If you’re looking to open a mobile bank account in Europe, then this Bunq review can help you decide if this is the right one for you.
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Bunq is an international mobile bank that was founded in 2012. Two years later, they had already received their official banking license from the Dutch Central Bank (DNB). This was a great feat because it was the first European banking permit to be issued in more than 35 years.
Then, in 2015, Bunq launched its beta site. Despite being a new player in the industry, 1,000 users were keen to experience what Bunq had to offer. Because of its success, it didn’t take too long for them to officially launch the full Bunq app. So, two months after its beta launch, the first fully mobile bank in the Netherlands was made available to the general public.
Since then, they have expanded outside of the Netherlands. With their continued efforts, Bunq user deposits have reached over €1 billion. Today, they are available in 30 different European countries. And the “bank of The Free” has more to give in the years to come so that they can make life easier for their users.
What Does Bunq Have to Offer?
Bunq offers four different “easy” bank accounts for personal consumers and businesses. However, we’ll focus on the features on a personal account for this article.
1. Easy Bank Account
An Easy Bank account is suitable for individuals who want to have access to what a mobile bank is expected to have. It has features that allow you to save, spend, and perform other general bank transactions.
Bunq has a 30-day trial that comes at no cost to you. After that, you will be required to pay €2.99 per month to maintain your Easy Bank account.
What can I get from an Easy Bank account?
- You will be issued 1 physical card.
- You will have access to Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- You can make use of the “Dutch Switch Service,” which allows you to redirect payments and direct debits from your bank account to your Bunq account.
- You can automate payment requests. This means that you will receive funds at a set interval from another party who owes you money.
- All payments, whether they are incoming or outgoing, are processed realtime.
- You can request a refund for card payments that were unsuccessful.
- You can withdraw and deposit cash at a physical store, even without a card. This can simply be done by generating a code through your Bunq app.
- You can choose the name to be placed on your card.
- You will have access to AutoCurrency. This feature allows you to pay for your purchases in the currency of the country you’re visiting.
- You can get an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) from Spain, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
- You will have access to the Travel Assistant. This feature helps you manage your money wherever you are. For example, you’ll get information on exchange rates and which specific Bunq card you should use in the country you’re in.
- You can make international money transfers of up to 39 different currencies through Wise.
- You will earn “MassInterest.” This is an annual interest rate of 0.09% computed from all your accounts and sub-accounts. You must have €10.000 to earn interest.
- You can create a “Savings Goal” sub-account for whatever milestones in life you’re hoping to achieve.
What are the disadvantages of an Easy Bank account?
- You will not be issued a DigiCard. This is a virtual card that you can use for online payments. It comes with a feature wherein a new CVC code is generated every 5 minutes. Doing so makes online transactions safer.
- You cannot withdraw cash at an ATM in Europe for free. Your first 5 withdrawals will be charged at €0.99 each. Succeeding withdrawals will cost you €2.99 each.
- You will not have access to invoice scanning. This is a convenient feature that allows you to scan your invoices, which will then be read by the Bunq mobile app. You just have to verify the details and then click the “pay” button to complete the transaction.
- You will not have access to the receipt scanning feature. With this, you can scan a receipt and then send it to another individual through messaging platforms. Having this is especially useful when you forget to split the bill with friends.
- You will not have access to “future balance.” This allows you to take a look at what your balance will be at a specified date. By using this, you can find out what your maximum budget is for the day.
- You cannot create a “local currencies” sub-account. This allows you to keep different currencies such as, but not limited to, US dollars, South African Rand, and Czech Koruna within your Bunq app. You can use this for payments involving the relevant currency.
- You will not be entitled to “ZeroFX.” This gives you the benefit of making international card payments and ATM withdrawals without being charged currency exchange fees.
2. Easy Money Account
The Easy Money account allows you to bank just like a local would, wherever you are in Europe. Opening this account costs €8.99 per month.
You can enjoy the same benefits as what the Easy Bank account provides. But, of course, since you’ll be paying €6 more, you’ll get added features.
What else can I get from an Easy Money account?
- You will be issued 25 DigiCards and 3 physical cards.
- A maximum of 4 free ATM withdrawals in Europe per month. The five withdrawals after that will be charged €0.99, then €2.99 thereafter.
- You will have access to invoice scanning, future balance, local currencies, and ZeroFX.
