What bank to choose to travel?

What bank to choose to travel?

We have decided to write this article because we spent (too much) time to find the best solution to manage our money while traveling, and we think it’s still a big question for a lot of people.

Little clarification: this article is absolutely not sponsored not paid, we are only writing it because we are truly glad of their services.

Until I (Juliette) was 25 everything was fine: I had a card at Crédit Agricole (French bank) which allowed me to pay internationally without extra cost. Justine can still enjoy and use this offer. But once I was past 25, I tried multiple banks and offers: Crédit Agricole, BNP, BforBank…

credit cards

None was meeting my expectations while traveling. It’s by the way during my trip in Japan (which you followed on our Instagram) that managing the money was not easy. I then therefore decided to open a bank account at N26.

N26, what is it ?

It’s an online German bank (rest assure, their website is in French!).
Created in 2015, it’s now counting 3.5 million of users, 900.000 of which in France.
I opened a bank account on the Internet in only 10 minutes. I chose the €0 bank card. It was sent to me for free in a few days.

The pros according to me

  • Since I opened my bank account, I have paid absolutely NOTHING: free bank card, no extra fees to manage the account, no extra bank fees… It’s great for me, I just love to save money!
  • The simple reason why I decided to join N26: no extra fees in any currency. It makes traveling so much easier! The first 5 withdrawals of the month in the euro area are free (then invoiced €2). Out of the euro area, they are under a 1.7% commission. I personally don’t use cash so it never bothered me!
no extra fees in any currency.
  • There is no minimum of use and no engagement. Some banks offer you free services with the unique condition to use your card as many times per month, or to sign for 1 year minimum… Here none of that: the first months, I haven’t used my N26 card because I still had the one from BforBank and I didn’t get any trouble. And if I was unsatisfied, I could leave at any moment so… What did I have to lose?!
  • Although this bank is based in Germany, their currency is in Euros.
  • You can manage your accounts and all the settings of the bank card through their website and app, which are easy to use. You also have to use them to have access to the customer service: there is no customer service through the phone; only by chat. It can be a negative fact for some, not for me. I even had to use it once: it’s very easy and they answer quickly.
  • Even though I don’t pay anything, I can win €15 every time I sponsor someone (by the way: my code is: julietts0552).

The cons (because there are always some!)

  • I use N26 for my daily expenses. The rest continues to be managed by the Crédit Agricole. Each month, I transfer money depending on my expense on the N26 bank account. These transfers usually take 24h (from Monday to Friday) to come… Which can be long when there is an unexpected big amount of money coming out or that you wait until the last moment to transfer some money! Note that the transfer time is sometimes longer depending on the bank (La Banque Postale, for instance).
  • With the basic car, the insurance is not included: it can be bothering to buy a plane ticket for example. But hey, when you pay nothing, you can’t have it all!
  • A little similar than the previous point, there is no welcome bonus when you open a bank account there; according to me, it’s compensated by all the advantages.

I’m at N26 since last May and I have nothing bad to say! During my trip to Canada, I didn’t have to worry about how to pay and how much I would be invoiced… That’s priceless!

Other bank cards, which you have to pay for, are also an option (€9.90/month or €16.90/month) and offer even broader services. I can’t tell you about them, as I never used them, but you can find all the informations on their website.

n26 black

I hope this article will allow you so save some money while enjoying the offers of one bank rather than an other!

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