“Bring lots of cash, because German stores won’t accept your credit card”

Plastic money is common in Germany, but debit cards are used more regularly than credit cards.
However, all car rental companies, big brand gas stations, airlines, most hotels and many restaurants will accept all major credit cards.
Since credit card companies charge relatively high commissions (e.g. 3%) from shop owners, your Mastercard/VISA/Amex/Whatever will be more welcome in exclusive retail stores than in the smaller ones or discounts.
Because pricing is higly competitive especially in the food industry (leading to food prices often substantially lower than in the U.S.), most supermarkets will not accept credit cards but only debit cards (Maestro or the like).
Rule of thumb: use cash for amounts below 10 Euros, debit cards for up to 500 Euros (usually this is the maximum guaranteed by bank) and credit cards for over 25 Euros.
Many debit cards nowadays have an integrated money card-chip (”Geldkarte”) which can be loaded with up to 250 Euros and used to by stuff from vending machines (e.g. for railway tickets).

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