Opening a Euro Bank Account in Germany for Expats & Foreigners

Opening a bank account is essential for a person moving to Germany. Today, we will try to help those that just moved to Germany or who want to open a Euro bank account in Germany from abroad.

Opening a bank account in Germany is way easier than ever. With the new legislation enacted in 2016, you can now open a bank account with your passport and residence permit even without an official residence address in Germany. This has made it much easier for those who have just moved to Germany and staying in a temporary place in their first days.

Opening a Euro Bank Account in Germany from Abroad

Before moving on to other alternatives for those who are already living in Germany, let’s talk about what you can do if you need a bank account for business or other purposes in Germany or in Euro zone.

Opening a Bank Account in Germany via Transferwise

Although Wise(formerly Transferwise) was basically created to ease international money transfers, it also meets international needs in terms of banking. With a Transferwise account, you can own a Euro IBAN address. It doesn’t matter where you live.

In order to use a Transferwise account just like a local person would, you don’t have to be in Germany!

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You can transfer your money that is in your German account to your local account with a very low transaction fee. The Euro account that you will own in Germany makes it easier for many of our citizens, especially for business purposes.

You can save your money in more than 50 different currencies and keep them all in one account.

Opening a Business Bank Account in Germany

Transferwise also lets you open a “business” account. With this, you can move all your business accounts to Transferwise and own IBAN addresses in countries such as Germany, UK and the United States and transfer your money between these accounts however you wish.

Today, it’s much easier to create an abroad bank account for your business. You can see different alternatives for opening a bank account abroad in this article.

How to Open a Bank Account in Germany?

If you are not a German citizen, you need a valid residence permit and a passport in order to open a bank account in Germany.

Banks usually require a certificate of employment from foreign citizens. A minimum monthly deposit requirement that may vary from bank to bank can be asked too. In cases where this requirement is not met, monthly account management fees can be charged.

Because of this, alternatives to banks such as Transferwise are becoming more popular among expats.

Which Bank to Choose From?

For a person living in Germany and seeking a way to get rid of the account management fees and to use their account freely, we suggest Transferwise again.

And if you’re one of those who say that I can’t break away from traditional banking, and just an online bank does not meet my needs, there are two types of alternatives for you in Germany. Federal and National Banks. State banks are active only in your state, while national banks serve nationwide.

Among these, there are banks such as ING, which are international banks and have branches in many different countries in Europe. Let’s list the most popular and recommended banks in Germany for you:

Wise: “Wise Borderless Account” is an alternative to banking that you can manage your money in many different currencies even without going to Germany. Especially if you don’t think of getting a credit card, Wise can be your first choice.

After opening a Wise account, you can manage your Borderless account virtually or you can order a MasterCard. By connecting this card to innovative methods such as Apple Pay, it is possible to manage your payments on your mobile phone.

Deutsche Bank: Deutsche Bank is one of the biggest national banks in Germany. At the same time, it’s a globally acknowledged bank. They have different options for different area of profession such as students, lawyers, accountants to ease the process. Their partnership with the Bank of America could be a good reason for those who have businesses with the United States to choose this bank.

Deutsche Kredit Bank: Low account management fees or in some cases no account management fees will be a reason for preference for some people. This bank also is becoming more and more popular and offering online banking services. It also offers free withdrawal from many different ATMs.

HypoVereinsbank: HypoVereinsbank is a part of the Italian Unicredit bank group. You can benefit from many services of the bank free of charge if 1500 Euros are deposited to the account every month.

What to Take Into Account When Choosing a Bank in Germany?

Ease of Finding an ATM: Although you may not need cash to benefit from most of the services in Germany, the ease to find an ATM must be one of the first things to consider when choosing your bank.

Account Management and Withdrawal Fees: Some banks can charge account management fees if you don’t reach the monthly spending or deposit limit. At the same time, it might come in handy to know the fees when withdrawing from the ATMs of different banks.

Online Services: Today, the ease to benefit from online/mobile services are one of the first things you should take into account.

Customer Services: Although customer services may not come to mind at first, one should keep in mind the possible different issues, especially for foreign citizens, where they must consult with their banks when they are new to the country. You should choose a bank where you can get support online or by phone.


We mentioned how you can open a bank account in Germany if you just moved in there or you just live elsewhere. We believe we make it easier for you to open a bank account in a different country with our own experiences. The article is written by a Turkish expat and the article is published in the Turkish version of our website originally.