Revolut is banking app and payment card that is aiming to be an alternative to traditional banking products, that is designed to fit the lives of those with a global lifestyle, or anyone who wants the flexibility that you cannot get from regular banks.
Revolut’s goal is to adapt to the needs of clients, giving them control. There are accounts for businesses and consumers, and Revolut offers global spending and international money transfers without any hidden fees.
Revolut has more than 2 million customers. According to its website, these customers have completed more than 150 million transactions for a total value of over £15 billion. Revolut has saved customers £560 million in fees thanks to its real exchange rates.
Looking for Revolut for Business? Read our Review.
What Can You Do with Revolut?
- 1 What Can You Do with Revolut?
- 2 Revolut is Filling in a Niche
- 3 Revolut Has New Banking Ideas
- 4 There are Three Major Systems to Transfer Money Internationally
- 5 Bank Transfers/SWIFT
- 6 Independent Transfer Agents/Western Union/Money Gram
- 7 ATM Withdrawals Overseas
- 8 Revolut Accounts
- 9 Revolut Fees Breakdown
- 10 Revolut Insurance for Premium and Metal Accounts
- 11 Revolut Helps You Meet Your Financial Goals
- 12 Spending Analytics
- 13 Automatic Savings
- 14 What Are Vaults?
- 15 Disposable Virtual Cards
- 16 Cryptos Are Back!
- 17 Cryptocurrency on Revolut
- 18 How to Fund Your Revolut Account
- 19 Sending Money Internationally with Revolut
- 20 Payments with Revolut
- 21 Support Charity
- 22 Is Revolut Secure?
- 23 Revolut Can Help You Get Ahead
- 24 Revolut is Part of a Bigger Financial Plan
- 25 Revolut Customer Support
- 26 Revolut Pros
- 27 Revolut Cons
- 28 The Revolut Controversies
- 29 The Missing Money
- 30 Conclusion
- 31 Revolut
- 32 Pros
- 33 Cons
Those who use Revolut can spend their money abroad without having to pay any hidden fees thanks to the contactless Revolut card. It works with more than 130 currencies, giving you the real exchange rate without having to rely on brokers or exchanges which offer bad exchange rates.
Revolut also offers the ability to send money around the world without hidden fees. This feature also works in more than 130 countries and provides fast, and secure money transfers. It also relies on the real exchange rate, which can let users save as much as 8 percent. You can use this feature to easily split bills with your family or friends or get paid back; they do not even need to download the app for you to receive the money.
Additionally, Revolut makes it easy to buy, hold, or exchange cryptocurrencies. You can swap Ether, Bitcoin, and Litecoin with one of 25 different fiat currencies, and like the other services, you always get the best rate.
Revolut even offers convenient methods for users to save money with ease. You can do this via a recurring payment to your savings or Vault, one-off contributions when you want, or rounding up each transaction. On a related note, users can utilize Revolut to track their spending via instant payment notifications as well as simple-to-understand analytics that categorize transactions, so you can stick to a budget.
Use Revolut to set up recurring payments and direct debits, as well. There is already support for this function in EUR, and it is coming soon for GBP.
Revolut is Filling in a Niche
International money transfers can get expensive. It doesn’t matter if you are using the SWIFT system, third party services like Western Union or just taking money out of your regular bank account in another country.
Revolut is probably looking to undercut these established markets, and pass the savings along to its customers. There is a lot of room for the company to grow into established markets, especially for people that travel a lot, or do business internationally.
Revolut Has New Banking Ideas
The established banking model is extremely dated. Banks assume that a person has a permanent place of residence, and will need localized financial services. This banking model does fit a lot of consumers out there, but it isn’t going to work for some people.
As soon as you cross a border, transferring money becomes a hassle. Pulling money out via an ATM card could be an option, but you will pay for it on both ends. Revolut is rethinking this profit-hungry banking model, and giving mobile professionals some better options.
Revolut is also an early adopter of crypto banking services. While the platform doesn’t give you the same kind of exposure to cryptos that a crypto wallet would, it is a good way to easily buy exposure to some of the major cryptos.
Once you buy cryptos with Revolut they can be used like cash with your account, and sent to other Revolut members. Check out the crypto section below for more info on how its crypto features work.
