Revolut VS N26

Best – Most Trustworthy and Why

Revolut and N26 are taking the world by storm and for very good reason.

Revolut Versus N26They make managing you money fun (and smart) again!

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.

Jump Links

  1. The Down & Dirty
  2. Who Can Get Which?
  3. Cost & Services (& What You Get)
  4. Currencies (Spend, Exchange and Transfer)
  5. Ways to Send Money (and Alternatives)
  6. Transfer Speed
  7. Cards & Accounts
  8. Reviews (inc. Negative Reviews)
  9. Cool SH*t
  10. Service & Support
  11. Verdict

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:

Revolut ProsCard from Revolut

N26 Pros

  • Revolut for business
  • Free card payments in 150 currencies
  • Free ATM withdrawals up to £200/month (more with Premium and Metal)
  • Easy payment splitting
  • Comprehensive app with good security
  • Extra benefits with premium subscription
  • Basic crypto and stock trading with premium subscription
  • Available in Australia and NZ
  • Coming to US soon
  • Free card payments in any currency (UK or Eurozone cardholders)
  • Eurozone holders – Free ATM withdrawals in euros for free option
  • Free ATM withdrawals worldwide for paid options (1.7% on withdrawals for the free option)
  • Full-fledged bank (deposit protection up to €100,000 for Europe and about £85,000 – which is similar to the UK scheme)
  • Allianz insurance for premium options
  • Available in US (click here for US)

 

Revolut Cons

N26 Cons

  • Fees on currency exchange on weekends
  • Not a bank (funds not protected by deposit protection scheme)
  • See Reviews (including Negative ones)
  • Support is not available 24/7
  • Only available to US, UK, and Europe
  • See Reviews (including Negative ones)

 

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

N26

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

N26

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.

Standard (Free)

A standard personal Revolut account includes the following:

  1. Free UK account
  2. Free Euro IBAN account
  3. Spending in over 150 currencies
  4. Spending at the interbank exchange rate
  5. Exchange up to £5,000/month in 29 different currencies for free
  6. No-fee cash withdrawals up to £200/month

Premium (£6.99/month)

Premium personal accounts include all the benefits of basic accounts plus the following:

  1. Unlimited currency exchanges and spending limits
  2. No-fee cash withdrawals up to £400/month
  3. Worldwide emergency medical insurance
  4. Travel insurance for delayed flights and luggage
  5. Money transfers within 2 days
  6. Disposable digital cards to protect your security
  7. Keycard to over 1,000 international airport lounges
  8. Exchange 5 different cryptocurrencies

Metal (£12.99/month)

Metal personal accounts include all previous benefits, plus additional features:

  1. .1% cashback on purchases within Europe
  2. 18g reinforced steel contactless MasterCard
  3. 1% cashback on purchases outside Europe
  4. Concierge service

Business

Business accounts offer features that benefit companies that travel frequently or operate in multiple countries:

  1. Personal account benefits
  2. Instantly transfer money to any other Revolut account for free
  3. Schedule batch payments
  4. Track expenses on each employee prepaid card
  5. Integrate XERO, Slack, and Zapier
  6. Open API for easy integration

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.

Click here for the latest Eurozone prices

N26 (free)

  1. Free initial card
  2. Pay with your MasterCard internationally with no added fees
  3. In-depth spending tracker and savings pools

N26 You (€9.90/month)

N26 You offers all the features of the free account, plus more options:

  1. Free international ATM withdrawals
  2. Special discounts on partners services

N26 Metal (€16.90/month)

N26 Metal is the premium subscription for N26 users:

  1. Stainless steel contactless MasterCard
  2. Priority customer support
  3. Special discounts on partner brands
  4. Travel insurance
  5. LoungeKey membership

N26 Business – Europe Only (free)

The N26 basic business account has all the features of a standard personal account with one additional benefit:

  1. .1% cashback on purchases

N26 Business You – Europe Only (€9.90/month)

This business plan includes all features of the basic plans plus:

  1. No ATM fees on international withdrawals
  2. Allianz insurance
  3. Foreign medical insurance
  4. Theft insurance

Here is our full review for N26.

4. Currencies

Revolut and N26 offer an impressive lineup of supported currencies.

However, they each handle money transfers and spending in different ways.

Revolut

N26

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:

  1. Bitcoin
  2. Bitcoin Cash
  3. Ethereum
  4. Litecoin
  5. Ripple

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

N26

Revolut has two options for sending money.

Revolut to Bank

Transferring to a bank from the Revolut app is simple:

  • In the app, tap Payments
  • Select Bank Transfer
  • Select Add New Beneficiary
  • Add recipient’s bank account information
  • Enter transfer amount and currency
  • Select Send

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:

  • In the app, tap Send Money
  • Contacts with Revolut accounts will have a blue R next to their name
  • Select the contact you wish to send money to
  • Enter the amount
  • Select Send
N26 also offers two options for transferring money, but they require the use of two other apps.

TransferWise

N26 has integrated TransferWise into their international transfer process:

  • Tap Menu
  • Select Transfer
  • Add recipient
  • Select currency and amount

Transfers take 1-2 days to complete.

MoneyBeam

If you don’t know your recipient’s banking information, you can send money through MoneyBeam:

  • Tap Menu
  • Select MoneyBeam
  • Choose a contact (N26 users will have a blue dot next to their contact info)
  • Enter the amount
  • Confirm your transfer

N26 users will receive money into their account instantly, and non-users will receive money within 2 business days.

6. Transfer Speed

Revolut

N26

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

Revolut

N26

Out of more than 20,000 reviews on TrustPilot, only 9% were 1-star ratings.

The reviews break down like this:

  • 4% of reviewers complained of locked and frozen accounts
  • 3% of reviewers complained about being unable to talk to a live person in customer support
  • 2% of reviewers complained about miscellaneous issues
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:

  • 9.5% of reviewers complained about customer service failing to solve issues
  • 6.3% of reviewers complained about locked and frozen accounts
  • 3% of reviewers complained about difficulty signing up for an account
Recommendations:

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.

Revolut

N26

    • Available in 11 countries where N26 is not available
    • Prepaid Visa or MasterCard
    • Disposable digital cards (link is to more info about this handy feature)
    • Buying cryptocurrency
    • Access to airport lounges
    • Concierge service
    • Track employee spending
    • Open API for integration
    • Schedule batch payments
    • Integrate XERO, Slack, and Zapier
  • Direct-deposit for your paycheck
  • Free to send & receive Euros
  • Approved & tolerated overdrafts (with interest)
  • Integrated with Google Pay
  • Savings pools for different savings goals
  • Booking.com discounts
Recommendation:

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”.

Check out the physical Metal and Premium cards from Revolut.

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.

11. Verdict

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.

From what we found, each has its advantages over the other and this comes down to personal choice on Costs and Services (above) and other Cool SH*t (above) you may want.

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.

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