N26 review – Is the N26 bank account right for you?

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In a time of digital banking where overseas travel is an everyday activity for many people, we’re in dire need for an awesome international bank. We no longer agree to paying high banking fees and getting horrible exchange rates. Digital banks pop-up everywhere and they clearly offer better rates, less fees, and better currency exchange rates.

N26 is one of these digital banks we love a lot. Over a year ago, we started testing new banks, because we were tires of handing over our hard earned money to foreign currency exchange rates and foreign withdrawal fees. Just like some other online banks, N26 offers great value to its users. We tried a few of these online banking services and decided to write up an N26 bank review for our readers!

The N26 bank boasts a few great assets and different card options, which we will discuss in this article. Some specialty features like N26 Moneybeam, N26 black and the N26 business account will be explained further down this post, so keep reading!

What is the N26 Card

N26 is a Berlin based banking platform that used to fo by the name Number 26 bank. Today it has become N26 bank. Since N26 started out in 2013, their growth has gone through the roof.

The N26 bank works with a prepaid credit card system which can be used as a MasterCard or VISA card, but you need to top up your N26 account balance before spending money with the N26 credit card.

After conquering the entire European continent, N26 is now on its way to start business in the United States and the US has been waiting for them.

N26 Card Options

N26 Personal Account

The N26 personal account is probably the most used plan of the 3. You can get it for free and it comes with some perks. This is also the account we use and it covers everything we need as travelers.

  • Free DE current account
  • Free EU IBAN account
  • ATM cash withdrawals in € are free
  • ATM withdrawals in other currencies come with a fee!
  • FX transactions in any currency
  • Worldwide bank transfers to transfer money worldwide
  • Card delivery is free
  • Great customer support

The regular N26 bank account is free!

N26 Black Personal Account

The N26 black bank account might be a better deal if you’re traveling abroad a lot and if you plan on using ATM withdrawals. With the standard account, you will still pay currency exchange fees if you withdraw money in a different currency than your own.

  • Free DE current account
  • Free EU IBAN account
  • ATM withdrawals in € are free
  • FX transactions in any currency
  • Worldwide bank transfers to transfer money worldwide
  • Card delivery is free
  • Great customer support
  • Travel insurance by Allianz is included
  • Extended warranty on purchases
  • Cash protection in case of a robbery
  • Smartphone insurance

N26 Pricing for the N26 Black account is 9,90€ per month.

N26 Business Account

The N26 Business account is a MasterCard for freelancers and self-employed people. The downside is that you can only have 1 N26 account, so if you already have an N26 personal account, you can’t get a Business account.

  • Free international Business MasterCard
  • Free DE current account
  • Free EU IBAN account for business
  • Free ATM withdrawals in all currencies
  • 0.1% cashback on all your purchases
  • FX transactions in any currency
  • Worldwide bank transfers to transfer money worldwide
  • Card delivery is free
  • Great customer support

The N26 business account is free, but it only applies for self-employed or freelancers.

What is N26 Moneybeam?

N26 Moneybeam allows you to send money to your smartphone contacts without having access to their banking information.

If your contact is an N26 user, the money will directly appear into their N26 account.

Otherwise they will receive a link in a text or an email where they can specify their banking details. The money will then be sent to their regular bank account. If the money has not arrived into their bank within 7 days, it will return to your own N26 account.

Is N26 secure?

N26 operates through a three-layered security architecture. All transactions are wired through a secure and encrypted platform.

You can secure your mobile app with a pincode or with a fingerprint within the settings of your app.

N26 works with a 3D secure protect system. This security protects you agains online card fraud. After making an online purchase, you’ll get a push message on your smartphone. The transaction is pending until you confirm it on your phone.

Inside the mobile N26 app, you can adjust your security settings at any time you wish with a simple click. Keep reading to find out about the options.

N26 app Screenshot Welcome
N26 app Screenshot Balance
N26 app Screenshot Statistics

The mobile N26 app

N26 created a cool and secure mobile app with all the features you might need to take care of your banking business.

N26 app

The N26 mobile app looks awesome and it can do tons of things you might need for functionality. Our Belgian banking app doesn’t do quite as much.

When making a purchase in a store or withdrawing money at an ATM the mobile app will immediately notify me of the transaction. This is very reassuring and I like this feature a lot.

These are the things you can do within the N26 app:

  • view transactions
  • see analytics for transactions and check monthly averages
  • find ATM where you can withdraw cash for free or shows you the fee for the ATM’s available
  • transfer money, request money or use N26 MoneyBeam
  • change your security settings
  • upgrade your account
  • create spaces within your account
  • change personal details and account details

Security Settings

Within your N26 mobile app, it’s easy to secure your N26 card with some quick settings. You can immediately

  • freeze or lock your card immediately
  • change or reset pin code or set login to fingerprint
  • set daily withdrawal and payments limits
  • select which notifications you wish to receive

You can also change your card settings to improve security with these settings:

  • activate or deactivate payments abroad
  • enable or disable online payments
  • enable or disable ATM withdrawals

The N26 online platform

N26 allows you to do your banking from a computer by logging into your N26 account through your web browser. On this website, you can also find tons of information about N26.

The N26 online platform offers the same functionality as the mobile app. It even offers this cool feature where you can close a tiny eye in order not to see the exact amounts that are in your account as I did in the screenshot below!

They have recently introduced a cool dark mode, which I obviously activated straight away!

