I have been using my Revolut card for about three years now. It has been my go-to tool for budgeting and foreign exchange since I first received my card.

While Revolut has been great, there have been some pitfalls, and it may not always be the best option depending on your requirements.

In this review, I am going to go in-depth on everything about Revolut and discuss the good and the bad, as well as point out some pitfalls which competitors may do better at.

This isn’t going to just look at my opinion (and I will remain unbiased), but I will also look at other people’s opinions online and how Revolut is viewed globally.

I am presuming if you have made it onto this page that you do not yet have a Revolut account or card. Simply put, it is a prepaid debit card with instant payments, free currency exchange and some cool little features will help you budget more effectively. This is all tied into a very simple but well put together app on your phone.

My experience with Revolut over the year has incurred very few costs, which is why it has been my #1 choice.

So, without further delay, let’s get into the review.

Pros

  • Free ATM withdrawals up to £200 per months (2% fee above £200)
  • Helpful budgeting tools
  • Strong security
  • Free INTERNATIONAL ATM withdrawals (up to £200 per month)
  • Interbank currency transactions – FREE up to £5,000 per month
  • Payment splitting tool
  • Premium subscription options providing further perks
  • Crypto exchange & share trading
  • In-depth transaction controls

Cons

  • Charges a fee on exchange rates on the weekend
  • Not a fully registered bank (less protection)

How Revolut Works

When you first sign up to Revolut, you will get a few options. However, the main factor is, you will be provided with a debit card (Visa or Mastercard) which has a prepaid only function. You can also get a virtual card which allows you to make payments via your mobile phone.

It is important to note that you cannot have an overdraft with a Revolut card. This means that what is on your card is your balance. You cannot spend more than the balance on the card.

You can easily fund your Revolut account using various payment methods. From my experience this has always been very fluid and swift:

  • Bank transfer
  • Debit/Credit Card
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay

Similar to a standard bank account, Revolut will provide you with an account number and a sort code. This allows you to be paid by other people within the UK, and you can also receive payments from those within Europe using the IBAN Account Number.

When signing up to Revolut there will be various options on the type of card you will receive. There is the standard account, premium and “metal”. The standard account is free, but provides the fewest benefits.

 

Standard Account

The standard account will offer everything that I have mentioned until this point. If all you need is some basic foreign exchange for going on holiday, and you don’t need a unique currency, then this will likely be the solution for you.

As I mentioned, this account is free – although you will have to pay for the delivery of your card.

There are limitations to this card if you wish to withdraw larger amounts of cash from local or international ATMs, as this is limited to £200 per month. I have found this to be quite limiting when going on holiday, as I never really know how much I am going to spend until I get there.

 

Premium Account

This account provides everything that the standard account provides, but with some extras.

Firstly, the maximum balances are increased. You can now withdraw up to £400 from ATMs.

The key benefit I find with the Premium account is the extra travel benefits. You will get various kinds of insurance for your travels. You get overseas medical insurance, delayed baggage and delayed flight insurance and also free access for you and a friend into the airport luxury lounge if your flight is delayed by longer than an hour.

The Premium account costs £6.99 per month – which makes it cheaper than a Netflix account – but in my opinion provides so many more benefits if you travel a lot. I personally travel for business all the time, and this card has been a life saver on many an ocassion.

For those of you with kids who want to teach them some money management skills, you can also set up to two Revolut Junior accounts for them with your Premium membership.

 

Metal Account

The name stems from the fact that you will get a metal card if a member of Revolut Metal. However, that’s not all you get…

On top of everything I’ve already mentioned with the Standard & Premium accounts, your withdrawal balance again increases to £600 per month, and you get access to lounged for you and up to three other friends if your flight is delayed by an hour. This can be great if you travel in large groups on a regular basis.

You will also receive several top brand discounts and perks, 0.1% cash back on all payments within Europe (1% outside Europe)

Revolut also provides a personal concierge to help “manage your lifestyle” for all Revolut Metal subscribers.

Is Revolut The Solution For You?

Revolut is an incredibly user friendly app and pre-paid debit card system, and I honestly don’t think I could travel without it any more.

In addition to the travel benefits, I like to “top up” my Revolut card on a monthly basis with a set balance, and that is my budget for the month. I set a strict rule to not add any further balances to my account, and this helps me to reduce my spending each month.

Revolut is great for any individual who is looking for the convenience of a standard debit card setup, but with a few extra features which help travel and day-to-day spending.

Those of you who are into your Cryptocurrencies will really like Revolut, as it is one of the only mainstream options which have crypto currencies within such a simple setup.

There is also the possibility for some basic stock/share purchases as well though the app.

I know of various small business owners and freelancers who have benefitted from Revolut as well. You are able to keep your personal and business accounts separate within the app, and it even integrates with several popular workflow apps such as Zapier, Xero & Slack.

There are various options when it comes to Revolut Business accounts. There are setup options for a Private Limited Company (LTD), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Public Limited Company (PLC), sole traders & freelancers.

The Bad & The Ugly – When It Fails to Meet Expectations

I’ll be honest, Revolut isn’t perfect. Not that anything in the world is, but let’s also look at some of the negative reviews that Revolut has received over the years.

