Friday, September 25, 2015

How to get a credit card in Germany – and not run out of steam in the process.

I applied for a test winning credit card which includes a free checking account and debit card and no annual fees ever. Sounds all good but the process is an epic story.
Here are the steps:

  • Online application
  • Two phone calls
  • One Skype interview (!)
  • Approval
  • Six (6!) mailings including
  1. A push TAN
  2. Instructions to download a push TAN app
  3. First time user name
  4. Debit card
  5. PIN for the debit card
  6. PIN for the credit card (which I still haven’t received)
  • And last but not least a code to launch the online banking
After all this I went online only to be told that my access had been blocked and am advised to call a number. Only, all agents are busy and I should call back at a later time. At this point, I am slowly running out of steam.
I know this is in the name of consumer protection and all. But it’s not consumer friendly. How hard can it be? In the USA you get your credit card, account, PIN, debit card, etc within a day or so. You can say a lot about consumer banking in the U.S. and I agree it is medieval. But consumer friendly it is and super easy.

And please don’t believe all the horror stories you hear about stolen credit cards, etc. I’ve had one incident in 15 years in the United States and I hope the enterprising gentleman in Cancun, Mexico who stole my credit card information was able to make the most out of the drill and porn subscription he bought. All it took for me was a five-minute phone call and everything was settled.


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