Fintech companies are developing lots of new products that help us manage our finances from our smartphones. The truth is that crypto trading and online banking are the new trends and, in many cases, are replacing traditional banking. One of the most revolutionary products in recent years is Revolut.
Are you tired of paying high commissions every time you withdraw money abroad? Are you looking for a bank that allows you to work with multiple currencies? Do you want to see graphs and a detailed analysis of all your expenses? Do you want to trade cryptocurrencies? If so, Revolut may be what you’re looking for. In this Revolut review, I’ll talk about its main features, plans, fees, pros, and cons.
WHAT IS REVOLUT?
Revolut is a digital bank that allows you to manage your money from your smartphone. It started as a travel debit card that allowed people to withdraw money abroad without paying fees. It had other functions, but this “commission-free” feature is what really made it popular.
This British app was created in 2015 by Nikolay Stornosky, a trader who worked for Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers. In recent years, the app has kept growing and gaining prestige, ultimately becoming a true monster within the fintech world.
Today, Revolut has more than 18 million users worldwide, operates in 30 countries, employs more than 2,000 workers, and handles more than five million transactions per day.
One of Revolut’s biggest revolutions is that it has obtained a banking license in 10 European countries. Also, it has a license pending in the U.S. and other countries.
This allows Revolut to offer banking services, such as loans and other financial products. In addition, this guarantees the protection of deposits up to 100,000 euros through Deposit and Investment Insurance (based in Lithuania).
HOW DOES THE APP WORK? HOW DO YOU OPEN AN ACCOUNT?
Revolut is pretty easy to use. First, you need to install the Revolut app on your smartphone. Then, you can create your user account and order your Revolut debit card (at the moment, Revolut doesn’t have credit cards). The card will be delivered in approximately 10 days.
Once you receive your card (which is connected to your Revolut account), you can start withdrawing money, making transfers, trading, etc. If you are traveling abroad, you’ll be able to withdraw money from any ATM without commissions (up to 1,200 dollars per month in the U.S. or 200 GBP in the U.K. in the free plan).
Open your free Revolut account here.
HOW TO ADD MONEY TO YOUR REVOLUT ACCOUNT
You won’t have any money in your Revolut account at first, but you can transfer money from your traditional bank account via the top-up feature (just like when you top up your public transport card).
There are several ways to top up your Revolut account:
1. From your traditional credit card or debit card. You can use one of your cards to transfer money from your traditional bank account to your Revolut account. Once the money is in your Revolut account, you can enjoy all the advantages of online banking.
Generally, top-up operations don’t involve additional fees or commissions. However, it depends on the type of card and account you have at your bank. Top-ups from business accounts do usually involve a small commission.
2. From Google Pay or Apple Pay. You can connect your Revolut account to Apple Pay or Google Pay and use this method to top up your card. One of the advantages of this method is that it doesn’t involve any fees.
3. By bank transfer. You can make a transfer from your traditional bank account to your Revolut account. If your traditional bank is in Europe (SEPA) and so is your Revolut account (in Lithuania), there will be no fees for making a transfer. Similarly, if you have a bank account in the U.S., and your Revolut account is in the U.S., there will be no fees.
4. By getting paid on Revolut. If you wish, you can receive payments directly on Revolut. This way, you’ll always have money in your account and you won’t need to worry about top-ups.
There are four different plans. The Standard plan is free, the Plus plan costs £2.99/month, the Premium plan costs £6.99/month, and the Metal plan costs £12.99/month.
Let’s take a look at the main differences:
Revolut Standard (free)
- The Standard plan is free, but you’ll be charged a card delivery fee.
- Free account with a European IBAN (depending on where you are located).
- You can pay in more than 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate.
- Withdrawals at ATMs all over the world without commissions (up to £200/month).
- Personalized cards.
- One Revolut Junior account.
- Cryptocurrency exchange fees of 2.5%.
- Commodity exchange fees of 1.5%.
- Currency exchange with no fees up to £1,000/month.
Revolut Plus (£2.99/month)
- Same features as the Standard card plus:
- Priority customer support.
