N26 Review (2024 Updated) Is it Safe and Worth it?

Last Updated on April, 2024

Anyone looking for a modern banking experience that goes well with the modern lifestyle could find the N26 Bank Account useful. 

It’s a digital bank that enables you to manage your cash effectively. But what features and services does N26 have to offer, and is it the right option for you? 

Well, we’re about to find out all about it in this in-depth review. We’ll cover N26’s safety, service offerings, customer reviews, and so much more, so keep reading. 

About N26

N26 online banking logo

N26 is a German-licensed bank that launched the first-ever mobile bank on the market. After a humble beginning, the bank kept on adding more services and now has its banking app.

People from all over Europe can use this app, which has a modern quality mobile banking experience without any physical branches to visit. With an N26 online bank account, you’ll get a German bank account that comes with a mobile-first banking experience. 

Moreover, N26 has a low monthly fee and offers cheap international transfers with Wise money transfer service. However, their services are not available in the US after January 18th, 2022. 

How Does it Work?

With your N26 account, you can conveniently carry out regular transactions as you would do with any other bank. However, your N26 account is fully digital and cutting-edge. 

Just download the N26 app on your smartphone set up your PIN and change your withdrawal limits. This app also enables you to activate or deactivate your card, things you weren’t able to do with your normal account card. 

Moreover, this card comes with an IBAN so you can carry out different financial transactions, including making and receiving international bank transfers, crediting your salary from your employer, and withdrawing it whenever you need at any banking counter.

And of course, being an account card, with your N26 card you can even rent cars or other activities that you weren’t able to perform without a credit card. How cool is that?

With your N26 bank account, you’ll get a contactless card that will enable you to wave or tap your card over a card reader (no swiping). Most smartphones come with contactless payment technology, and you won’t need your wallet at all. 

What’s Contactless Payment?

a screenshot of N26 contactless cards

It’s a way of paying that requires no cash or card swipe`. Just hold or tap your contactless card or even your smartphone near a card reader (compatible) when checking out. The terminal will automatically connect the bank account, and the purchase will be made within a few seconds. 

Contactless transactions (including bank transfers) take place either with the help of RFID (radio frequency identification) or NFC (near-field communication).

With the purchase, the radio waves share the bank account, phone app, and card details with the card reader. The transactions remain encrypted, and your information will remain secure and safe.

And the best part is that most modern-day smartphones come equipped with these technologies. It means that you can conveniently pay using your smartphone without having to use your wallet, cash, or card. 

There will be a digital wallet app (Google Pay or Apple Pay) on your mobile phone, and you can link your card information to the app. It means that you’ll only have to wave your phone over the card reader and wait for the beep. 

The Convenience (Using Google Pay/Apple Pay)

google pay and apple way

There are many benefits to contactless payment technology. For example, it is simple to use and easy to get. Moreover, you can make the payment using your smartphone and don’t need your wallet. From now on, you can use Google Pay or Apple Pay with the help of your phone.

This technology cuts down your transaction time so you can spend your precious time on more important things. The good thing is that many vendors are accepting contactless payments, so contactless spending is becoming more accessible. 

Moreover, you won’t have to use your PIN to finalize or authorize the payment. In most cases you’ll only have to enter the PIN periodically, just to confirm transactions over certain amounts. 

A Few Things to Remember

  • With your new N26 card, make a PIN payment or an ATM transaction first before you make a contactless payment. 
  • Be sure to check the banking app to see if it works for contactless payment and if the card reader is also compatible. 
  • Be aware of the limit so you don’t run into any errors when making a transaction. 
  • And wait for approval from the cashier before you tap and go

N26 Service Overview

a screenshot of the n26 card banner
ServiceAvailability
Daily money managementYes
Traveling perksYes (premium accounts only)
International transferNo
Multiple foreign currenciesNo
Multi currency accountNo
Transfer speeds: (N26 to N26) Transfer speed (N26 to bank account) Incoming SEPA SWIFT transfer International transfer
Free and instant 2 to 3 working days Instant transfers 4 working days Instant (some complete within 4 days

Who Should Use the N26 Bank Account?

Moving forward with the N26 review, an N26 account works well for anyone who wants mobile banking without any errors or bugs. You can use it to save and manage your finances and can receive or send money instantly using this service. 

Anyone who is living an international lifestyle can benefit from it. If you often send money to various countries or travel to different countries, N26 can work for you because for international transfers they use Wise money transfer service. 

BEST FOR INTERNATIONAL MONEY TRANSFER

Who Can Apply for the N26 Bank Account?

a screenshot of the n26 allowed country list

If you’re over 18 and reside in one of the following countries, you’re eligible for an N26 bank account and a virtual card.

