Best Debit Cards In Germany 2024

Andreia Ferreira
by Andreia Ferreira
Updated on

Whether in Germany or anywhere else, one of the essential financial tools you’ll need is a debit card. However, navigating the German banking system, especially as an English speaker, can be quite challenging.

The good news is that we’ve got you covered.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the intricacies of debit cards in Germany, helping you make an informed decision.

We’ll break down the key features and benefits of various debit cards and compare them so you can understand what suits you best. So, read on and learn what’s best for you.

Comparison Table

Commerzbank Debit Card

Wise Debit Card

ING Visa Debit Card

N26 MasterCard Debit Card

Revolut Debit Card

Issuing Fee

€0

€7

€0

€10

€0

Monthly Fee

€3.5

€0

€0

€0

€0

Foreign Transaction Fee

1.75%

Starts at 0.43%

Varies by currency

1.99%

Free

€0.3 to €5

Free ATM Cash Withdrawals

12 Local + 25 International Withdrawals per year

2 Cash Withdrawals up to €200 per month

All

** Minimum withdrawal amount €50

3 Free Withdrawals Per Month

5 withdrawals or €200 per month

ATM Cash Withdrawal Fee (After free)

1.95% 

Min. Withdrawal €5.98

€0.5 per withdrawal (If under €200)

€0.5 + 1.75% (If over €200)

Free

Minimum withdrawal amount €50

€2 per withdrawal after this

2% 

ATM Cash Withdrawal Abroad

1.95% + 1.5% Foreign Transaction Fee

€0.5 per withdrawal (If under €200)

€0.5 + 1.75% (If over €200)
1.99%

1.99%

1.7%

2%

ATM Cash Withdrawal Limit

€600 per day

€2000 per week

€4,000 per month

€1,000 per day

€1,000 per day

Not specified

Replacement Card

Not specified

€4

€4

€6

€6

Account Limits

Not specified

Spending limit: €30,000 per month

Spending Limit: €4,000 per week

Deposit Limit: €50,000

** 0.5% yearly fee applies beyond this

Not specified

Information in English

Yes

Yes

Yes

Which Is The Best Debit Card For You?

Determining the best debit card for your needs isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. It depends on many factors.

Some cards are tailored for travelers, offering budget-friendly terms for international transactions and ATM usage. Others excel in providing English customer support, while some prioritize security features, insurance benefits, and discounts.

Similarly, some people like the reliability of well-established physical banks and don’t prefer having virtual accounts with online financial institutions or neobanks.

So, the key is to evaluate your own financial habits and priorities to find the debit card that aligns best with your lifestyle.

Quick Summary

According to our best debit card in Germany review, we found the following:

Debit Card Vs. EC Card Vs. Girocard: What’s The Difference?

In Germany, it’s easy to confuse the term “debit card” with “EC Card” or “Girocard.” Although the functionality of all these cards is the same, there is a difference between these terms.

A Debit Card, as we all know, helps you withdraw cash or make online and POS transactions. The card is linked to your bank account and deducts the payment instantly from your balance.

Now, a “Girocard” (or Girokarte) is no different – it’s actually a debit card issued by banks of the German banking system, but there’s a subtle difference. The Girocard is an interbank network that virtually connects all ATMs and banks.

On the other hand, typical debit cards have Visa or MasterCard logos on them, which means they use Visa or MasterCard networks. That’s the prime difference between the two.

So, what’s an EC Card?

Well, the Girocard was popularly known as EC Card (or EC karte) until 2009 and is still often referred to as it. Both of these terms mean the same thing.

Is There Any Benefit To Getting A Debit Card With One Of The Cash Group Banks?

The Cash Group includes four largest private banks, including Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, HypoVereinsbank, and Postbank. Plus, there are some small-scale subsidiary banks.

Having a debit card from a Cash Group bank offers two distinct advantages.

  • There is no charge or fee for ATM cash withdrawals from any of the cash group banks.
  • You get to access more than 7000 ATMs all over the country.

Overall, it’s a cost-effective and convenient choice for expats and residents alike.

Is It Worth It To Get A Debit Card In Germany?

Debit cards can surely be a valuable addition to your financial toolkit in Germany. However, you must consider the pros and cons to decide if they are worth it for your specific needs.