- Full access to exclusive Junior features.
- Theft and accident coverage (in case your phone gets stolen or damaged) with a limit of £1,000/year.
- Ticket and event coverage.
- Refund protection.
- Safer online shopping.
Revolut Premium (£6.99/month)
- Same features as the Plus card and:
- Withdrawals at ATMs with no fees up to £400/month.
- Exclusive card designs.
- One fee-free international payment per month.
- Two Revolut Junior accounts.
- Theft and accident coverage up to £2,500/year.
- Cryptocurrency exchange fees of 1.5%.
- Commodity exchange fees of 0.5%.
- Unlimited currency exchange with no fees.
- International medical insurance.
- Delayed flight and baggage insurance.
- Free lounge access with SmartDelay for you + 1 friend.
Revolut Metal (£12.99/month)
- Same features as the Premium card plus:
- Withdrawals at ATMs without fees up to £800/month.
- Three fee-free international payments per month.
- Five Revolut Junior accounts.
- Theft and accident coverage up to £10,000/year.
- Free lounge access with SmartDelay for you + 3 friends.
- Take a look at the pricing plans on the Revolut website.
WHICH PLAN SUITS YOU BEST?
In my opinion, if you travel only from time to time, you should go for the free plan. There is no point in paying a monthly subscription fee, as you won’t be using your debit card all the time.
However, if you are a digital nomad, a long-term backpacker, an expat, or someone who spends long periods abroad, I recommend one of the paid subscription plans. This would be your best option, but only if you travel often and use Revolut to make most payments and withdraw money.
Plus, Premium, or Metal?
I think Revolut Plus is a pretty interesting plan. It’s similar to the Standard plan, but it offers priority customer support, theft and accident coverage, ticket coverage, and refund protection. It has a subscription fee (inexpensive), but if your phone is stolen, you’ll get a new one.
If you need to withdraw more than £200/month ($1,200 in the U.S.), the Premium plan could be a better option. In addition, it has lots of interesting advantages. For example, it allows you to exchange currencies unlimited times with no fees.
The Metal plan is perfect for those who spend long periods abroad and withdraw more than £800 per month. In addition, this is the plan with the best advantages (lower commissions, cashback rewards, etc.).
In addition to your personal Revolut account, you have the option of creating a Business account, which is specially designed for freelancers and small businesses.
Business accounts can be interesting if you have a business that requires a lot of international transfers and operations. Business accounts are more expensive than personal accounts. Here, you can take a look at the pricing chart.
Should you get one? It comes down to the number of transfers you make every month, but keep in mind that there are other interesting options for international operations. For example, Wise allows you to make unlimited international transfers with no subscription fees.
REVOLUT KEY FEATURES
Fee-free withdrawals all over the world
When you’re traveling abroad, it can be difficult (or impossible) to find an ATM linked to the bank you use in your country. And sometimes, even if it’s the same bank, you’ll still incur a fee. That’s because you’re using a traditional card, which virtually always involves paying fees.
One of the biggest advantages of Revolut is that it allows you to withdraw money abroad without paying those damned fees. Keep in mind that each plan has a withdrawal limit with no fees per month.
Payments in other currencies
You can use your Revolut card to make payments in supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, etc. while traveling abroad. Revolut uses the interbank exchange rate and doesn’t include extra fees. Generally, it’s much cheaper than paying abroad with your traditional credit card.
Important: Sometimes, when you make a payment abroad, the restaurant or store will ask you if you’d like to pay in local currency or in your currency.
Always make the payment in the local currency. By doing this, you’ll let Revolut exchange one currency for another. Otherwise, you’d let the local bank exchange currencies, and it would be more expensive.
If you like, you can set up multiple subaccounts in different currencies within the same plan. For example, you can have an account in euros, another account in dollars, and another account in Mexican pesos.
Then, you can exchange currencies within your subaccounts to make payments in the local currency you need. Revolut will charge you a small fee for exchanging currencies, but this fee is much lower than what PayPal or your bank would charge for the same kind of operation.
