Bunq Review

7 Must Knows – Before Bank with Bunq

In a just a few minutes you’ll get to know whether Bunq is the right card and app for your needs.Review of Bunq

This is not just another “Bunq is awesome” type review. I am going to show you where Bunq works and where it does not.

Uncovered! 🙂

As usual in our reviews, I will uncover the good, the bad and ugly.

First, here is a quick roundup of pros and cons.

Pros

  • Three simple options – personal accounts, joint accounts and business accounts
  • Excellent user experience online and in the app
  • Sustainability at their core: plants trees and even have a “Green Card”
  • MasterCard debit and Maestro debit cards standard
  • Issues optional credit cards (with no debt attached)
  • Good chance they will stick around (have expanded organically – not through massive funding)

Cons

  • All accounts are subscription only (no free limited option)
  • Some additional fees applicable (see fees)
  • Receiving payments from a non-SEPA bank attracts charges
  • Customer service issues (see reviews)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here

Jump Links

  1. Is Bunq Right for You? 3 Accounts, 2 (Optional) Cards
  2. Customer Reviews
  3. How to Sign up?
  4. Is Bunq Really Fun and Easy? (like they claim)
  5. Bunq Fees (exposed)
  6. How safe is Bunq?
  7. Bottomline

Bunq promises to make banking fun and easy.

But do they?

One thing for sure, Bunq is focused on what people need in an online bank with a travel card rather than having everything.

They limit options, ditch the gimmicks and do make it easy.

Starting with just offering personal accounts, joint accounts and business accounts, they focus on your experience.

Easy – Check.

Fun?

First, let’s see if Bunq is right for you?

1. Is Bunq Right For You?

Bunq’s offers the choice of three different accounts which makes it pretty simple to figure out the best option for you. They start with a personal account, joint account or business account.

Start here to see the latest offerings (opens a new tab)

Instantly you will know which one to choose.

Simply check out the cards and accounts that apply to you and read on.

In each account option, Bunq does away with a restricted free option and instead offers a 1 month free trail. Each account then attracts a month subscription fee, but all options automatically come bundled with all the main features you would expect from a premium card with high limits on free international ATM withdrawals and inexpensive currency exchange.

This is good news so far. There is however one thing that really sets them apart.

The cards they offer on all accounts standard include a Maestro and a Debit Mastercard which is a step up on their competitors when it comes to international travel and being able access your funds.

In addition, an optional “travel card” enables you to do more than the Mastercard debit card can do because it is technically a credit card without debt. This means making bookings on hotels and car rentals which often require a “real” credit card is made possible. This makes Bunq a clear leader in travel cards.

They also offer a premium “green” debit card (which as actually made of metal) which aims to plant trees through their partnership with Eden Projects for €100/yr.

But that is not the whole story.

When we looked deeply into the reviews they were receiving on Trustpilot, especially the negative ones we found a few things you should know about (below) to help you make a decision.

Quick Facts

In 2020 Bunq is in all EU countries making them available in the following 30 countries:

Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, the UK, Norway, Iceland, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.

Bunq is a Netherlands-based challenger bank with a European banking licence from the Dutch Central Bank.

1.1 Bunq Personal Premium Account

Currently, Bunq doesn’t offer a forever free account and the Personal Premium account will cost you €7.99/month (€95.88 annually).

With the Personal Premium plan you get

  • 25 sub accounts
  • 2 cards (a MasterCard, a Maestro card, and a travel debit card)
  • 5 virtual debit cards
  • 10 free ATM withdrawals per month
  • 1 card replacement per year (travel and debit cards)
  • €100 deposit per month

Features

  • Initiate instant payments
  • Decide where Bunq invests your funds (Green companies are preferred)
  • Get paid easily with a Bunq link
  • Make international transfers
  • Have full control over your money with advanced budgeting features and easy bill splitting capabilities
  • Round up transactions to the nearest euro and save the change in a savings pool
  • Block or enable your card from the app
  • Link one card to two sub accounts (separate pins for each account)
  • Share your sub account with friends or family
  • Contactless payments with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Voice controlled banking on Apple Watch
  • Shop safely with disposable virtual cards
  • Earn interest on all your sub accounts and get interest payouts every month (no minimum amount to earn interest; interest payout for balances up to €10,000)

1.2 Bunq Joint Account

Bunq Joint accounts cost €9.99/month (€119.88 per year) and come with all the features of the Personal Premium account plus

  • 4 cards (debit and travel cards)
  • Shared and private subaccounts

You can sign up for a Bunq joint account without visiting a branch with your partner.

