Everyone who has a credit card appreciates it and usually does not want to do without it. Whether in everyday life or when traveling, the plastic money can be a real blessing and make your life easier in many ways. The market for credit cards is huge and so the overview is not always easy.
What you should look for when taking out a credit card and what a good credit card must have in any case, we have summarized in detail here in our guidebook. You will also find the best credit cards for every purpose here in our credit card comparison. It doesn't matter if your credit card needs to be suitable for shopping or if you're a student looking for a way to withdraw cash for free during your semester abroad…
The financial heroes are here with the largest guide to credit cards in Germany with advice and action to the side.
Credit Cards Comparison
Why a credit card is indispensable
Many people, especially those of the older generation or of the old type, may certainly ask themselves why they need a credit card at all. In the past it was possible without it! Sure, that may be true, but the world is changing and more and more things are coming onto the market to make life more convenient.
With a credit card you can not only pay, but also withdraw money. Especially for people who are often abroad, a credit card is almost mandatory. But also shopping friends should not do without the service of a credit card. Besides the convenient payment of bills on the Internet, a credit card can also buy great things in everyday life. Some credit cards are designed in such a way that they grant a credit line, i.e. a loan. Others must first be loaded. But more about that later.
Here in our credit card comparison we have compared all possible card types. But before we go into more detail on this topic and tell you later which credit card has convinced us completely in the test, we would like to give you some examples of when a credit card really makes sense in everyday life, as well as when traveling.
That's why a credit card is super useful in everyday life
Imagine you want to order rare sneakers from a US online store, which are not available in Germany. It is clear that you need a credit card. If you don't have one at hand, you either have to ask your friends or relatives or else: the dream with the exclusive sneakers from the USA is over..
Another scenario. It is once again the end of the month and you are already short of cash. Now your car is broken and the garage bill would have to be paid. With a credit card you can now conveniently settle everything on the spot, without your checking account is charged. The settlement of the credit card comes with cards of the type Charge and Revolving only some time later. So you can save yourself comfortably over the month.
Some providers even allow you to repay larger amounts over several months in small installments. Possibly also a great option to divide big expenses a little bit.
This is why a credit card is indispensable when traveling
If you can get by without a credit card in everyday life, we think it's not worth it when you're traveling! For example, you can't really get a rental car anywhere abroad without a credit card.
Also booking hotels is much easier with a credit card and when traveling to the USA a credit card is mandatory anyway!
But also in other countries a credit card is a blessing to provide you with money. So you can use a Visa or Mastercard at almost every ATM in the world to get the currency of the country you are in. With the right credit card even free of charge.
It is not only much safer than the big chunk of cash in your pocket, but also much cheaper than constantly changing currencies on the spot! In our credit card comparison, we present you not only the best cards for everyday use, but also ideal travel credit cards.
Is a credit card actually a rip-off?
Although credit cards are a common means of payment in many countries around the world and are even more popular than cash in some cases, credit cards strangely have a somewhat negative image in Germany. Even if this has improved somewhat with the new generation of young people and great credit card products, there are still many old and somewhat limited people who categorically refuse a credit card.
Why? We do not know and such an attitude lacks any basis. Of course, there are also among the credit card providers expensive and less interesting offers. But you can easily get around this with a credit card comparison or a credit card comparison. sort out in advance. In the end, it is always the user who can do bad things with a credit card.
Thus, many over-indebted, because they simply lose track of their finances and simply live beyond their means. Is the card provider to blame? We think NO! In addition, you can also choose and lower the limits for credit cards yourself or use a debit / prepaid credit card, which only allows you to spend previously deposited money.
In general, we can clearly deny that credit cards are a rip-off. In our opinion, these are a useful payment tool. What the user makes of it in the end is his beer. Definitely, over-indebtedness should not be chalked up negatively to credit cards in general!
Credit line and repayment with a credit card
Depending on the type of credit card you take out and your credit rating, you will be granted a credit limit. This means that you can easily go into the red. In general, the credit card limit is the Verfugungsrahmen. Some card providers, such as Barclays, make a living out of granting fairly large credit lines and then charging interest on them.
DKB is rather more cautious about granting larger credit card limits. So it may be that you have to prove with a monthly cash inflow or proof of salary that you are creditworthy, so to speak.
In general, it can be said that most credit cards almost every new application already grant by default a credit limit of 500 euros. If you want to go more into the minus, you have to apply for it. If you want to dispose of larger amounts than only 500 Euro, then you simply have to load money on the card and then you can pay or withdraw money with it.
