Are you planning to visit or move to Germany?
Well, one of the things you’ll need to have during your stay or visit to Germany is a credit card. Although cash is an accepted mode of payment in the country, you’ll be required to have a credit card in some situations.
For instance, you may need to use a credit card to make unexpected large payments, such as car rental deposits or medical expenses.
Besides, having a credit card is economical when making an online purchase or large international withdrawals. A credit card is also a safe payment method for foreigners, as it protects you in case of a fraudulent charge.
And to help you make an informed choice among the many best credit card options in Germany here is everything you need to know about the subject.
Requirements Needed to Get a Credit Card in Germany
Getting a credit card in Germany isn’t complicated. Some of the requirements needed to apply for one include:
Basic information – Such as your name, address, nationality, mobile phone number, and birthdate.
SCHUFA allowance – Refers to your credit score provided by Germany’s credit agency SCHUFA Holding AG. The agency rates credit scores on a scale of 0 to100. If you require a large-limit credit card, you’ll need a score of 85 and above
Identification document – If you’re applying for your credit card online, the customer service agent may request a video call to verify your identification. You’ll also need to provide the bank with a valid identification document, such as a passport or a national identification card
A current account with enough money – if you have a Girokonto or an existing account with a German bank, all you need to get your credit card is to have enough money in the account
Types of Credit Cards in Germany
Credit card, also referred to as Kreditkarte in German, refers to different types of cards, as explained below.
1. Charge Credit Card
This is a credit card that gives you a credit line. You’ll pay for your purchases with this credit card, but the amount you spend will be deducted from the checking account linked to the card at the end of the billing period.
If you don’t have enough funds in your account, the balance goes into overdraft.
2. Revolving Credit Card
The revolving credit card is very popular with foreigners in Germany, as it fits the typical credit card description as we know it.
This card gives you real credit, and at the end of the billing period, you’re given a bill that you’re expected to pay.
Some revolving credit card providers will give you an option to pay the bill in installments, although this comes with high interest.
3. Prepaid Credit Card
If you want to control your spending, you should get a prepaid credit card.
The bank allows you to top up this card with the cash you wish to spend. This is also a great card to use in case your SCHUFA credit score is low
4. Debit Card
The debit card isn’t an actual credit card, but we’ve included it in the list as it’s the most common type of banking card used in Germany.
With each purchase you make with this card, money is instantly deducted from your account.
Where to Get Your Credit Card in Germany
Some examples of popular credit cards in Germany include Barclays Visa, Hanseatic Bank GenialCard, Mastercard VIABUY, DKB Visa card, Advanzia Mastercard Gold, and TF Bank Mastercard Gold.
Whether you’re going to apply for one of the above credit cards or another one that’s not on the list, it’s essential to understand the credit card providers you’ll have to choose from.
- Traditional banks – Include banks with physical locations that offer banking services, including credit card services. Examples of such providers include Deutsche Bank, Volsbanken, and Sparkasse.
- Online card banks – These are banks that operate purely online. Examples include Hanseatic Bank, DBK, ING, and Advanzia Bank.
- Smartphone banks – Smartphone banks offer online boutique services. The best thing about smartphone banks is that they’re international, and their fees are affordable. Examples include Bunq, N2T6, Vivid, and Revolut.
In closing, credit cards offer freedom and convenience. Hopefully, this guide has opened your eyes to everything you need to know to get a credit card that suits your needs in Germany.