Score
8.8
Key Features
  • Free payments in different currencies, no foreign exchange fees
  • No credit checks for Bunq Travel Card

bunq Review

Introduction

bunq is an Amsterdam-based, international mobile bank, founded in 2015 by Ali Niknam, the original founder of the IT company TransIP.

Being officially permitted and insured by the Dutch Central Bank, bunq, however, is a totally independent borderless European bank, without any branches, queues, or paperwork whatsoever. The bank is a mobile app itself.

bunq is fully international with the app and website being available in 6 languages for both operation and customer support. By opening a bunq account, one get access to 25 bank accounts (multicurrency), up to 3 physical cards (Mastercard / Maestro) and up to 5 virtual Debit Mastercards.

Debit Card
Bunq debit card
Languages
  • NL
  • DE
  • IT
  • ES
  • FR
Plans
  • Free Account
  • Plans from €7.99/m
TrustPilot

Banking Features

Multiple bank accounts

Open a bank account for any need, straight from the bunq app. Whether it’s for groceries, your holiday or going out with friends, you can open bank accounts in seconds, each with a unique IBAN.

Instant Joint Accounts

Open joint bank accounts with your family, friends or team.

Up to 25 bank accounts

Open a subaccount for any need, straight from the bunq app in seconds, each with a unique IBAN.

Transfers Abroad

Send money to 39 supported currencies with TransferWise with the mid-market exchange rate, and no hidden fees.

Credit card

Unlike most online banks’ cards, bunq Travel Card is a credit, not a debit card, so it is accepted everywhere, including car rentals and hotel deposits.

Money requests via personal payment links

bunq.me link is the easiest way to get your money back or split your bills with friends. It works with any European bank client, and you can set it up in seconds. They don’t need to be bunq users, or even install the app).

iDEAL integration

No hassle with e-readers or plastic cards, since bunq mobile bank has iDEAL integration.

Online Cards

You can create up to 5 Online Cards on top of your 3 physical cards, and use them immediately. No extra charge required.

Apple Pay and Google Pay

Add your bunq card to your Apple Pay or Google account and enable contactless in-store payments as well as instant, secure online payments with a higher level of security (Touch ID, Face ID).

Instant Switch

As a collaboration between Dutch banks, the Dutch Switch Service lets one instantly switch account from another bank to bunq, and automatically forward all payments and direct debits to your bunq account.

In-app card control:

Enable foreign payments, activate paying online, set CVC codes to change, create virtual cards, block/unblock cards.

Fingerprint login:

A choice of preferred login method: a password or a fingerprint.

Savings Goals:

Helps saving up for your next dream purchase, or experience, with a current status of your progress. Savings Goals are shareable with friends, family or partners.

Auto Save:

Achieve your goals faster by setting your bunq app to save automatically on every payment, and round up your spendings to €1, €2, or €5.

Interest rate:

At 0.27%, bunq claims to provide customers with an interest rate 9x higher than traditional banks, and on all accounts, not just savings accounts.

bunq Accounts and Fees

It costs nothing to open a basic bunq account. However, the free option is pretty limited as you can’t use a card. To be able to do that, you need the “Premium” option (which is also the only one personal account) priced at €7.99 per month. You will get 10 Free ATM withdrawals every month, and the Mastercard official exchange rate which is usually very competitive compared to other rates.

Another two account types are a joint account for sharing between two or more people, a business account types, and a Travel Card only limited service.

Personal account types

Travel CardPremiumJoint
Price per monthFree€7.99/month€9.99/month
Card Fee€9.99 one-time3 cards included, €9.00 + €3.00/month
for every additional card
4 cards included, €9.00 + €3.00/month
for every additional card
Free ATM withdrawals (EUR)€0.99 per withdrawal10 withdrawals p/m included, thereafter €0.99 per withdrawal10 withdrawals p/m included, thereafter €0.99 per withdrawal
Free payments (EUR)
Currency Conversion/ Foreign Withdrawals/Payments in other currencyMastercard official exchange rateMastercard official exchange rateMastercard official exchange rate
Google Pay & Apple Pay
(selected countries)

(selected countries)

(selected countries)
Receiving money outside
SEPA (EUR)

Terms fees apply

Terms fees apply
Top up with iDEAL, Sofort or Bank TransferFreeFreeFree
Top up with credit or debit card0.5% for EU cards, 2.5% for non-EU cards.Up to €500/month free. Then 0.5% for EU cards, 2.5% for non-EU cardsUp to €500/month free. Then 0.5% for EU cards, 2.5% for non-EU cards
International TransfersTransferWiseTransferWiseTransferWise

