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Best Online Banks in Europe in 2022: Fees, Exchange Rates, Usability, Features, and More

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com
Jul 13, 2022
Affiliate disclosure

By offering low fees, easy application, and convenient web and mobile apps, online banks have risen rapidly in prominence across the EU in recent years, going even so far so to challenge traditional banks for a new tech-savvy generation of customers.

In 2022 — as both the popularity and the market share of Europe's online banks continue to rise — you might find yourself wondering which one of the many options available offers the best all-around service to suit your needs. In this guide, we whittle down the top online banks in the EU/EEA fintech scene to the major contenders and explore which one might make sense for you.

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We recommend N26 if you're looking for a smart digital alternative to traditional banks since it's probably the most complete online bank in the EU market. However, since N26 is currently no longer accepting new customers from Italy, if you live there (or live elsewhere and value sustainability above costs), we recommend Tomorrow instead, which offers an excellent current account and sustainable banking option.

How Monito Scores Online Banks

To determine which online banks scored better than others within the EU/EEA market, we used a consumer-first framework to analyse several key factors. To begin with, we weighed a number of concrete metrics relating to factors such as fees and rates, ease of use, credibility, service and coverage, transparency, and customer satisfaction to piece together a reliable all-around picture of which top digital banks offer the savviest solutions to EU residents.

Next, we explored these results and presented our findings in the form of a series of key takeaways that we believe you should know about the three digital banks ranked highest.

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In our definition of "online bank," we only consider:

  1. Digital banks that are available across all or most EU/EEA countries, not just in specific countries.
  2. Online-first banks, and not traditional banks which have pivoted to digital banking while still maintaining an extensive brick-and-mortar infrastructure.

While we ranked these online banks on an overall list, bear in mind that this list does not mean that our choice for the EU's best digital bank is necessarily the best choice for you. As you'll see, each online bank comes with its own unique set of pros and cons that may impact its overall relevance to you.

Without further ado, let's go through our rankings for the top online banks in Europe in 2022 —

N26 — Best Free Current Account

Arguably the best-known mobile bank, N26 is a widely-used and much-loved German online bank with around seven million customers across the EU. N26 is also partnered with Wise's money transfer service, allowing in-app international money transfers at some of the best exchange rates on the market. Because of its complete current account offering, we recommend N26 to just about anybody interested in low-cost banking.

Account name: N26 Standard

Account type: Current (German bank details).

Total cost: €0 per month.

Noteworthy features: Instant social payments, overdraft facilities, cash deposit (in Germany, Austria and Italy).

Availability: Most of the EU (see the full list here), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. However, N26 is currently not available in Italy.

More info: See our full N26 review.

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Living in Italy? N26 is unavailable there. See more.

Tomorrow — Best for Sustainability

Tomorrow is a fintech company affiliated with German bank Solarisbank striving for positive impact and claiming to put sustainability before profit. Customers can choose between three sustainable current accounts, the first two coming with a plastic Visa debit card, and the premium tier coming with a wooden Visa debit. We particularly think Tomorrow's basic 'Now' account is the ideal choice for sustainability-oriented customers due to its low all-around costs and pro-sustainability investments.

Account name: Now

Account type: Current (held by Solarisbank, German bank details).

Total cost: €3-€9 per month (depending on how much you withdraw).

Noteworthy features: Climate contributions, savings pockets

Availability: 18 EU countries (excluding Poland, Hungary, and others).

More info: See our full Tomorrow review.

Revolut — Best All-Rounder

A major name in the digital banking sphere, Revolut has stood at the forefront of Europe's low-cost online financial services sector in recent years. With over 12 million users, the London-based fintech is not only available in the EU and EEA but across the world. However, because it's not yet a bank in all EU countries, we think Revolut is best used as a spending tool next to a main bank account, as opposed to in place of it.

Account name: Standard

Account type: Current (Lithuanian bank details).

Total cost: €0 per month.

Noteworthy features: UK bank account details, multi-currency balances.

Availability: EU, UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland

More info: See our full Revolut review.

Wise — Best Multi-Currency Account

Wise is not a bank but a money transfer operator well-known for offering some of the cheapest international transfers globally. (In fact, according to our rankings, Wise is indeed the best money transfer service of all.) However, money transfers aren't Wise's only game; they also offer the Wise Multi-Currency Account — a low-cost foreign currency spending account and card product that's best in class on the market.

