German bank accounts with online banking

20 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I would like to open a bank account at a German bank. I am American and live in the US. Does anyone know of a German bank that has online access with English language? I am finding that just about everyone in Germany takes wire transfers but my local bank here in the US charges $25 per transfer.

 

Thanks,

Rich

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Rich,

when I moved over here I transfered money over for rent, etc. it cost to transfer. However, I kept my CITIbank account in NYC. I then opened an account here at CITIbank and they transfer for FREE to my CITIbank in NYC. They only do this because they are 'sister' banks. Stadtsparkasse would have charged me for the service so I switched after a brief visit to CITI.

 

Laymans terms: I go to CITIbank munich and ask to transfer 1000 euros to my Citibank VISA card. It takes "up to 10 business days" but is free, and I usually see the $1200 in about 4-5 days. They need the banks address, checking account number, and the creditcard number. (don't know if they cando for just an atm card).

 

So I would say to open a Citibank USA account before coming over (if possible).

And you have to be here to open an account here.

Pretty sure you would need an income, an apartment, and all the legal papers before they would consider giving you an account here.

 

CITIbank also offers English on their ATM's and online banking in English. Cheers.

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The bank wants you to give them your income directly from the employer. One employer per person, per bank. Not two banks. In other words, when I wanted to open CITIbank here and I already had Stadsparkasse, I couldn't without closing the first and giving CITIbank all control over my $$$.

German system for ya.

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I suspect you'll find it quite difficult to open a German account without being resident here. When I opened mine I had to show them my passport (or maybe it was the residence permit), proof of employment, etc.

 

Banks are generally getting more cautious about what they give to customers these days, I think. I can't even have internet banking on my UK savings account because of some regulation about giving it to non-UK-residents. I don't know if it's a UK legal requirement or just one of the bank's own policies.

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Actually bizarrely I had no problems opening a Bank account here. All they asked for was my passport and that was it. No proof of address, no proof of employment and I dont pay my salary into this account as I'm employed through the UK. After a week I signed up for an German Amex card with the bald guy at Munich airport and got that (with no credit limit) about a week later. Then after 3 months my bank gave me a EUR7000 overdraft limit without me asking for it and Ive never had more than a EUR2000 in my account. Its www.hypoveriensbank.de . They have online banking but its all in German. Having said that you only need to know the word Uberweisung and konto and you can operate it no problem.

 

The stupidest thing is the same day I tried to join my local video club but without a residence permit (I dont need one) and proof of address (my landlady never got round to giving me a contract) they said no way. I even offered them a EUR200 deposit!

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Ran into a similar thing. Used my passport to open a bank account no problem but got refused in the dodgey local video shop even with driving license, Aufenhalterlaubnis and passport on me. Weird set of rules being applied around the place.

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I tried to join a video shop with a letter as proof of address, and got told no, as they wanted letters from particular people, electric company, etc. ! Think he was just being funny as he could not understand the passport, and had to ask me where all the details where for geburtstag, etc !

 

Then went to another video shop, and no problem. Although this time she kept insisting I was born in Ireland, although I said 15 times England !

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On the video store thing...

 

I just joined recently one of those 24 hour DVD automat places that are springing up all over the place. I had to turn up between 5 and 8 to register in person but the nice ;) lady who registered me just ask for my passport and then demo-ed the whole system in perfect English to me. You can book DVDs online and pick them up later and both on the website and on the machine they tell you which DVDs (dont) have an English soundtrack option.

 

This "good German customer service" thing is unsettling..! :unsure:

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I just moved to Munich from London where I had a Citibank account and quickly established mine here. The requirements they had for me were:

1) Anmeldung (police registration) completed with form, I think this needs to be done in person.

2) Passport

3) Minimum balance of 2500 EUR

 

Transfers between London (and similar for US Citibanks) and here are free. And I'm getting an EC card, essential for payments in some shops as not all take credit cards.

