Changing Bank - is internet banking a viable solution

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Hi all, I am a bit of "old school" when it comes to banking: so when Commerzbank sends me a letter that they will start charging for our up-to-now free girokonto accounts, I got upset. 

How did we end up here: from getting decent interest on our saving and our operating accounts just a decade or so ago to being charged a fee just for having a bank account (i.e a bank borrowing my money to run their business,) and to charging a negative interest on my savings. 

 

So I started looking at what alternatives there are and comparing to what I am getting at Commerzbank there seem to be many better options.

So after some research, I stuck for DKB, they offer everything free if you have some minimum income,  including Visa card, free withdrawals ect..

The only thing is that I live in Frankfurt and it seems that DKB is the only bank in the world that does not have a branch in Frankfurt... all seem to be in East Germany, one in Munich.

So this would be my first encounter with doing all banking on the internet. Can you tell me if there is something that can't be done with girokonto that a brick-and-mortar bank would have but internet bank don't? 

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I am now at Santander, they also offer free accounts.  However, I banked with Wüstenrot for years and could do everything online.  The only problem if if you are dealing with large amounts of cash, either deposit or withdraw.  Otherwise it's fine.  I only left because they got bought by another bank and suddenly were not going to be free anymore.

 

Be aware that with DKB, at least the last time I checked, your savings account was linked to your visa card and your visa card is the one you can use to withdraw money at all ATM's for free.  The girocard you can shop with in stores but if you use it to withdraw cash at ATM's, you have to pay a fee.

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7 minutes ago, LeonG said:

I am now at Santander, they also offer free accounts.  However, I banked with Wüstenrot for years and could do everything online.  The only problem if if you are dealing with large amounts of cash, either deposit or withdraw.  Otherwise it's fine.  I only left because they got bought by another bank and suddenly were not going to be free anymore.

so this was one of the things I was wondering about. Let's say I want spontaneously a buy a used car and I need cash or bankers check. Can this be done in Santander or DKB ?   

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I moved 25 years ago from the Dresden bank to DIBA bank, a college talked me into it.

 

So far ( 25 years ), I am happy I did it, although the benefits are not so good anymore, and I hate the way they force you to use an app, with much less security.

 

I take take money out of any ATM in Germany for free, you get a free Dedt card, which for some reason looks like a Credit card and a Free EC card, I think I can take money for free at ATM's in Europe with this card.

 

Never tried to get a bank loan, as I get enough money anyway, but I think you can apply online or ring them up.

 

I might move bank over the security issues I have with them now, but maybe not.

 

They change it also that you cannot get a  monthly bank statement any more, you have to login and download it.

 

I know all these changes are to save money, lets face it, if I leave money in my bank account they cannot lend it out at huge interest rates at the moment,  so they have cut back or charge a monthly operating cost, at the moment its free to use.

 

I find the internet bank better than the normal bank for what I do

 

 

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1 minute ago, aeroplane said:

so this was one of the things I was wondering about. Let's say I want spontaneously a buy a used car and I need cash or bankers check. Can this be done in Santander or DKB ?   

 

DKB I don't know.  There's a limit to how much money you can withdraw in an ATM per day normally.  I do not know if they could up the limit for you one time if you talk to them.  I do not know if you can order a cashiers check to be mailed to your house.  You would have to ask them.

 

Santander is a brick and mortar bank and so you would just walk into the branch in Frankfurt and tell them you need cash.  Where I live, you can get 5k right away but if you want more you have to give a couple of days notice.  I don't know about cashiers checks but I don't suppose it's a problem.

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With DIBA, I got them to arrange to give me 16000 DM for a car I want to buy, I had to goto a bank in the Munich hautbahnhof, resise bank I think it was called, after I should my passport they just gave the money in my hand

 

You can also arrange to get foreign currencies in this way also.

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@Leon G. Santander sounds interesting, somehow they were never listed in the comparisons when I looked for it at internet.

What are the other rules for the account? i.e cards , free withdraws, transfer of funds to aboard ect.

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16 minutes ago, aeroplane said:

@Leon G. Santander sounds interesting, somehow they were never listed in the comparisons when I looked for it at internet.

What are the other rules for the account? i.e cards , free withdraws, transfer of funds to aboard ect.

 

The account that I have is called 1-2-3 and is free if I have 1200€ a month going in.  You also get a bonus, 1€ a month for getting your salary, 2€ a month if you have at least 3 lastschrift going out and 3€ per month if you have a depot there so 6€ for all.  Also comes with a free visa card.  You can withdraw money for free with the girocard at all Santander and cashpool.de ATM's and with the visa card at ATM's worldwide.

