Bunq vs N26: Which Banking App Is Better? (2024)

June 18, 2024

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Many start-ups are vying for new financial technology (fintech) customers. Challenger banks and money transfer companies seek to supplant legacy banks and corporations that have been around for decades. They attempt this by offering efficient, low-cost, and transparent mobile-first applications. Fintechs typically market to individuals and business customers who travel frequently, live abroad, sell products globally, or freelance.

Two interesting fintechs and mobile banking apps that regularly make headlines are Bunq and N26. Let’s review and compare their products, services, and plans for EU customers.

How to Choose a Mobile Banking App/Company

Choosing the best mobile banking app depends on your needs, financial goals, and budget. Understanding those aspects will make selecting the right partner and company easier.

Assess your needs first. Before evaluating financial apps, consider your requirements. For example, you want flight insurance because you travel a lot. You request payments often and want to use a customizable link to make the process more efficient.

Understand your financial goals. For everyday financial transactions, mobile-first banks are excellent. However, suppose you want to start investing or seek a tax-exempt account. Most challenger banks don’t offer robust investing platforms. Moreover, tax-free accounts are rare. Thus, you might have to look around or stick with the status quo to achieve your goals.

Consider your budget. While free accounts/plans are standard with neobanks, users must pay to access more features and benefits. It’s the classic freemium model that thousands of tech companies use. They offer free plans to convert users to premium accounts. Secondly, monthly plan/subscription fees can add up to over a hundred euros, pounds, or dollars annually. However, paying monthly fees might not be financially prudent or practical for some people’s budget/saving objectives or debt obligations.

Standard Features

Fintechs and neobanks will continue to add products, services, and features to compete with their rivals and traditional banks. What one company doesn’t have today will likely be offered in a few months to a year. Therefore, you needn’t worry about missing out on the long term. Challenger bank apps typically have these features:

  • Virtual and physical bank cards
  • Instant push notifications on all transactions
  • Analytics and categorization of expenses
  • Multiple accounts for saving and budgeting goals (not the same as an interest-bearing savings account)
  • No foreign exchange fees when spending abroad
  • Free money transfers to other users
  • Make recurring payments
  • Download and print account activity
  • Connectivity to third-party apps, for example, Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Card lock/unlock at your discretion. For instance, if your card gets lost or stolen

Bunq Overview

Bunq (stylized as “bunq”) is a fully licensed Dutch mobile bank operating across the EU and UK. It allows you to spend, save, move, transfer, and invest your money. It’s on a mission to break free from the status quo and create a bank with customers in mind.

Bunq values progress, transparency, and freedom of choice. It claims to be “the only bank in the world where you decide what happens with your money. What’s yours always stays yours.” Also, they’ll never sell out your private information.”

Bunq is available on Apple and Google Play app stores and offers a web app. It has an “Average” rating on Trustpilot.

N26 Overview

N26 is building the first mobile bank the world loves to use. It offers mobile banking solutions to EU, US, and foreign customers. It provides international money transfers, investments, overdrafts, cash withdrawals, and in-store deposits.

N26 focuses on making money management easy. It empowers customers to manage and control their banking details via a smartphone application. Furthermore, opening a standard N26 account is fast, paperless, and won’t cost you a thing. Its products and services differ depending on the country.

N26 is available on Apple and Google Play app stores and offers a web app. It has an “Average” rating on Trustpilot.

Revenue Models

Bunq earns money through plan subscription fees. It shares revenues or collects fees through third-party product and service arrangements, such as its partnership with Wise to offer money transfer services. It also earns money from card top-ups, deposits, withdrawals, additional accounts, safekeeping, and card issuance. Bunq charges business customers various fees that may not apply to individuals. Click here for Bunq’s fees.

N26 earns money through plan subscriptions, cash management, overdrafts, and loan fees. It shares revenues or collects fees through third-party product and service arrangements, such as a partnership with Wise to offer money transfer services. It also earns money from card issuance and emergency card advances (ECA). N26 charges fees for payment reminders, investigation requests, select bank inquiries, and nonstandard accounts. It charges business customers various fees that may not apply to consumers. Click here for N26’s fees.

Products and Services


Bunq’s products and services (depending on the card/plan and country) include:

  • Budgeting and analytics
  • Current account
  • Expense management
  • Interest-bearing account
  • International bank account details
  • Joint account
  • Money transfers
  • Multi-currency account
  • Online payment
  • Perks and discounts
  • Purchase protection
  • Business account

Unique features (depending on the card/plan):

  • Participate in environmental and green initiatives.
  • Round up payments and save the difference automatically.
  • Automatically set aside VAT on a dedicated bank account.
  • Add notes to receipts and payments.
  • Predict future balances to support purchase decisions.
  • Use a personal link to collect payments.
  • Track and split your group and social expenses.
  • Use voice commands with Siri to manage your accounts.
  • Invest your spare change in stocks automatically.
  • Add and manage all your loyalty cards in one place.
  • Keep track of your subscriptions.
  • Get deals and discounts with Bunq partners.
  • Get purchase protection and extended warranties for carefree shopping.
  • Get future balance predictions to help manage your money.
  • Scan invoices and receipts for easy management.


N26 products and services include (depending on the card/plan and country):

  • Credit
  • Current account
  • Interest-bearing account
  • Insurance
  • Money transfers
  • Overdraft
  • Perks and discounts
  • Personal loan
  • Business account

Unique features (depending on the card/plan):

  • Get paid up to two days earlier with a direct deposit.
  • Get 10 “Spaces” sub-accounts (alongside your main account) to save for your goals.
  • Invite up to 10 participants to deposit/withdraw money between everyone’s Spaces accounts.
  • Tag your transactions and categorize your spending.
  • Gain access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide with LoungeKey.
  • Get exclusive partner perks.
  • Use your fingerprint to log in.
  • Disable and enable payments abroad in the app.
  • Get travel, car, product, and health insurance.
  • Split any payment you’ve made in the past four weeks into installments.
  • Buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
  • Get cashback with a business account.

Wise 2023 b 300x250

Open a Free Wise Account

Product Comparison

GBP account
EUR account
USD account
Savings account
Money transfers
Joint account
Teen accountNo, but a student account is available.

Plans and Pricing

Bunq and N26 have multiple subscription plans, and customers can pay annually for lower pricing.

Plan APlan BPlan C/D


Bunq and N26 are both superb. Although N26 gets the lion’s share of attention, Bunq should be talked about more. It offers some products and features that N26 doesn’t. For instance, Bunq provides multiple cards and enables voice commands. By contrast, N26 offers personal loans, travel insurance, and exclusive perks, while Bunq doesn’t. Both companies are available in select EU countries. So, a fairer comparison can be made where there is overlap, for example, in Spain.

One similarity between both companies is that they facilitate money transfers through Wise. Wise helps individuals, businesses, freelancers, and travelers to send, receive, hold, and spend money at real-time rates and low fees. I’ve used Wise for years.

Bunq and N26 are exciting mobile banking companies. However, N26 is more innovative and has a broader product portfolio that provides a fuller banking experience. For those reasons, I give N26 a slight edge.

Chad Tennant
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