Space bank vs RedBank vs Foundation: Where do you open the best FREE business account?
The German Space bank, the British RedBank and the Finnish Foundation are just three examples of providers of free business accounts. This can be useful, because if you are just starting out in business, you also pay attention to the little ones. But sometimes cheap is also expensive. Whether that is also the case with (one of) these online banks? Perhaps. And that's why we delved deeper into the matter: what is the best FREE business account?
Best free business account in a nutshell
If we list these three banks, Space bank is without a doubt the winner. After all, this is the bank that comes closest to an ultimate free service and the only institution that really offers an unlimited number of free transactions and checking and savings accounts. Here you can read more about Space bank's free business account .
Open a Space bank account for free now .
The Mastercard becomes $ 34.80 per year
The differences at a glance
Space bank, RedBank and Foundation are similar in most respects. All three are online challenger banks. Started from another country (Germany, England and Finland respectively) but working hard to conquer the European market, including the Netherlands.
So where do they differ?
The three online banks differ in 3 categories:
- transactions are / are not free
- covered / not covered by deposit guarantee scheme (where your money is safe up to $ 100,000)
- Charges for payments and receipts in foreign currency
- Charges for cash withdrawals
|Transactions||free||up to 60 p / y free||free|
|Money safe in the event of bankruptcy ( deposit guarantee system )||Yes||Yes||No|
|payment and transfers in foreign currency||Costs variable (avg. 0.7%)||$ 3 + 0.4%||not possible|
|pin in and and EU||5x per month free, then 1.7%||$ 300 a month free, then 2%||2.5% surcharge|
|debit cards in foreign currency||1.7%||$ 300 a month free, then 2%||2.5% surcharge|
|open an account||in 8 minutes ( online here )||in 15 minutes ( online here )||in 10 minutes ( online here )|
Each account has its own purpose
All-round, Space bank wins by a big lead over its two competitors RedBank and Foundation. But the two stragglers don't have to be a bad choice, it depends on what you need.
Foreign currency? Then RedBank is the cheapest choice for you.
Do you want to invoice through your bank? Then Foundation offers a better solution.
|The best free account, which comes closest to ultimate free.||Open space bank for free|
|The cheapest option for payment and receipt in foreign currency.||Open RedBank for free|
|For the freelancer who also wants to arrange invoicing through the bank.|| Open Foundation for free|
We start with Space bank - founded in 2013 with the aim of providing ZAP employees with a free, mobile bank account. This German bank allows you to open an account free of charge. There, in addition to a free debit Mastercard, you also receive a free debit card from Maestro, provided you have at least $ 100 in your account. Moreover, the number of free transactions per year is unlimited and the online request of this total package takes you little time: about eight minutes. At Space bank it is also possible to request an unlimited number of free checking and savings accounts.
That is not all in terms of benefits. Space bank also offers its customers a wide range of extra functionalities, such as sending payment requests, the installation of payment alerts on your smartphone and contactless payment with mobile, for both Android and iOS users. And in an emergency you can always log in via Space bank's website.
Unique to N26's app is that transactions are automatically recognized and categorized. A business lunch is categorized as Bars & Restaurants , while your train ticket and a taxi ride are categorized as Transport & Car . This way you have a handy overview per month where how much money goes - and where it arrives.
Should Space bank go bankrupt, which we of course do not hope, then you are covered up to and including $ 100,000.
Indeed - that is the same cover amount as in the Netherlands.
Free is really free
Perhaps the most important advantage of Space bank: free is really free. With other providers, only the basis - the bill itself - is free, but you pay for extras such as transactions.
For transfers in other currencies you get the most advantageous exchange rate, Space bank works together with Wellspring Bank. Result: lower exchange rates than any other bank.
No bank statements
Are there any drawbacks? Perhaps the fact that bank statements and urgent payments are not possible. Now that is a side effect, but for a modern organization that focuses so much on entrepreneurs, it has something remarkable.
The biggest advantages of Space bank
- An unlimited number of free transactions;
- An unlimited number of free checking and savings accounts;
- A free bank card from Maestro.
The biggest drawbacks of Space bank
- Bank statements are not possible;
- Urgent payments are also not possible;
- Only for sole proprietorships without employees. not for VOFs or BVs
Open a Space bank account for free now .
