10 Reasons for the DKB-Card on a Trip – More than Free Money Withdrawal

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Withdrawing money abroad can be costly – up to 5 Euros per transaction. This has changed with the DKB credit card. Now we are able to withdraw money abroad free of charge.

We always recommend to never travel without a “real” credit card (no debit cards or Maestro). In certain situations, you need a fully functional credit card, e.g. to guarantee a deposit by credit card, such as for a rental car. This would not be possible with a debit or Maestro card. The DKB card is a full-fledged Visa credit card.

A bank card may not work for different reasons or is not accepted by a cash machine. We therefore always travel with at least two cards, e.g. a Visa- /Master Card and a Maestro card.

Request your DKB card well before the trip so you will receive it before leaving home.

More about it: Planning to do a Work and Travel in Australia? Find all information about it in our free guide.

10 Reasons to use a DKB Card when Traveling

  1. Free checking account: there is absolutely no fee for a DKB bank account.
  2. Free Visa credit card: Together with the free account you will also receive a free and fully functional Visa credit card.
  3. High interest rates: You get an above average interest rate on the amount of the Visa card.
  4. Worldwide and free cash withdrawal: Use the card abroad to withdraw money free of charge.
  5. Fair exchange rates: The bank offers highly competitive exchange rates.
  6. Including International Student ID: If you are a student, you can use the DKB card as a student ID card and benefit from other advantages.
  7. Customer service: The DKB-Bank offers excellent customer service via email or telephone.
  8. Online administration: Manage the bank account and the credit card online from anywhere in the world.
  9. City-Cashback: In over 50 cities in Germany, you get discounts in shops and restaurants.
  10. Online Cash Back: For certain online purchases, you will get money back on your DKB account. For example, when shopping on Amazon for certain products, you receive 6% of the amount back on to your account.

Tip: New customers become automatically “active customers” for 12 months and the full benefits of the DKB card. The account remains free of charge with many benefits after that as well (more about it further down).

Free DKB credit card

Literally everyone at Travelgott uses the DKB (Deutsche Kreditbank) credit card. DKB is one of the best known direct banks in Germany. The credit card is free of charge when opening a bank account. The account is managed exclusively online. There are no bank branches to visit. You can do absolutely everything online.

How to Open a DKB Bank Account?

A so-called DKB Cash Account is easy to open online. It is only an application, meaning that the bank has the possibility to reject your application. In this case, we recommend to try with Number21.

To confirm your identity, you formerly had to go to a Post Office (Postident). This means that an employee at the post office confirmed your identity and the information regarding your identity. Now the DKB also offers to confirm someones identity by “videoident”. This means the identity is confirmed by a video software over a video call with a webcam or smartphone.

Tip: Especially for the issue of credit cards, banks do not like to see if you do not expect any regular income at all. Therefore, please ensure that you do not indicate “no employment” in the “employment” field. If in doubt, say “student”, “trainee” or “other”.

In the “Current net income per month” field, you should not enter 0 Euros. A few hundred Euros are already better than nothing. Do you get money from your parents, a student grant, or do you have a side job? We have entered from 400 to 800 Euros and have always been granted a DKB account.

Apply for the DKB card free of charge here.

How does the bank account and the credit card work at DKB?

If your application is accepted, you will receive a DKB cash account and the VISA credit card. Basically, these are two completely different accounts. The accounts are also shown separately in the online banking. You can easily transfer money between the two accounts.

If you pay something with your credit card, the amount is debited directly from the account of the Visa card. The credit card is a “real” credit card. This means that even if you do not have any money on your credit card account, you can still make purchases up to your credit limit. The amount will then be deducted from your DKB cash account on the 20th of the following month. No interest is charged for that.

If the amount is not covered by the current account, interest rates are charged as well. When you open an account, you usually receive a flexible credit up to €1,000. You can apply to increase this credit, which is usually only granted with regular money deposits. The interest rate for credits is currently 7.5%.

However, if you deposit money on your credit card account, you automatically increase the available money according. For example, if you have another €3,000 on the card, than the available money increases by this amount.

Note: You get the relatively high interest rates only on the amount you have on the credit card account. We therefore recommend you have your money on the credit card account. At the moment you get 0.4%, which is far above the average.

Using the DKB Card abroad correctly

The DKB card remains absolutely free of charge in Euro member states, Sweden and Romania, where you can withdraw money and pay by card without any fees. Withdrawing money is always free at ATM machines with a Visa logo also outside of these states.

To use the card correctly, it is important to understand the difference between “active” and “standard” customers.

Standard vs. Active Customers

Active customers have a monthly incoming amount of at least 700 Euros. This is to ensure that the account is actively used, otherwise you are a standard customers.

Many DKB customers have only used the account as a second account when travelling. The DKB would like to change that. However, the account still remains totally free with great conditions for non-active customers.

