I assume you’re from the UK? If so you can of course start by withdrawing what Revolut, Monzo, and Curve will give you for free (be careful with Revolut’s THB and weekend rates, though!), then move on to N26.
Or just get N26 Black if you want to make your life simpler. For now it’s only £4.99 in the UK (vs. €9.90 in the rest of the EU), due to not including travel insurance. Note that the upgrade only makes sense if you withdraw almost £300 in foreign currencies per month on average. If you withdraw less you’re paying more in membership fees than you would in withdrawal fees.
Personally, I store most of my EU funds with N26 as well, but I usually use my Curve Black for cash withdrawals since I never withdraw more than the limit. If the ATMs charge fees it would be better to use a bank that refunds them. Schwab (US), DKB (Germany) and a handful of banks in Australia do this—although it would be hard to sign up for those if you’re not based in the respective countries.
Use Curve with a debit card with 0% FX markup as underlying card and set the card’s currency to the local currency. That gives you 10 free ATM withdrawals per month. Initially, the daily limit is £200 but after you’ve used Curve for a while it will be raised to £1000.
I can confirm this works with Revolut as underlying card. Revolut sees the withdrawal as an online purchase. Should work with N26 too.
Good point about supported currencies, I hand’t thought of that.
An alternative is the new Bitwala/solarisBank account which gives free ATM withdrawals with very generous limits . I successfully signed up last week and the debit card should be waiting for me at my Dutch address when I’ll be there next month.
Insightful response, much appreciated and yes you would be correct about the UK part!
My N26 is Euro as I was living in Ireland for a few years, this increases my break even point of withdrawals which is fine but it means I will depend on one card only (500 euros or so) to offset the 10 euro card monthly fee.
Revolut is no good to me as it considers the Thai baht an “illiquid currency” and I will get charged pretty much same as a high street bank.
When you say you use curve and withdraw from your N26 account via curve. Does that use up your curve (200 free monthly) OR the N26 limit if you have one? or both?
Curve did say we pass this information on to your card issuer so I guess my next question is if I withdraw from a cash counter in Thailand for example, it will pass as a purchase will the MCC get flagged by N26 and charge me the 1.7% worldwide fee as a free user or not?
I am hesitant to utilise the curve limit since they do mention they now pass more information at the transactional level on to the card issuer which will then be up to the card issuer to treat it as a purchase or an ATM withdrawal which will make or break this method/strategy.
I hope the above makes sense? it did in my head lol
In essence I would like to utilise many different cards for risk mitigation (not all eggs in one basket kind of thing) to max the free 200 withdrawal on each. If possible use curve with one other card as a combo to take its limits even further using curve’s own 200 limit.
I will need to withdraw the equivalent of 800-1000 euros a month abroad(Thailand currently).