Best – Most Trustworthy and Why
Revolut and N26 are taking the world by storm and for very good reason.
However they are very different.
In 5 minutes or less – you should get the goods on why each could be best for you or why not.
But that’s not the important bit.
We found that sometimes neither is the best choice for your needs, and in these cases we will point you in the right direction.
- The Down & Dirty
- Who Can Get Which?
- Cost & Services (& What You Get)
- Currencies (Spend, Exchange and Transfer)
- Ways to Send Money (and Alternatives)
- Transfer Speed
- Cards & Accounts
- Reviews (inc. Negative Reviews)
- Cool SH*t
- Service & Support
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
1. The Down & Dirty
OK, so both Revolut and N26 want to offer you a cheaper and better alternative to your old – expensive – unhelpful – sell-you-anything bank.
To do this they both start with great apps that enable you to manage your money and pay for things using prepaid Mastercards (or Visa for Revolut). The cards themselves are pretty cool (especially the Metal one from Revolut) but their real utility comes in the form of very low fees on purchases made in overseas currencies, cheap money transfers and free ATM withdrawals while travelling (with limits that apply to all).
Of course this is not the whole story and we found from thousands of reviews including the negative ones (below) that are a few things you really need to know. N26 is also a fully fledged bank (Revolut is not) and there are some advantages in that as we uncovered in more detail when we looked deeply into N26 Alternatives.
They are also quite different when it comes to the extra goodies like travel insurance (see Cool SH*t below).
For more information on what a Prepaid Debit Card is check out Investopedia.
Essentially they give you the convenience of a credit card without lending you money. In other words, you can use them where Mastercard or Visa are accepted. The difference is that you need to preload the funds and you don’t pay anything off while getting charged interest.
Here they are side by side:
As you can see, both cards offer low cost payments in pretty much every currency.
Both cards also have free ATM withdrawals although N26 only offers free ATM withdrawals in foreign currencies through their paid options, even with the free N26 card they only charge 1.7% on the currency exchange which is far better than a standard bank issued card.
Revolut by comparison charges currency exchange fees on weekends the markup goes from 0.5% to 1.5% (depending on the currency) on exchange rates on weekends.
Apart from the basic benefits both Revolut and N26 have loads of perks like travel insurance, but Revolut has more with lots of extra features like LoungeKey Pass access at airports and even crypto trading for the paid options.
You might also like Revolut VS TransferWise especially if you are getting paid in different currencies.
Is N26 or Revolut Right for You?
N26 and Revolut are geared towards those who want to transfer and spend money in different currencies travelling or online without excessive fees. Their fee structures helps avoid outrageous fees that traditional banks charge, and the apps allow users complete control over their finances.
An Irish video – Very similar for ALL Nationalities (except the USA – see link above):
2. Who Can Get Which?
|Revolut’s services are available for residents of the following 30 countries:|
Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.
There is also a waiting list for the United States and Canada.
N26 already services the United States, which is a major bonus. However, Revolut is available in 11 countries where N26 is unavailable:
Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Switzerland
|N26 is available to fewer countries than Revolut, but it is already in the United States.|
N26 is currently available to citizens of the following 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
N26 is available in the following countries where Revolut is not available:
Iceland and Liechtenstein
3. Costs & Services
For many the service you choose may come down to cost and what you want the card to be used for.
Fortunately both a built around the principle that transparency is good for business.
|Revolut offers personal and business accounts. Personal accounts are separated into three different tiers.|
Following is the UK prices – click here for Eurozone or USA.
A standard personal Revolut account includes the following:
Premium personal accounts include all the benefits of basic accounts plus the following:
Metal personal accounts include all previous benefits, plus additional features:
Business accounts offer features that benefit companies that travel frequently or operate in multiple countries:
Here is our full review for Revolut.
|You will notice N26 can offer more banking options because it is a full-fledged digital bank.|
Below is the Eurozone costs.
N26 You (€9.90/month)
N26 You offers all the features of the free account, plus more options:
N26 Metal (€16.90/month)
N26 Metal is the premium subscription for N26 users:
N26 Business – Europe Only (free)
The N26 basic business account has all the features of a standard personal account with one additional benefit:
N26 Business You – Europe Only (€9.90/month)
This business plan includes all features of the basic plans plus:
Here is our full review for N26.
Revolut and N26 offer an impressive lineup of supported currencies.
However, they each handle money transfers and spending in different ways.
|Revolut offers spending in 150 currencies at interbank rates. It’s free for the first £5,000 per month, and there’s a small 0.5% fee over that amount.|
They do not support the following currencies:
Armenian Dram, Bhutan Ngultrum, Cook Dollar, Cuban Convertible Dollar, Eritrean Nafka, Faroese Krona, Guernsey Pound, Iranian Rial, Jersey Pound, Kiribati Dollar, Manx Pound, North Korean Won, Sahrawi Peseta, Saint Helena Pound, Somali Shilling, Sudan Pound, Syrian Pound, Tuvaluan Dollar, Zimbabwean Dollar
Revolut also offers trading in 5 different cryptocurrencies:
Revolut offer money transfers in 29 different currencies.
|N26 offers spending anywhere MasterCard is accepted. They also offer trading and transfer of currencies through TransferWise.|
Currently N26 support money transfers in the following currencies:
Australian Dollar, British Pound, Bulgarian Lev, Canadian Dollar, Chinese Yuan, Czech Republic Koruna, Danish Krone, Georgian Lari, Hungarian Forint, Indian Rupee, New Zealand Dollar, Norwegian Krone, Polish Zloty, Romanian Leu, Swedish Kroner, Swiss Franc, Ukrainian Hryvnia, United Arab Emirates Dirham and United States Dollar
5. Ways To Send Money
Revolut and N26 both have multiple options for funding accounts and transferring currency.
|Revolut has two options for sending money.|
Revolut to Bank
Transferring to a bank from the Revolut app is simple:
You will have the option of an express transfer for a small fee.
