Sometimes a simple bank account is not enough: For instance car rentals, flight tickets and many online shops you need a credit card, be it from Visa, Mastercard or Amercian Express. But no worries: In Germany, there are plenty of free offers. See the list and comparison here.
Debit vs Credit Cards
Before we go on: An important difference to understand is the one between Debit and Credit Cards:
- Debit cards may be issued by a credit card company (like Visa, Mastercard), but they don’t give you any credit: For every payment, you need to have the amount you are spending already on the account. If you want to spend more than you paid in before, the payment won’t succeed.
- Credit cards are the ones that actually give you a (short-term) credit: You can make a payment even without enough money on you card account – but once the (mostly monthly) bill arrives, you should have the money ready. Otherwise you might pay high interest rates.
Credit Cards from Germany Compared
Below you find an interactive comparison table with (free) credit cards from Germany. The most interesting ones are described below the table with a bit more details.
Free Credit Cards
One of the most popular offers in Germany is the DKB Visa Card. It comes together with the DKB-Cash account, which has it’s own article here.
Advanzia Gebührenfrei Mastercard GOLD
Another very popular card is this one: the Gebührenfrei Mastercard GOLD. Their credit term is also very long: 7 weeks. So after spending, you have up to 7 weeks time to pay the bill to Advanzia. However, if you miss to cover the (full) bill, you pay an interest rate of 1.49% per month, which adds up to a yearly rate of 19.44 % p.a. So paying back in time this is really something you should take care of if you want to stay free of costs.
This is a very interesting offer if you travel an lot and want to withdraw cash abroad. Similarly to DKB, the Barclaycard Visa offers free cash withdrawal worldwide. But unlike DKB, you can keep your regular current bank account because Barclaycard will simply direct debit the amount you’ve spent from this account every month. If you miss to have your account covered, you pay an interest rate of 18.38%.
Like BarclayCard, the HanseaticBank GenialCard is not tied to any bank account, so you simply can keep your current one. They offer a credit limit of 2500€ right from the start, and even pay out a starter bonus of 30€ just for opening the account.
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