There is much talk about best online banks and the Revolut card. To better understand what it is, we wanted to inquire about this British company and give our opinion of Revolut after having tested his card and disengaged all its services in detail. In this review of revolut we will try to cover the most important aspects about the prepaid card, services offered, security and if it is a reliable option for the Spanish public.
What is Revolut?
We can say that Revolut is initially presented as a different option to efficiently manage your money. Although it is not an online bank yet, this fintech It offers you a mobile app, a debit card and an account for exclusive use on the internet. They state that their services are designed for those who like to travel.
Launched in 2015, this service is distinguished by having low commissions and great flexibility to make international transfers. Once you open a standard account at no cost, you get a checking or checking account in the UK, a Euro account WERE GOING and a prepaid debit card. That is why it has already been adopted by more than 8 million users.
Since the account granted by Revolut works just like a traditional one, you can use it to manage your personal finances efficiently. Among its main functions, it serves to:
- Send money to family and friends
- Withdraw money from ATMs
- Make cheap international transfers
- Access the cryptocurrency exchange market
- Spend your money around the world at interbank rate
How Revolut works What can you do with your app?
Enjoying the Revolut app does not have many complications. You just have to download it and comply with the registration. As it is a quick process, they do not review your credit history or ask you for address confirmation. But you will have to send a photo of yourself and an identification document for the mandatory verification process.
Once you have been approved, you have the possibility of requesting the Revolut prepaid card with contactless technology for your daily operations or expenses abroad. This benefit is supported by the application of this almost bank without commissions. Easy to use and friendly, its functionality is among the best in the market. With it you can:
- Have several currencies. In fact, you can have up to 30 different balances in accepted currencies.
- Pay people. Not only does it allow you to pay your acquaintances quickly, it also includes the split bill option to separate a group expense.
- Spend money abroad at low cost. All the operations you do being outside your country are subject to the interbank rate, the lowest in the market.
- Review your financial habits. It includes an analytical function so you can see how you use your money. You can classify expenses by country, store and type of transaction.
- Add insurance. It allows you to have medical insurance and policy for your devices within a click and with low interest rates.
- Use a UK checking account. You get a bank identification code (IBAN) British and an official account number to manage your money. This means that you can withdraw cash from ATMs, direct payments, make “contactless” operations and use Google Pay or Apple Pay.
- Set limits and freeze your plastic. In addition to enabling greater security, you can put monthly spending restrictions. In case you lose your Revolut card, then freeze it to avoid fraud and defrost it if you get it.
- Save money. This application also includes some vaults in which you can put money in a systematic way or save some simple that you over. It also has group savings, so that you accumulate money with your family or friends. This function does not generate interest, but it can be very useful for short-term goals.
- Make international payments. With this app, you can perform international transfers commission-free additions and only paying the interbank rate, which is the lowest in the market.
- Buy cryptocurrencies. This option will be explained in more detail in another section.
How the revolut card works
When you sign up with Revolut through a Standard, Premium or Metal account, you can request the physical or virtual Visa prepaid card. This card is used to make commercial operations in at least 150 currencies. To spend, you have an established limit of € 6000 per month without commission and, from that amount they charge you a 0.5% rate.
How to enter money in revolut
Knowing how to reload the Revolut card is very simple. You just have to locate the “Top-up” option (reload) and click on it. While there, you will have to choose one of 2 options: debit card (bank transfer).
If you select “Card”, you must decide the type of currency you want to use: USD, EUR, GBP, etc. Enter the amount, the data of your plastic and press “Top up”. It is an automatic process, so you will have money almost instantly.
With the option of “Bank Transfer” is a little different. After choosing the preferred currency, you need to continue until you get to “Get personal account”. If you click there, both the IBAN and the BIC. You recharge with the desired amount and you must wait 1 business day to be effective.
How to pay with revolut
Knowing how to transfer money to Revolut (how to recharge) is important in order to use your prepaid card. If you want to pay with this card, you can do it physically or virtually. For online purchases, you perform the same process as for a credit card, giving the number, personal data, expiration date and the CVC. For physical expenses, it is as if it were a debit card.
Commissions, ATM limits and prices
When preparing this review on Revolut, we found that it has 3 main products for the public: Standard, Premium and Metal. The last 2 offer other benefits, although they have a monthly cost of € 8.27 (£ 6.99) and € 15.38 (£ 12.99), respectively. Here we only cover the standard version for illustrative purposes and which includes a series of commissions:
- ATM withdrawals. If you were wondering how much money I can get from Revolut, you have the possibility to withdraw up to 200 or 400 (with Premium account) monthly at ATMs. After that amount, you are charged a 2% commission on the amount withdrawn.
- Debit Card Shipping. There is a possibility that you will find a free shipping offer on a portal with a review of Revolut. For now, this procedure costs you EUR 6.
- Overdraft. When you use the services of this company, there is no possibility of being charged for lack of funds. Simply the payment will not be processed.
- Transfers. There is a special charge of 0.5% if you do an operation that exceeds 5000 GBP. Otherwise, they only charge you the interbank rate with national or international transfers in the 30 currencies accepted.
- Weekend charge for currency exchange. Every time you perform this operation on a Saturday or Sunday, you will be subject to a 0.5% charge for the 15 most important currencies and 1% for the rest. This goes through the fluctuation of the interbank rate over the weekend, so you should be aware when you have to travel or spend time in another country.
