Bank Account

If you plan to live and work in Germany for an extended period of time, will receive a salary or scholarship, or need to pay rent, it makes sense for you to open a German bank account. 

For your convenience, there are several different types of bank accounts. We recommend a checking account, which means that you will receive a Euro Cheque-card (EC-Card) to use. With an EC-Card, you can withdraw money from ATMs and also use it to pay in supermarkets, stores, Deutsche Bahn ticket machines and most restaurants.

If you want to open a new checking account, you will need to bring the following documents:

  • Passport or equivalent ID
  • Visa
  • Proof of residence (Meldebescheinigung) (from the City Adminstration Office)
  • Work contract or for registered doctoral students, your current certificate of enrolment
  • Tax identification number (can be submitted later)

In Germany, there are many different state-run (Sparkasse, Volksbank) and private banks for you to choose from. The services offered by these banks are very similar, but there are also some differences. For example, each bank might have different account management fees, offer additional services and either have more or fewer ATMs located throughout Germany.