N26 Review: Is It The Best Online Bank In Europe?

February 2, 2021
Banks
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To determine the best online banks out there, we scored six highly popular banks. In this scenario, we'll be focusing on N26, an already established online bank.

N26 is the most popular online bank in Europe, and for good reason. With a powerful, intuitive mobile app, low fees on domestic and international transactions, and excellent premium accounts, it’s also our top pick for the best online bank in all of Europe. We highly recommend opening an account with N26.

 N26
Domestic Fees9
International Fees8
Everyday Usage9
Interface & Usability10
Mobile App Functionality8
Customer Support8
Security & Regulation10
Travel Insurance10
Insurance & Purchase Coverage10
Rewards & Bonuses10
Total92

Now that you've seen the bank's overall scores, here's a more detailed look at how it performs in each category.

 N26
Total Score92/100
Monthly feesN26 Standard: Free
N26 Smart: €4.90/month
N26 You: €9.90/month
N26 You: €16.90/month
1 Domestic Fees
Domestic ATM withdrawal feesN26 Standard 3 Free Withdrawals per month
N26 Smart: 5 Free withdrawals per month
N26 You: 5 Free withdrawals per month
N26 You: 8 free withdrawals per month
€2 once the limit has been surpassed
Original Card FeeFree
Card Replacement Fee€10 for regular cards
€45 for Metal cards
Card Delivery FeeFree
2 International Fees
Foreign ATM withdrawal fees (foreign currency)N26 Standard 1.7% of withdrawal amount with exchange rate at the interbank rate
N26 Smart, You & Metal: Free with exchange rate at the interbank rate
Foreign ATM withdrawal fees (weekends)None
Foreign ATM withdrawal fees (Special Currencies)No additional charges for any currencies
Foreign Transaction FeeFree
Foreign exchange feesFree
International Money TransfersYes, exchanged at Mastercard real exchange rate
SWIFT Transfer FeeN/A
3 Everyday Usage
Apple Pay✔️
Google Pay✔️
Samsung PayNO
Cash DepositsYes, with a 1.5% fee and 24-hour limit of €999
Transaction Categories & Spending Insights✔️
Real-time transaction notifications✔️
4 Interface & Usability
Signup Speed< 10 minutes
Mobile App Ease Of UseHighly intuitive
Desktop Ease Of UseHighly intuitive
Apple App Store Score /54.8
Google Play Store Score /54.6
5 Mobile App Functionality
Online Payments toggling in the app✔️
Foreign Payments toggling in the app✔️
ATM Withdrawal Toggling in the app✔️
Spending limits in the app✔️
ATM Withdrawal limits in the app✔️
Sub-savings accountsYes, "Spaces"N26 Standard: Up to 2 sub accounts
N26 Smart, You & Metal: Up to 10 sub accounts
Group savings accountsYes
Only available for N26 Smart, N26 You & N26 You
Bill splitting / Shared ExpensesNO
Subscription trackingNO
Subscription blockingNO
6 Customer Support
In-app support chatYes, 24 hours
Human Telephone Support For Non-Premium MembersYes, only for N26 Smart, You and Metal (Number not disclosed)
Priority Customer SupportYes, only for N26 You
Email SupportYes, [email protected]
# of Support Languages5
Email Response Time1-2 business days
7 Security & Regulation
PIN resets in the appYES
Lock/Unlock Card In The AppYES
Biometric loginYES
Disposable virtual cardsNO
RegulatorProtected up to €100,000 by the German Deposit Protection Scheme
8 Travel Insurance
Travel medical insuranceEmergency medical insurance up to €1,000,000 for you, your partner and kids, inclusive of dental and winter sports
Only for N26 You and Metal
Baggage delay insuranceCompensation up to €500 for baggage delays over 12 hours, and up to €2,000 if it goes missing
Only for N26 You and Metal
Flight delay insuranceCompensation up to €500 for flight delays over 4 hours
Only for N26 You and Metal
Trip Cancelation/Curtailment InsuranceTrip cancellation or curtailment up to €10,000
Rental car insuranceCoverage up to €20,000 at home or abroad
Only for N26 Metal
9 Insurance & Purchase Coverage
Purchase Protection / Extended WarrantyExtension of an existing manufacturer's warranty by up to one year for insured equipment.
Only for N26 Metal
Cash protection on ATM withdrawalsCompensation for a robbery up to 4 hours after withdrawing money from an ATM.
Only for N26 Metal
Mobile phone insuranceCovered in case of theft or damage (at home or abroad) up to €1,000 whether you paid for your phone with your N26 card or not.
Only for N26 Metal
Bike, scooter and car sharing insuranceCoverage for any damage or theft of vehicles rented from ride-sharing companies.
Only for N26 You and N26 Metal
Snow and mountain rescue / Winter sportsCoverage for search, rescue, first transportation costs, and medical expenses in the event of accidents during a trip in the mountains.
Only for N26 Metal
10 Rewards & Benefits
Metal Card For Premium PlansYes, only for N26 Metal
CashbackNo (though all N26 members can take advantage of 8-10% cashback with a selection of online retailers, including Headspace, Blinkist, Curology, Luminary, Tidal, and more)
Partner Discounts?Regular freebies and discounts (often 25% or more) from relevant brands like Adidas, Dropbox, Hotels.com, and more.
Only for N26 Smart, You & Metal
Interest Paid On Account Balance?Yes, with N26 Savings inside your existing N26 account
Airport Lounge BenefitNO
Countries availableAustria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.
Total Score92/100

