[Berliner Tips for Expats 1.] Open your Bank Account ASAP.

Want your money tree? Open a bank account, NOW!

I can imagine how hectic it would be when you move to another country, and set up everything around you, finding a flat, setting up the internet, registrations (Anmeldung), sorting out what/where/how to shop, or even finding a job, and the list goes on…

In my case, I already had jobs when I got here, because I brought them from Japan. So, I was super busy with settling down and also catching up with those jobs that I got from the clients. I really had no time to do any extra things, like opening a bank account.

People usually open their bank accounts right after finishing the address registration which is called “Anmeldung”. Obviously, German bank account is one of the essential things you need to have if you want to work here.

However, as is often the case those who already engaging in remote work don’t necessarily need one as long as their bank cards (their country’s) have cash drawn function.

Since I already had a card from Japanese bank that can withdraw money from any ATMs in Germany, I didn’t need the bank account here. So, I didn’t make one until today. (It’s also because I didn’t expect to get any new clients here.)

However, there are some regrets about not having the bank account here until today. So, I’ll list the 3 reasons why you should make your bank account ASAP.

It limits your mobile options.

I’m currently using prepaid SIM bought from the supermarket called REWE. (ja!mobile) It’s been working without any problem, and it’s ok for those who use the phone merely for text and phone call. I use this SIM, because I didn’t need a German bank account for this one. If you have a German bank, you will have much more better options for your mobile.

The “Anmeldung” is valid only for 6 months

I recently tried to open a bank account (finally!), since I needed one for my clients in EU, and also for all these legal registrations like tax, KSK (health insurance for artist) , changing my SIM and so on. However, my application was rejected, because my Anmeldung (the proof of your residency in Germany) was older than 6 months.

It is not clearly written on the website as far as I can see, but you need a relatively NEW Anmeldung which is not 6 months older to open an account.

So, first thing I had to do was renewing my Anmeldung which was pain in my ass! I had to go to the Bürgeramt(Administration office) 3 times, because the receptionists didn’t know that Anmeldung was actually “renewable”.

TIP: If you are in the same situation, don’t say you want to “renew” it, but just say you want to register new address at the reception. As long as you get the waiting number and get in the office, you’ll be fine. (Renewing Anmeldung costs 5 EUR btw.)

You might miss some cool benefits!

The bank I tried to open was comdirect.com. I’d recommend this bank if you are a foreigner in Berlin. It is relatively easy to open even for foreigners who don’t earn much or have an unstable income like freelancers. Great thing about this bank is they have the program called “Change-Saving”.

If you use this option,you can get 10% interest. I wish I knew it earlier!

Also, the online bank, NUMBER 26 was so easy to open. You can have it too!

I knew you would be trapped by so many small things when moving, but don’t be lazy like me about making the bank account even if you are too packed!

I hope this post will help some of you who are about to open the bank account or considering which one to use!


If you like the post, check out my YouTube Channel as well!

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