How to open a closed bank account in Germany

Planning to study in Germany or want to get a job search visa in Germany, you may have heard about the need to open a closed bank account, also called Sperrkonto which is a closed German account for international students.

Opening a closed bank account in Germany is an important condition for obtaining a student visa and a study residence permit.

Read this article for detailed information about opening a closed bank account in Germany.

How to open a closed bank account in Germany
How to open a closed bank account in Germany

What is a closed bank account?

A closed bank account is a special type of bank account for students in Germany to prove that they have enough funds to live in Germany for a year which is a requirement when applying for a German student visa or student residence permit.

A closed account is called because you are not allowed to use the funds in the account and you can only withdraw a fixed amount each month.

Therefore, if you are a student who wants to apply for a student visa or a job search visa, you will certainly be asked to open a closed bank account.

You will need to open an account and deposit the amount of 10,236 euros for a whole year and you are allowed to withdraw a fixed amount every month (853 euros).This process is aimed at making sure that the student has sufficient funds to cover the living costs of the student while studying in Germany.

If you are studying for a short time and need a closed account to study German in Germany or a job search visa, you need 853 euros like the number of months you will stay in Germany.

Who needs a closed bank account?

Students who apply for a student visa or a blue card job seeker visa need a closed German account.

A closed account is one of the ways to prove financial ability There are other ways such as:

  • A family member living in Germany can sponsor you.
  • A scholarship document from a prestigious government or educational institution (for example, DAAD, Max Planck) which also pays for your living expenses.
  • A signed pledge from a German citizen living in Germany who can support you.

For scholarship recipients , applying for the scholarship is usually sufficient. But if your scholarship doesn't pay for your living expenses or just a partial scholarship, you may need to provide proof of the rest of your expenses.

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When to open a closed bank account in Germany?

When to open a closed bank account in Germany?

Depending on the country you live in, you may be asked to open a bank account even before you arrive in Germany. In such a case, it is advisable to open as soon as you choose your university to make sure you get a visa appointment on time.

Some citizens who can visit Germany without a visa can arrive in Germany and then open a closed bank account once you arrive in Germany.

On the other hand, citizens of Australia, USA, Canada, etc., who can visit Germany in a visa-free period of 90 days, can come to Germany and then open an account in Germany. They can then convert their tourist visa into a student residence permit.

Which bank do you choose to open a closed account?

From outside Germany?

If you are not a resident of Germany yet and are required to open a closed account from your home country before coming to Germany, there are not many options.

Four options are:

From inside Germany?

If you open a closed account after your arrival in Germany , you have several options. Most banks will offer this service, otherwise, just ask your university's International Student Service Center.

Some popular banks such as Sparkasse, HypoVeriensbank, Volksbank and Commerzbank offer a closed account, but it depends on the branches of the bank. . Find the branch near your university and visit them:

  • Hypoverienbank
  • Commerzbank
  • Postbank
  • Sparkasse offers a closed account service for students, but note that Sparkasse is a common name used by various regional banks. Each Sparkasse in different cities are different entities and operate independently of each other, for example, Sparkasse Achen is different from Sparkasse Berlin or Sparkasse Munich. Contact your local Sparkasse and ask them.

COMPARE FINTIBA ACCOUNT WITH EXPATRIO ACCOUNT WITH CORACLE ACCOUNT WITH DEUTSCHE BANK ACCOUNT

  1. Expatrio: The easiest and cheapest option for the value package (closed account + travel / health insurance + bank account).
  2. Coracle: The easiest and cheapest closed bank account option in Germany.
  3. DeutscheBank: Complicated and expensive, but it becomes easier once you arrive in Germany.
  4. Fintiba: Easier and less expensive but requires additional procedures once you arrive in Germany.

We were asked about the best option to open a closed German account, Fentiba, Expatrio, Coracle or DeutscheBank. While each of them offers blocked account services, there are some differences between them. Below is a quick comparison table of the main features of various closed accounts, especially Fintiba vs Expatrio and Coracle.

