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Updated: 2023-08-30 |

How to get a free Blocked Account in Germany? (2023)

Are you interested in discovering how to obtain a German Blocked Account for free - and save hundreds of Euros? This article explores the options available to students in this context.

You might be aware of the fact that you cannot get a German student visa if you do not demonstrate the availability of sufficient funds. And the blocked account is one of the ways of doing that. 

 

If you are thinking of using this option for the proof of funds, you might have asked yourself: Is there any chance to avoid the fees related to the blocked account issue? If that is the case, then you are at the right place!


It is our goal to inform you honestly and accurately, therefore, we need to add disclaimers:

  1. You should use this text as a general guide, but it cannot be a legal consultation. The visa regulations are made and executed solely by the Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt). Please be aware: Some rules and procedures can vary from embassy/consulate to embassy/consulate, even within one country. That is why we highly recommend you also consult the German representation abroad near you for information that applies to your case.
     

  2. We try our best to provide you with the latest information possible. However, for the most up-to-date information regarding all kinds of facts and regulations regarding the blocked account providers, always refer to their homepages.
     

  3. We partner with Fintiba. The links to Fintiba 💰 in this article are so-called affiliate links (you can easily recognize them by the following symbol:💰). We receive a small commission when someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase.
     

  4. This article was last updated on August 30, 2023. We cannot guarantee that the discounts are still active or exclude that other service providers might also have special campaigns that we do not know about.

More info about Germany's #1 Blocked Account

Go to Fintiba 💰

💰 = Full Disclosure: we receive a small commission for Fintiba products sold through this link. However, this does not result in any additional costs for the customer.

Does a Free German Blocked Account exist?

First of all, let us start with the following emphasis: having a German Blocked Account is not free. In other words, international students who need a blocked account for their German student visa application need to budget a certain amount of money for that purpose. While the blocked amount is fixed, fees and buffer amounts do vary from provider to provider.


As of 2023, the amount of money that students need to put on their blocked accounts with the aim of proving their finances equals €934 per month, which is €11 208 per year. This is something students cannot avoid. However, what they (sometimes) can avoid is paying for opening or maintaining the blocked account. Thus, although there is no such thing as a free blocked account in Germany, it might be possible to avoid at least one of the basic fees (either a set-up fee or a monthly fee) associated with the blocked account.

How to avoid the Blocked Account fees?

So, as we have already established, it is possible to either open a blocked account for free or to maintain it for free. Thus, in general, entirely avoiding all of the blocked account fees is a no-go.

 

In order to find out which of the fees you can avoid, you need to undertake the following two steps:

1

Inform yourself about the existing German blocked account providers.

2

Check out (regularly) the offer of each provider.

Regarding the second point, you might be asking yourself: "why should I regularly check the offers?". The answer is simple: from time to time, some of the providers have special offers, as a result of which you might open a blocked account for free.

 

For example, Fintiba 💰, the market leader as far as the German blocked account is concerned, frequently offers students to open a blocked account for free. For instance, in spring-summer 2023, Fintiba offered a free set-up option twice: in May and August, students could save up to  €184 by opening the Fintiba blocked account for free.

To learn more about Fintiba, click here.

Free Option 1: Providers with no opening fees

It is noteworthy that Fintiba is not the only blocked account provider that offers the possibility of a free blocked account set-up in 2023. Other providers that also do so are Expatrio and Kotak Mahindra. In Table 1, you can find the usual fees of these providers.

 

Country

Availability

Type of service

Banking Model

German Deposit Protection

Trustpilot Score
(6M)*

Set up fee

Monthly fee

Fintiba

🇩🇪

🌎**

Online

German Partner Bank

✅

Excellent
(4.6)

89 EUR💰

4.90 EUR💰

Expatrio

🇩🇪

🌎**

Online

Belgian partner bank with German branch

❌ but Belgian deposit protection


 

Poor
(2.7)

49 EUR

5 EUR 

Kotak Mahindra

🇮🇳

Only India

Online

Own Indian banking license

❌ but Indian deposit protection

Bad (1.4)

0 EUR

 

***

*Last 6 months (until August 21, 2023)

**There may be exceptions for individual countries (e.g. high-risk countries).

***Kotak Mahindra charges a fee per transaction.

 

The sorting within the list comes from the following criteria (in the order mentioned): banking model, deposit insurance, availability, provider name, and Trustpilot score.

Special discount for Fintiba (Summer 2023): Coupon to save up to 184 Euros

If you are thinking about setting up a blocked account with Fintiba, you should hurry up to take advantage of their special offer for summer 2023. By clicking here and using the code SAVE184, you will be able to spare around €184. This discount covers both the cost of travel health insurance and the opening fee for the blocked account.

Free Option 2: Providers with no monthly fees

If, for some reason, it is not possible for you to avoid the opening fees, you might still be able to bypass the monthly fees. This is doable only if you go for one of these blocked account providers that do not charge regular monthly fees: ICICI, Allyways or Coracle (other providers only offer temporary cashback options). Table 2 demonstrates the standard fees that these providers charge from their clients.

 

Country

Availability

Type of service

Banking Model

German Deposit Protection

Trustpilot Score
(6M)*

Set up fee

Monthly fee

ICICI

🇮🇳

Only India

Online

Own British bank with German branch

❌ but British deposit protection

--

150 EUR

0  EUR

Allyways

🇩🇪

🌎**

Online

Escrow model with payment service provider in France

❌

--

99 EUR

0 EUR

Coracle

🇩🇪

🌎**

Online

Escrow model with payment service provider in France

❌

Excellent
(4.9)

99 EUR

0 EUR

*Last 6 months (until August 21, 2023)

**There may be exceptions for individual countries (e.g. high-risk countries).


The sorting within the list comes from the following criteria (in the order mentioned): banking model, deposit insurance, availability, provider name, and Trustpilot score.

Blocked Account Fees as just one of the criteria

Do not overestimate the importance of fees!

In general, the difference in fees is not significant across the providers. Hence, it should not be the sole decisive factor when choosing the blocked account provider. The overall amount of money that is involved in this process is quite a significant sum, that's why you should take your time and find out answers to questions like:

  • Am I eligible to open a blocked account with the given Blocked Account provider? For example, not all of the providers offer a service for minors. Also, some providers cannot offer a service to students from particular countries, while others may be just for students from specific countries.

 

  • Which blocked account provider promises more safety for my money? Here, inspect the banking model and check for deposit protection.

 

  • How reliable is the blocked account provider? How experienced is it? For instance, pay attention to the number of students who have already opened an account with the provider. Also, for example, check the recent reviews on Trustpilot and Google.

 

  • How easy is it to open a blocked account with the given Blocked Account provider? Research what are the documents that the provider requires  (aka assess the level of bureaucracy), and how quickly you can open an account and receive the blocking confirmation.

After answering these questions, you can combine the acquired information with the details regarding the pricing, and then you will be able to make quite an informed decision and choose the right provider that is suitable to you based on your preferences.

 

To find answers to these and other important questions, check out this article, which will help you to choose the right provider for you.

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Summary Box

To wrap up

It is possible to open a blocked account for free with these providers:

  • Fintiba

  • Expatrio

  • Kotak Mahindra

 

It is possible to have no monthly fees with these blocked account providers:

  • ICICI

  • Allyways

  • Coracle

 

And remember: be careful when choosing the blocked account provider. Do not take into account only fees, but also some other key aspects, to make sure that you are making the right decision that fits your priorities.