- Easy to open online
- Personal and business accounts
- Credit card and metal card
- No hidden fees
- No monthly fee
This widely successful digital bank from Brazil has transformed into the biggest fintech in Latin America. In this Nubank review, find out why they’re special, what fees if any do they charge, and have a look inside their personal and business accounts. But first, here’s our short verdict:
Nubank is making all the right moves to attract tens of millions of customers that were either disappointed with the big banks or were totally ignored and neglected. If they continue on this path, there’s no stopping them and they will take over the whole of Latin America in the years to come.
This fintech giant was founded in 2013 by Colombian David Vélez, Brazilian Cristina Junqueira, and American Edward Wible. The first-ever Nubank transaction was made on April 1st, 2014.
Their first product, a credit card, was the perfect entry into the profitable Brazilian banking market as credit card interest rates were up to 400% a year at the time. It was easy for them to lure in new customers with invite-only applications and offer a credit card without any fees that you could apply for online and get in only two days.
Two years into the banking business, Nubank already had more than one million users acquired by word of mouth.
Why is Nubank so special?
If the fact that Nubank is the biggest fintech in Latin America is not enough for you, you’ll be happy to know that they’re super popular because of their fee-free credit card that gives you discounts if you prepay your installments.
The personal and even business account are free of charge with instant free transfers between any and all banks and financial institutions. And if you’re feeling fancy, you can get a purple metal card that will get looks whenever you get it out of your pocket. On second thought, you might want to be more discreet with it. You never know how’s looking.
Pros and cons
As with any digital bank, Nubank has some upsides and some downsides. But, being such a huge financial institution in Latin America, it surprisingly doesn’t have many things going against it. Here are the pros and cons of Nubank Brazil.
- Almost no fees
- Free credit card
- Free business and personal accounts
- Instant money transfers
- Lackluster business account
- No monthly fee
- No annuities
- Free instant transfers
- R$6.50 per ATM withdrawal
Who can open a Nubank account?
To open a Nubank banks account, you have to be a resident of Brazil, have a regular CPF status on the Receira Federal Brasileira, and be older than 18. Nubank is also available in Mexico and Colombia.
How to open a Nubank account?
You can open a Nubank account in minutes by visiting the Nubank website or by downloading their app on the Apple App Store or on Google Play. There are no credit checks when opening an account and the only thing that is performed is the enrollment analysis.
To open a Nubank business account, tap the Settings icon and select the “Conta PJ” option. The business account is only available for existing Nubank customers that are sole proprietors, individual entrepreneurs, and self-employed professionals.
How to add funds?
It’s easy to add funds. You can make a bank transfer, set up direct deposit, or top up by cash.
- Free of charge
- Earns interest
- Direct debit
- Easy to pay bills
- Free debit card
- Free and unlimited transfers
Nubank personal account, formerly known as NuConta, is a checking and savings account in one. All your deposits earn you a daily interest at 100% of the Interbank Deposit Rate. The interest rate is higher the longer you leave it in the account.
For instance, if you choose a specific date to reclaim your money (term deposit), one year will get you 104% of the CDI, two years 113%, three years 119%, and four years 121%.
Because the Nubank account is free of fees, the company claims that their clients save up to R$370 per year.
You can get a free debit card with your Nubank account if you apply for one. Access ‘Settings’ in the app and select ‘Pedir função débito’. Your card will be ready in no time and you can use it with both credit and debit uses.
- Open to small business owners
- sole proprietors,
- individual entrepreneurs,
- self-employed professionals
- Have to be an existing Nubank customer
- No annuity or monthly fees
- Free and unlimited transfers to any bank
- Pay bills, business taxes, and fees
Nubank’s business account is a rather new feature that is open only to existing Nubank customers that are sole owners or freelancers. It makes it easy to open an account and separate personal from business transactions. You do everything from one app with transparency and no paperwork.
It’s best suited for entrepreneurs looking for a no-frills bank account so that they can focus solely on their business.
The best thing is that it’s free and has a range of methods to make and receive payments and to send money to others or to pay bills and taxes.
With Nubank you have the option to get one of three cards. The debit card is the most straightforward one but you need to apply to get it. It doesn’t come by default. It is completely free, though and it works differently than a credit card.
With a debit card, you can only spend what is on your payment account. You can’t go into debt.
Next up is the credit card. It’s sleek and purple with a vertical design that only displays your name. The rest of the card details can only be accessed through the Nubank app.
You can choose your credit card limit in the app as well if you feel like you should scale back on spending a bit or if you need more money at your disposal. Also, if you pay your installments early, you get a discount.