I took a look at the TrustPilot reviews of Revolut. With a total of 61,400 reviews, Revolut has a score of “Excellent”

For the most part, negative reviews seemed to be related to blocked or frozen accounts. I don’t have the detail on these, but I suspect a large number of these were caused by breaking the Revolut terms and conditions (likely fraudulent behaviour), which caused the accounts to be shut down. Therefore some of the negative reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt.

In my opinion Revolut works really well for the most part, and it seems that many people agree with me. However there were a few complaints about customer service when it came to Revolut. Thankfully I’ve never had any issues with my account, and therefore haven’t had to put this to the test.

I would generally suggest not using Revolut as a main account and limiting the amount of funds you put into your account (I never really go above £500). I will always use my Revolut account as an intermediary between my actual bank account and the payment/receipt source.

That’s not to say I don’t trust Revolut, it is just that they are not an official bank, and therefore do not come with the protection of one. Therefore, I would always use a full bank account as my main holding of money in order to be prudent.

There are also a few competitors in Revolut’s niche which may be worth checking out. The main competitor is TransferWise, or Bung. Both of these options are similar to Revolut, but posses some slight differences.

Opening an Account

Opening a Revolut account is incredibly simple. Click on this link: Revolut Account Setup

All you need to do is input your mobile number, and follow the instructions. You will need to download the app and create a profile. This also involves providing some ID for verification, but these steps only take a couple of minutes. There are instances where further verification may be requested.

You will need to choose the plan you wish to use (standard, premium or metal). It is possible to upgrade or downgrade your plan at any point, so you could start on premium and then go up to metal if you feel the benefits are beneficial.

You will also be able to select the card you wish to use.

Overall, setting up a revolut account is increadibly simple, and you’re ready within a matter of minutes. You can start funding your Revolut account using any of the supported funding options. You will just have to wait for your physical card to arrive in the post if you wish to spend using that method.

Hidden Costs of a Revolut Account

Let’s dive into the details of this low cost banking option. Can we even class Revolut as a banking option? Let’s discuss.

You can enjoy most of Revolut’s core functionality of free, we’ve already noted that. However, there are limitations to these core functions based on withdrawal limits and some other premium benefits.

There are a couple of “hidden” costs which I feel Revolut should be more up-front about

Revolut does charge a 0.5%-1.5% fee on any exchanges performed at the weekend. This is something which is hidden quite well by Revolut and not made completely obvious. I understand the reasons, it is to cover any potential losses over the weekend with FX movements.

Your card is goingt to incur a delivery fee of £5, which isn’t made obvious in the marketing material until you go to order your card (£6 to replace your card).

I know when I first signed up to Revolut, I hadn’t even heard of the Metal card option. I feel as though to some extend, Revolut relies on people signing up for the free card, and then being convinced over time that the metal card is a good idea. It would be interesting to see the statistics, but I imagine most Metal card users began as free users and moved onto the Revolut Metal subscription over time, rather than starting with it.

Is Revolut Metal Worth It?

 

Safety & Security

I’ve already mentioned this, but Revolut is not an official bank, and therefore is NOT covered to protect your balances up to £85,000 (or £170,000 for joint accounts). This is why I would never recommend putting large sums of money into your Revolut account.

While I do trust Revolut, and believe the security measures in place do work, I would never risk anything beyond £500 in my account at one time.

There are some safety nets though.

The money held within your Revolut account is secured in a trust account with Barclays/Lloyd’s, and there is still a possibility of claiming your funds back if Revolut were to become insolvent.

The Revolut app does give you control over your card and the transactions. You can easily freeze/unfreeze your card with ease, which is a big plus point in my view over a regular bank account. If you lose your bank card, and then find it again after you’ve cancelled it, it is impossible to just un-freeze it I have found.

You can turn off certain features in order to increase your comfort over security. For example, you can turn off swipe payments, ATM withdrawals or contactless payments. In fact, there is a limit on contactless payments where you need to periodically ‘approve’ to continue contactless on your mobile app. This means if somebody stole your card, it would stop them spending large amounts of money in small increments.

There is also a GPS based security measure with Revolut. If someone were to steal your card, and use it in a different location to the GPS of your mobile phone, the card would be blocked. However, don’t leave your mobile at home when using the card!

Concluding Statements – Revolut Review

Revolut is a bit revolutionary (see what I did there!) in the way it works. It was a pioneer in the industry, however, there are now various competitors.

It does have some negatives, but overall these negatives will depend on what you will be using the card for. For example, there aren’t really any key negatives for my usage. However, someone who is looking for a more well rounded and all-inclusive option which can replace their conventional bank account may not find Revolut to be the solution.

The limitations on transfers/withdrawals etc could be a key point for most people, as even on the highest subscription model, you are still limited in your withdrawals. I can imagine there are people in the world who travel and would like to withdraw significantly more than is permitted per month from an ATM. However, as far as I am aware, there is no way to increase this on unique cases. Perhaps if you fall into this category, you could arrange a custom subscription model from Revolut themselves.