Best Free Credit Card in Germany + Pros & Cons [2024]

by | Banking & Finances in Germany

Last Update: Feb 23, 2024 @ 4:55 pm

Home 9 Banking & Finances in Germany 9 Best Free Credit Card in Germany + Pros & Cons [2024]

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People generally pay in cash everywhere across the world but having a credit card will benefit you. If you are traveling to Germany, you must have a credit card for ease and comfort. Being an international, you would have several options to get a free credit card. You will find several credit card providers who can provide you with services and guide you about various types of credit cards. Before making any final decision, you must ask your credit card provider about the annual charges, hidden fees, and additional benefits they are providing.

Which is the Best Credit Card in Germany? 

When you plan to travel to Germany or move to Germany, the first question that comes to your mind is which is the best credit card in Germany. The common debit card from your local bank is not used for all transactions, so you need to have a visa or master card to make all transactions.

Pros of Having a Credit Card

Being an international student, you can easily pay your fees, mess charges, hostel dues, and other payments.
 Being a frequent traveler, you can book your flights and hotel reservations in advance to avoid delays and inconvenience. You can make international payments without any hurdles.
A credit card is helpful in case of emergencies.
You can pay through your credit card during your shopping rather than having cash. You can also use your credit card during online shopping if you don’t want to go out shopping.
You can build your credit rating through your credit card payments.
Most credit cards provide insurance coverage that includes travel insurance. If you face flight delays, lost luggage, or trip cancellation, you will get your money back through insurance.
Credit cards will make it easy to make deposits and large payments anytime.
Having a credit card is the safer option as you do not have to carry the paper money with you.
Few credit cards give the option of bonus or cashback on the collected points on every purchase.
Carrying money with you while traveling to Germany might be tough for you, so a credit card will make it easy to withdraw money anytime from any ATM.
Credit cards provide a safer method of online payments and give greater protection to consumers.
✅ Most credit cards offer contactless payment options. You can easily pay via Apple Pay or Google Pay conveniently and hygienically.

Cons of Having a Credit Card

Along with the benefits of having a credit card, there are a few disadvantages. These disadvantages are given below.

⛔ A credit cardholder has to pay a high interest rate when he / she carries a balance from one month to another.
If you miss any repayment, credit card companies will record it on your credit file. It will damage your credit reputation, and you will lose chances of getting a loan.
⛔ Several scammers use skimming devices and other tricks and techniques to steal your credit card information. Fraud related to credit cards can be a stressful and time consuming task.
⛔ It is becoming expensive to get advance cash as financial institutions have increased the rates and fees against advance cash transactions.
⛔ Most credit cards have annual fees and surcharges that you will feel burdened while paying. Credit companies can also charge you an amount if you miss a scheduled repayment.
When you have a credit card, you can spend more than your limits and means to pay back. This will ultimately affect your monthly budget.

What is the Cost of Credit Cards in Germany?

In Germany, you can find several credit cards starting from no charges to hundreds of EUR per year. Credit card companies charge these annual fees when using your credit cards. Several banks offer credit cards to their clients and customers for affordable prices. It is necessary to have a basic bank account to order your credit card.

What happens if I have multiple Credit Cards in Germany?

It is not recommended to have multiple credit cards or bank accounts in Germany. In Germany, there is a private organization that is responsible for your Credit Score also known as SCHUFA. For a good SCHUFA score, it is recommended to have a limited number of credit cards and Bank accounts in Germany. 

Beware !! Not all Country's Passport is accepted by German Fintech Banks. 

If you want to open a bank account in any of the German Fintech Bank accounts, then beware that they don’t accept all Passports. For example, Pakistani is not accepted by many Fintech banks like N26, FRYST. So it is recommended to first inquire from your selected bank if they accept the passport of your country or not. Then start the registration process, because if they reject your application afterward, then they will negatively impact your SCHUFA score.

If you are rejected by Fintech banks then you either go for traditional banks or try Banks account from Wise and Revolut

Best Credit Cards for Free

Below are various credit card options that you may check. Compare the various credit cards before making a final decision for one specific credit card.

  1.  Barclays Credit Card
  2.  Santander 1 Plus Credit Card
  3.  Deutschland Credit Card Gold
  4.  Deutschland Credit Card Classic
  5.  Gebuhrenfrei Gold Master Card
  6.  BMW Credit Card
  7.  Hanseatic Genial Credit Card
  8.  Hanseatic Gold Credit Card

Comparison Between Various Credit Cards

There are a lot of choices that may confuse you for once, but the comparison will make it easy for you to choose one credit card that fulfills your needs. When comparing one credit card with the other, you must compare the annual fees, surcharges, interest fees, terms with advance cash, fees for foreign usage, fees for cash withdrawals, fees for foreign transactions, repayment schedule, and other potential costs. Below is the table prepared to choose a credit card that suits you best.

