Banco Neon is one of the most promising options in the virtual bank industry in Brasil. The best selling point about it is that it offers a current account with debit and credit cards. It offers this availability with no annuities whatsoever. The biggest downside to it is that it offers ONLY 1 free withdrawal per month, any more than that and you’ll pay the high price of R$6,90 per transaction. If you pretend to get more withdrawals out of a virtual bank, it’s better that you get Neon + (4 free withdrawals per month) or go with another option.
Either way, Banco Neon is one of the best options for people who are looking for a first virtual bank experience. It’s got investment, loans, and many more other options to control your finances, so, what are you waiting for?
Feeling tired of bureaucracy and not knowing where those weird fees in your account come from? Then virtual banks are exactly what you need to get control of your finances. In today’s post, we’ll be talking about Banco Neon, one of the most promising options in the virtual bank world in Brasil. With this bank and the Neon Card, you will discover how easy it is to be in control of your own money. Ready to go?
What is Banco Neon?
Banco Neon is the name of a virtual bank by Neon Payments S.A., a financial technology company that was founded back in 2016 by Pedro Conrade. It’s a completely virtual banking institution that manages to offer all the services a normal bank would, only without having to visit any physical branch whatsoever.
One of the many benefits of this bank is the fact that every user can ask to use the Debit and Credit cards, both virtually and physically. What differentiates it from other more traditional card offering services is that Neon asks for no monthly nor annual fees whatsoever. You also don’t need to pay anything for registration or opening your account.
This bank offers all the operations you would find with a regular bank right from their smartphone app. You’ll be able to:
- Transfer money
- Pay services
- Buy products
- Get loans
- Invest in Neon
All of this right from your phone!
One of the best pros of Banco Neon is the fact that it doesn’t ask for proof of income or address. The only prerequisite to opening an account with this virtual bank is that you’re at least 18 years old and have a valid CPF. Although, it’s worth noting that Neon is free to accept or refuse registrations at their own volition. Every application will be reviewed over 7 working days, after which you will know if you’ve been accepted or not.
Without further ado, let’s delve into one of the most important benefits that this bank offers, the Neon Card.
The Neon Card: One Of The Most Versatile In The Market
Banco Neon offers virtual bank accounts with something that is gaining more and more customers each day. The biggest benefit of using Neon by far is the fact that once you’re a customer you’ll be able to apply for VISA Debit and Credit Cards. Here’s how that works:
Neon Debit Card
Once you’ve entered your address, your debit card will be sent in only a couple of days. However, you won’t have to wait because you’ll instantly get a virtual version of the card. The Neon Debit Card works by letting you use it for physical shopping and for withdrawing money at the Banco24Horas network.
The Neon Credit Card
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with your Banco Neon account and your Neon Card, you’ll be able to apply for a Credit Card. The thing is, the application can take at least 30 days to be approved. Once your application’s been accepted, your original debit card will automatically unlock its credit features.
You’ll also get a different virtual credit card, so you’ll end up with one physical hybrid debit and credit card and two different virtual debit and credit cards.
At this moment you will have a current account with a physical debit/credit card and a virtual copy of each card. The best thing? You won’t have to pay anything in order to apply or any amount of annuities since Banco Neon doesn’t charge any of those fees. That’s how you’ll end up with one of the best virtual bank accounts and cards in Brasil at the moment of writing.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk a little bit more about Banco Neon’s virtual account:
Banco Neon Account: Savings, Current Or Prepaid?
Neon answers this question by claiming that the account they offer with its service is “none of those”. They simply like to describe their service as a digital account that encompasses all the services that any bank should have. Although, they do admit that when transferring money from other banks, you should always choose the current account option.
An important thing to mention is that Banco Neon will ask for a sum of R$10 to be transferred into the account in order to confirm that you’re a real person.
Neon might not offer any sort of annuities whatsoever, but there are some things you should have in mind. Neon offers a very limited withdrawal allowance, something very important to know. Here’s how they deal with that:
Transfers, Fees And Limits
Neon might shine when it comes to offering a great digital account, but it doesn’t quite shine as much when withdrawals are mentioned. Here’s a list of things that are not free to do with Banco Neon:
- Bank slips, which cost a total of R$2,90.
- Withdrawals, which cost R$6,90 beyond your first monthly withdrawal, which is free.
- International purchases, which charge 4% of the total amount + Tax on Financial Operations (IOF).
The biggest thing to note of this list is that Banco Neon only offers one free withdrawal per month, which is very, very limited. But there is one way you can avoid this, here’s how almost anything in Banco Neon can become free.
Neon +: How To Really Use Banco Neon To Its Fullest
As with most of the virtual banks today, Neon offers a “Subscription Service” called Neon +. What differentiates Neon + from other services is that you don’t need to pay a certain monthly or annual amount or have a certain minimum income. The only requirement for you to apply to this loyalty program is using your Banco Neon card at least 10 times in a period of 30 days. Once you’ve reached this amount of transactions you can apply for Neon +, which will activate in the next period of 30 days.
As the moment of writing this review, the main detail of why Neon + is marketed is to get three more free withdrawals in your monthly allowance. It seems that when the service started, it offered unlimited TEDs and Boleto usage, but now these are already included in your account by default.
Another really important detail about this service is that every transaction can count towards getting Neon +. All your debit and credit card purchases, your online purchases with virtual cards, your monthly streaming fees from services like Netflix and Spotify, and even transport and food ordering apps like Uber, Cabify, ifood, and Rappi.
Now let’s get into features that are so great that you wouldn’t imagine existing in a virtual bank, but here they are!