Important: New DKB customers are automatically active customers for 12 months. If after that period 700 Euros or more flow on a monthly basis into the account, the customers enjoys the full benefits of the bank. However, for standard customers the conditions are just slightly worse.

Free Cash Withdrawals Abroad

To withdraw money abroad is always free for active and standard customers.

For us, free money withdrawal on our trips was the number one reason to open an account at the DKB. All of our withdrawals have been free of charge. Meanwhile, we also value the account because of our experience with all the other things.

Important: Withdrawal is always free of charge for both active and standard customers. Look for an ATM machine with a Visa logo to withdraw money without fees.

Be aware: Some private banknotes are subject to a transaction fee, depending on the operator and country, about 2-5 Euros. DKB has no influence on this fee. You need to pay this fee in order to take money out.

Update: Until some time ago you could ask these additional fees back from the DKB bank. A simple e-mail was enough to receive the refund within a few days. Unfortunately the DKB does not offer this option anymore, however, it remains the best option for travelling.

This means that you have to find an ATM that does not have these transaction fees. However, this method remains still much cheaper than using cards of traditional banks.

Apply for the DKB card free of charge here.

Payments by Card in Foreign Currencies

In the case of payments by card in foreign currencies outside the Euro area, Sweden and Romania, DKB charges a foreign service fee of 1.75% for standard customers since 2017. That means, to withdraw 100 Euros, 1.75 Euros will be additionally charged. This does not apply for payments in Euro, Swedish Kroner and Romanian Lei.

IMPORTANT: “Active customers” continue to pay and withdraw money without the above fee. The fee is also initally charged for active customers, however, they will reimburse all of it.

However, other banks charge a foreign service fee to a similar extent as well. So the DKB card remains our first choice.

We recommend to use the DKB card exclusively to withdraw money if you are standard customer. If you are staying longer in one country, for example for a working holiday, we suggest to open a bank account there anyways, in order to receive payments etc., where you can also pay by card free of charge.

Apply for the DKB card free of charge here.

Excellent customer support for DKB clients

You can always contact the DKB bank via e-mail or phone. The staff was always friendly and helpful with us. Problems could be clarified at any time by e-mail or telephone. Customer support has always worked perfectly for us. We never missed the opportunity to go to a bank branch.

A DKB account for students

At many other banks, students do not receive a credit card. This does not appear to be a no-go criterion at DKB. The bank even targets students directly.

The DKB credit card also functions as an international student card. Students benefit from the advantages of the ISIC card (International Student Identity Card). You can apply for a DKB card including a student ID card on the website. Just enter “student” in the activity field and upload your confirmation. You will receive the card by mail.

With the international student ID you get discounts worldwide, e.g. at Flixbus. In order to be eligible to use the DKB card as a student ID though, you have to reside in Germany.

For students: Apply for the DKB card as a student ID here (click on “Konten und Karten” > DKB-Student-Card).

Get a DKB account also without German Residence

Even without German domicile or German citizenship you can open an account at DKB. The process remains the same, but you still have to confirm your identity. Depending on your country, you can do this at the post office (for example, in Austria) or in the branch of a traditional bank.

Update: Now DKB also offers a video identifier. This means you can confirm your identity via webcam or smartphone.

Please note: The website of the DKB is in German only. There is not much text and Google Translate will help. If you need help with your application, please contact us. We will be happy to help. Many of us are not from Germany either and always travel with a DKB card in their pockets.

Conclusion of our experience with the DKB card

After spending several years using the DKB card, we can not live without it. Many of the approximately 1.6 million DKB customers use the account as their second bank. Most of us have also done so. Now, many of us use the DKB as their main bank.

With the DKB cash account and the VISA credit card you have all the possibilities of a traditional bank and that even free of charge. Most branch banks charge fees without offering anything for them. In addition, they do not actually pay interest, whereas at the DKB interest rates are relatively high.

With the possibility of free money withdrawals, you will never have to look for an ATM of your bank again to save the fees. Even abroad you can withdraw money free of charge. This is how you imagine traveling. By using the DKB, each of us has already saved several hundreds of Euros.

Apply for the DKB card free of charge here.

Tip: New customers become automatically “active customers” for 12 months and the full benefits of the DKB card. The account remains free of charge with many benefits after that as well.

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  • Travelgott
    13/07/2019 at 21:30

    That is very strange. We know people from Italy with a DKB account without any issue. Not sure if they made any changes recently. Have you tried to call them?

  • Etienne werkhoven
    03/07/2019 at 18:58

    Hi, I live in the Netherlands and filled in the form for a dkb card but at the end I could not finish the request because it said you can only apply for an account in Austria and suisse. Is it still possible to apply for an account? If so please help. Thank you!

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