N26 Metal review

Following Brexit, N26 has now closed its UK operations to focus on growing in Europe and the US.

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N26

EU-based digital bank N26 no longer offers bank accounts in the UK – it announced in February 2020 that it would stop operating here due the UK’s decision to leave the EU. If you are looking for a digital current account, read our guide outlining alternatives to N26.

On 11 February 2020, N26 issued the following statement: “With the UK having left the EU, we will in due course be unable to operate in the UK with our EU banking licence, so we will be leaving the UK and closing all accounts. We’ve made careful plans to support customers, and we are sorry to have to leave.”

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Other alternatives to N26

See more alternatives to N26

After launching in the UK in October 2018 with its basic account, the German challenger bank made its premium account – N26 Metal – available to British customers as of December 2018.

Thousands have been drawn in by N26’s basic account, with its slick app and fee-free spending abroad. Premium options offer a wider range of features in return for a monthly fee.

Here’s what you need to know about the N26 Metal card.

What is N26 Metal?

N26 Metal is a debit card made of stainless steel, and it comes in three colours: pink, black and grey. It’s a premium (paid-for) service that comes with perks – more on these below. N26 says Metal was Europe’s first contactless metal card.

N26 has launched across Europe, drawing in over 2 million customers with its digital-only current account. This is modern banking with no high street branches – everything is done through its app.

UK customers can sign up for N26, along with people in a host of other countries including Germany, Austria, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands and Belgium.

N26 Metal is the digital bank’s most expensive premium product. In January 2019, the challenger also launched its intermediate premium product in the UK, N26 You. You can learn more about it by reading our review.

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

N26 Metal fees and costs

  • N26 Metal charges £14.90 a month and the minimum term is 1 year.
  • In return for the monthly free, Metal customers get almost every other N26 service for free, including free ATM withdrawals worldwide.

What are the benefits of N26 Metal?

Fundamentally, people opt for You or Metal cards so they can use them abroad – one major boon of these premium cards is they offer free ATM withdrawals worldwide. With a basic card you’re charged 1.7% when you take out cash abroad. However, this fee is waived for Black and Metal card holders.

Likewise, only N26 Metal account members get N26’s comprehensive travel insurance. This covers foreign medical expenses, luggage protection, cash theft protection, delayed flights, mobile phone theft and purchase protection.

This last one means any items you buy with your N26 Metal card are covered if they’re stolen – or damaged as a result.

N26 Metal vs Black

Black is cheaper than Metal – it costs £4.90 a month. In the UK, there are three features exclusive to N26 Metal that you won’t get with Black.

  • Travel and purchase insurance. As we said, it’s quite comprehensive, and provided by Allianz.
  • Exclusive partner deals. Get exclusive perks with N26 Metal. Arguably the best deal it offers is one free day a month with the work-space service WeWork. Basic WeWork membership costs US$45 (about £35), so N26’s Metal card could save fans of WeWork a few pennies. Other notable partners are Hotels.com, IHG and Zipjet.
  • Dedicated customer support. You can get customer support directly through the app, although it’s not 24/7.

How can I get N26 Metal?

If you already have an N26 basic account, you can upgrade it to Metal from the app.

If you don’t, you’ll need to sign up to N26 before you can get the card. After downloading the app to your phone, you’ll have to do the following:

  1. Confirm your email, personal details and shipping address.
  2. Select your account type: basic or Metal.
  3. Take a photo of either your passport or driving licence.
  4. Top up your account via bank transfer.
  5. Depending on your choice of express or standard delivery, your Metal card will take 5-10 working days to arrive.
  6. The minimum contract for N26 Metal is one year. It will automatically renew unless you cancel it up to 4 weeks before it’s due to roll over.

How to upgrade to N26 Metal

If you’ve signed up to a basic N26 account already, it will be easy to upgrade to metal in the app. Swipe right until you reach the upgrade tab next to your balance. Then choose your delivery method, the colour of your card (black, pink or grey), and accept the terms and conditions.

Finally, confirm your request by putting in your transfer PIN and N26 will send you your Metal card. Express delivery take 5 business days while standard takes up to 10 working days.

What are the pros and cons of N26 Metal?

Pros

  • Free card transactions and cash withdrawals both in the UK and abroad
  • Dedicated customer service
  • Pretty good travel insurance included.
  • Juicy partner deals, including a basic WeWork membership
  • You also get a LoungeKey membership
  • Slick app with instant notifications
  • You can create up to 10 separate sub-accounts to save money towards a goal with Spaces

Cons

  • Pretty expensive monthly fee
  • You can’t deposit cash into your account (unless you live in Germany)
  • No physical branches

Our verdict

With its Metal option, N26 is targeting people who travel a lot (once a month or more). If you don’t, you’re unlikely to get good value for money from your subscription, as most of the benefits have to do with spending money outside the UK.

Having said this, the partner deals may also have something in it for you. For example, if you do use WeWork as a workspace from time to time, the N26 Metal card could be ideal. It lets you book a workspace anywhere in the world for one day a month. Other partner perks include 20%-30% off with hotels.com.

Frequently asked questions

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8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    DavidJuly 22, 2019

    Can I close my $ account with a US bank and transfer to n26?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJuly 23, 2019Staff

      Hi David,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      You may transfer USD to your N26 account via TransferWise. N26 has partnered with TransferWise to make foreign currency transfers easy. Please see their official page for further info on this matter.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    JessMarch 4, 2019

    My partner is on holiday, he has been to the cash point took out $600 when he got back to his room the money had been taken from his posset. How do we go about claiming?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesMarch 5, 2019Staff

      Hi Jess,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      If you want to reach out to N26, you can open a chat with us directly within the mobile or WebApp. As an online bank N26 does not have branches. Chat is available Monday to Friday from 08:00-21:00 and on Saturday from 08:00-20:00. N26 support advises that users needed to fill in a Disputed Transactions Form for each of fraudulent transactions, scan the pages, and then email to support@n26.com. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    PeterFebruary 26, 2019

    Are you able to top up with cheques? And if so how?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaFebruary 28, 2019Staff

      Hi Peter,

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

      Regarding your question, the answer is no. You can’t top up your N26 account with a cheque. As of now, you can only top up your account in 2 ways, using CASH26 if you are in Germany or Austria and via SEPA transfer.

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

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    SimonFebruary 11, 2019

    Does N26 allow and pass information to HMRC

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BellaFebruary 14, 2019Staff

      Hi Simon,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      As I checked, yes, banks and financial institution report the interest paid to individual across millions of accounts to HMRC.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

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