Advantages Of Debit Cards

  1. Convenience

Debit cards offer a straightforward and convenient payment method, eliminating the need for cash or checks. They are widely accepted for both in-store and online transactions.

  1. Security

Debit cards come with PIN protection and liability limits, which can enhance security by limiting your financial liability in cases of fraudulent activities.

  1. Real-time Transactions

Debit card transactions are promptly reflected in your account balance, allowing for better budget management and spending control.

  1. Worldwide Acceptance

Debit cards enjoy broad acceptance in Germany and outside, making them a versatile payment option suitable for various financial needs.

Disadvantages Of Debit Cards

  1. Limited Protection

Debit cards may offer less comprehensive protection compared to credit cards in case of fraud or disputed transactions. Plus, the coverage and resolution process may be less robust.

  1. No Credit History

Unlike credit cards, debit cards do not contribute to building a credit history. If you’re looking to establish or improve your credit score, a debit card won’t help in this regard.

  1. Limited Rewards

Debit cards typically provide fewer rewards and cashback programs compared to credit cards. If earning rewards is a priority, credit cards may be a more appealing option.

Ultimately, the decision to get a debit card hinges on your individual financial goals and preferences. Carefully evaluate the pros and cons to determine if a debit card aligns with your financial requirements and objectives in Germany.

With that said, let’s introduce you to some of the best debit cards in Germany in 2024.

Best Debit Cards In Germany 2024

1. Commerzbank Mastercard Debit

Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft is a prominent player in the German financial landscape that offers reliable domestic and international financial services.

Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Commerzbank holds a significant position in Germany’s banking sector, ranking as the second-largest bank by balance sheet value in 2019.

Commerzbank Mastercard Debit

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Monthly Fee

€3.50

Free ATM Withdrawals (Locally)

12 Per Year

Welcome bonus

€0

Apply today

On Commerzbank’s Website

Issuing Fee€0
Monthly Fee€3.50
Local TransactionsFree
Foreign Transactions Fee1.75%
Replacement CardNot specified
ATM Cash Withdrawal in Germany12 Free Cash Withdrawals per Year
After that 1.95% 
Min. Withdrawal €5.98
ATM Cash Withdrawal Abroad25 Free Cash Withdrawals per Year
After that 1.95% + 1.5% Foreign Transaction Fee
Important: Commerzbank offers a Virtual Debit card as well, but it’s a different product from the MasterCard Debit Card.

Well-established bank with a deposit guarantee.

No card issuing fee.

A generous offer of 25 free international ATM withdrawals per year.

English customer support.

Can get a Girocard as well for €10 annual fee.

No-English website.

Needs a monthly account fee.

High foreign withdrawal fees after free withdrawals.

  • All online payments are double-protected with The Mastercard® Identity Check. It’s a dual security system that verifies your PIN and TAN (Transaction Number) to confirm the payment.
  • It is integrated with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other payment options, so you can pay with your smartphone.
  • Your Commerzbank account deposit is protected up to €100,000, which may increase to €500,000 in special events.
  • With customer-centric liability and reimbursement rules, Commerzbank offers full reimbursement in the event of damages.

The Commerzbank MasterCard Debit Card stands out as a versatile and convenient choice for modern-day transactions.

The card gets your free local transactions and a fixed number of free ATM withdrawals in Germany and abroad per year. Plus, it offers reimbursement in the event of damage.

However, there are two major drawbacks.

First, their regular checking account won’t get you a physical debit card. You will have to pay a monthly fee of €3.5 to get one.

Secondly, their checking account is only free if you receive at least €700 in your account each month. If your account doesn’t receive €700 each month, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee of €9.9.

The good thing, however, is you can get a “Girocard” for €10 per year with your Commerzbank account, which you can use almost everywhere in Germany.

2. Wise Debit Card

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, has revolutionized the way we handle international money transfers and multi-currency accounts.

With a mission to make cross-border finance simple, cost-effective, and transparent, Wise is your ticket to financial freedom.

