Commerzbank is a German banking institution with over 150 years experience offering financial services to private, small business and corporate clients in Europe. Commerzbank claims to have developed one of Germany’s most advanced online banking platforms, having merged with innovative mobile banking group Comdirect in 2020. We want to test this claim, by evaluating how easy and effective it is when sending money online using Commerzbank international transfer services.
Headquartered in Frankfurt, Commerzbank has a huge presence throughout Germany and the rest of Europe. After merging with Dresdner Bank in 2009,Commerzbank now looks after 30,000 corporate client groups and more than 11 million individual and small business clients.Over the last decade, Commerzbank has honed in on goals to combine personal advisory services with high quality digital services.
The financial group has improved their online offerings by developing their mobile app, producing a host of informative how-to videos and enhancing the services accessible through My Online Banking platform. Other successful digital ventures include Commerzbank’s Polish subsidiary, mBank, now the biggest digital bank in Poland, providing a range of innovative products and services solely online.
Yes it is possible to set up an international bank transfer with Commerzbank; this service is referred to as a Foreign Country/Foreign Currency Transfer. However, to send an international bank transfer customers must unblock transfers to/from foreign countries by logging into My Online Banking and selecting Change Transaction Limit for Transactions.
Every bank offers their own individual exchange rates and fee structures for international bank transfers and in this section we will look closely at Commerzbank services, comparing the cost to money transfer providers.
As of 25 May 2021, Commerzbank's GBP to EUR rate is 1.141 EUR, while their EUR to GBP rate is 0.85 GBP. Forex rates change every day, so it's best to check the bank's transfer rates right before making an international money transfer.
International money transfers with Commerzbank have an FX margin rate of 1.5%. This means that if you are sending 100 EUR abroad, your recipient will receive the equivalent of 98.5 EUR in the currency they will be receiving it in. If they will receive it in GBP, this means they will receive 83.72 GBP.
It is essential to know the exchange rates and transfer fees of banks before doing an international money transfer, so you know exactly how much you will spend and how much the other party will receive.
Commerzbank's transfer fees vary greatly depending on the destination country, the recipient's currency, and the mode of transfer.
Transfers within Germany to other countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) in euros or in another EEA currency:
SEPA money transfers via telephone with a personal identification number cost EUR 1.50 per transfer. Still, they cost EUR 6.00 per transfer if the transfer is an informal one. Express transfers are possible only for SEPA transfer orders within Germany, and they cost 11 EUR per transfer.
Real-time SEPA money transfers are charged at EUR 1.50 per transfer. However, Premium Accounts do not incur charges for real-time SEPA money transfers.
For domestic transfer orders in euros (except SEPA Credit Transfer) or other EEA currencies and remittance orders to other countries in the EEA in euros (except SEPA transfer) or in another EEA currency, the standard handling fee is EUR 2.50 per transfer with different transaction-related fees for SHARE transfers and OUR transfers.
Transfers within Germany to other countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) in the currency of a country outside the EEA (third country currency), as well as transfers to countries outside the EEA (third countries):
The standard handling fee is 2.50 EUR per transfer. If the amount to be transferred is below EUR 250, there is an additional transaction-related fee of EUR 10.00. If the amount to be transferred is above EUR 250, then the transaction-related fee is 1.5% of the amount to be transferred. However, the fee will be at least 12.50 EUR.
Telephone transfers, informal transfers, and transfers by fax have an additional transaction fee of EUR 11.00.
Payments in non-freely convertible currencies have a transaction fee of 3% of the amount to be transferred. However, the fee will be at least EUR 30.00 and will not go beyond EUR 200.00.
Commerzbank has additional fees for specific circumstances, such as revocation of a transfer after receipt of the payment order at the bank, justified refusal to execute an authorized SEPA transfer order due to insufficient funds, and repair fees for paperless orders that are not processed fully automatically per transfer.
There are still plenty of additional fees that Commerzbank will charge, depending on the situation. For a comprehensive list, it is best to check the bank's price list ("Preisaushang") or call the bank itself if you find it difficult to determine the exact fees you will have to pay.
