N26 Review 2023: Learn More Before Opening Account
Online banks are becoming more and more prevalent as the norm of going to a physical institution to open a financial account fades. These days, online banks have already covered the need to receive and send money, deposit cash, and make payments.
And the benefit of talking to bank representatives face-to-face looks pale compared to lower fees and faster payments/withdrawals. Besides, online banks have been around for a while, and they can offer as much safety as a traditional one.
Take, for example, N26. This German and fully online bank is one of the most trusted ones in the industry. But since you will probably open one account with such a bank, it's good to do your due diligence and learn as much as you can about it.
What is N26?
N26 is a 100% digital German bank. This means that it has no branches like a traditional bank. At the same time, it means that you can only withdraw cash from an ATM.
But this comes with a great advantage when it comes to the fees they charge and the variety of services that traditional banks can't provide.
The bank's founders Max and Valentin created the company back in 2013 to solve problems with physical institutions and set a new standard in the banking industry. Fast-forward to now, and they seem to have already achieved that through innovative technology and the best professionals worldwide.
Now, the bank consists of over 1,500 people diversified across Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Milan, New York, Vienna, and São Paulo.
- Zero ATM Withdrawal Fees
- No monthly Maintenance Fees
- Interface and N26 Support in English
- Very Low Exchange Rates
- Push notifications to Track Activity
- Signing Up Doesn't Take More than a Couple of Minutes
- Deposits Only Support EUR and USD
- No Support through the Phone
- Cash Withdrawals In Foreign Currency Have Fees
Is N26 Safe?
Yes, this bank can be considered as safe as a traditional one.
First of all, it is regulated in Germany, which provides an extra layer of protection and trust.
Now, if you're a US citizen, your money will be FDIC insured, which means that up to $250,000, no matter the bank's fate, your money is protected. That's only possible because N26 has a partnership with Axos Bank, which is an FDIC member.
If you're a European citizen, your deposits are protected up to €100,000 thanks to the Compensation Scheme of German Private Banks.
Let's also examine the various security features the app provides to ensure your money is safe.
N26 App Security
The bank's app (Android & Apple) allows you to:
- Lock your card if it gets lost or stolen
- Reset your PIN
- Modify daily limits
- Enable/disable online or foreign payments
- Customize card permissions
- Log-in through fingerprint verification
- Enable push-notifications to track your transactions
Since the bank partners with Mastercard, you will also enjoy the Mastercard SecureCode service, which will prevent fraud through the 3D Secure payment system.
Platform & Features
Let's now examine all the features you can expect from both the mobile and desktop platforms:
- You can deposit, send, and receive money directly through the app (desktop or mobile)
- Has partnered with Wise (formerly TransferWise) to help you get one of the best exchange rates when you send money internationally
- Supports Google Pay to allow you to make both online and in-store purchases
- You can configure withdrawal and daily spending to have better control of your finances
- You can generate spending statistics and categorize your expenses into groups automatically
- The Spaces feature allows you to set money aside for a specific financial goal to have a clearer picture of how close you are to achieving it
- Through the MoneyBeam feature, you will be able to send money instantly and without entering bank details if the receiver already has an N26 account
The N26 Business is great for freelancers and entrepreneurs residing in the US or parts of the European Union. It comes with many useful features, including several types of insurance.
- The currency exchange is inexpensive
- Three free ATM withdrawals per month, anywhere in the world
- Very low fees, free card, and free account
- Mobile app
- Potential issues regarding re-verification
- Limited to the US and Europe
- 24x7 phone support isn’t available
- Pulled out of the United Kingdom unexpectedly.
The Standard account comes with free instant bank transfers with SEPA Instant Credit Transfers and N26 MoneyBeam. You can use the app to easily manage all of the finances of your business. With the Standard bank account, you get a virtual card to spend in apps and stores and a free debit Mastercard.
The Smart account includes free ATM withdrawals, access to exclusive partner offers, and free payments in the currency that you want.
The Business You account includes the following benefits:
- If a trip is canceled, there is a compensation of up to €10,000
- In the case of an emergency, your kids and your partner have the advantage of medical travel insurance.
- With every purchase you make, you get 0.1% cashback.
- Up to 5 free withdrawals in the Eurozone.
With the Business Metal account, you get a dedicated priority line to contact the customer support team through the phone if you’re having any issues. You have phone insurance of up to €1,000 if your phone gets damaged or stolen. You can use insurance packages for flight luggage, home rental car hires, and trip cancellation. Your kids and partners have medical insurance if any emergency occurs. With every purchase, you get 0.5% cashback.
N26 Business standard comes at €0.00 per month. The N26 Business Metal comes at €16.90 per month, the N26 Business You comes at €9.90 per month, and the N26 Business Smart comes at €4.90 per month.
All accounts come with a 0% currency conversion fee. Once you have reached your monthly fee withdrawal limit for the Eurozone, you will be charged a transaction fee of €2, which means that there are ATM fees. With the standard account, you will pay a card fee of €10.
When Should You Use It?
The business accounts from N26 are created for freelancers and come with several features of the N26 personal accounts plus a few more.
