bunq Bank Review 2023 (My Banking Experience)

Written By Adrian Volenik Reviewed By Tim Doman

Are you looking into getting a Bunq bank account? Join me as I lay out my first-hand experience with this digital bank so you can easily decide whether it’s a good fit for you or not. 

Headquartered in Amsterdam, bunq is the brainchild of Ali Niknam, a Dutch-Canadian entrepreneur and the founder of the IT company TransIP. 

He started Bunq in 2012 as a fintech company when he “set out to radically change the traditional banking industry and create the bank of the free.”

Bunq expanded to all markets in the European Union, Norway, and Iceland in 2019.

The company is also one of the rare European fintech companies to achieve unicorn status (worth more than $1 billion).

It currently has offices in Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, Madrid, Rotterdam, Sofia, Vienna, and Warsaw and is actively hiring.

The company notably received a full banking license in the Netherlands in 2015 and offers personal and business accounts. 

Who Can Open a Bunq Account?

bunq app and account

All residents of the European Economic Area (EU countries + Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) can sign up for Bunq.

To open a Bunq account, you must be at least 18 years old, be a resident of the EEA, and have a valid document to verify your identity. Your nationality can be from anywhere in the world, but you have to live in the EEA. 

How to Open a Bunq Account?

I opened a Bunq bank account in a couple of minutes by downloading the app from Google Play or Apple Store.

You can also do it by visiting their website and entering your phone number to get an invite. 

However, to use all the features and have a limit bigger than €150, you’ll need to verify your identity with an ID or passport, as well as your phone number.

The verification can last from a few minutes to a few hours in some cases.

What Documents Are Accepted?

It gets a bit complicated here. It really depends on which country you’re coming from.

For EU countries, Bunq accepts:

  • EU driver’s license
  • ID cards
  • Passport
  • Residence permits

Find more info on their website

Bunq Pros & Cons

bunq inside

ProsCons
Personal, Joint, and Business accountsA free account is terrible
Savings accounts with interestThe bank keeps changing their accounts, features, and pricing
In-store deposits€5 Inbound Swift charge
Up to 5 IBANs (Money, Green)Tree planting only if you spend with a Metal card
Up to 15 currencies (Money, Green)
Up to 25 sub-accounts (Money, Green)
6 free ATM withdrawals (Money, Green)
Wise international transfers
Deposit protection (€100,000)

Bunq Fees

  • Personal membership from free to €17.99 per month
  • Business plans range from free to €22.99 month
  • €0.99 for extra withdrawals (up to 5 per month), €2.99 for the rest
  • Receiving Swift payments (up to €10.000) €5.00 per payment
  • Receiving Swift payments (between €10.000 and €100.000) €10.00 per payment
  • Receiving Swift payments (above €100.000) €25.00 per payment 
  • Free direct debits (€0.13 per payment for business acc.)
  • Free sending/receiving instant payments or sending instant requests (€0.13 per payment for business acc.)
  • 2.5% fee to send requests, paid instantly via debit or credit card (+€0.27 per payment for business acc.)
  • Free top up with iDEAL, SOFORT, Bancontact 
  • First €500 free per month to top up with a debit or credit card, 0.5% fee to top up after that 

Bunq Accounts

Easy SavingsEasy BankEasy MoneyEasy Green
Free€2.99€8.99€17.99
Bunq WebBunq WebBunq WebBunq Web
Savings AccountSavings AccountSavings AccountSavings Account
24/7 Online Support24/7 Online Support24/7 Online Support24/7 Online Support
Deposit ProtectionDeposit ProtectionDeposit ProtectionDeposit Protection
Group ExpensesGroup ExpensesGroup ExpensesGroup Expenses
1 Physical Card3 Physical Cards3 Physical Cards
In-Store DepositsIn-Store DepositsIn-Store Deposits
Switch ServiceSwitch ServiceSwitch Service
Wise TransfersWise TransfersWise Transfers
6 free ATM withdrawals per month6 free ATM withdrawals per month
25 Virtual Cards25 Virtual Cards
Wheel of FortuneWheel of Fortune
Optional Metal CardOptional Metal Card
Local IBANsLocal IBANs
Sub-AccountsSub-Accounts

Note: Some countries only have three account options. Easy Bank is not available in these. 

Easy Green and Easy Money have many additional features. Read more about them below. 

Bunq Easy Savings Account

bunq account

This is the free account option for those that won’t be using Bunq much, I guess.

