Choosing the right bank before a long trip is very important. It takes time to compare them all and choose the most suitable one. Between your current bank, a new bank and an online bank, you’re spoilt for choice. Then add the choice of card: mastercard or visa as a general rule. And don’t forget to read all the fine print on bank charges, the number of authorized withdrawals, and so on.
Edit: Bank 26 (N26) is no longer free since December 2016. The offer remains interesting, but it may no longer be the best.
Here we’ll make it easy for you by giving you the best bank by far for travelers. This is the N26 bank, formerly Number 26.
It’s a German-based online bank that opened its doors to French and Europeans in early 2016, and we’re going to explain in a few points why this bank is the best. In fact, we think we’ll keep it when we get back and maybe open a new account.
- 0 expenses!! and we mean 0€ all the time and everywhere!
- Totally FREE (we’ve never paid for anything, but how do they make money?).
- Unlimited withdrawals and payments anywhere in the world (there’s no limit, just a €300 withdrawal limit per day, which you can increase via the mobile app).
- A 100% online bank
- The perfect mobile app to manage it all. We lost our card at the beginning of the trip (the ball and chain), and after a short hour of intensive searching for the card, we blocked and ordered a new one in a matter of seconds!
- Create an account in just a few minutes (if you have a good Internet connection and your passport with you)
- An excellent exchange rate (we had almost the same rate as the stock market, so when we say 0 fees, it’s true!).
- Responsive and efficient customer service (we had our card hacked once and got our money back after filling out a simple form: 5mins)
- You can temporarily block your card
- Order a new card quickly (just a few days before receipt in France)
A few negative points:
- Delivery of the card only in France (if you lose it abroad you should find a way to have it sent to you)!
- Only a MasterCard (we’ve never had a problem with this, just a few times when restaurants only accepted Visa, but since you can withdraw right next door at no charge it doesn’t matter).
If you’re convinced, as we are, don’t hesitate to open a N26 account or ask us for an invitation (€10 free).