The broker rates for money transfer providers in Germany range from EUR 1.72 to EUR 7.50, depending on the transfer method and the exact money service provider you will be using, like Azimo, Wise, or Currencyfair.
On the other hand, Commerzbank's fees start at EUR 1.50, but additional fees can go up to EUR 25.00.
Additionally, you should also consider the exchange margin. The margin is fixed at 1.5% in Commerzbank, while money transfer providers' margins start at 0.7%.
Like any other financial institution, using the services of a bank comes with its own pros and cons. In the case of Commerzbank, you will have to choose between convenience vs. time and costs.
Given the limited information available about Commerzbank, it seems that the cons outweigh the pros. For those looking to save as much as possible, money transfer providers are the better option.
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To open an account with Commerzbank, you may either apply online and verify your identity subsequently. You may also open an account personally through one of their branches.
Account openings can be done through their branch or online. To book an appointment, you can go to their website.
If you want to open an account online, go to Commerzbank's registration portal and fill out the forms with the necessary details. At the end of the application form, you will have to download your completed form and print it.
You will then need to verify your identity, which can be done through a video call, PostIdent, or through a physical branch. A few days after verification, you will receive your Girocard and other necessary documents.
Opening a current account (Kostenloses Girokonto) with Commerzbank is free of charge. All new accounts receive a starting balance of EUR 50.00 after three months of active use with at least five monthly bookings of EUR 25.00 or more. The account holder must also consent to promotional emails and calls.
Withdrawals from Commerzbank branches and ATMs (along with ATMs of Deutsche Bank, UniCredit Bank, Postbank, and their subsidiaries) are also free of charge.
Current accounts with Commerzbank have optional extra features which clients can have by paying a premium. The extra "Klassik" waives the minimum monthly payment, with additional benefits on transfers, standing orders, and direct debits for a monthly fee.
The extra "Premium" is best for frequent travelers. Accountholders get two debit cards, two exclusive premium credit cards, and comprehensive insurance coverage for the account holder and their family.
Current accounts have a monthly maintenance fee of EUR 6.90. However, the account becomes free of charge upon meeting the following conditions:
The current account is used privately;
There is a minimum monthly cash receipt of EUR 700.00.
The current account is kept digitally (undocumented) and uses ATMs of Commerzbank or the Cash Group.
Insofar as no deposit fee is charged.
Through Commerzbank's Customer Promotion Program, clients who recommend the free current account will receive EUR 100.00 as a referral bonus.
Customer service is available through mobile banking through the app, online banking through the website, personally through a branch, or through the 24/7 landline phone number.
Commerzbank has multiple hotlines. Private clients can call +49 (0) 69 5 8000 8000, while business clients can call +49 (0) 69 5 8000 9000.
The other hotline numbers are also available for specific services:
Lock access to online banking: +49 (0) 69 / 50 50 27 86
Credit card blocking: +49 (0) 69 / 66 57 19 99
Account card blocking: +49 (0) 1805 / 021 021
Questions relating to HBCI and Starmoney: +49 (0) 69 / 98 66 0022
The hotline for questions relating to HBCI and Starmoney is available Monday – Friday from 07:00 am – 07:00 pm. All other hotlines are available 24/7.
Commerzbank also has an online contact form for concerns and inquiries.
As with most commercial banks, Commerzbank charges high fees to go along with its international money transfers. Additionally, the exchange rate is less favorable compared to the rates used by dedicated money transfer providers.
The speed of money transfers with Commerzbank is also quite long. It takes 5-7 days, compared to dedicated money transfer providers, which can transfer money internationally in just one day.
For those who wish to send money on the go, sending money through Commerzbank is a viable choice. Still, it is best to know exactly how much you will incur in transaction fees. Those who have the time to use a dedicated money service provider can save much more and transfer their money quicker.
There is no objectively correct choice between the two options. In the end, the choice depends on your needs, circumstances, and preferences.
Here, we will provide insight into common areas of interest from prospective and existing Commerzbank customers, with a specific focus on international transfers.