My N26 Black MasterCard broke and I am no longer able to make contactless payments with it. When I went on to the app to order a replacement they were asking for €6 to pay for the replacement. I’ve no problem paying for a replacement in the case of the card being lost or stolen however I do have an issue with it when it was damaged. The card was damaged by general use – inserting and removing from the chip reader, something the card should be designed to withstand. I decided to hold off ordering the replacement and instead get on live chat to ask what they could do for me.

This also let me see how their live chat is doing these days. I’ve always found them spot on – quick to connect, quick to reply and very helpful. However, it recents weeks I’ve been receiving comments from readers about N26 customer support and they have not been very positive.

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They say all relationships go through tough times and this is certainly the case with N26 at the moment. I have always been a big fan but in the last few months there have been some small incidents which has made me consider looking around for another bank. The lack of new features, an issue with a chargeback (they’ll be a post about it soon) and now my Black MasterCard has broken.

I’ve never once broken a debit or credit card. However, I did note when the Black MasterCard arrive it was a bit flimsy. This is particularly worrying as the card has a long expiry date – my card that arrived in early 2017 has an expiry in 2021. Well it finally happened, the card snapped as the shop assistant took it out of the chip reader. Chip and Pin and swipe transactions still work but contactless have stopped working. – Thankfully N26 support Google pay so I can still do contactless payments that way.

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N26 recently launched a new online “app or as most people would call it a website. I was a bit confused when it was launched and the amount of comments about it on various forums online. It appeared that this was the first time they offered online banking which is not true. In fact, when this new online banking was launched it was missing a way to search transactions which is a big omission. This feature has now been added. I always leave it a few weeks before reviewing updated apps and websites as I know it takes a while to get used to the change. In this case, my overall feeling is.. meh.

There are some features I really like – you can now edit transaction categories and tags online. This is a big improvement however, I’d love if they took it a step further and allowed you to change tags and categories in bulk. They also offer “dark mode” which is a dark colour scheme and a discreet mode where your balance and transaction amounts are blurred. I like the idea of discreet mode however, I’d prefer if only the balance was blurred and the transaction amounts were not.

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I’ve always been a massive fan of N26 but in recent months I’ve been disappointed with the lack of innovation and new features. I have starting considering looking at Revolut for my main banking needs as I know they have added lots of features since I last looked. However, at this point in time I wouldn’t consider using Revolut without a backup card. I have been stung too many times with outages.

One feature I’ve really wanted N26 to launch is savings accounts in Ireland. They do offer savings and investments in other countries but unfortunately Ireland has been forgotten about. Ever since Rabo Direct shut down shop in Ireland I’ve been left searching for a replacement. Ideally I want a savings account that I can transfer money to and from easily with no notice periods. I also would like the ability to open multiple accounts for different purposes e.g. one for holidays, one for a new car etc. This is exactly what N26 has announced today in the form of N26 Spaces.

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I have been very quiet on this blog for the last couple of months even though I have a list of things I could post about. The next few articles will be catch-up articles covering things that have happened since I last posted which I want to cover for the completeness sake. I especially want to cover the N26 announcements as those tend to be the most read articles.

The Leap Card has an auto-top up function allowing you to top up automatically via direct debit when the balance on the card falls below €10. Previously, Leap Card would only support bank accounts with an Irish IBAN (an IBAN starting with IE). This meant N26 users couldn’t sign up for this feature – this was in breach of EU regulations. There is a very good thread on boards.ie outlining the problem.  In April, finally Leap Card started allowing direct debits to be set up on non-Irish bank accounts. I immediately set up the auto top-up using my N26 account.

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