The Mastercard becomes $ 34.80 per year
Just like Space bank, the British company RedBank also focuses on the self-employed. ZAP employees who close an account with RedBank are allowed to make sixty free transactions per year. To do this, you request your own card within a few minutes, after which you get access to a modern, online banking environment that offers essentially everything a regular bank does.
Note that 60 transactions per year is on the low side, an average self-employed person does 160 transactions per year. RedBank is therefore not completely free for most self-employed people. For those 100 extra transactions you still have to spend $ 20.00 per year.
Just like Space bank and Foundation, RedBank offers a debit Mastercard. Basically the same as a credit card, but pre-paid. The card is linked to Your business account, so you can only spend money that you actually have.
A disadvantage of the RedBankCard: the shipping costs are charged to your account.
Make no mistake, a debit card is not the same as your normal payment card that you know from your current bank, which is a Maestro card. At Space bank you do get a Maestro card, but RedBank unfortunately does not offer that option.
That is why you cannot use Your RedBank card in all shops in the Netherlands. Albert Heijn, Primera, but also a lot of other large retail chains only accept Maestro cards; no debit or credit cards.
With all the advantages mentioned above, RedBank tries to compete with all kinds of existing banks. RedBank has a banking license. And so RedBank is officially a bank and they come under the deposit guarantee scheme.
The biggest benefits of RedBank
- A handy and affordable credit card;
- A modern, online banking environment;
- The same functionalities and status as a regular bank.
The biggest drawbacks of RedBank
- Sixty free transactions instead of an unlimited number of free transactions;
- only debit Mastercard, no Maestro payment card.
RedBank is the best choice if you have a lot of payments and receipts in foreign currencies.
A third option for taking out a free business account can be found in the form of the Finnish company Foundation. This bank was launched in 2011 in the Finnish capital Helsinki, but now has head offices in various locations in Europe, including Berlin and Madrid.
Again, this is a bank specifically aimed at entrepreneurs - or as Foundation calls it: 'A bank for makers and doers'. This includes the necessary benefits, such as a free bank account and a free debit card, again a prepaid card, this time from Mastercard. Transfers also cost you nothing, although you do have to pay a 2.5 percent surcharge when you withdraw cash.
However, the biggest advantage of Foundation is not in free bank accounts or debit cards, but in the available add-ons specifically for entrepreneurs. Foundation, for example, has an integrated invoice function. You can easily create your invoices within the online environment. These are then automatically integrated into your bank statement. This way you immediately see which amounts you still have to receive and which invoices have been paid. You even receive push notifications when a customer takes a little too long to arrive. Very handy - and it also makes external invoice administration superfluous.
Foundation also enables entrepreneurs to create their own webshop. Not a web store with thousands of products, of course. But it is a simple, online store that is easy to set up.
There are of course also disadvantages. These mainly relate to the prepaid Mastercard, which is not accepted in all Dutch stores because of the high costs for the retailers. Just like RedBank. In addition, the Finnish organization may have discovered the Netherlands, but they are not yet optimally prepared for all Dutch payment methods: iDeal, for example, is not yet recognized. Unfortunately, we see that drawback with all three free business accounts.
The biggest advantages of Foundation's free business account:
- Unique features for the self-employed, such as the ability to integrate invoices;
- The ability to open a webshop.
The big set of disadvantages of Foundation
- 500 free transactions instead of an unlimited number;
- A prepaid MasterCard that is not widely accepted;
- No integration with iDeal.
What's the best free business account?
If we list these three banks, Space bank is without a doubt the winner. This is the bank that comes closest to ultimate free-of-charge and the only institution that really offers an unlimited number of free transactions and checking and savings accounts.
RedBank and Foundation are both on their way to keeping up with the German company, but for the time being they are struggling with start-up problems - in the Netherlands, at least. At Foundation, this is mainly due to the fact that they are not yet fully prepared for the Netherlands: the prepaid Mastercard is not yet accepted everywhere and the Finnish bank does not recognize iDeal.
Not yet, at least. It may all be different in a number of years, but for the time being we think that you open the best, free business account at Space bank. Read more about Space bank here or open the free account here in 8 minutes .