Which is the Best Blocked Account in Germany? [2021 English Guide]

Are you looking to study in Germany or relocate to find a job in Germany and stumbled across a blocked account requirement? In this guide, we will tell you what a blocked account is, why you need one, and which provider to choose, as we review the best blocked account in Germany for you. 

Quick summary of the best blocked account in Germany

If you are short on time and just want an answer. Here are the providers for the best blocked account in Germany:

  1. Expatrio – Best added value for money.
  2. Coracle – Most economical option.
  3. Fintiba – Most expensive with most add-ons.

 ExpatrioCoracleFintiba
English Website & Supportpro checkpro checkpro check
Annual Fee€49from €59€89
Monthly Fee€5free€4,90
German IBANpro checkpro checkpro check
Checking Bank Account Possiblepro checkx iconx icon
Health Insurance Possiblepro checkfor Master studentspro check
Incoming Insurance Possiblepro checkfor Master studentspro check
Approved by German Foreign Officepro checkpro checkpro check

What is a blocked account in Germany?

A blocked account (Sperrkonto) is a specific bank account for international students and job-seekers in Germany. You need to open and transfer funds to a blocked account before your visa appointment, as it is a requirement to receive your visa.

The blocked account serves two purposes:

  1. To prove to the German government that you have enough financial resources to live from while in Germany.
  2. To set a monthly allowance to cover your living expenses. Yep, the German government wants to make sure that you don’t spend all of your money at once or end up running out of it towards the end of your stay. 

❗️Word of warning: Upon your research, you will find other providers in your home country who offer a blocked account for Germany. You might be able to get your visa with these providers, but not your residence permit from the Foreigners Office, once in Germany. We therefore strongly suggest that you choose one of the three providers mentioned in this guide, to avoid difficulties after your arrival to Germany.

What is the minimum amount for a blocked account in Germany?

For 2021 the minimum amount you need to transfer to your blocked account to apply for a visa is 10.332 euros per year, so your allowance will be 861 euros per month. This reflects the perceived amount that one person needs to cover the most basic living costs. 

Related Guide: Cost of Living in Germany 

Is a blocked account necessary in Germany?

Yes, a blocked account is necessary, if you are a non-EU citizen and looking to move to Germany on a student or job-seeker visa, without having a scholarship or a sponsorship certificate proving your financial means.

If you plan to visit Germany as a tourist, you do not need a blocked account. Should you move to Germany on a work visa or with a Blue Card, you also don’t need a blocked account but should instead look into opening a checking account in Germany.

Related Guide: Best German Bank For English Speakers

Along with a blocked account, you also need to provide proof of having travel insurance for your arrival in Germany and German health insurance once your studies or work starts. You could get all of these individually, or you can choose a package from one of the providers listed in this guide along with your blocked account to save time and money. 

How can you open a blocked bank account in Germany?

There are four official providers of blocked accounts in Germany; however, only three providers are all digital: ExpatrioCoracle, and Fintiba. With these three German providers, you can easily open your blocked account online and in English. We will compare them below.

The fourth provider Deutsche Bank is still stuck in the pre-digital age, where you need to go to the German Embassy in your country in person to hand in the necessary documents. The embassy will then send your application via postal mail to Germany. Since Simple Germany is all about helping you find simple, fast, and digital solutions, Deutsche Bank does not meet our standards.

Which is the best Blocked Account in Germany?

Here are our detailed reviews for the best blocked account in Germany.

1. Expatrio

Screenshot of Expatrio homepage
Source: Expatrio

Expatrio is a young and modern company founded by three Germans in Berlin in 2017. They specialize in helping students and job-seekers acquire their German visa and relocate to Germany. Next to English, their website is also available in Chinese and Korean. Expatrio has a very intuitive website design and offers many more benefits with its Value Package. Such benefits are free incoming travel insurance for up to 92 days and convenient sign-up for public health insurance with Techniker Krankenkasse, and a free ISIC student card for one year. 

Expatrio has a very low set-up fee of 49 euros; however, they also charge a 5 euros monthly service fee, which you need to deposit in advance. So if you need a blocked account for 12 months, the blocked account with Expatrio will cost you 109 euros.

During my various sign-up tests, the 49 euros set-up fee was dropped if you choose to sign up for health insurance as well. The amount you need to pay for health insurance depends on various individual factors and starts at about 105 euros per month.

Related Guide: Public vs. Private Health Insurance in Germany

Expatrio benefits:

✅ Approved by the German Federal Foreign Office
 Blocked account with German IBAN and on your own name
✅ Account opening confirmation within minutes
✅ Only 49 euros set up fee per year (sometimes revoked as cash-back) 
✅ Value Package including health insurance, incoming insurance, ISIC card
✅ Customer service response guarantee within 24 hours
✅ Customer service via email, phone, and WeChat
✅ Money-back guarantee in case of visa denial
✅ Monthly cancellation or extension possible
✅ Optional free checking account for payouts when in Germany
✅ Website available in English, Chinese and Korean
✅ How-to tutorials on their Youtube channel

Expatrio drawbacks:

⛔️ 5 euros monthly service fee you need to deposit in advance
⛔️ Not available for minors
⛔️ You can’t deposit more than 10.332 euros per year (governmental minimum)

2. Coracle

Screenshot of Coracle homepage
Source: Coracle

Coracle is another young and all digital platform founded by two expats in 2016 in Hamburg. Coracle actually started as a health insurance broker and added the blocked account to their portfolio in 2018. Although their website is only available in English, their customer support also speaks Spanish and Russian. They pride themselves on their speedy responses. 

The blocked account with Coracle has a set-up fee of 99 euros with no monthly fees. Suppose you are a Bachelor’s or Master’s student. In that case, you can benefit from their PRIME package, which includes the blocked account, free travel insurance for up to 6 months, and the simple sign-up to public health insurance for only 59 euros with no additional monthly fees. 

When choosing health insurance additionally to your blocked account, Coracle gives you the option to choose between different German public health insurance funds, such as TK, Barmer, and AOK.

Coracle is the most economical. Its website is simpler with less information, but also with fewer add-ons.

Coracle benefits:

✅ Approved by the German Federal Foreign Office
✅ Account opening confirmation within 2 hours
✅ Blocked account with German IBAN and on your own name (most nationalities)
✅ No monthly fee
✅ Special PRIME offer for BA & MA students of only 59 euros set-up fee
✅ PRIME offer includes health insurance and free incoming insurance
✅ Fast customer service in English, Spanish and Russian via email, phone, and WhatsApp
✅ Money-back guarantee in case of visa denial
✅ Monthly cancellation or extension possible
✅ You can deposit more than the minimum 10.332 euros per year
✅ Available for minors

Coracle drawbacks:

⛔️ Prime package of blocked account and health insurance only available for Bachelor & Master students
⛔️ 99 euros set-up fee per year

3. Fintiba

Screenshot of Fintiba homepage
Source: Fintiba

Fintiba completes the trio of young and driven German companies, thriving to help international students relocate to Germany. Fintiba was founded in 2016 in Frankfurt am Main. It sets itself apart from Expatrio and Coracle, by offering the innovative Fintiba app, with which you can open your blocked account, upload documents and manage your payouts once in Germany.

However, Fintiba is the only provider that requires a legitimization from you, either via Verify-U or PostIdent once in Germany, adding a bureaucratic hurdle. Next to the Fintiba Plus package of blocked account + health insurance with DAK + free travel insurance, Fintiba offers various other solutions such as Rent Deposit GuaranteeFintiba Transfer, and language learning offers, and a free ISIC card for three years.

Fintiba is the priciest option, as the blocked account has a set-up fee of 89 euros and a monthly fee of 4,90 euros, which gets charged, the moment you deposited money to the account (so already before your arrival to Germany).

