N26 Metal review
Following Brexit, N26 has now closed its UK operations to focus on growing in Europe and the US.
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.”
What's in this review?
- Other alternatives to N26
- What is N26 Metal?
- Video: Alex Weber, head of international markets, on why N26 is different
- N26 Metal fees and costs
- What are the benefits of N26 Metal?
- N26 Metal vs Black
- How can I get N26 Metal?
- How to upgrade to N26 Metal
- What are the pros and cons of N26 Metal?
- Our verdict
- Frequently asked questions
Other 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?
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?
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 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:
- Confirm your email, personal details and shipping address.
- Select your account type: basic or Metal.
- Take a photo of either your passport or driving licence.
- Top up your account via bank transfer.
- Depending on your choice of express or standard delivery, your Metal card will take 5-10 working days to arrive.
- 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?
- 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
- Pretty expensive monthly fee
- You can’t deposit cash into your account (unless you live in Germany)
- No physical branches
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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