Fintech startup Bunq provides full-fledged bank accounts. But if you’re happy with your existing bank, the company is launching a new free tier so that you can cut down on banking fees.
The Bunq Travel Card is a Mastercard without any foreign exchange fee. The company uses the standard Mastercard exchange rate but doesn’t add any markup fee — N26 also uses Mastercard’s exchange rate. Most traditional banks charge you 2 or 3 percent for foreign transactions.
When you get a card, you can then top up your account in the Bunq app. You can also send and request money with other Bunq users. But it isn’t a full bank account.
While there is no fee on foreign transaction, you still have to pay €0.99 per ATM withdrawal. It also costs €9.99 to order a card, but there’s no monthly fee.
The company insists on one thing in particular. The Travel Card is a credit card. Revolut has been issuing prepaid cards for years, and it can create some issues. For instance, some hotels, rental car companies or gas stations don’t accept prepaid cards.
It isn’t a normal credit card as you can’t spend money you don’t have. You have to top up your Bunq account before using the card and overdrafts are disabled. In other words, if you don’t have enough money on your account, the transaction gets rejected.
The Bunq app lets you freeze and unfreeze your travel card. You can receive a notification every time a transaction is processed and you can set your own limits.
This new offering should boost signups for Bunq. And it could be a good way to attract premium subscribers. If you have bigger needs beyond a travel card, you’ll have to subscribe to a premium account for €7.99 per month.