LearnGermanwith Us!Start Learning!
Let’s say that you intend to go on a trip to Germany. In that case it is very useful to get informed about the country’s monetary transactions when it comes to buying things of everyday life, for example, food, clothes, stationery supplies, tickets for public transportation, entrance fees, souvenirs and the like.
According to the German Sprichwort (proverb): Nur Bares ist Wahres (Cash is king), we usually pay cash in Germany. This is conditioned by our German culture. We do not intend to Schulden anhäufen (run up debts). We tend to spend only that amount of money that we actually do have auf der Bank (in the bank). And Bargeld (cash) is a good means to keep our Ausgaben (expenses) under control.
Of course, we also pay with plastic money in Germany. In that case, we use debit cards more frequently than credit cards. One’s bank account is charged immediately when using a debit card. Consequently, you can only spend as much money as you have available. If we were einen Kredit aufnehmen (to take out a loan) it is in our interest to Schulden abbauen (deleverage) as quick as possible by Schulden abbezahlen (paying off debts) in realistischen Raten (by realistic installments). Another reason why we do not pay by credit cards is that the majority of businesses do not accept them. On the one hand, they do not have the technical devices for that, and, on the other hand, they do not consent to absorb the high costs, which are required by credit card providers.
The debit cards in Germany are called EC-Karten (ec-cards). EC is the original abbreviation for EuroCheque but nowadays it stands for ‘Electronic Cash’, which is the debit card system of the German Central Credit Committee.
Smaller businesses, like bakeries, ice-cream stands, kiosks or local cafes, do neither accept credit cards nor debit cards. In some shops there is even a minimum amount to accept debit cards. Mostly, it is 5 Euros but the minimum amounts can also be higher. For that reason, it is always advisable to have some Geldscheine (bank notes) and Münze (coins) with you.
Before you go on a trip to Germany ask at your local Hausbank (relationship bank) where you can kostenlos Geld abheben (withdraw money free of charge) in Germany. The Deutsche Bank has cooperation partners all over the world. These are Barclays in Great Britain, Bank of America in the USA, BNP Paribas in France, Scotiabank in Canada, and Westpac in Australia. If you keep an account with any of these banks you can withdraw cash from Geldautomaten (ATM’s) of the Deutsche Bank without paying any charges.
(das) Sprichwort – proverb
Nur Bares ist Wahres. – Cash is king.
Schulden anhäufen – to run up debts
auf der Bank – in the bank
(das) Bargeld – cash
(die) Ausgaben – expenses
einen Kredit aufnehmen – to take out a loan
Schulden abbauen – to deleverage
Schulden abbezahlen – to off debts
in Raten – by installments
(der) Geldschein – bank note
(die) Münze – coin
(die) Hausbank – relationship bank
kostenlos Geld abheben – to withdraw money free of charge
(der) Geldautomat – cash machine / ATM