If you’re new to Germany and are looking for the Best Free Credit Card in Germany, it may seem like a difficult task. Because paying in cash is the most common method of payment in Germany. But owning a credit card will definitely benefit you, and it is a must-have in certain situations. Do not get fooled by your German bank and get an expensive credit card! This guide compares the best free credit cards and shows what aspects you need to consider.
The Best Free Credit Cards In Germany Compared
Here is a quick comparision of the best free credit cards in Germany that I will cover in this guide
- TF Bank Mastercard Gold : Probably the Best Free Credit Card in Germany as it has many Cashback programs and Free Travel Insurance. Best option for Travellers!
- Advanzia Gebührenfrei Mastercard : Also very easy to get, with no identity verification requirement and almost 100% approval rate! Best for students who do not have a credit history in Germany.
- PAYBACK American Express : Earn point when shopping or getting Fuel for your car. Uses the less common American Express network but great for Shopping!
|Advanzia Bank Gebührenfrei||TF Bank Master Card Gold||American Express Payback|
|No Annual Fee||✅||✅||✅|
|Cash Withdrawal Fee||No fee |
(but 22.89 %
interest fee after cash withdrawal)
interest fee after cash withdrawal)
|4% Cash withdrawal Fee|
|Annual Interest Rate||22.89 %||22.96%||No Partial Payments|
|No Foreign Currency Fee||✅||✅||2%|
|Apple & Google Pay||✅||✅||✅|
|Banking app in English||✅||✅||⛔|
Why Is it worth getting a credit card in Germany?
Getting a credit card in Germany can be worth it for several reasons:
Credit cards are widely accepted in Germany and can be used to pay for purchases both online and offline. This can be especially convenient when traveling abroad or making purchases from international retailers.
2. Rewards and Perks
Some credit cards offer rewards programs, such as cashback or points that can be redeemed for travel or merchandise. Additionally, some credit cards offer additional perks such as travel insurance, purchase protection, or airport lounge access.
3. Emergency Funds
A credit card can serve as an emergency fund if unexpected expenses arise, such as car repairs or medical bills. However, it’s important to use credit responsibly and only charge what can be paid off in full each month to avoid high interest charges.
4. Online Shopping
Credit cards are a popular payment method for online shopping in Germany. Many online retailers only accept credit cards, so having one can make it easier to purchase goods and services online.
5. Travel Benefits
Some credit cards offer travel benefits, such as travel insurance, rental car insurance, and baggage protection. These benefits can provide peace of mind while traveling and may help save money on travel-related expenses.
It’s worth noting that credit cards in Germany typically come with high annual fees and interest rates, so it’s important to carefully consider whether the benefits outweigh the costs. It’s also important to use credit responsibly and pay off the balance in full each month to avoid accumulating debt.
Mastercard, Visa, American Express – which is better in Germany?
Due to its higher Merchant Fees, American Express isn’t widely accepted across Germany. Mastercard and Visa on the other hand have about the same popularity throughout Germany. So if you want to decide between Mastercard, Visa and American Express you can easily choose between Mastercard or Visa.
One thing I want to add is that as an Expat, we travel to our home countries quite often. That is why you should also keep this thing in mind when selecting a Free Credit Card in Germany. Some countries have a wider Mastercard acceptance compared to Visa and vice versa.
For this reason, you should always look at the German as well as your home country when selecting your Free Credit Card in Germany.
What Are The Best Free Credit Cards In Germany?
If you’re looking for the best free credit cards available in Germany this year, here are some of our top picks:
The TF Bank Mastercard Gold is a totally free credit card with no annual fee. If you like to travel then this is probably the Best Free Credit Card in Germany for Frequent Travelers.
TF Bank Credit Card offers Travel insurance and other additional services.
TF Bank Mastercard Gold travel insurance includes:
- Foreign travel health insurance
- cancellation insurance
- Trip Interruption Insurance
- Baggage Insurance
- Flight and baggage delay insurance
- Personal liability insurance abroad
- Accident insurance
The comprehensive travel insurance package applies for you and their traveling family members. When booking your trip the automatic insurance protection takes effect if you pay at least 50% of the total trip price with the TF Mastercard Gold Credit Card.