There are Three Major Systems to Transfer Money Internationally
Most people don’t deal with international money transfers, and the banks know they have the advantage. There haven’t been many options for people that didn’t want to use one of the three systems listed below. Now, Revolut is among the companies that are upending the status quo and they may be able to save you a lot of cash.
Since it was introduced in the 1970s, the SWIFT system has been the de-facto standard for international money transfers. Unfortunately, the SWIFT system was conceived at a time when the Fax machine was new technology.
The cost to use the SWIFT system is high by any measure. For large transactions (in excess of $10,000) the $50+ in fees for SWIFT transfers are negligible, but on smaller amounts they really take a bite out of the money that is being moved.
It is important to remember that interbank transfers are basically just book keeping entries, which invites a lot of questions on the topic of cost. There is no physical ‘money’ to speak of, which makes the costs associated with SWIFT look extreme for the work being done.
Independent Transfer Agents/Western Union/Money Gram
Even if you wanted to use the interbank system, it can be very difficult to open up a bank account in a foreign nation. Until recently services like Western Union were the only way to move money abroad. The fees to use these systems vary, but they aren’t especially competitive.
In addition to high fees, using independent transfer agents can be time consuming.
Not only does the sender have to visit an agent, the receiver also must wait for their money. There are few standards when it comes to customer service at independent transfer agents, so going this route could be both expensive and time consuming.
ATM Withdrawals Overseas
The rise of ATM machines has made it easier to access your bank account balance overseas, but this convenience can come at a high price. It is common for both banks to charge a fee to the person who is withdrawing cash abroad, and these fees can impact the cost of the transaction.
In addition to transaction fees, some banks also charge for using a card in another country. Needless to say, this is a less than perfect solution to spending your money abroad. Revolut was founded by people who understand these systems, and understand that creating efficiency can be a great business model.
You can get a UK current account or a European IBAN for free, without any credit check or proof of address. With those accounts, you can exchange and hold as many as 25 currencies, always getting access to the real exchange rate. The free account is also known as a Standard Account. It still delivers interbank FX rates, free bank transfers in 24 different fiat currencies, and £200 or €200 in free ATM withdrawals each month.
Premium accounts cost £6.99 per month and have similar amenities but increase the withdrawals to £400 or €400. This account also adds:
- Free turbo transfers
- Free overseas medical insurance
- Free unlimited FX volumes
- Delayed flight and delayed baggage insurance
- Free global express delivery to 180 countries in one to three working days
- Spare card to be activated with a tap
- Instant cryptocurrency access
- Exclusive priority 24/7 customer support
- Free disposable virtual cards
- Free exclusive premium cards
There is also a 14 percent discount on the fee if you pay upfront.
Metal accounts are new and cost £12.99 per month, increasing the ATM withdrawals to £600 or €600. They also add:
- Free exclusive concierge service
- Free exclusive Revolut Metal card
- As much as 1 percent cash back on every card payment in any supported currency (including cryptocurrencies)
- Access to special offers
There is a 23 percent discount for paying upfront. The Metal card is even made from one sheet of reinforced steel and weighs 18 grams. The concierge services include service at home and while abroad, including aid with flight bookings, hotel reservations, and exclusive events, among other things.
Setting up a Standard account takes seconds, while a Revolut Premium account only takes three minutes.
Revolut Fees Breakdown
Revolut charges a range of fees depending on which subscription you choose, here is a breakdown of what they charge.
Premium Subscription Fees
|If paying monthly|
(payable monthly in arrears)
|If paying annually|
(payable annually in advance)
|£6.99 / €7.99 / 8.99USD / 8.99CHF / 29.99PLN / 59.99DKK / 76.99NOK / 76.99SEK / 29.99RON / 174.99CZK||£72.00 / €82.00 / 92.00USD / 92CHF / 300PLN / 620.00DKK / 790.00NOK / 790.00SEK / 300.00RON / 1750.00CZK|
Metal Subscription Fees
|If paying monthly|
(payable monthly in arrears)
|If paying annually|
(payable annually in advance)
|£12.99 / €13.99 / 15.99USD / 15.99CHF / 49.99PLN / 109.99DKK / 139.99NOK / 139.99SEK / 54.99RON / 299.99CZK||£120.00 / €135.00 / 160.00USD / 160.00CHF / 500.00PLN / 1000.00DKK / 1300.00NOK / 1300.00SEK / 500.00RON / 3000CZK|
The subscription fees will be charged to your Revolut Account in your base currency, as determined by your registered address.
