How to open a N26 Bank account—from anywhere*


(Iso) #21

Does anyone know why N26 accept NZ passport for ID, but not Australia?

(Thomas K. Running) #22

Hi Jim!

1. There shouldn't be any issue opening an account for US citizens, I know multiple who have done that, as long as you have an address where N26 operates.

2. The IDnow team will only verify your ID documents, they are not going to ask you any additional questions regarding residency, etc.

3. A lot of people are a bit "butt hurt" after N26 started charging _some_ fees. The main one being a 1.7% charge on ATM withdrawals outside of the Euro zone. And yes, when N26 got their own banking license, their customers obviously had to be moved over and get account numbers associated with N26 Bank, instead of their old partner, Wirecard. But you had a few months to move over (from early November to January), not 21 days. You had 21 days to activate your new card from when you ordered it, which seems reasonable. They also very helpfully provided you a list of "transaction partners", i.e. parties that had used to send you money in the past, so you could provide them with your new account numbers with ease. And your old account number would still work for a few months as a grace period.

You can read more about the changes here:

As for Deutscheskonto, my guess is that N26 suspended their affiliate partnership and that's why they so vehemently tries do not send any readers there anymore. It looks like they have replaced every single link to them with a DKB link, so that's quite telling.

Still, DKB is also a good bank. But I would only recommend it if you speak German (in my experience they refuse to communicate in English) and if you use it as your main account (i.e. deposit at least 700 EUR every month—otherwise they have quite high fees). And even if you do both of those things, N26 still has much better apps and online banking than DKB.

I don't think you can go wrong with either :)

(Jim) #23

Hi Thomas, thanks so much for this invaluable information, you were right, opening the account was so easy (and it took less than 15 mins for me!) so I'm a happy camper.

A couple of follow-up questions for you, if I may (and just tell me if these are irrelevant/inappropriate):

I just learned that the N26 Maestro card is not a Girocard (EC) - as you probably know the majority of POS in Germany prefer Girocard than Mastercard/Maestro. So
it looks like I might need to apply for a second current account (such as with ComDirect) that provides accounts for foreigners *and* dispense Girocard.

I don’t have any SCHUFA (German credit reporting agency) credit history so I know that will be challenging… so a couple questions:

1. Do you know if my new N26 account create a SCHUFA record for me (assuming I use it in a positive manner) which will help me open a new acct with
ComDirect after a few months of good history?

2. Or would you recommend me opening Savings account with ComDirect for now (which does not pull credit report), deposit money little by little each month to build relationship with ComDirect and then ask nicely in a few months for a checking account (and that gets me an EC card)?

Really appreciate your insight, if any. (but I understand if this beyond your scope) =)

Happy Easter!


(Thomas K. Running) #24

Hi Jim, I'm sorry but I'm not too familiar with the workings of credit history and reporting in Germany, so I'm afraid I won't be of much help there. If you log into your N26 account on your computer (not app), you should see a support chat option in the lower right corner, at least during N26 business hours. I think that would be a good place to ask your question #1 at least.

Happy easter!


(Fez Vrasta) #25

Hi, do you know if Hungarian residents can open an account? Does this bank conforms with SEPA?

thank you so much!

(Thomas K. Running) #26

Hi Fez! They will only ship the card to the countries I listed in the article, however you are technically allowed to _have_ an account. Anyone resident in the EU/EEA is.

When opening the account you should have an address in one of the countries where they operate, i.e. Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Slovakia, Greece, France, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia or Slovenia.

Maybe you have some friends in one of those countries that will let you "live" with them for a bit? 😉

And yes, N26 is part of the SEPA network and all their bank transfers are SEPA transfers. To do non-SEPA transfers you can use their Transferwise integration.

(Fez Vrasta) #27

I was born in Italy so that wouldn't be a problem I think.

What about SEPA?

Thank you!

(Thomas K. Running) #28

Yes, that definitely makes a difference. Many of the features are only available in some countries. Generally I would say the German version offers the most features, but on the flip side you only get 3-5 free ATM withdrawals in Germany per month (some other countries have unlimited free withdrawals).

It looks like N26 is planning to start charging for the Mastercard for customers from most countries in the near future, but already existing customers will continue to have a Mastercard for free (another reason to sign up ASAP).

You can see what products are available on the pricing page (select country in the top right), and as fair as I can tell Black is now available for "rest of europe" which includes Luxembourg.

