Free German bank account? “N26!” was the usual answer – until now. With Vivid there’s a new English speaking offer on the market that is not only free – but even pays you: with Cashback on your purchases made with their card.
|N26 Standard*||Vivid Standard*|
|History & basics|
|Launched||2015 (own banking license: 2016)||2020|
|Receiving & sending EUR transfers||free||free|
|Language support||German, English, French, Italian and Spanish||German, English|
|Mobile app||Android, iOS||Android, iOS|
|(Credit) Cards||digital Mastercard|
(physical: €10 delivery fee)
|Visa metal (debit card) + virtual Visa (free if you once top up the new account with €200)|
|Currencies||only EUR||EUR + 40 more|
|Cash withdrawal fees …|
|… at ATMs in EUR||free up to 3x per month||free|
|… at ATMs in other currencies (worldwide)||1.7%||free|
|… at shops (Cash im Shop / Cash26)||free||not available|
|Cash withdrawal limits …|
|… at ATMs in EUR||max: €2500/withdrawal||min: €50/withdrawal,|
|… at ATMs in other currencies||max: €2500/withdrawal||min: €50/withdrawal,|
max: €200/month (converted)
|… at shops (Cash im Shop / Cash26)||no minimum, max. 300 EUR per transaction||not available|
|Fees for paying with credit/debit card …|
|… in EUR||none||none|
|… in other currencies||none||none|
|Deposit cash …|
|… via Cash im Shop / Cash26||1.5% (min. 50 EUR, max. 999 within 24 hours)||not available|
|at various shops and supermarkets, like: Lidl, Aldi, denn’s, Alnatura, Gorillas and more||not available||if you pay with the Vivid Visa card|
|Signup Bonus||Currently none, signup seems suspended, new users have to join waiting list.||€40 in cashback after doing all the steps from here|
|Go to the bank||Go to N26*||Go to Vivid*|
History & Basics ↑
N26 is on the market since 2015, with its own banking license since 2016. They claim to have 5 million customers, worldwide.
Vivid launched in 2020, based on Solarisbank in the background. So N26 definitely has more experience.
Cash withdrawal ↑
Vivid limits this to €200/month and €50/withdrawal to stay free – out of these limits you pay 3% (min.: €1).
In contrast, N26 gives you 3 withdrawals per month with no limits.
Cash deposit ↑
Not possible with Vivid – so if you need this then here’s your dealbreaker.
N26 allows Cash26.
N26 allows you to hold only EUR. On every spending in a foreign currency, the Mastercard exchange rate is applied.
Vivid in contrast allows you to exchange your EUR into 40 other currencies before spending them, e.g. into GBP. You then hold GBP in a different balance and once you are spending it UK, it gets withdrawn from there.
N26 comes with a regular plastic Mastercard. In the app, you can fine-control how it can be used (abroad yes/no, online payments, cash withdrawal).
Vivid instead gives you 2 Visa cards: a physical one, made of metal, and a virtual one with a different number, only visible in the app. You can freeze and unfreeze them sepearately. For instance, if you only use the virtual one for online payments, freezing this card disables online charging.
That’s the unique feature of Vivid – spend money and get paid back. Up to 10% at grocery stores like Aldi & Lidl – but also for online purchases like Netflix.
Then try Vivid out and get a €20 gift: Once you’ve spent €20 with your Vivid Visa card, you’ll get a free top-up of €20.