Banking and Money Matters

Using Credit Cards

Nehmen Sie Kreditkarten? - Do you take credit cards?

Unlike in the United States, credit card acceptance is mostly limited to the tourist trade (hotels, rental car agencies, airline or rail tickets, etc.). Don't be surprised if some restaurants and shops in tourist areas do not accept credit cards. Therefore, always ask the question above before deciding to buy something or sitting down in a restaurant.

Germans, Austrians, and the Swiss prefer to carry Bargeld (cash) than most Americans as it's the norm for many situations in which purchases will be made. Look for an ATM and use your credit or debit card to get cash for your purchases.

There are stores and businesses that will accept the EC (Maestro) card, but you must have a German or European bank account in order to get one. Be aware it's easy to confuse the EC/Maestro bank card logo with the MasterCard logo.

Other German Resources

•  Ten Minute German - Currency Exchange - In airports, train stations or other places where tourists are found, you can exchange money or cash traveler's checks at a Geldwechsel or Wechselstube (money exchange).

•  Ten Minute German - Using Credit Cards - Germans, Austrians, and the Swiss prefer to carry Bargeld (cash) than most Americans as it's the norm for many situations in which purchases will be made...

•  Ten Minute German - Using the Cash Machine - Most bank branches have no cash teller window, so you most likely are going to hear...

•  Ten Minute German - What you need to know for making a deposit or withdrawal from your bank account

•  Power German - Banking and Money Matters - Asking if there is a bank or cash machine nearby.

•  Power German - Are you going to the...?

•  Ten Minute German - Taking Leave - Saying Goodbye

•  Ten Minute German - Getting to Know you - Asking someone for their name and giving yours.

•  Speak Up! in German - Unit 1 - Lesson 1: Formal and Localized Greetings