N26 vs bunq

N26 and bunq are two big names in the world of 'challenger banks', but how do they compare?

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Digital banks like N26 and bunq have disrupted the world of banking in recent years. It’s easy to see why given their suite of convenient features, low fees and easy-to-use apps. At the same time, traditional banks continue to struggle with slow and laborious online banking processes.

Read on to compare the current accounts offered by two of the major ‘challenger banks’.

A quick review: N26 and bunq

N26 is a German fintech company that is currently available in a number of countries throughout Europe and the US. It was founded in Berlin in February 2013 and originally called Number 26. N26 offers digital bank accounts that are accessible on your smartphone as well as personal and bank accounts. Its current account options include the N26 Account (its free account option), N26 You and N26 Metal.

bunq is an app-based digital bank that is available throughout Europe. It was founded in the Netherlands in 2015 and it still has it headquarters in Amsterdam today. bunq offers personal and business products, with its personal accounts including a travel card, a premium card, business card and a SuperGreen card that offsets C02 emissions by planting trees.

N26 vs bunq at a glance

FeatureN26bunq
Monthly fees
  • N26 Bank Account: €0
  • N26 You: €9.90
  • N26 Metal: €16.90
  • bunq Premium: €7.99
  • bunq Business:€9.99
  • bunq Business SuperGreen: €19.99
  • bunq Premium SuperGreen: €16.99
  • bunq Travel: €0
Card deliveryUp to 10 working daysUp to 10 working days
PaymentsUse MoneyBeam to transfer money to other N26 users instantly. Send money to 16 countries via TransferWise.Partnered with TransferWise, so you can send money cheaply to multiple countries. Send payments via the app, SMS and email
ATM withdrawals
  • 5 withdrawals per month for free in the Eurozone, €2 fee per withdrawal after
  • Free withdrawals at ATMs in other currencies for N26 You and Metal, €0 charge for N26 Bank account holders
  • For all bunq accounts, excluding bunq Travel: 10 withdrawals per month, after which a €0.99 fee applies
  • bunq Travel: €0.99 per ATM withdrawal
Spending insightsPULSE26 analytics offers insights like the restaurant you visit most. Monthly reports help understand your spending habits.The bank’s Insights feature automatically categorises payments, so you can track exactly what you spend.
Banking licenceYesYes
Top Up Via bank transferIBAN required and details neededUse iDEAL, SOFORT or TransferWise for instant top-ups online. IBAN bank transfers and credit/debit card top-ups are also accepted. German users may also use Giropay, and users in Belgium could use Bancontact.
Freeze your cardYes: at the touch of a button in the appYes: at the touch of a button in the app
AlertsAlerts for withdrawing money and payingMultiple notifications
InterestNone0.27% on all accounts
Savings GoalsN26 ‘Spaces’ feature lets you open sub-accounts to stash your money awaybunq’s ‘Savings Goals’ lets you open sub-accounts, while Auto Save rounds up your outgoing payments to give a boost to your savings
Look and feelMonthly spending statistics are shown in a pie chart.Simple, user-friendly interface.
Foreign ATM withdrawals
  • N26 Bank Account:€1.70 of the amount drawn
  • N26 You: €0
  • N26 Metal: €0
  • 10 withdrawals per month (but non-euro withdrawals will incur the Mastercard exchange rate).
Foreign transactions feeNo feesNo fees
Direct debitsYesYes
Apple and Google PayYesYes
Find out more

Compare N26 and bunq with other digital banks in Germany

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Monthly fee Card delivery Supported currencies
Comdirect Bank Current Account
€0
N/A
EUR
A free current account with no minimum incoming funds. Includes a free Visa credit card and free cash withdrawals worldwide.
Norisbank free current account
€0
5-7 working days
EUR

Receive €100 starting credit for a limited time*

Benefit from a €0 account fee, free Maestro card and free cash withdrawals from thousands of locations worldwide.
N26 Bank Account
€0
Up to 10 working days
EUR
Benefit from no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees and a raft of in-app budgeting features to help you save.
Tomorrow
€0
3-5 business days
EUR
A free Visa debit card with free transactions across the globe and 3 withdrawals per month for free.
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Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Monthly fee Card delivery Supported currencies
Fidor Smart Current Account
€5
N/A
EUR
A mobile current account with real-time notifications on your transactions. Includes a digital Mastercard with mobile payment and a Smart Banking app.
N26 You
€9.90
Up to 10 working days
EUR
A smart IBAN account with no currency conversion fees, complimentary insurances and no ATM fees here or abroad.
Tomorrow Zero
€15
3-5 business days
EUR
A free Visa debit card with free transactions across the globe and unlimited free ATM withdrawals per month
TARGOBANK Online-Account
€3.95
N/A
EUR
An online current account that comes with a Visa credit card. Free online transfers and free cash withdrawals at more than 3,000 ATMs.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Monthly fee Card delivery Supported currencies
bunq Travel card
€0
Up to working 10 days
EUR
A no monthly-fee card that lets you travel and spend globally using the real exchange rate. Security controls and simple payments.
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Please note these products are not licenced as banks. Check our product review pages for details.
Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Monthly fee Card delivery Supported currencies
Holvi Starter
€0
Up to 10 business days
EUR
An online account ideal for new businesses with €0 monthly fees and unlimited SEPA transfers. Includes a Holvi Business debit Mastercard.
VIABUY Prepaid Mastercard
VIABUY Prepaid Mastercard
€1.65
3-5 business days
EUR
VIABUY Prepaid Mastercard comes with no line of credit and it does not require credit checks.
Holvi Grower
€12
Up to 10 business days
EUR
A full online business account with unlimited SEPA transfers, unlimited invoicing and up to three Holvi Business Debit Mastercards.
Revolut Standard
€0
Up to 9 working days
GBP,SEK,PLN,CHF,DKK,NOK,USD,CZK,CAD,AUD,RON,EUR
Enjoy no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees up to €1,000 per month and the ability to hold over 15 currencies in your account.
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The Verdict

There isn’t a lot to distinguish these two digital-only banks in terms of their apps. Both bunq and N26 offer slick graphics and spending insights, categorising your transactions with ease and showing you where your spending is going. Both also give you the chance to create sub-accounts where you can keep money for a specific savings goal. N26 has Spaces, while bunq has Savings Goals.

The fact that bunq pays an interest rate of 0.27% may separate it from other ‘challenger banks’ like N26, but some will feel this is overshadowed by its monthly account charges. Additionally, N26 offers special features like lines of credit to users in Germany and the fact it has a Berlin office might be more appealing to German users. For these reasons, we think N26 narrowly edges out its competitor.

Video: Alex Weber, head of international markets, on why N26 is different

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