Revolut to Revolut
Transferring from app to app is instant and free:
|N26 also offers two options for transferring money, but they require the use of two other apps.|
N26 has integrated TransferWise into their international transfer process:
Transfers take 1-2 days to complete.
If you don’t know your recipient’s banking information, you can send money through MoneyBeam:
N26 users will receive money into their account instantly, and non-users will receive money within 2 business days.
6. Transfer Speed
|Revolut can transfer money to a UK bank account in as little as two hours, although it’s normal for transfers to take 1-2 business days. Depending on the bank, it could take as many as 3-5 business days.|
International transfers take 3-5 business days.
Turbo-boost is available for transfers, and can increase the transfer speed up to five times. There is a fee for turbo-boost transfers for Standard users, but turbo-boost is free for Premium and Metal members.
|N26 completes all bank transfers on their end within 1 business day. However, depending on the recipient’s bank, it may be 2 or more days before they receive it.|
MoneyBeam transfers are instant at any time of day to other N26 users. It can take 1-2 business days for non-users.
TransferWise currency transfers will vary, but you will see an estimated timetable for each transfer.
7. Cards & Accounts
Both Revolut and N26 are known for their sleek stainless steel card options for their Metal users.
Pricier subscriptions with each service gives you more options for customizing the look of your card.
The major difference between Revolut’s card and N26’s card is that Revolut offers a prepaid Visa or MasterCard debit card, while N26 offers a full-fledged MasterCard bank card.
Here is quick video that shows the App on N26:
(I skipped past the intro to save you time)
Another quick video for the Revolut App:
(I skipped past the intro to save you time)
8. Reviews (What Works and Does Not)
Money transfer services make lots of grand claims, but the reviewers are the ones who give a reality check. Negative reviews especially can give insight into where a service or company is falling short and highlight potential concerns you should be aware of.
8.1 What Works
Revolut has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 on TrustPilot which is considered “Excellent”.
N26 has rating of 4 out of 5 on Trustpilot which is considered “Great”.
But what about those negative reviews?
It is easy to read one, two or even ten and not get an accurate picture of what is going on, so we looked at the most recent 100 1-star reviews and here is what we found.
8.2 What Does Not Work
|Out of more than 20,000 reviews on TrustPilot, only 9% were 1-star ratings.|
The reviews break down like this:
|N26 has only a little more than 6,000 TrustPilot reviews, and a rather large 19% of them are only 1-star.|
The reviews break down like this:
The most alarming negative reviews for both services we think revolves around locked and frozen accounts. According to Revolut and N26 these are due to having to meet regulations.
The reality is that having all your money with either of these guys would seem like a bad idea.
Therefore we think having a backup way to pay for things and keeping the majority of your funds in an old school bank account while using one of these for day to day smaller purchases seems to us like a great way to get the benefits and minimise the potential stress.
For money transfers, both N26 and Revolut use a 3rd party service which can introduce extra issues. Therefore for smaller non-essential amounts of a few hundred Euros/GBP using one of these services is a cost effective and easy way to go. However more than a few hundred Euros/GBP and we would recommend signing up with a specialist money transfer service to ensure the money arrives with ease.
The majority of other complaints seem be aimed at customer service (think automated response and bots). Given the low cost nature (but general greatness) of both services it is not hard to imagine that service will be a big challenge for both. That said, we noticed that the majority of these complaints came from the basic offering – the monthly paid options seem to be a better bet if you really want good customer service and want what they offer.
9. Cool SH*t
Revolut and N26 offer an impressive lineup of features and benefits.
We’ve already covered many of them, so we’re going to compare which are unique to each service.
Please note: some features are only available with paid accounts.
This is where is could get tricky, unless you do this.
Given the wide range of additional services each service has we recommend making a list of all the things that are “needs” and another list of “nice to haves”.
10. Service & Support
According to reviews, Revolut has better customer support than N26.
However, the complaints were different for each service.
Revolut customers complained about a chatbot that was unable to help, and the inability to speak with a live person. This may be why their services are so inexpensive, but it does leave consumers in a tight spot.
N26 customers complained about customer service not being able to fix problems. However, most of these reviews were from customers with a free account. Paid accounts have dedicated customer service teams.
It would be irresponsible for us to recommend one over the other. The right choice comes down to your needs.
Instead our goal is to get you to the right choice for you ASAP.
So, let me be brief.
Both services are going to be a welcome addition to the your old school traditional banking.
In your decision, don’t miss our Reviews (above) which includes an analysis of negative reviews to help you avoid some of the things you really need to know.