If you need a banking app where you can manage your money and track your expenses from your mobile phone, Revolut is a great option. Not only that, but the Revolut card is a great travel companion. You can exchange money at the real market rate, commission-free and you can get even get their standard account for zero monthly charges. In this Revolut review, I’ll take you through the digital banking app and show you its features and plans.
What is a Revolut Card?
Revolut is a digital-only banking app and card that is different from traditional banks due to its low fees and flexibility. It is a pre-paid Mastercard that is specifically aimed at those that travel. Offering international money transfers and spending abroad with no hidden fees.
They are a UK based company who launched in 2015 and now have over 10 million customers. Making 35 million transactions with a total of over £40 billion.
Their goal at Revolut is for you to be able to manage your entire financial life from a single app. From everyday spending and budgeting to foreign currency exchange and easy-access stock trading. So that you can get more out of your money.
They also have their business account platform “Revolut for Business”. This is for domestic and international payments, designed to save you time and money.
Using Revolut Abroad
One of the great advantages of using Revolut is the fact you get to spend fee-free at the Interbank rate in 150 countries. Usually, when you spend abroad you get hit with transaction or hidden charges. However, using Revolut abroad is much like using in the UK. However, just don’t forget that withdrawals are capped at £200 per month. After that, you are charged a 2% fee regardless if you are abroad or in the UK. Although there are no spending limits on card payments.
How to Create a Foreign Currency Account
If you want to create an account in a foreign currency such as the likes of a USD, Euro, Sterling account, etc. Then you can easily set one up within Revolut.
Within your App, go to your “Dashboard” and click onto “Show more” under “Accounts“.
Choose “Add Account“
Select a currency from the list or search and select your currency.
The account will then be created for you.
How to Exchange Your Currency
Exchanging is really easy to do within your Revolut Banking App, simply open the App.
From the “Accounts” screen, click onto Exchange in the centre of your screen.
Select the currency you would like to exchange From and enter the amount.
Select the currency you would like to exchange To and the amount will automatically populate for you.
Weekend Markups for Foreign Exchanges
Now one thing to be aware of is that if you make a currency exchange during the weekend, you’ll be charged a markup. That’s because the interbank rate is always fluctuating. Therefore, may not be the same on a Monday as it was on the previous Friday. The markup is 0.5% for the 15 major currencies and 1% for the others.
Also just keep in mind that card payments, ATM withdrawals and money transfers abroad all imply a currency exchange. Therefore, the weekend markup applies in all of these cases. The solution to this is to exchange one of the 29 currencies that Revolut supports, in advance (i.e. on a weekday). Then you won’t have to pay this fee.
Is Revolut Banking Free?
Revolut Banking Accounts come in three different plans in Europe and 2 plans in the US. There is a free version as well as two paid versions with more advanced features such as insurances, cashback bonuses, and concierge services. Most users will find that the Standard Plan is sufficient. But may opt for paid plans depending on the features required. Below is a list of services that are currently included in each plan.
UK Revolut Pricing & Plans
Extra fees include; 2% on withdrawals over £200 and charges 0.5% for bank transfers over £5,000 a month.
European Revolut Pricing & Plans
US Revolut Pricing & Plans
This kids account “Revolut Junior” is for ages 7-17. It is available through a parent or guardian with a Revolut Premium or Metal subscription. It’s aimed to help children learn about responsible spending and budgeting, and build healthy, lifelong money habits. Its an account and prepaid card for your kids to use, controlled by you.
How Safe is Revolut Bank?
One of the downfalls, in my opinion, is that Revolut in the UK is not FCS Approved. The account you hold with Revolut is an electronic money account (and not a standard bank account). Therefore your money is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
However, Revolut are reportedly preparing to apply for a UK banking licence, enabling the firm to offer FSCS-protected deposits and lending services for their customers. The app was granted a European banking licence by the Bank of Lithuania in 2018. But in the UK has operated as an FCA authorised e-money institution. At the moment Revolut only “safeguard” the money they receive for their customers.
