The hassle of exchanging your money for local currency when you travel is a thing of the past.
Revolut’s travel card eliminates this trouble, making it easier than ever to manage your finances while you’re away.
Want to know more?
In this Revolut review, I’m going to focus on the company’s travel card. I cover the pros and cons of using Revolut’s travel card, explain its key features, and cover some popular alternatives in case you decide it’s not the card for you…
Revolut Review: Is it the Best Card in UK / Europe?
The bottom line: Revolut’s card makes it easy to pay in foreign currencies, but it’s not the best card in the UK, in my opinion. Here’s why:
- Revolut’s card lets you hold and send money in 29 different currencies, but it doesn’t have a UK banking license.
- The free account restricts how much spending you can do in a foreign currency. This may rule it out as your sole form of payment when traveling. Revolut offers premium accounts ranging from £2.99 to £12.99 per month with higher limits, but there are alternatives with better pricing.
- Revolut’s card isn’t FSCS protected, making it a riskier choice than some of its competitors.
Revolut is now available in the U.S. as well, but I prefer some if its travel-friendly alternatives…
- Chime offers its customers tons of great features like early direct deposit, no monthly maintenance fees, helpful automatic savings tools, and more.
- M1 Finance offers an Owner’s Rewards card that you can use internationally without any transaction fees. It also offers a bunch of great cash-back deals and access to M1’s premium HYSA.
- Varo lets you use your Varo Visa Debit Card internationally without any foreign transaction fees or exchange rate markups.
What is Revolut?
Revolut is an online banking app. It offers savings accounts and investing options, but its claim to fame is its travel card.
Revolut offers one of the most popular travel cards for use in the UK and Europe, which makes it very easy to exchange currency. It’s also available in the U.S.
Since the travel card is Revolut’s flagship offering, most of this Revolut review will focus on the travel card and how it compares to other similar options.
How Does Revolut Work?
So, how does Revolut work? Well, Revolut’s card is a prepaid Visa card that makes it easy to exchange into any of the 29 currencies the company supports. When you load money onto the card, you choose whether you want to use your base currency or exchange the money for a foreign currency.
One of the coolest things about how Revolut works is that you can choose to leave your money in your base currency — for example, in Sterling — and it will automatically convert to a foreign currency when you use your card abroad.
The advantage of converting on the fly is that you don’t have to think about exchanging currency when you cross borders, but it does mean that you’re at the mercy of the exchange rates. Converting your money when you load it onto the card locks in the exchange at the current rate.
Revolut Card Review
One of the best things about the Revolut card is how easy it is to use. Everything about the Revolut card is designed to be user-friendly and simple, from signing up to loading money to actually paying for things.
Your Revolut card — and entire account, for that matter — is managed through the Revolut app, which may be a pro or a con, depending on how you feel about using your phone for banking. Personally, I see it as an advantage. I take my phone everywhere with me, so having access to Revolut’s travel-friendly card on my phone is a plus.
One big advantage Revolut’s mobile-focused approach has is you can use disposable virtual cards anywhere you go. These function just like physical cards, but they only exist in the digital space and you can create and destroy them as you please.
Revolut Card Review: Key Features
Here’s a quick look at the Revolut card’s key features
- No-fee withdrawals abroad
- Competitive exchange rates
- No fees for exchanges up to £1,000 per month ($1,000 for U.S. users) on weekdays, 0.5% fees on weekends
- Free withdrawals up to £200 per month or 5 ATM withdrawals (whichever comes first)
- Create and use virtual cards just like you use a physical card
Can You Use Revolut Abroad?
Yes, you can! In fact, that’s one of the main benefits of using Revolut — UK, Europe, or elsewhere. Using Revolut abroad is as easy as paying for something with your card, the exchange to local currency happens automatically.
You can exchange up to £1,000 per month ($1,000 for U.S. users) without incurring any fees. After that, you’ll be charged a 1% fee for exchanges if you’re on the Standard plan and 0.5% if you’re on the Plus plan.
If you prefer, you can also load money onto your Revolut card in a foreign currency. This is helpful if you want to lock in the current exchange rate. Otherwise, the exchange-as-you-pay mode is more convenient.
Revolut Card Costs: Fees and Minimums
Getting your first Revolut card is free, but you have to pay for its delivery. If you need to have it replaced for any reason, there’s a £5 replacement fee. ($5 for U.S. users; an additional Virtual card is $4.99.)
Virtual Revolut cards are free and don’t have any delivery fees associated with them — they don’t need to be delivered, after all.
Withdrawals are free up to £200 per month but are subject to a 2% withdrawal fee, with a minimum fee of £1 per withdrawal. (For U.S. users, no fee up to $400 per month or currency equivalent, after which a 2% fee of the value of ATM withdrawal applies.)
There is no minimum deposit required to open a Revolut account and no hidden fees for not maintaining a certain balance.
Revolut Reviews: What are Customers Saying?
