Both cheap and efficient multi-currency digital accounts, choosing between TransferWise and Revolut is a tough call.
With fintech companies and challenger banks mushrooming everywhere, spending and sending money abroad has become increasingly easier and cheaper.
Revolut and TransferWise are among the top players in the market. While coming from different approaches, they end up offering fairly similar services, so we’ve looked at them side by side to find out which is better.
Revolut vs TransferWise: Key differences
While Revolut was founded as a multicurrency card with the ambition of revolutionising the banking sector, TransferWise is mainly a peer-to-peer online money transfer service that allows you to send money abroad at a cheaper price than most competitors. One would think that they don’t compete that much with each other, but that’s not true anymore since TransferWise also launched its own multicurrency account and debit card.
Nowadays, Revolut and Transferwise offer basically the same thing: a digital-only current account that allows you to hold and spend different currencies, a debit card that can be used abroad without any fees charged and a banking app. However, there are also some key differences between the two:
- The Revolut app has way more features. The TransferWise app is all about money transfers, whereas the Revolut app has a lot of sophisticated features meant to improve your day-to-day banking experience, from spending categorisation to savings goals.
- TransferWise covers more currencies. You can hold money in 40 different currencies and send money in a few more. With Revolut, you can hold and transfer money in 29 different currencies.
- With TransferWise, you also get US and Australian accounts, as well as UK and EU accounts, including bank details. Revolut provides you with UK and EU accounts.
- You can’t use Revolut from a desktop. Revolut is all about the app and you can’t access your account from a browser.
- You can use TransferWise for one-off money transfers. Unlike with Revolut, you don’t need to open an account to use TransferWise. If you only need to transfer money say, once or twice a year, you can do it by logging in to the TransferWise website and making a bank transfer from your own current account.
- You can use Revolut to hold cryptocurrencies. This somewhat unique service isn’t offered by TransferWise.
Revolut vs TransferWise: Fees
|Monthly fee||No monthly fees||No monthly fees|
|Card payments||Free in the UK and abroad (+0.5% currency conversion markup at weekends)||Free in the UK and abroad, but currency conversion fees apply|
|Currency conversion||0.5% markup at weekends||0.35%-2.85% depending on the currencies involved|
|ATM withdrawals||Free up to £200 a month; 2% fee after that||Free up to £200 a month; 2% fee after that|
|Money transfers||Free up to £5,000 a month in 29 currencies (+0.5% currency conversion markup at weekends)||£0.65 fixed fee (can vary according to the currency) + currency conversion fee|
|Conversion rate||Interbank exchange rate||Interbank exchange rate|
|Visit Revolut||Visit Transferwise|
Both Revolut and TransferWise are a good shout if you need to send money abroad fairly often.
In most cases, Revolut will be a better option. It offers a full banking experience and a great app (TransferWise wasn’t born as a current account, and it shows). It’s also cheaper since aside from the weekend markup, there are no currency conversion fees.
However, there are a few cases in which TransferWise will make more sense. That is, if you don’t want a current account but only want to send out the occasional money transfer, if you need Aussie or American bank details or if you use one of the currencies that Revolut doesn’t cover.