n26 is the Mobile Bank. Free bank account and Mastercard that you can manage directly from your phone. Open your bank account …
What is N26?
N26 is a digital bank headquartered in Germany. It offers fully digital checking accounts that are controlled from within an app — and without any branches.
N26 is already operating in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium and a wide range of other European countries, and it launched in the US in July 2019.
How does N26 work?
n26 accounts are opened and operated online, and the bank offers both free and premium accounts. It works like a checking account, and customers can access their money with a contactless debit card.
Accounts are controlled within the N26 app. In countries where the bank has already launched, features include:
Google Pay. n26 supports Google Pay, so you can use your phone to make payments in stores, and also use Google Pay to make purchases online.
In-app security. Set and change daily spend/withdrawal limits, reset your PIN, lock or unlock your card and enable or disable online or foreign payments.
Spending statistics. Get automatic breakdowns of your purchases by category. You can also create your own personal tags to organize your transactions.
Spaces. Saving up for a particular goal, like a bike or a holiday? Put money into sub-accounts so you don’t accidentally spend it.
MoneyBeam. Send money to smartphone contacts, without even knowing their bank account details. Money is sent to fellow N26 users instantly, or within two days if they’re not with n26.
Perks. The Perks feature lets you save a percentage on certain participating subscription services, like Aaptive, Blinkist, Luminary and Tidal.
Referral bonuses. You can get a code to share with friends and family, and you’ll get a referral bonus if they use your code to sign up — but N26 doesn’t disclose how much the bonus is worth.
N26 does have some rates and charges that you should be aware of.
$2 for US ATM withdrawals after your first two free withdrawals per month
$5 for replacing your N26 debit card, or $30 if you request express shipping.
Using N26 abroad
N26 charges $2 plus 2% of the withdrawal amount when using a foreign ATM.
You can avoid this fee if you pay for an item with your Mastercard. There is no fee for making purchases in foreign currency.
Is n26 safe?
The app itself has a three-tier security procedure protecting your account and transactions. Your account can only be paired to one smartphone at a time, you must log in to your account using your password or fingerprint, and you must verify all online and offline transactions with your PIN.
N26 also offers a Bug Bounty program that offers cash rewards to encourage security researchers to track down bugs or vulnerabilities and it is FDIC-insured through its partner bank, Axos Bank.
Pros and cons of N26
Benefits and drawbacks include:
Easy to manage and track your spending in real time
Your account can be accessed on your phone or via N26‘s web app
In-app security features such as card lock/unlock
All payments, both national and international, completed within one working day
Fee-free card transactions abroad
MoneyBeam lets you transfer money to friends and family instantly
Surcharge for foreign currency withdrawals, although it’s competitive with other similar banks
No bank branches