Key Post Revolut and N26 Current Accounts

tomdublin

Frequent Poster
Messages
73
RevolutN26
StatusElectronic money institutionLicensed bank
Access via a web based browsersNoYes - but transactions must be confirmed by app.
Deposits are guaranteedNoYes - German bank up to €100k
IBAN numberYes for EUR account Yes
Direct debit facilityYesYes
Can be topped up with a debit cardYes
Euro cash withdrawalsFree up to €200 per month
2% on withdrawals above this
In Ireland - first 5 free - then €2 each
Eurozone outside Ireland - completely free
non euro cash withdrawalsIncluded in "free up to €200 per month" so 2% above €2001.7%
Forex transactionsFree up to €5,000 per month
2% thereafter
Forex exchange rate usedInterbank rate most of the time
0.5% mark up at the weekends
Uses Master card exchange rates - about 0.25% dearer than Interbank rate
Spending limit£5,000 in 96 hours€5,000 per day
LocationUKGermany
Irish customers500,000
Sign up processVery simple - 5 to 10 minutes
Non-Euro accounts provided?Yes, GBP and USD alsoNo

N26 charges

Revolut charges
 
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tomdublin

Frequent Poster
Messages
73
Having used both a Revolut and an N26 current account for some time I thought I should share my experience with them. Going by the postings here there is still some confusion about how these accounts work and what they offer.

The main draw is that neither of them is an Irish-based bank. They thus save you from having to deal with pushy sales reps, inexplicable delays in processing electronic transfers, constantly changing terms and conditions and stealthy fees. Also, Revolut and N26 both offer apps that are significantly better than anything available through Irish banks at the moment.

The main difference between Revolut and N26 is that the former does not have a banking licence (technically it is not a bank). That means that funds are not covered by any deposit insurance scheme, which makes leaving larger sums of money on your account somewhat more risky. (Revolut says it is applying for a full banking licence, but it's not clear when this will have happened.)

Opening both accounts, including ID verification, can be done online and is fast and easy. The apps for both accounts are very user friendly and intuitive. Transactions register in real-time through push notifications. A nice feature with both accounts is that users can selectively disable and enable certain card functions, such as contactless payments and internet purchases. It's also possible to categorise different types of inflows and expenditures for a better overview. Not being a bank, Revolut offers less functionality than does N26. For example it's not possible to set up direct debits, but standing orders should work fine for both. Neither accepts cheques and it is not possible to lodge cash. N26 offers a debit Mastercard whereas Revolut lets you choose between Visa debit or Mastercard debit. Revolut says that it will offer savings accounts in the future. N26 already offers high interest savings accounts through an intermediary (Raisin) but it's not available to Irish-registered customers (no guessing why that might be).

Both accounts are free to use, without any maintenance costs or charges for normal transactions (N26 offers a premium version at a monthly charge that includes travel insurance, but it seems a little overpriced). Free banking is not conditional on minimum account balances, unlike most “free” current accounts in Ireland. Revolut accounts can also be topped up for free with a debit card.

Both accounts will save you money if you travel a lot outside the Eurozone or if you make online purchases in Sterling or USD. For Irish bank-issued credit and debit cards the combined cost of using them outside the Eurozone can be up to around 4% which is made up of inflated exchange rates plus - in some cases - additional transaction fees. The cost of using ATMs can be even higher. By contrast, Revolut and N26 both charge the interbank exchange rate on purchases and neither charges any transaction fees. Cash withdrawals outside the Eurozone are free up to a certain amount (e.g. €200 per month for Revolut) and incur a 2% charge for additional amounts (which is still cheaper than using an Irish-issued card at an non-Euro ATM). Revolut's 200 Euro limit annoyingly includes Eurozone withdrawals, whereas N26 limits the number of free monthly withdrawals. But for most customers who use their debit card whenever possible instead of cash these limits should not be a problem

N26 is based in Germany and Revolut in the UK but SEPA makes transferring money easy and efficient. It's faster to transfer money from Revolut and N26 to Ireland (and vice versa) than it is to transfer money between two Irish accounts. Both accounts allow instantaneous transfers between their respective customers through their apps which can be a useful feature for people who regularly send each other money

In my experience, both and N26 and Revolut had teething problems when it came to customer service. Revolut experimented with an infuriatingly useless automated service agent, whereas N26’s customer service sometimes seemed to go AWOL for days on end. These problems seem to have eased. Moreover, both apps are now largely bug-free.

