Revolut VS TransferWise

Best and Most Trustworthy and Why

TransferWise and Revolut are two of the most praised pre-paid card providers.

TransferWise VS RevolutTheir strengths are payments in different currencies, and cheap money transfers – both are established leaders in the sector.

We have used both services for several years now and can say they are both great choices.

Which is the best for you will ultimately depend on your circumstances.

But we bet you’re curious to find which one we like best and why, so read on!

*Both TransferWise and Revolut offer individual and business accounts. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the individual accounts.

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

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    1. The Big Difference
    2. Who Can Get One?
    3. Costs and Fees (+ Hidden Fees?)
    4. Currencies
    5. Ways to Send Money
    6. Receiving Accounts
    7. Cards
    8. Cool Features?
    9. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
    10. Customer Service and Support
    11. Verdict

1. The Big Difference

Both TransferWise and Revolut on the surface seem to offer similar services, but they were born to serve different purposes.

This makes them have different strengths. 

The business behind TransferWise is focused on offering cheap international money transfers between bank accounts through its money transfer service (review). While the company expanded its range of services over the years, most people still use it exclusively to make bank-to-bank payments from one currency to another.

Transparent and very low fees determined a quick growth and today, TransferWise also offers the borderless account (our full review), a service that appeals to those who need local bank details in various countries.

See the latest for TransferWise in your country (opens a new tab, so you can keep reading).

Revolut was designed with travellers and international business people in mind. Its main strength is the multicurrency card that allows for quick and super-cheap currency exchange, either in-app or directly while paying with your card or withdrawing currency from an ATM.

While Revolut (our full review) can also be used to transfer money to a bank account, it is more often used to transfer money from one Revolut account to another. At this, Revolut has super-fast transfer speeds.

See the latest for Revolut in your country (opens a new tab, so you can keep reading).

Revolut to bank transfers are also super-fast and executed immediately, although the actual time will depend on your bank’s processing time.

With this in mind, let’s see which are the main advantages and disadvantages of each of these services.

This video is pretty awesome, if a little outdated (read below for the latest):

TransferWise Pros

Revolut Pros

  • Quick and cheap transfers
  • Low and transparent fees
  • 50 countries supported
  • Multicurrency card
  • Local bank accounts
  • TransferWise card is available in UK, Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand
  • Fast and free transfers
  • Transparent fees
  • 33 countries supported
  • Virtual cards
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Vaults
  • Insurance options
  • Multicurrency card
  • Various membership options
  • Instant processing of all transfers
  • Recurring payments
  • Direct debit payments

 

TransferWise Cons

Revolut Cons

  • Processing times can vary based on your country and currency
  • Only spot transfers supported
  • More expensive during weekends
  • Currently, only available in Europe and Australia

 

2. Who Can Get One?

Who can get the card and where you can use it.

TransferWise

Revolut

Opening a TransferWise account (for money transfers only) is typically possible from almost any country, but getting the borderless card is only available in UK, Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand (click your country).

You can also get TransferWise Borderless for business.

You can only send and receive money in one of the 50 supported currencies.

At the time of this writing, Revolut is available in UK, Europe, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland, and the USA (click your country).

You can also get a card for business.

You will have to be a resident in one of these countries to download the app and order the card.

Winner: Tie

You can get the Revolut card in slightly more countries and both include the US, UK , Europe and Australia.

If you are Kiwi (NZ) – TransferWise is a clear winner.

If you are a Canuck (CAN) – Revolut is is a clear winner.

3. Costs and Fees

There are 3 main costs and fees – 1) Money Transfers, 2) Paying Others and 3) Withdrawing Money

TransferWise

Revolut

Opening an account is free.

1) TransferWise big claim is to charge mid-market currency exchange rates at all times, but it applies transfer fees to all transfers.

These fees however are usually cheap and transparent, but how much you’ll have to pay depends on the country you’re in, the currency you’re sending, and currency you want your recipient to receive. A handy calculator will let you know how much each transfer costs.

