Launched as a prepaid, multi-currency card back in 2015, Revolut now offers a current account with a wide range of features and has more than 4 million customers across Europe. However, in the UK there are a bunch of companies offering similar services and competition in the market is getting quite harsh – which is obviously great news for consumers.
If you’re looking for a challenger to use as your main current account, Revolut is probably not your best shot as it’s missing a couple of key features some people may consider quite important. Also, you can rule Atom out as it only does savings accounts.
Among the others, Starling, Monzo, N26 and Monese all offer similar services for day-to-day banking, but there are some differences:
Also, with all of them you can expect a free current account, card and app, and free bank transfers and card payments within the UK.
If you’re just looking for a new current account to use in the UK and you want to go for a challenger because you’re sick and tired of traditional banks’ bureaucracy and fees, Starling and Monzo offer the broadest set of features, with Starling having a slight advantage because you can deposit cash for free. On overdrafts, Starling’s option will also normally be cheaper (unless you borrow very small amounts, in which case Monzo won’t charge you).
While most traditional banks charge a fee for using their debit card abroad, challenger banks pride themselves in being different.
Starling wins the league with its fee-free ATM withdrawals; if you like avoiding the most touristic areas and are going somewhere where cash is still king, you’re going to need them. For money transfers, you can check out TransferWise – it’s a peer-to-peer money transfer service with really competitive rates.
Don’t expect a wide choice of accounts or amazing rates here – if that’s what you’re in for, you may want to look at our main savings account page. However:
With both Revolut and N26 you can open sub-accounts to save money towards a goal (referred to as “Groups” and “Spaces” respectively), but you won’t get any interest paid on it.
Challengers are still building up their savings accounts offers, so watch this space. For now, Atom wins on fixed-term savers while Monzo has some competitive easy-access accounts – but you can still get better rates if you go directly to the provider.
The short answer is yes – all the challengers we’ve mentioned are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and fully authorised to do what they do. However, there is a slight difference when it comes to how your money is protected:
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