Revolut Review

7 Must Knows Before You Sign Up

In a just a couple minutes, you’re going find out if Revolut is great option for your modern banking needs.

Review of RevolutBut wait there’s more 🙂

In many circumstances, Revolut is a clear leader and may be perfect.

However Revolut may not be the right choice for your needs and in those instances I will show you who might.

This is not your average “These Guys Are Awesome” type review.

Importantly, we dig deep and assess real customer reviews particularly the negatives ones where we uncover the real deal.

Here is the good, the bad and even the ugly, so that you can decide.

It is true, Revolut offers the latest in online banking services including prepaid debit cards, instant payments, currency exchange and even crypto exchange – all via their app.

But it is not a bank.

The difference starts in its super low costs to do anything internationally, transparent fees and mostly user-friendly app.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here

Pros

  • Lets you spend in 150 currencies internationally at interbank rates (flat rate of 0.5% applies for amounts above £5,000 per month)
  • Free international ATM withdrawals of up to £200 a month (flat fee of 2% for amounts above this threshold)
  • Handy payment splitting tool
  • Good security features
  • The app gives complete control over transactions and debit card operation
  • Premium subscriptions come with an array of perks such as travel insurance
  • Basic crypto exchange and shares trading

Cons

  • Charges a markup from 0.5% to 1.5% on exchange rates on weekends
  • Has a specialized banking license, however, it is not a full-fledged bank

Jump Links

1. Is Revolut Right for You?
2. How Revolut WorksPersonal and Business
3. When Revolut Doesn’t Work (inc. negative reviews)
4. How You Can Open a Revolut Account? (the easy way)
5. Costs + Features (the real deal)
6. How Fast is Revolut?
7. Is Your Money Safe with Revolut?
8. Bottom line

1. Is Revolut Right for You?

Revolut is a user friendly app based bank like service for individuals and business that enables you to spend money at interbank rates up to £5,000 per month. You also get free international ATM withdrawals up to £200 a month. Fees and pricing plans are reasonable and transparent.

Let’s dig in.

Click here to see the options and pricing available in your country (opens a new tab so you can keep reading).

Currently, Revolut supports opening account for residents in the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia and Switzerland. The EEA includes the United Kingdom.

Revolut is a good choice for individual users looking for the convenience of sending and requesting money to and from abroad at no or very less fees. It can also benefit international travellers, who can withdraw cash and spend money in multiple currencies across countries.

The fact that it lets you buy and save crypto currencies and stocks can be an added advantage to some individuals.

It can also work well for freelancers and business with employees. You can keep your personal and business account separate, make recurring payments, and integrate the Revolut account into your workflow and with popular apps such as Zapier, Xero and Slack.

Revolut for Business is available for different types of business entities including Private limited company (LTD), Limited liability partnership (LLP), Public limited partnership (PLC), Limited partnership (LP) and Sole traders and freelancers.

If you are mostly interested in money transfers you might also like Revolut VS TransferWise.

Alternately if you most interested in the banking side of things TransferWise VS Monzo is a good comparison.

2. How Revolut Works

When you open a Revolut account, it provides you a Visa or Mastercard prepaid debit card or a virtual card that you can use for cash withdrawals and account charge-offs in 120 currencies.

It also allows direct transfers in 26 currencies within the Revolut app.

You can also buy and save cryptocurrencies and covert them to/from over 25 fiat currencies.

Just like regular banks, Revolut also provides you an account number and sort code that you can use to get paid by others in the UK. There is also a Euro IBAN account for accepting and European payments.

You can fund your Revolut account using multiple payment methods including bank transfer, Credit/Debit card, Apply Pay and Google Pay.

As you can see from the chart below there are lots of additional perks which we will uncover in more detail below.

The trick is to choose a plan that best suits your needs.

Personal Accounts:

Here is the latest price and feature comparison chart (opens new tab to keep reading). for the UK and Europe.

Note: Australian residents click here (opens a new tab to keep reading)  for pricing in Aussie dollars and different offerings.

In it you will notice they ALL have the following:

  • Free UK account
  • Free Euro IBAN account
  • Spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate
  • Exchange in 29 fiat currencies up to £5,000 per month without any hidden fees
  • No fee ATM withdrawals up to £200 per month

BUT there is a long list of additional benefits for Premium and Metal users.

Most notably, medical insurance, baggage and flight insurance, priority customer support, LoungeKey Pass (at airports) and fancy looking premium cards.

