🇩🇪 Monzo in Germany [Wiki]

This is a common occurrence. The machines are perfectly capable of undertaking this transaction, but Germans are VERY risk averse and regard foreign card transactions with great suspicion.

I explain a bit here (and another German gets quite chippy in his responses), but it’s mostly a cultural thing - Germans hate being in debt so credit cards have never really taken off, and a “card culture” never took root.

But it also has its origin in the reluctance of traders to accept ANY credit cards - because, unlike Giro/EC karte, they are charged a (small) percentage of the bill for receiving the money - the horror ! This is unacceptable to German traders, when they could have 100% of the cash. Trying to convince them that, perhaps, someone will potentially spend more money with them if they accepted cards - particularly if they didn’t happen to be carrying the cash around with them. Even shops and restaurants who do (theoretically) accept Visa/MC will try and pressurise you into paying cash. Or claim that they only accept “German” credit cards. There is also a fear of fraud from foreigners. This drives quite a few to not want to accept a card from abroad, even though they theoretically could.

https://www.quora.com/Why-dont-Germans-use-credit-cards

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Since Apple Pay/Google Pay launched in Germany the acceptance of Credit/Debit Card be higher expect some very small stores still “Girocard”, a few stores in Germany begun to only accept cashless payment but it’s very rare in Germany.

Aldi Süd/South - Nord/North - Edeka - Rossmann - Dm Drogerie - Müller - Kaufland and a lot more

mostly Sparkasse - Euronet have additional atm fee for withdraw money

Recommended using the CashGroup (Commerzbank - Postbank - Hypovereinsbank - Deutsche Bank) without additional atm fee

ING - Volksbank - Targobank - Reisebank is also free of additional atm fee

A PIN change is on German ATM’s impossible.

I went to Berlin last week for 4 days and only needed to use cash once :raised_hands:, at a diner that would only take card over €30.

Has anyone used Monzo in Hamburg? How did you get on?

Going next month. :de:

I went to Nuremberg last month. Christmas market stalls were mostly cash only, but most other places including almost all restaurants in the centre took card. One restaurant out of town 2 miles was cash only though

You can use the DB app to purchase local public transport tickets. Yes, overseas debit/credit cards (including Monzo) are accepted once payment is demanded.

The DB app is indeed very good, and I have had no problems using a variety of cards to fund it (though, on occasion, I’ve been asked for the card when the ticket has been scanned).

One of the problems in Germany is that many of the DB ticket machines take only EC/Maestro cards, not credit or debit cards. Definitely use the app if you can.

For those who like to send postcards, just a warning that as at mid-2019, the post office accepts only cash from foreigners. Strictly speaking, they accept domestic debit cards (Geldkart) but non-German residents can’t have them. This is strange as years ago, I was able to use a foreign-issued card to purchase postage stamps.

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In Köln and Berlin, May 2022, since the pandemic(presumed) card and contactless payments are more widespread. I did a fair bit of exploring, eating, drinking etc, all bar a few excepted cards/contactless. Some were exclusively cards/contactless, but the few which didn’t accept it had signs, very explicitly stating cash only, no cards, no plastic.

Only had one encounter of note, on the train from Köln to Berlin, it said that cards were accepted, but after opening my beer the staff member said cash only, at this point I hadn’t any cash except a £5(been in my wallet a while). After they walked away, they came back with a card reader, and it magically worked. After paying they sent me on my way with a parting comment, “you should pay with cash”.

Some museums seemed to be still cash only. But apart from that card/contactless was fine.

I wouldn’t say it has the same usage as the UK just yet, and maybe only in larger cities(can’t speak for the rest of the country). But I think cash is losing it’s crown.

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I just used Monzo contactless to buy Rheinbahn U-Bahn tickets in Düsseldorf and Duisburg with no problem at all.

This is definitely typically German. They will say that the machine they have “only accepts German cards” when the reality is that the machine accepts cards from everywhere, but THEY don’t accept cards from abroad due to a fear of fraud.

Things have improved, particularly with regard to chains like Mueller and supermarkets. There are even DB machines in some stations that accept credit/debit cards now, though if the machines don’t, the DB ticket counters almost always will (where they exist). I bought tickets for the trams and buses at an RMV machine in some distant suburb of Frankfurt with a Monzo card with no issues. But I had some other shops - an ice cream cafe and a hardware shop point blank refuse it, and then we went for dinner in a small Bosnian cafe near the station, got chatting to the cafe owner about Bosnian music, and paid the €21.50 bill for food and drinks with a Monzo card without issue and without comment from him.

What may be a driver for improvement in this regard is the fact that the EC/Maestro cards that many Germans have are scheduled to be withdrawn - I think at the end of 2023. Presently, these are often the only accepted cards in Germany (but rarely elsewhere), and they are being switched to Mastercards as they fall due for replacement.

(Disclaimer: Used Chase Mastercard not Monzo, but the following would still apply to Monzo)

Was in Munich a couple of weeks ago

  • Christmas market food stalls were cash only. Stalls selling anything over 10€ took card (but didn’t go to any, presume Monzo would be fine)
  • All restaurants I went to took card or cash, as did supermarkets
  • Used the MVG Munich travel app to buy tickets, and they accepted UK debit cards for payment. Spoke to some other Britons who had used UK cards to buy tickets at train/U-Bahn stations
  • Most museums and other attractions accepted card, one museum (Bavarian National Museum) only accepted German Maestro cards
  • Lots of ATMs were powered by Euronet (including some run by banks), and tried to charge ATM fees. Stadtsparkasse had multiple free ATMs around the city (including the only free ATMs we found around the Marienplatz area)
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DEC 2022 UPDATE.
A lot more places are accepting card use and contactless in germany now.
My brother lives in cologne (köln) so i travel to and from there a lot and nowadays i find i can use my monzo card pretty much everywhere.
Some smaller stores still have cash only but its a much rarer thing nowadays.
The big thing to remember is when taking cash out that the majority of banks do have a withdrawal fee unless you are a member. Finding a “free atm” is basically impossible so if you are going to get cash out for a trip do it in one go… for example 1x£500 withdrawal rather than 10x£50 withdrawals.

Especially since covid a lot more places have begun to accept contactless payments so the classic “germany dont like cards” rule is starting to die out, especially in cities and in big stores. :+1:

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Have been to Hamburg and Dresden this week. Almost every ATM in both cities (even ones advertised as belonging tk a major bank) charged me up to €5 each time, which is quite steep.

Echo what others have said - cash is still king - particularly in Hamburg.

I think that’s because they are charging non-EU issued cards around a fiver. This shouldn’t apply to EU issued cards but I’ll find out for sure in a couple of weeks when I’m there (I have an EU issued card that I will try).

I visit Germany about 4 times a year, I never had any issues in using my card during the last few years. Card payment / apple payment is getting more accepted now. For no fee cash withdrawals, use StatSparkasse Bank.

I was in Bavaria and Hamburg and (apart from Euronet obviously) none of the ATMs charged (neither UK nor EU issued cards).

One thing that I found in two shops was that they would only accept EC card which hasn’t been issued in Germany in over two years now!