Free German bank account? “N26!” was the usual answer – until now. With Vivid there’s a new English speaking offer on the market that is not only free – but even pays you: with Cashback on your purchases made with their card.

So you’ve arrived to Germany, and one of the first things to do, after getting a free SIM card, is to get a bank account.

Many offers are on the market, even many with English support. But here we compare the two most interesting ones to the detail.

Go to N26* Go to Vivid*

N26 Standard*Vivid Standard*
History & basics
Launched2015 (own banking license: 2016)2020
Basic feenonenone
Receiving & sending EUR transfersfreefree
Language supportGerman, English, French, Italian and SpanishGerman, English
Mobile appAndroid, iOSAndroid, iOS
(Credit) Cardsdigital Mastercard
(physical: €10 delivery fee)
Visa metal (debit card) + virtual Visa (free if you once top up the new account with €200)
Currenciesonly EUREUR + 40 more
Deposit guarantee€100.000€100.000
Cash withdrawal fees …
… at ATMs in EURfree up to 3x per monthfree
… at ATMs in other currencies (worldwide)1.7%free
… at shops (Cash im Shop / Cash26)freenot available
Cash withdrawal limits …
… at ATMs in EURmax: €2500/withdrawalmin: €50/withdrawal,
max: €200/month
… at ATMs in other currenciesmax: €2500/withdrawalmin: €50/withdrawal,
max: €200/month (converted)
… at shops (Cash im Shop / Cash26)no minimum, max. 300 EUR per transactionnot available
Fees for paying with credit/debit card …
… in EURnonenone
… in other currenciesnonenone
Deposit cash
… via Cash im Shop / Cash261.5% (min. 50 EUR, max. 999 within 24 hours)not available
at various shops and supermarkets, like: Lidl, Aldi, denn’s, Alnatura, Gorillas and morenot availableif you pay with the Vivid Visa card
Signup BonusCurrently none, signup seems suspended, new users have to join waiting list.€40 in cashback after doing all the steps from here
Go to the bankGo to N26*Go to Vivid*

History & Basics

N26 is on the market since 2015, with its own banking license since 2016. They claim to have 5 million customers, worldwide.

Vivid launched in 2020, based on Solarisbank in the background. So N26 definitely has more experience.

Cash withdrawal

Vivid limits this to €200/month and €50/withdrawal to stay free – out of these limits you pay 3% (min.: €1).

In contrast, N26 gives you 3 withdrawals per month with no limits.

Cash deposit

Not possible with Vivid – so if you need this then here’s your dealbreaker.

N26 allows Cash26.


N26 allows you to hold only EUR. On every spending in a foreign currency, the Mastercard exchange rate is applied.

Vivid in contrast allows you to exchange your EUR into 40 other currencies before spending them, e.g. into GBP. You then hold GBP in a different balance and once you are spending it UK, it gets withdrawn from there.


N26 comes with a regular plastic Mastercard. In the app, you can fine-control how it can be used (abroad yes/no, online payments, cash withdrawal).

Vivid instead gives you 2 Visa cards: a physical one, made of metal, and a virtual one with a different number, only visible in the app. You can freeze and unfreeze them sepearately. For instance, if you only use the virtual one for online payments, freezing this card disables online charging.


That’s the unique feature of Vivid – spend money and get paid back. Up to 10% at grocery stores like Aldi & Lidl – but also for online purchases like Netflix.

Still unsure?

Then try Vivid out and get a €20 gift: Once you’ve spent €20 with your Vivid Visa card, you’ll get a free top-up of €20.

Go to N26* Go to Vivid*

Two Years of N26 – a Long-term Test (+€50 gift)

It’s been now two years that I am using a German N26 free online bank account*, and since it is by far the most popular from all the free German bank accounts presented in this blog, I thought I sum up my personal long-term experience in a test of N26. Read more

💶 N26 vs. DKB: Comparing the Two Best German Banks

In my overview of free German bank accounts, two of them are my favourites: N26 and DKB. If you cannot decide between them, read here a side-by-side comparison of the two and my conclusion at the end. Read more

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