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To avoid fees for transactions of money, it is recommendable to open a local bank account. You also need a local bank account for receiving every kind of cashless payment like a regular salary or scholarship. The most common form of account in Germany is a checking account (Girokonto). Following possibilities are offered by a checking account:

  • Deposit and withdraw money at any time
  • Arrange standing orders (Dauerauftrag) for regular payments (e.g. rent)
  • Pay bills by transfer orders (Überweisung)
  • Pay bills by direct debit authorization for differing amounts, e.g. telephone bills (Lastschrift-Einzugsermächtigung)
  • Have access to an EC card, a debit card tied to an account that can be used to make payments or withdraw money from a cash machine.
  • After proof of regular income have access to a credit card.

To open an account you will need to bring need your passport or ID and proof of residence in Germany. As in most cases students are exempted from account management fees, you should also take your student ID with you.

Common banks in Germany:

Direct banks: 




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