We get that some of you maybe looking for a free plan to dip your toes into digital banking.

1.3 Bunq Business Account

The bunq Business Account is one of the best digital bank accounts for new-age businesses. It costs €9.99/month (€119.88 per year) and integrates with a bunch of key business apps.

With the Bunq Business Account you get

  • 25 sub accounts
  • 2 cards (a MasterCard, a Maestro card, and a travel debit card)
  • 5 virtual debit cards
  • 10 free ATM withdrawals per month
  • 1 card replacement per year (travel and debit card)
  • €100 deposit per month

Features

  • Auto VAT calculation
  • Receipt scanning, tagging, and archiving
  • Integration with bookkeeping apps
  • Instant payments
  • Bulk payments
  • Add or revoke employee/company director access to sub accounts from the app and without any paperwork
  • Overview of your finances with micro-view of your sub accounts (each sub account comes with its own IBAN)
  • Voice controlled banking on Apple Watch

If you’re in the US, Australia, or Canada and looking for a digital banking account for your business, check out TransferWise Borderless.

1.4 Bunq Travel Card

The Bunq Travel Card (powered by MasterCard) is one of the few travel credit cards issued by a neo bank. It’s included with your Bunq account at no extra cost and lets you pay for goods and services while travelling (MasterCard exchange rate applicable for foreign transactions).

Heads up: Bunq does check whether you have sufficient funds in your account to cover the payment before you make a transaction (they don’t offer a credit line). This means you don’t have to worry about paying off a hefty debt once you’re back from vacation.

You can also apply for the Bunq travel card as a standalone travel money card.

1.5 Bunq Green Card

While the Bunq travel card is bundled with the bank accounts at no extra cost, the Bunq Green card is a different ball game.

It’s a sleek stainless-steel card launched in line with Bunq’s sustainability initiatives and can be linked with your existing bank account. Yep, you don’t need to switch to Bunq if you’re opting for the Green card.

It costs a pretty penny (€99/year), but hold on to that guilt storm. Bunq plants a tree on your behalf every time you spend €100 on the card.

2. Customer Reviews

2.1 When it works

Over a million European residents trust Bunq with their money every day.

Bunq is a hit with regular folks and business owners.

a. Regular folks who want a premium digital banking account

Although Bunq only has paid plans, they offer a lot of premium features and flexibility. So many European residents are happy to pay the €7.99 monthly fee for 25 sub accounts, multiple debit cards (MasterCard and Maestro), a travel card at no extra cost, and an incredibly smooth app experience.

Here’s a real user review from Trustpilot

“Bunq is the best online out there by far, the app has an amazing user interface that makes the other online banks look simple and rudimentary.”

Plus, their partnership with TransferWise (review) makes international fund transfers easy and cheap. What’s not to love?

b. Small business owners

Bunq offers one of the most powerful digital bank accounts for businesses. From receipt tracking and VAT calculation to bulk payments and simplified employee access, Bunq has everything covered.

Essentially, you don’t have to jump through hoops and drown in paperwork to get a robust business bank account that works with you instead of against you.

But there’s more to this.

Bunq is rated 3.3/5 on TrustPilot with over 9000 reviews, which is considered “Average.”

So what went wrong?

Let’s find out.

2.2 When it doesn’t

After digging deep through hundreds of user reviews, we’ve uncovered the top issues users faced with Bunq.

We also try to offer so perspective.

a. Unexpected account locks

Some users complained that Bunq barred access to their accounts after receiving a big payment.

Like most regulated financial institutions Bunq also has a process of vetting transactions to curb money laundering, theft, and other illegal activities. So if a transaction is flagged, you may have to wait while Bunq finishes the investigation.

We know this can be extremely annoying, especially if you were relying on the credited amount to make some urgent payments.

b. Fees

Many users were put off by Bunq’s fees.

The main difference here is that they simply do not offer a free option which most their competitors do.

Compared to their competitors, Bunq offers a lot in the plans, but if you simply want a free travel card and app that you use on occasions check out our travel card section.

c. Customer Service

Some users were also miffed with their hard-to-reach customer service.

This is concern with most all challenger banks like Bunq as they tend to cut costs with remote teams and chatbots.

d. The travel credit card

The card functions more like a prepaid travel money card or a debit card (Bunq doesn’t offer credit lines and only lets you make a transaction if you have enough money in your account).

Basically, it can be frustrating if you run out of cash while travelling and need a little extra something.

