A paperwork-less guide on how to open a bank account in Germany without an Anmeldung.
We recently relocated to Berlin. And as with many expats living abroad, we faced several challenges adjusting into our new home in Germany. One of the challenges we faced was opening a local bank account and gathering all the necessary paperwork.
This guide covers how to effortlessly open a bank account without all the fuss that comes along with the paperwork.
Moving to Berlin
After wandering between the UK and Germany, we finally decided to call Berlin our home. Not only is Berlin centrally located in Europe, it was also voted the second most innovative city in the world.
Living in this energetic city really fuels our creativity and motivates us now that we’ve embarked on our new travel blogging journey. We’re also excited to use Berlin as a base, as we continue to explore the rest of the world.
Relocating isn’t as simple as pointing your finger on a map and getting on a plane. It requires a lot of planning, sometimes months in advance.
There are also various things to consider such as opening a bank account when arriving in your new home. A local bank account is essential if you need to pay expenses, receive international transfers and get paid.
Traditional Bank Accounts in Germany
Traditional banks in Germany offer various types of bank accounts. You could open a standard cheque account and receive a debit card. These accounts are also referred to as a Eurocheque-Karte, EC-Karte or girocard.
But banks require several documents which you may not initially have after stepping off the plane. One document in particular is called Anmeldung, which simply means you are a registered resident of your city.
We didn’t have Anmeldung when we arrived in Berlin so we couldn’t open a bank account at a traditional bank. That’s why we decided to go mobile and haven’t looked back since.
What is a Mobile Bank
A mobile bank, also commonly referred to as a direct bank, is a bank that offers its services remotely. It’s services are accessed via online or telephone banking, ATMs or in our case an app on your mobile device.
In other words, it doesn’t have any branches where you can walk into to ask for assistance. Everything is done in-app which means they can significantly reduce their costs. And by doing so, offer their clients the same benefits of having a bank account, but with zero fees.
We first discovered this method of banking when we arrived in Europe. It is now our preferred way of banking and N26 is a mobile banks we use on a regular basis.
Banking with N26
N26 is one of the first mobile banks to launch in Europe. N26 offers a free basic current account with a debit Mastercard.
They also offer premium accounts which include fancy-looking cards and perks such as discounts, insurance and dedicated customer support. We settled for the free basic option which we felt was more than sufficient for our banking needs. But you can always upgrade your account at a later stage if you wish.
Bear in mind that the N26 card is not an EC card. It’s not necessary to get an EC card as most service providers accept a regular debit or credit card. But it is always a good idea to carry cash in case they insist on an EC card.
What do I Need to Open an N26 Account
Opening an account is simple and you don’t need an Anmeldung to do so. Simply download the N26 app, follow the instructions and you should receive your N26 bank card in the post. Delivery may take a couple of weeks if you don’t opt for express delivery.
Here’s What You Need to Open a Bank Account Without Anmeldung
- 8 Minutes (we did it in 5)
- Your Best Selfie Pose
- Residential Address (for delivery of your debit card)
- NO ANMELDUNG REQUIRED
You can deliver your bank card to a relative or friend’s address if you don’t already have your own residence. Remember to ask for their permission first before ordering your N26 card.
If you live in Germany, don’t forget to put their name and surname on the delivery instruction. Apartments have names instead of numbers on the doors.
The registration process is straightforward, but N26 take security very seriously. If you are verified via video call, they may request you to make a few declarations. The most common one is to state that you are not acting in someone else’s capacity.
What are the Benefits of an N26 Account
There are great benefits to opening an N26 account. You can expect the following perks from a free basic account.
- European IBAN (International Bank Account Number)
- N26 Mastercard
- Free Monthly ATM withdrawals (up to 5)
- Free Payments in Any Currency
- Foreign Currency Transfers
If you’d like to open an N26 account, feel free to use our referral code (michaels6708). You’ll get €15 after you’ve spent €15 on your new N26 account.
Is My Money Safe with N26
Absolutely! The Compensation Scheme of German Banks guarantees every N26 bank account up to €100,000.00. So don’t worry. Your money is safe.
So there you have it, a guide on how to open a bank account without an Anmeldung.
Anmeldung Done the Simple and Easy Way
You’ll eventually require an Anmeldung for various essential reasons. Renting an apartment, setting up a utilities account or accessing consular services are just few instances you’ll need Anmeldung. But don’t despair! We reveal how to effortlessly get Anmeldung in our Easy 3 Step Guide.
Are you relocating to Germany? If you are and have come across other issues you need help with, let us know by leaving a comment. We’ll will try our best to help you.
Trying to learn German too? We experimented on ourselves and used Duolingo to learn German for 4 months before we arrived. Read our experience on how effective Duolingo is for learning a language to see if it is worth your while.