What if there was a credit card,
- with which one can withdraw cash everywhere free of charge and
- that does not charge an expensive foreign transaction fee at card payments in foreign currencies and
- that would not be entered at the Schufa and
- that would be 100% free of charge and
- where the account opening is completed in only 8 minutes including the legitimating?
It is not a dream anymore! Such a card is available since the beginning of this year. It is the free MasterCard of N26 (former: Number26).
Did I mention that there is a functional current account on top of that, which has been specifically developed for Smartphones and …
the credit card arrives only 3 days later in your mailbox?
Number26 will improve your life!
… regarding your finances and your convenience. Let us take a look at the advantages point by point.
1. You save fees
Okay, that one can withdraw cash free of charge with a credit card abroad at almost any ATM is already offered by many German direct banks. The classic is the DKB Visa card.
However, if you pay abroad with the credit card, the vast majority of suppliers charge an foreign transaction fee. Depending on the provider, these are 1-3% of the card transaction, e.g. Comdirect as well as DKB charge 1.75%.
As the owner of the Number26 MasterCard, you save these fees!
Although, one could bypass the fee at other banks, if one always withdrew enough cash and always paid with cash, but this was not always optimal at higher amounts or at deposits.
Moreover, there are countries, where cash has already been pushed back. Recently, I have read a book titled Bargeldverbot (cash ban).
Note: Each withdrawal or payment with Number26 is free of charge. The country and the currency do not matter!
When withdrawing or paying in a foreign currency, the settlement price is adopted 1:1 by MasterCard. Without the usual charges!
One can find the exchange rates of MasterCard here: www.mastercard.com/global/currencyconversion/ (MasterCard Currency Conversion Tool).
2. You are safer on the road
The MasterCard of Number26 is great when travelling abroad, not only because of the freedom of charges, but also because of the security features:
- if the card is stolen or copied, only the amount can be stolen that is on the connected credit account
- you can always block and un-block the credit card through the app (this means that you will not lose time until the customer service has been contacted, and at a false alarm, you can automatically un-block it again and do not have to wait for a replacement card).
Details on security
At best, you only transfer the amount of money on the Number26 account that you plan to spend. Finally, the account balance will not accrue interest!
Tip for long-term travellers
Set up a standing order from your current account to the Number26-Mastercard, so that there is never too much or too little money available.
The MasterCard can not be overdrawn. It simply does not work, if the account is empty. Exception: You are in such an exotic region that no balance inquiry can be made in real time.
It is a Prepaid-MasterCard, but one does not recognize it, as it is embossed!
Another very reasonable safety aspect is that you can always block and unblock the credit card by yourself through the app.
You might face the following: “Oops, I have lost my credit card and I have to block it now through a paid hotline.” The problem is that most credit cards cannot be un-blocked and you will need a new one – possibly paying a fee, in any case with a time lag. This is particularly annoying, when you are currently travelling.
Therefore, it is really great that you can block the credit card of Number26 within seconds by yourself. Often, the credit card appears later, for example, because it had only slipped in a wrong bag. In this case, you can easily un-block it again via the app.
Apart from that, you can even make partial blockings:
- Payments abroad allowed (yes/no)
- Online payments allowed (yes/no)
- Withdrawing cash allowed (yes/no)
At a credit card abuse, cash will either be withdrawn abroad or it is paid in online shops. You could block this temporarily. For example, if you are not on a journey abroad.
You un-block the “withdrawing cash”-option until you are standing in front of the ATM. The implementation takes place within seconds.
Note: Banks reimburse the mislaid money to victims of credit card fraud, if no gross negligence was given. The bank has to provide proof!
3. 100 % guaranteed account opening
… provided that you have a modern Smartphone! The account was developed especially for Smartphones.
Thrilling: There is no creditworthiness check and no entry at the Schufa!
Background: It is a credit account.
So, theoretically, you can never slip into the red and owe the bank money. Therefore, the bank does not need to check your creditworthiness (no credit granting) and consequently no entry is performed at the Schufa (credit investigation company).
This also means that one can get a free current account with prepaid MasterCard from Number26, despite a negative creditworthiness rating.
One can only dispose of money that one has deposited (transferred) beforehand.
Moreover, the account can be used as a normal current account. With transfers and standing orders. These can be carried out via online banking on the computer and via the app on your Smartphone.
4. Account opening within 8 minutes
Number26 advertises with the statement that the account opening can be carried out in 8 minutes. This is an ideal time, which is also realistic, if all the conditions are present such as a fast Internet connection.
For the identification, an app (ID Now) has to be downloaded and one holds the face and ID card or passport in the webcam.
The account can also be opened from abroad, because the identification staff member does not know where you are (unless he/she can see the Eiffel Tower in the background).
However, the MasterCard – which is the only mail that Number26 sends to you – currently, only ships to addresses in Germany and Austria. Since December 2015 also France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Slovakia and Ireland. Others will follow …
The shipping takes 1-3 days in Germany (some days more in other countries) after account opening. This is much faster than at conventional credit cards.
After 2 days on average, you will hold the credit card in your hands!
“Start the account opening now”
… especially suited for journeys abroad!
I almost forgot: Absolutely free!
Isn´t it a great additional credit card? (e.g. for journeys abroad)
My own experiences with number26
I myself am a customer of Number26 since January 2015 and have taken the credit card on all three journeys abroad.
- best currency exchange rate in Switzerland
- second-best currency exchange rate in Hungary
- best currency exchange rate in Ukraine
If there is an Internet connection, the payment or cash withdrawal is almost displayed in real time in the app. This is yet another new security feature, isn´t it?
As you determine the PIN for the credit card at the account opening by yourself, Number26 is perfect as an additional credit card for journeys abroad.
I had used my Barclaycard for this, but I could not remember the assigned PIN at the appropriate moment.
Recommendation for action
- Account and card are free of charge,
- You save the foreign transaction fee for card payments
(this does not apply to cash withdrawals anyway)
- You are more flexible and secure through an additional credit card,
- Management and online banking via Smartphone are comfortable.
All you need to do is enter your e-mail address for the account opening at Number26 and follow the process:
“Start the account opening”
… especially suitable for journeys abroad!
Questions, additions or your own experiences?
The comments box is unlocked for you. I would be glad, if you use it. Even if you only report briefly that you have opened the account and maybe a little about your first experiences.