ATMs in Germany: locations, fees, and tips (2024)

Whether you’re travelling to Germany from the UK for business or pleasure, one thing’s for sure: you needn’t worry about finding an ATM.

The International Monetary Fund has estimated there are around 130 ATMs per 100,000 adults in Germany.¹ With a population of more than 83 million people², that’s over 100,000 ATMs across the country.

But before you rush to the first one you see, read on to find out more about using an ATM in Germany.

And, if you want to avoid exchange rate markups and sneaky transaction fees while shopping in Germany, then check out the Wise card. You can also use it to spend in 150+ countries, and your transactions abroad are automatically converted into British pounds using the fair mid-market exchange rate.

Where do I find ATMs in Germany?

In Germany, ATMs are called Geldautomat. They’re normally located inside or just outside bank branches. You’ll also find them at most major airports. They’re less common in places such as shopping malls and petrol stations.

Germany’s four major banks have many ATMs, and they’ve made them easy to find with online locators:

Will my credit or debit card work in Germany?

German ATMs accept foreign bank cards, as long as they belong to a compatible card service. You can confirm whether your card will work by asking your bank back in the UK. You should also let your bank know when you’ll be abroad. Otherwise, it might consider your German transactions suspicious and block your card.

Your card doesn’t need to be the chip-and-pin type to work in a German ATM - a standard card with a magnetic stripe works too. However, ATM keypads only have numbers, so you’ll need to know your PIN (personal identification number). German ATMs don’t accept PINs longer than four digits, either.

Most ATMs in Germany accept Cirrus, Maestro (both run by MasterCard) and Visa (Plus) cards. You can confirm if an ATM is compatible by checking whether your card network’s logo is on the machine. Alternatively, use:

What are the ATM fees when using my card in Germany?

There are three types of fees you need to consider when using a German ATM:

  1. exchange rate fees
  2. local charges
  3. your home bank’s charges

And, if you’re looking for a transparent and safe alternative to manage your money in the UK or when travelling abroad, consider signing up with Wise. You can get a Wise card, a multi-currency card that automatically converts your pounds into local currency in 150+ countries at the fair mid-market exchange rate.

Register with Wise today

1. Exchange rate fees

An ATM withdrawal often gives you the best deal on the exchange rate, because the conversion is made using the mid-market rate. This is a fair euro exchange rate without any mark-ups.

However, it’s best to stay alert. Some ATMs will ask if you’d like to be charged in British pounds. Transactions in pounds are done using something called Dynamic Currency Conversion, which essentially means the ATM will make up an exchange rate for you which is not favourable. Avoid this rip-off by always choosing to perform the transaction in Euros.

2. Local charges

Germany’s major banks don’t charge ATM fees to foreigners.³ Privately operated ATMs, however, may charge high fees.

You can distinguish private machines from bank ATMs because they don’t have a bank’s name and branding. Instead, they’ll have names such as Cashpoint, Cashzone, Euronet or Travelex. The good news is that the machine should warn you that you’ll be charged a fee (and the amount) before you complete the transaction.

3. Charges by your home bank

Many banks charge fees for using an ATM abroad. Fees and charges will vary from bank to bank, so it’s best to ask your bank about this. Also, you can expect to be charged a withdrawal fee and a foreign currency transaction fee.

How can I avoid ATM fees?

There are various ways you can avoid ATM fees, or at least reduce them. Here are a few ideas.

Use Global ATM Alliance ATM machines

German banking giant Deutsche Bank is part of the Global ATM Alliance⁴, a partnership between several well-known banks, including Barclays and Bank of America. If you’re a customer of an alliance bank, you can use other alliance banks’ ATMs worldwide without paying a withdrawal fee.

If your bank isn’t part of the alliance, it’s still worth asking if it has a relationship with a German bank that would allow you to make withdrawals for free.

Switch to a fee-free card

Some banks have cards that don’t incur foreign transaction fees. These include Charles Schwab⁵ in the US and Metro Bank⁶ in the UK. If you travel often, they might be worth looking into.

Avoid using credit cards

Credit card withdrawals are considered cash advances; and they attract expensive charges. These include a fee (3% of the amount, or even higher) and interest if you don’t make repayments on time. Whenever possible, use your debit card at ATMs.

Make larger, less frequent withdrawals

If your bank charges a flat fee per transaction, you can reduce ATM fees considerably by making one large withdrawal instead of two smaller ones. You may need to increase your daily withdrawal limit for this to be worthwhile.

And that’s it. Most likely, you won’t have trouble finding an ATM in Germany and you now know what to look for. ATMs belonging to large banks won’t charge you for a withdrawal, but look out for privately owned ATMs that have high fees.

Here is a list of the European countries that charge the highest ATM fees.

Sources used:

  1. World Bank – ATM in Germany
  2. Data Commons – Germany
  3. All About Germany – First bank account in Germany
  4. Wikipedia –Global ATM Alliance
  5. Schwab –Bank
  6. Metro Bank – Using my card abroad

Sources last checked on date: 11-Dec-2022

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

ATMs in Germany: locations, fees, and tips (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ms. Lucile Johns

Last Updated:

Views: 5801

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ms. Lucile Johns

Birthday: 1999-11-16

Address: Suite 237 56046 Walsh Coves, West Enid, VT 46557

Phone: +59115435987187

Job: Education Supervisor

Hobby: Genealogy, Stone skipping, Skydiving, Nordic skating, Couponing, Coloring, Gardening

Introduction: My name is Ms. Lucile Johns, I am a successful, friendly, friendly, homely, adventurous, handsome, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.