If you’re In the US though, Revolut have partnered with Metropolitan Commercial Bank for the banking infrastructure. Which is great as it means that deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
Some of the great features enabled on the Revolut banking app are around security.
Freezing Your Card. If you think you’ve lost or misplaced your card you can freeze your card instantly without having to speak to your bank. Then if you happen to find it again, you can simply just unfreeze your card from the app!
Location-Based Security. You can enable this feature to block any payments if your card is used in a different location to where you currently are. Please be aware though that your location will be tracked when it switched on.
Controlling Your Card. You can control the features that your card uses such as turning off contactless, swipe payments online payments and ATM withdrawals from your app. Putting you back in control of your account.
Revolut Virtual Cards
WIth the Revolut banking app, you can create Virtual cards to protect you against online card fraud. With these disposable virtual cards, details are automatically cleared after every online transaction. Then new card details are instantly generated in your app too.
How to Create a Virtual Card
To generate a virtual card, within your app, go to “Cards” and then click onto the “+” icon in the top right hand corner.
Select “Virtual” and “Get Virtual Card” or “Get Disposable Virtual Card“.
Trading with Revolut
With trading on Revolut, you can own a piece of some of the world’s most well-known companies including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Tesla. You can invest into a company with as little as 1 dollar with fractional shares. And a great advantage is the fact there are no account minimums. Plus you can withdraw at anytime for free!
Revolut and Cryptocurrency
With Revolut, you can immediately exchange any currency into some of the most popular cryptocurrency assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple. However, you do not have access to your private keys, your funds are not safeguarded by Revolut or covered by the FSCS and you can only send your crypto to other Revolut users and not to another wallet where you would have more control.
Revolut has now launched its app and service in the US and now anyone can sign up and get a Revolut debit card. In the US Revolut has partnered with Metropolitan Commercial Bank for the banking infrastructure. Meaning that deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
Previously in the US, customers were able to sign up to the waiting list but now they’ll be able to access all of Revolut’s core or basic features. Unfortunately, functionality such as the ability to purchase cryptocurrencies and invest in the stock market which is currently available in Europe, is yet to come to the US.
Revolut Bank Address
Revolut is based in London, England. For those looking for the Revolut Bank Address it is; 7 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London E14 4HD.
Revolut vs Monzo
Both Revolut and Monzo are great apps for travelling, allowing you to manage your money better with spending insights and real-time notifications. Revolut’s focus is on international payments and you’ll find that international money transfers are by far the cheapest option available. However, Monzo does have a full banking license and provides overdrafts and savings accounts.
Revolut vs Starling
Revolut and Starling both offer apps that are designed to help you budget. Both automatically categorize your transactions and give you insights into where you are spending your money.
Where they differ is that Revolut uses the Interbank exchange rate which is usually cheaper than the Mastercard rate which is used by Starling. Starling is free with no £4.99 delivery charge, Starling offers an interest rate of 0.5% as opposed to 0% with Revolut and the big plus is that Starling has a full banking license.
Revolut vs TransferWise
Both TransferWise and Revolut offer very cost-effective international money transfer providers. In my personal experience, I found currency exchange cheaper over on Revolut although Weekend Rates are definitely more expensive. Both platforms are FCA and not FCSC regulated like Starling or Monzo. However, TransferWise offers access via a platform and an app whereas Revolut is only accessible via the app.
With many pros and cons on both sides, take a look at my TransferWise Review and Tutorial to decide for yourselves.
Revolut vs Trading and Exchange Platforms – Robinhood, Coinbase and Uphold
The conclusion of the Revolut Banking App is that Revolut is great for tracking expenses. And perfect for traveling abroad and will certainly save you on fees whilst away. Once Revolut has obtained its banking license in the UK, I will certainly feel safer in storing my funds on it and I think it will then be a force to be reckoned with!