Account name: Multi-Currency Account

Account type: Electronic Money Account (held by Barclays in the UK, Wells Fargo in the US, DBS in Singapore, etc.).

Total cost: €0 per month.

Noteworthy features: International money transfers, multiple account details, multi-currency balances.

Availability: EU, UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland

More info: See our full Wise Multi-Currency Account review.

Bunq — Best Paid Current Account

Dutch neobank bunq doesn't really lift a candle to some of the other contenders on this list in terms of affordability. That's because bunq doesn't offer a free account, and many of its services come with additional fees. However, for those who don't mind paying higher fees every month for an online bank account, then bunq comes packed with many interesting features and perks to take advantage of.

Account name: Easy Bank

Account type: Current (French, Spanish, German, or Dutch bank details).

Total cost: €2.99 per month.

Noteworthy features: Bill splitting, Wise money transfer integration,

Availability: Entire EU.

More info: See our full bunq review.

Vivid Money — Best Cashback

A partner of German bank Solarisbank AG, Vivid Money isn't a bank in and of itself but a fintech company offering a digital account and card. By combining a checking account with cashback features, Vivid Money users can save up to 25% on everyday purchases and easily refinance the account management fees of €9.90 per month that comes with the premium tier (although there is a free tier too offering less cashback). This excellent cashback is the reason we think Vivid Money has the best rewards program of any online bank in Europe.

Account name: Vivid Prime

Account type: Current (held by Solarisbank, German bank details).

Total cost: €9.90 per month.

Noteworthy features: Cashback program, fractional investment (stocks, ETFs, crypto, precious metals), multi-currency balances, insurances.

Availability: Entire EU.

More info: See our full Vivid Money review.

Nuri — Best For Crypto

Nuri is a neobank created to merge blockchain and banking to enable a "New Reality Banking". To this end, Nuri's primary focus is neither on its crypto trading platform nor its debit card per se, but on combining cryptocurrencies (e.g Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) and fiat currencies (e.g. the Euro, US dollar, British pound, etc.) into a single, durable solution. Although crypto trading isn't for everyone (we don't recommend it unless it's money you can afford to lose), Nuri is well-suited for users wanting to integrate banking with crypto trading, largely due to the strength of its current account option.

Account name: Nuri (the only account offered).

Account type: Current (held by Solarisbank, German bank details).

Total cost: €0 (unless you frequently trade crypto)

Noteworthy features: Cryptocurrency trading, Savings Plan feature, Bitcoin Interest Account

Availability: EU, UK, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway

More info: See our full Nuri review.

The Best EU Online Banks Compared

To wrap things up, let's take a look at how the product, service, and pricing of a few of the online banks we explored compare to one another in the EU/EEA. We've chosen to compare the standard plan of Vivid Money, Tomorrow, bunqNuri, and N26 because of their similar all-round product offerings:

N26

Vivid

Nuri

Tomorrow

Bunq

Account

Standard

Standard

-

Free

Easy Bank

Monthly Fee

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€2.99

Intl. Withdrawal Fee

1.70%

3.00% (after €200 p/m)

0.00%

1.50%

1.50% + €0.99

Intl. Transaction Fee

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

1.50%

Intl. Transfer Fee

0.35%-2.85%¹

N/A

N/A

N/A

0.35%-2.85%¹

Card Delivery Fee²

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

Contactless

Google Pay

Apple Pay

3D Secure

Deposit Options

SEPA transfer, cash, debit/credit card

SEPA transfer, debit/credit card

SEPA transfer, crypto

SEPA transfer

SEPAtransfer, cash³, debit/credit card

Overdraft

Platforms

Mobile, internet banking

Mobile

Mobile, internet banking

Mobile

Mobile, internet banking

Deposit Insurance

€100,000

€100,000

€100,000

€100,000

€100,000

No. of Customers

7 million

100,000+

250,000+

Approx. 70,000

Approx. 150,000

Trustpilot

3.7/5 (16K Reviews)

4.4/5 (2.5K Reviews)

3.4/5 (1.5K Reviews)

3.9/5 (200 Reviews)

3.1/5 (2.5K Reviews)

Customer Service

Email, live chat

Email

Email

Email, live chat, telephone

Email, live chat

Go to N26Go to VividGo to NuriGo to TomorrowGo to bunq

Last updated: 26/11/2021
¹ Uses Wise's platform for international money transfers
² First card only
³ Germany, Austria and Italy only

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