N26 vs bunq
N26 and bunq are two big names in the world of 'challenger banks', but how do they compare?
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
|Card delivery||Up to 10 working days||Up to 10 working days|
|Payments||Use 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|
|Spending insights||PULSE26 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.|
|Top Up Via bank transfer||IBAN required and details needed||Use 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 card||Yes: at the touch of a button in the app||Yes: at the touch of a button in the app|
|Alerts||Alerts for withdrawing money and paying||Multiple notifications|
|Interest||None||0.27% on all accounts|
|Savings Goals||N26 ‘Spaces’ feature lets you open sub-accounts to stash your money away||bunq’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 feel||Monthly spending statistics are shown in a pie chart.||Simple, user-friendly interface.|
|Foreign ATM withdrawals|
|Foreign transactions fee||No fees||No fees|
|Apple and Google Pay||Yes||Yes|
|Find out more|
Compare N26 and bunq with other digital banks in Germany
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.