Living in Germany but your German is not yet on C2 level? No worries, a few bank accounts speak English (or even more languages), have not basic fees, come with a Visa & Mastercard and offer free ATM withdrawals. Don’t believe it? Then read on.

First things first: All of them are online banks. But in a pandemic you can’t go to a branch bank anyway. And I – being with an online bank (DKB) now for 11 years – can simply say: It’s much better customer service when I can call or email them from home, instead of going to their branch, take a number and wait.

Still here? Then let’s take a look at each bank first, and below you will find a neat comparison table summing up the main things.

1. Bitwala: Unlimited free withdrawals + Bitcoin wallet

I could not really believe the offer – it is by far the cheapest, plus perfect if you are also intro cryptocurrencies (or want to be).

Basically everything at Bitwala is free: Opening the account, running the account, a Mastercard, withdrawing money (as often as you want, worldwide), paying with the card.

And on top, you get a Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet, and access to a trading area where you can buy or sell these cryptocurrencies (finally something with fees: 1%)

A little minus: No Google or Apple Pay is working yet.

Go to Bitwala*

2. Tomorrow: Climate-friendly / offset CO2 emissions

Care for our world and our climate? Then Tomorrow allows you to do that even with your bank account: With their revenues they finance climate-friendly projects in renewable energy, organic agriculture, microcredits.

And they also have a free plan: With the basic account, you have no monthly fees, a Visa card (incl. feeless payments worldwide) and 3 free cash withdrawals per month.

Google Pay is available but Apple Pay is not.

Go to Tomorrow*

3. Insha: Features for Muslims + Speaks Turkish

Insha aims to help both people with links to Turkey and/or people who practise Islam.

Besides English and German, the account offers also support in Turkish, and money transfers to Turkey are both convenient and cheap (starting from €4 for a transfer up to €500).

The Insha app includes a Zakat calculator, a Qibla finder and a search for nearby mosques.

The account comes with a Mastercard incl. free payments in the Eurozone (+Sweden), and 3 free ATM withdrawals in Germany.

Unfortunately, both Google and Apple Pay are not possible.

Go to Insha*

4. N26: English, Spanish, French, Italian

The most multilingual account, and by now a “classic” one too: N26 was the first app-only account in Germany, starting in 2014. And none of the other speaks more languages: N26 offers support in 5!

Besides, they are the only one offering both Google and Apple Pay.

Remaining features are solid: free account keeping, a Mastercard (with no payment fees) – and cash withdrawals are also unlimited in Germany via Cash26: Instead to an ATM you go to one of their partner shops (e.g. Rewe + Penny supermarkets), show a barcode from your N26 app and get paid.

For details, check my long-term review of N26 here.

Go to N26*

Let’s compare!

(Note: This is not necessarily a complete list of German bank accounts with English support. More might have appeared since this article was written.)

Bitwala*Tomorrow*Insha*N26*
Account keepingfreefreefreefree
Language supportEnglish, GermanEnglish, GermanEnglish, Turkish, GermanEnglish, French, Spanish, Italian, German
CardsMastercardVisaMastercardMastercard, maestro
FeaturesBitcoin+ETH wallet, tradingClimate-friendly: offset CO2 emissionsZakat calculator, Qibla finder,
Easy money transfer to Turkey
Support in many languages
Paying with cardfreefree€ & SEK: free,
other currencies: 1.2%
free
Cash withdrawals at ATMsfree3/month in €: free,
more/other currencies: 1.5%
3/month in DE: free,
more/other countries: €2-€5
3/month in DE: free,
>3: €2,
with Cash26: free
Top upSEPA transfer: free, send+sell BTC/ETH: 1%SEPA transfer: freeSEPA transfer: freeSEPA transfer: free,
Cash26: 1.5%
SEPA-Transfersfreefree<=10/month: free,
more: €0.25
free
IBAN numberGermanGermanGermanGerman
Google PayβŒβœ…βŒβœ…
Apple PayβŒβŒβŒβœ…
Video identβœ…βœ…βœ…βœ…
Post ident❌as an exceptionβŒβœ…
Go toBitwala*Tomorrow*Insha*N26*

How to open an account?

Click on the account you are interested in – if the page is in German, find the language switch to English somewhere above. For most banks, you can enter your mobile phone number and then get sent a download link to your phone to get their app.

Β Verification

The banks are required to identify you – and since they are online banks and have no branches, they will do this with a video chat on your phone. Have your documents (e.g. ID or passport prepared).

And a proof of your residence. It

  • must not be older than 3 months
  • contain your full name and address
  • can be a bill for water, electricity, internet, gas etc.
  • or an Anmeldung / MeldebestΓ€tigung

Questions?

Feel free to ask in the comments. πŸ™‚

Links marked with a star (*) are affiliate links. If you click on such a link and then shop or order something, we will receive a commission for your purchase with which we can cover our expenses and keep the site free of ads. This does not change the price for you.

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