N26 Review

N26 is one of the upcoming and most well-known online banks as of the current moment in Europe. It’s especially famous for offering 4 versatile plans, a great mobile application, good customer support and lenient fees designed for foreign spending. 

N26 is available in: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US.

Here’s a deeper look into N26’s performance.

#1 Domestic Fees

Most customers using N26 domestically won’t face any fees at all. It offers a reasonable number of free withdrawals per month depending on the plan you’re using, which can range from 3 to 8 free withdrawals per month. Once that limit has been exceeded, a €2 fee will apply for each withdrawal, independent of the amount withdrawn.

N26 also doesn’t charge any fees for your first card when you open your account. Also, there isn’t a delivery fee for your first card or any other card beyond that, though there are replacement fees of €10 for regular cards and €45 for metal cards.

N26 Domestic Fees Score: 9/10

#2 International Fees

N26 has a clear focus on providing great deals when it comes to its national and international use. This is exemplified by its performance in this category,  because it doesn’t charge fees for most transactions abroad. The only case where this applies is for users with a N26 standard account, where a 1.7% fee will apply on foreign ATMs withdrawals.

Aside from that, there are no other fees for using your bank account or your card while you’re abroad or making foreign purchases, not even fees for international money transfers or weekend transactions in foreign currencies.

N26 International Fees Score: 8/10

#3 Everyday Usage

With N26 you get access to features like Apple Pay and Google Pay as a means of payment, which makes the use of the bank, as seamless as possible.

You can also deposit cash directly into your N26 account, though there is a 1.5% fee and a €999 limit per day.

The N26 mobile app also offers features like categorizing transactions and real-time spending notifications, which makes everyday usage easier to track and keep in control.

N26 Everyday Usage Score: 9/10

#4 Interface & Usability

N26 recognizes that a mobile banking experience needs to be as seamless as possible, which is why its signup process doesn’t even take 10 minutes to complete.

Also, as we had alluded to earlier, N26 boasts a highly intuitive and well-designed mobile app for everyday use. The app is known to be one of the best among the online banks, with a 4.8/5 score on the App Store and 4.6/5 on the Google Play Store.

N26 also provides a well-developed web version of its banking platform in case you want to take a look at your finances on a bigger screen, which not every bank offers.

