I recently developed something I call my N26 Smart Strategy. The name may not roll off the tongue, but the strategy has saved my thousands of dollars/Euros over the past few years, and it’s made my travels and banking experiences over the same time-frame significantly better.
So what is my N26 Smart Strategy? I break it down into two distinct parts.
#1 Smart Banking
What does it mean to bank smartly? For me, it means a few things:
- Not being charged fees for doing everyday things like making online purchases, buying something in a foreign country, or withdrawing cash from ATMs. All of these are outdated charges from an outdated time, and the fact that the banking industry has held onto them shows you how much they have your best interest in mind.
- Not having every transaction scrutinized by an all-seeing financial institution.
- Having control over your account and your money through a powerful, intuitive mobile and desktop interface that helps you find and do what you need quickly.
Overall, smart banking means having access to what you need without unnecessary fees. I think we can all agree on that, can’t we?
Now let’s move on to part two.
#2 Smart Travel Insurance
What does smart travel insurance mean? A few things come to mind for me:
- A clear policy that you can read and understand without a law degree.
- A short, understandable list of exclusions that doesn’t punish you for not reading every last line of fine print.
- An insurance provider that responds to you within hours or days, not weeks or months, and treats you like a respectable, competent human being.
At its core, smart travel insurance just works. If you need to constantly worry about whether you’re covered, or whether you’ll ever get your expenses reimbursed, you don’t have smart travel insurance.
And that’s it: my two-part strategy for boosting your travel and financial life.
And here’s how I suggest you implement my N26 Smart Strategy (the name will become clear in a moment).
#1 Get An N26 Bank Account
The specific account you choose doesn’t really matter here—what matters is that you actually get one. I’ve personally used N26 You (previously called N26 Black) for more than 4 years now, and it’s been the right choice for me. But some people like the prestige of N26 Metal, while others prefer the free account, so it’s really just up to you.
If you prefer another online bank over N26, that’s fine as well, though my years of testing and comparing online banks have shown me that N26 is the best option for most people. If you’re a young digital nomad type like me, it offers the best combination of banking amenities and travel benefits of any of the online banks out there, but it also makes sense if you’re staying in one place, too.
#2 Get 1 Or 2 Travel Insurance Policies
A few years ago, I hardly ever recommended getting a travel insurance policy, let alone two. Because as a guy in my 20s, it’s always been tempting to think that I don’t need travel insurance at all.
And though I’m still in my 20s today, I’ve experienced enough mishaps in my time that travel insurance has been a big net positive for me. What made the difference for me was choosing the right provider.
My N26 You card comes with a travel insurance policy that covers all this and more:
- Medical expenses up to an unlimited amount (no deductible).
- Travel cancellation insurance up to €5,000 per trip (10-20% deductible).
- Flight and luggage delay insurance up to €400 (no deductible).
- Stolen cash insurance up to €500 (no deductible).
- Stolen mobile phone insurance up to €300 (€50 deductible).
- Extended warranty on purchases up to €500 (€50 deductible).
- Car rental insurance and public transportation accident insurance
This means that I’m covered in just about every situation imaginable, taking the stress out of travel and letting me focus on the things I can control.
And it means even more to me that I get both the banking benefits and the travel insurance benefits in one place. That’s why it’s called the N26 Smart Strategy, after all—because while you can certainly stitch together multiple service providers to make this work, I satisfy both of these needs with N26 alone.
If you choose not to open an N26 account, there’s still hope for you. SafetyWing has brought travel insurance into the 21st century, and offers an extremely comprehensive plan for just $37/month. It’s a great backup if you opt for another bank, or you can even add it onto it the insurance you get with your N26 card.
So that’s it: my N26 Smart Strategy. I hope you can see how easy it is to get the best of all worlds just by choosing the right financial products. Saving money and living a great lifestyle doesn’t need to be difficult. Be smart about the products you choose and you’ll be well on your way there.
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.
And here's another post on how to log out of Amazon.
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.