 

When I went to Hypovereinsbank, they said they needed an employers' pay check going into it, and they wouldn't give me an EC card until 3 months salary had gone in. Maybe I just got a surly clerk, or maybe the rules for them have changed.

 

Note however, that the density of free ATMs on the Citibank network are pretty low, so you may wish to add another account later at another bank if you're here for long enough.

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I've got a shi- I mean Citibank account in NY but was daunted by the 2500 EUR minimum balance to open an account here. If you've already got that much cash on hand, rbhollabaugh, then it just might be the answer you're looking for. Don't forget that with the exchange from dollar to euro, you'll lose a little more than 20% (right now).

 

My account here is Deutsche Bank (prolly the same branch you go to, Hell Cat. corner of Schelling and Barerstr.?). Many of the staff speak English (okay, barely) and I only had to show my passport to get an account. The online banking can be done in English and they've got associate banks all over the world. But I'm pretty sure you have to show up in person to get an account.

 

Just last night my boyfriend recommended DiBa online banking to me, as I said I wanted to start a savings here and they give better rates. My understanding is that it's strictly online, but I don't know much more about it than that right now.

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Stadtsparkasse Muenchen will give you an account and an ATM card on the strength of your passport... but won't give you an EC card until they see 3 months salary... or an indefinite job contract...

 

all of the setting up has to be done in person and the internet banking is in german but simple to operate...

 

people who work in video shops are power tripping poisonous dwarfs... as are doormen on bars and clubs... they took that job so that they could spoil other peoples' weekends... and yes i am bitter... :angry:

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Just last night my boyfriend recommended DiBa online banking to me, as I said I wanted to start a savings here and they give better rates.  My understanding is that it's strictly online, but I don't know much more about it than that right now.

 

 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

Anyone with further thoughts on DIBA? Would you recommend them over DHB Bank or CC Bank? I´m just looking for somewhere to park my money risk free and get the best return possible...

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My wife has started a DiBa account, but there is a hassle to get it going. Kind of like Arcor, once you have it OK, it is the getting there that is the problem.

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Anyone can open a bank acocunt here so long as they can provide adequate proof of identity. You don't need to be a resident, but you do need to prove (to the satisfaction of the bank) who you are. This is to fulfill an EU legal requirement related to eliminating money-laundering. This usually means opening the account in person, and having at least your passport with you at the time. Most banks won't allow any form of credit line without proof of income. Issuing you with an EC card is the same as providing a credit line, (as it guarantees payment to €200 for non-on-line transactions, even if you don't have money in the account), so you are unlikely to get such a card until the bank are happy you deposit money on a regular basis.

 

YL6

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CC Bank credits interest monthly, DiBa annually. Otherwise the only figure to compare is the interest rate itself, at which CC Bank has led the field for at least a year.

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My wife has started a DiBa account, but there is a hassle to get it going.  Kind of like Arcor, once you have it OK, it is the getting there that is the problem.

 

 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

Hi Eurovol,

 

I am going to open a DIBA account.. what was the hassle in your case? I've filled out the form (1 side of A4) which seemed relatively hassle-free.

 

Am v interested to hear what happened.

 

UA

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DiBA:

Everything is done per post and internet. They have to make sure you are you before authorizing you an account. Therein can lie the hassle. It is simply a matter of back and forth with copies of documents and what not. Wouldn't look good on them if they allowed criminals and terrorists to set up accounts to launder and transfer monies.

 

Since everything is post and internet, they have low overhead and therefore have free accounts and can pay interest. They also have ATM machines at various locations. It looks to be a good business model that can expand across borders and currencies in the future perhaps easier than other banking models.

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ok, i shall prepare myself mentally for lots of paperwork then :) can't be worse than the bureacracy in France though... :D

 

@Lupo - laziness. DIBA isn't as high an interest as some UK savings accounts, but I really don't have the time and energy to set up an account in the UK, so DIBA looked the best within Germany, plus there are no charges for having an account with them. I do most things online anyway.

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