bunq is another of the new digital banks available in Ireland. We have already reviewed and compared similar digital banking apps such as
Note: – bunq also has a “premium” account that comes with a monthly fee – and some extra features – but we are reviewing the bunq Travel Card which has no monthly fees.
How does the bunq Travel Card work?
The bunq Travel Card is a prepaid Mastercard credit card that works just like a debit card. In the same way as all debit cards, every payment is deducted from the card balance straight away and you can’t spend more than the balance.
However, the bunq Travel Card is treated as a credit card by card machines which is great for car hire and hotel reservations. (As long as you have enough money on it.)
The majority of debit cards aren’t accepted for hotel or car hire reservations.
No credit checks are required with the bunq travel card.
No credit card stamp duty (€30) is charged by Revenue.
Under 18’s can apply for a bunq Travel Card – they just need permission form a parent or guardian.
Spending Money with bunq
The bunq travel card has a massive €50,000 maximum daily spending limit. The default limit is €1000 per day, but this can be altered at any time in the bunq app. This daily limit is a lot higher than similar cards and is excellent for large non-euro purchases. See this article for information about paying for a car in the UK
The bunq Travel card uses the Mastercard Exchange Rate with no foreign exchange fees.
There is a one-off fee of €9.99 to order the bunq travel card.
bunq is a fully licenced EU bank (unlike Revolut) – so your money is protected by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of the Dutch National Bank (DNB) up to €100,000
The bunq Travel Card can be used with Apple Pay and Google Pay by customers in Ireland .
Each ATM cash withdrawal costs €0.99c at home or abroad. There is a €500 daily withdrawal limit. (bunq uses the Mastercard Exchange Rate)
Topping up the bunq travel card
- Bank Transfer top ups are free.
- Top ups by an EU debit or credit card will incur a 0.5% fee
- Debit cards top ups with a non-EU card will incur a 2.5% fee
bunq is a fully licenced EU bank (unlike Revolut) – and any money held with them is protected by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of the Dutch National Bank (DNB) up to €100,000
A bunq premium account costs €7.99 a month – and it has the following extra features:
25 sub-accounts with unique IBANs possible
First €500 top up by debit card fee-free. (0.5% after that)
Joint Account Option (extra €2 per month)
10 Free ATM withdrawals a month.
You can try it for free for a month with no strings attached.
Alternatives to bunq
Transferwise has a multi currency Borderless Account . Transferwise is not a bank – but their electronic money account provides you with a valid UK account number and sort code that can be used in the same way as a normal UK bank account. They are authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). You also get accounts in Euro , US Dollars , Australian Dollars and New Zealand Dollars
You can also link the Transferwise account to their debit card for spending.
You can find out more and sign up for a Transferwise account here.
Monese is a UK based digital payment company that gives people living in Ireland the ability to have a UK Sterling account, with an account number and sort code, in GBP Pounds Sterling. You also get a Euro account.
Monese accounts are not full bank accounts – but their account numbers are treated like any normal bank account for receiving payments.