Account opening

Anyone who wants to live in Germany for a long time needs a bank account – for example, to rent an apartment or to have their salary transferred.

To open an account with a bank in Germany, you need:

Your passport

The registration certificate for your place of residence

Depending on the type of account, a wage slip from your employer

With these documents, you apply to the bank of your choice checking account and an EC card. Some banks offer current accounts as credit accounts. That means: You are not allowed to overdraw the account, i.e. you are not allowed to take out loans via the account. Some institutions also require that at least a certain amount be paid each month (minimum amount of money received). Clarify both before concluding the contract.

It’s worth comparing

Many banks charge very different fees, for example for the account management or for each transfer. Some banks also waive fees on the condition that you deposit a certain amount each month, such as your salary. Therefore: When choosing the bank, it is worth making a comparison.

Online banks

An alternative to a checking account is an online account. You can open these accounts on the Internet or by post and then use them online. These are offered by some direct banks – that is, banks that do not have their own branches. An online account has the same functions as a German current account and is also equipped with a German account number and bank code. Transfers from or to foreign countries are also possible.

In order to open an online account with a direct bank, you must prove your identity using the Postident procedure. You will receive the necessary documents from the bank. You will then go to Deutsche Post, identify yourself and have this confirmed by a Post employee who will send the documents to the bank.

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