Revolut is an app-based bank with a range of personal current accounts. It has a number of innovative features, such as allowing you to send and receive money without entering bank details and organise your subscriptions into one place so you can easily track your spending on them. It also offers benefits for when you’re travelling. Find out if it’s right for you.
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What is Revolut?
Launched in 2015, Revolut claims to have more than 30 million retail customers worldwide, who make more than 400 million transactions a month.
Opening a “Standard” free account with Revolut (which we’re reviewing here) will give you a UK current account, a Euro IBAN account, and a blue-ish, pink-ish payments card.
As well as all the usual things you can do with a current account, like send money to friends and withdraw money from an ATM, you can use an impressive range of other features, including free or low-cost international money transfers and global spending, plus access to cryptocurrency exchange.
How to sign up to Revolut
- Download the Revolut app from the App store or Google Play Store.
- Provide and verify your phone number.
- Provide your name, email address, home address & date of birth.
- Verify your identity through the app with a passport or ID card.
- Once approved you should receive your card within 9 working days.
- Before the physical card arrives, you can set up the app to use Google Pay or Apple Pay.
- Start spending using your Revolut account.
What can you do with Revolut?
Once you’ve decided that Revolut is for you, signing up is simple. You just need to download the app and register – you won’t need a proof of address and there are no credit checks, which speeds up the process.
However, you will need to verify your identity by taking a picture of both yourself and a valid ID document. After you sign up, you can request a contactless Revolut card.
The app is simple, easy to navigate and streamlined. With Revolut you can:
- Use it as a UK current account. You get a UK account number and sort code. You can set up recurring payments, withdraw cash at ATMs, make contactless payments, and use Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- Make international payments. The app enables you to transfer money in multiple currencies, fee-free, at the interbank exchange rate (the same rate that banks give each other).
- Spend globally fee-free (on weekdays). All card spending abroad on weekdays is charged at the interbank rate, which is as good as it gets for consumers.
- Hold different currencies. You can hold a balance on the app in multiple currencies.
- Pay friends. Pay other people with ease or use the split bill feature to divide a group spend (more on Group Bills below).
- View spending habits. Using analytics, you can see your spending, categorised by type of transaction, by merchant or by country.
- Freeze your card and set spending limits. Freeze a card if you lose it, unfreeze it if you find it, set monthly spending limits and enable additional security.
- Save money. Put money aside through regular payments or round up your spare change with Revolut’s Vaults. You can also set up a Group Vault with your friends and family and save for a common goal, such as a holiday.
- Add travel insurance. At the touch of a button, you pay by the day.
- Buy cryptocurrency. We explain more about crypto below.
What does the Revolut app look like?
Revolut fees, limits and pricing
Revolut has 5 tiers: Standard, Plus, Premium, Metal and Ultra. This review covers the Standard offering, which is free. We’ve also reviewed Premium, Metal, Ultra and Revolut Plus – these essentially offer more features and benefits in return for paying a monthly fee.
The Standard Revolut account comes with a few fees:
A bit more on the weekend markup: keep in mind that overseas card payments, international ATM withdrawals and money transfers sent abroad all imply a currency exchange, so the weekend markup applies in all these cases. There’s an easy way around it though: if you know you’ll be travelling or sending money abroad over the weekend, exchange the currency in advance on a weekday and you’ll avoid the fee. This will be possible with all the currencies that Revolut lets you hold.
And a note on “fair usage”: Revolut’s free Standard account comes with a fair usage limit of £1,000 per month for currency exchange transactions – which again applies to overseas card payments, international ATM withdrawals and money transfers sent abroad. After that, a 1% fee applies (in addition to any 1% weekend markup).
Can you use your Revolut abroad?
Yes you can. One of Revolut’s most appealing features is that it lets you spend fee-free (on weekdays) at the interbank exchange rate in multiple currencies.
When you’re spending abroad, you typically get hit with transaction fees or hidden charges. That’s because most financial institutions will either charge you extra fees to use your card abroad, or they change money at a less competitive rate, or both.
Revolut doesn’t do that, which is why it’s popular with those who have a global lifestyle. Using it abroad is much like using it in the UK. However, don’t forget the weekend markup and the £1,000 per month free limit on currency exchanges (both outlined above), plus the fact that free ATM withdrawals are limited to £200 a month – after which you’ll be charged a 2% fee, whether you’re in the UK or abroad. Learn more about using Revolut abroad.
When will my Revolut card be delivered and what are the design options?
After you’ve signed up for an account on your phone, your Revolut card should be dispatched the next working day.
The card that comes with the free Revolut Standard account is a blue and pink colour mix. There are different colours available with the other paid-for accounts, and the Revolut Metal account comes with, unsurprisingly, a metal card.