Additional Revolut Card Charges
|Service||Standard User||Premium User||Metal User|
|Spare Premium Revolut Card||Not applicable||Free||Free|
|Spare Metal Revolut Card||Not applicable||Not applicable||Free*|
|Additional Virtual Revolut Card|
|£4.99 or currency equivalent||Free||Free|
|Additional Physical Revolut Card|
|£4.99 or currency equivalent||Free||Free|
|Physical Revolut Card|
|£4.99 or currency equivalent, unless you ask for Global Express Delivery in which case £11.99 (UK), €19.99 (EU) €29.99 (everywhere else) or currency equivalent||Free||Free|
Revolut Transaction Charges
|Service||Standard User||Premium User||Metal User|
|Turbo Transfers||£5 / €6 / 6USD / 25PLN / 6CHF / 45DKK / 55SEK / 55NOK / 25RON / 140CZK or currency equivalent||Free||Free|
|Revolut Bank Transfers||As advised prior to entering into Bank Transfer.||As advised prior to entering into Bank Transfer.||As advised prior to entering into Bank Transfer.|
|ATM Withdrawal Fee||ATM Withdrawals up to £200 / €200 / 200USD / 200CHF / 800PLN / 1,500DKK / 2,000SEK / 2,000NOK / 800RON / 4,500CZK or currency equivalent per month are free. Anything over the above limits is charged at 2% of value of ATM Withdrawal.||ATM Withdrawals up to £400 / €400 / 400USD / 400CHF / 1600PLN / 3,000DKK / 4,000SEK / 4,000NOK / 1,600RON / 9,000CZK or currency equivalent per month are free. Anything over the above limits is charged at 2% of value of ATM Withdrawal.||ATM Withdrawals up to £600 / €600 / 600USD / 600CHF / 2400PLN / 4,500DKK / 6,000SEK / 6,000NOK / 2,400RON / 13,500CZK or currency equivalent per month are free. Anything over the above limits is charged at 2% of value of ATM Withdrawal.|
The Standard Exchange Rates
|Currencies||During FX market hours||Outside of FX market hours|
|USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CAD, NZD, CHF, JPY, SEK, HKD, NOK, SGD, DKK, PLN and MXN only.||The interbank rate. The interbank rate is provided by financial exchanges and may be delayed as specified by financial exchanges or our data providers.||0.5% above the interbank rate on any exchange.|
|All other currencies except THB, RUB and UAH.||The interbank rate. The interbank rate is provided by financial exchanges and may be delayed as specified by financial exchanges or our data providers.||1.0% above the interbank rate on any exchange.|
|THB, RUB and UAH.||1.0% above the current interbank rate on all exchanges.||2.0% above the interbank rate on any exchange.|
Revolut Insurance for Premium and Metal Accounts
That medical insurance overseas comes from Revolut Travel Limited. This includes emergency dental and medical treatment while abroad, access to the extensive network worldwide, and rapid reimbursement into the Revolut account.
The delayed flight and baggage insurance apply to delays of more than four hours (in each situation). There are no deductibles, and this service also comes from Revolut Travel Limited. For delayed flights of more than four hours, you receive £80 per hour with a maximum of £320. Baggage delays of more than four hours give you up to £320 to cover replacing clothing, toiletries, and medication.
Finally, those with Metal accounts receive a 20 percent discount if they choose to get device insurance. This insurance includes global protection against liquid damage, drops, and more.
Revolut Helps You Meet Your Financial Goals
Let’s face it, most people aren’t great with money. We don’t care much for our bank balances until we can’t buy groceries, and saving for retirement is much like going to the gym; we know we should, but we just don’t.
Revolut joins other new finance companies in making your spending habits easy to understand. Not only do they allow you to track how you spend, you can also set your Revolut account up to save any spare change you create via purchases.
Ever hear old jokes about balancing a checkbook?
