N26 is a German online bank with its headquarters in Berlin. Founded in 2013 and considered by many as a pioneer in modern banking, N26 has reached the 7 million customers mark in 2021¹, proving its growth in Europe and in the US.
This review will cover everything you need to know about N26 in the US: features, pricing, pros & cons, security, and the most important how-to’s - you’ll find it all in here.
You’ll also read about Wise and how it can help you save money when you send transfers overseas - in Europe you’ll find Wise transfers integrated in N26 app, whereas in the US you can send money online with Wise directly.
|📝 Table of contents|
N26 is a digital bank, which means that no matter what you use it for, you’ll do it online.
But that doesn’t mean that N26 isn’t a real bank. It’s true that you won’t have to spend time in a branch to manage your finances, but rather to download an app that has it all: you can open an account in a few minutes and with no paperwork, move your money between accounts, or get in touch with the support when needed - all from your smartphone.
If you’ve heard about different types of cards or accounts with N26, those were probably not the plans available in the US. For residents in Europe, there are indeed some possibilities - you have 3 options (Smart, You and Metal) for personal and business users; but in the US, you’ll find a single individual account.
In short, N26 works like a checking account. But you can put some asterisks on it, as it offers many options that traditional banking might not give you. From instant transfers to saving goals, have a look and see how N26 can help you. And, let’s not forget it, it’s free.
Here’s a quick rundown of N26’s pros & cons:
|Free to open an account||$2 + 2% ATM withdrawal fee outside Allpoint’s network⁷|
|No monthly fees||Credit cards not available|
|Unlimited & free withdrawals within Allpoint’s network|
If you’re at least 18 years old and are a US citizen/live in the US permanently, go to N26 website or download the app, and select the option to create a new account. You’ll be asked for⁸:
- First and last name
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Home address
- Email address
- Mobile phone number
After this, your information will be verified, and you’ll be asked to add some money into your account, which you can do using a number of options, like bank transfer, ACH transfer, debit card, Apple Pay/Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo, etc.
And that’s it. Once that’s done, your N26 Visa debit card will be shipped via USPS and has an estimated arrival date of 5-7 business days.
You might want to know that using N26 is free: you don’t have monthly fees, minimum balance, and, if you use it abroad, there are also no foreign transaction fees.
With an N26 card, you’ll get unlimited free ATM withdrawals at over 55,000 Allpoint locations in: US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia, Mexico, and the UK. You can find the nearest point from the app.⁷
However, N26 has a $2 + 2% after conversion to U.S. dollars for international ATM withdrawals out of their network. And also be aware that the ATMs also might apply their own fees.⁷
|Account opening fee||$0|
|ATM withdrawals with Allpoint||Unlimited & free|
|ATM withdrawals outside Allpoint’s network||$2 + 2%⁷|
|Foreign transaction fees||None|
In this segment, we’ll review all the features you can have by getting an N26 account in the US.
You can set up a direct deposit with N26 to get regular payments, like receiving the salary from your employer. This feature can be particularly useful because with it you can get your money up to 2 days earlier².
To set up a direct deposit with N26, follow these steps:
- Open “Actions” tab
- Choose “Add money”
- Then “Direct Deposit”
- Generate the form with your account and routing number.
|💡 Do you want to set up a direct deposit with your N26 account? Just provide the payee with N26's routing number: 122287675.|
If you have an N26 account, and you live in Europe, you’ll be able to use the Wise built-in feature and benefit from the Wise cheap and fast international transfers. However, N26 in the US doesn’t offer the Wise international transfer option, but we’re working on getting this live for you as well.
|In the meantime, if you need to send money abroad, have a look at Wise and check how much you can save with it. With Wise, all transfers get converted with the mid-market rate, and all you pay is a small and transparent up-front fee, with no unpleasant surprises.|
Is there a savings account with N26? The answer is no. However, you’ll find a feature called “Spaces”, that will let you create 2 sub-accounts for free.
You can call them as you wish (for example - “savings” or “new car”), creating short or long-term goals, which you’ll be able to visualize and track.
Summing it up, this is what you can do with Spaces: create goals, move the money between your spaces, schedule those transfers, or round up bills and send the change automatically to one of those spaces³.
Also, if you’re keen on keeping track of your spending, you can use N26 Statistics to do so. N26 will collect information from the places where you spend your money and categorize it accordingly. You can also personalize this by adding your own hashtags to some transactions - can be handy if you want to track your costs for the trip to Spain, for example⁴.
