What is DKB and is it a good bank to consider?
If you are looking to open a bank account in Germany, chances are you have come across the DKB bank. DKB is one of the most popular online banks in Germany. Is the DKB everything you need in a bank as an expat? I have been a customer for about 3 years now, but is the DKB bank any good? At the end of this review you will be able to decide if it’s the bank for you.
First, unlike the so-called Filialbanken(Branch banks), online banks in Germany do not have branches you can visit. You have to do everything online and if you need to get hold of someone, you need to call customer service. Online banks are known for their good websites and user-friendly apps, and DKB is no different.
DKB Bank Services and Products Overview
DKB offers banking services and products to its customers. The products offered include savings accounts, investments, loans, and insurance.
The bank provides a range of services such as:
- checking accounts: These are interest-bearing accounts with no monthly charges or account fees.
- Investments: This includes stocks, bonds, funds and ETFs.
- Loans: This includes mortgages, home loans and credit cards.
- Insurance: This includes life insurance policies and rental insurance policies.
DKB Bank – What are the Pros and Cons?
- Free checking account
- Attractive Benefits for Aktivstatus (Customers with active status – minimum monthly deposit of 700 euros to qualify)
- Free Credit card ( DKB is slowly phasing credit cards out)
- Free payments worldwide with your credit card
- Mobile payments with Apple Pay or Android Pay
- Easy to book complimentary services
- Overdrafts (depending on your credit worthiness)
- 700 euros monthly deposit needed for active customer status
- You need a positive Schufa and some income to get approved – making DKB not suitable if you just moved to Germany
My Candid Opinion
You can’t really go wrong with a DKB bank account. It is a trusted bank and your money is insured just like any other bank. You can use it as your salary/primary account without any issues.
One of the main reasons why most people opened a DKB account had been the credit card that came with the account. In recent months, they have changed their policy on this and only issue out debit cards. You will have to apply for the credit card after you open your account. The DKB credit card is one of the best in Germany when you are traveling – with free withdrawals abroad and emergency assistance for active customers.
Aktivstatus (Active Status)
To maintain your Aktivstatus, you need to have a minimum monthly deposit of 700 Euros. This doesn’t have to be your salary. You can also transfer money to from another account to maintain your Aktivstatus. With your active status you
- Get a free emergency card as well as emergency cash if you lose your card while traveling (DKB will take care of organizing this for you wherever you are in the world)
- Cashback when you shop with the many DKB partners
- Free payment and withdrawal worldwide
DKB is also a good choice for buying stock. There are of course new apps out there like Trade Republic and scalable capital but if you are looking for a good bank with competitive pricing DKB is an excellent all-rounder.
DKB is also a good option for a joint account for you and your spouse.
DKB vs N26
For most people looking for a bank like DKB, N26 is also an alternative. N26 is also a good bank. I shared my thoughts on N26 in detail in an earlier post here. If having English-speaking customer service is important to you, then N26 is your bank. If you can live without that, DKB is a good bank. I have both. DKB is more of my “stable” bank for my salary. N26 is more for my daily expenses. I have not had any issues with my N26 account and as a licensed bank, your money is protected just as well as at DKB.
N26 also does not offer any brokerage account at this point, so you cannot buy stocks or ETFs.
How to Open a DKB Account in Germany
Opening a DKB account
- Visit their Deutsche Kreditbank website
Visit the website of the Deutsche Kreditbank AG and click on “Open an account” on the top right-hand corner of the page.
- Fill out the forms
Enter your personal information and click on “Create Account”.
- Confirm your email
You will receive a confirmation email with your login information.
- Verify Yourself
Verify yourself using the PostIdent Verification system.
You can read more about how to do Postident Verification here
- Wait for the bank to get back to you
You will get an approval in the mail in a couple of days. The pins to your card will be sent to you as well as your card(in separate mails)
Yes. DKB is a fully accredited bank and regulated bank. Your money is completely safe
Yes, DKB is a real bank. DKB is an online bank in Germany. This means there are no bank branches. You can only do your bank transactions online. Customer service is also only available over the phone.
DKB has a free account. If you have at least 700 euros credited to your account every month, you can continue having your account for free
No. DKB is the Deutsche Kreditbank and not the same as Deutsche Bank
You can withdraw money with your DKB card in any visa ATMs. You can withdraw for free from any of the DKB ATMs in your city. DKB. Not only that, but you can also withdraw money in select Shell gas stations and ALDI Süd.