 DeutscheBankCoracle BasicCoracle FeaturedFintiba BasicFintiba Featured
calculationsCurrent Account and Closed AccountClosed AccountPublic health insurance and closed accountClosed AccountPublic health insurance and closed account
Initial Fees€150€99 (first year) €60 (each additional year)€59 (first year) €60 (each additional year)€89 (every 12 months)€89 (every 12 months)
Monthly FeeNo nothingNo nothingNo nothing€4.90 pm€4.90 pm
Other costs€40 (certificate)No nothingNo nothingNo nothingNo nothing
Methods of applicationManuallyvia the internetvia the internetvia the internetvia the internet
Time4-6 weeks24 hours24 hours1-2 weeks1-2 weeks
Customer ServiceOnline Contact Form / Mail / PhoneEmail/PhoneEmail/PhoneEmail/App/PhoneEmail/App/Phone
Health Insurance ProviderunavailableunavailableTK, Barmer, IKK (+ Coracle writing option to choose a different health insurance company)unavailableDAK
Extra service No cancellation fee if visa is refusedFree travel insurance (worth €68) No cancellation fee if visa is refused €110 cashback
 Learn more on Deutsche Bank's websiteAPPLY NOW ON CORACLE BASIC
APPLY NOW ON CORACLE PRIME
APPLY NOW AT FINTIBA BASIC BANKAPPLY NOW ON FINTIBA PLUS

Until recently, Deutsche Bank was the only one offering a closed account for students in Germany. But new providers like Ventiba, Expatrio, and Coracle are all now offering a similar product with good service at a competitive price.

All three providers are usually accredited and accepted by German consulates however, check with the German embassy in your country before opening an account.

Girokonto Maho

As a foreign student in Germany, you will need a Sperrkonto (closed account) to obtain a German student visa. But you will also need a regular account when you are in Germany called Girokonto (Current Account) for your daily use in Germany.

There are pros and cons to having both accounts in the same bank. For example, having both accounts in the same bank gives a simpler procedure for opening Girokonto. This can be especially useful for newcomers, as you don't have to worry about opening a new bank account when having to deal with other issues.

However, you are restricted to the same bank and cannot shop for better banking services and benefits such as a free credit card.

(DEUTSCHE BANK) Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank is one of the largest banks in Germany. The closed account app (Sperrkonto) comes with Girokonto (Current Account).

As a student, you will need both to live in Germany. You'll need a current account to make a regular transaction from your bank, such as paying rent, using an ATM card, etc., so you don't have to worry about opening another account.

EXPATRIO

Expatrio now offers two types of packages. The regular closed account package only provides a closed account and no current account.

To receive the monthly amount, you must open a separate bank account as soon as you arrive in Germany. Although this may require extra effort once you arrive in Germany, you are free to open a bank account at any bank.

However, Expatrio also offers a new comprehensive "VALUE PACKAGE" that provides everything you need as a student in Germany, including a free bank account.

Learn more about the Expatio Value Pack

FINTIBA Vintiba

Fintiba provides a closed account from Sutor Bank, a bank accredited by the German government. However, there are very few branches of Bank Sutor in Germany.

So it is likely that you may need to open a Girokonto account (current account) from another bank once you arrive in Germany. You will then have to inform Fintiba (Sutor Bank) of this new bank account (Girokonto) and they will transfer the monthly amount to this Girokonto account.

Although this may require extra effort once you arrive in Germany, you are free to open a bank account at any bank.

CORACLE

Coracle only provides a closed account and you are required to open a current account (Girokonto) at any of the German banks of your choice.

Many offer it for free to students. Commerzbank and Sparkasse are popular options among students.

Tip: When you arrive in Germany, go to the nearest bank of your university (ask the International Student Center) and open Girokonto with them, because they have experience in dealing with students' bank accounts.

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Easy to open / customer service

It is also important to know how long it takes to open an account as some students are in a hurry to get a visa before starting university and want to know how long it takes to open a blocked account to see if they can wait longer or open the account quickly.

(DEUTSCHE BANK) Deutsche Bank

It requires filling out the form, printing it and obtaining a certificate from the German embassy / consulate in your country along with other documents, and then sending it to them by mail. So this will require some time. After they get the form and your deposit,

, they will send you confirmation. While Deutsche Bank claims that it takes about one week, delays of 4 to 6 weeks during university admission periods are normal.

Unfortunately, since you are not yet a customer, you will have to use the online contact form to make any queries and the response will take some time depending on the time period.

