Revolut app and debit card review April 2019 | finder.com
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Revolut app and debit card review

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

Since its launch in 2015, Revolut has reached over 2 million users. With an elegant, streamlined smartphone app, Revolut is providing a progressive banking solution for today’s hyper-connected world.

Revolut isn’t available in the US yet, but it plans to launch soon — and you can already sign up for the waitlist if you’re interested.

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 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 — and they’re now approaching to 3 million.
  • Monthly transaction volumes jumped from $200 million to $1.5 billion.

How does Revolut work?

Once the app is available in the US, 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 24 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 $6,500 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 certain unspecified amount, along with a flat markup on weekends and in certain currencies.

You’ll also need to pay a 2% fee on international ATM withdrawals over $300 a month.

Is Revolut safe?

At the time of writing (February 20, 2019), Revolut is not an FDIC-insured bank, which means that your deposits are not backed by the US government if something happens to the bank, making it riskier than a more established bank. We’ll update this page with more information if Revolut becomes FDIC-insured before its US launch.

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 US 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 $6,500 a month come with a 0.5% fee.
  • No branches, which can put off those who prefer face-to-face customer service.

Bottom line

Revolut’s gained a lot of buzz over the last couple of years, and it’s easy to see why. It’s travel-friendly features, built-in cryptocurrency exchange and elegant app make it stand out from the crowd. It’s not yet available in the US, but you can sign up for the waitlist if you’re eager to get your hands on it.

If you’re on the fence about Revolut, compare your mobile banking options before choosing a new bank.

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