N26 desktop app Screenshot

How to get an N26 card

  1. Check the FAQ’s below to see if you’re a resident in one of the countries where N26 is available. If so, proceed to the next step!
  2. You can start opening an account by downloading the app or start the process in the online N26 platform
  3. Confirm your email and personal details and select the type of account you wish to open
  4. Prove your identity in with one of the available methods. Find out more about proving your identity and applying for an N26 account in our article about ‘How to apply for an N26 account’
  5. Your account has now been opened and you can start wiring money to it
  6. Your physical N26 will be delivered for free within the next few days.

How to top up your N26 Card

N26 top up with a Bank Transfer

Top up your N26 account balance with a SEPA transfer from your regular bank account.

We created a contact for our N25 account and top it up each time our funds drop below a certain amount.

Top up N26 with CASH26

This option is only available to users from Austria and Germany.

With this method you can top up your account with cash in one of the shops or stores that are mentioned on the N26 website.

Advantages of N26

  • Make payments worldwide with real time exchange rates
  • Free international money transfers
  • Great mobile banking app
  • Secure and encrypted platform
  • Send money to people without knowing their banking information through N26 MoneyBeam
  • The N26 card looks pretty slick and the N26 black card looks even cooler!
  • Combine N26 with Apple Pay or Google Pay to make payments

Disadvantages of N26

  • ATM withdrawals in foreign currencies are not free
  • Refusal due to insufficient funds are 3€ per refusal

N26 FAQ

Currently N26 is only available for residents of certain EU countries. N26 will be available to users from other countries in the future. For instance, the next region N26 is focusing on, is the US.

N26 accounts can be opened by residents of the following countries:

Germany, Austria, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Finland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Estonia, Greece, Slovakia, the UK, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland

Notice: products and service vary depending on the country you’re a resident in.

N26 is partnering with TransferWise to make foreign currency transactions better. With the TransferWise partnership, N26 offers real-time exchange rates for money transfers in other currencies.

N26 currently does not support cryptocurrencies

You can get an N26 card if you’re older than 18 years old and if you’re a resident in one of the accepted countries.

N26 offers travel insurance for N26 Black users. In the N26 Black account the insurance, provided by Allianz, is included in the monthly plan.

You have an option to make claims inside the N26 app

There is no option to get travel insurance within the standard account. So as a standard user, you have to upgrade to get it! but I must say: 9,90€ per month to get travel insurance is not expensive!

You can easily open a support chat within your N26 mobile app. You can access a live chat within the mobile app or the online platform.

At first, you’ll be connected to a cool chatbot names Neon, which offers you a plethora of different answers to basic questions.

With the magic words: /human you can connect to a human support agent within seconds.

I tried customer support for the sake of this review and I was very pleased to be talking to a kind support agent who answered my questions very quickly.

There are no recurring fees with the Standard N26 account and the N26 Business. Fees do apply when using ATM withdrawals in foreign currencies.

The N28 Black account has a monthly cost of 9,90€, but it includes a lot of advantages for that price, like travel insurance and more.

If you’re wiring money to an overseas account, it’s always possible that the receiving bank will still charge fees.

N26 offers an overdraft feature, but it’s only available to users in Germany and Austria. If you’re a resident of one of these countries, you can activate the overdraft feature in your mobile app under the Credit tab.

N26 uses a standard risk model to determine if you’re eligible for the Overdraft feature.

N26 Moneybeam allows you to send money to your smartphone contacts without having access to their banking information.

CASH26 is a service that is available to users from Germany or Austria. With CASH 26 you can deposit or withdraw money for free in different establishments within Germany and Austria.

Withdrawing cash is free, but depositing cash is only free up to 100€. After that, there’s a 1,5% charge.

N26 Spaces are separate folders inside of your N26 account where you can easily set aside some money. This way, you can set aside money in order to save up for things.

N26 or N26 Business users can have up to 2 separate Spaces. N26 Black users can have up to 10 Spaces inside their account.

There are a few other banks available that are similar to the N26 bank. Each of these offer different perks and have different advantages and disadvantages.

We compared the N26 bank with the Revolut bank in this article and we also wrote a Revolut review on our blog.

N26 Review - Is the N26 prepaid travel card right for you?

Only you can really decide that!

The N26 travel card actually fits our needs perfectly. We tried more than one prepaid travel card and the N26 card came out of this test pretty great!

We love using N26 a lot and it changed the way we used our card during our travels a lot. We learned how to optimise our use. Previously, we used to withdraw most of our money from an ATM because our Belgian bank didn’t support overseas payments in stores. They did charge a lot of ATM fees for withdrawals abroad, but that was still the best option.

Now we do all of our payments with our card and we rarely withdraw money from ATM’s.

Check out the review we wrote about the Revolut Travel card and our post where we compare N26 vs Revolut.

In the future, we also plan on testing Transferwise and review this online banking platform. So keep your eyes on our blog to see future updates or subscribe to our mailing list in order to get the best deals straight into your mailbox.

Are you using a travel banking platform? If so, let us know which one and especially, whether you like it or not!

2 Responses

  1. I love N26! I have been using it for about a year and have paid no fees at all. The two times that my card was last and stolen they were even able to reverse the replacement card fee. Also, now I am in London and the exchange rate they converted the purchase to was 0.86 versus the 0.83 that my bank would have charged me. That can add up to a good amount if you make many purchases.

    1. That’s great! I haven’t lost my card so far, so it’s great to hear your input on that matter… Not such a fun experience losing the card though 😉 Glad they could solve it in a way that suited you well! And yes! I’m also very happy with those exchange rates! Who wouldn’t? Thanks for your awesome comment. Happy travels and keep your new card safe 😁

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