Vivid Money Review: Fees, Card, Usability, and Monito's Verdict

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com
Dec 3, 2021
Affiliate disclosure

Monito recommends Vivid Money (8.3/10) as a good digital banking option. Not only do its online account and card product attract overwhelmingly positive customer reviews (9.5/10) and offer excellent in-app functionality (8.1/10), but our experts were particularly impressed by the fact that payments at home and abroad are also fairly low across the board (7.5/10). Although Vivid Money is still a young neobank, it is a trustworthy company (8.0) that can most certainly be trusted as a digital banking partner for your everyday needs.

What Monito Likes About Vivid Money

  • Lucrative cashback on payments;
  • Free payments at home and abroad;
  • The first €200 withdrawn per month is free worldwide;
  • Handy in-app tools (e.g. investment, bill splitting, etc.);
  • Up to 15 free sub-accounts in up to 100 different currencies;
  • Free metal Visa debit card.

What Monito Dislikes About Vivid Money

  • No phone support;
  • No international transfers or cash deposits.
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Monito's Recommendation

We recommend Vivid Money to all users looking for a flexible and cost-effective current account that comes packed with numerous extras. The platform's excellent functionality and versatile features make Vivid Money by far one of the best current accounts on the EU market, and in our opinion a major perk is that the account comes with a metal debit card — a rarity among free digital account plans!

Where Is Vivid Money Available?

Vivid Money is available to anybody with a valid residence in the EU regardless of their nationality. However, for new users outside of Germany, it may take a little longer for the debit card to arrive by post.

How Monito Reviewed Vivid's Services

As with all services reviewed by Monito, Vivid Money underwent a rigorous evaluation to assess the quality of its service. To begin with, our experts analysed several key criteria, including customer reviews, the percentage cost of various transaction types, top-up options, access to customer service, as well as business and legal metrics such as revenue, appropriate authorisation, and company size. As with all Monito Scores, Vivid Money's score was peer-reviewed by at least one Monito expert.

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Trust & Credibility

8.0

Background check

Provides statutory deposit insurance in cooperation with Solarisbank AG.

Security & reliability

Segregated user accounts and HTTPS. Debit cards are 3-D Secure.

Company size

Young company founded in 2019 with an estimated 250,000 users.

Transparent pricing

The fee overview is understandable, transparent, and user-friendly.

Is Vivid Money Safe?

Yes, Vivid Money is a safe and secure platform to hold, spend, send, and receive money. Although not officially a bank (Vivid is a fintech company offering a banking product), the platform is authorized by BaFin and backed by German bank Solarisbank AG as a "tied partner", meaning its account products are functionally the same as any other current account from an EU-based bank.

The fact that Vivid isn't a fully-fledged bank isn't necessarily a disadvantage; it's generally tough for young banking startups to obtain their own banking licenses. Therefore, it's common for fintechs to team up with external banking partners and conduct themselves as non-bank entities. For example, you might notice this in the BIC you'll receive as a Vivid customer, which happens to be Solaribank's BIC. Customers of Kontist and Penta (two other well-known fintechs partnered with Solarisbank) also have the same BIC for the very same reason.

On the downside, however, because Vivid's accounts are partnered with a bank, users can also expect negative interest rates on high account balances (0.50% for balances over €250,000 at the time of writing). Fortunately, this is an unusually high balance, meaning most Vivid accounts won't exceed this allowance and therefore won't be subject to the interest rate 'fee'.

Another major perk of Vivid's banking collaboration is that users have few security risks to worry about. Solarisbank is strictly regulated and subject to legal deposit protection, meaning that Vivid customers enjoy the security that their cash deposits will be guaranteed up to €100,000 if Vivid should run into financial trouble.

Service & Quality

8.1

Using the mobile app

Slick mobile app packed with interesting features.

Managing the account

Versatile current account, although lacking interest, overdraft, and joint account functionality.

Contacting support

Round-the-clock support via live chat, though phone support isn't available.

Making card payments

Contactless payments, online payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and invoicing are supported.

How Good Is Vivid's Account and Card?

Interestingly, new Vivid Money customers receive the premium account model (called 'Vivid Prime') free of charge for the first three months. If after those first three months expire new users don't wish to start paying, they'll be automatically downgraded to the basic 'Vivid Standard' plan which costs €0.00 in monthly fees. However, in our opinion, this plan is already very equipped and sufficient for most users (although there's always the chance that the free trial convinces you to start paying the €9.90 per month to upgrade!)