Note: For almost all credit cards is a Schufa check necessary. However, we also have cards in the credit card comparison that do not perform a credit check. But more about that later!
Repayment / settlement of the credit card bill
Depending on the card type and card provider, there are some differences with regard to the settlement of credit card bills. While with debit and prepaid cards always directly from the clearing account resp. positive balance of the card is deducted, so the revolving or charge procedure is a bit different.
With the charge method, the entire amount of the credit card is deducted monthly from the debit account or charged and you have to pay it via bank transfer.
With a revolving card you can also finance parts of the bill and pay it off monthly. Usually this can be set in online banking and so you always have total control over how much debt you want to make. Also with the revolving card, the bill is paid either by a reference account for debiting or by bank transfer.
With our credit card comparison, you can find out at a glance which card belongs to which type and thus fits your requirements.
Credit card: The differences between prepaid and real cards
A prepaid credit card is not a real credit card in the actual sense but rather only a card that can dispose of the loaded balance. To do this, you load in advance via bank transfer a balance on the account of the card. You can then use this to pay and withdraw money.
Disadvantage: In almost 100% of cases, prepaid credit cards are not accepted by rental car companies. Even in expensive hotels there can be problems. However, they are usually sufficient for shopping and withdrawing money.
Advantage: Prepaid credit cards are not subject to a Schufa check. But more about this later.
The requirements for a credit card
Now that you know a lot about credit cards, you are probably wondering what a good credit card has to offer. Of course, this always depends on your requirements, but in general you can say that a credit card should meet these points.
- Card permanently free of charge
- if necessary. free current account included
- pay worldwide free of charge
- withdraw money worldwide free of charge
- good online banking
- Ideally opening via Video-Ident
- low interest rate on overdrafts
Especially for travelers, the point with the worldwide cash availability is particularly important. Some credit cards also offer free and comprehensive insurance packages for vacationers. Especially the Advanzia credit card and the ADAC Gold Mastercard stand out positively in this regard.
Credit card with current account or without?
As already mentioned, there are many different credit cards on offer. In addition to cards with a free checking account, there are also several providers of credit cards without an account. In the case of credit cards without an account, the card bill will be debited from your account at your bank or settled by bank transfer. Which credit cards from our comparison are assigned where, you can find out here.
Recommended credit cards with current account
- DKB Cash
- 1822direkt + mobile
Recommendable credit cards without an account
- ADAC Gold
- Barclay NewVisa
Credit card for students
Also for students a credit card is an interesting addition to the normal bank card. Especially for semesters abroad or for paying on the Internet, a student credit card is a blessing. Generally, some providers issue credit cards to students. Almost every prepaid credit card is also issued for students.
In addition, the DKB Cash account with Visa card is ideal for students. 1822direkt also offers students an account with credit card.
Credit card without Schufa
If you have had problems with your credit rating in the past, for whatever reason, it can be difficult to get a credit card. In our credit card comparison, we have therefore also included credit cards that do not require a Schufa check for opening.
Although these are only prepaid credit cards, but in the end prepaid credit cards are better than no credit card at all.
Good credit cards without Schufa are
- ViaBuy Prepaid Mastercard
- Wirecard Bank Visa
Apply for a credit card – It's easier with VideoIdent!
If you have now finally found the right credit card, the application is very easy and convenient via the Internet via our credit card comparison from stat. The classic variant goes like this: You select the credit card, enter your data and verify yourself with a form and your ID at a post office. Afterwards you get the card and the PIN sent to you.
So far so good. But in today's age it is much faster and easier. Video-Ident is the magic word here. DKB and N26 are particularly exemplary in this respect. You navigate through the form, enter your data and then verify yourself conveniently via webcam on the computer or smartphone. The opening is finished and you do not need any paperwork. In most cases, the online account is then available immediately. The card will be sent to you immediately.
Especially with N26 it's super easy. The N26 Bank promises an opening of the account incl. video identification. Verification within 8 minutes and with the smartphone. It simply does not get any better than this.
Advanzia Bank also takes a rather unconventional and customer-friendly approach. In principle, the entire process goes like this:
- You apply for your Goldende fee-free Mastercard online.
- You get a confirmation mail that the application is checked (Schufa etc.).)
- After a few days you will receive mail from the bank with your credit card. This is not yet activated. The letter is accompanied by an activation form, which you must sign and return to the bank in the enclosed reply envelope.
- Now another 2-3 days pass and then you will receive a message by e-mail that your card is activated and ready for use.
credit cards that are very easy and quick to open
Does it always have to be a free credit card?
