N26 South Africa

N26 South Africa

Last year, I wrote the most comprehensive N26 bank review on the Internet, which has since been read by tens of thousands of travelers, digital nomads and online banking enthusiasts from every corner of the world.

Yet as all-encompassing as it is, I’ve had plenty of South African readers asking me questions specific to how to use N26.

So here, I want to clear up a few misunderstandings for any South African users joining N26, and also demonstrate why N26 is probably a better banking option for you than other online banks like Revolut, Monzo, Curve and Simple.

What Is N26?

N26 is an online-only bank designed for digital nomads, frequent travelers and anyone else who appreciates simplicity, great design and the lowest possible fees from their bank.

For example, my N26 account saves me thousands of Euros every year from the free worldwide ATM withdrawals, the best exchange rates on the planet (due to their partnership with TransferWise) and a remarkable travel insurance plan—all of which is included with my card.

It’s why I wrote a 3,000-word N26 bank review last year detailing my experience. That review covers all of their products in-depth, including N26 Black, N26 Metal, CASH26, INVEST26 and more.

It will also show you the exact time it makes sense for you to upgrade to N26 Black, and how to make the most of all the perks—perks like flight delay insurance, mobile phone insurance and travel cancellation insurance—that come with it.

And did I mention nearly all of these perks, plus plenty more, come absolutely free?

Sign up for N26 today.

N26 South Africa width=1344

Benefits Of N26

  • Free ATM withdrawals worldwide. No matter where you are in the world, N26 will never charge you any fee for withdrawing cash from an ATM (unlike most banks, which charge $2-10 per foreign ATM withdrawal). If you’re on N26’s free plan, you’ll pay a 1.7% currency conversion fee on top of the mid-market rate, which is better than what nearly any other consumer bank provides.
  • 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.
  • Transaction categories. Every transaction is assigned a category like “Bars & Restaurants” or “Travel & Holidays” so you can easily keep track of your spending.
  • PIN resets. Resetting your PIN at any time is as simple as logging into the app and changing it. No calling N26, no trips to the ATM, etc etc. 30 seconds and it’s done.
  • Locking your card. Just like resetting your PIN, locking your card (to make it unusable for a period of time) is as simple as logging in and pressing the button. Unlocking it is just as easy.
  • Payments abroad, online payments and cash withdrawals. For your security, you can toggle these on and off at any time.
  • Spending and withdrawal limits. Another security feature that you can choose and change in the app at any time.

Is N26 available in South Africa?

As you can see here, you can open an N26 account from any of the following countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Finland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Estonia, Greece, Slovakia, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and the United States.

For example, I'm Canadian, but I signed up for N26 as soon as I moved to Berlin.

If you live in one of the countries above AND are a citizen of one of the 164 countries below, you can sign up for N26:

N26 AfghanistanN26 AlbaniaN26 Algeria
N26 AngolaN26 AnguillaN26 Antigua and Barbuda
N26 Argentina N26 Armenia N26 Aruba
N26 Australia N26 Austria N26 Azerbaijan
N26 Bangladesh N26 Barbados N26 Belarus
N26 Belgium N26 Belize N26 Benin
N26 Bermuda N26 BhutanN26 Bosnia and Herzegovina
N26 BotswanaN26 BrazilN26 British Indian Ocean Territory
N26 British Virgin IslandsN26 BruneiN26 Bulgaria
N26 BurundiN26 CambodiaN26 Cameroon
N26 CanadaN26 Cape VerdeN26 Cayman Islands
N26 ChileN26 ChinaN26 Colombia
N26 ComorosN26 CroatiaN26 Cyprus
N26 Czech RepublicN26 Democratic Republic of the CongoN26 Denmark
N26 Dominican RepublicN26 East TimorN26 Egypt
N26 El SalvadorN26 EritreaN26 Estonia
N26 EthiopiaN26 FijiN26 Finland
N26 FranceN26 GambiaN26 Georgia
N26 GermanyN26 GhanaN26 Gibraltar
N26 GreeceN26 GrenadaN26 Guatemala
N26 GuineaN26 Guinea-BissauN26 Honduras
N26 Hong KongN26 HungaryN26 Iceland
N26 IndonesiaN26 IranN26 Iraq
N26 IrelandN26 IsraelN26 Italy
N26 Ivory CoastN26 JamaicaN26 Japan
N26 JordanN26 KazakhstanN26 Kenya
N26 KyrgyzstanN26 LaosN26 Latvia
N26 LebanonN26 LesothoN26 Liberia
N26 LiechtensteinN26 LithuaniaN26 Luxembourg
N26 MacauN26 MadagascarN26 Malawi
N26 MalaysiaN26 The MaldivesN26 Malta
N26 MauritiusN26 MexicoN26 Micronesia
N26 MoldovaN26 MonacoN26 Montenegro
N26 MontserratN26 MoroccoN26 Mozambique
N26 MyanmarN26 NamibiaN26 Nepal
N26 New ZealandN26 NicaraguaN26 Nigeria
N26 NiueN26 NorwayN26 Oman
N26 PanamaN26 Papua New GuineaN26 Paraguay
N26 PeruN26 PhilippinesN26 Poland
N26 PortugalN26 Republic of the CongoN26 Yemen
N26 RomaniaN26 RussiaN26 Rwanda
N26 Saint HelenaN26 San MarinoN26 São Tomé and Principe
N26 SenegalN26 SerbiaN26 Seychelles
N26 Sierra LeoneN26 SingaporeN26 Slovakia
N26 SloveniaN26 SomaliaN26 South Africa
N26 South KoreaN26 SpainN26 Sri Lanka
N26 SwedenN26 SwitzerlandN26 Taiwan
N26 TajikistanN26 TanzaniaN26 Thailand
N26 The NetherlandsN26 The VaticanN26 Togo
N26 TongaN26 Trinidad and TobagoN26 Tunisia
N26 TurkeyN26 TurkmenistanN26 Turks And Caicos
N26 TuvaluN26 UgandaN26 Ukraine
N26 United Arabian EmiratesN26 United KingdomN26 United States of America
N26 UruguayN26 UzbekistanN26 Vietnam
N26 Zimbabwe

