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N26 vs bunq

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

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 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. N26 is originally from Germany but 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.

bunq is an app-based digital bank that is available throughout Europe. It was founded in the Netherlands in 2015 and it still has its headquarters in Amsterdam today. bunq offers personal and business products, with its personal accounts including an Easy Bank card, Easy Money card and an Easy Green card. It also offers a free savings account where you can earn up to 0.09% on your balance.

Breakdown of N26 vs bunq in Germany

N26 Standard

bunq Easy Bank Personal

N26 Standard

bunq Easy Bank Personal

OVERVIEW
Description Benefit from no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees and a raft of in-app budgeting features to help you save. Benefit from zero FX fees, bill splitting facility, and a wide range of advance payment features with this low-cost digital account.
Monthly fees: 0 € 2.99 €
Joint accounts No No
FEES
Card fee 10 € 9.99 €
ATM withdrawals 3 withdrawals per month N/A
Fee-free currency conversion limit Unlimited
EXTRA FEATURES
Security Deposit protection
Triple layer of security in the app
PIN required in each transaction
Real-time notifications
Payments protected against fraud; loss or theft
PIN protected Cards
Lock and unlock your phone
Virtual cards
PIN required in each transaction
Real-time notifications
PIN protected Cards
Benefits Payment notifications
Bill splitting
Spending categorisation
Virtual cards
Fast transfers
Web app
Payment notifications
Bill splitting
Virtual cards
Fast transfers
Web app
Interest earning accounts Account with no interest earned
Account with no interest earned
Learn more

N26 You

bunq Easy Money Personal

N26 You

bunq Easy Money Personal

OVERVIEW
Description A smart IBAN account with no currency conversion fees, complimentary insurances and no ATM fees here or abroad. A card linked to up to 25 individual IBAN accounts. Earn interest on all money in your account and benefit from competitive rates and fees.
Monthly fees: 9.90 € 8.99 €
Joint accounts No Yes
FEES
Card fee 0 € 9.99 €
ATM withdrawals 5 withdrawals per month 4 withdrawals per month
Fee-free currency conversion limit Unlimited N/A
EXTRA FEATURES
Security Lock and unlock your phone
Enable and disable types of transactions
Deposit protection
Triple layer of security in the app
PIN required in each transaction
Real-time notifications
Set card limits
PIN required in each transaction
Card blocking function
Real-time notifications
European banking license
Benefits Payment notifications
Bill splitting
Spending categorisation
Virtual cards
Insurance covers
Web app
Exclusive offers
Dedicated customer support
Choose your card colour
Payment notifications
Virtual cards
Fast transfers
Web app
Open multiple bank accounts
Interest earning accounts Account with no interest earned
Account with interest earned
Learn more

N26 Metal

bunq Easy Green Personal

N26 Metal

bunq Easy Green Personal

OVERVIEW
Description Receive a stainless steel Metal card available in 3 shades, an insurance package and exclusive offers. An account with an exclusive stainless steel card. Help the environment – a tree will be planted for every €100 you spend.
Monthly fees: 16.90 € 17.99 €
Joint accounts Yes Yes
FEES
Card fee 0 € 9.99 €
ATM withdrawals 8 withdrawals per month First 4 withdrawals per month
Fee-free currency conversion limit Unlimited Unlimited
EXTRA FEATURES
Security Lock and unlock your phone
Virtual cards
Enable and disable types of transactions
Deposit protection
Triple layer of security in the app
PIN required in each transaction
Real-time notifications
PIN protected Cards
PIN required in each transaction
Card blocking function
Real-time notifications
European banking license
Benefits Payment notifications
Bill splitting
Spending categorisation
Insurance covers
Web app
Exclusive offers
Dedicated customer support
Choose your card colour
Payment notifications
Spending categorisation
Fast transfers
Web app
Interest earning accounts Account with no interest earned
Account with interest earned
Learn more

*We selected products from each provider that were the most comparable. You can find all available products on our review pages as well as the provider’s website.

The Verdict

There isn’t a lot to distinguish between 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. bunq also offers a separate savings account option — bunq Easy Savings — with a monthly return of 0.09%.

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.