Wise Debit Card

e5b47eff3a559d9210ff4785175d491a order wise card

Monthly Fee

€0.00

Free ATM Withdrawals (Locally)

2 (Up to €200)

Welcome bonus

€0

Apply today

On Wise’s Website

Issuing Fee€7
Monthly Fee€0
ATM Withdrawal2 Free Cash Withdrawals up to €200
After that;
€0.5 per withdrawal (if under €200)
€0.5 + 1.75% (if over €200)
Withdrawal limit is €4000 per month
Foreign Transaction FeeVaries by currency
Starts at 0.43%
Replacement Card€4
Spending Limit€30,000 per month

Hold more than 40 currencies with a single account.

Customer support in 14 languages, including English.

Minimal foreign transaction makes it great for international travelers.

Receive foreign payments for free with 9 receiving accounts.

Limited monthly ATM withdrawals.

No German IBAN.

  • You can use the virtual debit card and create multiple cards.
  • The digital card works with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, and Garmin Pay.
  • With a Wise account, you can hold your money in 40 currencies.
  • Wise gives you receiving bank account details in nine different currencies.

Now, the Wise debit card is an incredibly useful financial tool. It allows you to hold and manage more than 40 currencies within a single account. This means you no longer need multiple accounts or stacks of different cards to deal with your global financial affairs. 

Moreover, getting started with the Wise Debit Card is a breeze. You can sign up and order your card in just five minutes and start using its digital version right away.

Plus, their customer support is amazing. With assistance available in 14 languages, you can get help and answers to your questions, no matter where you are or what language you prefer to communicate in.

One problem, though, is that you don’t get a local (DE) IBAN, which might be a problem if you want to receive your salary in this account.

However, people happily use it as a secondary account because you can hold Euros along with other currencies.

3. ING Visa Debit Card

ING Bank, also known as ING-DiBa in Germany, is a highly respected financial institution known for its commitment to providing transparent and user-friendly banking services.

With a significant presence in the German banking market, ING Bank is a dependable choice for both individuals and businesses.

ING Visa Debit Card

visa card 2027 16 9

Monthly Fee

€0.00

Free ATM Withdrawals (Locally)

Unlimited

Welcome bonus

€0

Apply today

On ING’S Website

Issuing FeeFree
Monthly Fee€0
ATM Withdrawal (In Euros)Free
Minimum withdrawal amount €50
Withdrawal limit is €1000 per day
ATM Withdrawal (Foreign Currency)1.99%
Foreign Transaction Fee1.99%
Replacement Card€4
Spending Limit€4,000 per week

Well-established physical bank with great reputation.

ING’s ATM locator can help you find the nearest ATMs.

No charges on ATM cash withdrawals in Euros.

97% of German ATMs support free cash withdrawals.

Contactless payments with Google and Apple Pay.

Multiple retail stores help you deposit cash easily.

No English website and customer support.

Weekly spending limit of €4,000.

  • A €75 bonus if you pay with your Visa card at least five times within the first four months
  • With your ING account, you can order a Girocard at just €0.99 per month
  • You can order a partner Visa card for a family member by giving them power of attorney via the ING mobile app
  • You can increase your limits for specific purchases or cash withdrawal events.
  • As an ING customer, you can deposit cash in your account at 12,500+ retail stores.

Besides free local POS and online transactions, the ING Visa Debit Card offers free ATM withdrawals for amounts over 50 euros in Germany (and in any country that has the Euros as a currency), ensuring you have cash without worrying about extra fees.

Plus, the ING app provides the flexibility to adjust your spending limit for specific transactions.

However, it has the same drawbacks as Commerzbank when it comes to account management.

Your ING account is only free if you receive at least €700 in your account each month. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee of €4.9.

4. N26 Mastercard Debit Card

Based in Berlin, Germany, N26 is a leading neobank that emerged in 2013. Operating with a full German banking license, N26 offers excellent banking solutions with the convenience of an English website and customer support.

The bank’s debit card, the N26 MasterCard debit card, is an excellent financial tool.

