N26 bank review

N26 is a digital-only German challenger bank that's landed in the UK. Does it offer anything different?

Last updated:

N26
We say
★★★★★
Finder expert rating
You say
★★★★★
Customer satisfaction
  • Manage whole account from a well made app
  • Relatively new to the UK, so a bit early to judge
N26 is a bank account with a slick app. It offers fee-free spending abroad and paid-for premium features suited to frequent travellers.

Like most challengers, it’s good for people who are looking for a fresh, mobile first approach to banking.

We’ve highlighted the key features, pros and cons of N26, to help you decide whether it’s the option for you.

N26

Download N26 now for free

  • Take control of your finances with one app
  • Manage everything directly in the N26 app
  • Set payment limits; change your PIN; lock and unlock your card
  • Make no-fee transactions anywhere in the world
Promoted

What is N26?

N26 launched in the UK in November 2018, entering the market to compete with British-born Monzo and Starling, as well as Revolut.

N26 is a digital-only current account, with a modern banking app that shows spending insights and gives you control your finances.

N26 is already operating in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium and a wide range of other European countries. It has more than 3 million customers and has recently launched in the US, too.

How does N26 work?

When you sign up with N26 you will be sent a cool, clear, contactless Mastercard.

N26 offers a free basic current account, plus two premium options that are now also available in the UK. Read our reviews of N26 You and N26 Metal to find out more about them.

The three of them all operate on the same app, whose features include:

  • UK account number and sort code. You’ll be able to set up direct debits and receive and make payments the way you would with a traditional bank like Barclays or Lloyds.
  • Make transfers. Send, receive and even request money from friends instantly. N26 supports direct debits, but not standing orders.
  • Google Pay and Apple Pay. N26 supports both Google Pay and Apple Pay, so no matter if you’re the iOs or the Android type, you can use your phone to make payments in stores.
  • 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.
  • Spending statistics. Get automatic categorisation and breakdowns of your purchases. You can also create your own personal tags to organise your transactions.
  • Spaces. Saving up for a particular goal, like a bike or a holiday? Put money into small sub-accounts away from your main spending pot. Like they say – out of sight, out of mind. No interest will be paid on your savings though.
  • MoneyBeam. Lets you send money to smartphone contacts, without even knowing their bank account details. Money is sent to fellow N26 users instantly, or within two days if they’re not with N26.

How does the app look?

N26 fees and limits

N26 does have some rates and limits that you should be aware of.

  • UK customers get fee-free cash withdrawals, up to the daily limit of £500.
  • If you make foreign cash withdrawals with your debit card, you’ll be charged 1.7% of the amount taken out.
  • The maximum daily limit for in-store or online payments is £5,000.
  • The maximum monthly limit on card payments is £20,000.

Using N26 abroad

Travelling with N26 is cheaper than using most cards from traditional banks, as it doesn’t charge any fees for foreign currency transactions.

However, while cash withdrawals in pounds are free of charge, for ATM withdrawals in other currencies, N26 makes a surcharge of 1.7% of the withdrawal.

Also, be aware that at the moment N26 does not support international money transfers. You can only send and receive money from other UK accounts.

Compare N26’s products

Updated October 15th, 2019
Name Product Fees and charges Delivery speed
N26
Free
5-7 working days
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
£4.90 a month
5-7 working days
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
£14.90 a month
5-7 working days
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.

Compare up to 4 providers

Is N26 safe?

Every N26 bank account has deposit protection: the compensation scheme of German banks guarantees up to €100,000 (about £85,000 – the same amount as the UK equivalent scheme).

N26 also offers a Bug Bounty programme. This means cash rewards to encourage security researchers to track down bugs or vulnerabilities.

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.

Pros and cons of N26

Pros

  • Free full UK current account that does pretty much all you can expect.
  • Quick to apply and set up.
  • Slick app with great security and budgeting features (freeze your card, categorise your spending…).
  • Unlike with other digital banks, your account can be accessed both on your phone and via N26’s web app.
  • Fee-free card transactions abroad.
  • Set savings goals and put money aside for a rainy day with Spaces.
  • Safe and secure, including deposit protection.

Cons

  • 1.7% surcharge for foreign currency withdrawals.
  • Some prominent features are still unavailable in the UK: you can’t set up a standing order, load cash into the account or make an international money transfer.
  • Only does current accounts, you can’t get any other financial products.
  • No bank branches so not for you if you like face-to-face service.

Compare N26 against its competitors

Updated October 15th, 2019
Name Product Fees and charges Delivery speed
N26
Free
5-7 working days
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
Up to 9 working days
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Free
Between 3-5 working days
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
None
Between 3-5 business days
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app

Compare up to 4 providers

The verdict

If compared to traditional banks, N26 is really competitive, especially for travelling abroad. You can use your card anywhere without being charged any fees, apply quickly online and enjoy a really slick banking app that’s packed with features.