On the upside, this makes sure you travel within your means and don’t end up being saddled with debt.

e. Account verification delays

Some folks also faced account verification delays because Bunq wasn’t able to verify the information on the documents uploaded.

A quick fix seems to be simply to make sure you upload a clear photo of your ID and address proof before submitting them for verification.

3. How to sign up

Signing up for Bunq is typically quick and easy.

  • If you’re above 18 years old, you can register on their website. You’ll simply need an address proof and your national ID.
  • Minors can also bank with Bunq as long as their registration request is approved by a parent or legal representative (who also need to have a Bunq account).

After your account is verified, you can top up your account with a bank transfer, credit card, debit card, iDeaL (Netherlands), or Sofort. Cash top ups are only supported in Germany, Austria, and Italy.

Your debit cards are shipped to you at no extra cost, but you’ll need to pay a shipping fee of €9.99 for the Bunq travel card.

4. Is Bunq Really Fun and Easy?

Bunq focuses on sustainability, simplicity and practicality when it comes to their app and what is offered within the service. This does indeed amount to being fun, easy and practical too.

Here are some highlights:

  • Bunq-to-bunq payments are instant. And since Bunq is a part of the SEPA network, it enables fast payments to non-Bunq users too (within 24 hours, throughout the year).
  • You can make payment requests to the aliases of other Bunq users as well as e-mail addresses and phone numbers of non-Bunq users. Receiving payments in Euros is free.
  • They’ve partnered with TransferWise (review) for easy and low-cost international payments.
  • 25 sub accounts, 3 spending cards, 5 virtual cards, and contactless payments offer a lot flexibility
  • Free ATM withdrawals as long as you don’t go over the limit (10 per month)
  • Contactless payments with Google Pay and Apple Pay
  • Advanced budgeting features and instant payment notifications
  • Rounds up spending and puts away the change to build your savings
  • Easy bill splitting features
  • Set up direct deposits for your salary
  • Pay bills easily with direct debits
  • Savings interest pay-outs are monthly instead of yearly
  • Business account simplifies bulk payouts, taxes, and invoice management. Approved employees can also access sub accounts. API integrations makes this a powerful digital business account.

5. Bunq Fees (exposed)

Apart from their monthly subscription, bunq charges a few other fees that varies across plans. But the good news is their fee structure is pretty pretty transparent, but here we make it even easier.

Here’s what you need to know.

Subscription fees

  • The Personal Premium account costs €7.99/month
  • The Joint account costs €9.99/month
  • The Business account also costs €9.99/month

Card fees

  • Debit cards and the Travel credit card cost €9.00 per card per year
  • The Green card costs €99.00 per year
  • Card payment in euros is free
  • Cash withdrawals with the debit card in a foreign currency costs €0.99 per withdrawal
  • Cash withdrawals with a credit card in euros or foreign currency costs €0.99 per withdrawal
  • Foreign payments are made at the MasterCard exchange rate

Fees for sending and receiving money

  • Sending and receiving money in euro in the SEPA network is free for Premium and Joint users. Business account users need to pay an extra €0.10 per transaction.
  • Premium and Joint account users pay TransferWise rates for international fund transfers. Business account users pay €0.10 extra for these transactions as well.
  • Receiving money from banks outside the SEPA network will cost between €5 and €20, depending on the amount.

Additional fees

  • Deposits after the initial limit of €100 are charged at 1.5% of the deposit amount
  • Additional sub accounts and cards will also attract charges
  • Bunq also charges a “safe keeping” fee to accounts with a high balance to cover their costs of holding customer money safely at the European Central Bank (ECB charges Bunq interest for your funds).

6. How Safe is Bunq?

Bunq is a fully licensed European bank and your funds are protected by the Dutch Deposit Guarantee (up to €100,000 for all accounts combined).

Bunq also employs advanced security measures such as two-factor authentication to keep your money and personal information safe. Plus, they recommend keeping a close eye on your account activities and reporting any anomalies to Bunq immediately.

7. Bottomline

While Bunq charges subscription fees for their accounts, the fees are quite reasonable and they do hold up their promise of a being fun and easy. They also have great account security, instant SEPA transfers, low cost international transfers, as well as immense flexibility with sub accounts and card options.

We think they are certainly one of the best digital business bank accounts in Europe. Not to mention, the app user experience leaves their competitors in the dust.

They also have not taken on heaps of funding which means the chances of them disappearing (like N26 from the UK) are substantially less.

However, as we uncovered in our reviews, like all challenger banks we do recommend having a back up plan if your account is frozen due to regulations.

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