Business account

  • The direct connection between bunq and bookkeeping software
  • The VAT set aside and transfer to a designated VAT sub-account automatically
  • All receipts in one place
  • Own IBAN for each sub-account
  • Realtime API
  • Employee access
bunq Business Account
Price per month€9.99/month
Card Fee3 cards included, €9.00 + €3.00/month
for every additional card
Free ATM withdrawals (EUR)10 withdrawals p/m included, thereafter €0.99 per withdrawal
Free payments (EUR)€0.10 per payment/request
Currency Conversion/ Foreign Withdrawals/Payments in other currencyTransferWise rates + €0.10 per payment
Google Pay & Apple Pay
(selected countries)
Receiving money outside
SEPA (EUR)
Per Swift inbound up to €10,000: €5.00 Fee
Per Swift inbound between €10,000 and €100,000: €10.00 Fee
Per Swift inbound above €100,000: €20.00 Fee
Top up with iDEAL, Sofort or Bank Transfer.€0.20
Top up with credit or debit cardUp to €500/month free. Then 0.5% for EU cards, 2.5% for non-EU cards
Bulk Payments€1.00 per batch of up to 100
payments + €0.10 per payment
Receiving money outside
SEPA (EUR)
Per Swift inbound up to €10,000: €5.00 Fee
Per Swift inbound between €10,000 and €100,000: €10.00 Fee
Per Swift inbound above €100,000: €20.00 Fee
Paying a direct debit€0.10
Scanning and paying invoices in the bunq app.€0.20 per scan + €0.10 per payment
Safekeeping Fee for holding funds above €100,000, per €10002.4 cents/day

Security

Create virtual cards, block and unblock current cards if lost or stolen, view and change your PIN directly from your phone — total control over the cards and account in general, quickly from the app.
bunq has a full banking license issued by the Holland Central Bank, so the customers’ funds are protected and refundable up to €100k.

Card settings on-the-go

Changing your PIN, setting card limits, (de-)activating or blocking a card, all that in real-time, just from your mobile.

bunq’s patent-pending Dual PIN technology enables using 1 card for 2 accounts.

Mastercard rotating CVC code:

An extra safety layer making the CVC code refresh automatically every few minutes in the app, or letting users update it manually.

Using the bunq App Abroad

bunq charges no foreign transaction fees on purchases outside the Eurozone, apart from the official mastercard exchange rate, plus offers 10 free ATM withdrawals globally.

Unlike most online bank’s cards, the dedicated bunq’s travel card works like a credit card (both physical card and virtual), thus letting the owner use it as a security deposit card for rentals, and hotels, while traveling. At the same time, it doesn’t have an overdraft, and won’t let you go in credit, you can only use the money actually present on your balance. To get one, users don’t need a credit check, and they get only a fixed €0.99 fee to withdraw cash from any ATM in the world.

Another popular use for bunq is paying your domestic bills in Euros while traveling around Europe for an extended period of time.bunq is also compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay, iDEAL, and Sofort, which means you can add the card and pay using your phone anywhere it’s possible.

bunq Support

bunq offers standard means of contact: a built-in-app chat and Email.

Instead of a basic FAQ section on the website, bunq offers the clients a proprietary community platform “Together”, where users can ask for help, find answers, or just share experiences, and get ranked and promoted, for doing so. By sharing knowledge, the users earn points and can get a higher ranking.

Unfortunately, bunq doesn’t provide telephone support.

Pros
  • Very quick and easy to sign up
  • No fees for spending in Europe with Euros
  • Multiple sub accounts
  • Easy joint account option
Cons
  • Just 10 Free ATM withdrawals per month
  • Monthly fee
  • Available only for permanent residents of the EEA

Conclusion

Opening a bunq account is fast and very easy, and even before the card arrives, you could use it with the card details in the app. Once opened a personal account, you can also have a joint account shared with someone else.

Among the best features that we enjoy are the 25 sub-accounts, a few virtual cards included, joint accounts and a lot of integrations, which help to organize your money quickly, whether it is saving towards a goal or keeping a vacation budget set aside. That, plus a dedicated travel card make bunq a solid choice for traveling around Europe, but pretty costly to use as a current domestic account.

The travelers from outside Europe also have to look for other options, however, since the service is currently available for the European Economic Area permanent residents permit holders only.