New ways to bank: N26 vs Revolut comparison

It's 2018 and traditional banks are obsolete. N26 and Revolut are here to change the rules and give us a glimpse of the future today
Published on October 18, 2018 in Reviews — 3 min read
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Hi everyone, a few days have passed since I flew bank from Delta Summit in Malta, where I had the chance to grab a physical Revolut card, for free. I was already a N26 user, but I am also an early adopter eager to find new tech products and services to try. So here it is a comparison of the two.

A couple of things before we start:

  • I am based in Europe
  • Talking to Revolut country manager, their biggest rival is N26. I guess the viceversa is also true
  • I have started playing around with free-tier of N26 and Revolut.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to any of them and this review is from a regular user standpoint.

Where N26 excels compared to Revolut

  • Real DE-based bank account
  • Card has an IBAN (German one)
  • They have full banking license in Europe
  • Money is insured up to 100K Euro by German fund for banks. I have found no evidence of such insurance for Revolut
  • Straightforward setup process, if your ID card is not recognized automatically, you can input data manually to get it approved. Manual input is not available on Revolut
  • No actual account ceiling limit
  • Mastercard debit card (Revolut is VISA prepaid), delivered for free. Revolut costs 6€.
  • Free unlimited money spending in Euro. In Revolut are free only the first 5K Euro.
  • Free money transfers in Euro (SEPA)
  • Free-fee payments all over the world
  • Free no-limits money withdrawal from any ATM in Europe. Withdrawal fee in currencies different than Euro is 1.7% for Basic and free for Premium users. There’s a 2€ fee for Maestro ATM in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Revolut has limits per month even for Premium users and the fee is 2% if you withdraw more than 200€ in a month.
  • Supports Apple Pay and Google Pay. Revolut does not.
  • It has a Web interface so you can use it from computer

Where Revolut excels compared to N26

  • UK-based bank account and IBAN
  • Support for 24 fiat currencies on the same IBAN. Funds are separated.
  • Support for 5 cryptocurrencies (Premium customers are getting this features for first)
  • Support for physical and virtual cards. You can create a virtual one in two taps into the mobile app
  • Money transfers in different currencies at current interbank rates during FX market hours, then it’s 0.5% above the interbank rate. Withdrawals are free in the current local currency (useful while traveling, for example) then if money is insufficient, funds are taken from main currency at current interbank FX rate
  • Option to set a recurring payment
  • Low-cost travel insurance accessible even to free-tier users (pay-as-you-go)
  • User support is great, both chatting inside the mobile app with real people or with their bot. I’d wish N26 offered some straight, into the app, approach too

Draw

  • They both offer a free tier
  • No fees for incoming bank transfers
  • Free money transfers in Euro (SEPA)
  • Both physical cards have NFC
  • Great mobile apps (I’ve tested the iOS ones)
  • Ability to set card limits (withdrawals and payments) into the app in real-time
  • An option to make it easy to save money. In N26 they call them spaces and gave you two of them for free. Money in spaces stays in your account but doesn’t count towards your balance. You can move money in and out of spaces in real-time with just a swipe. Revolut has a similar feature which also offers some automation. It can automatically round every expense and save the tip to your vault and you can set recurring savings, too
  • Money transfers in other currencies at real-time exchange rates. N26 is powered by TransferWise.
  • Both support peer-to-peer payments with no fees between their own customers
  • Concierge service for Premium users
  • They both offer a business tier. Revolut has launched it recently

So what? Which one is the best? Well, they are free and easy to setup. The best answer is to try yourself. For me that’s a draw and depending on the feature I need I’ll use one or the other, getting the best out of them.

If you are going to open a N26 or Revolut account, please write me and I’ll reply with a referral link (or invite) to benefit the both of us.

Thanks for reading.



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