Revolut alternatives including banks and competitors

Looking for something like Revolut, but not quite? Let's go find the challenger that suits you best.

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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.

While you can also read Finder’s individual reviews of Atom bank, Monese, N26, Monzo and Starling, this article looks at them all together, to help you figure out which is best for what.

Cards like Revolut for day-to-day banking

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:

  • Cash withdrawals. As you can imagine, cash isn’t the strongest spot of these companies, which primarily offer digital-only current accounts. With Revolut, free cash withdrawals are limited to £200 a month (there’s a 2% fee after that) and you can’t load cash at all. With Monese’s standard plan (the free one), cash withdrawals are charged £1 each. Starling, Monzo and N26 all allow conspicuous daily cash withdrawals without charging any fees.
  • Cash loads. Among the three that allow them (Starling, Monzo and Monese), Starling is definitely the top player because it lets you do it for free at all Post Offices.
  • Overdrafts. Monzo and Starling allow planned overdrafts. With Starling, you can negotiate an overdraft up to £1,000, depending on your credit rating, and there is a 15% fee; with Monzo, you get a fee-free £20 buffer, after which there is a 50p charge for each day the account is overdrawn. N26 says it will be launching overdrafts in the UK soon.

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.

Day-to-day banking: The verdict

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).

Starling Bank

Starling Bank: award-winning banking on your mobile

  • No monthly fees or fees overseas
  • Apply in minutes, direct from the app
  • Winner 2020 - Best Current Account, British Bank Awards
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Cards like Revolut for travelling

While most traditional banks charge a fee for using their debit card abroad, challenger banks pride themselves in being different.

  • Card payments. You may want to rule out Monese here – it charges a 2% currency exchange fee unless you upgrade your account to a Plus or Premium option – but if you pay by card you can go on a holiday spending spree with the others without having to worry about banking fees.
  • ATM withdrawals. With N26, they cost a 1.7% fee, while Monzo limits the free ones to £200 a month (and charges a 3% fee beyond that). Starling doesn’t charge for them and the limit is £300 a day.
  • Money transfers. That’s where Revolut gets really competitive – if you need to send money abroad often, you may want to reconsider the idea of looking for an alternative. You can transfer money in 29 currencies at the interbank rate for no fees, up to £5,000 a month. All the others do charge a fee, although with Monese and Starling you can set up free euro accounts (and thus send out free money transfers in euro).

Travelling: The verdict

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.

Starling Bank

Starling Bank: award-winning banking on your mobile

  • No monthly fees or fees overseas
  • Apply in minutes, direct from the app
  • Winner 2020 - Best Current Account, British Bank Awards
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Alternatives to Revolut for saving

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:

  • Atom bank specialises in savings accounts. And it’s got a wide range of fixed-term options. If you don’t need to access the money you are putting aside, it is fairly competitive.
  • Monzo is building a savings market place. It’s got a partnership with three different providers (Shawbrook, OakNorth and Investec) and through the app you can directly get savings accounts with them, both easy-access and fixed-term.
  • Starling pays a small interest on all balances. 0.5% up to £2,000, and 0.25% between £2,000 and £85,000.

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.

Savings: The verdict

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.

Are challengers safe?

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:

  • Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). It protects all deposits up to £85,000 and applies to institutions that have a full banking licence. That is, Monzo, Starling, Atom bank and N26 (whose licence is registered in Germany, and so is the deposit protection).
  • Segregated accounts. Institutions that only have a licence for dealing in electronic money have to keep all clients’ money in segregated accounts, from where it can’t be used to pay the company’s debt and is thus safe in case of bankruptcy. That’s the case for Monese; Revolut recently got a European banking licence, but until it’s fully finalised, deposit protection doesn’t apply and client money will still be kept separate from company money.

Cards and apps like Revolut

Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Ratings Interest (AER) Arranged overdraft Key benefits Link Representative example
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
0%
39.9% EAR variable
£125 when you switch
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Plus earn 2.75% AER / gross interest with the linked HSBC Regular Sever
To be eligible for HSBC Advance, customers will need to pay in a minimum of £1,750 per month or £10,500 over 6 months and must qualify for a minimum £1,000 arranged overdraft. To be eligible for the £125 switching offer, customers must switch from a non-HSBC Group current account product. Other T&Cs apply. Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you’ll be charged interest at 38.9% (0% EAR variable on first £25, 39.9% thereafter).
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
0%
39.94% EAR variable
Interest and fee free overdraft
for first four months when you switch
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Up to 15% cashback at a range of major retailers
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 39.94% EAR variable.
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
0%
15% EAR variable
Seamless easy switching within 7 days
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
No fees for spending or withdrawing cash overseas - currencies are converted at Mastercard’s standard exchange rate
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 15% EAR variable.
We say
★★★★★
0%
N/A
Guaranteed acceptance plus a credit building feature
Go to site
Account fee of £5.95 per month.
We say
★★★★★
0%
N/A
Guaranteed acceptance
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Earn cashback on your purchases when you shop through the ThinkMoney rewards portal
Account fee of £10 per month or £15 per month.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Foreign ATM withdrawals Foreign transactions fee Card cost Delivery speed
Starling Bank
Free
No fees
Free
Between 3-5 working days
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
WeSwap
Withdrawals of £200/$200/€200 or more – free
smaller withdrawals – a charge of £1.50 per withdrawal

No transaction fees (if you spend in one of the 18 wallet currencies)
Free
Between 3-5 working days in the UK, or within 10 days if you live outside the UK
Tandem (Credit Card)
No ATM fees. However you'll be charged interest from the day you withdraw cash.
No fees
Free
-
Tandem's credit card doesn't charge fees on purchases abroad, leaving you with more money for your travels.
Loot
Two free cash withdrawals per month, £1 thereafter
No fees
Free
-
App-based current account that keeps you on top of your spending. You can set goals and Loot will help you get there.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Fees and charges Interest Savings goals
Revolut (Standard)
Card delivery is £4.99
No interest
Set budgets in the app
Starling Bank
Free
0.05% on up to £85,000
Create different spending goals and protect money from daily spending
Monese (Starter)
None
No interest
Not a feature
Monzo
Free
Marketplace with 8 savings accounts both fixed rate and easy access, £500 minimum deposit.
Monzo pots let you put money aside, protected from your daily spending
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Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Direct debits UK ATM withdrawals Payments Freeze your card
Revolut (Standard)
Supported with both the UK account and the Euro IBAN account
£200 free monthly
Easy UK payments and can transfer money between 23 countries
Yes: touch of a button in app
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Starling Bank
Yes - future Direct Debits shown as alerts
Free
Pay via bank transfer or using PayPal or Google Nearby
Yes: touch of a button in app
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
Monese (Starter)
Yes - can cancel with touch of a button too
£200 free monthly
Pay via bank transfer, easier to send to another Monese account.
Report lost/stolen in app to be sent replacement
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app
Monzo
Yes - future payments shown in homefeed
Free
Pay via bank transfer or send instantly to other Monzo account
Yes: touch of a button in app
Monzo is free to spend anywhere in the world and in any currency, with no fees. All money is exchanged using the MasterCard rate.
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Alternatives to Revolut including banks and competitors: A summary

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