Can I withdraw money for free with my N26 card when I’m in South Africa?

Yes! As I demonstrate in my original N26 bank review, you get free ATM withdrawals worldwide with your N26 Black card, which includes ATMs in South Africa. If you don’t have N26 Black and are on N26’s free plan, you pay a 1.7% fee on the total withdrawal amount.

To show you what I mean, here’s a screenshot showing the recent withdrawal of 7,220 Thai baht that I made from an ATM in Bangkok, alongside the real exchange rate from xe.com. Remember: any time you withdraw cash or make a foreign currency transaction with N26, you pay the mid-market rate and not a penny more.

N26 South Africa - Exchanging Euros to Thai baht with N26
N26 South Africa – Exchanging Euros to Thai baht with N26

What insurance comes with N26 You and N26 Metal?

N26 You and N26 Metal comes with an impressive travel and medical insurance plan to keep you safe and secure on the road. It's not quite as comprehensive as the SafetyWing insurance plan, which we highly recommend combining with your N26 membership, but it does cover a lot:

  • Medical expenses up to an unlimited amount if you have a medical emergency while abroad (No deductible).
  • Emergency dental expenses up to a maximum of €250 (No deductible).
  • Expenses you incur due to a flight delay of 4 hours or longer, up to a maximum of €400 (No deductible).
  • Expenses you incur if your luggage arrives more than 6 hours late, up to a maximum of €400 (No deductible).
  • Reimbursement for a stolen mobile phone that was purchased with your N26 Black account, up to a maximum of €300 (€50 deductible).
  • Reimbursement for stolen cash if you get mugged up to 4 hours after withdrawing cash from an ATM with your N26 Black card, up to a maximum of €500 (No deductible).
  • Extended warranty of up to one additional year on items purchased directly with your N26 Black card and all payment methods associated with your card, such as a linked PayPal account, up to a maximum of €500 (€50 deductible).
  • Travel cancellation insurance on every trip before the trip commences, up to a maximum of €5,000 per trip (10-20% deductible).

How much does N26 cost?

N26’s fee structure is eight pages long and pretty dense, so here’s the important stuff:

  1. All N26 bank accounts are free.
  2. N26 Black costs €9.90/month, while N26 Metal costs €16.90/month.
  3. Withdrawing foreign currency (any currency but Euros) anywhere in the world: Free for N26 Black and N26 Metal members, or 1.7% for N26 users on the free plan.

N26 Metal

N26 Metal includes all of the benefits of N26 Black listed above, plus dedicated (priority) customer support and, of course, the metal card itself. I recently wrote a 2,000-word N26 Metal review that goes deep into N26's super-premium card.

N26 Metal also comes with a growing number of exclusive partner offers and benefits, which rival the benefits of much more expensive premium credit cards like the American Express Platinum. These benefits include:

  • WeWork: 1 free day per month of co-working from any WeWork location around the world.
  • Hotels.com: 10% off hotel bookings.
  • IHG: 20%-30% off hotel bookings when you book at least 21 days in advance.
  • Tannico: 10% off your first three orders of wine, delivered to your home.
  • Outfittery: Save €30 on a stylish and curated Outfittery Box.
  • Caya: 25% off your annual subscription to Caya, the physical-to-digital mail forwarder.
  • Zipjet: 10% off your order of €30+ from Zipjet, the laundry service that comes to you.
  • Home24: 10% off your order of €199 from Home24, one of the largest online furniture shops in Europe.
  • Helpling: 10% off all home cleaning services by Helpling.
  • Drivy: €25 off your first shared economy car rental with Drivy.
  • Lanieri: 25% off custom-tailored suits, shirts, jackets and pants made by Lanieri.
  • Babbel: An additional 3 months of free language learning when you sign up for a 3-month language learning pack with Babbel.
  • Urban Sports Club: €10 off your membership to Urban Sports Club, the gym that knows no boundaries.

N26 Metal currently costs €16.90/month.

