Stop Paying Outrageous Bank Fees in 2021 While Traveling

Stop Paying Outrageous Bank Fees in 2021 While Traveling
Bank fees with Credit card Paiement
How do Bank fees work ATM

When I planned my first trip to South America, I was dreaming to find a credit card with 0 $ bank fees. But it was a utopia, a sad world without N26 Bank review on the internet.

If you’re lucky, your bank is a member of a vast bank network and you will be able to withdrawal with cheaper bank fees penalties when traveling abroad.

However, you will have to find specific ATM’s to be able to enjoy these benefits. Good luck with that.

And, it wasn’t my case anyway.

Yes, my traditional bank was shit wasn’t the best.

I paid for an expensive credit card, and I traveled with tons of money in my pocket – As I had to withdraw the maximum from the ATM’s to reduce the bank fees.

I hate bank fees.

And if you do the math, banks are stealing a lot of your travel money.

Are you ready for the equations?

Of course, you are.

N26 Bank Review

Let’s say you decide to travel for 2 weeks in Colombia.

You like fun activities, great hostels, and cocktails on the Caribbean Coast. Carpe Diem is your religion.

  • Your budget should be around 1500 $ per person.

You wast too much money with a classic credit card (+)

  • 3-5% of each bank transactions – Withdrawals & Payments.
  • The difference between the exchange rate applied by the bank and the official exchange rate represents another 3 % of the amount paid
  • Some fixed bank fees

*See the comparative table at the beginning of this article.

At the end of the month, you’ve paid:

  • 1500 * (3% + 3%) = 90$ in bank fees.

And it’s only for ONE PERSON!

If you’re a couple traveling in Colombia, it represents 180 $

Would you prefer to drink more rum instead of giving your money to your bank? I bet you do.

Now, this time is over.

Thanks to mobile banking, my old dreams became true.

Let’s get a genuine N26 bank review.

N26 Bank Review: Pricing, Exchange rate, and Transferwise

1. N26 offers a mobile banking service

With a traditional bank, you always have to speak with your advisor before taking action. It means you have to make an appointment first. Or wait for him to reply to his emails.

It’s time-consuming and boring.

With N26, you manage everything from your mobile phone (+)

  • Don’t remember your PIN code? Change it in 2 seconds from your phone
  • Did you lose your credit card? Block your card in 3 seconds

And so on.

And don’t worry, It’s safe too.

You can’t be automatically connected to the App on your phone, and you will receive a notification each time there is a movement of money in your bank account.

2. N26 is a real German Bank

They got a German banking license. It means your deposits are guaranteed. Plus, you’ve got an IBAN and a BIC.

Your bank details are also written on your credit card. It’s very useful.

3. With N26, get the best exchange rate on the market

N26 doesn’t apply an awful exchange rate when you pay with your Mastercard.

They use real-time exchange rates. And it’s for every currency in the world.

Moreover, N26 has a partnership with Transfirewise. They are the best to make cheap international transfers.

4. You get the basic N26 Mastercard and a bank account for FREE

Could you imagine, a bank account and a credit card for Free? And N26 doesn’t require that you keep a minimum amount of dollars in your account.

How crazy is that!

The n26 mobile bank offers different credit cards.

The n26 mobile bank offers a Free Basic N26 Mastercard (+)

With the Standard N26 Europe Mastercard or the Standard N26 US Mastercard, you can:

  • Withdraw 5 times/month some Euros without paying any fees. Then, they will charge 2$ for each extra withdrawal
  • If you withdraw another currency, N26 will charge you 1,7%

Therefore, you should use your N26 credit card as much as you can and keep your cash.

Where are we going today?

Take the N26 Black if you travel a lot (+)


In that case, there is another credit card you could fall in love with.

With the credit card N26 YOU, you won’t pay any bank fees:

  • Illimited withdrawal for every currency – 0$ bank fees 
  • Always the best exchange rates

Plus, you’ve got travel insurance with it.

But, this credit card is not free. 

  • It costs 9.9 euros/month

If you think that you will withdraw more than 600 € per month on average every year, then you should take it.

600*0.017= 10.2 euros > 9,90 euros

Cost Credit Card

It’s perfect if you’re a couple who likes to travel. You can subscribe to a basic N26 credit card and the N26 YOU. 

N26 Bank review: Why do you need their credit card

1. Avoid carrying large sums of money (+)

Because I had to pay outrageous bank fees, I was always withdrawing the maximum from the ATM. Petty thefts can happen in South America. So, I hid my cash everywhere: socks, dirty laundry, secret pockets, butt hole.

I don’t have to do it anymore. And my butt is more than happy with that decision.

2. Stop exchanging currency at a local bank before leaving (+)

Don’t do it! They apply awful exchange rates, and you will have to carry tons of cash. Use your N26 credit card instead.

3. How can you get local currency (+)

Even with a shitty credit card, the best way is to use an ATM.

With N26, your phone is your bank. Moreover, there is no hidden bank fee. Just go to a local ATM and withdraw money with the best exchange rate.

4. Use your card for every transaction (+)

Stop asking yourself Should I or Should I not. Just pay with your credit card.

Which banks should you use in Colombia (+)

While traveling, don’t use a random ATM. Look for a major bank instead. They won’t apply extra bank fees. In Colombia, you should use the following banks:

  • BBVA
  • Davivienda
  • Colpatria

Also, if the ATM asks you if you want to use their currency exchange rate, say no! You should still be able to terminate the operation and get a better rate – the one from N26 Bank.

N26 Bank Review: Do It Now

Many of us love to procrastinate. We lie to ourselves.

I will do it tomorrow. I’m busy right now – I watching Game of Thrones to be ready for the last season.

We waste time and money because we procrastinate.

Bank account and credit card matter. It’s normal that we want to think about it. I get it.

But the N26 credit and the bank account are free!

Once it’s done, you can keep it in your wallet and add some money on it when you’re ready

How to open an N26 bank account

First, click on one of the links/banners in this article. These are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. It helps us to live from our passion and write free content about Colombia. 

Once on their website,  fill a form to set up an account:

  • Your identity: First name, last name, the birth of date
  • Passport number
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Password

Then, N26 needs a confirmation/proof of your identity

  • Send a picture of your passport
  • Take a selfie


Congratulation, your mobile banking account is now created. You will soon receive your credit card by mail at home. 

Easy peasy, no?

👉 You want to know more about Colombia? Get the best information about safety, budget, accommodations, and transportation? Find where to travel and book the best experiences? Read our Colombia Travel tips.


However, my N26 Bank review is provided for general educational purposes only and does not provide professional advice, services, opinions or treatment to you or any individual. Tomplanmytrip cannot be held responsible or liable for any purchasing decisions you make after reading this post.  As pointed out numerous times, it is essential to read your full policy wording and choose a bank that suits your particular travel needs.

I have been traveling around Colombia and Mexico since 2015 to discover new experiences and help travelers make the right choices.


    • Hey, I’ve heard the chase sapphire preferred credit card is good for travel points & I believe the Charles Schwab credit card reimburses each month the bank fees. But double-check that information 🙂

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