Although most credit cards here in our test are free, so no monthly or annual fee, so there are also quite a few cards that offer excellent services and cost a small fee. Often these credit cards for travelers include interesting insurance policies.
But even in everyday life, various insurance products such as cell phone theft insurance can be useful. Before you sign up for a fee-based credit card, you must of course check in advance whether it is worthwhile to take advantage of such an offer. Good products in the area of chargeable credit cards are the ADAC Gold Mastercard and the N26 Black Mastercard.
Both offer some advantages over the regular card/account versions and are therefore definitely recommendable!
Cancel the chargeable credit card
If you take out a chargeable credit card, you'll want to know how to get rid of it in case of an emergency or if you don't use it. Do not worry! In general, this is very unproblematic and easy to do.
Normally the chargeable credit card contracts always run for one year. Depending on the cancellation conditions, you have to cancel the contract for the next year a few months in advance. If you do not do this, the credit card will automatically be extended for another year.
The cancellation process for the N26 Black is particularly simple and transparent
- Go to the Control Center and select N26 Black.
- Tap account& Contract information.
- Choose N26 Black cancel. In this screen you can also see the current expiration date of your membership.
- Confirm the cancellation of your membership with the push notification in the next screen.
The cancellation becomes effective on the expiration date of your membership.
No regular credit card user – no problem!
Even if you are not a regular user of a credit card in everyday life and only travel occasionally, you can never go wrong with a free credit card. Just no use for the card? No problem! Just put it in the cupboard and take it out when you need it. It costs you nothing and you always have it ready for the case of emergency.
In any case, this is better than to apply for a new card each time shortly before or. to go through the entire verification process. So if you have a spontaneous vacation or you want to order something quickly on the Internet, you are well equipped with a credit card on stand-by.
Special credit cards – Lufthansa, BMW& Mini
As you have surely noticed, we have quite a few interesting products on offer in the credit card comparison. For example, airline credit cards. But even car manufacturers now issue credit cards, which can be very beneficial for some target groups. Why so-called special credit cards could be quite interesting for you, we would like to explain here briefly and concisely with two examples.
Lufthansa Credit Card Miles& More
Especially frequent travelers can benefit from a Lufthansa credit card. For example, for every 2 euros spent, you get 1 mile credited, which in turn can be used to book flights free of charge. So if you pay a lot with your credit card and also travel a lot with Lufthansa or its partner airlines, the Miles& More kill two birds with one stone and thus build up the mileage account even without flying.
Often, even in higher-priced credit cards from airlines are extensive travel insurance included.
BMW& Mini credit card
On the other hand, credit cards from car manufacturers offer another advantage. These guarantee, for example, some benefits for motorists such as a protection letter when taking out. With BMW, in addition to a protection letter, a traffic legal protection and a tire credit are also included.
In addition, one can configure one's credit card similar to a new car and add further benefits. For example, there is a shopping package, a travel package, a mobility package or an Internet package, all of which offer different benefits. For BMW drivers, the credit card is certainly not a bad thing, especially since the conditions of the card are quite good.
Whether you need such a credit card or not is up to you. Generally, we rather advise the free cards, which do well in the credit card comparison. But fans of a particular brand of car or frequent travelers on a particular airline could benefit from special credit cards.
Which credit cards in the test comparison could convince us completely, we clarify in the next section.
The best credit card in the test
For us, the best credit card in the test is and remains the DKB Cash Visa. This offers a free checking account, costs no annual fee and is suitable for travel like no other. Also, the interest rate is extremely low and there is even credit interest on positive balances. Last but not least, the card is also suitable for students and is actually the right choice for everyone!
The card from Advanzia is also highly recommended and a good companion on vacation. For everyday life, however, we find this a little unsuitable, since no current account is with it.
If you need a card with a credit line for shopping and want to have the possibility to pay back in installments, the Barclaycard is the best choice, even if the interest rate for overdrafts is quite high.
We also find the products of the N26 Bank excellent. Above all, the modern design, the innovative online banking via smartphone or the simple opening via VideoIdent speak for themselves!
Although we have all the credit cards mentioned here, we don't really know which one is most useful. In the end, it is for us often the combination of all been and especially for travelers are two or three credit cards anyway mandatory.
In conclusion, we recommend that you simply choose two of the credit cards that suit you best. If these are then still available free of charge, you should simply apply for both..
Do you have any questions about our credit card comparison? We are happy to provide you with advice and assistance to help you find the best credit card for your purposes.