Looking for more options? Compare a range of digital banks in Germany

Name Product Mobile view Digital banks English Management Fee Card delivery Supported currencies
Commerzbank Free current account
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    3 to 4 business days

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

0 €
3 to 4 business days

1

Receive €100 starting credit after 3 months of account activity

A current account with 0 € fees and cashback at select Shell petrol stations. Includes a Mastercard Classic credit card.
Nuri Bank Account
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    Up to 14 days

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

0 €
Up to 14 days

1

Receive €10 when you apply for a Nuri bank account and card. T&C applies

A unique bank account and crypto-wallet managed through a user-friendly app with real-time spending notifications. Includes a free digital Mastercard.
N26 Standard
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    Up to 10 working days

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

0 €
Up to 10 working days

1

Benefit from no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees and a raft of in-app budgeting features to help you save.
Vivid Standard
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    4-5 days

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

0 €
4-5 days

1

A free bank account with fee-free payments and transfers globally. Enjoy up to 20€ cashback per month.
1822MOBILE Current Account
1822MOBILE Current Account
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    N/A

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

0 €
N/A

1

Free account management, €20 when you open an account, up to €100 referral bonus and a free savings bank card: your current account 1822MOBILE offers all of this.
Openbank Free Current Account
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    N/A

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

0 €
N/A

1

A free current account with free euro transfers within the eurozone. Includes a debit card with free cash withdrawals worldwide.
DKB-Cash: Free current account
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    Up to 7 business days

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

0 €
Up to 7 business days

1

A current account with fees that comes with a free Visa credit card and free cash withdrawals worldwide.
Norisbank Top Current Account
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    5 to 7 working days

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

0 €
5 to 7 working days

1

Benefit from a 0 € account fee, free Maestro card and free cash withdrawals from thousands of locations worldwide.
Commerzbank StartKonto
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    3 to 4 business days

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

0 €
3 to 4 business days

1

A free current account for young people with a free Young Visa credit card. Cashbacks and discounts in more than 2,000 online shops.
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Name Product Mobile view Digital banks English Management Fee Card delivery Supported currencies
Comdirect Bank Current Account
  • Management Fee

    4.90 €

  • Card delivery

    N/A

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

4.90 €
N/A

1

A current account with no minimum incoming funds. Includes a free Visa credit card and free cash withdrawals worldwide.
N26 Metal
  • Management Fee

    16.90 €

  • Card delivery

    Up to 10 working days

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

16.90 €
Up to 10 working days

1

Receive a stainless steel Metal card available in 3 shades, an insurance package and exclusive offers.
Tomorrow Now
  • Management Fee

    3 €

  • Card delivery

    3-5 business days

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

3 €
3-5 business days

1

A free Visa debit card with free transactions across the globe and N/A for free.
TARGOBANK Online-Account
  • Management Fee

    3.95 €

  • Card delivery

    N/A

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

3.95 €
N/A

1

An online current account that comes with a Visa credit card. Free online transfers and free cash withdrawals at more than 3,000 ATMs.
bunq Easy Green Personal
  • Management Fee

    17.99 €

  • Card delivery

    Up to working 10 days

  • Supported currencies

    19

  • Mobile payments

17.99 €
Up to working 10 days

19

An account with an exclusive stainless steel card. Help the environment – a tree will be planted for every €100 you spend.
N26 Smart
  • Management Fee

    4.90 €

  • Card delivery

    Up to 10 working days

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

4.90 €
Up to 10 working days

1

A mid-tier, premium subscription plan that comes with a range of essential money management features to help you better manage your finances.
Tomorrow Change
  • Management Fee

    7 €

  • Card delivery

    3-5 business days

  • Supported currencies

    1

  • Mobile payments

7 €
3-5 business days

1

Manage your shared finances conveniently with Tomorrow’s mid-tier plan. Benefits include multiple sub-account, fee-free monthly cash withdrawals and more.
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Please note these products are not licenced as banks. Check our product review pages for details.
Name Product Mobile view Digital banks English Management Fee Card delivery Supported currencies
Revolut Standard
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    Up to 9 working days

  • Supported currencies

    27

  • Mobile payments

0 €
Up to 9 working days

27

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.
Wise Multicurrency Account
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    Up to 14 working days

  • Supported currencies

    19

  • Mobile payments

0 €
Up to 14 working days

19

Wise (formerly TransferWise) is an international account with over 50 currencies, instant and very convenient money transfers, a card to spend in any currency, bank details to be paid in 30 different countries and multi-currency direct debits.
Revolut Plus
  • Management Fee

    2.99 €

  • Card delivery

    Up to 9 working days

  • Supported currencies

    25

  • Mobile payments

2.99 €
Up to 9 working days

25

Enjoy purchase, event ticket and returns protection, plus other innovative features with this lower-priced subscription plan.
Wirex Standard
  • Management Fee

    0 €

  • Card delivery

    Up to 4 business days

  • Supported currencies

    12

  • Mobile payments

0 €
Up to 4 business days

12

Get a Welcome Bonus of $15 USD in WXT when you sign up with Wirex through Finder.

Benefit from an array of digital payment features, including a free prepaid Wirex card and unlimited fee-free transfers at interbank rates - with zero monthly subscription fee.
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