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N26 Review 2022

This article will review N26. N26 offer both a pure banking system, alongside a savings account.

It therefore continues our analysis at savings solutions after I looked at different options in numerous countries.

This has included Marcus by Goldman Sachs , Emirates NBD best savings accounts in Saudi Arabia and an expat-specific solution.

With that being said, it remains our position that in an era of 0% interest rates, investing will easily beat saving money in the bank, especially long-term.

For any questions, or if you are looking to invest, you can contact me using  this form, or on the WhatsApp function.


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N26 Review 2022 2

Personal finance is a sensitive issue for many of us. If we do not own millions, then quite often we feel a feeling of lack of finance, and this is not to mention the large stratum of society that generally lives in a state from salary to salary.

Since we are not talking about the amounts that are earned, you should focus on the amounts that are spent each month and analyze your income and expenses.

The most important thing in managing any budget is the ability to think long-term.

The lack of this skill is at the root of all problems. By nature, people are poor at planning because they are used to living in the present.

However, it is not so difficult to fix this, because now there are many ready-made, proven approaches and techniques.

And today we will talk and discuss one of the services named N26, which provides well-executed mobile banking and helps you to track your funds. 

Let’s start from an overview of N26 and after discuss its advantages and disadvantages as well. N26 was one of the first app-based banks, founded in 2013 and launched in 2015 by founders Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tienthal.

N26 was originally launched in Europe, attracting over 2.5 million customers in 24 markets, including the UK, where it launched at the end of 2018. 

N26 aims to be the first global application-only bank and has raised over $ 683 million in funding from some of the world’s leading banks investors. It has now launched in the US and has updated its N26 Black card to create the N26 You.

The N26 is a full-fledged UK mobile based bank account and users can currently only select a personal bank account.

The bank says it “makes sending, saving and managing money easier than making a cup of tea.” It offers free international spend and premium paid features suitable for frequent travelers. Like most applicants, it is suitable for people looking for a fresh, mobile approach to banking.

UK customers can open 3 different types of accounts: N26 checking account, N26 You account or N26 Metal account. 

So, N26 is a digital only checking account with a modern banking application that shows spending statistics and gives you control over your finances.

N26 already operates in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium and many other European countries. It has over 3 million clients and was recently launched in the United States.


  • A complete free UK checking account that does pretty much everything you can expect.
  • Quick to apply and customize.
  • A handy app with great security and budgeting features (freeze card, categorize your expenses …).
  • Unlike other digital banks, your account can be accessed both on your phone and through the N26 web app.
  • Free transactions with cards abroad.
  • Set savings goals and save money for a rainy day with Spaces.
  • Safe and secure, including deposits protection.
  • In-app customer support.
  • MasterCard 3D secure.
  • Apple/Google pay.


  • 1.7% commission for withdrawing foreign currency.
  • Some important features are still not available in the UK: you cannot set up a standing debit order, cash deposits or make an international money transfer.
  • Current accounts only, no other financial products are available.
  • No bank branches, so not for you if you enjoy personal service.
  • No telephone support and reduced hours of chat support.
  • No guaranteed financial protection with Brexit.
  1. How does N26 work and what it can offer you?

Signing up for N26 is relatively straightforward: you must be a UK resident and over 18 years of age. The application can be completed via a smartphone app or web app.

Since the N26 is a branchless bank, the only way to use it is by downloading the app through the Apple Store or Google Play.

While the N26 offers online banking for those who prefer desktop access, you’ll need a compatible smartphone to complete the setup process first.

To create an account, you will be asked to verify personal information such as the country you live in, your first and last name, your date of birth and your address.

You will be prompted for your email address, after which you will need to create a strong password.

After completing the initial setup process, you will be asked which N26 card you want to open; Standard N26, N26 You or Metal N26. You will then be asked to prove your identity by showing your passport or driver’s license using a photo or video.

To complete the account setup process, you will be prompted to set up a 4-digit PIN, which is your secure code that you will need when setting up recipients or making transactions.

Then you should expect to receive your new N26 bank debit card in the mail in the next few days.

After signing up with the N26, you will be sent a cool, easy to understand, contactless MasterCard. The N26 offers a free basic current account as well as two additional options now also available in the UK. 

