Germany’s currency is the euro. Cash, debit or credit cards are the primary methods of payment in Germany. You should always be sure to have a little bit of cash on you, as some places such as bakeries or kiosks only accept cash. You will require a German bank account in order to pay rent and receive your monthly salary.
Money and entry
Please note that only a certain amounts of cash (equivalent to max. € 10,000) may be imported upon entering Germany. Before your arrival here, please be sure to ask the consulate or German customs for more detailed information on the exact conditions. Not all German banks will exchange foreign currency for euros. However, you can exchange foreign currency for a nominal fee at travel banks in places like airports or train stations.
The most common form of bank account in Germany is the checking account, or “Girokonto”. With a checking account, you can withdraw money from an ATM, pay for in-store purchases with your debit card, send money transfers, use online banking services, and have your salary automatically deposited every month. Along with your checking account, you will also receive a debit card and corresponding four-digit PIN number that you can use to withdraw money from an ATM 24/7 or as a method of payment in most stores. Withdrawing money from another bank’s ATM may incur fees.
Opening an account
We recommend comparing different banks and their services. Depending on the bank, various fees may apply for things such as account maintenance, money transfers, and other services like free credit cards or online banking. We recommend consulting a bank of your choice personally for further information.
A prerequisite for opening an account with a German bank is having a registered address in Germany. Therefore, you must register at your local registration office before opening a bank account.
Once you have a checking account, you can also apply for a credit card. Sufficient creditworthiness is required in order to obtain a credit card and often established by offering proof of regular payments. Paying with a credit card is not typical in everyday German life.
Closing an account
You can close your checking account at any time without prior notice. Your bank cannot charge any fees for this. It is also within the bank’s rights to cancel your account.