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I've lived in Germany for 5 months and I am employed full time with an above average salary. I've applied for a regular credit card (via Consors Finanz) but I was automatically denied¹, which does not surprise me.

When I lived in Canada, I had a secured credit card where I put 500$ in a fixed savings account in order to get a credit card with a 250$ limit, which I found rather low but was later raised to 500$ then 1000$ (requiring me to raise the fixed savings account to $1250).

When I lived in the UK, I had a "rebuild your credit" card with a 59% APR, which didn't bother me because I always pay off in full, and a £250 limit (later raised automatically).

Are there similar products in Germany? I need a credit card so that I can rent cars (and some other items). I've found Kreditkarte ohne Schufa but it's not clear to me whether those are real credit cards that will help for things like rental cars. I already have a prepaid multi-currency Mastercard debit card. May I have better luck getting a credit card through my Sparkasse (which has a monthly fee)?


¹

After filling my details such as address and income and agreeing to a Schufa check, after a couple of minutes the credit card website replied with:

Leider können wir aktuell Ihrem Kreditwunsch nicht entsprechen. Sehr geehrte herr Holl,

vielen Dank für Ihr Interesse an einer Finanzierung und für das Vertrauen, das Sie uns entgegen bringen. Leider können wir aktuell Ihrem Kreditwunsch nicht entsprechen. Die Kreditentscheidung erging aufgrund einer automatisierten Verarbeitung auf Basis Ihrer personenbezogenen Daten i.S.d. Art. 22 Datenschutz-Grundverordnung, also aufgrund einer ausschließlich automatisierten Verarbeitung Ihrer personenbezogenen Daten, die der Bewertung einzelner Persönlichkeitsmerkmale dienen. Wenn Sie Fragen zur Kreditentscheidung haben, erhalten Sie unter der Telefonnummer (089) 5511 3122 (bitte Option Taste 2 wählen) Auskunft.

Ihnen steht auch die E-Mail-Adresse ablehnung@consorsfinanz.de oder der Postweg an die Adresse “Consors Finanz, Postfach 20 20 54, 80020 München” zur Verfügung.

  • "Automatically denied"? Can you elaborate? Were there grounds for this denial? – phoog Jun 28 at 15:31
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    @phoog Added reply to question. Maybe "no-cost" credit cards are only for people who have had credit cards in Germany before? I've also been told that one cannot get a credit card if still on probation with employer, not sure if that's true or related or can be inferred from Schufa. – gerrit Jun 28 at 15:49
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    Technically there is no difference between debit Mastercard/Visa and credit one. You can use your Mastercard. Also, many banks issue a Visa/Mastercard along with a girocard when you have an account there. – Ex Patriot Jun 29 at 12:31
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    Less than 10% of Germans own a credit card. Not including me. Still, I can go to a car rental business of my choice and rent any car I want. How do I do that? I make a deposit (»Kaution«). Period. – Janka Jun 30 at 12:02
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    Did you apply for a credit card with the bank where you have an account? – Matias Valdenegro Aug 6 at 6:48
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Just apply for another free credit card. If you do not have any problems with Schufa, it should be possible. I find an idea to pay for a credit card quite strange. Rather, I prefer bank to pay me for a credit card. Currently, it is possible with Amazon VISA (bonus for opening a credit card, 0,5% cashback on all, 2% cashback on Amazon), Santander 1plus card (1% casback on gas stations), AmEx Payback (1% cashback on all except gas stations with MAX option). Check check24.de for more...

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    I'm less than 6 months in Germany; that may be considered as "a problem"; in the UK I learned that one cannot get a normal credit card within the first three years. I found the consorsfinanz one via check24. – gerrit Jul 5 at 11:05
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    Well, if I would be in your place, with salary and without Schufa problems, I will just keep trying. Applying for free credit cards does not hurt. Just do not ask for high credit limit, start with something like 500 euro or maybe 25% of your salary as alternative. – Andrey Sapegin Jul 5 at 20:56
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    In the worst case, try N26, they should be the most easy-going – Andrey Sapegin Jul 6 at 13:23

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