All three accounts work in one application, the features of which include:

  • UK account number and sorting code. You will be able to set up direct debit and receive and make payments like traditional banks like Barclays or Lloyds.
  • Make transfers. Send, receive and even request money from friends instantly. N26 supports direct debit, but not standing payments.
  • Google Pay and Apple Pay. The N26 supports both Google Pay and Apple Pay, so whether you’re using iOS or Android, you can use your phone to pay in stores.
  • Security in the application. Set and change daily spending / withdrawal limits, reset your PIN, block or unblock your card, and enable or disable online or overseas payments.
  • Spending statistics. Get automatic categorization and breakdown of your purchases. You can also create your own personal tags to organize transactions.
  • Spaces. Are you saving up for a specific purpose, like a bike or vacation? Invest in small sub-accounts away from your main basket. As they say – out of sight, out of sight. However, no interest will be paid on your savings.
  • MoneyBeam. Allows you to send money to contacts on smartphones without even knowing the details of their bank accounts. Money is sent to other N26 users instantly or within two days if they are not using N26.

What N26 can offer you?

The numbers and growth of the N26 are clearly impressive, but does internet banking really offer you what you need? As part of this N26 review, we’ll take a look at some of the bank’s best deals for their clients.

  • Opening and keeping an N26 account is completely free

The standard N26 account is completely free. While many banks charge money per month for their standard account, the N26 charges you absolutely nothing.

In addition, there are no fees to open an account, which means there are no financial losses or risks associated with registering an N26 account.

But if you want a more advanced N26 private banking account, there are two more bank account options, opening which requires payment.

  • Standard account comes with a free MasterCard debit card.

Getting a free MasterCard debit card in Europe cannot be underestimated! Most European banks only offer a free EC card with their standard accounts with an annual fee (usually around € 30) for a debit card.

The problem with an EC card is its limited functionality – although you can pay with an EC card in shops or restaurants and withdraw money from ATMs, you cannot shop online or make certain reservations.

This makes it impossible for you to book flights, rent cars, or even buy clothes online.

With the MasterCard N26 debit card, you get all the functions that are not available in the EC card, completely free of charge.

  • English speaking customer support

The N26 is by far the most English-friendly banking service in European countries.

The bank’s customer service and communication is entirely in English, making it the ideal banking partner for English speaking people living abroad. The N26 chat feature is available 24/7 and 365 days a year.

  • User-friendly mobile application

While big, sturdy old-school banks have been limping in the digital age, the N26 is the epitome of a sleek, sleek FinTech startup. In particular, the smartphone app has several great features, including:

MoneyBeam is the best which instantly sends money to other N26 account holders. You don’t even need their bank details, just their mobile phone number. Since the transfers are instantaneous, this is a great way to quickly pay off friends after a meal or vacation, and is obviously much faster than an IBAN transfer.

CASH26 is another great feature that allows you to deposit and withdraw money for free at over 11,000 retailers in Europe. 100 monthly deposits are made free of charge, after which a commission of 1.5% is charged on any amounts exceeding this. This is especially important to keep in mind if you work with cash and need to deposit reasonable amounts of cash frequently.

Push notifications – N26 will send a notification to your phone when there is a transaction in your account. This is very useful for keeping track of your expenses and get an immediate notification if something unexpected happens to your account.

Cash map – If you’re on the go and need to find the nearest ATM, the N26s Cash Card is a really useful tool. Just click on the location icon in the upper right corner of the app and the cash card will display the large number of available ATMs.

N26 Spaces – With N26 Spaces you can create additional accounts to organize your money or save. For example, you can split your money into a tax return or a large purchase. The N26 Spaces feature allows you to clearly allocate funds by giving you an idea of ​​exactly where you are in relation to your financial goals.

  1. N26 You & N26 Metal

As already mentioned, except for a standard account which is free, you will be also offered two other account types called N26 You and N26 Metal, let’s see what are the main differences and learn more about both accounts.

N26 You

German challenger bank N26 launched its cheapest premium option in the UK in January 2019. It was then called N26 Black, but has since been updated and is now called N26 You.

The N26 You is a premium debit card that gives you additional services that you cannot get with just a basic N26 checking account, for a fixed monthly fee.

The card is a contactless MasterCard. The N26 Black used to come in, guess what, an elegant black design. With the N26 You, you can choose between five different colors, which the N26 calls “water, rhubarb, sand, ocean and slate,” and we can safely translate into “a cooler version of blue, pink, yellow, navy and black”.

As before for the N26 Black, the N26 You includes all the benefits of a basic N26 bank account. In the UK, this means free payments anywhere in the world at the MasterCard exchange rate, free cash withdrawals from ATMs in the UK and the N26 banking app.

The app itself has many handy features, such as the ability to set your own spending limits, enable or disable foreign payments and choose your own PIN, and a money management tool that automatically categorizes your expenses. The extra bonuses you pay with your N26 You card can only pay off if you travel a lot.

N26 Metal

After launching in the UK in October 2018 with a basic account, the German Bank made its premium account – N26 Metal – available to UK customers from December 2018.

Thousands of people were attracted by the N26 main account with its user-friendly app and free overseas spending. The premium options offer a broader set of features for a monthly fee.

