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.
Read on to find out more about Revolut and whether it might be an option for you.
Revolut card: Free delivery worth £5
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- Spend abroad with no fees
- Fee free international money transfers
- Buy Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum with one tap
- Trusted by 2 million users
- Sign up takes just 60 seconds
Looking for a business account? Get 3 months free trial and free business card
Hold over 150 currencies, transfer money internationally, and issue employees with corporate cards for global fee free spending using Revolut’s business account.
What is Revolut?
Revolut is a digital ‘challenger bank’, offering hassle free global spending. Its app is elegant and simple and Revolut prides itself on being a “world beyond banking, working for those who never stop moving forwards.”
Revolut on the rise
- Revolut increased revenue by almost 5x between 1 Jan and 31 Dec 2017
- Users tripled, from 450,000 to 1.3 million in the same period (now approaching to 3 million)
- Monthly transaction volumes jumped from $200 million to $1.5 billion
How does Revolut work?
After you sign up, you can 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. You can hold a physical balance on the app in 16 currencies.
- Payments: The app enables you to transfer money to 25 countries, fee-free, at the interbank exchange rate (the same rates banks give each other).
- Pay friends: Pay friends with ease or use the split bill feature to divide a group spend.
- Analytics: View your spending habits, categorised by type of transaction, merchant or by 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.
When will your Revolut card be delivered?
After you’ve placed your order, your Revolut card should be dispatched the next working day. Standard delivery can take up to 9 days, while express delivery to the UK, US and Canada will get you your card in 2 working days. For all other countries express delivery should take 3 business days.
Customers are warned, though, that these are estimated delivery times. It may take longer.
Using Revolut abroad
Revolut’s most unique and appealing feature is that it enables you to spend fee-free at the interbank rate in 150 currencies.
When spending abroad, it’s common that a portion of holiday funds go on transaction fees or hidden charges.
Revolut provides customers with international spending freedom, making the account popular with holidaymakers and travelers.
For more details about sending money overseas, head to our international money transfer section to find everything you need to know to find a cheap deal.
Revolut fees, limits and pricing
- Card Transactions: Free in 120 countries.
- Bank Transfer: Fee-free, at the interbank rate, in 24 currencies. Although it charges 0.5% for transfers that exceed £5000 a month.
- Withdrawals: Free ATM withdrawals of up to £200 per month. After this limit there is a 2% fee.
- Overdraft: You cannot enter an overdraft. If a purchase exceeds your available funds the transaction will be declined.
- Delivery: Free with premium subscription, £4.99 with standard subscription.
- Premium Subscription: £6.99 per month or £72.00 annually in advance (saving £11.88). (Read our review of the Premium service here).
Is Revolut safe?
Revolut is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), protecting your money if Revolut face problems.
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 has recently launched its disposable virtual card to tackle online fraud. When a customer makes an online payment with a disposable card, Revolut will detect the transaction and automatically destroy those card details, generating new ones that will appear directly in the app.
How to top up with Revolut?
Linking your main bank account with your Revolut card lets you top up instantly. Just head to the app and do the following:
- The first time you top up you have to link a main bank account with your Revolut card. Go into the app and put in your 16-digit card number, expiry date, CVC code, and billing postcode.
- Make sure the address is correct otherwise the payment might fail to go through.
- Press the ‘+’ symbol in the top left corner of the accounts screen.
- Add the card you want to top up from, and choose the amount you want to add into your Revolut account.
- Tap top up and the money will go into your account instantly.
Another top up option Revolut offers is the automatic top up feature. With this, you get the app to automatically top up your Revolut account from your main card if it drops below a certain amount.
How to use Revolut’s virtual card?
It is a card you can only use for online transactions. Buying shoes off ASOS, or paying your Netflix subscription, for instance. Or maybe paying Deliveroo or UberEATS. It can’t be used for recurring payments like paying for rent (though you can still set up a recurring payment in the app).
So what’s the point of it this card? Can’t you just use your physical card for everything?
Well, the idea is that it’s safer. You can freeze your virtual card, and set monthly spending limits. On top of this you can delete the virtual card every few months, making it harder for fraudsters to steal your details and clone your card.
To use it, head to the ‘cards’ section in your app and scroll to your virtual card. Simply use the displayed card number and cvv at checkout.
However, Revolut’s real show pony is its “disposable” virtual card. They’re only available to premium users, though. After every online transaction Revolut deletes your virtual card and gives you a new one. Revolut says this has reduced fraud by 30%.
How does the app look?
Compare Revolut with other banking apps
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.
What’s more, it’s incredibly easy for anyone to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin with Revolut. Revolut’s aim is to make them accessible, so you don’t have to be a tech whizz to get your hands on them.
- Cryptocurrencies: Customers have access to 5 different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and XRP.
- Unlock: With a basic Revolut account you have to invite three friends to app before you can “unlock” the crypto feature in the app. Premium account holders get it automatically.
- Exchanges: Exchange one of the 25 base currencies in the app for one of its crypto options. So, change Pound Sterling into XRP, or change Euros into Bitcoin. The choice is yours.
- Real-time rates: Real-time cryptocurrency graphs show you current rates. Plus set up price alerts to hear when your cryptocurrency hits a certain value.
- Fees: Revolut do charge a 1.5% markup for the transaction. Revolut says it gives the best possible exchange rates, but it’s certainly worth taking a look at your other options if your looking at delving into cryptocurrencies.
- Send to friends: Transfer cryptocurrencies to other Revolut users for free.
- Risks: Revolut does still warn that the value of cryptocurrencies can rapidly increase or decrease at any time, so you the customer are at risk. As well as gains, you could make some serious losses.
Pros and cons of Revolut
- 24 currencies can be held on your account. Exchange between them is instant.
- Spend abroad with no fees.
- 24-hour customer service.
- User-friendly app with control over accounts and cards.
- Interbank exchange rate.
- Instant top ups from your main account.
- At weekends, when the markets are closed, Revolut applies a mark up of 0.5% on major currencies and 1% on other currencies on its rates.
- You are always charged at least a 1% markup for currencies like the Thai Baht, Russian Rubbles, Ukrainian Hryvnia and the Turkish Lira. This rises to 2% on weekends.
- Foreign exchanges over £5000 a month come with a 0.5% fee.
- The card can take up to nine working days to arrive, so you need to be prepared if you’re travelling!
- Free cash withdrawals are limited to £200 a month.
- No branches, which can put off those who prefer face-to-face customer service.