#Type of The Credit CardCostCredit Card Provider
1Barclays Credit CardNo annual chargesVisa
2Gebuhrenfrei Gold Master CardNo chargesVisa
3Santander 1 Plus Credit CardNo chargesVisa
4Deutschland Credit Card GoldNo chargesVisa
5Deutschland Credit Card ClassicNo annual fee, 0 – 45 EUR for the first yearVisa
6BMW Credit CardNo annual fee, 99 EUR for the premium cardMaster card
7Hanseatic Genial Credit CardNo annual feeVisa
8Hanseatic Gold Credit CardNo annual fee in the first year
From Second Year - Also 0 € with a turnover of at least 3,000 €, otherwise 35 €

Features of the Aforementioned Credit Cards

Here are some of the additional feature of each credit card we mentioned in the above table

Barclays Credit Card

Barclays visa cards are for non-EU nationals in Germany. Users of this visa card do not have to pay the foreign currency charges and can withdraw cash without an ATM fee. Users can repay the amount with multiple interest-free options for 59 days. 100% direct deposit option is also available in this type of credit card.

barclay genialcard visa Credit Card Top Best in Germany

Santander 1 Plus Credit Card

Santander 1 plus credit card offers a 1% discount worldwide with a 5% refund on the overall travel bookings. These credit cards offer the facility of flexible monthly installments for the repayments.

Santander 1 Plus Credit Card Top Best in Germany

Gebuhrenfrei Gold Master Card

Gebuhrenfrei's gold master card has a payment term of almost seven weeks without any interest. They offer free customer service 24/7. If you want to rent a car or any vehicle, you will get a 5% refund. They also offer 5% credit for travelers and guarantee payments and the best prices.

Gebuhrenfrei Gold Master Card Top Best in Germany

Deutschland Credit Card Gold

You can withdraw money without charges through the Deutschland gold credit card. You will have to pay the ATM operator charges only. It includes travel health insurance. It includes cancellation insurance, flight delay insurance, and luggage delay insurance.

Deutschland Credit Card Gold Top Best in Germany

Deutschland Credit Card Classic

Deutschland credit card classic offers a 5% travel discount. It provides a cashback of 15% to online shoppers on their online shopping.

Deutschland Credit Card Classic Top Best in Germany

BMW Credit Card

BMW credit card gives a 1% discount worldwide and a 5% refund on all travel bookings. They provide the facility of flexible monthly installments for the repayments.

AMEX BMW Credit Card Top Best in Germany

Hanseatic Genial Credit Card

Hanseatic genial credit card offers interest-free installments in the first three months. Direct debit is 100% possible with these credit cards. There is no requirement for minimum sales or account change. Their service quality is TUV certified. It provides a credit limit of up to 2500 EUR.

hanseatic genialcard visa Credit Card Top Best in Germany

Hanseatic Gold Credit Card

Hanseatic gold credit card provides the highest travel protection of all other credit card options. They offer foreign health insurance and smartphone insurance to their clients. Direct debit is also 100% possible with these credit cards.

hanseatic gold visa Credit Card Top Best in Germany

Credit Card Providers

Many credit card providers in Germany , but Visa and MasterCard are the two most important providers. These service providers compete and have a huge market share, with almost 20 million credit cards. American Express has almost two million credit cards in Germany. Diners Club, JCB, and Union Pay are the other well-known credit card providers.

Comparison Tool

If you are not satisfied with our list then you can also use this comparison tool yourself to find the Creditcard that suits your needs.

How to Get a Credit Card in Germany?

Credit card companies have a simple, quick, and easy application process. Banks have a specialized team that is always there to help and guide you about the credit card application process from start to end. You can visit any bank or credit card company to apply for a credit card. You can also apply online and will get your credit card within days after a video chat verification.

Companies might demand a few important documents that you need to submit by hand or online. This may take some time to verify the details given in your documents. If you need a credit card on an urgent basis, you can apply for an urgent credit card service. It is super easy to have a credit card if you have a German address. Many credit card companies do check your credit repayment ability, so in that case, you must have a stable income to get a credit card.

Related Article: All You Need To Know About SCHUFA Score (Credit Score)

Concluding Remarks

Credit cards are the most convenient way of making payments without having paper money in hand. You can use credit cards to make purchases either in stores or online. Flexibility is the main advantage of having a credit card that provides greater protection and security during your travels. It is best and most convenient to have a credit card due to the numerous benefits of this kind of money. Having a credit card will make your life simpler and easier for you.

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