Neobank N26 You test: the premium service that offers the best compromise to travelers

Account Features

Today, N26 offers four offers in France: Standard (free), Smart (€4.90/month), You (€9.90/month) and Metal (€16.90/month). The last three are premium proposals. With the exception of the basic Standard offer which only includes a virtual card (unless you request a physical model for €10), all offers entitle you to a physical Mastercard Debit card.

Benefiting from a European banking license, N26 assigns a German IBAN to its French customers whose account is therefore domiciled across the Rhine. Each French customer is therefore required to report this in their tax return, otherwise they will attract the attention of the tax authorities.

To open an account, N26 does not require any proof of income, payment of a minimum sum on it, and does not charge fees in the event of inactivity. The funds deposited are guaranteed up to €100,000, like traditional banks. However, the German neobank was faced with a bad buzz in France, hundreds of customers who denounced the arbitrary closure of their account, according to an investigation by RMC.

Particularity of the N26 cards, they are immediate debit and systematic authorization. Concretely, this means that the bank queries the user’s account for each transaction. If the latter does not have sufficient funds, the transaction is then rejected. No overdraft is therefore accepted by N26 in France.

Importantly, all payments are always free of charge in all currencies, regardless of the number of transactions made, with all offers. From the Standard offer, N26 offers money transfers in more than 30 currencies thanks to its partnership with Wise, which incurs much lower costs than with traditional banks. On the other hand, the mobile bank offers almost no savings or credit offers, with the exception of a consumer credit via the French start-up Younited, ranging from €1,000 to €50,000 repayable over 72 month maximum — fixed borrowing rates (APR) which currently range from 3.60% to 15.96%.

N26

All N26 offers provide access to the same current account and mobile payment with Apple Pay and Google Pay. It is therefore at the level of the advantages linked to the bank card and the ancillary services that the premium offers make the difference. These are particularly attractive in terms of foreign bank charges. In the wake of Metal, the most high-end offer, N26 You, however, stands out. Replacing N26 Black, it allows unlimited withdrawals in all foreign currencies unlike the Standard and Smart offers whose withdrawals are commissioned at 1.7%.

Like the Metal offer, N26 You, which involves a 12-month commitment, also includes various insurances primarily intended for travelers (medical coverage in the event of an emergency, trip cancellation, flight delay, loss of luggage, mobility insurance, etc.), provided of course that you have paid for the services of the stay (transport, accommodation, etc.) with the card of the German neobank. Finally, N26 You, like the two other premium offers, allows you to benefit from exclusive offers and discounts from partners (Booking.com, Gorillas, Adidas, FlixBus, Cafeyn, etc.).

N26

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

Application

The main asset of the German neobank lies in its application. With a sleek design, it offers the usual features of traditional mobile banks, as well as more innovative services. N26 thus offers the possibility of configuring the account (modification of the PIN code and of the spending limit, instant deactivation of the bank card, etc.), of monitoring expenses in real time and of carrying out banking operations (money transfer by SMS , mobile payment, classic transfer, etc.). Very elegant, the app has a dark mode that makes it more pleasant to use. Overall, the interface is distinguished by very neat modern graphics.

The home page displays the account balance and movements which are automatically categorized to give the user a complete overview of his expenses. On this home page, several shortcuts are practical, such as Receive and Send, which allow you to request a transfer, fund the account by credit card or a mobile payment system (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.), send a MoneyBeam (instant transfer to an N26 user), or make a classic transfer.

In addition to a rather well-optimized homepage for accessing essential services, the application has a Spaces tab which offers the possibility of creating sub-accounts dedicated to different projects (holidays, works, etc.). The N26 application is however not as complete as its main rival Revolut, which notably offers the purchase of cryptocurrencies or shares.

N26

Strong points

  • Neat mobile app and web platform.

  • Quick registration.

  • Flexible and transparent account management.

  • No deposit or income requirements.

  • Moderate bank charges.

Weak points

  • Current account not domiciled in France.

  • Lack of remunerative account.

  • 12 month commitment.

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Neobank N26 You test: the premium service that offers the best compromise to travelers