The service is not for non-European residents:

  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Spain
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Portugal
  • Poland
  • Norway
  • The Netherlands
  • Luxembourg
  • Lithuania
  • Liechtenstein
  • Latvia
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Iceland
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • France
  • Finland
  • Estonia
  • Denmark
  • Belgium
  • Austria

Opening an N26 Bank Account

Let’s further our N26 review and talk about who can open an account here. This process is pretty simple, and you can complete it online within 10 minutes.

Here are the steps involved in the process:

  • You will need to choose the country of residence first.
  • The next step is to insert your personal information, home address, mobile phone, and tax info.
  • After that, you will need to create a password. 
  • Once you’re done with that, you need to download the app and verify your identity.
  • The final step is to approve your account and proceed with your N26 account. 

The application process is fast, but verification and activation of your account might take a few hours or even days. 

Fees, Exchange Rates & ATM Withdrawal Fees

Now let’s talk about the fees in this N26 review. When talking about banking services, there are a few factors to consider. The N26 bank is a free service for its users who want to use their virtual cards. 

You’ll have to pay monthly fees for the physical card and any added features. If you want to open an N26 bank account, you’ll pay a fee based on your account type and the service that you will use.

a screenshot of the n26 bank plans

N26 Standard

N26 Standard account is a free account with a free virtual card (physical card optional for EUR 10). With this account, you’ll get contactless payments, mobile payments, and 100% mobile banking. 

Global payments are free of cost, and monthly 3 ATM withdrawals are available. Domestic cash withdrawals are unlimited and ATM withdrawals within the EU are free as well. 

This account type is best for students or those who are just looking for essential banking services. You can also use CASH26 shops for free without any limitations. 

The total cost of this account will be EUR 10, along with EUR 2 for the ATM withdrawal fees (after 3 free domestic ATM withdrawals).

N26 Smart

a screenshot of the n26 smart

The N26 Smart account will cost EUR 4.9 per month, and you’ll get a physical debit card at this price. You’ll get all the features of the N26 Standard account, along with a few more. 

With this account, you’ll get 5 free ATM domestic withdrawals (after that, EUR 2 per withdrawal) along with phone support. You’ll also get a debit card in five different colors and access to N26 Spaces (a saving feature). 

So, the added benefit of having a Smart account is that you will get a card in different colors and 2 more free ATM withdrawals. 

The monthly cost of this account type is EUR 4.9, where 2 months will be free. But if you decide to pay immediately, you’ll get a 20 percent discount and will pay around EUR 47 for 14 months (after a 2-month trial). 

N26 You

a screenshot of the n26 you plan

The N26 You account is for travelers who are looking for additional features, including unlimited free ATM withdrawals across the globe and travel insurance. 

In this account type, you’ll get all the features of the N26 Smart account. For your cash withdrawals abroad, this account will provide you with the best exchange rate if you let N26 do the conversion (with currency conversion fees lower than the banks). 

For that, you just need to access the Wise feature directly within the app. Tap on “Send Money” and choose “Foreign Currency Transfer.” enter your currencies and amounts and then follow the prompts to complete your transaction. 

Based on how many ATM withdrawals you make, you might end up paying back the subscription fee (remember we mentioned unlimited free ATM withdrawals). 

Plus, you can get medical insurance of up to EUR 1,000,000 for medical insurance, EUR 500 for flight delays, baggage delays, EUR 2,000 if it goes missing, and trip cancellation or curtailment of around EUR 10,000.

This account will cost you around EUR 9.90 per month or EUR 95 annually and will work best for you if you’re a frequent traveler. 

N26 Metal

a screenshot of the n26 metal plan

The N26 Metal premium account comes with a debit card, and it has all the features of the N26 You plan, along with some additional features. 

It costs EUR 16.90 a month or EUR 162 a year, and you’ll end up saving EUR 40 on your annual subscription. But you’re not getting any value here except the fact that your card will be made of metal (no plastic card here). 

This metal debit card is just to appeal as a status symbol but doesn’t offer any enhanced value. You do get phone insurance and three additional ATM withdrawals (8 now); this account type is useless for you. After that, the charges will be EUR 2 per withdrawal. 

N26 Banking App

The N26 banking app is available on mobile devices and it can be used via the browser too. However, most users will prefer to use it on their phones. 

With the app, you’ll have a clear overview of your transactions, balances, and spending. You can easily top up your account and send money. The app also allows you to transfer money with schedules. You can also download your bank statements, categorize your expenses, and manage your budget. 

N26 Spaces

a screenshot of the n26 spaces

One of the great features of N26 is Spaces. This feature assists you in creating sub-accounts and helps you in achieving your financial goals. To organize and save money for something later, you can set up a space to achieve exactly that. 