The free account comes with the same Vivid debit card that's offered with the paid account — a purple metal Visa card. Other neobanks usually charge a monthly fee between €12.00 and €17.00 for metal debit cards, and we find that fact that it comes free of charge to be a major feather in Vivid Money's cap!

Other than the card's material, another noteworthy fact is that no card number or account holder details are printed out on the card's front or back, making fraud much more difficult if your card was to be lost or stolen.

All Vivid accounts also support up to 15 sub-accounts, each with a separate bank account and IBAN. Account-holders can therefore receive transfers directly to sub-accounts and thus have significantly more control and flexibility over their money.

As we saw earlier, the free limits for withdrawing cash are €200 per month, after which a 3.00% withdrawal fee will be charged per withdrawal. On the other hand, paying with your Vivid card is free of charge worldwide without limitation.

If you decide to upgrade to 'Vivid Prime', you can do so at any time via the Vivid app. Since the premium account doesn't include a separate debit card, the upgrade is completely digital and can be completed in seconds. If there is a risk of exceeding a monthly limit, you can upgrade the account at short notice and then downgrade it again.

In our opinion, these are our highlights of the free Vivid account:

  • Make free payments worldwide;
  • Free metal debit card;
  • No exchange rate surcharges on 40 currencies;
  • 15 sub-accounts with their own bank details;
  • Free cash withdrawals up to €200 per month worldwide;
  • Up to €20 cashback per month.

Cashback on Vivid Payments

Vivid's cashback program is one of the platform's true highlights. Cashback is provided by Vivid through various partnerships that promise repayment of up to 25% on every transaction through 'Vivid Prime' (however our impression is that cashback of over 10% is a rarity). On the plus side, however, these partner cashback offers are extensive, ranging from online services to supermarkets, meaning you can probably already collect cashback for purchases that you would have made anyway.

Currently, for example, there is a 10% cashback at major retailers Lidl and Aldi, which is automatically credited after each transaction. Occasionally, there are also promotions that exceed the promised maximum 25% cashback. Toward the end of 2020, Netflix new customers were offered cashback of as much as 30% via Vivid, meaning it makes sense to keep an eye out and take advantage of appealing deals when they come up.

For holders of the free Vivid current account, there is currently only one cashback form: the Champion Program. This offers up to 10% cashback on restaurant visits if you've been the Vivid customer who spent the most at that restaurant in a two-week period. This is an interesting extra, but of course, it can't compete with the other cashback offers.

All cashback is automatically linked to the performance of clients of selected stocks. This allows them to increase in value even further. It is important to know that no real shares are purchased, but customers make a kind of bet with Vivid. On request, the cashback can be credited back to the cash account directly after payout.

A Note on Investments and Transfers

In addition to cashback, investments in stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and precious metals are possible directly from the app at low cost. There are no transaction costs for US equities, while minimal transaction costs are charged for European ones. WHat we find particularly appealing about this feature is that you invest the balance directly from your own current account without needing to set up a separate clearing to brokerage account.

Vivid also publicly advertises real-time transfers. However, these are not SEPA instant transfers, but real-time transfers to other Vivid customers. Although we think it's good that Vivid is able to support transfers to other users in real-time, we also think the term "real-time transfer" can be a bit misleading because these are not yet supported by Vivid's banking partner Solarisbank.

Vivid Money Mobile App

The mainstay of Vivid Money's platform, Vivid's mobile app is the only platform with which to manage your account. Here are a few of the points we found the most interesting about Vivid Money's mobile app:

  • Cashback on everyday payments: All cashback offers can be viewed and used via the mobile app interface.
  • Extensive multi-currency accounts: Vivid offers holding and changing up to 150 different currencies directly from the app.
  • Share invoices with your friends: Invoices can be split and paid directly through only a few nifty clicks in the app.
  • Card details: Vivid protects your card details and decrypts them only when prompted via the app.

Is Vivid Money Worth It? What Are the Alternatives?

In our opinion, Vivid is one of the most interesting neobanks currently available on the EU market, mostly given the fact that a large part of its services is offered completely free of charge. Additional services for 'Vivid Prime' are almost completely limited to the cashback functions, meaning that all users can enjoy the core functionality without paying a dime in monthly fees.

The premium cashback features are outstanding and can be worthwhile for many customers. To find out whether or not 'Vivid Prime' is worthwhile for you, you should simply calculate how much you would save monthly through the cashback (although this will probably already be apparent after the first three months of testing). If you regularly make larger purchases from Vivid partners or run subscriptions such as Netflix, Spotify, or Amazon Prime, then the cashback can also become very cost-effective indeed.