Free transfers to other Revolut accounts
Sending money from one Revolut account to another is easy, fast, and free. You just need to find your friends in the app and send them money.
To find your friends, simply access your phone’s contact list (via Revolut) and you’ll see which friends are using the app.
With Revolut, you can make bank transfers the same way you do with your traditional bank. Just enter the name of the receiver, the country of the receiving bank, the currency, and the account number.
Transfers within the SEPA territory are fee-free. Transfers abroad that involve currency exchanges may have a small fee.
The Metal plan offers cashback of up to 1% on payments made with your Metal card (in any of the 30 currencies that the plan supports, including cryptos such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ether).
In addition, you’ll get cashback rewards on a wide variety of brands and products. Cashback is credited after your purchase with a merchant. (The transaction must be validated first.)
Are you saving for a vacation or something special? If so, you’ll love Revolut’s savings vault, which lets you save gradually.
Just go to Vault and specify how much money you want to save. From that moment on, this feature will deduct a fraction of every expense and send it to your savings vault.
In addition to your physical debit card, you can create a virtual card. To order a virtual card, go to the “card” tab and select “add cart.” The card will instantly appear in your app and can be used for online transactions and purchases.
Also, you can link this card to Apple Pay or Google Pay to make contactless payments using your smartphone.
Expense analytics is one of my favorite features of the app. Analytics allows you to see how much money you spend and shows you exactly what you spent that money on. You can get a clear view of your spending ordered by date, category (withdrawals, restaurants, transportation, etc.), country, type of business, etc.
You can filter results per day, week, month, or year and see how much money you’re spending over time. If you want, you can set limits, so you don’t spend too much.
Let’s say you don’t want to spend over 1,000 dollars per month. You can set 1,000 dollars as your monthly budget. When you get close to that limit, the app will send you a notification letting you know. It will say something like, “You’ve spent 80% of your budget.”
With Revolut, it’s really easy to split restaurant bills and other expenses with friends. The only requirement is that everyone in the group has a Revolut account.
To split a bill, go to the expense you just made in the app. Select it and click on “split bill.” Then choose the people you want to split the expenses with. The app will calculate how much each person should pay, deduct that proportional share from each person, and send it to the person who paid the bill.
Revolut Junior accounts
This feature is specially designed for users with children. Revolut allows you to connect one or more Junior accounts to the main account (managed by one of the parents).
Your children will have a personal card for their expenses, but you will have control over their account. You’ll be able to see what expenses they incur, receive instant notifications when they buy something, and set custom controls for their online payments.
The Plus, Premium, and Metal plans include purchase protection insurance. Each plan has a different limit.
For example, the Metal plan covers your purchase up to a limit of 10,000 pounds per year from the moment of purchase. If your phone breaks or is stolen, Revolut will provide you with a new one (as long as you meet the requirements).
Revolut allows you to get a refund as long as your purchase meets certain requirements. For example, the return is requested within 90 days of purchase, the purchase is for personal use, the seller doesn’t accept the return, etc.
Revolut allows you to send cryptocurrencies to other accounts. Also, it allows you to buy more than 25 different cryptocurrencies, including the classic Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar, Solana, Litecoin, etc.
Keep in mind that these operations involve an exchange fee. Don’t worry, as we’ll talk about commissions and fees later.
With Revolut, you can open an account for all your investments. You’ll be able to invest in stocks (at the moment, you can invest only in the United States stock market, but there are plans to open the app to other stock markets in Europe, Australia, etc.), cryptocurrencies, and commodities (you can invest in gold and silver).
If you are interested in investing in the stock market or crypto, I recommend that you open a paid plan because the fees will be lower.
The Premium and Metal plans include travel insurance, which is really useful for short trips.
This insurance offers medical assistance for the traveler, including various coverages: international expenses, currency exchange without fees, international medical insurance covering winter sports, lost luggage, etc.
Keep in mind that this travel insurance is valid for trips of up to 90 days only. From that point on, the insurance will automatically expire.
