Revolut - The Prepaid Card for The UK and Abroad
Revolut is one of the most popular prepaid debit cards in the world. Revolut launched in 2015 with standard, premium, and metal accounts available to make it simple for customers to use their debit card anywhere in the world, in whichever currency they like, in the easiest way possible.
Revolut stemmed from the founder’s frustration with traditional banks taking too long to roll out digital banking in a world where more and more customers prefer to manage their lives and their finances through their smartphone. Especially those who travel or who would enjoy the ability to switch currencies from within the same account.
Not only did Revolut solve this problem, it solved it with an innovative app with lightning-fast money transfers, simple currency switching, and automatic budgeting tools, along with a host of other standout features.
Today, Revolut has 7 million customers worldwide and processes over $5.7 billion worth of transactions every month. It is the fastest-growing FinTech company in Europe and is worth an estimated $1.7 billion.
How does Revolut work?
Revolut is a prepaid debit card that you manage directly from your smartphone. You can open an account online or through it's app within 60 seconds, with no paperwork.
A Revolut account gives you the ability to add money to your card, which you can then spend anywhere with no fees in over 150 countries with a contactless MasterCard or Visa debit card.
Using your Revolut card is easy and straightforward. Notifications arrive on your phone instantaneously whenever you make a payment, and payments to your friends and family arrive in seconds. Switching between currencies is just one tap of a button, and the Revolut app takes care of your budgeting without you needing to do a thing.
Additional benefits are available to each Revolut customer, such as phone insurance, travel insurance, cryptocurrency exchange, and more.
Premium accounts are also available for a monthly fee and come with some great additional benefits.
The Revolut app
The brain of every Revolut account is the Revolut app. It lives on your phone and gives you access to every single thing you need to manage your money and your account information.
Revolut secures the app with a password, facial ID, or fingerprint ID to ensure you, and only you can access your money no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
The layout of the app is easy to navigate, with just 5 tabs to take you to where you need to be
From the Revolut app, you can access all the features of your account, such as:
- Transfer money
- Request money
- Order a physical or virtual card
- Open additional accounts in any supported currency
- Open, view, and manage your personal or shared vaults
- View recent transactions
- View your balance
- View, create and review your budgets
- Access your Premium or Metal account benefits
- Block your card
- View your account information and card settings
- View real-time exchange rates across multiple currencies
Unfortunately, unlike the account offered by N26 you can only access your Revolut account with your smartphone, and so if you leave your phone at home, you won’t be able to access your account.
It is becoming the norm for mobile banks to provide innovative budgeting tools to help people gain a better understanding of their spending behaviour. Revolut is no exception to this and, within its app, it offers some excellent budgeting tools.
Every time you make a payment or send and receive money, the Revolut app will automatically determine what type of transaction you have carried out and what type of category it fits into.
The Revolut app automatically knows that the £20 you spent in Tesco is for ‘Groceries’ or that your Uber ride is for ‘Transport’, so you can see how much of your money is being spent on each category.
The key selling feature with Revolut is that you can set an overall monthly budget and individual budgets for each category. Revolut will notify you when you get close to reaching your budget, so you will know if you need to slow down on your spending
You can use your Revolut account to set up direct debits for your bills and expenses.
Similar to a traditional bank account, to set up a direct debit you just need to give your Revolut account number and sort code to the company or organisation you want to pay. They will set up the direct debit for you and it is covered under the direct debit guarantee.
Alternaively, you can set up a Standing Order to pay for your bills. This works in a similar way, except that with a standing order, you are in control of setting it up. You just need to get the following details from the company you want to pay:
- Account number
- Sort code
- Reference number
Once you have these details you can set up the payment within the Revolut app and set the amount you wish to pay, the date you want the payment to be made, and how often you want the payment to be made (weekly, monthly, or a specific date).
Who can open a Revolut account?
The great thing about Revolut is that anyone over the age of 18 can open an account.
Does Revolut do a credit check?
You do not need a credit check to open a Revolut account. If Revolut decides to roll out overdrafts or loans, then you would most likely need a credit check to apply for these services.
Is Revolut a bank?
Revolut is not a bank but a Financial Technology Company. However, it is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. In 2018, it was granted a UK Banking Licence which means it will soon be able to roll out additional features and products.
Similar to traditional banks, when you open an account with Revolut you will receive:
- Debit card
- Virtual debit card
- Account number
- Sort code
- Pin number
Is Revolut safe?
Revolut is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, so it has to ensure it protects your money. All money held in a Revolut account is ring-fenced in a seperate account.
