Wise vs N26

About Author: Hi, I’m Quinn Askeland. In 2014, I started Transumo after experiencing expensive, slow, and frustrating international money transfers and payments through banks. Once I discovered how to manage my own international currencies much better, I became driven to help others improve their transfers and payments. Fortunately, today, there are many excellent options. See My Full Bio.

N26 Vs Wise

Wise is a powerful multi-currency account that lets you hold, manage, and convert between over 40 currencies. It saves you on fees when you send money abroad and makes things easier for people who work with money internationally. On the other hand, N26 only holds one currency but is a licensed digital bank with a focus on Europe and the USA. It offers deposit protection which Wise doesn’t.

In this comparison of Wise and N26, I will give you more details about the fees, the best features, benefits, and customer feedback. I will also look at the negative reviews and what they are unhappy about.

So you can choose the right option for your needs.

Let’s get started!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and savings if you use some of the links! For more information, see my disclosures here.

Quick Comparison: The Lowdown on Differences

On Trustpilot, Wise has a rating of 4.2/5 based on 196,000+ reviews. N26 has a rating of 3.1/5 based on 28,400+ reviews. Both services have their own advantages: Wise is better for money transfers abroad, while N26 is a better alternative to traditional banking with lots of features.


Wise Likes:

  • Wide availability (including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc.)
  • Regulated in many countries
  • Both personal and business accounts
  • Hold over 40 currencies
  • Comes with a MasterCard debit card
  • Transparent and affordable international transfers
  • Dedicated business tools like bulk payments and integration with accounting software

Wise Dislikes:

  • Not a real bank and thus your deposits are not protected by financial authorities


N26 Likes:

  • Completely digital licensed bank
  • Available for both personal and business
  • Three account options (free option available)
  • Deposit protection available
  • MasterCard and Maestro debit cards (depending on location)
  • Saving “subspaces” for budgeting
  • Lifestyle and travel insurance for premium accounts

N26 Dislikes:

  • Limited availability – only available in the Eurozone and the US

1. Best for Banking


  • Multicurrency account with the ability to hold, manage and convert between 50+ currencies
  • Offers local bank details (IBAN and sorting code) in 10+ currencies (including USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, NZD, etc)
  • The MasterCard debit card to spend in over 40 currencies in over 150 countries and it’s great for ATM withdrawals, in-store payments, and online payments
  • Makes international transfers easy and affordable at the mid-market rate


  • Single currency account – EUR or USD account based on your location
  • Mastercard debit card for ATM withdrawals and other payments (offline and online)
  • Three options for signing up (free and paid)
  • Ability to share the savings spaces with other N26 users (works like a joint savings account)
  • Deposit protection up to €100,000 EUR

You might like: Is Wise Safe?

You might like: How Wise Works

Winner: N26

N26 wins this round as a leading licensed digital bank. They have overlapping features which let you use it as a checking out as well as a savings account. Their debit card makes it easy to travel abroad without breaking the bank, and their business account is great for freelancers and small businesses. And most importantly, as a licensed bank, they protect your money up to €100,000 EUR.

Though Wise isn’t a real bank, they’re our top recommendation if you travel extensively, freelance, or run a small to medium business with a global footprint. Their multi-currency account with the MasterCard debit card makes it easy to pay and get paid in various local currencies with international bank details.

2. Best Card


  • Globally accepted MasterCard debit card
  • Available for both personal and business
  • Free ATM withdrawals at home and abroad (limits applicable)
  • Fee-free local payments with currencies you hold
  • Contactless payments
  • Integrates with GooglePay and Apple Pay


  • MasterCard and Maestro debit cards that are accepted worldwide
  • Contactless payments
  • Integration with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Free ATM withdrawals in EUR up to a limit on the free and mid-tier plans (unlimited on the highest tier)
  • Fee-free card payments worldwide (currency conversion fees applicable)
  • Optional add on card
  • Virtual debit card

Winner: Tie

Both cards are great for traveling abroad, in-store payments, and online payments. The virtual cards help you shop online securely, contact-free payments make shopping offline quick and easy, and free ATM withdrawals at home and while traveling ensures easy access to cash always.

The bonus on Wise is the ability pay using the currencies you hold (you save on currency conversion fees), while N26 keeps costs low by eliminating their service fees while traveling abroad.

