An essential necessity in our life is having plastic money in our pocket, but having this plastic money in your pocket is also not an easy task.
It is due to the fact that some plastic money providers are making money by providing you this service.
But the thing is if they know how to make money then as a consumer we also know how to save money.
Today in this blog, I will tell you guys the three best plastic money providers aka “Credit and Debit cards” in Germany or I would say across Europe.
Some of my subscribers from Youtube already know that I have been living in Germany for 6 years now.
In these 6 years, I have used only one credit card in Germany, Why only one?
Because after having this one. I didn’t think that I needed another one. It is called Gebührenfrei Mastercard gold
I also recommend reading Mandatory Insurances in Germany that you must have in Germany according to German law
In Germany, the word “Gebührenfrei” actually means “FEE FREE“.
It actually does work the same way, what its name implies. At least in most of the ways.
They charge you only when you do something for which they have a fee, but there is no monthly or yearly fee to own this card. Even if you don’t buy anything with it.
When you travel and spend money in foreign currency, they also don’t charge anything extra for spending money in foreign currency where other banks charge you a small fee when you spend it in other currencies.
So basically it is free. you will be charged only for the amount you have used it for and you can use it anywhere in the world.
I have used this card in almost all the countries I have been and I have never faced any currency conversion fees or anything similar.
Click here to apply for this card
How Do The Credit Card Company Earn Money?
They earn like any other credit card company. They apply interest on your remaining payable amount.
Every month when you get your bill. There are two payable amounts.
- Either you pay the whole bill. In this case, you don’t have to pay anything extra.
- But if you choose the option of the minimum payable amount. Then whatever is left, they will charge interest on it and it is around 1.49% per month and 19.44% per annum. This is a lot in my opinion.
I have never used this option and will not suggest it to you guys unless it is the only option for you
I have talked about the PROS of this card now let’s talk about a few CONS that I have found with the Gebührenfrei Master card.
You have to manually transfer the bill every month to the IBAN mentioned at the end of the bill.
There is no auto option that they can deduct the amount automatically from your actual account.
I would love to use this option. Because sometimes you can forget to pay and then those hefty interest rates will come.
Interest on ATM Withdrawal
It is free to withdraw cash anywhere in the world. ATM machine can charge you the withdrawal fee but there is no withdrawal fee from the Gebuhrenfrei.
But I have withdrawn money with this card, I haven’t paid any bank fee but instead, they charged me a small interest on my ATM withdrawals.
I don’t remember exactly but I think I have paid around 8 euros on a 500 euros withdrawal.
So I would suggest only use this option if you need it otherwise just pay everywhere with the card and enjoy no free credit card.
(Interest on cash withdrawal is 1.49% per month and 19.44% per annum)
Mode of Communication: German
Well, It is not a big problem but this company operates only in German..
If you call their help center they might connect you to the English speaker but usually, their mode of communication is German.
But I think as long as you have German-speaking friends you are safe
Best Debit Cards in Germany
I have two debit cards besides my actual bank account. And I would recommend these debit cards to everybody who travels a lot. But wants to control his expenses.
The best part both; these cards are free.
The master debit card is from Transferwise.
I think most of you have already heard about Transferwise. It’s a platform that is used to send money almost all over the world and with their debit card.
You not only get a Euro account but also you get a free US, UK, Australian account and even New Zealand’s account And you can receive money in any of these accounts. It is a perfect travel debit card.
The best part about this debit card is that you can do online verification for Transferwise.
You just need a passport and a valid home address anywhere in Europe.
Their verification process is not like other banks. With them, you don’t need to do this POSTIDENT thingy where you have to go to the nearest post office for legitimation.
There is only one downside: you can only withdraw 200€ in 30 days from the ATM.
If you withdraw more than that then you have to pay 2% on your withdrawal amount. but other than that you can use this card online or in supermarkets or anywhere where masterworks.
Here are the links: USD, GBP & EUR to apply for this card
The second card is the Visa debit card. It’s from Revolut bank.
Revolut is a UK-based company and it is also an online bank like Transferwise and Gebuhrenfrei.
With Transferwise and Gebuhrenfrei, You can also view all your transactions and your monthly bills on a desktop but Revolut is linked only with an app and your mobile phone number.
In order to open an account on Revolut, you can directly download the Revolut app from the app store and create an account.
They have one of the most interactive Graphical user interfaces. It really helps you visualize your expenses, you can even set your budget and see all the analytics on the phone.
They also offer virtual credit cards, which can be easily used for online shopping and many more.
Like the Transferwise card, this one also has a monthly withdrawal limit of 200 euros in the standard subscription, and in this card, you will also get a free UK Account and a free Euro account.
Besides this, they also have Premium and Metal subscriptions but there you have to pay a monthly fee.
If you guys want to go for the paid subscription then you can read about it and decide if you want to go for them.
Click here to apply for this card
Why do I have all these cards?
One last question remains:
Why I have all these three cards?
Do you really need all three cards in order to survive?
The answer is “Jein” which is the German word for “yes and no”.
Actually, I only have one credit card, which is sufficient for a person, because sometimes when you rent a car or anything similar.
You need a credit card because some companies only accept credit cards, not debit cards. They are strict about it and sometimes, you want to buy something this month but you don’t want to pay in the same month so a credit card helps you because you can pay the whole bill next month with your salary.
The other two free debit cards I use for my budgeting.
Every month I transfer some amount to my Transferwise card and some amount to my Revolut card.
The Transferwise card I use for my extra shopping and traveling expenses and the Revolut card I transfer some amount for my monthly grocery and all the other important monthly expenses like mobile bills, internet, etc…
Besides this, I have two proper GIRO accounts. I will make a separate video and write a blog about it. Which one is the best GIRO Kontos in Germany? If you don’t want to miss that video.
Have you tried IngDiba, DKB or Comdirect credit card?
I have ING-diba giro account and yes I got the credit card with it but they also charge extra fee, if you pay in foreign currency. Besides that, I haven’t tried DKB and comdirect. If you own these cards, then please share your experience.