A ring-fenced account is a way for a company to keep your money separate from its main finances and assets. Revolut can’t use this money, and it is protected if Revolut were to go into administration. Think of your money as a herd of sheep in a pen. The sheep, or your money, is protected from whatever risks or threats are on the outside of the fence, including Revolut.
You have control over your account at all times. You can freeze your prepaid card instantly within the app, in case you lose or misplace it, and unfreeze it without having to order a new card if you eventually find it down the back of the sofa. If you lose your card for good, you can easily order a new card at the tap of a button.
In-app controls allow you to decide if you want to allow contactless, online payments, and ATM withdrawals. You can also turn on location-based security, which will block any attempted payments in a different location from where you are, and send a notification to your phone to let you know.
What is a Revolut card?
The Revolut Standard account comes with a plastic debit card, whereas the Revolut Premium comes in a choice of 3 colours. If you prefer a high-end banking experience, then the Revolut Metal card comes with an 18g metal card crafted from a single sheet of reinforced steel.
No matter which Revolut account you go for, you will receive the following benefits:
- Free Visa or MasterCard prepaid debit card posted to your home address.
- A virtual debit card that lives on your phone which you can start using immediately.
- Instant notifications sent to your phone whenever you use your card.
- A UK bank account number and sort code.
- Real-time transactions - purchases are only authorised when there are available funds in your account.
Revolut has many similar features that you also receive with Monzo, N26, and Starling Bank. We have put together a handy guide (coming soon) comparing the features and benefits of these digital accounts to help you decide which is right for you.
How to order a free Revolut card
It is fast and straightforward to open an account with Revolut. It claims that it only takes 60 seconds to get your account opened.
To start the application process, you need to
- Visit the Revolut website.
- Enter your mobile phone number.
- Revolut will text you a personal invite to download the Revolut app for free.
- Click the link and download the app from the App Store, or Google Play Store.
- Open the app and enter the same mobile number you used on the website.
- It will prompt you to create a password and verify your mobile phone number.
- Enter your name, date of birth, address and email.
And that’s it. You’re up and running and can view your new account details straight away within the app, including your new account number and sort code.
You can upgrade your account to Premium or Metal by tapping on ‘Dashboard’ and then ‘Upgrade’ at the top of the screen
What is the application process?
Once you have completed the application, the only thing left to do is top up by £10 or more, and provide your proof of ID, which is all done within the Revolut app and takes a few minutes.
You will need to provide at least one piece of ID from the following list to complete the application process and have your prepaid card sent to you.
- A valid UK passport
Non-UK citizens residing in the UK
Depending on your country of origin, you will need to provide one of the following:
- Valid passport
- Valid passport card
- Identity card
- Driving licence
- Residence permit card
How to provide your IDWithin the Revolut app, select your nationality, and the documentation you can provide.You will then need to take a clear photo using your phone's camera and confirm that the photo is readable. It will be sent securely for verification.
UK card payments and withdrawals
It is free to use your Revolut card in the UK, and there are no fees for cash withdrawals.
There are limits to how much you can withdraw from ATMs, depending on which account you have
|Revolut Standard||Revolut Premium||N26 Metal|
|Up to £200 per month||Up to £400 per month||Up to £600 per month|
International card payments and withdrawals
A great feature of Revolut is that you can spend abroad with no fees in 150 countries and you will only be charged at the Interbank exchange rate. This saves you money while you travel or go on holiday as the conversion rate is much lower, and Revolut doesn’t charge you for using your card abroad unlike most traditional banks.
The limits for withdrawing cash from an ATM remain the same as if you were in the UK, and are also fee-free.
What is a virtual Revolut card?
Revolut also gives customers a virtual card to help reduce online fraud. As the name suggests, these cards don’t come in a physical format and instead live inside your Revolut app.
Virtual cards work the same as your physical card but are used to shop online. As it is virtual, you can’t use this card in shops or to withdraw cash at ATMs. You aren’t required to use your virtual card, and you can use your physical card to shop online if you prefer.
Why use a virtual card?
The main reason is security. Online card fraud costs over €1.8 billion a year, and the UK is at the top of the list.
When you buy something online with your virtual card, you use different card details to your physical card, so if you end up buying something from a slightly suspicious website, it protects your physical card details.
Disposable virtual cards
To take security one step further, premium and metal customers have access to disposable virtual cards, where the card details change automatically once the card is used, and a new set of card details takes its place.
This means that when you shop online, you enter different card details every single time, so if anyone gets hold of your card details from an online purchase, those details will no longer exist, keeping you and your money safe and sound.
Is a Revolut card free?
