Are you on the hunt for a new digital account? Or are you looking for a card that allows you to spend money abroad without any fees? Then take a look at this Revolut review to see all the benefits that come with the account.
10-second Revolut review
A great card for spending abroad – as long as you don’t spend too much. There is also a Junior account available, which is a good option for any parent interested in introducing their child to banking. Revolut also has paid options, but they won’t appeal to many.
The way we deal with money is changing. No longer do we rely on walking into the bank to sort out our finances, with many of us doing it from our phone. But with so many digital accounts on offer, how do we know which is the best?
And how do I get around paying those excessive exchange fees when I go on holiday?
I decided to join Revolut to find out the benefits they have to offer.
What is Revolut?
Revolut was founded back in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko. Revolut’s aim was to “build a fair and frictionless platform to use and manage money around the world”. Basically, they wanted to offer a decent alternative to traditional banking.
Revolut is known as an “Electronic Money Institution”. They don’t have physical branches and your account controlled using an app on your phone. The app allows you to load and withdraw funds from your current account to the card in seconds.
You can then use your Revolut card to make purchases just like any other card.
Why use it?
The greatest benefit of Revolut is when it comes to foreign currency. When spending abroad, the card uses the best exchange rates available (the interbank rate). That means, there aren’t sneaky charges every time you spend. You can also withdraw £200 fee-free from ATM’s every 30 days.
You can hold multiple currencies (up to 16) on your card at any one time. Meaning, when you get home from holiday, you could transfer your money back into pounds and spend the rest here. Alternatively, you could switch Euros to Dollars, ready for your next holiday without having to shell out on two lots of fees.
Is Revolut safe?
An important question. Revolut currently has over 4.5m customers across Europe and Australia and were valued at $1.7bn in 2018. They handle over $5.7bn in transactions every month, so you can be sure they’re not a company about to disappear anytime soon.
When your money is deposited with Revolut, it is held in separate accounts with their global banking partners. That means that if they were to go out of business, your money is safe.
Revolut also claims that their ant-fraud systems are 7x more likely to stop fraud compared to those of the high street banks.
And should you ever lose your card, Revolut allows you to freeze it from the app. Then, when you realise you left it on the side in the kitchen, you can unblock it again.
How much does Revolut cost?
Revolut offers 3 types of accounts – Standard, Premium and Metal.
Standard is free, Premium costs £6.99 per month and Metal £12.99 per month. Obviously, paying a monthly fee comes with added benefits.
- Free UK current account
- Free Euro IBAN account
- Spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate
- No fee exchange in 29 fiat currencies up to £1,000 per month
- No fee ATM withdrawals up to £200 per month
As above, plus:
- No fee ATM withdrawals up to £400 per month
- Overseas medical insurance
- Delayed baggage & delayed flight insurance
- Global express delivery
- Priority customer support
- Instant access to 5 cryptocurrencies
- Premium card with exclusive designs
- Disposable virtual cards
- LoungeKey Pass access
As Standard, plus:
- No fee ATM withdrawals up to £600 per month
- Exclusive Revolut Metal card
- 0.1% cashback within Europe and 1% outside Europe on all card payments
- Exclusive concierge service
Other Revolut benefits
Revolut also comes with a handy budgeting and analytics tool. The app can analyse how much you spend and where you spend it and breaks it down into categories.
And if you want tighter control on your money, you can set yourself budgets – either as an overall amount for the month or by breaking it down into smaller categories.
For example, you could set yourself a budget of £200 per month on groceries, £50 on travel and £50 on restaurants. Revolut will keep you posted on how your budgeting is getting on or failing miserably in my case.
From your Revolut dashboard, there are options to arrange insurance for your devices or overseas medical insurance. You can even apply for credit – for as much as £25,000. However, at 12.9%, there are cheaper options out there.
If your friends have Revolut, you can easily send them payments. You can also split bills from small purchases such as meals at a restaurant to holidays in just a few seconds.
