Open A Bank Account

For your everyday life you need a German bank account.

The so called "Girokonto" (with a debit card) is a standard bank account where you can process all your personal payments. Transactions and standing orders can be commissioned and you can withdraw money from a cash machine. A bank account is a prerequisite for your rental- or employment contract. Various banks offer an optional credit card, however, many shops do not take them. Yet, it can be useful for travelling or online shopping. 

 

Prerequisites 

Your home country is not in the EU? Besides your ID you will need a registration certificate and work permit to open a bank account. Citizens of the EU can just like that open an account, they simply have to take their ID with them. A "Girokonto" without access to credit cannot be denied to EU citizens. 

If you are no EU citizen the bank may theoretically turn down your request for an account opening. This being the case ask for another manual examination or call on another financial institution. 

 

Which Bank Is the Right One For Me? 

Essentially you can differentiate between branch and direct banking. In branch banking you get personal counsel from a contact person in a branch. As a consequence, you are normally charged an account management fee. Banks falling under this category are for instance Volksbanken, Sparkassen or BW-Bank. In direct banking products are offered online and they do not have any local branch. Counsel is given through a service hotline. Any financial transactions are conducted through the financial institution’s website. An advantage is few or no account management charges. Potential suppliers are Comdirect, DKB or ING-DiBa. There are more examples for both branch and direct banking. Compare them and find the bank that fits you best. 

You can always withdraw money for free at your bank or with their partners. Many supermarkets offer cash withdrawal for free for some banks. When choosing a bank, inform yourself of how you get cash. Possible fees should be recognisable at the cash machine. 

 

"Cash Is King"

Actually, cash still takes an important role in Baden-Württemberg. More and more shops take "Giro" (debit) or credit cards. There are, however, still exceptions. Some shops only take debit or credit cards for sums above a certain limit. Retailers such as butchers or market stores often only take cash, same as with some bars and restaurants. It is advisable therefore to carry some cash with you. 

Ora et labora..?
Ora et labora..?

Diligence, accuracy and thrift count as virtues of people from Baden-Württemberg.

So called "Neigschmeckte" (people who live in Baden-Württemberg but who were not born here) will notice that these qualities are often lived as goodness. Building a house is an important aim for many and has to be worked for for years.

Next to conventions such as "Kehrwoche" (a plan for sweeping the pavement in front of your house once a week) these virtues also become prejudices.

One of these prejudices is against the excellent economy in Baden-Württemberg. However, this may also be due to good working morals.