Whichever Revolut account you have, there is now also the option of designing your own personalised card. Card holders can create a design of their choice via the app, using images, text, emojis and even freehand sketches. The designs are then laser engraved on the metal cards or printed on the cards for other plans. There is an additional cost for a personalised card. Revolut also has special edition cards available.
How to top up with Revolut
Linking your main bank account with your Revolut card lets you top up instantly. In the app, 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.
What are Revolut Savings Vaults?
Revolut operates a system of “Vaults”, which are essentially pots where you can put money aside. You can open a standard Vault and top it up through regular payments, or by rounding up your spare change from transactions and automatically adding it to your Vault. You can also set up a “Group Vault” with your friends and family and save for a common goal, such as a holiday.
“Savings Vaults” are one of the brand’s latest launches. These are interest-earning deposits you place with banks via the Revolut app. Unlike Revolut accounts themselves, Savings Vaults are covered by the FSCS scheme because these savings pots are held at licensed banks, even though they are managed through the Revolut app (more on Revolut and the FSCS scheme can be found below). Savings Vaults are currently available in GBP to all customers whose sole tax residency is the UK. Learn more about saving with Revolut.
What is Revolut’s Group Bills feature?
One of Revolut’s newer features is its “Group Bills” tool. It makes it easier for Revolut users to manage group expenses – whether that’s splitting the bill with housemates for a pizza takeaway or settling up the spending on a group holiday.
Revolut customers can create and customise a Group with a name and photo, and then invite friends and family to join. Although you’ll all have to be Revolut account holders.
You add a bill to the Group on the banking app, tell Revolut how you want to split it, then it makes the calculations and sends out a notification to everyone requesting their individual payments.
What is Revolut’s virtual card?
The virtual card is for making online transactions – buying stuff from ASOS, setting up a Netflix subscription, ordering from Deliveroo, and things like that. It can’t be used for recurring payments like paying rent (though you can still set up recurring payments in the app). So what’s the point of 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 to keep within your budget. 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. Use the displayed card number and CVV at checkout.
However, Revolut’s real show pony is its “disposable” virtual card. You can have 1 disposable card linked to your account. After every online transaction Revolut deletes your virtual card and gives you a new one. Revolut says this has reduced fraud by 30%.
What is Revolut’s On-Demand Pay feature?
On-Demand Pay is a Revolut feature that lets its account holders access a portion of their earned wages before pay day. So if you’re half way through the month and need some cash for an emergency household repair, you could get hold of some of the wages you’ve already earned, without waiting until the end of the month pay run.
Users can withdraw up to 50% of what they’ve already earned whenever they need it, and Revolut charges a “small flat fee” for the service. The big catch is that your employer must be signed up to this Revolut scheme – although it is free for them to do so.
The On-Demand Pay feature is separate to Revolt’s Early Salary feature. The Early Salary tool just means Revolut clears your pay check a day early, so you can access the funds a day before you normally would, with no fee involved.
Is Revolut safe?
Despite not being a bank yet, Revolut is regulated by the FCA as an institution that deals in electronic money and has to hold all client funds in a “segregated account” at a licensed UK bank. This means that users’ money is kept separate from Revolut’s finances and that Revolut cannot invest it. So, even if something were to happen to Revolut as a company, your money couldn’t be used to pay off its debts.
However, until it officially becomes a bank, funds held with Revolut aren’t covered by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme), which protects deposits up to a maximum of £85,000 in the event a bank goes bust. The exception to this is Revolut’s “Saving Vaults” – even though these interest-earning savings pots are managed through the Revolut app, the customer funds themselves are deposited at licensed UK banks which have partnered with Revolut to provide savings products.
When it comes to security, Revolut’s smartphone app is protected by a password or fingerprint ID. You can also immediately freeze or unfreeze your card in the app if it’s been misplaced, lost or stolen. Further control can be added by turning online, ATM and contactless payments on or off.
|Live chat support||24/7 live chat support available in the app|
|Telephone support||Only available to block your card: 020 3322 8352|
|Email support||For complaints, email firstname.lastname@example.org (and for all other issues use the in-app live chat)|
|Closing your account||Go through the app to close your account|
|Order replacement card||Order in the app, estimated delivery date given when card order is placed, cost is £5 for the card plus a £4.99 delivery fee|
|Freeze card from app or online banking|
|Report card lost or stolen||Yes, through the app or by calling: 020 3322 8352|
|Cancel direct debits||Cancel direct debits in the app|
Revolut customer reviews
Revolut was ranked third out of 18 current account providers in our independent 2023 customer satisfaction survey. Its users gave the brand 5 out of 5 stars and 89% said they’d recommend the current account service. Its users highlighted how easy the service is to use, especially when changing money into different currencies. Revolut’s customer service was also a key factor in its high favourability rating. Here’s what some of those Revolut customers had to say in our survey:
“It’s easy to change money to different currencies and they offer good interest rates”
“Very easy to use and customer service are very helpful and polite”
“I think Revolut works very well, they offer a lot of additional services on the app”
“I like the online banking app”
On the Apple App Store, Revolut has scored 4.9 out of 5 stars from over 590,000 reviews. On the Google Play Store, Revolut has scored 4.5 out of 5 stars, from a substantial 2.3 million reviews (last updated, June 2023).