Here’s what you need to know about the N26 Metal card. The N26 Metal is a stainless steel debit card in three colors: pink, black and gray.

This is a premium paid service with added benefits – more on that below. N26 reports that Metal was the first contactless metal card in Europe. This is modern banking without large branches – everything is done through its application. N26 Metal is the most expensive premium digital bank product. 

Basically, people choose You or Metal cards to use them abroad – one of the main advantages of these premium cards is that they offer free cash withdrawals from ATMs around the world.

With the main card, 1.7% is charged when withdrawing cash abroad. However, there is no charge for You and Metal cardholders.

Likewise, only members with an N26 Metal account receive full N26 travel insurance.

This covers medical expenses abroad, baggage protection, cash theft protection, flight delays, cell phone theft, and purchase protection. The latter means that any items you buy with the N26 Metal card are protected if stolen or damaged as a result.

How to upgrade to N26 Metal?

If you’ve already signed up for a basic N26 account, it will be easy to upgrade to Metal in the app. Swipe right until you reach the update tab next to your balance. Then select a shipping method, card color (black, pink or gray) and accept the terms.

Finally, confirm your request by entering the transfer PIN and the N26 will send you your metal card. Express shipping takes 5 business days, while standard shipping takes up to 10 business days.

  1. N26 Fees

N26 offers free spending abroad for all account holders and free worldwide cash withdrawals for N26 You and N26 Metal account holders.

If you have an N26 checking account, you can withdraw cash in the UK for free, but any foreign currency will be charged 1.7% of the value of the cash withdrawn.

N26 does not currently offer authorized overdrafts, so in the event of an overdraft; you will be charged 14.9% EAR (equivalent annual rate).

Interest is charged daily, but is debited quarterly from your N26 account. N26 has a commission limit of £ 80 per calendar month. According to their UK website, overdraft is coming soon on N26.

N26 You commissions

The price has not changed. The N26 You comes for a flat monthly fee of £ 4.90, just like the N26 Black did before.

It’s cheaper than in other European countries, where it costs € 9.90 (around £ 9) a month because it includes Allianz travel insurance there, which is currently not available in the UK.

Once registered, you will have a minimum of 12 months of membership during which you cannot cancel the card, and the monthly fee will be automatically debited from your account.

If you do not cancel the contract at least four weeks before the contract expires, N26 You will automatically renew for another year (with a 30-day cancellation period) and so on.

Therefore, it is advised to count and make sure the N26 You gives you good value for money before trying it.

N26 Metal commissions

The N26 Metal costs £ 14.90 per month and has a 1 year minimum term. In exchange for the monthly freebie, Metal customers receive almost all of the other N26 services for free, including free cash withdrawals from ATMs around the world.

Limits of N26

The N26 has some rates and limits that you should be aware of, which includes:

  • UK customers receive free cash withdrawals up to £ 500 per day.
  • The maximum daily limit for in-store or online payments is £ 5,000.
  • The maximum monthly limit for card payments is £ 20,000.
  1. About N26 Safety

Bank N26 is based in Berlin and is regulated by the German financial regulator.

Your money is protected by a German deposit protection scheme of up to € 100,000, which is currently the equivalent of £ 86,000 (almost identical to the FSCS protection in the UK).

N26 takes care of security and protects your account with a password and PIN when creating an account.

It also offers MasterCard 3D secure as an additional layer of protection when making payments online. If you lose your card or get stolen, you can immediately block it in the app and unblock it if you manage to find it.

Will your money be safe after Brexit?

While the fate of Brexit is still looming, it is difficult to say how things will develop, especially given that your money is under the protection of Germany’s financial authorities and that conditions require that money be kept within the European Union.

Anyways N26 insists that if something happens they will inform their UK customers of any important updates. And they have no further information on Brexit as they do not know if it will happen at all. In case this happens, they will work hard to continuously operate in the UK, as this is such an important market for them.


When you consider that the N26 was one of the first app-only banks to hit the market, it’s surprising to find that in terms of features, they still lag behind the likes of Monzo and Starling Bank.

The attempt to conquer the UK market is ambitious, so it will be interesting to see if the N26 offers more advantages over time to compete with the likes of Monzo and Starling.

If compared to traditional banks, the N26 is really competitive, especially for traveling abroad.

You can use your card anywhere without any fees, quickly apply online, and enjoy a really convenient banking app with many features. 

As a bank, the N26 cannot offer basic features like standing payments and overdrafts. While it competes with other app-only banks for free overseas spending, it charges fees for ATM cash withdrawals overseas.

Further Reading

Evelyn Partners Review advises expats on optimal financial choices, akin to N26’s innovative banking solutions.

What’s the best savings accounts for expats in the UK? This article will answer that very question.

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