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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’.

Quick review: N26 vs bunq

N26 is a popular banking app in Ireland which counts more than 100,000 users across the country and 2.5 million across Europe. N26 was founded in 2013 and has its HQ in Berlin. It offers a range of personal and business bank account types, cards and the N26 app.

In terms of current accounts, you can choose between the N26 Standard, N26 Smart, N26 You and N26 Metal. These accounts feature smart budgeting tools, transparent pricing and ways to save on foreign currency. Choose between four business accounts: N26 Business Standard, N26 Business Smart, N26 Business You and N26 Business Metal.

bunq is a wholly digital neobank, which is available to users all across the EU. The Netherlands-based provider offers mobile-first accounts, including contactless debit cards, that can be used around the globe. It’s quick to open an account with this provider, and its 25 sub-accounts mean you can organise your money quickly.

To coincide with its fifth birthday, bunq recently simplified its accounts. Choose between easyTravel, easyMoney or easyGreen personal accounts. If you’re looking for an account for your business, choose from easyTravel Business, easyMoney Business or easyGreen Business.

N26 vs bunq side-by-side comparison

N26 Bank Account

bunq easyTravel Personal

N26 Bank Account

bunq easyTravel Personal

OVERVIEW
Description Benefit from no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees and a raft of in-app budgeting features to help you save. A no monthly-fee card that lets you travel and spend globally using the real exchange rate. Security controls and simple payments.
Monthly fees: €0 €2.99
Card delivery Up to 10 working days Up to 10 working days
Mobile wallets Apple Pay
Google Pay
Apple Pay
Google Pay
FitBit Pay
Supported currencies EUR
EUR
Free ATM withdrawals limit 3 withdrawals per month 10 per month
GLOBAL SPENDING
Currency conversion fee 0% 0%
Free currency conversion limit Unlimited Unlimited
EXTRA FEATURES
Savings function No Account with interest earned
Benefits Payment notifications
Bill splitting
Spending categorisation
Fast transfers
Web app
Payment notifications
Fast transfers
Web app
Learn more

N26 You

bunq easyMoney Personal

N26 You

bunq easyMoney 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 €7.99
Card delivery Up to 10 working days Up to 10 working days
Mobile wallets Apple Pay
Google Pay
FitBit Pay
Apple Pay
Google Pay
FitBit Pay
Supported currencies EUR
EUR
Free ATM withdrawals limit 5 withdrawals per month 10 withdrawals per month, after which a €0.99 fee applies
GLOBAL SPENDING
Currency conversion fee 0% 0%
Free currency conversion limit Unlimited Unlimited
EXTRA FEATURES
Savings function Account with interest earned Account with interest earned
Benefits Payment notifications
Bill splitting
Spending categorisation
Insurance covers
Fast transfers
Web app
Choice of card colour
Payment notifications
Bill splitting
Spending categorisation
Fast transfers
Web app
Learn more

N26 Metal

bunq easyGreen Personal

N26 Metal

bunq easyGreen 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 €16.99
Card delivery Up to 10 working days Up to 10 working days
Mobile wallets Apple Pay
Google Pay
Apple Pay
Google Pay
FitBit Pay
Supported currencies EUR
EUR
Free ATM withdrawals limit 8 withdrawals per month 10 withdrawals per month
GLOBAL SPENDING
Currency conversion fee 0% 0%
Free currency conversion limit Unlimited Unlimited
EXTRA FEATURES
Savings function Account with interest earned No
Benefits Payment notifications
Spending categorisation
Virtual cards
Fast transfers
Web app
Exclusive offers
Choice of card colour
Payment notifications
Spending categorisation
Web app
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 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. bunq is a euro-only account; if you want to make transfers between Euros and Sterling, you’ll be charged Wise rates. N26 doesn’t charge any foreign exchange fees but does charge new customers 0.5% interest on any savings over €50,000 unless you’re an N26 Metal account holder. Despite this, N26, has a well-established customer base in Ireland, which makes the ability to send and receive money between other N26 users all the more appealing. For these reasons, we think N26 narrowly edges out its competitor.

For a better idea of both accounts, read our full reviews of bunq and N26.

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

Name Product Monthly Fee Free ATM withdrawal limit Supported currencies
N26 Bank Account
€0
3 withdrawals per month
EUR
Benefit from no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees and a raft of in-app budgeting features to help you save.
VIALET Current Account
€0
N/A
EUR
An IBAN account you can use to manage your money and spend in over 200 countries worldwide, fee-free.
Revolut Standard
€0
€200 per month
GBP, SEK, PLN, CHF, DKK, NOK, USD, CZK, CAD, AUD, NZD, HUF, BGN, GEL, RON, EUR, ZAR, TRY, SGD, SAR, RUB, MXN, JPY, ILS, HKD, HRK, QAR, THB
Enjoy no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees up to €1,000 per month and hold an array of currencies in your account.
Wise Multicurrency Account
€0
2 withdrawals up to €200 per month
GBP, SEK, PLN, CHF, DKK, NOK, USD, CZK, CNY, CAD, AUD, NZD, AED, UAH, HUF, BGN, RON, EUR, SGD
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.
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Name Product Monthly Fee Free ATM withdrawal limit Supported currencies
Wirex Multi-Currency Card
€1.20
up to £400 per month
GBP, CHF, CZK, CAD, AUD, EUR, SGD, MXN, JPY, HKD

Get a Welcome Bonus of 1,000 WXT when you sign up with Wirex through Finder.

A multicurrency account that lets you spend abroad in over 150 currencies and an array of supported cryptocurrencies.
Revolut Premium
€7.99
€400 per month
GBP, SEK, PLN, CHF, DKK, NOK, USD, CZK, CAD, AUD, NZD, HUF, BGN, GEL, RON, EUR, ZAR, TRY, SGD, SAR, RUB, MXN, JPY, ILS, HKD, HRK, QAR, THB
A combined current account and IBAN account with unlimited free currency conversions and international transfers in many currencies.
bunq easyMoney Personal
€7.99
10 withdrawals per month, after which a €0.99 fee applies
EUR
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.
N26 Smart
€4.90
5 free withdrawals per month
EUR
A mid-tier, premium subscription plan that comes with a range of essential money management features to help you better manage your finances.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Monthly Fee Free ATM withdrawal limit Supported currencies
bunq easyTravel Personal
€2.99
10 per month
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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