What is Revolut cryptocurrency?
When it comes to cryptocurrencies, Revolut stands out from its competitors. In 2017, it became the first challenger banking brand to let customers buy crypto in its app.
What’s more, it’s incredibly easy for anyone to buy 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 many different cryptocurrencies, including popular ones such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and XRP.
- Exchanges. Exchange one of the base currencies in the app for one of the crypto options. So, change pounds 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.
- Crypto card spending. Spend cryptocurrencies using your Revolut debit card. Link your crypto pocket to your card and make payments with instantly converted tokens.
- Fees. Revolut charges a markup on cryptocurrency transactions for Standard and Plus users (less for Premium, Metal and Ultra users). Revolut says it gives the best possible exchange rates, but it could still be worth taking a look at other options if you’re seeking to delve into cryptocurrencies.
- Learn and Earn. Earn yourself some free crypto by completing educational courses and receiving DOT tokens as a reward.
- Send to friends. Transfer cryptocurrencies to other Revolut users if you want to.
- Staking. Stake your Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT) and Tezos (XTZ) to earn crypto rewards.
- Risks. Revolut does 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. Unlike the rest of Revolut’s services, its cryptocurrency platform is not regulated by the FCA – crypto isn’t regulated in the UK. But UK-based companies are required to register with the watchdog, and Revolut is on the FCA’s registry of cryptoasset firms.
- Cryptocurrency services aren’t regulated in the UK – there’s no consumer protection. Your capital is at risk.
What is Revolut International Money Transfers?
Revolut already has a reputation as a well-established travel card. So it’s worth knowing that it also offers international money transfers. Utilising its user-friendly app, Revolut International Payments is quick and easy to use. And with its different account options, customers can potentially benefit from fee-free currency exchange.
- Fees. Revolut’s money transfer fees are dependent on which package you are on, what kind of transfer you are making, when you’re transferring and how much you’ve transferred that month. The “fair usage” policy means you can transfer up to £1,000 a month for free within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) or to other Revolut users anywhere in the world, from Monday to Friday. If you have Revolut’s Premium, Metal or Ultra package then that £1,000 cap is removed.
- Exchange rates. Revolut uses the “interbank” rate for currency exchanges from Monday to Friday (when forex markets are open).
- Transfer speeds. Payments made to other Revolut users by card are instant. But a bank transfer to a non-Revolut bank account can take up to 5 days to reach your recipient.
- Countries. You can use Revolut’s money transfer service to send money to around 150 countries in Europe, the Americas, Afric and and Asia Pacific.
- Transfer limits. For most currencies, there are no transfer limits. However, with certain currencies, you may find that Revolut’s payment partners have set limits.
What is Revolut Stays?
New for summer 2021, “Revolut Stays” is a tool where account holders can search for and book holidays to a wide range of destinations through Revolut, with no booking fees.
The idea is that you can then take advantage of Revolut’s competitive card spending fees for your purchases when you get to your overseas idyll – with Premium, Metal and Ultra account holders also getting an extra 10% cashback on their holiday spend.
Premium, Metal and Ultra customers also get travel insurance and discounted airport lounge passes included in their subscription plans, while Standard and Plus account holders have the option of booking pay-per-day travel insurance with Revolut as well.
Revolut is a great account for travelling as it’s packed with features such as fee-free currency exchange, airport lounge passes, travel insurance and cashback on accommodation booked through Revolut Stays. As it’s app-based, it has functionality you won’t see with other accounts. It also has a range of other innovative features such as the ability to buy, sell and invest in cryptocurrencies and set up automatic currency exchanges. To find out more and download the app, visit the Revolut website.
Fee-free spending abroad isn’t as unique as it used to be though. Other challengers, such as Starling and Monzo, also offer fee-free card payments abroad, and unlike Revolut, these providers also have a full UK banking licence.
But if you’re looking for a range of features, then Revolut is tough to beat – you won’t find the international options, cryptocurrencies, share trading or auto-exchange in the same place pretty much anywhere else. If you need a combination of those features, Revolut is probably your best bet. Get started by visiting Revolut's website and downloading the app.
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