3. Real Fees & Hidden Costs (Banking + Card)


Banking Fees

  • Free personal account
  • Affordable international transfers at the mid-market rate (pay approximately 0.5-1.5% of the amount, which is very competitive)
  • Currency conversion fees of about 0.35%-1% on currencies you hold
  • A small, location-specific fixed fee is applicable for withdrawing money from your Wise account to a bank account.
  • Holding money up to a limit is free in over 40 currencies.

Some examples of how much you can hold:

AUD — $23,000

EUR — €15,000

GBP — £13,000

USD — $18,000

Over that amount, you’ll pay an annual percentage fee (location specific).

Card fees

  • Location-specific card issuing fee: $7 USD / £5 GBP/ €6 EUR/ $10 SGD/ $10 NZD and free in AUD
  • You can withdraw money free twice a month up to 200 GBP/EUR for cards issued in the UK and Eurozone. Fees are applicable over this limit.
  • For US-issued cards, fees are applicable if you withdraw more than twice or withdraw more than $100 USD in a month


Banking Fees

  • €6.00 per month fee applicable for N26 Basic as well if the customer doesn’t hold an account with any other bank
  • Deposit fee applicable for balances more than €50,000 EUR (0.5% per year)
  • Currency conversions at the mid-market rate for international payments (via Wise)
  • Free transfers in EUR in the EEA and Switzerland
  • Fee applicable for incoming international transfers (€12.50 EUR + 0.1 % of transaction
  • amount)
  • Overdraft fee applicable (8.9% p.a)

Card fees

  • 10 EUR fee to issue a new card or replace the card (free for premium members)
  • Fees for issuing an N26 Metal card is higher (€45 EUR)
  • MasterCard withdrawals in EUR worldwide charged at €2.00 EUR per withdrawal
  • MaestroCard withdrawal in EUR worldwide charge at 2.00 € per withdrawal + 1.7% of the amount drawn
  • Free CASH26 withdrawals in supported countries
  • Withdrawal fees applicable for foreign currencies as well: 2.00 € per cash withdrawal at ATM + 1.7% of the amount drawn

Winner: Tie

Both Wise and N26 offer robust debit cards with reasonable fees. Compared to high street banks, using these cards to pay for your travels, online purchases, or business expenses in foreign currencies is much more affordable.

Their fees are transparent too and you’ll know exactly what you’ll pay for each service. (Some of these fees are waived on the paid versions of N26 like N26 Metal and Business Metal.)

4. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones) — What Others Are Saying


Wise is rated 4.2/5 on Trustpilot with over 196,000 reviews, which is considered “Great.”


  • Powerful multicurrency account for frequent travelers
  • Helpful payment tools for growing global businesses
  • Great customer service
  • More affordable than banks

“I like the fact you can have multiple accounts in different currencies and can easily and quickly convert from one account to another with great exchange rates. The best part of the service is the Wise Debit card. This has is a game changer for anyone who needs to spend in different currencies. The beauty of this is that you can always pay in local currency (no exchange rates or fees to pay..) So, in UK I pay in Sterling, in Europe in EUR etc. It knows which country you are in and which currency to use.”

– Adrian Paul Garrow on Trustpilot

“Wise is a fantastic service. We work with a lot of freelancers from all over the world. We actually use Wise as our primary account where service funds are deposited, and then all payments to contractors are made out of the account and then only profits moved to our actual business account. It has made paying a global workforce so much easier.”

– Pirate and Fox LLX on Trustpilot

“I am really happy with my discovery of Wise.
Speed; faster than my bank.
Service; informative, helpful and accessible
Cost; definitely cheaper than my bank and my PayPal
This was a good move both for business and personal banking!”

– Jacqueline Keel Howard on Trustpilot


  • Unexpected account suspensions

A few users complained that they lost access to their accounts after making a payment.

This happens when a payment is red flagged and Wise steps in to audit it as a regulated financial services provider. This is to make sure your money reaches the right people and your data is protected.

The good news is during this time Wise’s customer support team remains communicative and helpful.


N26 is rated 3.1/5 on Trustpilot, which is considered “Average”


  • Affordable payments while traveling abroad
  • User-friendly interface
  • Feature-rich and more powerful than other digital banks

“Very good bank especially when you go abroad because you don’t have commissions on your purchases.”

– Maria Lieta on Trustpilot

“I’m one of the first members of N26 Bank and I’m really satisfied. I see what they did while growing and the service is much better than the other internet bank im using…! I really recommend N26.”