This feature also enables you to create rules that can transfer recurring amounts from your primary account into your space (just like direct debit). You will only have to create the rule once and let your N26 account handle it for you. 

You can create shared spaces and share your money with family and friends. With paid N26 accounts, you can invite up to 10 people to share expenses with your family and friends.

N26 Customer Reviews

N26 gets above-average reviews from its customers. We have gone through 100s of reviews online from users. But considering them as a service that functions as a real bank, N26 ranks pretty high.

Most users loved their efficient and simple digital banking along with secure service. But most people didn’t like the slow support response. 

However, N26 is clear in this because they don’t provide phone support for N26 Standard account holders, and most free account holders only get chatbot support. 

Does N26 Offer a Business Account?

a screenshot of the n26 you business plan

You can also open N26 business accounts for freelancers. It is the N26 Business You account that offers 0.1 percent cashback on card purchases. 

It comes with dedicated debit cards, and you can also make 5 ATM withdrawals free of cost. You have the option of paying in any currency, and you won’t have to pay anything for foreign transactions. 

This business account also comes with budgeting features that are available in a regular N26 bank account, and it also has Spaces. This account is made for self-employed and freelancers. But you can’t own personal and business accounts simultaneously. 

Is N26 Safe to Use?

You don’t need to worry about the safety of N26 Bank. This bank is German-regulated and it offers a deposit protection scheme that protects you for up to EUR 100,000.

The app also comes with a wide range of features and you’ll be asked about your outgoing online payments with passwords and PINs. 

BEST FOR INTERNATIONAL MONEY TRANSFER

N26 Alternatives

N26 online banking might be a pretty good service but it is still not for everyone. Hence, there are some alternatives that you can look into:

For example, Monese is a pretty decent alternative to N26 as it is globally connected and locally smart. You can open a fully functioning current account in an instant using your phone Moreover, you can use it as your multi-currency account. 

Wise is another great option if you want free access without any monthly fees. They have business accounts and can offer a low and transparent mid market rate. Moreover, you can integrate your Wise into N26 for your international money transfers (outside Europe). 

Revolut is another good option as it offers a free standard plan with paid accounts, including a premium plan ($9.99 a month) and a metal plan ($16.99 a month). They also have business accounts and offer decent exchange rates. 

N26 Pros & Cons

But as with any bank account, there are some positives and negatives associated and you need to keep them in mind before registering yourself as their user.

Pros

The service is free to use, and you can get a free-of-cost bank account.
They have three product tiers with different features. 
You’ll get a virtual bank card (free of cost as well).
N26 is regulated in Germany.
And if you live in the EU, you’ll get free withdrawals from an ATM through N26.

Cons

Cards can only come to your home address. Therefore, if you lose your bank card abroad, N26 won’t send you a new one. 
Some of the N26 account premium tiers don’t have much difference.

Other online bank reviews:

So, Should You Consider Using the N26 Bank Account?

N26 works well for anyone who’s looking for a convenient and affordable digital banking platform. Their mobile app is pretty handy, and they offer free international transfers and low fees. 

Anyone who’s looking for an alternative to traditional banking can use N26. So, get your N26 bank account now.

The only disadvantage is that the N26 bank account is currently not available to non-EU residents and that their account tiers are almost similar to one another. 

There are some good alternatives available to N26, such as Wise and Revolut, for more versatile services. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, N26 is a trustworthy bank because it is a German-regulated digital bank and therefore must adhere to the same security regulations as traditional banks.

Currently, N26 is only available for EU residents. The eligible countries include Spain, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Portugal, Poland, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, Germany, France, Estonia, Denmark, Belgium, and Austria.

Yes, your N26 account provides both a RIB and an IBAN. You can find your RIB number on the web app or website, and your IBAN in the My Account tab of the N26 cash app.

Yes, signing up for N26 is a paperless process. There is no need for paperwork, as your ID can be verified online. Once verified, you can begin using your account immediately.

Yes, N26 is a fully licensed bank, which means it follows the same regulations as traditional banks. This ensures that you will receive the same level of security as you would from any other traditional bank. Therefore, N26 Bank is considered safe.

Yes, U.S. citizens could open an N26 account if they were residing in a country where N26 operates. However, N26 had ceased its operations in the U.S. in 2021, so U.S. residents within the United States could not open new N26 accounts following that decision. Always check the latest updates from N26 directly, as policies and availability can change.

Was this article helpful?

Photo of author
Author
Allen Morning
I'm Allen Morning, with a background spanning over 15 years in international finance and education from Harvard and Stanford. I founded Currenciap with a vision to demystify and streamline global financial transactions. My journey in finance has fueled my commitment to creating a platform that is both user-friendly and efficient, making international finance accessible to everyone. You can find more about me here.

Leave a Comment