Are you juggling between N26 and Revolut? Let me share my experience and reviews with both the applications.
N26 and Revolut: currently the two main, digital-only banks. If you’re new to these names and to digital baking in general but would like to know more to make an informed decision, you’ve come to the right place. I am personally using these services to give you a detailed overview. It’s an honest and personal experience that might help you. I will also add more details based on my research and consulting people who I know use these banks/apps.
I began first as a N26 user, especially since I live in Germany. I was a new student and wanted to have more than one bank; one for a current account and one for saving. (Side note: I ended up using both for current because their options were so useful). Additionally, I wanted a card that was in Euro. N26 gave me this feature without having to apply for a credit card, and so I was pretty happy using N26.
I am now using Revolut because of convenience; I get ApplePay in-app self transfers within seconds and that alone is honestly such a huge plus point.
I use both services for different reasons. In this detailed blog, I’d like to these use cases and specific features, and give you a thorough and well-packed review so that you can come to a decision.
Shall we begin?
N26 vs Revolut
What are they?
‘N26 is a German direct bank, headquartered in Berlin, Germany. N26 is The Mobile Bank, helping you manage your bank account on-the-go, and spend and set aside money in real-time.’ They are a branchless bank that is revolutionizing the concept of “banking”, and honestly, I love it. The 21st century is all about convenience, and N26 made it work for me.
‘Revolut Ltd is a UK financial technology company that offers banking services including a prepaid debit card, fee free currency exchange, commission free stock trading, cryptocurrency exchange and peer-to-peer payments.’ It’s an app bank and hence does not have a web application; it only works on the mobile.
Plans and Fees
It is undeniable how generous both companies are when it comes to their free plans. Compared to your traditional bank, either service is definitely a much cheaper alternative. They are overall a holistic utility but their biggest plus point is the little fees on international currency payments, inexpensive money transfers and free ATM withdrawals. However, some features vary according to where you are using them from.
The following chart lists the details of their most basic plan:
|ATM withdrawals abroad||1.70%||0% on the first €200/month, 2% after crossing that limit.|
|Commission on card transactions in a foreign currency||0%||0-2% on the first €6,000, 2% after crossing that limit.|
|International money transfers||0.35-2.85%(done via TransferWise, the percentage depends on the currency)||0-2% on the first €6,000, 2% after crossing that limit.|
|Card Delivery Fee||Standard: €0/£0Express: €22||Standard: €5.50/£4.99Express: €19.99|
|Card Delivery Speed||Standard: Up to 10 business daysExpress: 2-3 days with a UPS tracking link||Standard: Up to 9 business daysExpress: 3 business days for the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Canada. 4 business days for other countries.|
Have to hand it to N26; N26 has a better free plan. N26 functions more as a proper bank account, and hence gives you more functionality. They are also a member of the German deposit protection scheme, and in turn all deposits up to €100 held in the member states of the EU are insured. N26 is also a better option than Revolut if you want to use a debit card internationally, as they have no additional fee for it. In other areas, both banks are on a pretty equal footing.
However, surely their free plans are not the only things these service providers have to offer. You will see that N26 offers more functionality as it is a full-fledged bank while Revolut is not. Let’s take a look at their other plans and fees in the following chart:
Note: All fees shown are for Eurozone-based Revolut accounts, sourced in July 2019
|Available in||23 countries; Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Iceland and Liechtenstein.||30 countries; Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.|
|Plans||N26 Basic at €0/month, with free first card, in-depth spending tracker and savings pool, free ATM withdrawals in euros along with free payments regardless of currency.N26 You at €9.90/month, with free first card, in-depth spending tracker and savings pool, free ATM withdrawals in Euros, free withdrawals worldwide, free payments regardless of currency and an Allianz insurance package.N26 Metal at €16.90/month, with a stainless-steel contactless MasterCard, free first card, in-depth spending tracker and savings pool, free ATM withdrawals in Euros, free withdrawals worldwide, free payments regardless of currency, an Allianz insurance package, dedicated customer support, LoungeKey membership and exclusive partner offers.||Standard at €0/month, with free UK and euro IBAN bank accounts, no withdrawal fee up to €200 and no currency exchange fee up to €6,000/month.Premium at €7.99/month, with free UK and euro IBAN bank accounts, no withdrawal fee up to €200, no currency exchange fee up to €6,000/month, money transfers within 2 days, medical and travel insurance, priority support, 5 different cryptocurrency access, virtual cards and no currency exchange fee of any amount.Metal at €13.99/month, with free UK and euro IBAN bank accounts, no withdrawal fee up to €200, no currency exchange fee up to €6,000/month, medical and travel insurance, priority support, 5 different cryptocurrency access, virtual cards, no currency exchange fee of any amount, 0.1% cashback in Europe and 1% cashback outside Europe on card purchases and an exclusive concierge service.Business tailored for your needs; alongside all the benefits listed above, this plan also instantly transfers money to any other Revolut account free of cost, schedules batch payments, tracks expenses on each employee’s prepaid card, integrates XERO, Slack and Zapier, and has an open API for easy assimilation.|