You can use the integration with MoneyBeam to send your money instantly to other users that have N26 accounts.
You can count on it to pay a bigger bill, like your rent, or just splitting a restaurant check - N26 with MoneyBeam will let you send money to other US users instantly, within a $3,000 daily limit and $12,000 per month⁵.
You don’t need to do anything to gain this: it will just happen if you use N26 card. Within your app, go to “Explore tab” and open “Cashback” - there, you’ll find what offers are available, that can be national, local or in-store. If you spend with your N26 card, you’ll get that cashback every 15 days credited to your account⁶.
If you’re looking for other financial products such as credit cards, loans, investing, money markets accounts, certificates of deposit, or IRA accounts, then N26 won’t be able to help you, as these are not available with the bank.
If you’re looking for an N26 alternative in the US, Wise can be something you’re looking for. With a free Wise account, you can send money abroad with low and transparent fees, and save up to 6x compared to other providers. You can also hold more than 50+ currencies in your account, and exchange them freely using the mid-market rate.
Plus, with a Wise account, you can also get:
- A card to spend in any currency,
- bank details to get paid in 30 different countries,
- Multi-currency direct debits,
And other revolutionary stuff. Get a Wise account in minutes, for free!
In order to add money to your N26 account, you’ll have plenty of options¹⁰:
- Direct deposit
- Transfer from a bank
- ACH transfer
- Debit card top-up
- MoneyBeam built-in feature
- Third party processors
Here’s a bit more detail on each method:
Option: Go to “My Account” and provide the sender with your ABA routing number and account number from N26. If you prefer, you can also fill out the form from your N26 mobile (under “Actions”, “Add money“ and “Direct Deposit”); or, ultimately, you can request this form from N26 support.
You can do this from within the N26 app. Just go to “Add money” and hit “External bank transfer”. Choose the bank account from which you’ll send the money, and confirm it. As simple as that.
If you prefer to do the transaction from your bank and not from within N26, you just need to log in your online banking and follow the normal procedure. This will vary from bank to bank, but usually it should differ much from this: choose the “external transfer” option (or similar) and add the N26 checking account as the recipient - you’ll need the routing and account numbers. It’s normal if your bank makes a small test deposit, which you’ll have to verify with them. Usually this can a few days.
You can also top up with your debit card. For this, you just need to choose “add money” and then pick one of your preferences: debit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay. The money will reach the account immediately with either option. There’s no fee in your first top-up with N26, but do count with 2.6% cost for the next time you use a card. Also, each top up needs to be done within these limits: $20-$150 per transfer, and $600 per calendar month.
Third party processors:
Another way of doing this is by using other providers. You can go directly to them and set up a transfer to your N26 account details. These are the providers that will let you do so: Cash App, PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, Ingo Money, Apple Cash.
N26 is FDIC insured. What does that mean? N26 accounts in the US are provided via Axos Bank, a federally regulated and FDIC-insured bank¹¹ (FDIC is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the main regulator of banks, who also protects the funds deposited in US-based banks). That means that your money is protected by up to $250,000.
Also, customers can set their own daily limits and lock their cards easily through the app, which can come in handy especially if your card gets stolen or lost.
Plus, N26 also runs regular safety checks on N26 accounts and transfers. This might sound like an inconvenience as a customer, but this is also to ensure your safety.
You can also have a further read on N26 reviews on TrustPilot, in case you want to have a further read before trying out the app.
If you need any help from N26 Support in the US, you’ll have three options to contact their team¹²:
- Phone number: 1-888-626-0626
- Choose the chat from the app
- Email address: email@example.com
As a digital bank, N26 can truly offer a great alternative to regular banks.
With no monthly fees, a minimum balance, and foreign transaction fees, getting an N26 account can be a great way of doing your finances.
However, while N26 offers free and unlimited withdrawals within Allpoint’s network, keep in mind, that withdrawing money outside the network comes with a $2 + 2%⁷ fee.
So, while this offer indeed makes N26 an attractive choice, before committing to a decision, we recommend that you do always do your research to see what other alternatives such as Wise can offer for you.
- N26 press release (Jan 2021) - 7 million customers
- N26 Direct Deposit page
- N26 Spaces page
- N26 statistics: how to use it
- N26 What is Moneybeam
- N26 cashback
- N26 Foreign transaction fees
- Opening an N26 account
- N26 available countries.
- N26 - how to add money
- N26 - Are N26 accounts FDIC-insured?
- N26 - getting in touch with support
All sources checked on 21 December 2021
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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