2) Paying with a TransferWise card is free for payments in currencies you hold. If you don’t have enough currency, the company will exchange it automatically applying a conversion fee between 0.35% and 1%. This is significantly cheaper than a typical card.

3) Withdrawing money from an ATM is free up to £200 (or currency equivalent), then a 2% fee will apply.

 

Opening an account is free offers limited functions, but there are various membership options you should consider: Premium (£6.99 per month) or Metal (£12.99 per month) account. (see Cool Features below)

1) Revolut big claim is free transfers in the same currency and mid-market exchange rates for most currencies, except for the weekends when a  0.5% markup is applied.

For cross-currency transfers inside the Eurozone, the provider charges 0.5% on any amount exceeding your free foreign currency exchange allowance, which is £5,000 per month, but all transfers below this amount are free.

Transfers outside the Eurozone (SEPA) may incur international wire transfer fees charged by intermediaries, as shown here.

2) Paying with your Revolut card is free for payments in currencies you hold. The company applies the mid-market rate to convert the currencies if you don’t hold enough currency into your account.

3) Withdrawing money from an ATM is free up to £200 (or currency equivalent), then a 2% fee will apply.

Winner: Tie

Both TransferWise and Revolut have strengths and limits, but which is best largely depends on where you live and what you want to do with your card.

To hep you decide here are some simplistic guidelines:

  • Generally Revolut is cheaper if you are in the UK, Europe or Switzerland and are only paying for things using the card (no transfers).
  • If you need more than £200 cash from ATMs and plan on using the card pretty frequently, it is worth considering the Premium (£6.99 per month) or Metal (£12.99 per month) account options with higher limits.
  • Generally TransferWise is cheaper if you plan transfer money to anyone else (especially outside of Europe where 3rd party banks can take a healthy cut but TransferWise often eliminates through local bank accounts)

Hidden Fees?

TransferWise is about as transparent as you can get not just in the world of money but in any business. Revolut is not quite as overtly transparent but pretty darn good and they certainly don’t seem to be hiding anything from our experience using them and looking deeply into the way they work.

4. Currencies

The differences in the two service become quite apparent depending on what you want to do.

TransferWise

Revolut

TransferWise currently can send money in over 50 currencies, but it can only receive transfers in ARS, AUD, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, JPY, MYR, NOK, NZD, PLN, RON, TRY, SEK, SGD, and USD.

To get paid you get local bank account numbers for five currencies –  USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, and NZD.

Revolut supports 140 currencies for spending and withdrawal wherever Mastercard and Visa are accepted.

The only unsupported currencies are: ZWD, CKD, KID, PND, TVD, AMD, FOK, ERN, BTN, EHP, CUC, SHP, GGP, JEP, IMP, SDG, SYP, IRR, PRB, SOS, and KPW

Winner: Revolut

For spending and withdrawal – Revolut supports more currencies than TransferWise, and you can spend or withdraw in most of them at the interbank exchange rate.

For receiving money (see Receiving Accounts below) – TransferWise enables you to get paid as if you had a bank account in five currencies –  USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, and NZD. (Revolut has a UK and a Euro account only)

For money transfers to others (see Ways to Send Money below) – Revolut enables 29 supported fiat currencies to a bank account. TransferWise on the other hand enables over 50 fiat currencies to be sent.

5. Ways to Send Money

TransferWise

Revolut

With TransferWise, you can send money either from your bank account (paying with a credit/debit card or bank/SWIFT transfer) or send money deposited in your Borderless account, by setting up a transfer.

 

 

 

 

 

It may take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days for the recipient to receive the money.

Revolut allows you to send money either to another Revolut user or to a bank.

In the first circumstance, you can send money from the app to any Revolut user by simply saving their phone number on your device and selecting the right recipient when making the transfer.