|Free Services||Having a N26 Mastercard debit card, with 3D Secure.Maintenance for holding a N26 account, with no minimum account balance restriction.No account closure fees.Online banking; which includes financial planning and budgeting, money statistics, bank transfers, direct debits, standing orders, push notifications and customer support.First five, domestic euro ATM withdrawals per month.||Online banking; which includes financial planning and budgeting, money statistics, recurring payments, push notifications and support. However, this is based on you prepaying into your Revolut accountAdding money to your account (the exception being if it comes from a commercial card or a card that is not issued by the EEA/European Economic Area).Issuing your first Revolut card, exclusive of delivery charges.Issuing your first virtual card.ATM withdrawals up to €200/month.Transferring money to other Revolut users.|
|Services with Fees||N26 Basic charges 1.7% of the amount withdrawn on currencies that are not euros. (N26 You & N26 Metal do not charge anything for this.)8.9% overdraft fee.0.35-2.85% money transfer fee. (done via TransferWise, the percentage depends on the currency)€6 to replace regular cards, €45 to replace metal cards.Extra €25 for express delivery of a card.Miscellaneous fees.||2% of the amount withdrawn after crossing the first €200/month limit.€6 for Turbo transfers.Charges for payments to accounts that are not held in Revolut, depending on which bank.0.5-2% commission fee of the total amount on some currency exchanges.Charges to top-up account with a debit or credit card.€6 to replace cards.Delivery charges; €5.50 for standard delivery, €19.99 for express delivery.|
|Do not provide||Credit card servicesCash deposits into an N26 account for most countries.||–|
|Spending||Offers spending anywhere MasterCard is accepted. They also offer trading and transfer of currencies through TransferWise.||Offers spending in 150 currencies at interbank rates. It is free for the first £5,000/month, with a 0.5% free after crossing that limit.|
|Money Transfers||19 currencies||29 currencies|
Topping Up Your Account
All bank accounts start with putting money in them, so knowing how services allow topping up your account is vital when thinking about where to invest in. The following table breaks it down:
|Funds top-up method||Bank transferCash deposit (only in Germany, Italy and Austria)||Bank TransferDebit cardCredit card|
|Local unique personal account details availability||GBP (for British residents)EUR (for residents in the Eurozone)||GBP (for British residents),NOK (for Norwegian residents),PLN (for Polish residents),EUR (for residents in the Eurozone)|
|Multi-currency balance||GBP or EUR||CHF, GBP, EUR, AED, AUD, BGN, CAD, CZK, DKK, HKD, HRK, HUF, ILS, JPY, MAD, MXN, NOK, NZD, PLN, QAR, RON, RUB, SAR, SEK, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, ZAR|
|Direct debit currencies||GBP or EUR||EUR only|
|Interests on savings||Only available in Germany and Austria, up to 1.48% on savings account. This also depends on the term and partner bank, and this service is offered through Raisin.||No interests on balance.|
|Overdraft availability||Only available in Germany and Austria||No|
|Overdraft interest||8.9% annual interest||N/A|
|Joint account availability||No||No|
|Platforms||Web and Mobile App||Mobile App|
|Guaranteed funds||Yes, up to €100,000||No|
As the table shows, both bank cards are almost the same in terms of features. Visually, their design is appealing and elegant and both companies offer sleek metal cards in their most premium plans.
But there is one very important thing to note. N26 does not charge commission on card transactions in a foreign currency, while Revolut does. This is a vital consideration to take if you travel a lot.
Ways to Send Money
|Options||2, but they require the use of two other apps.TransferWise; takes 1-2 days to complete.MoneyBeam; N26 users will receive money immediately, non-users will receive money within 2 business days.||2Revolut to BankRevolut to Revolut|
|Transfer Speed||All bank transfers are completed within 1 business day. However, depending on the recipient’s bank, it may be 2 or more days.||Transferring money to a UK bank account typically takes 1-2 business days. However, depending on the recipient’s bank, it may be 3-5 days.|
|Turbo-boost||–||AvailableSpeed can increase up to 5 times.Standard users will have to pay a fee, but this service is free for Premium and Metal members.|
|Transfer money internationally||–||Transfer to 29 currencies with a 0.5% fee for anything above a set limit, plus a flat markup on weekends and in certain currencies.|
Service Coverage and Customer Satisfaction
|Countries where the service is available||Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Iceland and Liechtenstein.(N26 is available in Iceland and Liechtenstein, where Revolut is not.)||Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.Revolut has a waiting list for the United States and Canada.(Revolut is available in Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Switzerland, where N26 is not.)|
|Languages supported||English, French, Spanish, German, Italian||English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Greek, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Finnish, Hungarian, Latin, Norwegian, Slovenian, Swedish|
|Number of customers||3.5 million||3.9 million|
|Trustpilot review scores||7.7/10||8.9/10|
|Customer support channels||In-app live chat and email||24 hour in-app live chat|
|Customer support languages||English, French, Spanish, German, Italian||English, Polish|
App Features and Reviews
Both services work off some really great mobile apps, where you can manage your money and pay using prepaid cards.