The Revolut debit card is free with all of its accounts and can be used for free in over 150 countries. There is no fee to open the account or receive your card. There are some restriction with the standard account, which you can avoid with a Revolut Premium or Revolut Metal account, for a monthly fee.
There is a fee to replace lost or stolen cards depending on which Revolut account you have.
Can I use my Revolut card with Apple Pay and Google Pay?
Yes. Revolut supports both Apple Pay and Google Pay. As soon as you have received your card and activated it, you can add the card to your phone straight away.
While most traditional banks receive an average rating of 1.2/5 on Trustpilot, Revolut sit with a 4.5/5 rating, with 87% of customers rating them as good or excellent
Check out our hands on Revolut Review to see how we got on using Revolut, including opening a new account and using its range of features and benefits.
What types of Revolut UK accounts are available?
Revolut offers 3 different accounts to choose from, each with its own set of benefits.
- Revolut Standard - A standard account with no monthly subscription
- Revolut Premium - A premium account with a choice of card design, insurance products, and priority customer service
- Revolut Metal - A high-end account with a Metal debit card, cashback on purchases, and concierge access.
|Revolut Standard - £0.00 / month||Revolut Premium - £6.99 / month||Revolut Metal - £12.99 / month|
|Free UK account||Free UK account||Free UK account|
|Free Euro IBAN account||Free Euro IBAN account||Free Euro IBAN account|
|Exchange in 29 flat currencies up to £5,000 per month||Exchange in 29 flat currencies with no monthly limit||Exchange in 29 flat currencies with no monthly limit|
|Free ATM withdrawals up to £200 per month||Free ATM withdrawals up to £400 per month||Free ATM withdrawals up to £600 per month|
|Plastic Revolut Debit Card||Premium Card with Exclusive Designs||Exclusive Revolut Metal Card|
|Overseas medical insurance||Overseas medical insurance||Overseas medical insurance|
|Delayed baggage and delayed flight insurance||Delayed baggage and delayed flight insurance||Delayed baggage and delayed flight insurance|
|Global express delivery||Global express delivery||Global express delivery|
|Priority Customer Support||Priority Customer Support||Priority Customer Support|
|Access 5 Cryptocurrencies||Access 5 Cryptocurrencies||Access 5 Cryptocurrencies|
|Disposable Virtual Card||Disposable Virtual Card||Disposable Virtual Card|
|LoungeKey Pass Access||LoungeKey Pass Access||LoungeKey Pass Access|
|0.1% Cashback within Europe and 1% outside Europe on all Card Payments||0.1% Cashback within Europe and 1% outside Europe on all Card Payments||0.1% Cashback within Europe and 1% outside Europe on all Card Payments|
|Access to a Concierge to help you manage your lifestyle||Access to a Concierge to help you manage your lifestyle||Access to a Concierge to help you manage your lifestyle|
Compare the best bank accountsStill unsure if Revolut is the right account for you? Then why not compare the best bank accounts to see what other options are available.
Revolut Premium and Revolut Metal card
For a monthly fee, you can unlock some additional features. It is becoming more and more popular for digital banks to offer premium services and metal cards, and Revolut is no exception.
From cashback to concierges, a Premium or Metal card gives you some bang for your buck. Let’s look at what your monthly fee will get you.
|Overseas medical insurance
Worldwide emergency medical and dental treatment
| Revolut Premium
|Delayed baggage and delayed flight insurance
Compensation for delayed flights and luggage, paid directly into your Revolut account
| Revolut Premium
|Global express delivery
Cards are shipped within 1-3 business days
| Revolut Premium
|Priority customer support
Get seen quicker by the Revolut customer support team
| Revolut Premium
|Access to 5 cryptocurrencies
Get access to cryptocurrencies in seconds at the touch of a button
| Revolut Premium
|Disposable virtual card
Disposable virtual cards details are automatically cleared after every online transaction, and new card details are instantly generated in-app
| Revolut Premium
|LoungeKey pass access
Getting access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide couldn't be easier. Just book a pass, present your QR code and you're in!
| Revolut Premium
Spend with your Metal card and earn 0.1% in Europe and 1.0% outside of Europe on your card payments
| Revolut Premium
|Access to a Concierge
Receive top quality assistance for all your hotel reservations, flight bookings, exclusive events and more.
| Revolut Premium
Revolut savings account and overdraft
There are many great savings accounts out there, and Revolut has some very handy tools to help you get saving, and although overdrafts aren’t for everyone, they can have their benefits
Vaults are what Revolut call its savings accounts. You can set up a vault within seconds directly through the Revolut app. You can set up multiple vaults if you have a few different savings goals, such as a Holiday Vault and a New Car Vault.