Free access to lounges with SmartDelay
Customers with Premium and Metal accounts can enjoy the SmartDelay service at airports all over the world. If your flight is delayed by one hour or longer, you can use SmartDelay to get free lounge passes.
Premium customers get one pass for themselves and one pass for a travel companion. Metal customers get one lounge pass for themselves and up to three passes for travel companions.
Each Revolut plan has a limit on the amount of money you can withdraw without fees. The Standard Plan and Plus Plan have a £200/month threshold.
With the Premium Plan, you can withdraw up to £400/month. The Metal Plan allows you to withdraw up to £800/month without paying fees. If you’re using a U.S.-based Revolut account, you can withdraw up to USD1,200/month with no fees.
If you exceed these thresholds, a 2% fair usage fee will be charged. Also, if you withdraw money during the weekend, an extra 1% fee will be charged. Finally, there is another extra fee of 0.5% for all the money you withdraw exceeding 1,000 pounds per month.
Currency exchange fees
The Standard and Plus plans allow you to exchange currencies with no fees up to a £1,000/month threshold. After that, a 0.5% fee will be charged. The Metal and Premium plans allow you to exchange currencies without limit.
Fees for sending money to international accounts
If you transfer money to an account in the SEPA zone, no commission will be applied (as long as you are in the SEPA zone, too). If you send money to an international account, you will be charged a small commission that will depend on the recipient country, the recipient bank, and the type of currency.
For international transfers in the local currency of the recipient country, Revolut charges a 0.3% fee based on the transfer value. Transfers in currencies other than that of the recipient bank involve a flat fee that varies between £4 and £6 (depending on the currency).
Cryptocurrency exchange fees
Every time you trade cryptocurrencies, a commission will be charged. This commission will depend on the type of plan you have. In the Standard and Plus plans, a 2.5% fee applies for each operation.
In the Premium and Metal plans, a 1.5% fee is charged. If you have a U.S.-based Revolut account, you’ll get a $200,000 no-fee trading threshold per month.
ADVANTAGES OF REVOLUT
- You can create an account in a matter of seconds on your smartphone. You don’t need to complete paperwork like in traditional banks.
- It has a free plan that allows you to withdraw up to £200/month abroad ($1,200/month in the U.S.) without fees.
- It has paid plans with fantastic features (cashback, travel insurance, SmartDelay, etc.).
- You can easily transfer money to your card via top-ups from your traditional bank account.
- You can exchange currencies and send money to international bank accounts.
- It allows you to invest in stocks and cryptocurrencies.
- It allows you to add money to a savings vault.
- It allows you to connect a Junior card for your children.
- It’s a reliable company, protected by the Lithuanian company Deposit and Investment Insurance (in Europe) as well as the American Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (in the U.S.).
DISADVANTAGES OF REVOLUT
- There are no offices, which means everything must be done through the app.
- Customer service is not really fast. Most of the time, they will solve your problems, but this can take several hours or days.
- Some customers’ accounts may be temporarily frozen while identity checks and other security issues are carried out. That’s why Revolut shouldn’t be the only card you travel with. Always bring another debit or credit card in case of an emergency.
- If you are located in Europe, you’ll have a European account located in Lithuania. This is not a problem for most people, but certain service companies (electricity, water, etc.) won’t let you set up a direct debit in foreign accounts.
REVOLUT REVIEW: RISKS AND FRAUD
As with any online service, there is always some risk of fraud. Overall, Revolut is really well-designed, secure software. However, it never hurts to take regular precautions and use common sense.
There are known cases of fraud in which people pose as Revolut employees to steal your PIN and other account details. Remember that no Revolut employee will ever ask for your password or PIN.
Also, there is a small risk that your account will be temporarily frozen. This is for security reasons. Revolut, like any bank, is committed to fighting money laundering and may freeze your account while certain identity checks are carried out.
This has never happened to me, but I’ve heard stories of people whose accounts were frozen because they were investing quite a lot of money in cryptocurrencies. My advice: Don’t keep too much money on Revolut at once.
WHERE IS REVOLUT AVAILABLE?