N26 Interface & Usability Score: 10/10

#5 Mobile App Functionality

N26 embraces the fact that a mobile banking experience needs to be convenient and powerful, which is why it offers the following features all from the app:

  • Online payment toggling
  • Foreign payment toggling
  • ATM withdrawal toggling
  • Setting spending limits
  • Setting withdrawal limits

Aside from that, N26 also features sub-saving accounts for personal and group uses, which facilitates the use of online banking with family, partners and others.

However, the free N26 plan only has access to 2 sub-accounts, while the paid plans all have access to 10 sub-accounts, and group saving accounts are not available for the free plan.

N26 also doesn’t have a built-in bill splitting feature for easy money transfers nor easy online subscription blocking.

N26 Mobile App Functionality Score: 8/10

#6 Customer Support

N26 supports its customer in a few interesting ways by offering 24/7 in-app live-chat support and email support in 5 languages. The best part about this is that both channels are pretty responsive, and your waiting time will only last from a couple of minutes in live chat to a single business day with email.

However, phone support is only available on paid plans, with priority phone support available only for N26 Metal users.

N26 Customer Support Score: 8/10

#7 Security & Regulation

N26 is regulated by the German Deposit Protection Scheme, which protects customers for up to €100,000 if the bank ever becomes insolvent. This also means that N26 has a legitimate banking license, which puts it up to par with already established banks.

When it comes to in-app security features, users can freeze and unfreeze their cards and change their ATM pins. The app also has biometric login features, which makes using N26 even more secure. However, N26 does not offer disposable virtual cards for better online spending protection.

N26 Security & Regulation Score: 10/10

#8 Travel Insurance

One of N26’s biggest features is its travel insurance, or rather the entire insurance package it offers. Here are the main types of insurance you’ll find with N26 and the specific amounts users are protected for:

  • Travel medical insurance: Up to €1,000,000 for emergency medical insurance for the user, plus their partner and kids
  • Baggage delay insurance: Up to €500 for baggage delays of over 12 hours and €2,000 if it goes missing
  • Flight delay insurance: Up to €500 for flight delays over 4 hours of waiting time
  • Trip cancellation/curtailment insurance: Up to €10,000
  • Rental car Insurance: Up to €20,000 coverage nationally or internationally

It’s worth noting that all of these plans apply only for N26 You and N26 Metal users, N26’s two most premium plans.

N26 Travel Insurance Score: 10/10

#9 Insurance & Purchase Coverage

N26 offers an array of protections that range from extended warranty and purchase protection and cash protection on ATM withdrawals against robbery.

In terms of physical insurances, both N26 You and N26 Metal offer, bike, scooter and car-sharing insurance (up to €20,000 in damages), and snow and mountain winter sports insurances. N26 Metal also offers mobile phone insurance (up to €1,000 for mobile phone theft and damage).

N26 Insurance & Purchase Coverage Score: 10/10

#10 Rewards & Bonuses

Not only does N26 provide a solid service, but it also rewards its users with premium bonuses like these for using its products:

  • Metal card for N26 Metal users
  • Cashback on certain partner stores (Headspace, Blinkist, Curology, etc)
  • Discounts on partner stores (Adidas, Dropbox, Hotels.com, etc)
  • Up to 1.38% interest paid on your account balance with N26 Savings.

However, it’s worth noting that N26 does not provide airport lounge benefits.

N26 Rewards & Bonuses Score: 10/10

Why N26?

At the end of the day, most online banks in Europe are great options if you want a regular spending account or just somewhere to keep your money. However, according to our findings, N26 is overall the best option if it's available in your country. Here's why:

N26 is the best online bank in terms of a regular banking experience, both domestically and internationally. You get access to a multitude of plans, great domestic and foreign fees, and possibly the most complete insurance package that an online bank offers. All with premium rewards, annual interest, cashback and discounts with no extra charges included.

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