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  1. How do I check the credit balance of my prepaid plan?
  2. Do I have to pay when I get called or when I receive SMS?
  3. What does a German mobile phone number look like?
  4. Does it cost me something if I call someone but the person doesn’t pick up?
  5. Do I need a German bank account?
  6. Which carrier should I choose?
  7. Is my phone compatible with the German mobile network?
  8. How can I reach customer service or a support hotline?

How do I check the credit balance of my prepaid plan?

In order to check your current balance, just type the following code and press the call button. Your credit balance will be shown on your display. Checking your balance doesn’t cost you anything.
Congstar: *100#
O2: *101#
Vodafone: *100# or *106#

If you prefer an audio balance check, call these numbers:
Congstar: 9577
O2: 5667, then select “2”
Vodafone: 22922

Do I have to pay when I get called or when I receive SMS?


No, when someone is calling you on your German phone plan in Germany or sends you SMS you don’t have to pay anything. Receiving calls and SMS (text messages) is free. However, when you travel outside of Germany you will have to pay a redirection fee for phone calls (SMS are still free to receive). Within the European Union this fee is 0,06€ per minute (by law).

What does a German mobile phone number look like?

Mobile phone numbers and landline numbers look different in Germany and have different logics. A mobil phone number consists of the country code (+49), the carrier code (e.g. 176) and your personal number (12345678):

+49 176 12345678

When being in Germany, you can leave out the country code and just put a zero in front of the carrier code:

0176 12345678

Most of the times you can identify someone’s carrier by looking at their carrier code (doesn’t work when they moved their number from one carrier to the other), you can find an overview of the carrier codes >here<.

A landline number will have a city code instead of the carrier code. You can find the complete list of all city codes >here<.

Does it cost me something if I call someone but the person doesn’t pick up?

It depends. If you call someone and get to voicemail, you will be charged for at least one minute.

However, when you just ring a few times without getting to voicemail, you won’t have to pay anything. This means merely “ringing” people is free (if they don’t pick up).

Do I need a German bank account?

No, for most prepaid plans, you don’t need a German bank account. However, a postpaid plan requires a German bank account. Some prepaid plans also require a German bank account to pay for the initial fee.

If you don’t have one, you can contact us via payment-service@mygermanphone.de and we will be able to help you. You can see all plans that don’t require a German bank account >here<.

Which carrier should I choose?

We have put together a nice overview of the German carriers and which one to chose right here.

Is my phone compatible with the German mobile network?

Usually, most smartphones support various network frequencies and are compatible with the German network. However, if you are unsure, you could check your phone’s supported network frequency bands.

GSM (2G): Voice calls and text messages; some very slow data transmission as well.

UMTS (3G): Voice call and data transmission; speed usually up to 384 kbit/s.

LTE (4G): Voice call and data transmission; speed usually up to 100 MBit/s.

For GSM service in Germany, your phone needs to support the FDD frequency bands 3 (1800-MHz) and 8 (900-MHz).

For UMTS, Germany uses band 1 (2100-MHz) like most of the world (except USA).

For German LTE data service, your phone needs to support the LTE-FDD bands 1 (2100-MHz), 3 (1800-MHz), 7 (2600-MHz) and 20 (800-MHz). If some of the bands are not supported by your phone, your connection speed will probably not reach the usual LTE speed and will be limited.
For example, Vodafone and O2 use band 20 (800-MHz) in rural areas as well as cities.
Deutsche Telekom (Congstar) also uses band 20 (800-MHz) on the countryside, but mostly makes use of band 3 (1800-MHz) in cities. Deutsche Telekom (Congstar) also started using band 8 (900-MHz) for LTE, while Vodafone and O2 still use that frequency band for GSM.

How can I reach customer service or a support hotline?

We have created an overview of all contact options (including hotlines) for Vodafone, O2 and Congstar here.

11 Responses

  1. Priviati Fabiane

    Hi. I’m trying to get a vodafone suppport to get some informations about my account in Germany, but I can’t find the office contact. Could you help me sending a contact that speaks in English?
    Thank you.
    Regards.

  2. Hi,
    Which prepaid provider lets you choose available number?
    For example here in Spain with Yoigo I can choose my own number on the website and see if it is available or not, and when I was in the Netherlands at a t-mobile shop, even though I cannot freely choose any number, but the guy let me chose from a box of around 30-40 available number. Almost the same when buying from supermarket (providing you can take it by yourself and dont hv to ask the employees for help.
    The reason is because I am going to stay in Germany for 1 year or more, and for the same price, if I can choose easy number to remember, why not?
    Thanks

  3. Hi,

    I will be travelling to southern Germany in late June through to the end of July. I will be spending about 21 days total in Germany with some day trips to France, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Additionally, I will be in the Salzburg and Vienna areas in Austria for about 10 days total before returning to Munich for the last three days of the trip before flying home to Canada. There will definitely be times when we are away from the major cities, including farms and small villages, and hiking in the mountains. Texting and data will likely be more common but phone is necessary to confirm hotel reservations or other inquiries.

    Do you have any suggestions?

  4. Hi,
    If I order a sim card to the US, with what local DE address do you activate the card? I read that you need a local address to activate sim cards in Germany

    • Just give them the address of your accommodation (hotel/hostel/friend’s house), or type in any address that looks closest to your US address. 😉

  5. Dear ,

    My dad who is 80yo will be traveling to hamburg, germany next month for 30 days.
    He needs a prepaid sim with unlimited data, please let me know what package I should choose ?
    Please note that tethering is needed as he will share the connection to his iPad via Hotspot function in his smartphone. Is it possible ?

    Best regards,

    • Dear Tony,
      there is no German prepaid sim with unlimited (fast) data, yet. All data plans are basically unlimited, but limiting the speed after the included data allowance. Then the internet connection is so slow, that it is basically not usable anymore. (But WhatsApp and emails still work)
      I would recommend either Vodafone or O2 SIM cards: http://www.mygermanphone.de/free-sim-cards/

  6. Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  7. Carlena Mrkvicka

    I love it whenever people get together and share views. Great website, continue the good work!

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