This digital bank is available for residents of the USA, Estonia, Italy, Austria, Greece, Slovenia, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Finland, Portugal, France, Liechtenstein, Denmark, Slovakia, Iceland, and Poland.
See if N26 Is a Good Fit for You
Fees & Commissions
Let us now take a look at the bank's cost structure. There are 4 plans for you to choose from to create an account:
This plan is free and offers:
- A virtual debit card
- Contactless payments
- Mobile payments
- Free international payments
- Up to 3 free withdrawals
- Spending insights
- Chatbot support
- Deposit protection of up to €100,000
- 3D security for online payments
- Two-factor authentication for logging in
This account costs €4.90 per month and offers everything that the Standard does, plus:
- An optional extra card for a one-time fee
- Up to 10 Spaces sub-accounts
- Shared sub-accounts
- Premium partner offers
This account costs €9.90 per month and has everything that the Smart does, but also:
- Unlimited free withdrawals in any currency
- Medical travel insurance
- Trip insurance
- Pandem travel coverage
- Flight insurance
- Luggage coverage
- Mobility insurance
- Winter sport insurance
- Phone support
This account costs €16.90 per month and will provide you with everything the You plan does, but more:
- Car rent insurance
- Phone insurance
- Dedicated line
How to Open an Account
Here's see how you can open an account in 3 simple steps:
- Fill out the online registration form
- Complete an ID verification
- Pair a smartphone with your account
Just keep in mind that if your address is not in Germany, you will need to take a selfie and photo of your ID via the app to complete the verification of your identity.
Now, if you live in Germany, you will have to do this through an in-app video call, or you can visit a German post office as an alternative.
How to Deposit/Withdraw Money with N26
Here are the steps you need to follow to deposit/withdraw money:
1. Log in and tap on "CASH26" in the "Cards" tab.
2. Choose "Deposit cash" or "Withdraw Cash" and type in how much you'd like to deposit/withdraw
3. After the app generates a scannable CASH26 barcode, show it to the cashier at the checkout.
4. Deposit/withdraw the amount you chose with the cashier
How to Withdraw Money from an ATM
And at last, here is how you can withdraw from ATMs:
- Insert your card or scan your virtual one through the reader
- Choose a language
- Enter your 4-digit PIN
- Select withdrawal for the transaction type
- Enter the amount of money you wish to withdraw
How to send money with N26
As we mentioned before, this bank has partnered with Wise (formerly TransferWise) to help you send money while keeping the costs as low as possible. But the process isn't in the least complicated as you will make the transfer directly through the bank's app.
This is how you can transfer money with it:
- Log in and navigate to the "Home" screen
- Tap on the "Send Money" option and then select "Foreign Currency Transfer"
- Enter the amount that you would like to send and choose the currency
- Add the recipient's bank details and when you're ready, confirm the transfer
How to get a N26 card
Getting your card isn't complicated. Once you verify your identity, you are immediately eligible to receive a physical card.
Keep in mind that it can take as much as 15 business days for your card to arrive. You may have to wait even longer if you live in a rural area. Fortunately, you will be able to keep track of the delivery progress via the app.
If you want it faster, you will have to choose the "Express Delivery" option that will take as much as 3 business days. Just keep in mind that the cost for this service starts from €25.
But here's the deal. You won't have to wait for the card to arrive to start using it to a certain degree. You can simply add your virtual card to an Apple Pay or Google Pay wallet and use it for stores that support this payment method if you want.
Also, if you are a Premium client, you are eligible for an extra card. This can be beneficial if you end up losing your first card or it gets stolen.
N26 Customer Support
N26 offers online chat support to its users; however, the agents are a bit slow when it comes to answering. If you don’t speak German, you’ll be glad to hear that they have customer support in English. The standard account only has a chat and email support, while N26 You, N26 Smart, and N26 Metal have phone support as well.
No matter whether you want to deposit money, transfer funds, or make payments, this bank will help you do all of that and more. Fees are low, features are abundant, and you can have your account opened in minutes.
Not to mention that N26 has been operating for nearly a decade. This is very reassuring when it comes to the banking industry.
The most common reason people are discouraged from opening an account with a digital bank is safety. Fortunately, N26 is one of the safest ones out there, so this shouldn't worry you much.
All in all, this bank is a great option for anyone who wants to combine the safety of a traditional bank with the flexibility of a digital one.
Find an Affordable Digital Bank That Suits Your Needs
To load money to your N26 account, you can use direct deposit, payment apps, debit card transfer, external bank transfer, or you can receive instant money transfers from your friends through MoneyBeam.
N26 is an alternative to traditional banks. It is a mobile banking platform that offers a checking account that is backed by Axos Bank. It is a great choice for people who like to travel often or who do business in multiple currencies.
To transfer money from N26 to your bank account, you need to open your N26 app. Click on Add Money, and click on External bank transfer. Then, go to Link an account, and click on Continue. Select your bank, and enter your online credentials. Then, click on Continue. After you’ve selected the account you want to link, you can click on Select, and now you’ve linked your account and can transfer money.