 

If you don't have a regular payment of 1200 a month going in, there's another account called Best Giro which is also free and with a free visa card but no bonuses and with that visa card you can only withdraw for free 4 times per month but girocard same as the other one, Santander and cashpool.

 

One thing to watch out for is that they will try to sell you a payment plan insurance.  If you don't want it, just say no.  Otherwise, you will be paying a monthly fee because they will apply it to your visa card balance every month.

 

I don't know if there is a free to transfer funds abroad.

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So would someone want to change from Commerzbank, where it remains free for now, pending the outcome of the court case, and will remain free in the future if you have 700€ going in each month, to an account that is free if you have 1,200€ going in, hmmm... 

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34 minutes ago, GaryC said:

So would someone want to change from Commerzbank, where it remains free for now, pending the outcome of the court case, and will remain free in the future if you have 700€ going in each month, to an account that is free if you have 1,200€ going in, hmmm... 

 

You should have read one paragraph further where I mentioned the "Best Giro" which is free without a minimum.

 

However, if you do have 1200 going in every month, it's not just free, they are actually paying you via the bonus system.

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maybe 10 years ago, the postbank came to me and said, that there is not enough money going into my account every month. So I set up an automatic bank transfer at the beginning of the month from my DIBA account to the postbank of 1200 euro's, then a week later another automatic transfer would take that money and transfer it back to the DIBA. 

 

For some re reason the postbank was happy with this, even though it makes no sense at all, if they want I could make 2 transfers.

 

In reality it shows nothing and achieves nothing

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44 minutes ago, yesterday said:

maybe 10 years ago, the postbank came to me and said, that there is not enough money going into my account every month. So I set up an automatic bank transfer at the beginning of the month from my DIBA account to the postbank of 1200 euro's, then a week later another automatic transfer would take that money and transfer it back to the DIBA. 

 

For some re reason the postbank was happy with this, even though it makes no sense at all, if they want I could make 2 transfers.

 

In reality it shows nothing and achieves nothing

comDirect is actually advocating such behaviour to avoid their proposed charging - completely mad but when in Rome...

 

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As I said in another thread, we replaced out Comdirect credit cards with no-fee Hanseatic cards  when they changed their policy. The new cards draw from our Comdirect account. Our giro konto is still free with Comdirect. My understanding is that they have different ones to choose from.

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Since literally millions of people have accounts in online-only banks it is obvious it is possible.  The question is if you can manage it.

 

I think I don't have visited my brick and mortar bank in the last 10 years.  I see no much difference between that account and my DKB account.

 

But since you mentioned the only "problematic" situation with DKB, when you spontaneously want to buy a car in cash, you can either take 1000 EUR daily until you reach the amount you need, or you increase your daily transaction limit to 5k and take that amount daily until you reach the needed amount, or you can set up a transfer to a third partner bank and get your money there (not a good idea because it is very expensive) or you can order online the money to be delivered the next day to your house via money courier, this of course has a cost, for amounts between 3k and 10k is 50 EUR.

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To be honest, I have been thinking the same thing myself recently. I am quite an "old school" person, but I have been looking into Fidor Bank and Wise (formerly Transferwise).

 

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I'm also "old school" on most fronts.

But when it comes to banking, if every time I was given the choice between online or in person, I would never opt for doing things in person. More hassle, more wasted time, higher chance to get things wrong by confusion or misunderstanding or whatever.

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I'm also with Comdirect, and have their VISA credit card, I don't think they ever charged me any credit card fee.

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19 hours ago, yesterday said:

maybe 10 years ago, the postbank came to me and said, that there is not enough money going into my account every month. So I set up an automatic bank transfer at the beginning of the month from my DIBA account to the postbank of 1200 euro's, then a week later another automatic transfer would take that money and transfer it back to the DIBA. 

 

For some re reason the postbank was happy with this, even though it makes no sense at all, if they want I could make 2 transfers.

 

In reality it shows nothing and achieves nothing

 

Wonderful :rolleyes:

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3 minutes ago, Gambatte said:

I'm also with Comdirect, and have their VISA credit card, I don't think they ever charged me any credit card fee.

I have one too but mine is pre-paid, but no charges to date.  However, if and when they push through the new charges, the pre-paid credit card should remain free (or so they told me) but the normal credit card will begin costing 4 or 5 EUR per month or something like that.  It's all set out in the letter they sent earlier this year...

 

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On 6/10/2021, 6:05:57, GaryC said:

So would someone want to change from Commerzbank, where it remains free for now, pending the outcome of the court case, and will remain free in the future if you have 700€ going in each month, to an account that is free if you have 1,200€ going in, hmmm... 

Hi Gary, am i getting this right: are you saying that the introduction of fees that would start 1JUL that Commerzbank announced in a letter we got some time end of April is blocked by a court case?

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