Revolut app and debit card review

We take a closer look at the banking app that's breaking down borders.

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Revolut logo

What is Revolut?

Revolut is a digital challenger bank that aims to offer hassle-free global spending. It prides itself on being a “world beyond banking, working for those who never stop moving forwards.”

With free international money transfers, fee-free global spending and access to cryptocurrency exchange, Revolut is aiming to break down the borders of banking.

Revolut is currently not available in Canada

Revolut hasn’t launched in Canada yet, but plans to do so in the near future. If you want to sign up for an account you can join the waitlist by visiting Revolut Canada.

Revolut on the rise

  • Revolut increased revenue by almost 5 times between Jan 1 and Dec 31, 2017.
  • Users tripled, from 450,000 to 1.3 million in the same period — they’re now over 10 million.
  • Revolut boats of having completed over 350 million transactions worldwide.

How does Revolut work?

Once the app is available in the Canada, you’ll be able to sign up and request a contactless Revolut card. Customers have complete control over their card, with the ability to freeze and unfreeze it at the touch of a button a feature that provides added security and convenience.

The app is simple, easy to navigate and streamlined. Features include:

  • Accounts. View the balance and transaction history on your accounts and set up monthly budgets in the app.
  • Payments. The app enables you to transfer money to 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate (the same rates banks give each other). You will have to pay a 0.5% fee for anything above $8,000 a month, and the app may mark up sending on weekends or to certain currencies.
  • Pay friends. Pay friends with ease or use the split bill feature to divide a group spend.
  • Analytics. View your spending habits categorized by type of transaction, merchant or country.
  • Manage your cards. Freeze a card if you lose it, unfreeze your card if you find it, set monthly spending limits and enable additional security.

Using Revolut abroad

Revolut’s most unique and appealing feature is that it enables you to spend at the interbank rate in 150 currencies. You may be charged a fee of 0.5% for payments above a $8,000/month.

You’ll also need to pay a 2% fee on international ATM withdrawals over $400 a month.

Is Revolut safe?

The smartphone app is protected by a password or fingerprint ID. Immediately freeze or unfreeze your card in the app if it’s been misplaced, lost or stolen. Add further control by turning online, ATM and contactless payments on or off.

Revolut also has location-based security — if your card is used in a different location than your phone, you’ll get a notification and the purchase can be blocked.

What is Revolut cryptocurrency?

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, Revolut stands out from its competitors. In 2017, it became the first challenger bank to let customers buy cryptos in its app. UK users are currently able to buy and sell five major cryptocurrencies and track market fluctuations in the app, but it’s too early to tell if Canadian users can expect the same features.

Pros and cons of Revolut

Pros

  • Spend abroad in 150 currencies with no or low fees.
  • 24-hour customer service.
  • User-friendly app with control over accounts and cards.
  • Transfer money at the interbank exchange rate.
  • Instant top ups from your main account.

Cons

  • At weekends, when the markets are closed, Revolut applies an unspecified markup to foreign currency transactions.
  • Some foreign currencies have an additional unspecified markup.
  • Foreign transfers over $8,000 a month come with a 0.5% fee.
  • No physical branches, which can put off those who prefer face-to-face customer service.

If cryptocurrency isn’t what you’re in for, or you just want to get a good look at what your other options are, compare your mobile banking options before joining the waitlist.

How does Revolut compare to other international money transfer services?

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