Opening a German bank account without an Anmeldung

Opening a German bank account without an Anmeldung

These German banks let you open an account without an official address in Germany. No Meldebestätigung or a Meldebescheinigung needed!

People who move to Berlin face a strange problem after they arrive. They need a bank account to get an apartment, an apartment to register their address, and a registered address to get a bank account. The banks require an Anmeldebestätigung or a Meldebescheinigung, and you only get this document when you register your address. Fortunately, there are banks that let you open an account without this document.

N26

N26 is an online bank with no monthly fees. It is often recommended by expats because you can open an account before doing your Anmeldung1, 2, 3, 4. In this thread, people confirm that they opened an N26 account without an official address in Berlin. Since N26 is an online bank, you can only open an account through their mobile app.

If your country is in this list, you can open an N26 account without doing your Anmeldung. N26 needs an address to send your credit card to, but you can use any address in Germany. Some people have used their work address1.

Verification method: Video ID for supported passports, PostIdent for others

Pros:

  • 100% in English.
  • No monthly fees
  • Up to 5 free withdrawals per month from any ATM.
  • Excellent mobile app. Instant notifications when you make a transaction.

Cons:

  • No branch locations. Everything must be done online.
  • Fewer services (no broker account, few investment and credit options).

Review: An honest review of N26

Website: n26.com

Comdirect

Comdirect is another online bank that lets you create an account without an Anmeldung1. It uses PostIdent to validate your documents. It has slightly higher fees than N26, but it also offers more services. If you need a broker account or similar options, then it might be a better option.

Verification method: PostIdent

Pros:

  • No monthly fees.
  • Free withdrawals from any ATM.

Cons:

  • No branch locations. Everything must be done online.
  • Service in German only.

Review: An overview of German banks and their fees

Website: comdirect.de

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is a popular bank among international students, because it offers a blocking account (Sperrkonto)1, 2 and does not require an Anmeldung1, 2. If you are applying for a student visa, Deutsche Bank is your best option.

Pros:

  • English support and online banking. Only some of the correspondence is in German.
  • Offers a blocking account (Sperrkonto) for students

Cons:

  • 5.90€ monthly fee

Review: An overview of German banks and their fees

Website: deutsche-bank.de

Berliner Sparkasse

There are some reports of people opening a Sparkasse account without an Anmeldung1, 2, 3, 4. Sparkasse is a well-established bank with the largest ATM network in Germany.

Pros:

  • The largest network of ATMs in Germany1. Withdrawals from Sparkasse ATMs are free.
  • Free account for students under 25 years old.
  • Lower monthly fees than most brick-and-mortar banks

Cons:

  • Website and correspondence is in German. Not all branch employees speak English.
  • 3€ monthly fee
  • Service in German only.

Review: An overview of German banks and their fees

Website: berliner-sparkasse.de

Commerzbank

When I moved to Berlin, I opened Commerzbank account without being registered in Berlin. I simply went to a branch and asked to open an account. I had to show electric bills from my apartment in Canada to open the account, but I never needed to prove that I had an address in Germany. Commerzbank is a good old-fashioned bank with a large portfolio of services, and many branch locations, but they charge steep fees for everything. I closed my Commerzbank account for that reason.

Other people have opened Commerzbank accounts without an Anmeldung1, 2.

Verification method: Commerzbank employee

Pros:

  • Online banking available in English. Part of the Commerzbank website is available in English.
  • Classic bank with multiple branch locations.
  • Large portfolio of banking services (broker account, investments, loans and more).
  • Free withdrawals from Cash Group ATMs (15% of ATMs in Germany).

Cons:

  • Limited English support. All correspondence is in German, and the English website is very limited.
  • Old-fashioned processes. You must write to your assigned bank advisor to get a replacement card or unblock your account, and you are sometimes forced to visit a branch to sign documents.
  • 10€ monthly fee if your balance is below 1200€.
  • 6€ fee when withdrawing from ATMs from other banks.

Review: An overview of German banks and their fees

Website: commerzbank.de

DKB

There are reports that DKB does not require an Anmeldung1, as it also uses PostIdent1. Unfortunately, they reportedly refuse foreign customers with no credit history in Germany.

Verification method: PostIdent

Pros:

  • No monthly fees
  • Free withdrawals from any ATM

Cons:

  • Does not let everyone open an account. Some income or credit history is required.
  • Service in German only.

Review: An overview of German banks and their fees

Website: dkb.de

ING DiBa

ING DiBa is another online bank that lets you create an account without an Anmeldung1. It uses PostIdent to validate your documents. Just like N26 and DKB, it has no monthly fees and free withdrawals.