If you’re looking for something special, you can get a new ultraviolet credit card that’s made of metal. Nubank is certainly following in Revolut’s footsteps with this feature.
The bad thing is that you’ll have to join a waitlist to get it. It might be a marketing gimmick but we’ll look through the fingers this time.
You can get your new Ultravioleta in three ways:
- Pay R$49 per month
- Have at R$150,000+ saved or invested between Nubank and Easynvest
- Have average spending of R$ 5,000 in the last 90 days
So, what are the benefits of this cool-looking card? You get:
- Travel medical insurance
- Baggage insurance
- VIP lounge access
- Free WiFi at any airport
- Double warranty on all products
- Purchase protection
- 1% cashback
As a curiosity, I have to mention that if you don’t redeem the cashback from your account, it will continue to grow at 200% of the CDI.
Like most digital banks, most of your banking with Nubank will be conducted via its app. This app is easy to use and well designed, providing a perfectly convenient platform to fulfill all your banking on the go.
They recently launched a redesigned look that does feel different. If you’ve only ever used the old app, it might take some time to get used to the new layout.
But, changes had to be made to accommodate the new products: the Nubank account, Nubank Rewards, and the business PJ account.
Instant payments are called Pix. With Pix, you can make the fastest and the most practical money transfers between different banks and financial institutions for free.
The transfers are almost instant and all you need is a Pix key to send or receive money. No need for bank details.
Simply use CPF or CNPJ, a phone number, email, or random key as a Pix key.
Nubank offers loans at fair rates. They’re also fully transparent about when and how much you’ll have to pay, even offering simulations so you can see when you’ll have to pay before undertaking a loan.
Loans are still a new feature to the NuConta account, so not everyone will be eligible. Still, if these are rolled out more widely, they are bound to be popular.
Life insurance has also stepped into the insurance game with their Nubank Vida life insurance. To apply for it, you need to be a Nubank customer.
You pay a monthly amount that starts at R$9 per month and if something unforeseen happens, you or your beneficiaries, receive the contracted amount, which can reach up to R$150,000.
In the event of death, your beneficiaries should quickly receive the full amount of the coverage, exempt from Income Tax.
The insurer responsible for Nubank’s life insurance is Chubb, one of the world’s biggest players in the insurance industry.
Who owns Nubank?
Nubank was founded in 2013 by Adam Edward Wible, Cristina Junqueira, David Velez (CEO). Its headquarters are in São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The company raised more than $2.3 billion from 12 rounds of funding. The last corporate round brought in $750 million in June 2021.
It has 24 investors, including heavy hitters such as Berkshire Hathaway, Sequoia Capital, Sands Capital Ventures, MSA Capital, Tencent, and others.
How is Nubank regulated?
Nubank is licensed by MasterCard to issue credit and debit cards within their network in Brazil. Nubank got its full banking license in 2017 after several years of not being able to get one.
Is my money safe with Nubank?
Until June 2019, the Nubank account had no FGC coverage because the deposited money was invested in government bonds. In other words: all the money deposited was invested in government bonds and offered a yield of 100% of the CDI.
With the launch of the investment option in RDB, in June, the Nubank account is now covered by the FGC – as the RDBs are in the fund’s range of coverage.
This means that Nubank account customers who choose to make deposits in RDB rather than government bonds are covered by the FGC.
You can reach the Nubank support 24/7 on their email email@example.com, call them on 0800 591 2117, or chat directly in the app.
Nubank has a 3.6-star rating out of 5 on Trustpilot, with 71% of 21 reviewers giving it an excellent mark and 19% a bad one.
Banco Inter also offers a fee-free digital bank account with free money transfers, a credit card with no annual fee, and with free withdraws in any Banco24Horas ATM network, something that Nubank doesn’t offer.
Banco Pan also has a credit card with no annual fees, free Pix money transfers, emergency overdraft, but also personal loans with rates starting at 2.90% per month.
C6 was founded in 2019 by former partners at Banco BTG Pactual, Latin America’s largest independent investment bank. C6 already has 7 million customers by some accounts. They offer free personal and business accounts.
The bottom line
Nubank is a revolutionary banking service offering Brazilians a convenient and cost-effective way to bank, get paid, earn interest, and spend with minimal fees and complete transparency.
Nubank is probably best for personal customers. Their business account is still beta stage and offers little over and above the personal account – though it’s still free.
There’s little surprise that Nubank is quickly becoming the bank of choice among young Brazilians looking for an easy way to bank without paying excessive fees.