Image N26 launches new premium account: N26 Smart
Image Daragh Cassidy
Head Writer

The German digital bank now has three premium accounts for customers to choose from. 

N26 has launched yet another premium subscription, N26 Smart, which joins its other premium offerings N26 Metal and N26 You.

N26 Smart is being billed as "the best of N26" for less than €5 a month.

Here we take a look at what’s on offer.  

But first, a reminder...

Who is N26?

N26 is a German Bank which now operates in over 20 countries across Europe, while it recently branched into the United States market too. 

N26 has over six million customers worldwide, over 150,000 of whom are in Ireland. 

It's licensed by the German Central Bank and operates in Ireland and other EU countries on a European Passport (a banking licence which allows a bank or financial institution which is licensed in one EU country to passport that licence to another country without having to get regulatory approval all over again).

As N26 is an actual bank, customers are covered by the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme up to €100,000, so your money is as safe with this bank as with any of the traditional Irish ones.

When you open an account you'll immediately be given an IBAN and BIC number, meaning you can get paid into the account by your Irish employer and set up direct debits and standing orders just like with any other Irish bank account.

The downside is that, as a true digital bank, there aren't any N26 branches in Ireland so if you want to make a lodgement in person or cash in a cheque you'll find yourself stuck.

What’s new?

According to N26, its new subscription offering brings together the best of N26’s premium features and benefits along with some new functionalities to help customers organise their finances with ease. 

Features included with an N26 Smart account include:

  • Dedicated phone support with an N26 customer service representative in addition to in-app support chat.
  • Access to up to 10 ‘Spaces’ - N26’s sub-accounts for easy saving, with Shared Spaces functionality - making it possible to save, spend and manage money with up to 10 other people.
  • Access to its new Round-Ups feature, similar to Revolut’s popular Vaults feature, which automatically rounds up each purchase to the nearest euro and sets aside the spare change to help you grow your savings easily with minimal effort.
  • Up to five fee-free ATM withdrawals a month in the eurozone.
  • No foreign exchange fees on any debit card payments worldwide in any currency. 
  • Unlimited fee-free cash withdrawals outside the eurozone.  
  • Special partner offers and benefits.
  • A choice of five different colours for your N26 Smart Mastercard: Aqua, Rhubarb, Sand, Slate and Ocean.
  • And of course free day-to-day banking and access to Google and Apple Pay (as with the standard account).

If you're unsure how N26 Smart stacks up against its other offerings, this table might help. 

To note - over the coming months, N26 You will be rebranded into N26 International, with even more features planned, while N26 Metal will become N26 Unlimited.

N26 Standard

N26 Smart

N26 You

N26 Metal

Free

€4.90 a month

€9.90 a month

€16.90 a month

Transparent card 

Choose from 5 card colours that best fit your style

Choose from 5 card colours that best fit your style

An 18-gram metal card. Choose from 3 metallic shades

Up to 3* free ATM withdrawals per month in the eurozone

Up to 5 free ATM withdrawals per month in the eurozone

Up to 5 free ATM withdrawals per month in the eurozone

Up to 8 free ATM withdrawals per month in the eurozone

1.7% non-euro cash withdrawal fee

1.7% non-euro cash withdrawal fee

Unlimited free ATM withdrawals worldwide

Unlimited free ATM withdrawals worldwide

Up to 2 Spaces sub accounts

Up to 10 Spaces sub accounts

Up to 10 Spaces sub accounts

Up to 10 Spaces sub accounts

Chatbot and in-app livechat  support

Chatbot, in-app livechat, and phone support

Chatbot, in-app livechat, and phone support

Chatbot, in-app livechat, and a dedicated Metal priority phone line support 

X

Round-ups savings feature 

Round-ups savings feature 

Round-ups savings feature 

X

Premium partner offers

Premium partner offers

Premium partner offers

X

X

Trip insurance in case of cancellations 

Trip insurance in case of cancellations 

X

X

Flight insurance in case of delays

Flight insurance in case of delays

X

X

Luggage cover

Luggage cover

X

X

Winter sport insurance cover 

Winter sport insurance cover 

X

X

X

Phone insurance 

*Customers whose ‘primary account’ is with N26 will get five free withdrawals a month. A 'primary account' means you have regular monthly income paid into the account, like your salary, which can be verified for two consecutive months. Non-primary accounts get only 3 withdrawals

The verdict

One of N26's main 'problems' is that its standard free account is so good, which makes paying for premium accounts a tough sell.

However a few points stand out. 

The ability to speak with an actual agent will be a big plus for many people, as one of the main criticisms levelled against online 'banks' like N26 and Revolut is how difficult it can be to sort out an issue when something goes wrong.   

The new Round-Ups savings feature will no doubt prove popular too, however customers of Revolut will be aware that it offers this type of service already and for free. 

The promise of premium partner offers and discounts with world-class brands might also be enough to tempt some to fork out on a subscription, but it depends on what those products and offers are and whether you'd have much use for them. 

Getting five fee-free ATM withdrawals a month is also handy, but if you use your N26 account as your primary account you'll get five free withdrawals with the standard account too.

Compare current accounts today

Did you know that you can easily and quickly compare a wide variety of current account options on bonkers.ie?

You can also compare fees, interest rates, and account features across a range of banking products on bonkers.ie with our easy-to-use comparison service in just a few clicks.

If you’re considering signing up to a ‘digital only’ bank, take a look at our comparison on N26 and Revolut for a comprehensive review of both, or listen to our recent bonkers.ie podcast episode on N26 versus Revolut here.

We also discussed both fintechs in another episode of our podcast, Current accounts: a deep dive. If you’re in the market for a new current account, it’s worth a listen!

Before making the switch, you might want to consult our helpful guide on how to switch current accounts.

What do you think?

In some ways it feels like N26 You, for just under a tenner a month, actually offers better value, particularly if you're fond of travel. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or over on our social channels.