If you are moving to Munich or anywhere else in Germany, you’ll soon find out that there are contracts for rent, mobile phone and internet for which you need a German bank account. In some cases it is possible to open an account from abroad (e.g. DKB and Comdirekt), but to open an account immediately, chances are you will have to visit the bank in person. Things are generally easier and cheaper if you are employed in Germany and have a steady income here. This also makes you, at some banks, eligible for one-off payments of up to €120 of free money at the bank at which you decide to receive your monthly pay.
We recommend check24.de to help you pick the bank with the conditions which suits your needs best. The site is one of the most often used to check prices of goods and services in Germany. You should also check the banks conditions regarding money withdrawal at ATM’s, whether they offer free credit cards, etc. “Free” bank accounts are sometimes only really free if your monthly income exceeds a specified amount (usually above €1,200).
A very helpful online resource for information about opening an account and banking in Germany in general is deutscheskonto.org. There you’ll also find the most frequently used terms used when banking in Germany explained. If you work at a larger international company in Munich, they will most likely also recommend a bank.
After you think you have picked the best bank for you, you should make an appointment at a branch of the bank of your choice; the best thing is you make an appointment directly at the bank. In that way you can make sure that they have the personnel to handle English speaking customers. This will prove helpful during your first months in Munich.
The documents you should bring along when opening an account are: ID card or passport, if these are not German documents, a confirmation of residence (Meldebescheinigung) is required, depending on the type of account you want, the bank may also ask for your last three pay stubs for proof of income or a letter from your employer listing your salary.