The simple fact is that money just isn’t very interesting, especially when it comes to keeping track of spending. Revolut has an easy to use analytics system that will show you where and how you spend your money. No keeping receipts, or having to work backwards from a slew of monthly statements.
Once you have a handle on how you spend, it is a lot easier to make sure you aren’t doing silly things with your money. The platform can’t force you to be responsible, but it can help you to understand how you handle your money and where it is going every week!
One of the biggest innovations that companies like Revolut are bringing to the next generation is the ability to save money automatically. It is no secret that the younger you start saving, the earlier you can start to worry less about work and money.
The vast majority of people have a hard time actively saving for their old age, which is why so many companies make retirement contributions mandatory, and countries require that their citizens pay into social welfare plans.
Revolut has a few different ways that you can save automatically, and then do what you want with the money. There is also a whole new breed of ‘robo advisers’ available, which make investing your money extremely simple.
What Are Vaults?
Vaults are a way of saving money to quickly reach financial goals. It takes just a few seconds to set up a Vault, and you can set up as many as you want, each for a different financial goal. Let the Revolut app know the value you want to work toward saving in the Vault and give it a name. Then, you can either transfer money directly from your main Revolut account to the Vault or set up another method of working toward the goal.
One popular option is rounding up all transactions made with the Revolut card and saving the difference in your Vault. You can actually use this feature to save in cryptocurrencies by automatically buying Bitcoin or another crypto with the amount that would automatically go into your Vault. Alternatively, you can set up a recurring payment for a specific amount to go to the Vault every week or month. When you make a transaction that rounds up to deliver savings in your Vault, you will get a push notification that tells you the amount you saved and the value in the Vault so far.
Disposable Virtual Cards
Free disposable virtual cards are a perk that Premium and Metal account holders receive. This is a virtual card that you create to make an online payment that is secure. The card number automatically changes with each payment, helping to protect against fraud.
Cryptos Are Back!
Cryptocurrency could be the next way that people do business, and Revolut has integrated crypto functionality into its platform. On the plus side, it is simple to buy and sell cryptos with Revolut. It has also created a great way to use cryptos like cash in your Revolut account.
It is a good idea to keep in mind that cryptos are far more volatile than fiat currency. Bitcoin has blasted off the lows it hit during 2008, but there is no guarantee that it will continue to rise like a rocket.
If you want to use buy and use cryptos like cash, Revolut is one of the best systems out there. Unlike crypto exchanges and digital wallets, Revolut lets you use cryptos like cash, and pay for everyday items with ease.
Whatever happens in the crypto markets, Revolut’s platform is probably one of the best ways to use cryptos like currency. Many business don’t take cryptos, but with Revolut, you will be able to use them to buy just about anything.
Cryptocurrency on Revolut
Revolut prides itself on never including hidden fees when buying or selling cryptocurrency, instead providing a single transparent rate. You can use the Revolut application to buy and sell any of the above cryptocurrencies and 25 fiat currencies by just pressing a button.
There is no need to wait days for approval to start using Revolut for buying and selling cryptocurrency since crypto support is standard for accounts. Since your account can be opened in just 60 seconds, buying or selling crypto with Revolut is simple and quick.
You can also use the Revolut application to follow the rates of cryptocurrencies in real-time via the converter section of the app.
The application also lets you track your performance with a crypto over time and compare the historical price changes, the latter of which can give you a better idea of when to buy or sell a given cryptocurrency. There is also the choice to set up price alerts when a crypto reaches a specific target value; you then receive a push notification at the appropriate time.
Additionally, you can use cryptocurrency on Revolut just as you would any other currency. This means that you can send or receive crypto to contacts instantly without any concerns. Or you can spend cryptocurrency via the Revolut card, which will automatically convert the amount spent into the local currency.
On the flip side, the way way that cryptocurrency is owned on Revolut might not be for everyone.
If you choose to buy and hold cryptos with Revolut, you won’t be in possession of the private keys to the cryptos you own. This means that you can only send the cryptos within Revolut’s system, or spend them via your Revolut account.
Revolut’s crypto options may or may not work for your individual goals. Like many crypto exchanges, Revolut acts as a custodian for your cryptos. Unlike a crypto exchange, you can’t send cryptos from your account to another wallet or exchange.