Sign up for N26 Metal here.


How To Sign Up For N26

With its impressive insurance policy, fee-free foreign cash withdrawals, and the app’s ease of use, I really couldn’t be happier as a member of N26 You.

It’s made banking a lot easier and cheaper for me, and has solved a lot of the messy problems I had before (ie. expensive and vague travel/medical insurance policies, plus spending nearly $100/month on hidden ATM and currency exchange fees).

And you don't even need an N26 promo code to get started (Spoiler: N26 promo codes have gone extinct).

To sign up, you just need to provide standard personal information (name, date of birth, etc.) and a valid ID or passport.

Once you’ve signed up, verified your ID in the app and paired your smartphone (it takes 8 minutes total), they’ll send you your free MasterCard in the mail. Mine took just 2 days to arrive, and it comes in a pretty sleek package.

Comment below if you have questions about N26 and I’ll do what I can to answer them, or you can also reach N26’s support team via their app or website.


16 thoughts on “N26 South Africa”

  • Hi, Thanks for this posts aimed specifically at us South Africans.
    I recently moved to Germany and opened an N26 account, but have since been unable to find out how I can send/transfer money from my n26 account to my South African bank account when needed. Transferwise is touted as this great partener, opening up international transfers, but it doesn’t list SA as an option of supported countries for transfer.
    Can you let me know how I can get around this, or what I’m missing?


    • Hi Lakshmi. Good question, but are you sure you can’t send money to South Africa? I just tried to do it using my own TransferWise account and it looks like it’s possible. The exchange rate is pretty bad, admittedly, but sending Euros to South Africa should be doable. Let me know if you’re not able to replicate this.
      Sending Euros from Germany to South Africa with N26 & TransferWise

  • Good Evening,

    I recently moved to Ireland from South Africa, where I was born and raised. I have opened up my N26 account and did the automatic initial transfer of funds, to set up the account (150 euros). Using the card and even making transfers to other accounts has been very easy and super simple. HOWEVER, now that my funds are almost done and I am looking to transfer money I have in my South African account (FNB), I am having some serious hassles. I have tried to load my N26 account as a beneficiary on FNB forex but the IBAN of my N26 account is not recognised!

    Can you assist me with this issue? If I can’t get my funds transferred from my FNB account, I am going to have to cancel this account and look at rather opening a conventional bank account with AIB in Ireland. I really don’t want to do this!! Please help…

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Nelson,

      Thanks for getting in touch, and I’m sorry your IBAN has been giving you troubles. I can’t quite figure out what the problem would be here. I suggest setting up an account with TransferWise, which works for just about everyone. From there, you should be able to do a direct bank transfer (or even a debit transaction) from your FNB account to TransferWise, which will pass the funds on to your N26 account. I’ve used TransferWise to make this transaction plenty of times and it’s always worked without a problem (granted, my transfers were generally coming from CAD or USD to EUR, not ZAR).

      I’d say there’s a 95% chance this will work for you, so give it a shot and let us know if it works! Thanks and good luck, Nelson.

      Founder | How I Travel

  • Why can’t South African Residents apply for the N26 Account – only South Africans living in the following countries are allowed to open a N26 Account: “Services and Fees are for anyone who registers with an address in Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Iceland and Liechtenstein.”?

    • Hi Rochelle, South Africans living in South Africa can’t apply for N26 for regulatory reasons. Banks have to pass a lot of regulatory restriction before they can operate in a given country, and so far that list of countries is where N26 has navigated through those regulations.

  • Great article. I’m now living in Tubingen Germany, but still have accounts to settle in South Africa and this was a great help. I will be joining N26 and money Transfer. Thanks

  • I think N26 is an excellent concept, but I do not live in one of the allocated countries. Is it possible to assist in speeding up the process of getting N26 approved in certain countries? Is there somewhere were I can find out whether the application has been made, or why it does not comply with regulations?

  • Hello! My question is, I am an Italian resident but I am currently in South Africa and will be here for another 3 months.
    Will I be able to receive the physical credit card here?
    Unfortunately my current credit card is due to expire soon, and my other one is an Amex , not really accepted here, so I urgently need to decide and find an alternative (other options being Revolut or opening a local bank account for non residents)
    Any help would be appreciated!

    • Hi Stella, you won’t be able to receive either an N26 or a Revolut card direct to your address in South Africa. Instead, I suggest applying for your N26 card using your home address in Italy, and then asking a family member forward the card on to you in South Africa. Here’s a direct link to where you can apply. Good luck!

  • Hie l am a Zimbabwean currently in Norway l am thinking of getting n26 bank , my question is if l go back home will my employer able to transfer my salary into n26 l will be working in South Africa?

    • Yes, definitely. I’ve used my N26 card all over the world (including for receiving direct deposits and salary transfers), and I’ve never had a problem receiving it to my N26 account. You’ll get the best available offer on N26 by signing up here.

  • We have a house in South Africa for renting out. I’m thinking about opening a local bank account here or use a n26 account instead. Do you think I can pay electricity gas and all the expenses via that n26 account? What about the exchange

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