N26 Mobile Bank Current Accounts
Why Choose an N26 mobile current account
What is N26?
It’s a “challenger” current account service (previously called Number 26) launched in Germany. It came to the UK in 2018.
N26 offers digital-only current accounts: no high street branches – everything’s done through the website or an app on your phone.
It’s a fully-licensed bank under German banking regulations. Though not all the banking features are available in the UK.
There are currently three types of accounts offered in the UK (the Business account isn’t yet available):
- N26 Free: a Mastercard debit card with all the basic N26 functionality including free sterling withdrawals at ATMs around the world. There’s a 1.7% charge for foreign currency withdrawals.
- N26 You (previously N26 Black): £4.90 a month for free foreign currency withdrawals anywhere in the world, and two additional Spaces sub-accounts, plus a host of additional features via the app.
- N26 Metal: launched December 2018 – £14.90 a month for all the N26 You features, plus 10 additional Spaces accounts, travel delay insurance and foreign medical expenses, and a range of premium offerings, including one day a month’s free access to a WeWork office space.
The N26 You and Metal accounts are particularly geared towards users who do a lot of travelling. Or who have family around the world.
- N26 is partnered with TransferWise for international money transfers (19 foreign currencies available direct from the app)
- N26 says its international transfer fees are significantly cheaper than charges from regular banks
The debit cards have strong “cool” factor appeal:
- The N26 Free card is semi-transluscent plastic
- The N26 You card is available in a choice of five colours (Ocean, Slate, Rhubarb, Sand, Aqua) on the clear plastic
- The premium N26 Metal which was previously plastic-coated titanium card is now sleek stainless steel
There are no tables for this criteria
How does it work?
- Download the app from to your phone
- Confirm your email, personal details and postal address
- Select account type
- Take a photo of either your passport or driving licence
- Top up your account via a bank transfer
- Depending on your choice of express or standard delivery, your card will take 5-10 working days to arrive
- Fast, paper-work free application
- No need for a fixed UK address or credit checks
- Fingerprint login (saves fiddling about with passwords)
- Access to your account via your computer as well as mobile app
- Easy money transfers: send, receive and request payments
- Lots of help with managing your spending: set daily spending limits, instant notification of payments, spending is organized into categories, with automatic analysis
- Help with saving: multiple Spaces sub-accounts to use as “saving pots” for specific savings goals (2 extra accounts with the N26 You, 10 extra accounts with N26 Metal)
- Supports direct debits (but not standing orders)
- Google Pay for online shopping and in-store purchases.
- Instant Lock and Unlock if you lose your card temporarily
- Although this is a Mastercard, it’s a debit card, not a credit card
- No credit or loans available (unless you live in Germany)
- You can’t have an arranged overdraft
- If you go overdrawn you’ll be charged 14.9% EAR (equivalent annual rate)
- You can’t set up standing orders for household bills
- You can’t deposit cash
- No “rounding-up” of your spending to generate automated savings transfers
- No interest paid on savings
These features and services were accurate late 2019. But challenger banks are very aware of customer demands: features may change or be extended.