Best Savings Account In Germany For Expats

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Researched & written

by Yvonne Koppen

Updated

Your day-to-day checking account is not the best place to save money since it doesn’t pay you any interest. In this guide, I explain the two different options for savings accounts in Germany: Tagesgeldkonto and Festgeldkonto. I share a round-up review of the best savings account in Germany, which my wife and I have all tested ourselves. 

Here is a quick overview of the best savings accounts (Tagesgeldkonto) in Germany for expats:

  1. Consorsbank β€“ German online bank with one of the best interest rates.
  2. Comdirect β€“ German online bank with one of the best interest rates.
  3. TF Bank – Swedish bank offering the highest interest rate on the market.
  4. Commerzbank– German branch & online bank with a high interest rate. Has English banking app.
ConsorsbankComdirectTF BankCommerzbank
Fixed Annual Interest Rate (*For New Customers)3,75%3,25%3,75%3,00% (variable)
Above Interest Rate Guaranteed For5 Months3 Months3 Months12 Months
Above Interest Rate Guaranteed For Maximum Amount Of€1 million€100.000€100.000€1 million
Annual Interest Rate (*For Existing Customers)1% 0,75%1,45%0,75%
Interest Payment CycleQuarterlyQuarterlyMonthlyQuarterly
No Account Feespro checkpro checkpro checkpro check
No Minimum Depositpro checkpro checkpro checkpro check
No Total Maximum Depositpro checkpro checkMax. €100.000pro check
English Banking Appx iconx iconx iconpro check
English Website & Supportx iconx iconx iconPartially
EU Deposit Insurancepro checkpro checkpro checkpro check

Good to know

Germany’s deposit insurance covers 100.000 euros by law, with many banks offering additional insurance. Even though Germany’s creditworthiness is excellent, it is generally considered good practice only to deposit what is insured by the respective bank.

How to choose the right savings account in Germany?

When saving money, one should always appreciate the power of the out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach. Transferring money from your checking to a separate savings account can help you build your savings more effectively. 

In Germany, approximately 16,7 million households have one of the two most popular savings account options: Tagesgeld and Festgeld.  

What is a Tagesgeldkonto in Germany?

Tagesgeldkonto (call money account) is a savings account that you can access instantly and at any time. As quickly as transferring money into your savings account, you can move it back to your reference account (typically your day-to-day banking account) for spending if needed. Tagesgeldkonten do not have a specific contract period and offer flexible interest, even though interest rates are generally lower than those offered for Festgeldkonten (fixed deposit accounts).  

Use-case example for a Tagesgeldkonto

Let’s say you have always dreamt of going on a big trip, which is about 5.000 euros. You decide to open a Tagesgeldkonto and set up a monthly standing order (Dauerauftrag) of 200 euros. After a year, you have already saved 2.400 euros and are happy to see that you earned some interest, even though it’s not much.

Then, unfortunately, your car breaks down, and you don’t have enough money to pay for the repair. Luckily you can just access your Tagesgeldkonto and transfer the money needed back to your checking account for spending or cash withdrawals. You rebuild your savings the months after, thanks to the standing order you have set up. After approximately two and a half years, you saved the 5.000 euros needed for your trip.

What is a Festgeldkonto in Germany?

As the name implies, you cannot access a fixed deposit account (Festgeldkonto) as easily. It runs for a minimum of a few months or multiple years, in which the bank blocks your deposit. Furthermore, you can’t modify the contractual duration of fixed-term accounts unless under severe circumstances, including the account owner’s death, their claiming social benefits, or bankruptcy of the bank.

In return, interest rates are higher and fixed for the duration of the contract. Festgeldkonten are thus the most predictable savings option, as you know exactly how much interest you will have earned at the end of the contract duration. 

Use-case example for a Festgeldkonto

You have already accumulated a certain level of wealth that enables you to cover unexpected expenses like a broken car. You have about 10.000 euros that you are confident you will not need within the next five years. To let your money work for you, you open a Festgeldkonto with a contractural duration of five years and a 3,2% interest. You know you can not access your 10.000 euros during this time, but you are looking forward to the 1.705,73 euros you will make in interest in return. 

Of course, both types of savings accounts have advantages and drawbacks you need to consider. You can find a quick comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the two options below.

Tagesgeld - Call Money

Festgeld - Fixed Deposit

Pros- Easily accessible
- Risk-free
- Medium interest rate
- Predictable interest gain
- Risk-free
- Highest possible interest
Cons- No fixed long-term interest rate
- Not the highest interest rate
- Fixed contractual duration
- No early access to money

Good to know

Investing in stocks, bonds, or ETFs is another option to set money aside and grow your assets. This may lead to significantly higher returns but also contains certain risks. You can learn more about which platform to use to invest in stocks in our guide:Β Best Online Broker In Germany.

Some financial advisers say that the most balanced savings and investment portfolio can consist of a mix of a Tagesgeldkonto for savings for a rainy day, a Festgeldkonto for savings you will want to access in, for example, five years, and a securities account with investments in ETFs for your retirement.

What are the best Tagesgeldkonten in Germany?

In Germany, there are several renowned Tagesgeldkonten to choose from. To help you get an overview, I have researched and tested the best call money savings accounts in Germany. Here are our top picks, which are all rated as very safe and stable banks. My wife and I have a savings account with each bank below and receive our interest payments regularly as per the terms and conditions.

1. Consorsbank

Consorsbank is a German bank founded in 1994 in NΓΌrnberg, where its headquarters are still based. It is the fifth-largest direct bank in Germany and offers all standard banking services, including checking, savings and securities accounts, insurance, retirement provision, and real estate loans.

Consorsbank is regularly on top of ratings, honoring the best banks in Germany. For new customers, interest paid on its Tagesgeldkonto is among the highest paid in Germany, and it is fixed for at least 3 months. Additionally, you can extend the period for which interest is fixed to 12 months by opening a savings plan in a securities account. Another great benefit is the quarterly interest payments, which enable compound interest.

Consorsbank Tagesgeldkonto Benefits:

βœ… 3,75% annual interest rate for new customers, guaranteed for 5 months for a deposit of up to 1.000.000 euros
βœ… Fixed interest can be extended to 12 months
βœ… Interest paid quarterly β†’ compound interest
βœ… No account maintenance fees
βœ… No fixed contract period
βœ… No minimum or maximum investment amount
βœ… Statutory deposit insurance up to 100.000 euros
βœ… Individual or joint account options

Consorsbank Tagesgeldkonto Drawbacks:

β›” Existing customers only receive 1% annual interest (flexible interest rate)
β›” Any deposit above 1.000.000 euros only receives 0,6% interest
β›” Opening an account is a bit more elaborate compared to other banks
β›” No English website/support

2. Comdirect

Comdirect is the online bank from Commerzbank. It was founded in 1994, and it is very popular among Germans. It is the third-largest direct bank in Germany and offers all standard banking services, including checking, savings and securities accounts, and loans.

With the change of interest policies and rising interest rates, comdirect offers a highly competitive savings account for new comdirect customers. Its Tagesgeldkonto is among the highest paid in Germany, and it is fixed for at least 3 months. Another advantage is the quarterly interest payment, which enables you to benefit from compound interest.

Comdirect Tagesgeldkonto Benefits:

βœ… 3,25% annual interest rate for new customers, guaranteed for 3 months for a deposit of up to 100.000 euros
βœ… Fixed interest can be extended to 12 months
βœ… Interest paid quarterly β†’ compound interest
βœ… No account maintenance fees
βœ… No fixed contract period
βœ… No minimum or maximum investment amount
βœ… Statutory deposit insurance up to 100.000 euros
βœ… Individual or joint account options

Comdirect Tagesgeldkonto Drawbacks:

β›” Existing customers only receive 0,75% annual interest (flexible interest rate)
β›” Any deposit above 1.000.000 euros only receives 0,75% interest
β›” No English website/support

3. TF Bank

TF Bank is a Swedish bank* that was founded in 1987 and operates in many countries in northern and eastern Europe. TF Bank solely operates online, and just like Germany, Sweden’s creditworthiness is excellent.

TF bank is the only bank in our comparison that pays monthly interest on its savings account, which lets you benefit from compound interest. It has among the highest interest rates not only for the fixed six months but, more importantly, for the all-time flexible base interest. 

TF Bank Tagesgeldkonto Benefits:

βœ… 3,75% annual interest rate for new customers, guaranteed for only 3 months for a deposit up to 100.000 euros
βœ… Existing customers receive 1,45% interest (flexible interest rate)
βœ… Interest paidΒ monthly β†’ compound interest
βœ… No account maintenance fees
βœ… No fixed contract period
βœ… No minimum investment amount
βœ… Statuary deposit insurance up to 1.050.000 SEK (around 95.000 euros)
βœ… Opening an account is fast and easy

TF Bank Tagesgeldkonto Drawbacks:

β›” Maximum deposit of 100.000 euros
β›” No joint accounts
β›” No English website/support

❗Important: *As TF Bank does not have an independent German branch, Swedish banking law applies. This is especially important concerning taxes. TF bank does not pay taxes from your interest-generated income, so you must file those in your tax declaration to get your paid taxes back. Getting a Freistellungsauftrag (exemption order) is not possible.

Additionally, Swedish deposit insurance covers 1.050.000 Swedish Krona (SEK), which currently translates to around 93.000 euros. As damage payment would always be paid in SEK, exchange rates would influence your payout.

❗Good to know: Since the TF Bank Tagesgeldkonto is not an active banking account but literally meant for you to ‘park’ your money, it does not offer a button to take your money out. To transfer your money back to your linked reference account, you need to fill in a pdf form and email it to TF Bank. The Transfer will take 1-4 business days.

4. Commerzbank

Commerzbank is the second-largest bank in Germany. It is a private brick-and-mortar bank with various branches all over Germany. Since it is a full-blown traditional bank, it offers any banking service possible. It has become a lot more digital in the past years and offers online banking fully in English.

Currently, Commerzbank has an attractive offer for their savings account, Topzinskonto Plus, with interest rates among the highest in Germany. Opening an account is fast and easy. The current offer with Commerzbank is a 3% variable interest rate that runs for 12 months. This means that the interest rate can be adjusted within those 12 months. Interest payments happen quarterly and at the end of the 12 months.

Additionally, the current offer is only available for money transfers that come from third-party bank accounts, excluding money that has been invested with comdirect or onvista bank within the last six months.

Commerzbank Tagesgeldkonto Benefits:

βœ… 3,00% annual interest for newly transferred money, variable for 12 months for an investment amount up to 1.000.000 euros
βœ… Existing money transfers receive 0,75% interest (flexible interest rate)
βœ… No account maintenance fees
βœ… No fixed contract period
βœ… No minimum investment amount
βœ… Statutory deposit insurance up to 100.000 euros
βœ… Opening an account is fast and easy
βœ… English online banking (desktop & app)

Commerzbank Tagesgeldkonto Drawbacks:

β›” Interest paid annually (no compound interest throughout the year)
β›” No joint accounts
β›” No English sign-up

How to open a savings account in Germany?

Here is everything you need to know about opening a Tagesgeldkonto in Germany. While opening a savings account might slightly differ from bank to bank, the overall concept is the same.

What are the requirements for opening a Tagesgeldkonto in Germany?

To open a savings account in Germany, you must meet the following requirements: 

  1. You are of legal age (18+)
  2. You are a resident in Germany (Meldebescheinigung)
  3. You must have a German checking account to use as a reference account
  4. You have a German mobile phone number
  5. You have an email address
  6. Non-EU citizens might need to provide their residence permit

When you meet all requirements, opening a Tagesgeldkonto is fast and easy and can be done online. 

Simple Germany’s Hot Tip

Most banks offering savings accounts in Germany do not offer English websites or customer support. To help you understand the registration process correctly, we recommend using Google Translate for support. When using Chrome, right-click on the website and select translate to English in the pop-up.Β 

1. Open your Savings Account 

On your preferred bank’s website, you will find a button saying Tagesgeldkonto erΓΆffnen (open a deposit account), which you must click to start the process. After accepting GDPR/cookie preferences, you must answer if you are a new or existing customer. This information is relevant to determine the contractual interest rate for your account. You will be asked to log in to your online banking if you are an existing customer. As a new customer, you will be directed to enter your personal information.

The personal information you must enter to register may differ slightly from bank to bank but will always include your name, date of birth, nationalities(s), and contact information. You should also have your tax ID at hand. 

❗Important: As part of the registration process, you will be asked about your tax residency. You become a tax resident in Germany if you live here full-time or have stayed more than 183 days in a year. Please assess if you have tax residency in any other country, e.g., your home country. If you do, in the case of Consorsbank, you will be required to fill out an additional application form. The form needs to be filled out, printed, signed, and send to Consorbank (in this example) via postal mail. Since the form is only available in German and it is a PDF, it’s best to use the camera function of the Google translate app on your phone.

After entering your personal and tax information, you must provide information on your employment, income, and assets by selecting predefined job categories and asset ranges. You will also be asked if you have knowledge and experience with securities investments. 

In the final step, you get to review your entered data and must accept the AGB (terms & conditions).

2. Verify your identity

After sending your request, you will receive a registration confirmation and instructions on how to prove your identity. Depending on your nationality, there are two options to do this: PostIdent or VideoIdent (postal or video identification). While PostIdent requires you to go to a Deutsche Post branch (German postal services) to identify yourself, VideoIdent allows you to do so online and in English.

To identify yourself, you need to have your passport or ID card and your PostIdent/VideoIdent case ID, which you will receive via email automatically after registering your Tagesgeldkonto. As a foreigner, you will also need your Meldebescheinigung (address registration certificate) to verify your residence.