N26 Mastercard Debit Card

n26 cards mastercard metal charcoalblack

Monthly Fee

From €0.00

Free ATM Withdrawals (Locally)

Starts at 3

Welcome bonus

€0

Apply today

On N26 Website

N26 StandardN26 SmartN26 YouN26 Metal
Issuing Fee€10FreeFreeFree
Monthly Fee€0€4.90€9.90€16.90
Free Domestic ATM Withdrawals3
** €2 per withdrawal after this
5
** €2 per withdrawal after this
5
** €2 per withdrawal after this
8
** €2 per withdrawal after this
Free ATM Withdrawals within EUYesYesYesYes
Free ATM Withdrawals Abroad in Foreign CurrencyNo
1.7%
No
1.7%
YesYes
ATM Cash Withdrawal Limit€1,000 per day€1,000 per day€1,000 per day€1,000 per day
Replacement Card€10€10€10€45
Foreign TransactionsFree*Free*Free*Free*
Travel InsuranceNoNoYesYes
Discount at Partner BrandsNoYesYesYes
Phone SupportNoYesYesYes
Two-Factor AuthenticationYesYesYesYes
Free Account Balance Limit€50,000
** 0.5% yearly fee applies beyond this
€50,000
** 0.5% yearly fee applies beyond this
€50,000
** 0.5% yearly fee applies beyond this
€50,000
** 0.5% yearly fee applies beyond this
* Only the MasterCard exchange rate applies.

Fully digital platform with easy sign-up.

Even as a digital bank, N26 offers protection of balances up to €100,000.

All information and customer support are in English.

No extra charges for foreign transactions.

Free ATM withdrawals abroad in foreign currency.

Priority customer support for paid users.

MasterCard ATM locator to find the nearest ATM.

No phone support in the free (standard) plan.

Users complain of slow and (sometimes) inefficient customer support.

0.5% annual charges beyond €50,000 balance.

  • Up to €100,000 of your money is protected by the German Deposit Guarantee Fund.
  • N26 lets you deposit money in your account via its 10,000+ retailer network in Europe.
  • Paid plans let you order premium metal and transparent cards.
  • Get up to €500 coverage for travel delays over 2 hours and baggage delays over 4 hours.
  • Get up to €2000 coverage for baggage lost, theft, or accidental damage.
  • Get up to €500,000 coverage for third-party damages during a trip.
  • You can get 10 sub-accounts with individual IBANs to manage your money better.

** The benefits vary based on which plan you buy, so it’s advisable to compare N26 plans first.

Even as a standard (free) user, you get to benefit from no transaction or currency conversion fees when spending in foreign currencies. Plus, you get some free domestic ATM withdrawals and unlimited free withdrawals abroad. 

Moreover, the paid plans get you insurance, discounts, and rewards, making the card great for travelers.

The biggest advantage is that despite being a neobank, N26 is a member of the compensation scheme of German Banks GmbH and offers a reimbursement guarantee of up to €100,000 in case of insolvency.

However, some N26 customers have also complained about unannounced account closures lately. The concern was also highlighted by Business Insider as more than 100 users lost access to their accounts and were still pending refunds.

Although N26 is a reliable and established name, such incidents instill a sense of fear and dissatisfaction.

5. Revolut Debit Cards

Revolut, established in 2015, has rapidly evolved from a travel card offering competitive exchange rates into a comprehensive digital bank with banking licenses in multiple countries.

It has over 35 million private customers and 500,000 business customers.

Revolut Debit Cards

Screenshot 2023 12 18 1916167

Monthly Fee

From €0.00

Free ATM Withdrawals (Locally)

Starts at €200 Per Month

Welcome bonus

€0

Apply today

On Revolut’s Website

Default PlanPlus PlanPremium PlanMetal PlanUltra Plan
Issuing FeeFreeFreeFreeFreeFree
Monthly Fee€0€2.99€7.99€9.99€50
Local Transactions In EurosFreeFreeFreeFreeFree
Foreign Transaction Fees€0.3 to €5*€0.3 to €5*€0.3 to €5*€0.3 to €5*€0.3 to €5*
Personalized CardNoYes
€5 fee applies
Yes
€5 fee applies
Yes
€5 fee applies
Yes
€5 fee applies
Prioritized Customer SupportNoIn-AppIn-AppIn-AppIn-App and Phone
Free ATM Cash Withdrawal€200 per month or 5 withdrawals
2% after that
€200 per month
2% after that
€400 per month
2% after that
€400 per month
2% after that
€2,000 per month
2% after that
Insurance CoverageNoYesYesYesYes
Replacement Card€6€10
** The first 2 cards are free
€10
** The first 2 cards are free
€10 for non-Metal
€40 for Metal Cards
** The first 2 cards are free
€50 for Ultra Cards
** The first 2 cards are free
* Depending on the transaction currency and the recipient country’s currency.

