 million customer in Germany alone, the Postbank is a trustworthy bank and if you like to do your banking in person, this could be the ideal bank for you. The Visa credit card that the Postbank offers is free for the frist year and then you must pay 22 euro per year. A list of the beniftis if you open a current account at the Postbank:
- ✓ 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)
Prepaid credit card in Germany
If you don’t want to a German current account or you don’t fit the demanded criteria, you can get a prepaid credit card. The difference between a prepaid credit card and a debit card is that a debit card is linked to your current account. A prepaid card however is not linked to a current account. Instead, you must load money to the prepaid card in advance before you can spend it.
Multiple companies offer prepaid credit cards.
Credit card only companies
There are some people that prefer to keep their credit card and their current account separate because in that way not one single bank has complete control over their finances. There are also banks on the market that are only specialized in the credit card business. These companies are often foreign banks that specialise in credit card licensing. You can easily apply online for a German credit card at a ‘pure credit company’. The credit card company will do a credit check and the customer receives the credit card by mail combined with a letter with the initial line amount. The credit line increases automatically, depending on how the customer the limit exhaust and how punctual the transfer of the customers is. If you miss the payments date for example the credit line decreases.
Multiple pure credit card companies offer credit cards.