It's always fun to talk to the bank. You learn all this stuff that they don't tell you unless you hound them for the answer. Fun fact of this month: there is a fee they charge every time we use our debit cards!
Beyond the fee that we pay each month to keep the account open, we also pay for the privilege of having our cards because they don't accept normal credit cards here. We can hardly ever use our Visa card, American Express, etc. This is just one example of the nanny state Germany sometimes feels like. It makes one miss all the choices available in the States.
I should specify here that the charge is not a lot, but it highlights the major difference in opinion about how cards are viewed here versus the US. Germans would rather do cash for everything than risk going into debt. They don't trust themselves to keep track of their money if it's not on hand (of course, they're so organized, they'd be the best at it). In this instance, it's not like the Americans (or Ami's as my co-workers told us is the slang word for Americans in German) do it much better with their crazy amounts of debt. I wish there was something in between that would blend the traits of the two countries.