The banking sector has undergone tremendous changes in recent years. People have moved from traditional banks where you had to visit a brick-and-mortar street bank for financial services to virtual banking and even crypto banking. If you have been having a hard time choosing the best virtual bank between N26 and Revolut, this article will compare the two and help you make a decision.
N26 is a German digital bank that was started in 2013 and has its headquarters in Berlin. It received a banking license from the European Central Bank and Bafin in 2016. If you choose to bank with N26, you need not worry about the security of your money since customers are covered by the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme up to €100, 000.
Revolut is a UK based online bank that was started in 2015. It is licensed as a bank in Lithuania. In the UK, Revolut is licensed as an electronic money company by the FCA, and not as a bank. It offers several banking services, including access to cryptocurrencies and stocks.
It is important to know the countries N26 supports before choosing to create an account with them. N26 services are available to citizens of the following countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Ireland, Estonia, Iceland, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, United Kingdom, France, Finland, Portugal, Spain, United States, Sweden, Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Italy.
Revolut is available to customers in the following countries: United Kingdom, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Finland, Portugal, Switzerland, Australia, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Czech Republic, Republic of Cyprus, Netherlands, Lithuania, Spain, Bulgaria, France, Latvia, Malta, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Poland, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, and Austria.
When creating an account with either N26 or Revolut, it is best to know the countries these digital banks support and the fees involved in the application process.
You can access N26 from a mobile phone, a laptop or a computer. If you choose to create your N26 account using the mobile app, you will first need to download the application. Next is to enter personal details including your full name, contact details (phone number and email address), and your residential address.
The next step is identity verification. You will be required to take a selfie and a photo of your passport, which you will submit through the mobile app or the website. When your identity has been verified, you will receive your IBAN and BIC numbers immediately.
Following the approval of your application and ID confirmation, you will receive an email notifying you of the same. Your new physical card will then be posted to you and will arrive within 7 days. This card is free.
N26 allows its customers in Austria, Germany, or Italy to top up their accounts through bank transfers or by making cash deposits. If you are topping up your account for the first time, it is best to use your regular debit card since it’s free.
Revolut’s services are only available through the app. After downloading the app, you will need to fill in personal details then verify your identity.
With Revolut, it is convenient to top up your account with a bank transfer, credit, or debit card. To top up, you will need to click on ‘add money’ and you will be directed to another screen where you will be asked to link your regular debit card. There’s another option where you can transfer funds externally from your regular EU/UK bank account. The fund transfer is free.
Revolut and N26 provide convenient plans and fees to their customers. However, your choice of service may solely depend on the cost and what you want the card to be used for. The features may vary slightly depending on the country where a customer is using them. The following are UK prices.
Since Revolut is not a full-fledged digital bank, it does not offer many banking options compared to N26. It offers personal and business accounts.
Revolut offers personal accounts that are separated into three tiers.
A standard personal account includes the following:
- A free UK account
- Customers can spend in over 150 currencies
- Offers free Euro IBAN account
- Spending at the interbank exchange rate
- Customers do not pay for cash withdrawals up to £200 per month
- Customers can exchange up to £5, 000 per month in 29 different currencies for free
The benefits of a premium account include those of a standard account plus the following:
- Fast money transfers (2 days)
- Cash withdrawals of up to £400 per month are free
- It offers unlimited currency exchanges and spending limits
- Travel insurance for delayed flights and luggage
- Customers can exchange five different cryptocurrencies
Revolut’s metal accounts include all the benefits of premium personal accounts plus the following:
- Customers get a 1% cash back on purchases made within and outside Europe
- Customers receive concierge service
- On opening an account, you receive an 18g reinforced steel contactless MasterCard.
Business accounts are ideal for companies that travel frequently or operate in multiple countries. Features include:
- Customers can transfer money instantly to other Revolut accounts for free
- You can track expenses on each employee prepaid card
- Business accounts also have personal account benefits
- With a business account, you can schedule batch payments
Being a full-fledged digital bank, N26 offers more banking options. It offers both personal and business accounts.
There are three N26 personal accounts.
- The N26 account has no monthly fees
- Users get a free initial card with which they can make free online payments.
- Customers can make up to 5 free ATM withdrawals
- Customers pay a 1.7% fee for foreign currency withdrawals
- The account features an in-depth spending tracker
The N26 You account features include those of the N26 account plus the following:
- The account features medical insurance when travelling
- It offers account sharing features
- Flight insurance in case of delays
N26 Metal features the following:
- A stainless steel contactless MasterCard.
- It offers travel insurance
- N26 Metal also offers priority customer support
There are two N26 business accounts
The N26 business account has similar features to those of a standard personal account. An additional benefit is that it offers a 1% cashback on all purchases.
The N26 Business You plan includes all features of a You personal account plus the following:
- It charges no ATM fees on international withdrawals
- It offers theft insurance
- N26 Business You also offers foreign medical insurance
Customers will always go with the option that offers several services and features for convenience. Both N26 and Revolut offer money management and security features.
Both Revolut and N26 offer you interest in your savings. Revolut offers a 0.8% interest and you can access your savings anytime you want if it is placed in your ‘vault’. With Revolut, you can select the round-up feature and ask the app to round up your spare change and add it to your vault. A Revolut account also allows you to set a monthly spending limit which you can change any time you want.
With N26, if you lock up your money for between 3 and 60 months, you can earn an interest of up to 1.57%. N26 has a tool called spaces where you can set up multiple saving pots. Each space acts as a separate bank account, separate from your main account. An N26 account also allows you to set a daily limit on your spending.
In case you lose your card, both N26 and Revolut allow you to log in with your fingerprint and freeze it temporarily. If you find your card, you only have to log back into your app and unfreeze the card.
Revolut enables you to disable contactless payments and online transactions. On the other hand, N26 does not allow contactless payments to be disabled.
Before you choose your digital bank, it is best to know where the services are available (supported countries), supported languages, supported currencies and customer support.
N26 is currently available in 5 languages (English, German, Italian, Spanish, and French) while Revolut provides its services in more than 20 (ENG, SE, BG, ES, SO, GR, FR, IT, PL, CR, DU, ET, LA, RO, NO, DN, JA, CZ, LT, PT, FR, SL, DE, HU) languages.
The N26 digital bank offers spending anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Additionally, it offers trading and transfer of currencies through TransferWise. Revolut customers can spend in over 150 currencies at interbank rates where it is free for the first 5, 000 Euros per month and a fee of 0.5% over that amount. Revolut also offers trading in 5 different cryptocurrencies; Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
N26 live chat support to its customers is available between 7:00 AM and 11:00 PM, Berlin time. On the other hand, Revolut provides live chat support with agents available 24/7.
Both N26 and Revolut have unique features beneficial to their customers. However, most customers may not be in a position to have both digital bank accounts. As such, you may have to choose one out of the two. From the above information, we think that N26 has the overall edge on Revolut. From cash withdrawals at ATMs to international money transfers (through its partnership with TransferWise) which is faster and at low costs, N26 takes the lead. Additionally, N26’s customer support is more responsive than Revolut’s. Also, N26 does not charge a fee to use your debit card overseas while Revolut charges its customers.