You don’t get almost any features with it, and the account is as barebones as it gets. You don’t get a physical card and can’t even use Google Pay or Apple Pay for payments. 

I don’t recommend getting the free account at all. You get much more features with the Revolut or N26 free accounts, not to mention Wise, that’s completely free. 

Bunq Easy Bank Account

Next up, we have the €2.99 per month Easy Bank Account. And I have to say, this account is already much, much better than the free one. It has many features that I’ll list in a moment, but unfortunately, you don’t get free ATM withdrawals.

Now, I know that these are important to many people, but the truth is, I don’t withdraw almost any cash, and if I do, It’s probably once per month. 

This account charges €0.99 per withdrawal. If you withdraw more than 5 times per month, it will cost you €2.99 per withdrawal. 

You get a physical card, Apple and Google Pay, in-store deposits at thousands of stores in Germany, Italy, and Austria, daily prize draws, Wise money transfers, savings and joint accounts, group expenses, and more. 

I can already recommend this account, but one tier above it is where it’s at. 

Bunq Easy Money Account 

With Easy Money, you get all the features of the Easy Bank Account, plus more. You can do many cool things, including ordering a metal card. However, to be able to order it for free, you need to prepay for 24 months of account membership (€215.76). Ouch!

Apart from that, you can also split bills with friends, family, or roommates, for example. You can connect to Apple and Google Pay and have multiple sub-accounts.

There’s also the fact that you don’t get charged when using your card for non-Euro currency payments. It’s great to see budgeting features as well. Categorize your spending on auto-pilot to see how you can save money. 

If you want to save money further, auto round-ups should also help you. You also get the account switching service, 6 free ATM withdrawals per month, 25 virtual cards for safer online shopping, and 3 physical cards.

From my experience, where Easy Money separates itself the most from the tier below is the ability to have up to 5 local IBANs (NL, DE, ES, FR, and IE). You also get to save and spend in over 15 different currencies. 

Bunq Easy Green Account 

bunq easy green account

The Easy Green Account is pretty much the same as Easy Money. It’s just more, ahem, green.

Bunq claims you will get CO2-free in two years by planting a tree for every €100 you spend. You can also track your progress and how many trees you’ve already planted. 

You can also share tree planting with an additional person. They can also plant a tree when they spend €100 with their Bunq card, no matter what plan they’re on.

Apart from this green initiative, you also get purchase protection and an extended warranty covering your metal card purchases.  

Do I recommend this plan? If you want to solely plant trees, there are cheaper options out there. Plus, if you want a metal card, you’ll need to prepay a full year’s worth of membership (€215.88). 

Bunq Mobile App 

using bunq app

The Bunq app is fast and easy to use.

I like the layout and the dark theme, although it can be difficult to see in direct sunlight. 

Although some users found it to be buggy, I did have that experience.

You can download the app from Google Play and Apple App Store and enjoy a free 30-day trial. You can choose the account you want at this point. 

You just have to remember to either cancel the plan altogether if you aren’t satisfied or move to a lower plan if you don’t want to remain on the top, Easy Green Account. 

Bunq Cards 

As I already mentioned, you can get one plastic card (Easy Bank), or a combination of three plastic and/or metal cards (Easy Money & Green). 

Being currently on the Easy Money plan, I have three plastic cards and Google Pay. This is handy, as I gave my wife one card, I keep one in my wallet, and one serves as a backup. 

I can also use up to 25 virtual cards for online shopping. Bunq calls them Digicards. 

Then there’s the Metal card you can get by prepaying all 12 or 24 months of your Easy Green or Easy Money accounts, respectively. The Metal card’s main benefits are purchase protection and an extended warranty for things you buy with it. 

You also get a tree planted for you for every €100 you spend with the card. 

Lastly, there are Mastercard credit cards that you can get on any plan except the free one. Apparently, some hotels don’t accept Bunq debit cards (I didn’t have any issues), so the bank decided to issue this credit card that’s “the most accepted card”. 

It comes in handy if you don’t want a “real” credit card but still want to rent a car, for instance. Car rental companies typically accept only credit cards. Otherwise, you have to pay for the deposit.

With a Bunq credit card, the entire retainer of the deposit gets taken from your Bunq balance, but you get it back in your account once it’s released. 

Joint account

Two or more bunq account holders can enter to have a Joint account together. This is hardly anything new, but it’s a convenient option. The maximum number of people in a joint account is 10, and no one can join later on, unfortunately. 