Sending money to a bank account is similar to sending money from any mobile banking app; simple and intuitive.

Revolut to Revolut transfers are instant.

Bank transfers within the UK usually take minutes. In the rest of the world, you can expect the recipient to receive the money in less than a day, although in some cases it can take a few days.

*Note: Revolut can only transact international transfers in the following currencies: USD, EUR, GBP, PLN, CHF, DKK, NOK, RON, SGD, CAD, JPY, AUD, HKD, AED, BGN, CZK, HUF, ILS, MXN, NZD, QAR, SAR, SEK, THB, TRY, and ZAR

Winner: Tie

Revolut gives you various possibilities to send money, and the transfers are quicker than TransferWise, but TransferWise supports more currencies for international transfers.

6. Receiving Accounts

TransferWise

Revolut

Through its Borderless account, TransferWise gives local bank account details in GBP, EUR, AUD, NZD, and USD, enabling you to receive money from over 30 countries for free.Revolut offers its users local bank details in GBP and EUR, as well as SWIFT accounts for other 28 currencies. Receiving money in all these accounts is free as long as you don’t exceed your monthly plan allowance, which is £5,000 for Standard accounts.
Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise offers more local bank accounts, and receiving transfers is free regardless of how much money you receive, except for the USD. For USD, you have a limit of $250,000 per transaction and per day, and 1,000,000 limit per year.

 7. Cards

TransferWise

Revolut

The TransferWise Mastercard is linked to the Borderless account. You can use it to make payments and withdraw money wherever Mastercard is accepted. The card is enabled for contactless payments.

TransferWise applies a commission between 0.35 and 1% when you convert your money from one currency to another at the mid-market rate.

Revolut offers three types of cards, depending on the type of account you have.

  • Standard plastic card for the Standard Account.
  • Customisable plastic card for the Premium Account.
  • Metal card for the Metal Account.

The cards can be either Visa or Mastercard, depending on your country of residence, and can be used wherever Visa or Mastercard are accepted. All cards are enabled for contactless payments.

Revolut doesn’t charge any fees to convert your money from one currency to another at the mid-market rate.

Apart from the physical card you can order when opening your account, Revolut also offers virtual cards to use for online payments.

The virtual cards are impossible-to-loose and they can be easily created and cancelled from the app.

Both the physical and virtual cards can be managed from the app; you can choose to block and unblock your cards as you wish, as well as cancel them and ordering new cards.

Here so more info. on virtual cards.

Winner: Revolut

Besides the physical card, you can create up to 5 virtual cards which makes it easy to buy things online with less concern.

Also check out the physical Metal and Premium cards.

8. Cool Features?

TransferWise

Revolut

None that haven’t been mentioned.
  • Vault – Based on the concept of saving accounts, Revolut’s Vault is a way to save money towards your goals. You can choose to round up your transaction and deposit the spare change, set up recurring payments, or make a one-off contribution. You won’t get interest, but it’s a nice way of saving.
  • Budgeting features: You can limit your spending by setting up monthly budgets within the app.
  • Revolut Perks: Currently available for selected users only, it’s a reward program that wins you instant cashback.
  • Cryptocurrencies: Instant access to 5 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and XRP (for Premium and Metal memberships).
  • Phone insurance: The insurance offers instant accidental damage coverage from £1/week.
  • Pay-per-Day travel medical insurance: By using geolocation technology, Revolut charges you £1/day only on those days when you are abroad for medical and dental coverage, provided by Revolut Travel Limited.
  • Apple Pay: You can save your Revolut card and make payments via Apple Pay. Google Pay is currently available to selected users in the UK and Europe, and it will soon be launched for everyone.
  • Donations: If you want to support your causes, you can do so easily with Revolut’s Donations. You can either round up spare change and donate the difference, set up recurring payments, or make a one-off donation.
  • Recurring payments: Easy to set up and cancel at any time.
  • Direct debit: You can set up direct debit payments to pay for your bills or purchases.
  • Loans: Currently available to UK residents only.
  • Lounge pass: Made for travellers, you can buy airport lounge passes when you have to wait between flights if you’re a Premium or Metal member.
  • Concierge: Only for Metal members, it allows you to hire a concierge to book tickets, find flights, restaurants, hotels, and more.
Winner: Revolut

Revolut offers a wealth of additional services to standard, premium, and metal users.

