The 10 Best Banks In Germany [Ranked by Expats]

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Researched & written

by Yvonne Koppen


The German banking industry consists of about 1.500 banks. That is an insane amount. In this guide, I will highlight the best bank in Germany based on different banking needs. I aim to help you choose the bank and checking account (Girokonto) that fits your preferences and life circumstances best.

Key Takeaways:

These are the best banks in Germany according to the latest nationwide test done by the German economic journal €uro:

  • Overall Best Bank in Germany: Comdirect
  • Best Branch Bank in Germany: Commerzbank
  • Best Bank Account in Germany: C24
  • Favorite Bank in Germany: ING

These are the best banks in Germany for expats based on our survey, research and experience:

Best German Banks for Foreigners

Having a bank account in the country where you live is a basic need. However, everyone’s banking preferences are different. Especially when considering the unique needs of foreigners living in Germany. 

These are the most popular banks in Germany for foreigners

  1. N26
  2. Commerzbank
  3. Deutsche Bank
  4. Sparkasse
  5. ING
  6. DKB
  7. Volksbank
  8. Vivid
  9. C24
  10. Comdirect

The above list is the result of our banking survey of foreigners living in Germany.

Now, let’s take a look at their different features so you know what to expect from them.

German Banks with English Banking Offer

All the banks listed below are German banks offering their banking app in English. Some also offer English customer support, while others mainly offer German support:

Being able to handle your money in a language you feel comfortable in is super important. That is why I have written an additional guide comparing the best bank accounts in Germany for English Speakers in every detail.

Read Our Related Guide

Best German Bank For English Speakers

Best German Mobile Banks

The majority of internationals in Germany prefer to handle their banking via a mobile app.

N26 remains the favorite bank amongst expats. However, C24 is becoming more and more popular. Even though everything is in German, they offer the most free perks. 

Vivid Money and Tomorrow Bank are also mobile banks who offer all of their services in English, however, they are not as popular.

Best German Traditional Banks with Branch Offices

Do you prefer to do your banking with a traditional bank that also offers physical branches? Here are the most popular traditional banks amongst foreigners:

In my opinion, Commerzbank has the most consumer-friendly offer as a branch bank. We wrote a detailed guide that guides you through the German sign-up process. Once signed-up, you have access to the English banking interface.

Best German Bank for Students

A lot of traditional German accounts offer special free accounts for students until a certain age. These are the best German bank accounts for students:

Best Bank in Germany for Savings

Some German checking accounts (like the one from C24) offer interest on money in the bank. However, this is rather an exception. Most Germans either use a savings account (Tagesgeldkonto) or an investment account (Depot) to save or invest their money. 

Popular banks for a savings account are Consorsbank and Comdirect. Please read our detailed guide below to learn more about savings accounts in Germany. 

If you would like to invest money in the stock market, you need to open a securities account. It is called Depot in German. Commerzbank offers a free Depot in English language. However, there are other mobile solutions on the market in Germany as well. For more information, you can read our guide below:

Important: your nationality & residence status matter

Not all banks listed above may be accessible for you. Your nationality and residence status play a big role. Mobile banks have strict lists of which passports they accept. 

To help you navigate which bank may be accessible to you, we have built Banky. Answer 3 questions and it will guide you to a bank that will most likely accept you as a customer.

If you come from a country that is currently sanctioned (e.g., Iran or Russia), most banks will reject you. Your best bet is to visit a traditional branch bank like Sparkasse in person to ask whether they can open an account for you. 

Requirements for a German bank account

In order to open a German bank account, you need to be in Germany. You can’t open a German bank account from abroad.

Here are the must-have requirements to open a German bank account:

  • A German address (ideally with city registration)
  • A German mobile number (for mobile banks only)
  • A valid passport

If you are from a non-EU country, you may also need to present:

  • Your visa/residence permit (varies between banks)

European Expat-Friendly Banking Solutions

For some nationalities, it is often easier to start with a bank account outside of Germany, which has fewer requirements (e.g., no residence permit).

Wise (Belgian bank account) and Revolut (Lithuanian bank account) are the two favorite options.

Next to offering an account in euros, they also offer accounts in other currencies. That makes them great for travel and money-transferring services as well. 

Our experience with German banks

My wife and I look for the following features in a bank account:

  • No monthly fee
  • Free cash withdrawals (ideally worldwide)
  • Free banking cards (ideally 1 girocard and 1 Visa or Mastercard debit card)
  • Modern banking app
  • Great customer service

I use a combination of Commerzbank and DKB for more than 10 years and they fullfill my above criteria.

Jen, my wife, uses a combination of N26 and Comdirect for more than 5 years now and they fulfill our above criteria as well. 


Do you need a German bank account when living in Germany?

Yes, you need a German bank account when living in Germany. I know for a fact that some employers only send your salary to a German bank account. 

Also, some service providers, such as internet and electricity companies, don’t accept foreign bank accounts for direct debit payments.

Which debit card is best in Germany?

The most accepted debit card in Germany is the girocard. It is a specific German banking card. Some restaurants and smaller shops only accept cash or girocard payments. The second most accepted debit card is either a Visa or Mastercard. 

Can you have more than one bank account in Germany?

Yes, you can have several bank accounts in Germany. In fact, a combination of a mobile bank like N26 and a traditional bank like Commerzbank complement each other best. 

Don’t try to open too many bank accounts at once, though. This might affect your Schufa, the German credit score negatively. 

This article contains affiliate links. When you click on the links to the products we mention in this article and purchase them, we will receive a small commission. It will not make any difference to you in price; however, it allows us to keep Simple Germany alive and striving.

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About the Author

Yvonne Koppen is a researcher and writer at Simple Germany, focusing on demystifying German bureaucracy for international skilled workers.

She has lived and worked abroad, which helps her understand how difficult a move to a new country can be. Beyond her professional pursuits, Yvonne loves to plan and go on road trips, puzzle, and do a triathlon here and there.

She is committed to creating accessible, empowering content through her writing and YouTube videos. Yvonne's passion for continuous learning and her ability to simplify complex topics make her an invaluable resource for expats seeking to navigate their new life in Germany.