bunq Review

Learn more about bunq's plans and pricing in our comprehensive review

May 28, 2022


General information

bunq is a mobile-first bank from Amsterdam, Netherlands. Founded in 2012 by a tech entrepreneur Ali Niknam, bunq received a full-fledged banking license from the Dutch National Bank in 2015, making it the first fully-licensed grassroots bank to appear in The Netherlands in the last 35 years. The company has since grown into a leading European mobile bank available in more than 18 countries, reaching over €1B in user deposits in early 2021. bunq has since been actively shifting its focus towards sustainability, enabling bunq users to have collectively planted over 3 million trees. The neobank offers a variety of plans for both individuals and business customers and this review will guide you through all the pros and cons of getting a bank account at bunq.

bunq: Quick Summary

Founded 2015
Headquarters Amsterdam, NL
Users > 2'300'000
Official website bunq.com
Available in 18 countries
Sign-up bonus 30 days free trial
Free tier Not available
Currencies EUR, USD, GBP, BGN, PLN, CHF
bunq Travel Card
bunq's rainbow-colored cards always grab attention when paying

bunq offers online banking for both individuals and companies via a slick mobile app available for both Android and iOS. As bunq's banking license originates from The Netherlands, users automatically get a bank account with a Dutch IBAN (International Bank Account Number), however, customers from Germany, France and Spain get a bank account with an IBAN from their country by default. A new feature called "Local IBANs" also allows users to get multiple bank accounts from various countries.

Available plans: Personal banking

bunq has a grand total of three different subscriptions available to both individuals and businesses. They all have funky names that reinforce bunq's idea that managing personal finances does not have to be as complicated as some banks make it. These three plans are: Easy Bank, Easy Money and Easy Green.

Easy Bank

€2,99 p/m

Easy Bank, an entry-level plan of bunq, is a very basic bank account you'd use for your everyday expenses. Despite only offering one card with this plan, it is as a full-blown account, allowing you to enjoy interbank exchange rate on your travels, as well as categorizing your payments and getting interest rate on the funds in your current account, providing serious security and a rainbow-colored card. Just like the name suggests, it's a great choice when looking for a simple bank!

Easy Money

€8,99 p/m

Easy Money is the mid-tier subscription that’s packed with a ton of budgeting and automation features from the Dutch bank. Right out of gate you can have up to 25 accounts in your plan, all are full-fledged bank accounts with a unique IBAN, along with up to 3 debit or credit cards for free. This plan is for anyone who want to have a nice overview of their finances in one place and use bunq as their main account.

Note! bunq also offers a plan called "Pack". For €23,99 you and your friends can get up to 4 accounts, resulting in €5,99 subscriptions for everyone (saving €3 per month per person!). Ever better, you can have a Pack with 3 personal and 1 business Easy Money subscriptions, saving you and your friends or partner a grand total of €14 every month! Great value for freelancers and small-scale online entrepreneurs.

Easy Green

€17,99 p/m

This is the ultimate plan where you can enjoy all bunq has to offer. The main difference between Easy Green and Easy Money is the ability to plant trees with all your card payments. For every €100 you spend using your bunq card, a tree gets planted, thanks to a partnership with Eden Foundation. Doing so, according to bunq, leads to an average user becoming CO2-neutral within 2 years.

Account comparison table can be found below. Interested? Visit bunq's website and download the app!

Plan Easy Bank Easy Money Easy Green
Account
Price, p/m €2,99 €8,99 €17,99
Sub-accounts 1 up to 25 IBANs
Shared Accounts yes (included for free)
Cards
Included 1 3 3
Maestro yes yes yes
Debit no yes yes
Credit no yes yes
Virtual no yes yes
Various Fees
Lost card 1 free per year, then €9,99
ATMs 4 free per month, then €0,99
Refused DD €0,00
SEPA €0,00
Interest rate on accounts
Current 0,09% up to €10'000
Savings 0,09% up to €10'000
Contactless payments with bunq

Unique Features at bunq

bunq offers a variety of amazing features you can't find at other banks. Here is our list of top 5 best benefits bunq users enjoy.

Dual PIN

Thanks to an ability to create up to 25 standalone bank accounts each with its own IBAN within your bunq account, you can easily budget by separating your recurring expenses, entertainment allowance, groceries and savings into separate accounts. However, adding Dual Pin to the mix supercharges that option - you can, for example, set up one of your cards in a way that entering one PIN at checkout makes the transaction deduct money from your "Groceries" account, and entering another PIN code automatically uses the bank account you share with your partner or roommates. Extremely cool and allows you to take smart budgeting to a whole new level!

bunq.me

Somewhat poorly explained on bank's website, bunq.me is your personal payment request link. For each of your accounts, you can create a unique URL, which you can then share with all of your friends to get paid back easily and quickly. With a URL like "bunq.me/yourname", it's easy to remember and you can get paid back immediately after creation. You can collect payments via iDEAL, SOFORT, simple SEPA transfers and even credit card payments (although, these do come with a rough 2,5% fee). The link is fully customizable and you can change the text, account it's linked to as well as a background picture. Never has getting money back from your friends after buying a communal birthday present been easier than with bunq.me!