Verification method: PostIdent

Pros:

  • No monthly fees.
  • Free withdrawals from any ATM.

Cons:

  • No branch locations. Everything must be done online.
  • Service in German only.

Review: An overview of German banks and their fees

Website: ing-diba.de

Other banks

Transferwise and Monese also let you open an account without an Anmeldung. We will periodically update this article with more banks as we learn about them.

This article uses affiliate links. When you click these links and open a bank account, we make a little money. We use that money to pay our hosting bill, expand the website and donate to charity. We don't sell recommendations or write reviews for money.

Comments

  • Florin

    Thank you for the guide!
    I just moved to Berlin.
    As an EU citizen I was able to open a bank account on N26 the first day I came in Belin in under 10 minutes.
    The process was very easy:
    1. Download the app.
    2. Complete all the information.
    3. Did the the video identification at around 22.00 through my phone. The video identification required just the proof of passport. They will check all the security elements on the passport. Also be aware that you really need to be present in Berlin.
    4. No other data necessary, so the account was opened.
    They did not request a tax ID number for me. I'll provide them at a later time when I receive it!

    Reply

    • Reply to Florin

  • Josef

    I helped a bhutanese friend open a bank account at Deutsche today, successful. Commerzbank not possible, they insisted on an Anmeldung.

    Reply

    • Reply to Josef

  • Ananya

    hi Nicolas, thanks for all your helpful information. I live and work in the UK. I am going to be in Berlin for periods of 6 weeks at a time from April to November. I was planning to use short term lets (Air b and b) for the purpose rather than rent out an apartment.
    Regarding my needs for a girokonto: I will receive two large payments during my time there and would like to use that money for my living expenses. at the end of the period, I would like the possibility to transfer some of the money back to my UK bank account.
    Will it be best to open an online account or should I go for Commerzbank, etc?
    What is this new requirement of an identity number I read about above?
    thank you!

    Reply

    • Reply to Ananya

  • Gabe

    First of all, there is a big thumb up for this website - I have found tremendous help, advices, links and explanation here.

    My situation and the whole business atmosphere may change here in UK after the Brexit and I am considering to move to Berlin to keep my photographer service EU-based.
    I am still planning, looking for options, try to sort out everything but this bank account - registered home address circle just look as bad as it is in the UK - even with N25 bank as far I see. And obv. I need a mobile provider again with an address. It was convenient to use my "unlimited call/text/data" plan all over Europe but It will change after the Brxt-day.

    So I need a registered German address to open an N25 account because they require the "Identifikationsnummer" but I need a bank account if I wish to rent. Do I have more chance if I start with a short term rental in a shared household where the head-tenant can confirm my address that I could use at the registration office? Would the landlord accept the last 3 or six month British account statement?
    The other issue is, I live here with my girlfriend, I don't pay rent for my home but I have been paying monthly rent for more than 3 years for my art studio - would it work in this situation?

    Thank you for your help,
    Gabe

    Reply

    • Reply to Gabe

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      Hi Gabe,

      I wasn't aware of the new Identifikationnummer requirement. This wasn't a thing when I signed up. You can find more info here:

      https://support.n26.com/en-eu/getting-started/personal-information/what-does-n26-do-with-my-tax-information

      You should still be able to open an account with a "classic" bank without an Anmeldung. That's what I did when I moved to Berlin. That lets you find an apartment and solve other problems. You can also use your British account here in Germany, as long as it allows SEPA transfers.

      You can also ask your girlfriend's landlord to let you officially register at this address. Since you share the apartment with your girlfriend, the landlord has no grounds to refuse. That would solve your problem right away!

      Good luck!

      Reply

      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

  • Ben

    Would you really recommend Sparkasse? I hear that there is a fee for everything and no one there speaks English...

    Reply

    • Reply to Ben

    • Daniel

      I wouldn't recommend them!! I had so many problems with them and they charge you outrageous fees for everything... Just get one of the many free account options.

      Reply

      • Reply to Daniel

    • Nicolas Bouliane

      I have never used them, but in our overview of German banks, you can see that Sparkasse has fees for many things, just like Commerzbank or Deutsche Bank. However, they have a larger ATM network and slightly lower fees.

      I would recommend a free online bank like N26, DKB or ING DiBa instead.

      Reply

      • Reply to Nicolas Bouliane

  • Danny O'Connor

    I opened my account with Sparkasse without an Anmeldung too. It worked for me, thanks

    Reply

    • Reply to Danny O'Connor

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