Revolut is a fast-growing company and is reaching more countries every year. It’s currently supporting residents in most countries of the EEA (European Economic Area), the U.K., Singapore, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, and the U.S.
The European Economic Area includes Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Sweden.
WHAT CURRENCIES ARE SUPPORTED?
As we mentioned before, you can receive money in multiple currencies. In addition, you can top up your card in your local currency and convert that money to other currencies. This way, you can have multiple subaccounts with different currencies within your main account.
You can receive transfers in the following currencies: AED, AUD, BGN, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, ILS, JPY, MXN, NOK, NZD, PLN, RUB, QAR, RON, SAR, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, and ZAR.
You can transfer money from your account via top-ups in the following currencies: AUD, BGN, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HUF, HKD, HRK, JPY, NOK, PLN, RON, SEK, USD, and CZAR.
WHICH CRYPTOCURRENCIES CAN YOU BUY ON REVOLUT?
With Revolut, you can buy and sell lots of cryptocurrencies, including the most popular ones: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Solana, Cardano, Dogecoin, Ripple, Stellar, and many more.
All plans include customer service for any problems or questions. The Standard plan has basic customer service that, to be honest, is not that bad.
Personally, I don’t like the fact that I can’t talk to someone on the phone. Most questions are answered by chatbots.
If you can’t solve the problem, you can chat with a real person. In my experience, it’s not the best customer service in the world, but they usually solve your problems in a few hours.
Paid plans have priority customer service that works much better.
REVOLUT REVIEW, WHAT DO CUSTOMERS SAY?
Obviously, it’s almost impossible to get a five-star score. Generally, 4.5 is considered a great score.
REVOLUT REVIEW: IS IT WORTH GETTING THIS CARD?
In my opinion, Revolut is one of the best travel cards you can use to withdraw money abroad. I say this after having used it for many years.
So, yes, I recommend getting a Revolut card for your travels and international transfers. You can start with the free plan, then see if it’s worth switching to a paid plan.
On the other hand, some fees have increased a little during the last few years. For example, in the past, Revolut didn’t charge an extra 1% fee for cash withdrawals on weekends.
ALTERNATIVES TO REVOLUT
While I really like Revolut, I realize that there are other interesting cards with similar features on the market. Check out the following comparison so you can see which one is closer to what you are looking for.
Wise (formerly Transferwise)
Wise is another leading fintech company and a major rival to Revolut. Both companies allow you to exchange currencies, make international transfers, and withdraw money abroad.
Keep in mind that Revolut applies a lower fee for currency exchange (0.5% when exceeding £1,000 + 1% on weekends). Wise will charge a fee between 0.24% and 3.69%.
When it comes to cash withdrawals abroad, Revolut charges a 2% fee for withdrawals above £200/month, while Wise charges a 1.75% fee + £0.5.
Both cards have similar features, but I have to admit that Wise performs better when it comes to international transfers.
The N26 standard card applies a 1.7% fee for withdrawing money abroad, while Revolut is totally fee-free until you reach a £200/month threshold (on the Standard plan). If you travel quite often, the Revolut card would fit you better.
On the other hand, if you use N26 in Europe, you’ll have a local bank account with a European IBAN, which can be an advantage when making certain payments.
Vivid Money is the latest alternative to Revolut that I’ve found on the market. To be honest, Vivid’s features are really similar to those of Revolut. (They are almost identical.)
One of Vivid Money’s advantages over Revolut is that it offers cashback on all card purchases, even on its free plan. However, it applies a 3% cash withdrawal fee, while Revolut charges a 2% fee.
The “Vivid Prime” paid plan is really interesting, too. In fact, I find it a better deal than Revolut’s Metal plan. If you are planning to spend a lot of money abroad and make international transfers, the Vivid Prime card could be a fantastic option.
Did you like “Revolut Review, Pros and Cons”? Leave a comment!
Hi, I’m Miguel; Adventure traveler, scuba diver and hiking lover. I have been traveling the world for the last 10 years and I hope my experiences, photos and hiking routes inspire you to travel the world too.