Receipt scanning

A flashy feature that can save some hassle and get a few "wow" responses from your friends. Imagine this: you're about to head out for a picnic with some friends, you go to a store beforehand, buy a bunch of things, then simply take a photo of the receipt and send your friends a link through which they can just select the items they pay for and send you an instant transaction with zero fees! The OCR isn't perfect, but it's still an insanely cool feature.

True Name

bunq were the first to start offering MasterCard True Name in Europe. In the day and age where people might not have an easy time identifying with the name in their IDs, bunq offers users an option to choose the name to be displayed on their cards, whatever it is.

Insights

Automatic payment categorization (which, of course, you can manually tweak yourself) provides you with a neat overview of your past expenses (split into tabs like "Household", "Entertainment", "Groceries", etc), while the (admittedly poor) balance prediction graph lets you plan your budget for the next few weeks.

Auto-save

Round up your expenses to the next Euro and store the change away in a special pocket with a predefined "Savings Goal" you set, and see how quickly these cents add up over time. What's even better is that you can set up a joint savings goal with your friends or family and contribute to a shared account together - all included in your subscription!

The freshest (as of early 2022) Dutch unicorn is always working on adding more exciting features, so if you don't see something you like on here, it' always worth a shot to send bunq's support team a message - bunq fulfilling users' wishes happened before already!

Pros & Cons of bunq

Advantages

  • Flexibility for budgeting - especially if you get Easy Money or Easy Green, it’s quite simple to set up a sub-account for all your budgeting categories and making it possible to have a clearer idea of your finances. Their Payment sorter feature distributes your income automatically based on your choice to your sub-accounts.
  • Local IBAN and bank details - customers in Germany, France and Spain can have local IBAN for their sub-accounts with bunq, customers elsewhere will get Dutch IBANs by default.
  • Unique features - bunq offers some pretty unique features that you might find handy. Dual PIN, for example, allows you to link one card to 2 of your sub-accounts.
  • Freedom of Choice - bunq takes a stance on ethical investments and has even given that power to its customers. You can choose in the app where your deposits can get invested.
  • Become green without doing anything - with the Easy Green plan you can contribute to the forestation of specific regions in the world by making payments with your card.
  • Perfect for the Netherlands - bunq has iDin, iDEAL and an easily accessible camera.

Disadvantages

  • Cost: obviously, the plans at bunq are quite a bit pricier than you'd expect, however, if you're using bunq to its fullest (payments in currency, multiple active cards, using a few sub-accounts, etc.), it still comes out way cheaper than the competition. The question is if you indeed need all of that at your disposal.
  • Customer support: all support questions are dealt with digitally through bunq's in-app support chat or email. If you are really keen to speak with someone about your questions then bunq might not be for you (which, to be fair, is also the case with most digital banks out there).
  • An abundance of marketing communication: bunq really likes to ensure their customers are aware of what's hot this month.
  • Somewhat confusing UI: it's really not that bad if you get used to it, but some things are just not intuitive at all even after using the app for some time.
  • Not all payment methods supported: while bunq does support Apple Pay and Google Pay, some of the lesser known methods are not available. For example, bunq does not support Garmin Pay or Fitbit Pay. Samsung Pay is also unavailable to bunq users.
bunq Metal Card

bunq: Frequently Asked Questions

What is SWIFT code for bunq? What is bunq BIC?

bunq's Bank Identifier Code (BIC or SWIFT code) differs depending on what country the bank account you use is from. They are:

  • NL IBANs = BUNQNL2AXXX
  • DE IBANs = BUNQDE82XXX
  • FR IBANs = BUNQFRP2XXX
  • ES IBANs = BUNQESM2XXX

IBAN for the Local Currency feature is from the United Kingdom and has a UK IBAN and has a BIC/SWIFT code TCCLGB3LXXX.

Do I get a Dutch IBAN with bunq?

Even though bunq is a Dutch bank, users residing in Germany will get German IBANs, just like residents of France and Spain would get French and Spanish IBANs respectively. Users from other countries get a Dutch IBAN (starts with "NLXX BUNQ ..."). You can also get bank accounts in multiple countries at bunq, but that niche feature comes for an additional cost. And, just in case, IBAN stands for "International Bank Account Number".

Does bunq have hidden fees? What's the actual pricing?