Business Accounts: Click down or scroll to section 2.5 below.

For individuals, to decide which one is right for you, it is best to answer these questions:

2.1 How does Revout make money?

If you choose the Free account there are limits set on free ATM withdrawals and currency exchange. If you exceed the limits there are fees. Premium or Metal options have monthly fees but have higher limits on free ATM withdrawals and currency exchange. They also don’t pay interest on funds held.

2.2 Should you choose the free option?

Depending on how much money exchange and ATM withdrawals you make you will likely find that if you exceed the minimums (which are pretty low) it will be cheaper to choose the Premium or Metal options which have other benefits.

2.3 Premium or Metal?

Both Premium or Metal have a bunch of additional perks like cash back on purchases made, LoungeKey pass access, purchasing crypto like Bitcoin and disposable virtual cards that can make international travel or doing business just that little bit better.

fall in love with the bling of the card

They offer some additional services as well, which include peer-to-peer loans, phone and travel insurance and several other partner offers.

2.4 Is Metal any good?

Some people will just fall in love with the bling of the card. After all it is made from “18g of reinforced steel“ (not sure why you would reinforce a metal card) but flipping this bad boy out certainly does make a statement if that is important to you.

On the practical side is the concierge service for “hotel reservations, flight bookings, exclusive events and more”.

They have also started commission-free share trading service. This will enable the users to buy and sell US stocks.

Metals users can execute 100 free trades.

Free and premium subscribers (will also get) three and eight free trades a month respectively. Beyond that, you will need to pay £1 per trade.

2.5 Business

Revolut for many also works really well for freelancers, online sellers and smallish international businesses by making international payments easy and inexpensive.

Here is the latest business features (opens new tab to keep reading).

The low down

With a business account they allow your team to raise payments online that need to be approved and schedule future payments.

Multiple prepaid cards can be issued to employees and with the use of their user friendly platform – each persons expenses easily managed.

Personal and business accounts can be kept separate and integration of Revolut account into your workflow and with popular apps such as Zapier, Xero and Slack makes things easy.

Revolut for Business is available for different types of business entities including Private limited company (LTD), Limited liability partnership (LLP), Public limited partnership (PLC), Limited partnership (LP) and Sole traders and freelancers.

Business accounts also have different options which we cover (below) in more detail.

That does not make Revolut perfect.

3. When Revolut Doesn’t Work (including negative reviews)

Even the best services are going to have negative reviews.

Negative reviews on TrustPilot often uncover a lot. The important thing is to take negative reviews in context of the bigger picture – rather than read one, two or even ten or twenty.

Big Picture: Out of 22256 reviews 87% are good or excellent.

Revolut Analysis of ReviewsHere are the results (taken from scores of recent reviews on August 2019) one star reviews that make up 9% of the total.

4% – Blocked or Frozen Accounts

3% – Customer Service

2% – Other

Blocked or Frozen Accounts make up approximate 4% of the total reviews. (47% of the 1 star reviews). Revolut due to its international services has to meet a lot of extra regulations which can mean that customers accounts are locked (sometimes with funds stranded temporarily). This causes one star reviewers a lot of stress.

Customer Service makes up approximately 3% of the total reviews left. (34% of the 1 star reviews). Most customers complain that the “bot” used in the chatbox for customer service is unhelpful and that you can’t speak to a live person. No doubt part of this problem comes from the low cost model which attracts people in the first place.

In most cases Revolut works really well and in our opinion as well as the majority of people they can be a great solution for some of your banking needs. However given the potential for being locked out due to Revolut having to meet various regulations we would recommend limiting the funds you keep with them and not using them as your primary account.

For business a backup plan would be prudent but let’s not forget that when things work well – they work very well!

For money transfers, since Revolut uses 3rd parties this can introduce extra delays and problems with compliance – so even though this possibility is small, we would suggest using specialist money transfer companies for larger or very important money transfers. These steps mean that you get all the benefits Revolut with limited downside.

Also worth considering service providers such as the TransferWise Borderless Account (review) who have built their digital banking business after establishing their money transfer service. Another option is Bunq (review) which a European challenger bank that could be described as the stripped down version of Revolut – with all the good stuff you really need without the extras.

4. How You Can Open a Revolut Account?

Opening a Revolut account is a breeze as everything right from registration to identity verification, authorization and funding happens online via their app.

Once you download the app here, you will be asked to create a profile and provide an ID for verification. The eKYC takes no longer than a few minutes. However, sometimes you may be asked for additional documents for verification.

