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What is the local currency?
The official currency of Germany is the Euro (EUR).
The euro (EUR) is also legal tender through much of the rest of Europe, including Austria, France,
Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Luxemburg, Finland, Ireland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia and Greece.
What denominations does it come in?
The euro comes in coins of 1ct, 2cts, 5cts, 10cts, 20cts, 50cts, 1EUR and 2EUR. Paper money comes in bills of 5EUR, 10EUR, 20EUR, 50 EUR, 100EUR, 200EUR and 500EUR.
What is the best way to exchange currency?
You can exchange currency at any bank throughout the city, as well as at train stations or at the airport.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
- Debit card (EC card)
- Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, American Express)
- Please note: In Germany, it is not possible to receive cash back when paying by credit/debit card for your purchases
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
You will be able to use your credit card at most places in Frankfurt, but it is advisable that you carry cash as well. ATM machines will allow you to withdraw cash quickly and hassle-free. There is no general rule to determine which kinds of shops accept credit cards.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
Standing order (Dauerauftrag) is an efficient way of paying rent and all regular fixed payments to be paid. By this method you are authorizing your bank to transfer the money at a certain date to the recipient. Some payments can also be processed via direct debit. With this form of payment, you are authorizing the recipient to claim their money from your bank.
Alternatively, a bank transfer/payment slip is found at the bottom of almost all German bills. This should be filled in, signed and handed in at your bank before the due date of the bill.
Payments can take around 3 working days to clear in the recipient´s bank account.
Rent usually has to be paid within the first 3 days of the month.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
You can open a bank account right after obtaining your confirmation of residence at the town hall. You will need the following:
- valid passport
- proof of address in Germany
- spouse's passport and residence permit if the account is to be shared
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
Since Frankfurt is the banking capital of Germany, you will find several large banks that operate an international desk. In particular, the following banks are known to serve the international community:
- Deutsche Bank
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
Some banks might ask for three months residency in Germany prior to applying for a credit card.
What are typical banking hours?
Opening hours vary, depending on location and size of the branch office. In general, 8am to 4pm are typical hours of operation. Keep in mind that small branches might be closed during lunch time. In addition, banks are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Many banks have extended hours on Thursdays and are usually open until 6pm.
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Yes, but it is useful to know that there are four different types of banks in Germany: public sector commercial banks (Private Geschäftsbanken), saving banks, credit cooperatives ( Kreditgenossenschaften) and the Postbank. When making an ATM withdrawal, pay attention to the bank that owns that particular ATM. A small fee up to 5 euros is typically charged if you are not withdrawing from a bank within that particular network of your housebank.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
The most common card in Germany is the EC/Maestro card, a type of debit card, linked to your current bank account. It is accepted at department stores, supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants and many other places all over Germany.
To obtain a credit card, you do not need a credit history (as the credit card functions much in the same way as a debit card, with the VISA/Mastercard advantages). However, you may be required to produce proof of income. Credit cards may not allow for extended credit to be kept. Some banks will clear the credit in the middle of the following month the credit was put on and payments were made. But there are different options and banks will happily provide you with all required information.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.