Banco Neon is an option that makes finance simple for people who don’t want to deal with a regular bank’s fees. A feature that makes Neon more accessible than a regular bank is that it offers both investment and loan opportunities.
Investments In Banco Neon: All From Your Phone
All investments made in Banco Neon are guaranteed by the FGC (Credit Guarantee Fund). They’re also CDBs (Bank Deposit Certificates) from Neon’s partner, Banco Votorantim. But the most beneficial aspect of investing in Neon is that they only work with Daily Liquidity assets. This means that you can redeem any amount of your invested money at any moment in time when you need to. Also, you can start investing with as little as R$10.
Another important detail to note while investing with Neon is that it will yield more than you would earn by using a savings account in other banks. You’ll start earning interest once your investment reaches maturity after 6 months. Then you’ll reach a base earning of 95% in CDI (Interbank Deposit Certificate). Every six months your yields will increase a total of 1%, capping out at 101% after three years.
But investments with Neon aren’t simply there to earn more, you can use them as a sort of reserve to save your money until you really need it. You can even set up a goal and start saving towards it, earning a little bit on the side while you save money to buy whatever you want.
Neon offers two types of investments, which are:
The Objective investment works in a way in which you start to “reserve” your money for something you want to buy that you can’t afford at the moment. It works by the user setting up a certain amount of money they want to “reserve” on a monthly basis. It basically works like installments but for investments.
With the Objective investment, you can save for a trip, a new phone, or any other thing you set your mind to.
The Free investment, on the other hand, works for people who simply want to see how their money grows. These investments are not meant for you to have a goal in mind, it just works to keep your money reserved and gain from that. It also works to simply reserve your money for unforeseen expenses.
Another thing to note is that if your redemption is made in less than 30 days after application, you’ll incur in the IOF fee proportional to the amount redeemed and the investment period.
Personal Loans With Banco Neon
Consolidating the complete virtual banking experience, Banco Neon also lets its customers ask for loans. These loans can be used for travelling, studying, house renovations, and all other sorts of things you can imagine. Here’s how they work:
Once you’re a Neon user you’ll be able to ask loans for as little as R$500 or as much as R$15.000,00. Via the app, you can also choose how many installments you want to repay your loan in. You can choose from a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 24 months.
If you’re thinking of getting a loan with Banco Neon it’s important to know that the bank charges a 5% interest rate of each monthly installment. This means that if you choose to repay your loan in 12 months rather than in 6, you’ll end up paying double in interest fees, so beware. In its website, Neon mentions that its interest rates start at 2,65%, but that all these details depend on the individual analysis of each customer and the term chosen.
Now that we’ve talked about what Neon excels at, let’s talk about what Neon isn’t that good at, which is actually not a lot.
Banco Neon: Not The Bank To Withdraw Money From
As we’ve discussed, the drawback that really comes out despite Neon’s benefits is the fact that its withdrawals are really limited. The fact that you can only do 1 withdrawal per month may be absurd to some customers, and even when you have Neon + it’s not that good. So if you’re looking for a virtual bank to withdraw money from, Neon might not be the best option out there. One example of a better withdrawal service would be Banco Original. This bank lets you have 4 free withdrawals per month and each one beyond that allowance costs R$1,90
Another detail to mention when talking about drawbacks is that neon is pretty severe when you don’t pay your credit card invoices on time. If you’ve delayed or split the payment on an invoice you’ll have to pay certain fees. This fee is called Minimum Invoice Amount and it consists of 15% of the total purchases of the current invoice, 100% of the balance due from previous invoices plus the full amount of interest and arrears, late fees, and IOF from previous invoices.
If you’re not able to pay this, your account will enter a state called Revolving Credit. This means that you receive interest on the amount you have not paid, from up to 13,9% per month with a CET (Total Effective Cost) of 420,79% per year. So, you really don’t want to be late on your invoices with Neon.
The good thing is, where a service is lacking, some other service will always outshine it. Here are some alternatives if you’re currently not liking Banco Neon that much:
Alternatives to Neon: Banco Original And Nubank
There are not many virtual banks that can compete with a zero annuity option, but there are ones that can, especially with the benefits they offer. Here are the ones we think are as good or even better than Neon:
Nubank and Neon are often seen as the main competitors between each other. Nubank’s NuConta offers an account with zero fees or annuities and Credit and Debit virtual and physical cards. The main difference between Neon and Nubank is that the latter offers a more complete credit card and a richer digital account. The thing is, the credit cards are some of the hardest to obtain in Brasil.
The only downfall to Nubank is that there are a lot of people currently applying for an account. This means there’s a long queue of people who are already ahead of you in terms of getting an account. Instead, Neon makes its aspiring customers wait exactly seven working days to know if they’re accepted or not.
This bank is also a relatively new competitor in the virtual bank scene in Brasil. It offers 4 types of credit and debit cards depending on the kind of customer you are. There are Internacional (base), Gold, Platinum, and Black variants. The thing is, except for the Internacional card, you’ll have to pay certain annuities depending on the card you have. One good point of comparison here is that Banco Original offers 4 free withdrawals per month by default, and any other beyond that costs R$1,90.
If you want to learn more about Banco Original, you can always click here to read our review.
Banco Neon: A Simple Option To Get Into Virtual Banks
At the end of the day, Banco Neon is one of the simplest and better options to start your trip towards controlling your finances. The whole idea of the bank is to give you more control over your money. And it does this by regulating and showing options for you to earn more and spend in an easier way, no annuities, no fees, nothing.
We consider Neon as one of the best options for people who still haven’t gotten an account with any virtual bank whatsoever. What are you waiting for to get control out of your money?