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The Top Banks in Germany: Everything you need to Know

The Top Banks in Germany: Everything you need to Know   

Do you intend to relocate to Germany? It might be beneficial to open a German bank account if you’re studying, working, or starting a business there. However, it can be challenging for foreigners to choose a bank. We’ve compiled a list of banks in Germany along with details on how the German banking system operates since we want to be of assistance. In this article, you will learn about the top banks in Germany.

An Overview of Top Banks in Germany

    • Germany’s financial system includes private commercial banks, public savings institutions (Sparkassen and Landesbanken), and cooperative banks (Genossenschaftsbanken).
    • There are about 144 retail banks in Germany, alongside regional cooperative banks and savings banks.
    • To open a bank account in Germany, you need your ID and supporting documents.
    • Some German banks charge around €5 per month for account maintenance.
    • Your bank’s ATM is usually free, but using another operator’s ATM or your card outside the country may have fees.
    • Most large German banks offer mobile and internet banking.
    • German banks often have high fees for foreign transactions outside of Europe.

Top Banks in Germany

 1. Deutsche Bank           

    • Deutsche Bank offers a range of current accounts (Girokonto).
    • The basic account is named Active Account (AktivKonto).
    • There is a premium account option called Best Account (BestKonto).
    • The Best Account includes a MasterCard Gold credit card.
    • They offer a student account named the Young Account (Junge Konto).
    • Free withdrawals from 15% of Cash Group ATMs.
    • A fee of 6€ or 1% of the amount withdrawn at other ATMs.
    • No fee for using a debit card at a Deutsche Bank ATM.
  2. HypoVereinsbank                 
    • HypoVereinsbank offers girokonto accounts.
    • HVB Plus Account is free for new clients for two years.
    • Monthly fee for HVB Active Account and HVB Exclusive Account.
    • Debit cards and access to online and mobile banking are included with every account.
    • Provides savings, investment, and credit card products.
    • HVB ecarte allows free cash withdrawals from around 25,000 ATMs.
    • Free withdrawals include ATMs at Shell gas stations in Germany.
    • Free withdrawals are also available at Cash Group banks (Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Postbank, and their domestic subsidiary banks).

 3. Postbank                       

    • Postbank is owned by Deutsche Bank.
    • Postbank offers the Postbank Giro Plus account with a monthly fee.
    • There is also a low-cost online-only current account with a monthly fee.
    • The fee for the Postbank Giro Extra Plus account can be waived if certain requirements are met.
    • Undergraduate students can open the Postbank Das junge Konto account for free if they are under 22 years old.
    • Free withdrawals from ATMs operated by the Cash group, 1.50€ per withdrawal.

 4. Commerzbank                           

    • Commerzbank offers a range of current accounts.
    • The basic current account is called Kostenloses Girokonto (cost-free).
    • Commerzbank also offers a Premium account and the Klassik account.
    • All accounts can be compared.
    • Commerzbank has a specific English website, making it suitable for non-German speakers.
    • Free withdrawals from the 15% of Cash Group ATMs.
    • The fee of 1.95% of the withdrawing amount from other ATMs (minimum 5.98€).

 5. BerlinerSparkasse           

    • Sparkassen in Germany are owned by public shareholders, often local governments.
    • BerlinerSparkasse is a popular institution in Berlin.
    • Various checking accounts are available, including the online-only Giro Digital with a monthly fee.
    • There is a free account for young people called the young account or “Giro up to the 25th birthday” account.
    • Free withdrawals from Sparkasse ATMs (45% of the ATMs); 2% fee (minimum 7.50€) for all other ATM withdrawals.

 6. Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken       

    • The organization that manages German credit unions and banking cooperatives is Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken.
    • They provide online and mobile banking through a dedicated app.
    • The organization operates over 15,500 ATMs across Germany.
    • There are various current account options depending on location and the nearest branch.
    • More information on available accounts can be found on their website.
    • Volksbank has BVR ATM free withdrawals (32%). 7.50€ or 1% of the withdrawal amount is the cost for other ATMs.
    • Bank charges 1.7% in foreign currencies.
    • No charges for transactions in your own currency.
    • Charges may vary based on residency and type of card.

 7. Stadtsparkasse Munich           

    • Stadtsparkasse München, one of the first banks in Germany, was established in 1824.
    • Stadtsparkasse Munich offers a specialized youth, student, and kid account.
    • They also provide an online checking account.
    • There is a specific Giro package for newcomers to Munich, targeted at foreign nationals settling in the city.
    • The legal foundations of the institution are the Savings Banks Act, Bavarian Savings Bank Regulations, and City Council-issued Articles of Association.
    • The institution operates under public law.

 8. Frankfurter Sparkasse                   

    • Fourth-largest savings bank in Germany.
    • Largest savings bank in the state of Hesse.
    • Member of the German Savings Bank Association through the Savings Bank Association of Hesse-Thuringia.
    • Part of the S-Finanzgruppe, the largest financial company in the world.
    • Employs approximately 3,000 people.
    • Sparkasse Bank, a well-known institution, is located in Frankfurt.
    • Offers various daily current accounts, including Convenient Checking Account, Classic Current Account, and Premium Current Account.
    • Provides accounts specifically designed for kids and teenagers.
    • Offers credit card, savings, and investment options.

 9. ING Bank                           

    • ING Bank offers a checking account without a monthly fee.
    • Free debit card included.
    • Access to online and mobile banking.
    • Provides various financial services, including insurance, construction financing, and savings and investment products.

10. Santander                 

    • Santander is a foreign bank with offices in Germany and the UK.
    • Provides a free checking account in Germany.
    • Upon request, the checking account may include a welcome bonus and a free credit card.
    • Offers other credit card options and savings accounts.

In conclusion, Germany offers a diverse range of banking options, including major banks such as Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and Sparkassen. These institutions provide various current account options, online and mobile banking services, and additional financial products to cater to different customer needs.

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