Fintiba benefits:

✅ Approved by the German Federal Foreign Office
 Blocked account with German IBAN and on your own name
✅ Account opening in less than 10 minutes
✅ Fintiba Plus, including health insurance, incoming insurance, ISIC card
✅ 24 hours customer service response time
✅ Customer service via email, phone, and chat
✅ Monthly cancellation or extension possible
✅ Fintiba app for easy access
✅ You can deposit more than the minimum 10.332 euros per year
✅ Website available in English and sign-up also in Chinese and Spanish
✅ Very active and informative Youtube Channel
✅ Available for minors

Fintiba drawbacks:

⛔️ 89 euros set-up fee per year
⛔️ 4,90 euros monthly service fee while your account is open
⛔️ Post-Ident legitimization necessary once in Germany

Disclaimer: Many students ask how long the transfer of their funds to the German blocked account takes and how long it takes to transfer the funds to their German checking account. All three providers claim that they are super fast, and all three have fantastic reviews on Google and Facebook.

When we take a look at Trustpilot, though, you can find a few differences. Expatrio is very active and has the most reviews with an overall 4,7 rating; Fintiba only has a few reviews with an overall rating of 3,4. Coracle does not have a Trustpilot account. When it comes down to it, you can read worrying reviews about all three providers taking longer than promised.

In all honesty, the time for transfers depends on the bank or service you use in your home country and the bank you choose to have your German checking account with. Samy, the founder of Coracle told me that transfers to your German checking account, once in Germany, are a lot faster with a mobile bank like Vivid than with a traditional bank like Sparkasse.

How to transfer money to your German Blocked Account?

Before you simply go to your local bank at home and initiate the transfer of the necessary funds, consider looking into remittance services such as Wise. It will not only save you a big amount of fees but also time. Instead of taking days, as a regular international bank wire, Wise will only take a few hours. However, they are not available in every country in the world yet, but they keep adding countries and currencies. 

How to withdraw money from your blocked account once in Germany?

Once in Germany, you need to activate your blocked account. To do so, you need to provide your German address, your stamped visa and/or your university registration, and your German checking account information. Expatrio already offers to assist you with the checking account opening included in their Value Package. However, if you need or want to do this step by yourself, the mobile bank Vivid is a great and easy choice.

Related Guide: Best German Bank For English Speakers

Vivid is the best option for any expat or student wishing to have uncomplicated, fast, all-digital banking in English.

Vivid Money Bank Account
  • 100% in English and digital
  • Free bank account & metal Visa debit card
  • Free investments in ETFs, stocks & crypto
  • Up to €20 cashback per month
  • Up to 15 free pocket accounts with separate IBAN 
Get Your Free Vivid Account
Transparency: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Once you have opened your checking account, you need to connect it to your blocked account, either online or with the customer service team’s help. You can then set-up a monthly wire transfer with your allowance of 861 euros. 

Step-by-Step summary for getting a German Blocked Account

Let’s summarize all the detailed information in this guide. If you think you are in need of a blocked account in Germany to relocate, these are the steps you should take:

  1. Inform yourself with the local German embassy or consulate whether you need to have a blocked account.
  2. Choose one of the providers reviewed in this guide at least three weeks before your visa appointment to allow the process and transfer of your funds enough time.
  3. Be sure to also get health insurance and travel insurance individually or with your blocked account, as you require these for your visa as well. 
  4. Research the fastest and cheapest way to transfer money internationally to your German blocked account, for example, Wise.
  5. When traveling to Germany, bring some extra money with you. Either in cash, on your Wise account, or a credit card, as it will take some time to activate and access your blocked account, so don’t let this be your only money source. 
  6. Open a German checking account with Vivid to activate your blocked account and to use it as your daily bank account. Should you need more funds while in Germany, send money to your checking account and not your blocked account.

Enjoy your time in Germany! If you would also like to prepare yourself on a cultural level, check out our Culture In Germany section. For more tips on how to beat Germany’s bureaucracy, take a look at our Moving To Germany section. 

Best of luck with your relocation!