How to pay for things in Germany

Today in the Monday Podcast I talk about how to pay for things in Germany.

Cash still rules in many parts of the country and people and some businesses are vary wary of paying with cards.

Restaurants, for example, often prefer you to pay cash. Supermarkets accept ec-cards – a debit card linked to your bank account. But only larger businesses such as petrol stations, out-of-town supermarkets and shops in larger cities such as Frankfurt will normally accept credit cards.

As Germany no longer issues eurocheques, payments between private people are often done by bank transfer – called Überweisung.

Paying bills can be done with an Überweisung but often you will be required to agree to direct debit – Einzugsermächtigung or Lastschrift. Except in special circumstances you can require the bank to return any money within six weeks that has been wrongly taking using this method.

If you order goods online you may be required to pay in advance – Vorkasse – but some online shops will send their goods by Nachname, meaning that you pay the postman when the goods arrive.

To find out more, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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