The question is do you find them valuable?

 

9. Reviews

Both TransferWise and Revolut offer intuitive and super-easy to use apps, with overall positive user experience. To compare the two services, we consulted the public opinion on TrustPilot.

TransferWise

Revolut

TransferWise is praised by its users, scoring over 70,300 reviews and a whopping 5-star rating.

86% of its users judged the service as excellent, with a further 8% considering it good.

3% of the reviewers gave only 1 star, considering the service bad.

Here are our full reviews of Borderless and our the TransferWise Card.

Criticism regards delays in sending notification codes, long waiting times for the transfers, and blocked transfers for no apparent reason.

From our personal experience, transfer delays and temporary blocks are quite infrequent, but they are easy to solve by contacting the customer service team by phone, email, or chat.

Revolut doesn’t shine as much as TransferWise on TrustPilot. It only has around 22,500 reviews, but there is to say that TransferWise was launched 4 years before Revolut and it has wider international coverage.

That said, Revolut scores a 4-star rating, which is still excellent.

77% of its users rated the service 5 stars, while a further 10% considered it good and have given it 4 stars.

9% of the users judged it as bad. Most people complain about the lack of customer support – resulted from the chat function misuse rather than actual lack of support – and frozen accounts, which we discussed in our full review.

Regarding the first complaint, Revolut utilises artificial intelligence (a bot) to solve minor issues. If you want to speak to an operator, just type Live Agent, and you’ll be transferred immediately.

Regarding the frozen accounts, while they can be more than annoying, they are triggered by UK’s and EU’s current legislation that requires banks and financial institutions to place temporary holds on accounts if there is detected suspicious activity.

It is likely the same would happen with TransferWise too, but TransferWise doesn’t offer as many banking features as Revolut, so it is rarely used for every-day banking needs.

Winner: TransferWise

TransferWise has more and better reviews on TrustPilot. However a large part of the difference may be due to TransferWise not having as many features which you might want.

10. Customer Service and Support

TransferWise

Revolut

TransferWise has an extensive help section and comprehensive guides that can help you solve most issues.

If you want to contact the customer service team, you can do so via email, phone, or live chat.

The live chat function is not available 24/7, and it seems to randomly appear and disappear based on how busy they are.

Like TransferWise, Revolut impresses with an extensive help section that can answer all possible questions.

You can contact the support from your app via chat available during normal business hours (UK time) Mo-Su.

The chat is initiated by Rita the bot, and you can always type Live Agent to be transferred to an operator.

Besides the chat, you can also join the Revolut community or contact them via social media.

Winner: TransferWise

Both TransferWise and Revolut offer excellent customer service and support, but TransferWise has better options.

11. Verdict

With 3 wins for TransferWise, 3 wins for Revolut and 3 ties, both services are excellent.

Obviously, if you live in an area where Revolut is not yet present (see Who Can Get One), TransferWise is your only choice – and an excellent one at that.

If you have a choice, TransferWise is most often going to be a better option so long as you are OK without the Cool Features having a Revolut card provides and especially if you need to transfer money or live outside of the UK or Europe.

See the latest for TransferWise in your country

However we found in our Costs and Fees analysis that Revolut beats TransferWise for UK and European payments. Revolut is also a clear winner for business which we comprehensively covered here.

See the latest for Revolut in your country

Which is the best service is ultimately up to you – both are awesome – it all depends on your needs and country of residence.

 

Happy Money!

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