Most of the "bread and butter" banking services are already included in the bunq subscription. That means there are no fees for having up to 3 active physical cards and 5 virtual ones, just like there are no fees on bank transfers in Europe, having multiple sub-accounts or the first 4 ATM withdrawals a month. There are, of course, exceptions - SWIFT payments, holding very large (over €100'000) amounts in your account or replacing your lost card more than once a year are examples of that. Make sure to read through the pricing document on bunq's website.

How does bunq Pack work?

bunq Pack allows you to have up to four Easy Money personal (or 3 personal and 1 business) subscriptions for a reduced price of €23,99 (€5,99 per account). One account becomes the "pack owner" and gets billed €23,99 every month, the other pack members then receive a monthly €0,00 (yes, zero!) invoice. The smart thing to do when joining a pack is to set up a recurring payment of your share to the pack owner triggering every month and forget about it!

Does bunq offer a credit card?

Yes and no. bunq does offer a MasterCard Credit card, however, there is no credit line or overdraft possible. It's still useful because certain merchants (for example, car rentals or hotels) frequently require you to pay with a credit card, and the bunq credit card will be helpful in that case. And you can pay virtually everywhere online using it as well.

What's a bunq Travel Card?

bunq Travel Card is a discontinued product and subscription. It is now called simply "bunq Credit Card". The benefits of the travel card (for example, ZeroFX, the "no exchange rate, save up to 3% in currency" feature) are also available using a "standard" bunq credit card. And it looks the same!

Can you have a shared bank account at bunq?

Yes! In fact, this feature is free and included in Easy Money and Easy Green plans. There are two ways to share an account at bunq and the difference is subtle, but significant from a legal point of view. One option is called "Connect": providing access to your bank account (called "sub-accounts" at bunq - you can have up to 25 for free!) to up to 9 other people. The other, called "joint account", is a bank account with multiple equal owners. You can also have a shared savings goal, where both your and your partner's daily expenses are rounded up to the nearest euro, and the spare change gets transferred to a shared bank account with a set goal (say, a trip for two!).

How do I contact bunq?

You can reach bunq support via the in-app chat, the response time is within 3 hours on most weekdays. Alternatively, you can email bunq at support@bunq.com, also for formal complaints. Their legal address is 1043 BS Amsterdam, Naritaweg 131-133 (The Netherlands). You can report bunq scam on bunq's website.

Is bunq trustworthy?

bunq has a full official banking license granted by one of Europe's strictest and most respected regulators, the Dutch National Bank. That means all user deposits (up to €100'000) at bunq are insured via the Deposit Guarantee Scheme backed by the government of The Netherlands. That also means that the bank undergoes the same level of scrutiny and compliance checks that bigger "traditional" banks like ING, ABN-AMRO and Rabobank do. bunq's operations are also subject to Dutch law, which is notoriously pro-consumer, so you can be fully confident your money is safe at bunq.


Conclusion: Is bunq worth the price tag?

bunq definitely has quite a lot to offer to the user. From automatic salary sorting in essentially unlimited sub-accounts and automatic payment categorisation, to shared accounts included in subscription and personalized payment request links, there's nothing bunq can't do. However, it does come at a price (with Easy Money plan being by far the best value for money), and the price is a bit higher than a few euros a month. bunq has a tendency to overhaul their features, plans, the app's UI and core concepts quite a lot. It's evident the company's still in active discovery phase, so it rarely goes a few months without a change, but the recent niche it seems to want to occupy is essentially being a Gen Z "social experience". A completely unnecessary and an incredibly buggy attempt at recreating Google Maps that borders on creepy that no sane person would ever opt in to? An Instagram-like "Community" tab with a feed full of travel advice and news nobody cares about? I doubt there's even a single person on Earth who'd want these in their personal banking app. It's a shame bunq doesn't just proudly stick to what's great about it (unique features, powerful OpenAPI with endless automation possibilities, and generally enabling users to bank the way they want) and instead awkwardly tries to hop on the bandwagon of what's trending nowadays.

bunq Travel card
bunq Metal card

But, greenwashing and "social" craze aside, bunq still is a solid high-tech neobank with a full-fledged banking license granted by a reputable regulatory authority in one of the world's best countries in terms of justice systems and economy. bunq is a true budgeting and money administration powerhouse that's insanely convenient when you finally get used to a non-intuitive and cluttered app. Besides, having 3 cards of any type you want (Maestro, Mastercard Debit and Credit), as well as virtual cards for safe online payments!) included in your plan is extremely useful, no matter how you do your banking!

bunq offers a 30 days "no strings attached' free trial of their most expensive plan (Easy Green) completely free (and it will prompt and notify you before the trial ends), and you can order as many as 3 physical cards for free in that timeframe. Try it yourself and see if it's something that's right for you yourself, and you'll have a month to decide if it's worth it.


Featured articles

Fintech Compass logo