Germany - Debit Card
Because credit cards are not widely accepted, a debit card is indispensible. The card to have is the EC card. The monthly fees and transaction charges for the EC card are higher than for a basic debit card, but it's well worth it.
The EC card is accepted throughout Europe. You can use it in shops, many hotels and guest houses and to withdraw money from ATMs "Bankautomat". Check which banking conglomerate your bank is a part of, as you can use ATMs that belong to your bank and its partners for free. There is a charge for using ATMs that do not belong to the group. Also, when you withdraw money abroad some banks (Dresdner being one of them) charge a hefty 4.50 euros per foreign ATM transaction.