One drawback with both accounts is that they can only be accessed through a mobile phone app, not a web-based browser (N26 lets users access their account through a web browser but all transactions have to be confirmed through the app). This means that if your phone is lost or stolen you will have difficulties managing your accounts.

Verdict: N26 and Revolut offer a similar service. Free banking, handy apps and quite dramatic savings on foreign currency transactions can make the move worthwhile. Revolut’s lack of deposit protection means that I would not currently use it as my main current account, but transferring small amounts into the Revolut account as you spend it should be fine. If you are looking for an alternative to your Irish current account N26 is probably the best choice until Revolut has sorted out the insurance problem. Once you have made the move you likely won't look back.
 

DeclanDublin

Frequent Poster
Messages
134
Thank you for this detailed analysis, Tom. Very useful. I use the Revolut card, but as I have a free Irish CA I see no great advantage to the N26 apart from the possibility to make larger withdrawals over and above the €200 Revolut limit.
 

banchang

Frequent Poster
Messages
46
Does Revolut have the same chargeback protection which a credit card does

ie if something ordered online is not received, or if an hotel is booked prepaid which somehow doesn’t materialize, can a chargeback to supplier be raised & monies reimbursed?
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
40,539
I have made this a Key Post as it's a good systematic treatment.

Would someone do a FAQ.

I do everything through my AIB current account and debit card at present. I rarely use my credit card.


Do I need to keep my AIB current account as well?

If I get rid of my AIB account, how do I get money into the Revolut account? (The same way as AIB I suppose?)

What do I do with cheques?

Is it a bank account with a debit card or is it a credit card?

Can I get an overdraft or credit card limit?

I do all my online banking from my pc and not from my phone?
Does that rule me out?

If I keep my AIB account, is there any advantage to Revolut?
Cheaper payments outside the eurozone e.g. sterling and dollars

What happens if I have a problem?
With AIB I can phone them or even call into them. If I discover something unusual on my credit card what do I do?
 

elcato

Moderator
Messages
3,413
Do Revelut use location on your phone - they prompt me to allow it.

Yes. This is a security feature which allows us to make sure of you make a transaction in another country, we can check that you're phone is also there which informs us at least that you are in that country and not elsewhere.

What happens if I don't switch location on my phone ?

We may decline a transaction till we are satisfied that you are in that locality by other means of communication

I just discovered that Revelut ping my machine using the location even when I have mobile data off on my phone. The result of this is that my PAYG mobile credit has disappeared as it charges 10c for each ping.

This is an unfortunate consequence of having this feature. Make sure you have location off even if you have mobile data of as well.
 

TLO

Frequent Poster
Messages
248
Do I need to keep my AIB current account as well?
Yes

If I get rid of my AIB account, how do I get money into the Revolut account? (The same way as AIB I suppose?)
1) SEPA transfer in Euros to the IBAN of your Revolut card
2) Point of Sale top up from your AIB debit card
3) BACS transfer in GBP to the UK sort code/account number of your Revolut card

What do I do with cheques?
No support for cheques. You'll need to lodge to your AIB current account.

Is it a bank account with a debit card or is it a credit card?
At the moment it is a prepaid debit card, with Euro and STG account numbers attached. So no deposit protection. A banking license has been applied for in Lithuania.

Can I get an overdraft or credit card limit?
Not yet. Credit facilities are promised for the future.

I do all my online banking from my pc and not from my phone?
Does that rule me out?
In practical terms yes. In theory you could run the Revolut app on an Android emulator on a Windows PC. But there would be loss on functionality, for example, location based security.
 
Messages
4,874
If I keep my AIB account, is there any advantage to Revolut?
Advantages to Revolut/N26:
(1) FX rate. Significantly better than AIB. Big saving on non-EUR transactions.
(2) Mobile notifications of inbound and outbound movements on your account.
(3) Quick digital account opening. (Some of the Irish banks are still stuck in paper form filling lengthily account opening processes).
(4) Online transfer limit with N26 is significantly higher than Irish banks.
(5) Google Pay and Apple Pay support - which PTSB, EBS and BoI do not offer.
(6) USD and GBP 'accounts' with Revolut.
(7) Great apps.
 

Zebedee

Frequent Poster
Messages
124
I saw this thread and it gave me food for thought.

I’m with BOI and given that there is supposed to be a big IT update on the way I feel I need a backup.

