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Start your semester right by setting up a bank account! With a German bank account, you can directly transfer the semester contribution, pay your monthly rent, withdraw money free of charge and much more.

General Information

Having a bank account in Germany can be very practical. It allows to pay all expenses without having to go through bigger inconveniences. Finding an apartment or signing up for internet might prove to be impossible without one.

Most banks offer bank accounts free of charge with which you can withdraw your money from specific cash machines free of charge with an EC card (debit card) free of charge.

If you are planning on staying longer than a week we can recommend getting one, as benefits overweight possible disadvantages. Benefits include:

  • Free cash withdrawal
  • Make payments electronically
  • Set up “standing orders” for regular payments (rent, health insurance or telephone bills)
  • Receive money from a part-time job
  • Easy online banking
  • And more


As mentioned above, many banks offer bank accounts free of charge for students, meaning you can enjoy their service without any cost. However, some may also charge a small monthly fee of 3-5€ for their service.

Opening a bank account

There are many options for you to find the ideal bank account for you. This why we made a comparison of in our opinion the best bank accounts you can find.

BanksFeesCash WithdrawlRegistration from
Registration in English

Proceed to offer

More information
FreeEuro-zone: Free 5 times/month at withdrawl machines with Mastercard sign (only € and under 26 years old)

Free and unlimited at cash desks in supermarkets REWE, Penny, Real and dm

Outside the Euro-zone: 1,75% of withdrawl amount +2 €

Proceed to offer
FreeWorldwide free with the DKB-Visa-Card (individual cash withdrawl machine/bank can have an additional service cost)YesNo

Proceed to offer
3.90€ / monthGermany: Free from about 9.000 ATMs (Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HypoVereinsbank, Postbank and many Shell gas stations)

Outside Euro-zone: 1,85 % card charge fee on top of spending amount, min. withdrawal amount 5,99€

If you are interested in ethically and ecologically responsible banks these are the best four banks: UmweltBankTriodos BankGLS Bank and the Ethikbank.

Debit card (EC-card)

Once you have your bank account, you will be able to issue a debit card at your bank, with which you will be able to withdraw money free of charge from cash machines, pay in stores, restaurants or even online retail. For payments at a physical place you will need to authorize the payment with a PIN or sign the receipt.

In Germany debit cards are normally referred to as EC-, Giro- or Maestro cards.

While credit cards, i.e. Visa, MasterCard and American Express, are accepted in Germany, they usually charge great fees to withdraw money with them.