You also need to choose your plan based on your needs. You can upgrade or downgrade your plan anytime you like. You can also select the card as per your requirements. So, setting up Revolut account is nearly instant. You can fund your Revolut account using any of the supported methods and start transacting.

5. Costs + Features (the real deal)

Just like low cost airlines, low cost banking often means the devil is in the details.

Knowing these details is your secret weapon.

You can enjoy most of the Revolut services such as fund transfers and cash withdrawals free of cost. However, there are limits on the amounts you can transfer or withdraw without cost. You can make international fund transfers at mid-market rates.

However, the company charges a mark-up of 0.5-1.5% on weekends to cover the losses that may occur due to exchange rate fluctuations that may occur once the markets opens on the next working day.

You need to pay delivery cost of £5 for the first debit card and £6 for the replacement cards. There is a daily top-up limit of £1,000 – £3,000 for new accounts.

Personal Accounts:

1) Revolut Standard (Free)

  • Free UK account
  • Free Euro IBAN account
  • Spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate
  • Exchange in 29 fiat currencies up to £5,000 per month
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals up to £200 per month

2) Revolut Premium (£6.99/month)

  • All features available on Free account
  • No limit on exchange in 29 fiat currencies
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals up to £400 per month
  • Overseas medical insurance
  • Global express delivery
  • Delayed baggage and delayed flight insurance
  • Priority customer support
  • Premium card with exclusive designs
  • Instant access to 5 crypto currencies
  • LoungeKey Pass access
  • Disposable virtual cards

3) Revolut Metal (£12.99/month)

  • All features available on Premium account
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals up to £600 per month
  • 1% cashback within Europe and 1% outside Europe on all card payments
  • Exclusive Revolut Metal card
  • Get access to a concierge to help you manage your lifestyle

See How Revolut Works – Personal Accounts (above)

Business Accounts:

1) Revolut Free (£0/month)

  • Personal accounts for online sellers and freelancers
  • 2 cards and limited access for an accountant
  • 52 Free local transfers

2) Revolut Grow (£25/month)

  • Corporate cards and 10 users access
  • Foreign currency transfer up to £10k at midmarket rate
  • 100 Free local transfers
  • 10 Free international transfers

3) Revolut Scale (£100/month)

  • Corporate cards and 30 users access
  • Foreign currency transfer up to £50k at midmarket rate
  • 1000 Free local transfers
  • 50 international transfers

4) Revolut Enterprise (£1000/month)

  • Corporate cards and unlimited users access
  • Unlimited foreign exchange transfer at midmarket rate
  • Unlimited local transfers
  • Unlimited international transfers

See How Revolut Works – Business Accounts (above)

6. How Fast is Revolut?

You can get your Revolut account up and running in a matter of minutes. It may take 7-9 days for you to receive your card. You may choose express delivery if you want your card earlier.

All payments and fund transfers are said to be “instant” but of course if there are 3rd party banks involved you need to take into account the extra time it takes for them to clear funds – especially international banks.

7. Is Your Money Safe with Revolut?

Revolut is not a full-fledged bank, so your money is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

However your money is secured in a segregated trust account with Barclays/Lloyd’s. In case Revolut goes insolvent, you may still be able to recover your funds from the segregated account.

Revolut is an FCA authorised institution, so your funds are protected as per FCA requirements, the Payment Services Regulations 2017 and the Electronic Money Regulations 2011.

Compliance Issues

Recently revolute has been in the media for a possible lapse in compliance. Reports indicate the FCA is involved, which in our opinion is not great but could be seen as a good thing long term as they no doubt face further scrutiny and (if required) will pull their socks up. Important to note that the compliance issue relates to prevention of financial crime and not security.

Other major competitors who do significant business in the UK are not registered with the FCA.

Revolut app from what we can tell is fully secure.

Active Security

The app gives you complete control over your card and transactions. For example, you can freeze and unfreeze your card instantly. The app also lets you turn on and off features such as swipe payments, ATM withdrawals and contactless payments.

It comes with GPS based security, which means, if your card is used in a different location from your current smart phone location, the card will be blocked.

Bottom Line

Revolut is a modern, convenient way to transfer funds, make cash withdrawals and spend money abroad. It lets you make fee-free transfers at mid-market rates.

However, there is a limit on the fee-free transfers and the amount you can transfer at mid-market rates. It has various plans for individual and business users. You can use the one that suits your needs the best.

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