It is no secret that I am a massive fan of N26. I signed up to N26 black around a year ago and have used it as my primary bank account since. There have been some small issues but overall I have been very happy. A month ago I was in America for three weeks due to work and took an Uber to and from the office each day. I’d often also get UberEats delivery in the evening. Each time I would also tip the driver. The way Uber charges the tip comes up as a separate transaction. This meant each day I’d have 6 transactions from Uber. I didn’t think anything of it and my N26 Black Card was working perfectly.

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Earlier this week I posted that N26 has changed their ATM Fair Use Policy. Irish customers get 5 free euro ATM withdrawals per month with each additional euro ATM withdrawal costing €2. ATM withdrawals in foreign currencies incur a 1.7% fee. This fee is waived for N26 Black customers which means if you have a N26 black account you are limited to 5 free euro ATM withdrawals but had unlimited free ATM withdrawals in foreign currencies each month. This is a feature I have used a lot. In nearly a year of being a N26 Black customer I’ve completed 2 or 3 euro ATM withdrawals but probably close to 50 foreign withdrawals.

When I was last travelling two weeks ago, a notification appeared on my N26 app saying the ATM fair use policy starts today. This notification no longer displays – but I was certain it said ATM withdrawals in foreign currencies would be included in the fair use policy. I posted about this change and it appears I was the only one who got this notification. I reached out to N26 and they confirmed there has been no change to the ATM fair use policy.

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This article is incorrect. Please see clarification article.

I’ve been a N26 Black customer for nearly a year now and as I’ve said many times before I’m a massive fan. I have finally closed my last remaining Irish current account this week so its in N26 I trust. One big perk of N26 is that there are no currency conversion mark ups or fees – you pay the MasterCard rate on the day the transaction is processed. While this isn’t quite as good as Revolut’s rate the difference is negligible that I no longer use Revolut except as a backup.

One big perk and unusual feature with N26 Black is that you get 5 free ATM withdrawals per month within the eurozone but unlimited free ATM withdrawals outside the eurozone. This was great on my last trip as I did well more than 5 transactions and didn’t pay a cent in fees. However, they have closed this loop-hole now and the fair use policy applies to all ATM withdrawals. I received a in app notification of this change. They haven’t updated their pricing page to make this change clearer.

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I have had current accounts with AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Post Bank (blast from the past) and KBC in Ireland. I had high hopes for KBC but found their opening procedure very poor although it seems to have improved. However, their internet and mobile banking were poor in my opinion and their advertising campaigns really got on my nerves which was the final straw. In the end I think I had a KBC account for a month or two before switching to N26.

N26 is a German online bank that allows Irish residents to sign up. Signing up and verifying your identity is all completed via their app. I was fully set up and verified in less than 20 minutes. They have two personal products – Standard and Black. The standard bank account comes with a MasterCard debit card and has no fees – except a €2 ATM withdrawal fee if you make more than 5 ATM withdrawals in a month and a 1.7% fee for non-euro ATM withdrawals. N26 Black costs €5.90 per month and for this the 1.7% non-euro ATM withdrawal fee is waived. There is also included Travel, Mugging and Mobile Phone insurance as well as extended warranty.

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I recently came back from a trip where I used my N26 card exclusively. I used to be a Revolut fan but have since moved over to N26 and to be honest, I haven’t looked back. I still always pack my Revolut Card with me as backup but N26 is my main card now both at home in Ireland and when travelling. I thought it would be interesting to do the sums to see how much N26 ‘saved’ me during the trip.

There are things to keep in mind.

  • I pay for N26 Black which costs €5.90 per month. If I hadn’t paid for N26 Black and instead had the basic N26 MasterCard I would have ended up paying 1.7%.  This would have worked out at ~€17.95 for the trip so it would still have been cheaper than AIB and Revolut
  • If I wasn’t using N26 and instead using AIB or Revolut I would have done fewer larger transactions. This would have saved fees but I would have had to walk around with more cash on me which I like to avoid.
  • I am making some assumptions with exchange rates. Every third or fourth withdrawal I would use my Revolut card, that had no funds loaded to make the transaction. The transaction would fail as expected, but the euro converted amount shows as a failed transaction.

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