Free prepaid Mastercard credit card
Formerly called NUMBER26, N26 is a modern banking facility provided in partnership with Wirecard Bank. Since Wirecard bank is a bank governed by German Law, your account is protected by the German Deposit Protection Fund.
Terms at a glance
|Credit Card:||Mastercard – Free Prepaid Credit Card|
|Credit interest checking account:||–|
|Credit interest credit card:||–|
|Banking options:||Smartphone App / Internet banking|
|Austria:||free in all ATM machines accepting Mastercard|
|Abroad:||free worldwide (no transaction charges on withdrawal)|
Number26 checking account is free of cost. It provides all the facilities of a normal bank account such as IBAN number and transactions. There is no minumum monthly deposit needed.
You get a free nice looking transparent Mastercard along with the bank account. This is a prepaid credit card, therefore, does not allow overdrafts. You can only withdraw or use the balance you have on your account. Therefore, it is technically like a debit card, but since it has the Mastercard, you can use it to make transactions wherever Mastercard is accepted. Most importantly, it allows free cash withdrawal at any ATM worldwide that accept Mastercard. There might be some ATM’s which may charge a fee, but according to Number26 they are only about 2%. Otherwise, it is free to use the card in the other 98% of the ATM’s. The cash withdrawal in other currencies are subject to exchange rate applied by MasterCard exchange and is generally better than if you change money abroad. There are no currency transaction fees charged by the bank either. In summary, free cash withdrawal worldwide. No transaction charges, no currency conversion charges, no nothing.
Called Europe’s Most Modern bank, Number26 provides a smartphone app for making all the banking functions on the smartphone. And it is in English. You can check your account balance, make payments, temporary block the card and manage your expenses with the smartphone app. This app is one of the best banking app provided by a bank. Not only does it contain the normal functions required for any banking service, it also contains functions such as budgeting. However, note that you need a smartphone to open and use the account. The mobile app can be downloaded and used on iPhone with iOS 7 or newer, or Android phone running with Android 4.3 or newer. So if you do not have a phone with the above versions, you cannot complete the process or need to find other ways, possibly by having a virtual android phone. However, beware that you cannot use all the account features like deposit cash, for which you need access to the app at all times.
As already mentioned, since your credit rating is not checked, the account opening process is fast and the documentation required in minimum. In fact, you can open a bank account in 8 minutes. The documents required also are minimum. The requirements are:
If you meet these requirements, you can open a bank account. For residents in Germany and Austria, you can use PostIdent
Complete online registration is also possible if you select VideoIdent. However, note that not all Identity documents can be verified using VideoIdent.
Update Dec.2015: It is now open to residents of Greece, Spain , Slovakia , Ireland , France , Italy. So if you are a resident in any of the above countries, you can open a Number26 account.
Number26 is working on also servicing residents in more European countries throughout the next year depending on customer demand. Therefore, if you are from a European country please so that Number26 can determine the demand from the country. Also, pre-registering will also give you advance access when the service is rolled in your country.
Since it is an online bank, you do not have branches where you can deposit or withdraw cash. However, using CASH26, you can deposit cash in any of the 3000 locations in Germany. The bank is in collaboration with different supermarket chains where you can deposit cash into your account or get cash. This includes one of the biggest supermarket chain PENNY and REAL with has stores in a large number of locations in Germany.
Overdraft means you can use more than the balance in your account and an interest is charged to you on the excess amount. The current rate of overdraft is charged at 8.9 %. NUMBER26 offers an overdraft facility up to €2000, however it is only open to customers with a residence registered in Germany and depends on the credit score. This means that if you apply for an overdraft facility, the bank will check your credit score from the credit rating agency SCHUFA and make a record on it.
Although this bank account it is as perfect as it can get, for an objective review of Number26 it is also important to point out some drawbacks, or you may call shortfalls of the account. These are not major and even other banks have these, so you can live with them without affecting your life too much. Here goes the list