Because of the uniqueness of its offering, we don't see a real alternative to Vivid at the moment. However, if you'e looking for a second account with another neobank or regularly make foreign transfers, you should take a closer look at Revolut, N26, or Wise. Currently, however, we would fully recommend Vivid, as we think it is one of the best neobanks on the market.

Fees & Exchange Rates

7.5

Everyday use

No monthly fee or costs for everyday payments; only cash withdrawals beyond €200 cost.

ATM withdrawals

Cash withdrawals of more than €200 per month incur a 3.00% fee.

Online spending

Online spending is free regardless of currency.

International spending

Payments abroad are free (only the Visa exchange rate is used).

What Are Vivid Money's Fees and Exchange Rates?

Currently, there are few neobanks that are quite as well-priced for foreign use as Vivid Money, where no foreign currency fees whatsoever are charged (only the base Visa exchange rate surcharge). In addition, the limit of €200 ('Vivid Standard') or €1,000 ('Vivid Prime') per month applies to cash withdrawals worldwide. On the other hand, card payments are not limited at all worldwide, meaning frequent travellers can easily make back their money's worth. Account-holders can also change their Euro balance in 40 ('Vivid Standard') or 107 ('Vivid Prime') foreign currencies before a trip and thus dodge exchange rate risks entirely.

The only concerns we have are about the international acceptance of the Vivid card. In many developing countries, card payments are still the exception, rather than the norm, and sometimes they need to be verified with a signature. Since the Vivid debit card doesn't reveal any details about the cardholder, there's always a slim chance that it may be declined. However, this is currently only a problem in theory, and no users have publicly complained about it so far.

Another point of criticism is the fact that Vivid doesn't yet offer international money transfers. Anyone who regularly supports family members or friends from countries outside the SEPA area would have to use a money transfer provider such as Wise or Azimo to get the job done. You can use Monito's comparison engine to find the cheapest provider in real-time.

Customer Satisfaction

9.5

Customer review score

Excellent rating on Trustpilot, the App Store and the Play Store with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Number of positive reviews

A total of almost 21,000 four- or five-star reviews.

What Experiences Have Vivid Money Customers Had?

In general, Vivid Money has earned outstanding feedback from users across the board, garnering an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot at the time of writing.

Aspects of Vivid Money that users frequently praise include its excellent cashback program, low fees, investment functionality and, of course, Vivid's well-designed mobile app, which is at the centre of its product design. On the other hand, critiques of Vivid included a few reports of cashback not arriving on time or at all and accounts being temporarily blocked after receiving large transfers for AML reasons.

How Does Vivid Money Compare?

To wrap things up, let's take a look at how Vivid Money's pricing compares to those of other major digital bank account offerings available to EU/EEA residents. We've chosen to compare the standard plan of Vivid Money with those of Revolut, N26, and the Wise Multi-Currency Account because of their similar all-round product offerings:

Vivid Standard

Revolut Standard

N26 Standard

Wise

Top-up Method(s)

SEPA transfer, debit/credit card, PayPal

SEPA transfer, debit/credit card

Cash¹, SEPA transfer

SEPA transfer, debit/credit card

Bank Account(s)

DE

US, GB

DE

BE, GB, US, AU, NZ, CA, HU, RO, SG, TR

Available Platforms

Mobile

Mobile

Mobile, website

Mobile, website

Account Opening

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

Card Type

Visa

Mastercard

Mastercard, Maestro

Mastercard

Card Issuance

€0.00

€6.00

€0.00

€6.00

Withdrawal (Intl)

0.00%⁶

€0.00²

1.70%

€0.00²

Transfer (Intl)

N/A

€0.00³

0.35% - 2.00%⁴

0.35% - 2.00%

Card Payment (Intl)

€0.00

€0.00⁵

€0.00

€0.00

Withdrawal (EEA)

0.00%⁶

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

Try VividTry RevolutTry N26Try Wise

Last updated: 03/12/2021
¹ Germany, Austria and Italy only
² Up to €200.00 per month, then 2.00%
³ Up to 5 withdrawals or €200 per month, then 2.00%
⁴ N26 uses Wise's platform for international money transfers
⁵ Up to €1,000 per month, then 0.50%
⁶ Up to €200 per month, then 3.00%

Frequently Asked Questions About Vivid Money

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