To set up one, select in the app Joint Account > Get a Joint account, personalize it, and choose who you want to share it with. All the joint account members are its owners, so the account is in all their names. 

There’s no limit as to how many Joint accounts you can open and all the account owners get an instant notification when there’s been a deposit or payment made.

There’s also an option to connect an account. This is different from the Joint account. A connected account is a sub-account in your name only where you give access to a friend or family member. 

Business Accounts

Apart from personal accounts, Bunq also offers business accounts for freelancers, sole proprietors, LLCs, traders, and partnerships, depending on the country.

For instance, if you live in Ireland or Italy, you can only open a Bunq business account if you are a sole proprietor. 

On the other hand, Dutch Austrian, German, and French business owners are eligible for an account with their companies and other complex business ventures. 

The business plans are carbon copies of personal plans and have the exact same features across the three paid and one free account. However, they are a bit more expensive. Here are the prices:

  • Easy Savings (free)
  • Easy Bank (€6.99/m)
  • Easy Money (€12.99/m)
  • Easy Green(€22.99/m)

As you can see from the photo above, there are some business-specific things you get, too.

For instance, all accounts allow you to invite your company directors to share custody of your business account and efficiently control finances together.

Additionally, Easy Money and Easy Green also get bookkeeping software integration, AutoVAT, so you can automatically set aside VAT on your payments, as well as the ability to have multiple trade names which enables you to choose which TN your clients see.

Local IBANs 

Just like Wise, Bunq now offers local IBANs. To be exact, you can get up to 5 IBANs (compared to Wise’s 10). These local IBANs are:

  • Dutch
  • Irish
  • German
  • French
  • Spanish

As you may have noticed, they’re all in the euro currency. Compare that to Wise, which offers 10 different currency IBANs, including three from the EU itself. But then again, Wise is focused on the whole world, and Bunq only on Europe. 

However, even these can be very useful if you’re relocating within Europe and you want to avoid IBAN discrimination. Yup, that’s a real thing. 

Local IBANs can help you save on transfer fees when you make or receive payments and employers and government institutions shouldn’t make a fuss about you not having the “right” IBAN. 

Local Currency

Hand in hand with local IBANs go local currencies. You can, in fact, hold, save, and spend in 15 different currencies. Although you won’t get a different IBAN for any of these, you still save money when buying or transferring money as you are doing a currency conversion. 

If you enable the feature called Autoselect, the app will automatically use different currencies (if you have them) to pay for things and services.  

So, for instance, if you’re buying something from a Swiss website and you have the Swiss franc, among other currencies in your account, the app will choose the franc to pay for it, and not your default currency that might be different. Thus saving you money because no fx was involved. 

So, if you’re like me, getting paid in dollars sometimes, you can keep them in your Bunq account without converting them to euros, and pay for US-based subscriptions, services, and things.

Is Bunq a real bank? Is Bunq legit?

Yes, Bunq is a real, legit bank licensed in the Netherlands and has a full European Banking Permit. That means your deposits are insured up to €100,000 if something happens with Bunq. 

The Dutch Deposit Guarantee ensures that De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the central bank of the Netherlands, makes reimbursements to account holders (up to €100k).

Customer Reviews

Bunq has a 3.2 rating out of more than 4,119 reviews on Trustpilot, with 39% of customer reviews saying that it’s an excellent service and only 46% that it’s bad. 

That’s not a great score, is it? Most bad reviews mention awful customer service and not being able to open an account in the first place. I can’t attest to any of these as I didn’t have any issues using it. 

Competitors 

There’s no shortage of competitors in the EU market at the moment. For instance, there’s N26, a German digital bank that offers free and paid personal and business accounts.

There’s also the digital-banking behemoth, Revolut that’s available not only in Europe, but in the USA, Australia, Japan, and other countries. In the UK, there are Monzo and Starling, two challenger banks at the top of their game. 

Lastly, Monese is another competitor that’s present in both the EEA and the UK. 

About the Author

Chief Editor at TopMobileBanks

Adrian is a fintech expert who has tested hundreds of financial apps, cards, and accounts. His love for testing digital banks, payment apps, and financial products, in general, is unmatched.

How many digital banking accounts can one man have?

Not enough, if you ask Adrian. As his wallet will soon explode if he doesn’t cut back on the number of cards.

On the plus side, they have enabled him to create awesome How-To Guides that you can read on our site.

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