– Chris F on Trustpilot


  • Poor customer service

Some customers were dissatisfied with N26’s customer service during a crisis – such as unexpected account freezes and concerns around theft of funds.

It’s worth mentioning that customers with free accounts don’t get the same support as premium customers.

However, N26 do their best to restore user accounts (if they comply with N26’s usage guidelines) and recover any lost money.

Winner: Tie

On the numbers you would think this is Win for Wise. But the truth is the Wise reviews are mostly focused on their excellent money transfer services. We think it fair to give the benefit of the doubt to N26 considering a reasonable score and the fact that they compete with traditional banks more than anything. For comparison, DeutscheBank has a rating of 1.9/5.

5. Perks


  • Hold up to 50+ currencies
  • Bank details in 10 local currencies – great for frequent travelers and growing global businesses
  • Robust business tools including batch payments and integration with software like Xero
  • Access to leading money transfer services


  • N26 spaces help you budget or save up for specific goals
  • Ability to create shared “sub spaces” where you can collaborate on budgeting with other N26 users (like a joint account)
  • Deposit protection up to €100,000 EUR
  • Travel and lifestyle insurance for premium accounts
  • Branded partnerships to help you save money on purchases
  • Cashbacks on their debit card

Winner: Tie

We tied them in this category because the perks they offer complement their respective services.

Wise is a powerful multi currency account with banking-like features and N26 a leading digital bank solving different challenges.

This difference might help you to decide one way or the other.

6. Customer Service and Support


  • Customer service is responsive and can be reached via live chat, phone, and email
  • Multi-lingual phone support for everyone
  • Extensive FAQs section


  • Customer service varies by account type:
    • Free accounts get chatbot, social media messaging (Twitter and Facebook). and in-app chat support.
    • Paid accounts get all of the above as well as multilingual phone support (in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish)
  • Extensive FAQs section

Winner: Wise

Wise wins this round because they’re known for their proactive and responsive customer support, even for personal accounts which are free. Since they’re a completely digital service, this helps to build trust and loyalty in their users.

N26 offers excellent support for paid accounts, and while the free accounts have a lot of features, they seem to fall short on the customer support based on the review (see above “Reviews”).

If you like N26 otherwise, we think it is probably worth upgrading to unlock more banking features as well as to get access to their customer service team should you have any questions or problems with your account.

7. Wise or N26 for business?


  • Multicurrency account – hold over 40 currencies
  • Batch payments to reduce admin
  • Integration with Key business software like Quickbook and Xero
  • Add team members to accounts and stay in control of team spending in real-time.
  • MasterCard debit card for founder as well as employees
  • Set up direct debits
  • E-commerce support – get paid from Shopify, Stripe, etc.
  • Affordable transfers to pay overseas employees
  • Local bank details in 10 currencies to receive money from clients and marketplaces without high fees
  • Volume discount for large payments


  • Statistics of monthly incoming and outgoing payments
  • Instant payments with MoneyBeam and SEPA Transfers
  • MasterCard debit card for spending in EUR as well as foreign currencies
  • Insurance package for work and travel (Business Metal users)
  • Spaces to set aside taxes
  • Pay overseas employees (integration with Wise)

Winner: Wise

Wise wins in this category by offering a range of services for freelancers as well as small businesses looking to grow their global footprint. They offer features that make paying your team and receiving money in foreign currencies affordable as well as a bunch of tools that help your team save time. Moreover, they let you share the multicurrency with your team, while offering great control over how the business funds are spent.

N26’s business account is efficient but basic and will work well if you’re a freelancer or own a proprietorship business in the EEA.


With two wins for Wise, one for N26, and five ties, it can be difficult to choose a winner.

However as we have shown, there are some major differences which means they will suit different people.

Wise is ideal for you if you’re a frequent traveler, expat, online seller, or own a small to medium sized global business. Apart from helping you manage your international money effortlessly, Wise also lets you transfer money internationally at affordable costs (even large transfers can be affordable with their volume discount).

Check availability in your country for the Wise account and card (new tab)

N26 is our recommendation if you’re in the EEA or the USA and looking for an alternative to traditional banking (N26 has a banking license). Their MasterCard debit card is great to travel with as well as for paying for small business expenses (like paying overseas contractors or subscribing to apps and tools).

Check out the latest N26 options available in your country – (new tab)

So which banking alternative is best for you ultimately comes down to your specific needs.

Happy Money!

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