Currencies supported by Revolut
For those of you that dabble in the stock market, you will be pleased to hear that Revolut offers customers a chance to make 3 commission-free trades every month. If you have a Premium membership you can make 8 trades (or unlimited for Metal members). After that, all trades will cost £1.
With trading, you get:
- Access to over 750+ stocks;
- Trade in fractional shares, (a small portion of a stock that’s less than one full share), from as little as $1;
- Enjoy real-time market graphs to make informed trading decisions;
- Keep track of the companies you’re interested in with the in-app Global Market News
Revolut offers different vaults. ‘There’s a Savings Vault, where you can move your money to a part of Revolut that will earn you interest (0.8% as of October 2020) and you can withdraw at any time. You can create Group Vaults which allows you to share your financial goals with family and friends. For example, if you are saving for a holiday, you can all save money into a shared pot.
You can also use your vaults to invest on crypto currency or precios metals.
There are 3 ways to fund your vaults:
- Round up your spare change;
- Set up a recurring payment;
- Make a one-off transfer
A feature that is a little underrated that is certainly worth looking is Revolut Junior. This is ideal for parents that want to give their children a little more responsibility when it comes to money and spending.
For just £4.99, you can have a separate card printed in your child’s name for them to use. If you choose, you can download the Junior app to your child’s phone (assuming they have one, although it’s not essential) and link it to your account. All you have to do is take a photo of the QR code from your Revolut account and they are instantly linked.
Your child can monitor their account from the app, although you will have full control. You can add or withdraw money (a maximum of £30 per transaction), set a spending limit or freeze the card whenever you like.
The card can be used just like any normal debit card, so it can be used to shop online, make contactless payments or withdraw money from a cash machine. However, each of these features can be disabled if you choose.
Other benefits include free ATM withdrawals up to £40 per rolling month (2% anything above) and free foreign spending up to £250 each month (0.5% afterwards).
The basic account for 1 child is completely free (except for the cost of the card). If you upgrade to Metal, you will be allowed up to 5 accounts and 2 with a Premium membership. The £4.99 card fee is waived and there is no monthly top-up limit. You can set up a weekly allowance or set tasks for your child to earn extra pocket money. Plus, you can create savings goals for your child so they can learn the value of saving.
Any downsides to the Revolut card?
The £200 you can withdraw from an ATM isn’t great. Anything more, and you will be charged a 2% fee. For short stays, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, for larger families staying away for a couple of weeks, £200 will probably not be enough cash to see you through. If this is the case, you may need to look at taking some extra money out with you.
Although the paid for options offer some nice benefits, most are only suitable for frequent travellers. So if you’re often abroad for business or just happen to holiday a lot, it’s definitely worth considering an upgrade.
The cashback may tempt you from the Metal card at 1% back with every purchase you make, especially compared to other cashback cards. However, that’s only outside of Europe. Purchases in Europe only earn 0.1% and you would have to be a big spender to make this worthwhile.
My Revolut review conclusion
I think a Revolut card is a great option. Not only can you sort out almost all your financial needs for travelling abroad through just a few touches of a button, you can trade, save and even monitor your kid’s spending.
The paid accounts aren’t really worth it in my opinion, but the free account has some really useful options.
Click on the button below to find out more. Please note you will need to enter your mobile number into the Revolut site if you want to join.
If my Revolut review has interested you when it comes to spending abroad but you’re not convinced, take a look at my review of the Halifax Clarity card.
Please note that this post contains an affiliate link. All opinions are my own.
Which Revolut card should I get?
This really depends on your needs. If you’re a regular traveller, then the Premium and Metal may be ideal options. However, for occasional use, the standard card is probably your best bet.
Which Revolut card is free?
The standard card comes without a fee.
How does Revolut earn money?
Revolut earns the majority of its money from subscriptions to the Premium and Metal cards. They will also earn a fee from merchants when you make a purchase.
Can I transfer money from Revolut to my bank?
Yes you can. Just add your chosen current account to Revolut and you can make a payment instantly.