One of the reasons why Revolut has become popular is its low rates that do not include additional fees or hidden charges. This behavior on the part of most financial institutions is reflected in unexpected charges for using any bank card or for giving you an exchange rate that is usually quite unfavorable.
Since this entity does not apply these measures to its clients, it has gained the preference of 8 million people who are looking for a lifestyle without so many commissions. The use of Revolut services abroad is the same as in the United Kingdom or in the EU. You just have to remember that:
- ATM cash withdrawal has a limit
- you can shop unlimited
The people of Revolut claim that they are above the competition when it comes to the cryptos market. This is because in 2017 they became the first app to offer the purchase of these digital currencies. Its intention is to offer easy access to these assets without needing advanced knowledge about this technology or its details.
When you use this service, you can have:
- Unlocking. If you opt for a standard account, you need to invite 3 friends to join Revolut to access the cryptocurrency market. For Premiums it is automatic.
- Shipments to third parties. You have the possibility to transfer cryptocurrencies to other people at no cost.
- Cryptos. Revolut customers can use 5 different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum and XPR.
- Real time data. The app allows you to obtain graphs about the variation of rates in real time and there is a function to set price alerts.
- Conversion. This option gives you the ease of buying these alt coins using the funds you have. You have 25 base currencies to do this operation.
- commissions. The charge of this Fintech for these operations is 1.5% of the amount. While this may be a competitive rate, there are other options in this category that could be more attractive.
Is revolut a bank?
Certainly not yet. According to their founders, they are doing everything necessary to become one of the best online banks. So far, Revolut has a European license granted by the European Central Bank since the end of 2018. However, it is not fully operational, since this fintech needs to pass several tests and make certain adjustments.
Once this probationary stage is over, the UK FCA will have the power to remove the current restrictions on the Revolut license. In the event that this happens, the company may present itself as a full-fledged online bank, and may offer other products. This will also depend on what happens with Brexit, to which Revolut said it will seek a full license in the United Kingdom.
It is safe?
Although Revolut is not considered a bank as such, it is under the regulation of the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), one of the strictest in the world. The company has an institution status that manages electronic money, which forces it to dispose of all client funds in separate accounts, to avoid improper handling.
However, Customer funds that use Revolut services are not protected by the Deposit Guarantee Fund, which guarantees compensation of up to £ 85,000 (about € 100,000). As for the app, you have the possibility to activate or deactivate certain functions as a security measure. In addition, there is the password and fingerprint identification to protect your sessions.
Advantages and disadvantages of Revolut
This review on Revolut would not be complete if we did not talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your pseudo bank account without commissions.
Starting with the disadvantages, we can highlight:
- The possibility of withdrawal at ATMs is limited to an amount of 200 EUR.
- There are no physical agencies for those who like to have a more personal customer service.
- At the moment it does not have other relevant banking services, such as credit cards, overdraft or interest savings account.
- The application of a special rate for currency exchange during weekends due to the closing of stock markets.
- At the moment, only available in English.
Among the advantages, it is worth mentioning:
- 24-hour customer service
- The advantage of using the debit card without additional or hidden charges.
- You can register in a few minutes and without the need for a credit review.
- Transfers abroad in 30 different currencies and at the interbank market rate.
- The app has medical and travel insurance that you can get directly at a competitive price.
- It has an individual or group vault that you can use both to save on personal goals and with friends or family.
- A very easy to use application that includes several interesting functions and serves to control expenses, manage accounts and activate / deactivate the card.
Comparison of Revolut with other online banking apps
As a reference we have made a comparison between Revolut and other online banks without commissions. That way, you will have more information when deciding with which online bank you prefer to open a new bank account.
Revolut vs N26
In this opinion of Revolut, it is necessary to compare with one of the best online banks that operates within the European Community: N26. That is why we have made a small comparison chart to highlight the most relevant of each company.
|Products||Prepaid card||Current account|
|WERE GOING*||Yes (British)||Yes Spanish)|
|Loans||Do not||Do not|
|Conversion||Free and 0.5-2% weekend||Free|
|Google Pay / Apple Pay||Yes||Yes|
|Official Institution *||Do not||Yes|
* Although this Revolut vs N26 is not appreciated, these companies dispute the public’s preference for their ease of making currency conversions in a timely manner. Although in practice, N26 offers 3 fundamental advantages to consumers compared to Revolut:
- Customer service in Spanish
- Official institution backed by the Deposit Guarantee Fund (FGD)
- IBAN Spanish
Revolut vs Bnext
Making a comparative chart, we have a better perspective of the differences between these 2 popular options:
|Products||Prepaid card||Prepaid card|
|Were Going||Yes (British)||Do not|
|Loans||Do not||Do not|
|Debits||Do not||Do not|
|Rewards||Do not||Points and discounts|
|Conversion||Free and 0.5-2% weekend||Free of charge|
|Google Pay / Apple Pay||Yes||Do not|
In this face to face, we can favor Revolut for several reasons:
The Bnext card is associated with an online account that does not work under a bank.
Revolut has a better conversion service, an IBAN (yes, from the UK) and is used to use Google Pay or Apple Pay.
Although both have the same recharge options, Bnext’s seems more limited. Your transfers take 3 business days and the minimum amount to have a balance is 25 EUR.
In this review on Revolut we review its most relevant aspects and we can conclude that its functionality is among the best in the market. Even if does not exceed N26, you can complement other online banks without commissions when traveling, buying cryptos and spending outside of Spain. If this current account based on an app manages to operate under a bank license, it will dominate the market as the best available online bank.