Here’s how Revolut reviews from customers stack up on a few major review platforms:
Trustpilot: 4.3 out of 5.0
BBB: Not Accredited
Google reviews: 4.5 out of 5.0
Revolut’s reviews are overwhelmingly positive. I read many reviews that praise the company’s mobile app and overall convenience. A lot of customers also mention that they appreciate Revolut’s transparency surrounding fees, which means no surprises on their monthly statements.
Some of the negative reviews I read mentioned that Revolut’s customer support is somewhat lacking. Specifically, several reviews mention long delays on support tickets. Another common complaint is that you can only access customer support via live chat or automated phone service, so don’t hold your breath waiting to talk to an actual human.
Is Revolut Safe?
Overall, yes, but there are some things you should be aware of — especially if you’re considering Revolut as a resident of the UK.
Revolut does not have a UK banking license, and the funds you deposit with the company are not FSCS protected.
If Revolut were to fail, any money you had with the company would be lost. Now, how likely is that? Not very, in my opinion, but if that makes you uncomfortable, you’re probably better off using a different option. Revolut is working on obtaining its UK banking license, although it’s not clear when that will happen.
With that said, Revolut is regulated by the FCA, its virtual cards offer greater security while shopping online, and you don’t have to worry about having them lost or stolen.
Contacting Revolut: Customer Service Options
This is where Revolut falls a bit flat, in my opinion. You can access customer support through the Revolut mobile app via live chat 24/7, which is helpful for quick questions but doesn’t work so well for more complicated issues.
If you have a problem that can’t be resolved by using the live chat, you can get customer support over the phone, but you’ll find yourself wandering around in a maze of unhelpful automated responses.
When I have a serious problem, I want to speak with a human.
How to Use Revolut: Steps to Sign up For an Account
Revolut boasts that signing up for an account takes just 60 seconds. Here’s how to use Revolut:
- Download the Revolut App: The Revolut app is available on the App Store and Google Play, so installing it takes only as long as it takes you to remember your password.
- Open the App: Once you’ve installed the app, open it, and click on the ‘Get Started’ button. The automated setup guide will walk you through the sign-up process.
- Enter Your Personal Details: You’ll need to provide personal information, including your full name, date of birth, home address, and email address.
- Verify Your Identity: To comply with financial regulations, Revolut will need to verify your identity. This usually involves uploading a photo of a valid government-issued ID and a selfie.
- Set Up Your Account: Choose your account type (personal or business), your base currency, and set up a password for your account.
- Add Money to Your Account: Once your identity has been verified and your account is set up, you’ll need to add money to your Revolut account to start using it.
That’s it! It’s as easy as one, two, three — four, five, six.
How Does Revolut Compare?
Check out this handy table comparing Revolut to its main competitors, Monzo and Starling Bank.
Account types offered
Personal and business
Personal, Joint, Business
Personal, Joint, Business, Sole Trader
No-fee spending abroad?
Yes, up to £1,000 per month, 0.5% after for Standard and Plus accounts, no fee for Premium and Metal accounts
No-fee withdrawals abroad?
Yes, up to £200 per month
Yes, up to £200 per month
No fees up to £1,000 on weekdays; up to 1% on weekends
No fees or exchange markups
No fees or exchange markups
Alternatives to Revolut
If Revolut, Monzo, and Starling Bank don’t strike your fancy, here are three alternatives that offer travel-friendly cards.
All of the below cards have plenty of great features for frequent travelers…
Chime is an online-only company located in the U.S. It offers checking and savings accounts and a credit card.
Chime offers its customers tons of great features like early direct deposit, no monthly maintenance fees, helpful automatic savings tools, and more.
Disclaimer: Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.
M1 Finance offers an Owner’s Rewards card that you can use internationally without any transaction fees.
The Owner’s Reward card also comes with a bunch of great cash-back deals and access to M1’s premium HYSA. The only catch is that you need to be a Plus member, which costs $10 per month.
Varo lets you use your Varo Visa Debit Card internationally without any foreign transaction fees or exchange rate markups.
There are a handful of high-risk countries where you can’t use it, but I’m willing to bet you aren’t planning a vacation to any of those places anyway.
Revolut offers convenient mobile banking services and very travel-friendly cards. If you don’t mind its lack of FSCS protection — which seems like it’s coming soon — Revolut’s card is a great option to take with you next time you hit the road. It doesn’t offer the best travel perks, but it has no withdrawal fees or exchange markups up to a reasonable monthly limit.
What is the downside of Revolut?
The major downsides to using Revolut abroad are the limited free international withdrawals, limited free exchanges, and weekend upcharges for exchanges. Some customers also report less-than-pleasant experiences with customer support, to put it mildly.
Is Revolut legitimate?
Yes, Revolut is legitimate, although it does not have its UK banking license and doesn’t offer FSCS protection.
Is Revolut still safe to use?
Yes, it is. Revolut is regulated by the FCA in the UK and the technology it uses is safe and secure.
Can I use Revolut in the USA?
Yes, you can. Revolut started serving the USA in 2020, although US customers still don’t have feature parity with their UK counterparts. Revolut is planning on continuing to expand the features US customers have access to.
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