Hanseatic Credit Cards in Germany

Written by
Janine El-Saghir
Hanseatic Bank is a reputable financial institution that offers a range of credit cards tailored to the needs of expats. In this comprehensive guide, we compare the different credit cards provided by Hanseatic Bank, analyze their pros and cons, delve into their fees and features, discuss the application process, explore alternative options, and conclude with essential FAQs to help you make an informed decision.

Hanseatic Bank stopped new credit card applications in early September 2023. This decision aligns with the bank’s new strategic direction, prioritizing savings products.

Overview of Hanseatic Credit Cards

hanseatic credit card germany
Visa credit cards without a checking account.Foto: Hanseatic Bank

Founded in 1969 in Hamburg, Hanseatic Bank is a trusted financial institution that offers a range of credit card options to cater to different customer preferences. With a focus on providing convenience, flexibility, and attractive features, Hanseatic Bank’s credit cards have gained popularity among consumers. Let’s take a closer look at two of their prominent credit cards:

Hanseatic Bank GenialCard

The Hanseatic GenialCard is a revolving credit card that has gained recognition as one of the best free credit cards in Germany. It offers the following advantages:

  • No annual fee
  • Free worldwide payments in online shops and stores, including foreign currency transactions
  • Free cash withdrawals worldwide (ATM providers may charge their fees)
  • Flexibility to choose between partial payment or 100% monthly direct debit
  • Secure online transactions with the Visa Secure procedure

Hanseatic Bank GoldCard

The Hanseatic GoldCard is designed for travelers and offers extensive travel insurance coverage. Here are the key features of the GoldCard:

  • No annual fee for the first year for new customers (€35 from the second year unless annual turnover is at least €3,000)
  • Generous credit limit of up to €3,500
  • Free cash withdrawals worldwide
  • Wide acceptance at over 100 million locations globally
  • Flexible repayment options

Pros and Cons of Hanseatic Credit Cards

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of Hanseatic Bank credit cards to consider:

  • No annual fee for GenialCard.
  • Access to cash withdrawals worldwide without fees.
  • Flexible repayment options.
  • Contactless payment capability.
  • Extensive travel insurance coverage for GoldCard.
  • Access to exclusive discounts and offers.

  • GenialCard acceptance may not be available to all applicants.
  • Annual fee for GoldCard from the second year.
  • Minimum turnover requirement for waiving the GoldCard annual fee.

Fees of Hanseatic Credit Cards

Understanding the fees associated with Hanseatic Bank credit cards is crucial when making your decision. Here’s a brief overview of the fees:

  • Hanseatic Bank GenialCard: no annual fee, no fees for worldwide payments in online shops and stores, free cash withdrawals worldwide (ATM providers may charge their fees), partial payment incurs an annual interest rate of 16.45%.
  • Hanseatic Bank GoldCard: no annual fee for the first year for new customers, from the second year: €35 annual fee (waived with an annual turnover of at least €3,000), free cash withdrawals worldwide (ATM operators or bank branches may charge individual fees), foreign currency transactions outside the European Economic Area incur a 2.00% fee, higher annual percentage rate when using partial payment (21.79%).

Features of Hanseatic Credit Cards

hanseatic credit card germany features
You can choose between two ways of paying your credit card bill: partial payment or 100% monthly direct debit.Foto: Ridofranz / iStock

Hanseatic Bank credit cards offer a range of features that can enhance your financial experience. Some notable features include:

  • Repayment Options: Hanseatic credit cards offer flexible repayment options, allowing you to select between partial payment or 100% monthly direct debit. This means the card could be used as both a revolving credit card and a charge credit card.
  • Travel Insurance Coverage: GoldCard holders benefit from an extensive travel insurance package that includes travel cancellation and interruption insurance, foreign travel health insurance, baggage insurance, flight and baggage delay insurance, and smartphone insurance.
  • Exclusive Discounts and Offers: Hanseatic credit card holders gain access to various discounts and offers, including a voucher portal and exclusive travel portal discounts.
  • Contactless Payments: All Hanseatic credit cards are equipped with contactless payment functionality, enabling you to make quick and secure transactions with just a tap.

Compare Hanseatic Credit Cards

When comparing the Hanseatic GenialCard and Hanseatic GoldCard, consider your financial priorities and lifestyle. If you prefer a free credit card with flexibility in payments, the GenialCard might be a suitable choice. However, if you frequently travel and desire extensive travel insurance coverage, the GoldCard could be more appealing.

How to Apply for a Hanseatic Credit Card?

Requirements for the GenialCard:

  • Minimum Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Regular Income: Proof of a regular income is required.
  • Residency: You need to be a resident of Germany.
  • Valid Mobile Number: You must have a valid mobile number.
  • Credit History: A positive credit history enhances your chances of approval.

To apply for the Hanseatic GenialCard, you can follow these simple steps:

  • Online Application: Fill out the application form online, which takes approximately 5 minutes. You will receive an immediate decision on your application.
  • Identity Verification: Verify your identity through a video call and sign the application digitally.

After completing these steps, your GenialCard will be mailed to you shortly, and you can start using it right away.

Alternatives to Hanseatic Credit Cards in Germany

While Hanseatic Bank offers attractive credit card options, it’s essential to consider alternative credit cards available in the German market. Some alternatives to consider include:

  • Deutsche Bank Credit Cards: Deutsche Bank offers a range of credit cards with diverse benefits and features, catering to different needs.
  • N26 Credit Cards: N26 provides a digital banking experience with its credit cards, offering convenient features and a user-friendly mobile app.
  • Comdirect Credit Cards: Comdirect offers credit cards with cashback benefits, no foreign currency fees, and various other perks.


Choosing the right credit card is crucial for expats living in Germany, and Hanseatic Bank provides a range of credit cards that cater to diverse needs. The GenialCard and GoldCard offer unique features and benefits, such as fee-free cash withdrawals, flexible repayment options, and extensive travel insurance coverage. By understanding the pros and cons, comparing fees and features, and considering alternative options, expats can make an informed decision when selecting a Hanseatic credit card. Remember to review the eligibility criteria and application process to ensure a smooth and successful application experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hanseatic credit cards provide free cash withdrawals worldwide. However, ATM operators or bank branches may charge their fees.

Yes, Hanseatic credit cards allow balance transfers to a bank account, subject to applicable fees and terms.

In case of loss or theft, contact Hanseatic Bank immediately to block your card. Hanseatic Bank provides 24/7 customer support for such situations.

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