All-digital platform with mobile App.

Information and phone support in English.

No issuing fee.

Can hold multiple (36) currencies.

Insurance benefits and discounts with paid plans.

Personalized cards.

Customizable spending limits.

Limited customer support in the free plan.

No German IBAN.

  • You can get multiple virtual debit cards.
  • Apart from the standard/default, paid plans give you the first two cards for free.
  • Revolut offers up to 0.1% cashback on all payments in Europe and the UK, and 1% everywhere else.
  • Access priority customer support as an Ultra account holder.
  • Avail 20% and 40% discount on international transfers. Plus, you get free international transfers with the Ultra plan.
  • Get discounted and unlimited airport lounge access with paid plans.
  • Unlock travel, medical, car, luggage damage, personal liability, and other insurances with paid Revolut plans.
  • Get 3% to 10% cashback when you book accommodations with Revolut cards.

Whether virtual or physical, Revolut’s MasterCard Debit Card is great to have for several reasons.

It comes without a fee and offers amazing benefits like low foreign transaction fees, prioritized customer support, insurance benefits, and card personalization options.

Plus, your account comes with 36 in-app currencies, so you can also store currencies other than Euros.

However, one major drawback is that you might not be able to use it as a primary account in Germany because it doesn’t offer you a local IBAN.

Still, because of its easy setup and digital features, it’s very popular as a secondary account among expats in Germany.

Things To Keep In Mind While Choosing A Debit Card In Germany

Selecting the right debit card for your needs in Germany involves considering several crucial factors. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind when making your decision:

  1. Issuing and Replacement Fees

Start by checking if the bank charges any fees for issuing or replacing your debit card. Some banks may offer this service for free, while others might have associated costs.

  1. Transaction Charges

Be aware of transaction charges, especially when using your card for purchases or withdrawals abroad. Look for cards that offer competitive or zero foreign transaction fees if you travel frequently.

  1. ATM Withdrawal Charges

ATM withdrawal fees can add up, so it’s wise to opt for a card that provides free or low-cost withdrawals, either domestically or internationally.

  1. Personalization Options

Some banks offer personalization features, allowing you to choose your card’s design or even customize your PIN. While this may not be a top priority, it can be a fun and unique touch to your banking experience.

  1. Security Features

Prioritize security when selecting a debit card. Features like fingerprint identification and advanced 3D Secure technology can provide added protection when making in-store and online purchases.

  1. Customer Support

Consider the availability of customer support, particularly if you’re an English speaker.

Check if the bank offers English-speaking customer service and if they provide round-the-clock support. A user-friendly mobile app can also make managing your card and account more convenient.

Remember, the best debit card for you depends on your specific needs and preferences. By considering these factors, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle.

FAQs

Obtaining a debit card in Germany (and in most parts of the world) usually requires opening a bank account. For this, you’ll need to submit:

  • Proof of identification such as passport, ID card, or residence permit
  • Your German residential address
  • Income proof such as employment contract or pay slips

Yes. A debit card and an EC card are essentially the same thing. The only difference lies in the interbank network they use. EC cards use the “Girocard” network, while regular debit cards use Visa or MasterCard.

Yes. Debit cards are widely accepted in Germany. However, you might find some retail establishments, like restaurants, that only accept cash.

Still, this shouldn’t be a problem as ATMs are easily accessible throughout the country.

You can only get cashback when you are enrolled in a cash-back program with your debit or credit card. However, you won’t necessarily need to ask for a cashback.

In case you’re using a credit card, the retailer will pay a certain percentage to the credit card company, which in turn will pass on some of the payment to you.

In the case of a debit card, the cashback will be paid to you directly by your bank or debit card company.

The N26 MasterCard debit card is the best option for international travel as there is no extra cost for foreign currency transactions. You just have to pay the exchange rate for that day.

Andreia Ferreira
Andreia Ferreira
Andreia is our main writer/researcher here at TwoExpats. She does extensive research on the various products we review as well as writing compelling content that is easy to digest by our readers.

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