Financial info for PCSing to Germany

Financial info for PCSing to Germany

by Stripes Europe
Stripes Europe

Getting an account through an on-base credit union or bank should be your top priority. This will eliminate headaches when paying bills, transferring money, making purchases, getting cash and managing funds between U.S. dollars and euros.

CREDIT UNIONS

Credit unions are owned and operated by their members. Members’ savings are combined to create a pool of funds from which other members can borrow. Members then reap the rewards of their pooled investment income by gaining lower loan rates, higher savings rates and additional services.

> Andrews Federal Credit Union

  • Has branches in Wiesbaden.
  • Offers shared branching with Service Credit Union.
  • Provides online banking and bill pay.

> Service Credit Union

  • Has branches distributed throughout bases in Germany.
  • Offers check depositing from your smartphone.
  • Provides “Call 24,” an automated phone teller, that is available 24/7.

> Keesler Federal Credit Union and Global Federal Credit Union

  • Offers their members shared branching with Andrews Federal Credit Union and Service Credit Union.

CONTRACTED FINANCIAL SERVICES

Bank of America holds a contract with the Department of Defense (DOD) to provide banking and financial services through approximately 67 Community Bank branch offices and 300 ATMs located around the globe. Community Bank also provides an interactive banking service so that you can easily access your account. Call toll-free: 00-800-BANK-EASY (00-800-2265-3279) or DSN: 314-546-1892 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except German holidays.

EUROPEAN DEBIT CARDS

  • Many German businesses do not take credit cards.
  • Always carry euros when off installation.
  • Get an electronic cash (EC) card - also known as Girocard, Visa VPAY or Maestro Card - through your bank.

PAYING BILLS

The German banking system differs from the U.S. approach, so you may be confused the first time you need to pay bills for German services.

> To pay by mail or online, you usually need a funds transfer form. To fill out this form, you’ll need to know:

  • The euro amount due.
  • The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) or the Bank’s Identifier Code.
  • Account or reference number on file with payee.
  • The payee’s name.

EUROPEAN BANKING SERVICES AVAILABLE TO YOU

  • 24-hour telephone access
  • Savings and checking accounts
  • Branch/online loan
  • applications and support
  • Free transfers between
  • participating institutions
  • ATM access worldwide
  • U.S. credit and debit cards
  • European debit cards
  • Automatic bill payments
  • Credit and debt counseling
  • Online bill pay – U.S. and foreign banks
  • Online banking –U.S. and foreign banks
  • Online statements
  • Retirement and 401(k) management
  • Currency conversion
  • Mobile banking and smartphone apps
  • Smartphone check depositing

BEWARE OF FEES

  • Off-Installation ATMs may require transaction fees depending on your account services.
  • You can minimize fees by setting up an account with a German bank but know the conversion rate before depositing U.S. dollars to the account.
  • The DOD will not deposit paychecks to German banks.

 

 

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