|Google Play Store review score||4.3/5||4.9/5|
|Apple App Store review score||4.8/5||4.9/5|
|Card Freeze from the App||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic Spending Categorization||Yes||Yes|
|Spending Insights||Offers insights, as well as monthly reports.||Offers insights by breaking down spending by category, merchant, country and month.|
|Saving goals||Spaces feature; allows sub accounts to put money away.||Vaults feature; set budgets in app and store money away in a metaphorical vault.|
|Visualization||Monthly spending reports shown through pie charts.||Insights shown through graphs, including daily breakdowns of when you have spent most and least money.|
Pros and Cons
Now that we have looked at all the elements of both companies separately, it is time to make an objective cost-benefit analysis. This is not my personal opinion yet. This is simply summarizing everything we have been talking about so far.
|Has a 4/5 rating on Trustpilot, which is considered ‘Great’||Has a 4.5/5 rating on Trustpilot, which is considered ‘Excellent’|
|Free card payments in any currency (for UK and Eurozone cardholders)||Free card payments in 150 currencies.|
|The card is a standard MasterCard debit. It is not a prepaid card.||Free ATM withdrawals up to £200/month.|
|N26 Basic: Free ATM withdrawals in Euros.N26 You and N26 Metal: Free ATM withdrawals worldwide.||Easy payment splitting|
|A proper bank with deposit protection. It is fully insured and licensed in the European Union.||Broad app with good security|
|Allianz insurance available for N26 You and N26 Metal||Available in Australia and New Zealand|
|Available in the United States||Cryptocurrencies and stock trading available with Premium and Metal plans.|
|Can only have 1 card.||Has received a Lithuanian banking license but it not running as an actual bank yet. It is legally still an e-money service and so the money is not insured.|
|Not may extra features.||Card is a MasterCard prepaid card and some retailers might not accept it.|
|Customer support is not available 24/7.||Fess on currency exchange on weekends.|
|Service area is limited to the United States, United Kingdom and Europe.||Not a proper bank and so no deposit protection.|
|A few users have complained about:customer service failing to solve issueslocked and frozen accountsdifficulty signing up for an account||A few users have complained about:locked and frozen accountsbeing unable to talk to a person in customer supportmiscellaneous issues|
Both services have faced negative reviews regarding the very serious problem of locked and frozen accounts. N26 and Revolut claim the reason is their requirement to meet regulations.
Problems with customer service is another common complaint, but those tend to be from free plan users. Paid plans have dedicated customer service teams. This predicament is not exactly surprising considering how low-cost but extensive both companies are.
|Direct-deposit for your paycheckFree to send and receive EurosApproved and tolerated overdrafts (with interest)Integrated with Google PaySaving pools for different savings goalsBooking.com discounts||Prepaid Visa or MasterCardDisposable digital cardsBuying cryptocurrencyAccess to airport loungesConcierge serviceTrack employee spendingOpen API for integrationSchedule batch paymentsIntegrate XERO, Slack and Zapier|
What I Like & What I Don’t: N26
Here comes the opinion part of this blog; my personal likes and dislikes in regards to N26. Keep in mind that this is according to my needs and uses. You may end up having a different experience.
What I like:
- N26 has a web-app and mobile app
- Direct-deposit for your paycheck
- Overdraft is like credit if you don’t have money
- N26 has multi-cards, such as EC card and Mastercard
- Discounts on services like YouTube, Lime and many other partners of N26
- MoneyBeam is the fastest way to transfer money to your contracts who have N26 accounts
- It gives me 3 times free cash withdrawal (used to be 5)
- It’s actually free to send and receive Euros
What I don’t like:
- It takes more than 2 days to transfer money to anyone.
- I can’t quickly transfer money from my other bank accounts to N26 (in terms of topping up money or receiving)
- I tried to ask non-European/Euro companies to send me money, and it never arrived. It was, however, returned.
- N26 does not allow some countries, like Sri Lanka and Pakistan, among others. It only approves citizens from 75 countries.
What I Like & What I Don’t: Revolut
What I like:
- I have the ability to immediately add money from my European account to my Revolut account. This is because of their Apple Pay feature.
- I have two currencies available for use. So, when I go to the UK, I can pay with my pounds account.
- Revolut offers money transfers in 29 different currencies.
- I can very easily schedule my payments every month.
- Cash withdrawal is free, though until the €300 limit. You do get charged after crossing that.
- There was no country requirement; anyone could use Revolut’s app if they are a legal resident of the countries the company has listed.
What I don’t like:
- It only has a mobile app. It would be great to have a web app; sometimes I want to dive deeper into my spending and access it on my laptop.
- Receiving money from other banks takes more than 3 days.
- Since it is not a proper bank, funds are not protected by the Deposit Protection Scheme.
Honestly, as someone who uses both companies- and is a happy user of both companies – I would recommend you to use both. Use them interchangeably and for various, designated purposes. This way you can take advantage of the brilliant features, without losing out on anything. It’s a win, is it not?
That’s that! Are you convinced yet? If yes: