How to find the right German bank account for your salary


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A free German bank account for your salary is becoming increasingly rare. This can also be seen in the fact that courts now have to decide when exactly an account can be called “free”. What customers need to know – and where they can still find free offers.

It wasn’t that long ago that almost all banks courted their customers with a free German bank account for your salary. However, those times are over. The persistently low interest rates are forcing the German banks to earn their money through fees.

What to keep in mind when looking for a German bank account for your salary

  • The basic monthly fee for salary bank accounts is becoming more and more expensive.
  • When looking for the right bank account, however, you should also consider other fees such as costs for cash withdrawals and deposits, transfers, annual fee for girocard or credit cards or overdraft interest.
  • Our bank account comparison helps you to find the right bank account: Only with us you will find a comparison of over 1,300 banks and savings banks.
German bank account for your salary

What fees should expect from an ideal German bank account from your salary

A German bank account for your salary is more expensive now than it was a few years ago. When it comes to a bank account, it is not only the basic monthly fee that counts, which is constantly being pushed upwards. Also, pay attention to the fees for:

  • Transfers
  • Standing orders
  • Cash withdrawals
  • Cash deposits
  • Paperless and paper-based bookings
  • Annual fee for the Girocard, the previous EC card
  • Pay with the Girocard
  • “Dispo” and overdraft interest
  • Annual credit card fee
  • Pay by credit card, especially outside the eurozone.

Use online bank account comparison charts to find the right German bank account for your salary

Online comparisons allow you to find the right bank account in just a few steps:

  1. Select the type of account you want
  2. If you are looking for a bank with a local branch: Enter your postcode, this is anonymous and will not be saved
  3. The list is sorted by rating by default, but you have that
  4. Possibility to sort the comparison accordingly by clicking on the other categories
  5. If you need more information, you can find it in the product details
  6. With one click you get to the bank you want and can open the new account

Can you still get a free German bank account for your salary?

Actually, yes! There are still more than 30 banks still offer a free German bank account for your salary with no ifs or buts. The consumer advocates have enforced that financial institurions can only label their accounts as “free” and advertise them if these four conditions are met:

  • No monthly fee
  • No specific receipt of money in euros, so that the monthly basic fee does not apply
  • No costs for the Girocard (EC card)
  • No costs for transfers.

Bank accounts that are almost free

In addition to the free ones, there are around 40 banks that offer a German bank account for your salary with no management fee or for which, under certain conditions, no monthly basic fee is charged. 

Among them are also very famous money houses and their bank accounts such as:

  • ING: Their salary bank account is free if a monthly salary of at least 700 euros is received.
  • Norisbank: Their top current account is free if you receive at least 500 euros.
  • Commerzbank: Also wants a monthly incoming payment of 700 euros upwards
  • Degussa Bank: Requires 750 euros as a monthly inflow of money. 

However, there are also a number of regional institutes whose bank accounts do not incur any monthly basic fees as soon as an average balance is available or a salary of a certain amount is received.

German bank account for your salary

Look for a bank that offers a bonus for opening a German bank account for your salary

If you are looking for a good bank, some financial institutions will try to attract you with a bonus for opening a German bank account for your salary. 

Either the new customers receive a gift of up to 150 euros and / or the account holder who brings a new customer to the bank. It is mostly PSD or direct banks that advertise with monetary gifts.

NOTE: The bonus usually does not flow immediately, but after around three months, when the bank is sure that the new customer is actually actively using the new account and has canceled the old one. 

Why do some digital banks offer you a cheaper German bank account for your salary?

There are banks that offer free checking accounts with a relatively low overdraft rate. The best of these offers mostly come from direct banks that handle all account management over the Internet and do not have to maintain branches. Advice from these banks is only available over the phone.

With many offers you will receive a free credit card with your account . You don’t have to use the card, but you can often use it to pay cheaply and withdraw money abroad.

With the credit card you can withdraw free of charge in Germany even if your bank is neither a member of the Cashpool nor the Cash Group, or a savings bank or Volksbank. You have access to all machines – instead of just the machine network to which your bank belongs. This not only saves fees, but also makes you flexible when withdrawing money.

German bank account for your salary

The best online comparison tables for a German bank account for your salary

How to use the comparison table

Simply fill in these options:

  1. Your monthly incoming payments (Zahlungseingang / monatlich)
  2. Your average account balance (Durchnittlicher Kontostand)
  3. Select if you want a bank account with credit card (Girokonto mit Kreditkarte)

Results of the comparison

You will get the best 4 German bank accounts for your salary

+ The third column tells you if the bank charges Credit interest (Habenzins – colored green) and the Overdraft (Dispozins) costs

Expaturm aims to help educate Expats in Germany on key issues that they will have to deal with while living in Germany by providing everything you need to know about Banking, Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Housing in Germany


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