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N26 app and debit card review

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Skip visits to the bank and control your money from an app.

finder.com’s rating: 4.5 / 5.0

★★★★★

N26 is a digital bank that launched its first checking account in the US in July 2019. It has unique perks like a cashback debit card and money management tools. But it doesn’t earn interest and ATM reimbursements are limited.

$0

Monthly fee

N/A

APY

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

Monthly fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$0
ATMsFee-free ATM withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs
ATM transaction fee$2
ATM fee rebates$0 fee on first 2 ATM withdrawals
Out-of-network ATM fee$0
Foreign transaction fee2%
Nonsufficient funds fee$0

Expert review

Charlie Barton

Review by


Charlie Barton is a publisher at Finder. He specialises in banking and investments products, including banking apps, current accounts, share-dealing platforms and stocks and shares ISAs. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics, and in his spare time enjoys long walks on the beach.

Expert review

N26 is best for those who like to manage and budget their funds. It goes beyond checking accounts as it also provides budgeting tools. Account holders are able to create subaccounts for their saving needs and view statistics based on their spending habits.

N26 was recently released to the U.S. in July 2019, so there aren’t many customer reviews at the moment.

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 — and customers can access their money with a contactless debit card.

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.

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

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

Pros

N26 has app-based, so you control your accounts from your smartphone. Unique features include:

  • Large ATM network. Use your N26 debit card for free at over 55,000 AllPoint ATMs worldwide.
  • 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.
  • Budgeting. Get automatic breakdowns of your purchases by category and put your money into sub-accounts so you don’t accidentally spend it.
  • Early direct deposits. Receive direct deposits up to two days in advance with N26.
  • Perks. Earn cashback when you use your N26 debit card for subscription services like Booking.com, Lime, Headspace, Babbel, Curology, Headout and more.

Cons

Although N26 has some unique perks, there are a few drawbacks to watch out for, including no bank branches:

  • No interest. This account doesn’t earn any interest, so it’s not ideal for those who need a savings account.
  • Limited product selection. Currently N26 only offers a checking account for US customers, so you won’t find any savings accounts here.
  • Limited ATM reimbursements. N26 reimburses up to two non-network ATM fees a month. But several banks offer unlimited reimbursements. Expect to pay $2 for non-network ATM withdrawals over the monthly limit
  • Surcharge for foreign currency withdrawals. Expect to pay a 2% fee when you withdraw money at a foreign ATM.

If you prefer a traditional checking account, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when looking for a checking account.

Compare with other digital banks

Name Product Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
N26
N26
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$0
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Aspiration Spend & Save Account
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A spend and save combo account with no monthly service fees, free access to every ATM in the world, unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC. The Aspiration Spend & Save Account is a cash management account offering of Aspiration Financial, LLC, an SEC-registered broker-dealer. Aspiration is not a chartered bank.
Chime Spending account
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Linked checking and savings accounts from a mobile-first bank that’s light on fees.
Zero Checking
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A mobile banking experience consisting of an app, a credit card called Zerocard, and a checking account called Zero Checking.
Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot
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Thousands of free in-network ATMs
$3
Earn 2% APY on your savings by opening a High-Yield Savings Account + 2% cash back on online and mobile purchases
Dave
Over 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide
$0
This digital-only deposit account features overdraft protection, interest-free cash advances and no minimum balance. But prospective new account holders are waitlisted.
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Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

Image source: supplied, photographer: N26

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