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N26 review

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N26 are a German-born challenger bank who launched in the UK and US in 2018, becoming increasingly popular with those looking to switch from a traditional high-street bank to a current account provider.

Their sleek and modern look is complimented by their functional current account options and easy-accessibility, along with the advantage that you can spend abroad without any added fees. We’ve put together a handy review on N26 to help you decide which challenger bank might be the best option for you. Read on to find out more about N26.

 Offers 3 types of current account

 Choose a different coloured card with N26 You or a Metal card with the Metal account

 Use Spaces to put money aside and make savings every month

 Use MoneyBeam to make instant transfers between N26 accounts

 Set up direct debits for free

 Unlimited free ATM withdrawals in the UK

 Fee-free transactions abroad as standard

 Supports Google Pay and Apply Pay

 Can access your account online using their WebApp

 Need to have a newer smartphone to apply

 Cannot deposit cash in the UK – only top up the account through a transfer

 Card delivery can take up to 10 days

 Standing orders are not available

 1.7% surcharge for withdrawing cash abroad

Products

  • Current account – the standard current account from N26 is completely free to use with no-fee transactions while spending abroad. You should have access to all of the benefits of an N26 account mentioned above
  • N26 You – get all the benefits of the standard current account along with the option to choose between different card colours (Aqua, Rhubarb, Sand, Ocean and Slate). You will also get up to 10 Spaces and exclusive partner discounts
  • Metal account – along with the benefits included in N26 You, you will also get a metal card and premium perks such as LoungeKey membership access, foreign medical expenses, flight delay cover and priority customer support

Eligibility criteria

  • At least 18 years old
  • Are a UK resident
  • Own a compatible smartphone (iPhone 5c or above running iOS 11 or Android 6.0 or above)
  • Have a recognised form of ID
  • Can verify yourself in English, German, Spanish, Italian or French

App features

The N26 app is the gateway to managing your account and taking advantage of the numerous benefits attached to being a customer. You will receive real-time notifications every time you get an update to the account, including every time you spend and make a transfer in or out.

Spending Insights will allow you to see a breakdown of your spending on a monthly basis. This feature organises your spending into categories such as ‘Groceries’ and ‘Transport’ so you can see where you might be overspending and make changes for the future.

Spaces are specifically designed for those customers who need a bit of help with saving money. It gives you a place to funnel savings into on a monthly basis and saves you having to open a separate savings account as the transfer can be done in-app at any time.

MoneyBeam gives you the option of making instant transfers between you and another N26 customer in your contacts. You can send up to £100 per transaction and up to £500 per day using this method.

Security

With N26 you will get several ways in which you can secure your account. As standard you will create a username and password when you set up your account, and you will also have a confirmation 4-digit pin that you will use to confirm changes to your account or make a transfer.

When you receive a real-time notification in the form of a push message, this will also confirm the transaction has taken place (almost like a receipt when you make a purchase). They also use 3D Secure to ensure you are protected from online card fraud.

If you have an iPhone, you can also benefit from Touch ID or Face ID, depending on the make or model of your device. This is an extra way to secure your account when accessing your account through your smartphone.

Spending abroad

As a customer of N26 you will be able to make payments for free worldwide. That means no additional fees or charges just because you’re spending outside the UK. The only time you will have to pay an additional fee is if you’re withdrawing cash, where you will have a surcharge of 1.7% on anything you withdraw.

Fees and charges

Whilst the standard current account from N26 is completely free, the other two premium options both require a monthly fee to be paid. For N26 You, there is a charge of £4.90 per month, while the charge for the Metal card account is £14.90 per month.

Other fees and charges include the following:

  • Cash withdrawals outside the UK – 1.7% surcharge
  • Unapproved overdraft – 14.9% EAR (equivalent annual rate)
  • Replacement card – 1 free replacement per year then £6 for a further replacement
  • Replacement Metal card - £40 for each replacement card

Support

If you require any help or support with your N26 account, you will find this via their website within the support section.

You can also get in touch with them using their online chat which is available Monday to Sunday from 7am to 10pm. There is no option to contact N26 via phone and since they are an online bank, there are no branches that you can visit.

Summary

Overall, N26 provides a breadth of options for customers to take advantage of when looking for a new current account, and will appeal especially to those looking to travel and spend abroad frequently.

Whilst they don’t offer any additional financial products outside of their current accounts, what they provide is very functional and accessible. Their sleek, modern look will appeal to young professionals and tech-savvy individuals who wish to switch to a bank they can control using just their phone.

Does N26 sound like the best challenger bank for you? Find out more details about N26 over on their provider page or start browsing our current account tables using the link below.

Robert Bester

Updated on 3rd September 2019