If you want to buy and use cryptos like cash, Revolut could be a great choice for you. On the other hand, Revolut doesn’t offer the kind of flexibility that many crypto owners want, nor does it give its clients direct ownership over their digital assets.
How to Fund Your Revolut Account
There are multiple methods for funding your Revolut account. You can use a bank transfer, including topping up via your salary. You can also top up your account with a card, either in a one-time instance or automatically. There is even the option to add money to your account via Google Play or the Apple Pay, including with Apple Watches. Currently, the Apple Pay support is for 35 countries, but this list will expand soon.
Sending Money Internationally with Revolut
One of the major features of Revolut is the ability to send money internationally and do so up to 10 times cheaper than you would with a bank.
Revolut offers free, fast, and secure money transfers to a bank account within one of more than 130 countries, and this is done using the real exchange rate. That comes in sharp contrast to the typical exchange rate offered by banks, which builds in a profit for the financial institution.
The pricing for Revolut exchange rates is the same as the Interbank Exchange Rate, which is the figure that banks actually use to trade among themselves.
There is no fee associated with exchanging and transferring one of the 24 currencies in the Revolut application. The free transfers can take up to two working days. If you need the transfer completed within one working day, you can upgrade to a turbo transfer, which is free for Premium account holders and costs £5 for Standard account holders.
The money is sent from your Revolut account, which you can load using your debit or credit card or a bank transfer. Transferring is as simple as choosing the recipient and the quantity to send. You can also set up recurring payments that involve multiple currencies, with the ability to adjust when and how often in addition to the amount. Revolut also stands out with the fact that you do not need to share bank details to send money; you just tap a button.
Payments with Revolut
Sending a payment with Revolut is similar to making a transfer, including being simple and only requiring a tap. Additionally, the process for sending and requesting money domestically is the same as doing so internationally.
You can use Revolut to send or request money by tapping the relevant phone contact within the application. You can even send money to someone if you do not know their phone number. Revolut can use GPS to show the other Revolut users by you, letting you just tap their name to send or request money.
There is also a built-in feature in the application to let you easily split a bill. You select who you are splitting it with, and Revolut sends the request. If the person does not pay you back, the app will send them a reminder.
A unique feature of Revolut is the ability to receive money from those who do not have the application. In this case, you send a money request to the person in question via a payment link. They use that link to enter the details of their bank card, letting the money send in seconds.
Just this week, Revolut announced a new feature which allows you to donate to charity, it works as follows:
Once you pick a cause you’d like to support, you can choose to round up your card payments and donate your spare change to that cause. So, if you spend £2.50 on your morning coffee, we’ll round that up to £3.00 and donate £0.50 to your cause.
Alternatively, you can set up a daily, weekly or monthly recurring payment to the cause of your choice, or you can make single, one-off donations. There is no minimum amount required and you can edit or cancel your donation at any time.
Is Revolut Secure?
Revolut is secure and also puts users in control of their security. You can easily freeze and unfreeze your Revolut card via the application if you lose it or it gets stolen. You can also use the application to turn off contactless payments, ATM use, and online payments, then easily turning them back on when you want.
In terms of fund safety, Revolut holds client money in ring-fenced segregated client accounts that are held by Tier 1 bank partners. Revolut is also authorized by the FCA, which means it meets FCA requirements for safeguarding funds, along with the Payment Services Regulations 2017 and Electronic Money Regulations 2011.
Revolut Can Help You Get Ahead
Think about how much you pay in fees to your bank. If you travel for work, or are a digital nomad, you probably give banks a chunk of your hard earned money every month. Revolut could help you keep those fees from flowing out of your account, and put them in your savings.
Getting ahead financially is as much about saving the money you make as it is making money to begin with. Revolut isn’t going to be a perfect fit for everyone, but it does offer unique functionality to people that aren’t currently being served by a banking system that looks for fees at every turn.
Revolut is Part of a Bigger Financial Plan
Depending on what you need to do with your money, Revolut could save you large amounts of money on a monthly basis. For people that need to transfer money internationally, or travel frequently, Revolut has the potential to create huge savings.
