The N26 Maestro card is a debit card available to N26 users in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. It allows those users to take advantage of the many benefits of N26, even though many retailers in their countries do not accept credit cards.
If you do not live in Germany, Austria or the Netherlands, this post is irrelevant to you. Go read our in-depth posts on N26 Black and N26 Metal instead.
What Is N26?
Put simply, N26 is the best online bank for most people.
N26 offers a host of great features, including:
- Free worldwide ATM withdrawals: Wherever you are in the world, N26 Black and N26 Metal members can withdraw from any ATM at the inter-bank exchange rate with zero fees, as if you’re still at home.
- Free international money transfers: Send an unlimited number of money transfers to friends, colleagues, suppliers, customers–all for free.
- An extremely powerful app: Toggle online payments and spending limits, reset your PIN, pay with Apple Pay and Google Pay, receive real-time transaction notifications, and a lot more–all in the N26 app.
- Medical expenses up to an unlimited amount.
- Travel cancellation insurance up to €5,000 per trip.
- Flight and luggage delay insurance up to €400.
- Stolen cash insurance up to €500.
- Stolen mobile phone insurance up to €300.
- Extended warranty on purchases up to €500.
There’s a lot more to the N26 insurance policy than that–including why we recommend combining N26 with SafetyWing for the ultimate travel & medical insurance combination–but this gives you a good idea of what N26 is all about.
What Is The N26 Maestro Card?
The N26 Maestro card is a free debit card (EC-karte, girocard) that you can order to use with your N26 account. It’s designed for a select few countries–Germany, Austria and the Netherlands–where credit cards are not widely accepted.
The Maestro card is very similar to the MasterCard that comes with every N26 account, though it’s not exactly the same. Here are some of the benefits and weaknesses:
Benefits Of The N26 Maestro Card
- Insurance Coverage: Before you scroll away thinking that your Maestro card comes with built-in insurance, it doesn’t. What I mean here is that if you’re covered bythe travel & medical insurance policy that comes standard with N26 Black and N26 Metal, every purchase you make with your Maestro card will be covered under those insurance policies, too.
- Worldwide Spending: Your Maestro card can be used at retailers all over the world, both online and offline.
- Joint Accounts: This isn’t an “official” benefit, but read below to see our workaround for creating a joint N26 account using your Maestro card.
- In-App Card Control: Toggle online payments and spending limits, reset your PIN, pay with Apple Pay and Google Pay, receive real-time transaction notifications, and a lot more–all in the N26 app.
- Real-Time Transaction Notifications: Whenever money goes in or out of your account, whether it’s a transfer you’ve initiated or a pre-authorized payment, you’ll get a notification.
Weaknesses Of The N26 Maestro Card
ATM Withdrawals Are Not Free: Unlike the N26 MasterCard–a standard feature of N26 Black, N26 Metal and regular N26 accounts–which offers free ATM withdrawals worldwide, every withdrawal comes at a cost with the N26 Maestro card. That cost is €2 for Euro withdrawals and €2 + 1.7% for foreign currency withdrawals. This may not sound like a lot, but if you go abroad for a 2-week trip, making 4 ATM withdrawals of €400 each, that means you’ll pay €35.20 just in withdrawal fees for that trip. They add up quickly!
Where You Can Use Your N26 Maestro Card
- ATM withdrawals: Your N26 Maestro card acts just like a debit card, so you can use it for ATM withdrawals both in your home country and abroad. The fee for Maestro card withdrawals in Euros is €2, while foreign currency withdrawals are charged €2 + 1.7%. You can withdraw cash from any ATM showing the Maestro logo, which includes many of the ATMs around the world.
- Offline Transactions: Depending on where you are in the world, debit transactions may be much more popular than credit card transactions, since credit card companies like American Express charge retailers high fees. Germany, Austria and the Netherlands are three such countries, which is why N26 offers the Maestro card there. Pay with your Maestro card using a tap, PIN or signature.
- Online Transactions: Again, the list of online retailers who accept Maestro differ from those who accept MasterCard, so you’ll need to look for the Maestro logo when buying online to see if it will work.
Overall, it’s a good idea to get both the MasterCard and the Maestro card if you have the opportunity. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a position where you can only use one or the other.
Differences Between The N26 MasterCard And The N26 Maestro Card
|N26 MasterCard||N26 Maestro Card|
|Euro ATM Withdrawals||Free||€2 per withdrawal|
|Foreign ATM Withdrawals||1.7% for Standard users
Free for N26 Black users
Free for N26 Metal users
|€2 + 1.7% per transaction|
|App Control Center||Yes||Yes|
|Real-Time Transaction Notifications||Yes||Yes|
INSERT CARD COMPARISON PHOTO
How To Create A Joint Account With Your N26 Maestro Card
One of the biggest feature request N26 gets is joint accounts, a shared account that more than one person can use. N26 hasn’t offered this yet, though we’ve discovered two workarounds: Apple Pay and the Maestro card.
Creating a joint account using your Maestro card is simple:
- Sign up with N26. We recommend N26 Black or N26 Metal, since they both come with an exceptional travel & medical insurance plan.
- Order a Maestro card on top of your regular N26 MasterCard.
- Give one person the N26 MasterCard, and the other person the Maestro card. Both offer fee-free foreign currency transactions and can be controlled in the N26 app, so it’s as if you have a shared account.
How To Order Your N26 Maestro Card
To order your N26 Maestro card, you need to first deposit at least €100 into your N26 account. Once you’ve done that, the card can be ordered directly from the N26 app. It will arrive within 2-3 days.
If you live in Germany, Austria or the Netherlands–the only countries where the N26 Maestro card is available–it’s a good backup card to have. It can get you out of a bind when you visit a retailer that doesn’t accept your MasterCard, or you can create a joint account with your partner by following our instructions above.
However, we still recommend using the N26 MasterCard as your primary card, since the ATM withdrawals are cheaper both at home and abroad. It may not seem like it, but those fees can really add up.
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Also, since so many of you have been asking us for them, here's our full list of country-specific posts outlining how to ship anything from Amazon to any country in the world. Our 2-step method makes it as simple as humanly possible, and takes about 3 minutes total: Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Asia as a whole, Europe as a whole and the United Arab Emirates.
While you're at it, international travelers should read our N26 review for the best way to get free ATM withdrawals the best rates on currency conversion - anywhere in the world.