Additionally the travel cancellation insurance can extend to up to three other passengers, as long as they are traveling together for the entire period.
In addition to the Travel Insurance you can also get Cashback when you use the TF Bank Mastercard Gold Credit Card meaning that You can save money when you shop with your credit card.
Read My Complete Guide to learn more about the Cashback offers from the TF Bank Mastercard Gold Credit Card.
TF Bank Mastercard Gold Benefits:
✅ Interest-free repayment in the payment period
✅ No annual fee and foreign currency fee
✅ Travel insurance and other additional services
✅ TF Bank app and mobile payment
✅ Payment via Google Pay and Apple Pay
TF Bank Mastercard Gold Drawbacks:
⛔ 22.96 percent interest on Cash withdrawals and Partial Payments
⛔ No Autopayment Feature
⛔ German Website and Customer Service
Are you an employee or international student struggling to get your first credit card in Germany? Most banks won’t give you one without a credit history, but this is where The Gebührenfrei Mastercard GOLD Credit Card is here to save the day!
You do not need any SCHUFA or prior credit history in Germany to apply for this Free Credit Card in Germany. This is a life saver for many Students and Internationals who do not have a credit history in Germany.
The biggest advantage of the fee-free Mastercard Gold is relatively obvious: you get the credit card completely free of charge. This means that you don’t pay an annual fee either in the first year or in the following years and can therefore keep the card completely free of charge, regardless of the use of the card.
Even if you never use this credit card, there are no costs. This is extremely valuable, especially because of the other advantages that the card offers, because it makes the Advanzia credit card a very good overall package, which more than pays for itself when travelling.
Read My Complete Guide to learn more about the Advanzia Bank Gebührenfrei Mastercard Gold.
Advanzia Bank Gebührenfrei Mastercard Gold Benefits
✅ Free credit card – permanently with no annual fee
✅ Free cash withdrawals possible
✅ Free payments worldwide – no foreign transaction fee
✅ Essential travel insurance included
✅ Free credit up to seven weeks
Advanzia Bank Gebührenfrei Mastercard Gold Drawbacks
⛔ High debit interest when using the partial payment function (22,89 %)
⛔ No automatic direct debit
⛔ Calculation of debit interest on cash withdrawals (22,89 %)
⛔ Small credit limit at the beginning
The Payback American Express Credit Card is definitely suitable for everyday use, as it doesn’t cost anything to keep it. The Payback American Express is particularly interesting for everyday life for another reason as well – it is one of the most attractive credit cards in Germany for daily payments.
The reason for this is that the card gives Payback points for every payment, regardless of the retailer. For every two euros in sales, one Payback point is collected. With Payback partners, there are, of course, not only points for paying with the Payback credit card but also one point for every two euros you spend. The credit card acts as a means of payment and a Payback card in one, saving you from carrying an extra card.
Overall, with the Payback credit card, you receive one point for every euro you spend with partners. This is particularly attractive because Payback points can be converted into Miles & More miles at a 1:1 ratio.
This way, you indirectly collect valuable miles with every payment, which can be worth up to seven cents. In addition to earning points for every euro, you can also regularly secure an attractive bonus for applying for the card, bringing you closer to your next reward.
PAYBACK American Express Card Benefits
✅ Free credit card without restrictions
✅ Collect points / Miles & More miles with every payment
✅ Combination of payback card and credit card
✅ Amex Offers & Purchase Protection included
PAYBACK American Express Card Drawbacks
⛔️ 2% Foreign Currency Fees (For non Euro payments)
⛔️ 4% for withdrawing money from any ATM
⛔️ Low acceptance of American Express in Germany
⛔️ Points collection limits on Petrol Stations
The Best Free Credit Card in Germany
The obvious Winner in my opinion is the TF Bank Mastercard Gold, with its high acceptance rate with Expats, many Cashback options and Free Travel Insurance.
A close second is the Advanzia Bank Gebührenfrei Mastercard Gold. All you need is a registered address in Germany to apply for this credit card. This is probably the Best Free Credit Card for Students in Germany.
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Disclaimer: None of the content in this article is meant to be considered as investment advice, as I am not a financial expert and am only sharing my experience. The information is based on my own research and is only accurate at the time of posting this article but may not be accurate at the time you are reading it.