However, it’s not the only challenger bank offering this in the UK. When looking at direct competitors such as Starling and Revolut, it’s still a bit behind because it offers less features and charges for foreign ATM withdrawals. Still, it offers a solid deal and hasn’t been in the UK long, so watch this space.

Frequently asked questions

Apps like N26

New!

Get N26 the new bank you'll love to use

Save £5!

Free card worth £5 from Revolut

Ends

Award winner

Starling voted best British bank & current account

Free card!

Download the Monese app and get your free card

Banking app ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our team evaluates banking apps to determine their value against similar products on the market.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

Back to top
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.

34 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    dwl321July 19, 2019

    Eligibility asks for a smartphone, I own one but prefer to do banking on a larger screen on a tablet which I tend to have on me most of the time – can I still apply for an account and use the app on a wifi tablet or is the mobile phone line absolutely necessary?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      fayemanuelJuly 20, 2019Staff

      Hi dwl321,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      In order to use your N26 account, you need a smartphone : either an iPhone (5s or newer, at least iOS 11) or an Android (6.0 or newer). Only one device can be connected per account.

      If you want use your table, you need to directly contact N26 for further instructions.

      I hope that helps.

      Kind Regards,

      Faye

  2. Default Gravatar
    SteveMay 4, 2019

    I want to make a very large amount of money from an heritage how much would I be able to deposit into my account

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoMay 5, 2019Staff

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder! You can deposit any amount on your N26 account N26 doesn’t charge any fees to receive transfers or salary payments, so you will receive 100% of whatever amount your sender transfers.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  3. Default Gravatar
    Tracy-annApril 4, 2019

    Is there a monthly fee for a basic account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesApril 5, 2019Staff

      Hi Tracy-ann,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      An n26 basic account is free of charge to set up and no monthly fees. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  4. Default Gravatar
    CourtneyMarch 14, 2019

    What happens about the information of mine you receive if I’m declined to open an account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesMarch 15, 2019Staff

      Hi Courtney,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      If you are asking about the personal information you provided N26 when you applied to open an account with them, it would be best to speak with them directly as to how they handle these information. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  5. Default Gravatar
    SamanthaFebruary 27, 2019

    Is this just like any ordinary bank account? Is there a monthly charge for this card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaMarch 3, 2019Staff

      Hi Kendacie,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      N26 is a bank but it is different from other banks because it comes with other features. For example, N26 is a digital-only current account that comes with banking mobile app. For this reason, you won’t be seeing a physical bank for N26 but rather all your transactions would take place in your app.

      Upon checking, there’s no mention of any monthly charge. However, N26 makes a surcharge of 1.7% of withdrawals made with non-pound currencies.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  6. Default Gravatar
    GFebruary 7, 2019

    What is the daily cash lodgement

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ValFebruary 15, 2019Staff

      Hi G,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      The maximum daily limits (total sum within 24 hours) for card payments are:
      ATM withdrawals: 2.500 GBP
      In-store or online payments: 5.000 GBP

      You can set your own daily ATM withdrawal and payment limits within our limits directly in the app by tapping My Account then Card settings.
      The maximum daily limits (rolling 24 hours) for bank transfers are:
      Incoming transfers: No limit
      Outgoing transfers: 50.000 GBP

      The maximum monthly limits (total sum) are:
      Card payments: 20.000 GBP

      Hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,
      Val

  7. Default Gravatar
    TonyJanuary 23, 2019

    May I have more than one N26 account. IE uk in pounds sterling and Spain in Euros?

    May my wife and myself have a joint N26 UK account in Sterling?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ValJanuary 25, 2019Staff

      Hi Tony,

      Thank you for leaving a question. 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. If you are planning in opening another account with N26 which would be Spain in Euros then yes this can be paired with a different smartphone.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Val

  8. Default Gravatar
    PeterJanuary 7, 2019

    Why can I not login my account via the web address? My app works fine but I can not login anymore on my computer? Please can you tell me what I do wrong?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJanuary 8, 2019Staff

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for your comment.

      There might be several reasons as to why you’re unable to log in to your N26 account into the computer. Since you mentioned that you’re able to log in through the app, it means there’s nothing wrong with your account access, but with your computer. You may try using a different browser, or go incognito and try to access your account. It’s also possible that there is some antivirus blocking the website.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  9. Default Gravatar
    CediquaDecember 15, 2018

    I just made an account today and the app is working, however, my mum has Barclays Bank account and she transferred me £10 into this account and it’s been 2 hours and I have not received when will I receive it. Please get back to me as soon as you can. Thank you!

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Cediqua,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Transferring money from a bank account to N26 can take up to one business day. If after one day and you still haven’t got your money, you might want to directly get in touch with N26’s customer support.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  10. Default Gravatar
    JadeDecember 5, 2018

    Can international wire transfer be sent from US banks into my N26 account, and how long will it take to reflect in my account in Italy if yes?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 11, 2018Staff

      Hi Jade,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Upon checking, it is not possible to send money from a US bank to your N26 account. As of now, transfers can only be done within European regions.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

Go to site