Anyone who follows this blog would know I’m a huge fan of N26. I’ve had current accounts with AIB, BOI, KBC and Ulster Bank and for me N26 is streets ahead of them. Since signing up to N26 Black account I no longer use my Revolut card which previously I had always used when travelling. For me the features offered by N26 Black is well worth the €5.90 monthly fee although I understand to others it wouldn’t be worth it. I was meant to do the calculations of how much N26 saved me versus AIB and Revolut during my last trip. I might work it out later but it was over comfortably over €50. In saying that, N26 is not perfect and there are ways it should be improved. Below are the downsides of using N26 as an Irish customer in order of importance. Obviously this is subjective but I feel I’ve used the account long enough to be able to give an insight to day to day usage.
Travel Medical Insurance limited to €150,000
If you live in Germany and have an N26 Black account the foreign medical expenses covers “Cost for medical expense without limit”. If you live in Ireland, it only covers “Cost for medical expenses maximum € 150,000 per Trip” With this low limit, you really need to get another travel insurance policy with a bigger limit especially if you are travelling to the US. You could get through €150,000 very easily in an American Hospital.
Extended Warranty only applies to devices bought in Ireland
A lot of these new fin-techs are able to offer their products in different European Countries thanks to the EU. The N26 Black account offers extended warranty however it only applies to devices bought in your country of residence – Ireland. Anything bought on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de etc will not be covered. I’d have hoped it would have covered anything bought within the EU.
Customer Service isn’t 24 hours
I’ve decided I don’t need customer services to be working 24/7. However, I would like a hotline for troubleshooting why the MasterCard stops working. It happened to me once and I had to wait until customer service opened to find out the reason – turns out I just maxed out the transaction limit.
Confusion over pending/authorised transactions
When viewing transactions online it is difficult to tell which transactions are pending/authorised only and which transactions are completed. You can go and view the preliminary statement for the current month. If the transaction appears there it is completed. It would be nice for the them to make it clearer and it looks like they are hoping to implement it soon.
New features not available to Irish customers
N26 have launched savings, invest, insurance and credit facilities but none of these are available yet to Irish customers. I’d love to see them launching more of these products in Ireland – I hope we don’t get forgotten about. Although it is interesting to see Ireland is one of the few countries N26 Black is available in.
Can’t see list of direct debits
There is no way to see a list of active direct debits on your account. It is not possible to request a reversal or cancel a direct debit without contacting customer support. Compare that to Bank of Ireland:
This is where the complaints get a bit petty.
Black card looks a bit cheap
I love the original N26 MasterCard and the fact you can see the contactless circuit. The black MasterCard while looking slick enough once its delivered gets scratched very easily. If I had a choice I’d stick with the original MasterCard design and not the Black card.
The monthly statements are available to download in PDF and there are two small changes I’d make. Currently the IBAN of the recipient/sender of bank transfers appears on the statement. If I send money to a friend, their IBAN appears on the transaction, and if a friend sends me money, their IBAN appears as well. If you’re sending your statement in as proof of address/proof of funds they will be able to see all the IBANs. Secondly, theres a lot of wasted space in the statement and I’d prefer a condensed version. My latest statement was 12 pages long when it could easily have fitted on 2.
The chargeback form is about 4 pages long and you need to fill in fields on all 4 pages. The instructions and explanations are on each page. They could easily fit all the fields that need to be filled out on one page and then have one page of explanations. This way you only need to print out 1 page instead of 4.
The following two downsides aren’t N26’s fault but need to be kept in mind.
Not supported by Leap Card Leap card cannot set up a direct debit on a non-Irish bank account even though this is against EU regulations. As a result you cannot use the auto-top up feature with an N26 current account. You can still top up manually online/at a machine using the N26 MasterCard. Hopefully Leap Card will start complying with EU regulations but I wouldn’t hold your breath.
Update April 2018: It now works!
Can’t lodge cheques
Somehow companies in Ireland still issue cheques. I’m not quite sure how they have lasted this long but I still get the occasional cheque. Prize Bonds can’t send prizes to non-Irish bank accounts, so you cannot receive prizes to your N26 bank account instead you need an Irish bank account or they send you a cheque. There is no way to lodge a cheque (or cash) to your N26 bank account. I haven’t needed to lodge cash since signing up to N26 – I rarely use cash these days. However, I’ve had to lodge cheques several times. I still have a free AIB account where I can lodge these cheques and then send them over to N26.
Even with these downsides I’m a very happy N26 customer and hope they keep innovating and adding more features and services. I’d love to see them expanding their savings, insurance and credit facilities to Irish accounts.