Tried N26 yesterday. Spoke to a nice lady. Pictures taken. App says “verification in progress” for last 24 hours. Contacted them through chat forum (eventually found this - contact details are only available when app set up - had to root my way through opening account help website). Was told I “have to be patient”. Given that this is advertised as instant immediate cause for concern. Hmmmm.

Decided to sign up to Revolut today. 5 mins no bother. Card on the way. So a strong start.

I’m also aware of lots of complaints on line about the service level. So I’ll keep it simple for a while and see what happens.
 

thos

Frequent Poster
Messages
148
Tried creating an account on N26, couldn't get passed address page, kept telling me Invalid Postcode, tried my eircode, tried a few other usual things to get around postcode questions but could not get passed that screen.

Update - advise was to put in 7 zero's as post code and contact later to update details.
 
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Zebedee

Frequent Poster
Messages
124
That happened to me as well. I removed the space between the two elements of the eircode and it worked for me.
 

TarfHead

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,674
I have started to make more use of my revolut card to try to avoid BOI current account fees. I have so far hit 2 issues I had not anticipated.

Each ATM withdrawal seems to bear a 12 cent Government Stamp Duty charge. If BOI are charging 10c per ATM withdrawal, the revolut card is not suitable for those transactions.

Secondly, some ATMS, generally 3rd-party providers, seems to want to charge me currency conversion charges given that the revolut card is, to all intents and purposes, a UK product.

Are these experiences common to all ? Are there best practices for avoiding banking costs by using your revolut card ?
 

RedOnion

Frequent Poster
Messages
4,426
Each ATM withdrawal seems to bear a 12 cent Government Stamp Duty charge
This is a government stamp duty, and us applied to all ATM transactions carried out in Republic for cardholders with an Irish address. It's in addition to the 10c that you refer to BOI charging, but the banks apply it annually in arrears rather than per transaction.

Secondly, some ATMS, generally 3rd-party providers, seems to want to charge me currency conversion charges
I've spotted this as well. Even BOI ATM's recognise it as a UK card and offer to charge in GBP.
You need your wits about you, especially if using it abroad in a foreign language.

Revolut don't own any ATM's, so they are charged every time you use one, so they will actively discourage use. The card is best suited for non ATM transactions.
 

Khublei

Frequent Poster
Messages
63
Thank you for this detailed analysis, Tom. Very useful. I use the Revolut card, but as I have a free Irish CA I see no great advantage to the N26 apart from the possibility to make larger withdrawals over and above the €200 Revolut limit.
I've just read the above from a year ago. From what I see online there are no free outside Eurozone transactions on N26. Am I wrong or have things changed in the past year? I have a Resolut card but was going to get an N26 one as well as I'll be travelling quite a bit this year. I get charged €4.88 every time I take money out in Asia by PTSB.
 

gpjordanf1

Registered User
Messages
12
Looking at switching my current account to N26, but I cant see anywhere where they provide a switching service outside Germany?
If they don't do that, how are you supposed to do it?
Thanks
 

RedOnion

Frequent Poster
Messages
4,426
If they don't do that, how are you supposed to do it?
You just do it yourself. 90% of people who switch don't use the switching process.
Contact anyone you pay by DD and give them new details. Note: some will require a signed DD mandate.
Update your details with anyone that pays you money - employers payroll, etc.
Update PayPal or other online services.
 

HollowKnight

Frequent Poster
Messages
212
Hoping people know the answer to this -
I'm hoping to buy a car in Northern Ireland.
FX fees through AIB/KBC account would be quite large compared to Revolut / N26.

1. Can you transfer money from AIB/KBC to Revolut in euro, let's say €10000.
2. Can this €10000 then be transferred into sterling without cost?
(Revolut say there is a 0.5% fee above €6000.)
Can you therefore move over €5000 and then the next day €5000.
3. When it comes to paying for the car - is there a transaction limit on the card per day?
4. If yes to 3, can you transfer the full amount by IBAN etc in the sterling account to the NI dealership?

Thanks!
 

Buddyboy

Frequent Poster
Messages
596
Thanks Brendan,
you can update the table with the fact that Revolut has an IBAN and BIC. On mine, it's listed in the App, both a local and swift one (for domestic and cross-border transactions respectively). It has a bank account number for domestic transfers for my BG account (and the same IBAN for cross-border transfers to my GB account)
 
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