FINTIBA Vintiba

The entire account opening process is done online, and there is no need to get any certified copy or mail it out. Opening a fully closed account takes one week, and the account confirmation is automatically issued as soon as the deposit is confirmed by the bank.

It also provides very good customer service in English and German and quick reply via email and phone calls.

EXPATRIO

Expatio also provides a fast service and provides confirmation of account opening within 24 hours. It also offers customer service in English, German, Chinese, Korean, Russian, and not only by phone or email, they can also be contacted using other social media channels (such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, WeChat, KakaoTalk and Telegram).

They don't ask you to legalize once in Germany, and it's enough just to send your German bank account.

CORACLE

The whole process is online, and you will receive a confirmation within 24 hours. Once the funds are deposited, you will receive a confirmation of the closed account within 24 hours.

Therefore, if you have time to apply for a visa, you will not mind waiting to open an account at Deutschebank. But if you're already under time pressure and have a short time, try Fintiba, Coracle or Expatrio.

Costs

(DEUTSCHE BANK) Deutsche Bank

The account opening fee is 150 euros. There is no monthly fee for the students' bank account. If you have to extend the closed account for longer than the period you mentioned in your form, an additional €150 will be added each time you make a change.

However, there are additional fees not charged by the bank, such as €20 for a certificate from the German consulate and €10 – €20 for mail.

FINTIBA Vintiba

The account opening fee is €89 and a monthly fee of €4.90 in the evening from the time of confirmation of deposit. A closed account can be opened for only one year and each additional year costs €89.

You may be eligible for a cashback of €110 if you open a Fintiba Plus account (closed account + health insurance).

EXPATRIO

The account opening fee is €49, and the monthly fee is €5 in the evening for a blocked Expatrio account. However, if you choose the value package (with health insurance), the opening fee will be waived with the FREEBA19 code.

Open an Expatio account.

CORACLE

Coracle offers the cheapest option if you're looking for a completely closed account option at a one-time cost of €99, and there's no monthly fee for maintaining a bank account.

Below is an approximate comparison of how much a Deutsche Bank closed account, Fintiba closed account, Expatrio closed account cost against a 3-month German course or a 6-month job search visa.

Or a one- or two-year undergraduate program. In this account, only the basic closed account package is included, and cashback is not included.

The cost of Deutsche Bank depends on whether you have created a closed account for two years from the beginning, or first for one year and then extended to the second year.

** Cashback is not included in the account. Fintiba charges a monthly fee from the time the funds are deposited into the account. Accounts do not include the monthly fees incurred between the deposit period until arrival in Germany.

Health insurance in Germany

Health insurance in Germany

All residents of Germany are legally obliged to obtain appropriate health insurance approved by the government. Therefore, once you arrive in Germany, you will be asked for health insurance to extend your temporary visa to a residence permit.

There is public health insurance (also called statutory health insurance) or private health insurance. If you are a student under the age of 30, you will be eligible for public health insurance.

Health insurance is a broad topic in itself, but the main difference between public and private health insurance is: public insurance is cheaper.

. This means that the public insurance company will pay the doctor/hospital directly, but under private insurance, you have to pay the doctor and then claim from the insurance company.

You may also be required to have appropriate travel insurance (also called visitor insurance) which provides temporary insurance for the duration between your arrival in Germany and until you get your German health insurance after enrolling in the university.

Even if the German Embassy does not ask to have one, travel insurance is always recommended.

(DEUTSCHE BANK) Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank does not offer health insurance. So you are supposed to get travel insurance before leaving and a suitable health insurance once you arrive in Germany.

FINTIBA

Fintiba offers a package called Fintiba Plus which also provides insurance. Currently, they offer a cashback of €110 if you use the Fintiba plus service and qualify for general insurance.

. With Fintiba plus, you'll get a closed account + health insurance + travel insurance.

Health insurance is provided by DAK (General Insurance) or MAWISTA (Private Insurance), depending on what you qualify.

EXPATRIO

Expatrio's VALUE PACKAGE provides everything you need to move on as a student, including a closed account + a free bank account with MONESE + temporary insurance + German health insurance.

Health insurance is provided through TK (General Insurance) or EDUCARE (Private Insurance).