Saving money is an important part of any persons’ long term financial success, and Revolut makes it easy. The money saved can easily be invested in any number of ways, and automated investment is a really good way to leverage your savings in the global markets.
There is a movement toward making the financial system more efficient, and sidestepping the traditional banking model. All of this leaves you with more money in your account, which is great news for anyone.
Revolut isn’t the only platform out there that is doing this, but they are one of the first digital money management services to offer fully integrated cryptocurrency accounts. It is worth thinking about how you use your money, and deciding on which service based on how much you stand to save over time.
Revolut Customer Support
The Revolut customer support is very good. There is a dedicated support team available, and you can easily reach someone via the website or the mobile application in a chat.
- Can hold up to 24 different currencies in your account
- Can purchase Cryptocurrencies
- Spend abroad, avoiding poor exchange rates
- 24 Hour Customer Service via the website or live chat
- User friendly App
- Physical Card
- When markets are closed at the weekend, fees are charged of 0.5% and 1% on currency exchange rates
- Foreign Exchanges over £5000 cost 0.5%
- Free Cash withdrawals are limited to £200 per month
- No physical bank branches
The Revolut Controversies
Revolut has grown quickly over the last year, and it looks like there have been some very public growing pains. The company was the subject of an extensive write up in Wired which alleged that it had used shady labor practices and created an abusive work environment.
The Wired piece cites numerous reports from ex-Revolut employees that describe highly suspicious hiring practices that look a lot like the growth model that an MLM would use.
“Managers” at Revolut were told to use social media and just about any other means at their disposal to get young people to sign up for the app, even if It meant losing sleep or working on an almost continuous basis.
When managers weren’t able to meet the impossibly high standards and targets that Revolut set, they were insulted. This corporate culture let to a high turnover rate, and numerous ex-employees that feel like they were treated unfairly.
The Wired piece goes into detail on just how deep Revolut went into some extremely questionable business practices, and it can be read in full here.
The Missing Money
If you Google ‘Revolut Missing Money’ you will find a number of pages that detail how Revolut allegedly misplaced or lost client funds.
One of these situations resulted in a complaint being lodged with London’s Metropolitan Police, though the Police refused to confirm that any investigation into Revolut was being undertaken.
At the time a Revolut spokesperson commented that:
“To be clear, this is not a fraud case. There is no investigation into fraud at Revolut. One of our customers registered a complaint after funds did not reach their account because incorrect details were entered during the payment stage. Our team have proactively engaged with both the customer and our payments partners to resolve the case and to ensure that the funds were located.”
No bank is perfect, and at some point problems will arise. While it is positive to see that Revolut took action in the above situation, these reports don’t make it any easier to choose Revolut as a banking services provider.
Bear in mind that established banks also have misplaced funds, and some have engaged in extremely unethical behavior.
Wells Fargo’s laundry list of misdeeds is an example of the systemic nature of abuse in the established financial system, and Revolut is working to give people options that cut the established players out of the equation.
Revolut aims to offer an alternative to traditional banking, including specific benefits for those who conduct transactions in multiple currencies.
You can create an account with Revolut for free or opt for an account with a monthly fee for more perks. Revolut always uses real exchange rates and does not charge hidden fees, delivering a great value. It works for users in more than 130 countries and is available for both Android and Apple devices.
The app is well designed and very easy to use, one of the best we have seen in fact, so you should have no trouble getting used to using it.
The ability to hold different balances in up to 24 different currencies is great for people going on holiday, who travel a lot for business or work and receive their wages in a different currency to their home one.
You should be aware of the extra charges for foreign exchanges at the weekend – 0.5% for major currencies and 1% for others and plan your exchanges accordingly.
You should also not that the card can take 7-14 days to arrive, so if you need it for a planned holiday, make sure to order it well in advance.
We are fans of the Revolut app and card here at MoneyCheck, it presents a good step forward in banking technology and helps make foreign currency exchanges simpler and cheaper for it’s holders.
- Instant Exchange Between Currenices
- Spend abroad, avoiding poor exchange rates
- Easy to Use App
- Physical Card
- 24-hour Customer service
- Cash Withdrawals Limited to $200 Per Month
- Extra Fees on Weekends
- No Physical Branches