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Revolut in New Zealand
What you need to know about this digital bank before its New Zealand launch.
Revolut is a digital banking app and card that is designed to easily manage and spend your money. It’s got features to help you save on foreign currency plus useful tools to help you better handle your money.
This review covers what you need to know about Revolut in New Zealand. This includes how it works and what it costs so you can decide if it’s right for you ahead of its New Zealand launch.
How does Revolut work in New Zealand?
Revolut is a digital banking app that helps you manage your money and spend globally at a minimal cost. When you sign up, you will need to choose an account tier. Revolut hasn’t announced which accounts will be available in New Zealand at launch, but in other countries you can choose from Standard, Premium and Metal. Each of these account tiers come with different features and costs, the higher the tier, the more features you unlock and the higher the monthly fee.
For all account tiers, Revolut gives you an account and a debit card. You can spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate and exchange 30 fiat currencies. There are a number of features that come with each of the account tiers, such as free ATM withdrawals, budgeting tools, free ATM withdrawals and cryptocurrency trading. You then get exclusive features with the Revolut Premium and Revolut Metal accounts.
What features does Revolut have?
- Make international payments. The app lets you transfer money to 30 currencies at the interbank exchange rate (the same rates banks give each other).
- Spend globally fee-free. All spending overseas is charged at the interbank rate and you can spend in over 150 currencies.
- Apple Pay and Google Pay. You can pay with either Google Pay or Apple Pay using Revolut.
- View spending habits. You can view your spending by type of transaction, by merchant or by country.
- Budgeting. In the Revolut app you can create budgets, get instant spending notifications and get insights into your spending.
- Control your card and account. You can lock and unlock your card in the Revolut app as well as set monthly spending limits.
- Rewards. Revolut’s new Rewards feature gives you discounts and cashback in the app.
- Save money. Revolut’s Vault feature let you build up funds for a specific funding goal.
- Buy cryptocurrency. We explain more about crypto below.
How much does Revolut cost?
Revolut has not announced its cost structure for New Zealand yet, but we can look to its fee structure in other countries to get an idea of the cost:
- Monthly fees: In Australia, Revolut charges no monthly fees for the Standard account, AU$10.99 per month for Premium and AU$19.99 per month for Metal.
- ATM fees. Revolut has limits on ATM withdrawals in some countries. If you withdraw over the limit, you will need to pay a fee for ATM withdrawals.
- Currency exchange fees. In other countries, Revolut sets a limit for foreign currency exchanges with the Standard plan. If you reach your limit and need to make additional exchanges you will pay a fee. In Australia, this limit is AUD$9,000.
How do you spend with Revolut overseas?
Many financial institutions charge you additional fees to use your card overseas, or they transfer your money at non-competitive rates. One of Revolut’s most appealing features is that it lets you spend fee-free at the interbank rate in over 150 currencies.
Using it overseas will be much like using it in New Zealand. However, don’t forget that while there’s no spending limit for card payments, free ATM withdrawals may only be free up to a specific limit.
Is Revolut safe?
Revolut received its European banking licence from the European Central Bank in December 2018. It also holds a Financial Services Licence in Australia which allows it to operate there. Revolut has not announced plans on obtaining a licence in New Zealand. In markets that it currently operates in without a bank licence, Revolut still has obligations to safeguard your funds in a separate bank so you can get them back should anything happen to Revolut.
In terms of smartphone security, Revolut’s 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. You can take further control by turning online, ATM and contactless payments on or off.
How do cryptocurrencies work with Revolut?
Revolut stands out from its competitors in cryptocurrencies. In 2017, it became the first challenger bank to let customers buy cryptocurrencies within the app.
What’s more, it’s incredibly easy for anyone to use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin with Revolut. Revolut’s aim is to make cryptocurrencies accessible. In other countries it gives users access to five different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and XRP. However, you have to hold a Premium account or higher to access the cryptocurrency feature automatically. Otherwise, you will need to invite three or more friends to use the app to unlock the feature.
Revolut shows you real-time cryptocurrency graphs which shows you current rates. You can also set up price alerts to hear when your cryptocurrency hits a certain value.
Pros and cons of Revolut
- Low or no-fee foreign currency spending
- Free ATM withdrawals up to a certain limit
- Premium features such as insurance with paid accounts
- Spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate
- Instant top-ups from your main account
- Revolut isn’t currently available in New Zealand
- The Standard account doesn’t come with express card shipping and your card can take a while to arrive (up to nine days in some countries)
- Free ATM withdrawals may be capped each month
- Revolut has no branches, which can put off those who prefer face-to-face customer service.
How to sign up with Revolut in New Zealand
You currently cannot sign up to Revolut in New Zealand. However, Revolut does have a waiting list available on its website. Once you’re on the list you can invite friends to join to move up higher on the list.