(val1) #29

Thanks! I did sign up, but I am really interested in the Black, eventhough the basic card is fine as well. Would be great to have the idea if and when they plan to introduce it in Luxembourg (I asked them, but didn't get a conclusive answer).

(val1) #30

Hi, do you think that it makes any difference which EU country you associate the account with in terms of perks/prices, etc.?

Also, any chance of applying for Black if you are resident of Luxembourg?

(Darren) #31

I've opened an account with a US passport. A couple of points worth noting in my experience:

1. During the ID verification process, it was a little challenging for the agent to scan the specific security features of the passport (e.g. holograms and color changes). This may be because my smartphone has no flash. YMMV.

2. In order to pair your smartphone with your account, within the app you will prompted that a security code has been texted to you and you are to enter it in the app. But no matter how many times I tried, I never got the text. Finally called N26 support and was informed that their texts don't go through to US/Canadian numbers. So, he gave me the code over verbally. Then it worked. Would be nice if they had some mention of that on their support pages.

So, now I have the account and I'm baffled by how I can actually deposit money it while I'm still in the US so that I have money in the account upon arrival and to purchase a BahnCard Flex (replacement of the old Probe BahnCard, which requires a SEPA account). Can I just send a direct wire transfer from US bank to my N26 account? What about PayPal? Any advice greatly appreciated.

(Ryan Sacha) #32

How do they check your residency?

(James Wong) #33

Hey Darren - yeah, I believe you'll have to wait for the card to show up. It took about 5 days I think to be sent to an address in Germany (not sure where you're having it sent to) and another few days of it being forwarded from Germany to the state-side. You'll have to activate the card using the app, it will ask for the last 4-digit of the card (if I recall correctly). That's probably why you're being rejected right now by retailers (who prefer you use your debit card, presumably). The IBAN is good if you need to transfer money to individuals, etc. Just an example of my mishap, without waiting for the card, I tried entering the IBAN into my German Amazon account and tried to make a purchase. That resulted in my account being suspended - had to show them bank statement, etc, copy of my passport etc and put in my N26 debit card number to let them un-suspend - it took Amazon about 2 weeks. Do you have a way for someone to forward you the card state-side (or ask them to open the envelope and read you the number, if you're trusting enough?) That seems to be the key...


(Darren) #34

Hey James,

So, TransferWise worked well enough to get money into the account. Sadly, my first attempt to use the account has failed. On the Deutsche Bahn website, I applied for a BahnCard Flex and entered my IBAN/BIC numbers for my N26 account, but the DB said it was invalid (though they did auto recognize the IBAN as being an N26 account). I've contacted N26 about this problem and am hoping for speedy resolution. Could it be because the physical card hasn't been activated yet? If so, that would really suck because it would mean I can't use the account prior to arriving in Germany, meaning I can't get the discount card I want but would have to purchase a full year card for a 3 week trip.

We'll see.

(Jay) #35

Thank you for your communication,
When the UK Great Britain leaves the EU, would it make any difference to your N26 account? as it's still the EEA?

Also if your a UK resident GB pasport holder and you don't have a tax reference number, can you still open an account?

Best Regards

(Thomas K. Running) #36

You can hold and deposit as much money as you'd like on the account, AFAIK there aren't any limits. If you transfer hundreds of thousands of euros in one transaction I'm sure they will reach out to verify the source of the funds, like all serious banks would (to make sure you're involved in money laundering, etc).

It's free to send and receive SEPA transfers. For anything outside the SEPA area you'll pay the fees charged by the third party provider, such as TransferWise (N26 doesn't support non-SEPA transfers directly, you'll have to use a third party).

(Jay) #37

Probably just check your passport number on the computer or something!

(Jay) #38

I carnt find any info stating how much you can deposit onto this N26 account card or how much you may deposit at any one time??
Also is there wire transaction fees to and from the account??

Some one must know, Please Advise..

(Thomas K. Running) #39

Usually they don't verify it. They ask for your tax residency and tax ID number, but that doesn't have to be the same country as your account residency (e.g. if you sign up for a German or French account).

Only residents of the European Economic Area (EEA) are eligible to have an account.

(Thomas K. Running) #40

It would be anyone's guess what will actually happen once the UK leaves the EU. They might be an EEA member or strike a deal including continued integration of financial markets, or they might not. And who knows what N26's policy will be in two years? My guess is that they would not kick out any British users unless they have to.

As a UK tax resident I'm sure you must have some kind of ID number, e.g. your NI number. Just put that. If not, just try your birthdate, passport number, etc. The only reason why they ask is because of AEOI and CRS.