Once your identity has been confirmed, you will receive your contract documents and login information via postal mail or email. Once you receive your login information, you can set up your call money account. 

3. Set up your Savings account

After logging in to your new savings account, you will be guided through setting up your Tagesgeldkonto. Again, using Google Translate by right-clicking on the website is a valuable tip for non-German speakers. As one of the essential steps in the process, you must connect your Referenzkonto (reference account), from which you will transfer money into your savings account and back if needed. Most commonly, this will be your day-to-day bank account. You can only transact between your connected savings and reference account. Transfers to other accounts are not possible.

Whether you want to transfer a larger investment amount to start, set up a standing order, or make transfers whenever you have extra money, it is up to you. Tagesgeldkonten offer enough flexibility to set up transfers according to your personal preferences. You can also change them or stop them at any given moment. 

Taxes related to your savings account in Germany

In Germany, you must pay taxes on capital gain, including interest income from your savings account. However, you can set up a so-called Freistellungsauftrag (tax exemption order) with your bank, which exempts you from paying tax on up to 1.000 euros for singles and 2.000 euros for married couples per year.

Without setting up a tax exemption order, you will automatically be taxed 25% on all capital gains, plus 5.5% as a solidarity surcharge and, if applicable, church tax. 

Most banks let you set up the Freistellungsauftrag online, usually under the subcategory ‘Steuern‘. You can also google the name of your bank + Freistellungsauftrag Γ€ndern, and you will be prompted to the correct form after logging in to your online account. As TF Bank is Swedish, a Freistellungsauftrag is not available.

To fill out the tax exemption order, you must fill in your details and, most importantly, your tax ID (Steueridentifikationsnummer). You will also need to tag which predefined exemptions apply to you. In most cases, you must tag the Sparer-Pauschalbetrag (savings lump sum) of 1.000 euros (2.000 euros for married couples).

You must also define how long you want the exemption order to be valid. You can choose a specific date or use the more general option “So langebis Sie einen anderen Auftrag von mir/uns erhalten” which translates to “Until you receive a different order from me/us”.

What are the best Festgeldkonten in Germany?

If you prefer investing your savings in a safe yet more profit-oriented savings account, Festgeldkonten (fixed-term accounts) are a great choice in Germany. As stated above, they are a safe and predictable way to grow your assets. In contrast to call money, the savings you deposit will be blocked by the bank for the duration of the contract, which means you can’t access it. In return, as interest rates are higher and fixed for the duration of the contract, you will yield a higher and, most importantly, predictable return on your savings investment.

As many European banks offer higher interest rates than German banks, a comparison portal with international outreach, such as WeltSparen by raisin, can help you find the most profitable fixed-term savings account.

WeltSparen by raisin is an online platform with the mission to make global savings and investment programs easily accessible. The platform lets you find and compare different financial offers from over 400 banks in more than 30 countries. 

With regards to Festgeldkonten, WeltSparen has partnered with 104 banks in Europe. Since 2013 customers can profit from higher interest offered on European fixed deposit accounts by opening a WeltSparen account. By doing so, your savings are processed by WeltSparens’ in-house Raisin bank, based in Frankfurt, which uses clearing accounts to enable secure transactions between WeltSparen and its partners.

To navigate different offers, WeltSparen lets you filter by contract duration, your deposit amount, and the creditworthiness of their partners’ home countries. Once you have chosen a fixed-term offer, you can set up your WeltSparen account by following the instructions in the video below.

The video is in German, but you can set up subtitles in your preferred language by clicking on CC at the bottom and then clicking on the settings symbol right next to it. You must click auto-translate and choose your preferred language, e.g., English.

Conclusion

Whether a Tagesgeld- or a Festgeldkonto is the right savings account in Germany for you depends on your situation and preferences. 

Tagesgeldkonten are flexible and allow you to access your money anytime while benefiting from some interest.

Festgeldkonten are a long-term and predictable savings option that lets you benefit from higher interest rates while locking in your money for the contract period.

The Tagesgeldkonto from Consorsbank is an excellent choice. It currently offers the highest interest fixed for the most prolonged period and further satisfies with compound interest by quarterly credit payments.

WeltSparen by raisin is a great platform for anyone wishing to compare different savings account options. Opening a WeltSparen account lets you manage (multiple) international Festgeld– or Tagesgeldkonten from one central account.

Disclaimer: Simple Germany or myself as an author do not provide investment advice or financial services. Please be aware that this article is intended to provide you with a brief overview of saving money in Germany. The statements, comments, and other content contained in this article, even if individual issuers or financial instruments are mentioned, are not to be construed as investment advice and do not constitute, directly or indirectly, a recommendation or solicitation to buy, hold or sell any financial instrument or any advice relating thereto.

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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.