- You can invest in stocks with the Easy Investment Beta feature.
- You can make use of Auto Save. When enabled, any payment made using your Bunq account will be rounded up to the nearest €1. The difference between the amount of your purchase and the rounded off value will be credited to your Savings Goal account. For example, if you buy an item that costs €4.98, the remaining €0.02 will be automatically transferred.
- You can create a maximum of 25 sub-accounts for free. This allows you to easily budget for your expenses. Any more than that will be charged at €19.00 per month, per sub-account.
- You can create your own monthly budget. With this, you can input different payment categories and their corresponding maximum amounts. Doing so makes expense tracking hassle-free.
- You will have access to the payment sorter feature. Bunq will automatically redirect your incoming payments to designated sub-accounts, in accordance with the amount or percentage that you set.
- You can use “insights,” wherein Bunq automatically categorizes your expenses. This will show you where your money goes every month or year.
- You can activate the Dual PIN feature. This allows you to easily make payments from the account that you intend to use. Just use the PIN of the relevant account and Bunq will deduct the payment from there.
- You can track all your subscriptions in one page.
What are the disadvantages of the Easy Money Account?
- You will not have access to the receipt scanning feature.
3. Easy Green Account
Individuals who want to help save the earth can opt to open an Easy Green account. This comes with a fee of €17.99 per month. But investing that amount will yield higher returns for the environment. This is because Bunq will plant a tree for every €100 that you spend using the card. As of the latest report, they have already planted 6.3 million trees.
In addition to what the Easy Bank and Easy Money accounts offer, you will also be given “purchase protection and extended warranty.” This is applicable to purchases made using the bunq Metal Card, which you will also be issued with. The insurance policy covers a range of unfortunate instances, which can be found on the site.
4. Easy Savings Account
The Easy Savings account is the only one that you can get for free. However, you won’t have access to much of what the other paid accounts provide. This is suitable if you’re looking for a mobile bank account for basic needs. With this account, you are entitled to the following benefits:
- No minimum deposit requirement
- Earn a 0.09% interest
- Ability to withdraw and deposit cash at a partner store
- Access to a savings sub-account
What transactions can I do without being charged a fee?
- Sending and receiving instant payments
- Sending international money transfers using Wise
- Direct debit transactions
- Cash withdrawals, subject to a maximum number of withdrawals
What transactions will incur fees?
- Sending payment through a debit or credit card (2.5%)
- Adding money to your account through a debit or credit card (0.5% or 2.5%)
- Receiving Swift payments (€5.00 to €25 per payment, depending on the amount received)
- Receiving and sending payments using your local currencies account
- Deposit holding fee for amounts greater than €100,000 in a non-euro currency (€0.04 to €0.06 per day per €1,000 held)
Can I open a Bunq account?
Only European citizens who reside in the countries of Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain can open a Bunq account.
However, expats who are not European citizens but live in any of the aforementioned countries can still have a chance to open a Bunq account. This comes with the condition that they are passport holders of a specific country that Bunq acknowledges.
I’m not yet 18 years old. Can I still open a Bunq account?
Yes, minors are allowed to open a Bunq account. However, their legal guardian should first create a Bunq personal account. This is because parental approval must be obtained for the minor applicant to complete the process.
How can I open a Bunq account?
To create a Bunq account, you first have to download the Bunq app from Google Play or the App Store. Opening an account can only be done there. If you were to head to their website, they will similarly just text you a link so that you can download the app.
Your personal information and a valid ID will be asked for. Then, you will just have to complete the verification process to start using your Bunq account.
Is my money safe in Bunq?
Deposits in all Bunq accounts, whether free or paid, are insured up to €100,000.
At the same time, you will be notified in real time about every incoming and outgoing payment that you make.
Opening a Bunq account is especially helpful for individuals who have multi-currency transactions and who frequently travel within the EU. At the same time, you can easily manage your finances using their budget tools. Because of this, you will just need one account for all your banking and money management needs.
However, it does have its drawbacks. Specifically, to broaden the range of services that you can avail of, you have to pay a monthly fee. The number of free cash withdrawals is also too low, at 4-5, to be used regularly. Lastly, all transactions can only be done on the app.
With this, Bunq offers a unique banking experience to its users. If you think that they offer what you’re looking for but are hesitant to pay the rather high fees, then you can try their free account or 30-day trial before you commit.
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