CORACLE

With Coracle, you can apply for health insurance independently of the blocked account or, within the PRIME 3-in-1 offer, you receive the closed account + free incoming travel insurance + the public health insurance of your choice.

Either way, you only pay the student's customs fee and no fees to Coracle. Either way, you are always free to choose the insurance company you prefer.

Coracle offers a brief comparison between TK, Barmer, and IKK on their homepage. If you prefer a different health insurance company, you can write to the customer support team.

Compare the process of opening a closed account

Procedures in your country

 (DEUTSCHE BANK) Deutsche BankFINTIBA VintibaEXPATRIOCORACLE
Application ProcessComplete and print PDF forms.Complete the online form
Complete the online form
Complete the online form
 Get certified copies at the German Embassy   
 Publish the form to GermanyUpload a copy of your passport (or) a legitimate video.Upload a copy of your passport.Upload a copy of your passport.
 Wait for the account opening confirmation letterGet bank account detailsGet bank account detailsGet bank account details
Money TransferTransfer funds to your closed bank accountTransfer funds to your closed bank accountTransfer funds to Escro Bank accountTransfer funds to your closed bank account
Obtaining a VisaReceive a closed

account confirmation Send the confirmation to the German Embassy and get the visa
Receive a closed

account confirmation Send the confirmation to the German Embassy and get the visa
Receive a closed

account confirmation Send the confirmation to the German Embassy and get the visa
Receive a closed

account confirmation Send the confirmation to the German Embassy and get the visa

Procedures after arrival in Germany

  Open a current bank account at a bank in Germany.Open a current bank account at a bank in Germany.Open a current bank account at a bank in Germany.
Activation of closed account in GermanyGo to the Deutsche Bank branch in your city with your passport, visa, registration at the address and university registration letter (if applicable)Visa lift, address registration, university registration certificate (if any), German bank account.Visa lift, address registration, university registration certificate (if any), German bank account.Visa lift, address registration, university registration certificate (if any), German bank account.
  Legality in Germany via PostIdent (or) VideoIdent (or) DAK offices in Germany  
 Activate the closed account.Activate the closed account.Activate the closed account.Activate the closed account.

 

How to open a Ventiba account

From within your country

To access the Fintiba website

To use the entire Fintiba bank account, you can apply for a bank account, and once you arrive in Germany, you will have to activate it to access funds from your closed account.

The two figures below illustrate the process of opening a closed Fintiba account in your country and the process of activating the account upon arrival in Germany.

The process of activating the FINTIBA account in Germany

How to open an account in detail in Deutsche Bank

To apply with Deutsche Bank, here are the steps:

  1. Download the application form from the Deutsche-bank website. Be sure to download the appropriate form based on your age.
  2. Fill out the online application form electronically and print it out. Sign the application form and take a copy.
  3. Take the original signed application form along with a copy of the passport and acceptance letter from the German university to the German embassy/consulate where you are applying for the visa.The embassy will then certify your signature, application form and other documents.
  4. Send approved and certified application forms with documents to Deutsche Bank in Germany.

Deutsche Bank Privat und Geschäftskunden AG Service Center Hamburg / Ausländische Studenten

Alter Wall 53 20457 Hamburg

Deutschland/Germany

TRANSFER FUNDS TO A CLOSED STUDENT ACCOUNT (SPERRKONTO) AT DEUTSCHE BANK

  1. Deutsche bank will send you an email with your new account number for the closed account (Sperrkonto) and IBAN code. Use these details to transfer money from your bank account in your country to your new closed Deutsche bank account. Be sure to transfer sufficient funds to take into account the €150 administrative fee (as of August 2018) charged by Deutsche Bank for this service.
  2. The bank will then provide you with a document confirming the accreditation of your account with the mandatory minimum necessary as required by the embassy/consulate. Use this document while submitting your visa application at the German embassy in your home country.

Activate a closed student account on Deutsche Bank (Spirconto) in Germany

  • Once you arrive in Germany, visit the nearest Deutsche Bank branch with all available documents and ask the staff to complete this service request and activate the blocked account (Sperrkonto).
  • You will need to provide your local address while submitting a service request to activate your account. Thus, you may need to register your address with the City Administration and get a copy of the registration (Anmeldung) with you. Be sure to take your passport and consular letter with you.
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