The money that you put in your vault isn’t invested and no interest is paid, so you get out what you put in. You can set goals for each vault and visually see in the Revolut app how far you are from reaching your goal.
One of the great features of a Revolut vault is the different ways you can pay money into your account. With each vault, you can transfer funds by
- Rounding up your spare change - Revolut will round up your purchases to the nearest whole number and automatically put the difference into your vault. Buy a coffee for £1.50 and 50p goes straight into your vault.
- Recurring payments - Set up a weekly or monthly recurring payment to automatically transfer money into your vault. A great way to put money aside after payday
- Buy cryptocurrencies - When you have spare change activated, you can automatically buy cryptocurrencies with the difference. So, that 50p spare change from your coffee could automatically buy you 50p worth of Bitcoin
- Transfers - You can transfer funds from and to your main Revolut account as much or as little as you wish.
With Revolut’s notifications, it always keeps you informed about the progress of your savings. Whenever a transaction gets rounded up and put into your vault, you will get an alert on your phone letting you know the amount transferred and what your total vault balance is
If you have a joint savings goal, live with a flatmate or in a house share, you can create a joint vault. Anyone with their own Revolut account can join a joint vault and transfer money to and from it.
You receive all the same features of an individual vault, meaning everyone in your shared vault could choose to round up their individual transactions and have the difference transferred to your joint vault to go towards a shared bill, a holiday, or an end of the month night out.
Although not a fully-fledged joint account, shared vaults are a great way to pay bills or save for a shared goal, such as a holiday.
Revolut does not offer overdrafts in the UK at the moment. However, as it has recently been approved for a UK banking licence, this is something that could change.
There are alternative digital banks that support overdrafts if having one is an important feature for you.
Revolut Joint Account
At the moment, Revolut don’t support joint accounts. However, creating a joint vault is a great way of saving money together to pay for shared bills and payments.
Revolut Business Account
Revolut offers a wide selection of business accounts targeted towards freelancers, businesses, and enterprise users.
A Revolut business account is available for free or for a monthly fee depending on the size of your business and your requirements.
Learn more about Revolut Business and its range of accounts and features.
Revolut bank transfers and Revolut exchange rate
For an account that makes managing your money easy and straightforward, it is no surprise that you can also easily pay bills, and send money to friends and family with your Revolut app. It boasts fast transfers and low and transparent exchange rates when sending money abroad.
You can send and receive payments within the UK in seconds. No need for complicated passwords and clunky card readers, while still keeping your money and information safe and secure. It is free to send and receive money and there are no hidden charges or limits.
- Tap on Payments.
- Select either Bank Transfer or tap the ‘R’ button if the recipient is a Revolut customer.
- Tap the name of the phone contact you want to send money to or enter their account details.
- Enter the amount and a message and hit Send.
- Money transfers arrive in their account in seconds.
Sending money to people nearby
If you are nearby another Revolut user but don’t have their number, then their name will pop up in your Revolut app thanks to GPS technology. Simply tap their name to transfer money.
Split bills and payments
Splitting the cost of a meal? With Revolut you can split a bill with anyone in seconds. Just tap on the transaction you need to split and select the people you want to split the bill with.
Transfer money abroad
Revolut was designed to be easy for people who travel, use multiple currencies, or have friends and family abroad.
Revolut makes life easy by using the same process to send money abroad as sending money in the UK. When you reach the part of the money transfer where you need to enter the amount you wish to send, you can select the desired currency and your money will be on its way.
You can use any supported bank details to send international money transfers, such as Account Numbers, Sort Codes, and IBANS
What is the Revolut exchange rate?
Revolut uses the Interbank exchange rate when you transfer money in a different currency or use your card abroad. This is the same dynamic rate that banks use to swap money between one another. The rate is real-time, so you are always getting the best rate available.
Send money during the week to save more moneyInterbank exchange rates have no markup if you send money Monday-Friday. If you send money over the weekend, the rates from the week become fixed to protect against any fluctuations, and so a markup of 0.5-1% is applied to the exchange rate.
Along with the great benefits that you receive with the Standard, Premium, and Metal accounts. Revolut also has some great additional benefits available to all customers.
You can apply for additional benefits from within the app within minutes, and Revolut will deduct any additional fees from your account balance.
Perks allow you to earn cashback rewards to use at select retailers every time you make your 10th purchase, such as 50% cashback on your next Starbucks order. The money earned from your perks goes straight into your Revolut account
Revolut phone insurance
You can add phone insurance to your Revolut account from just £1 per week which protects your phone instantly in the UK and around the world against
- Accidental damage
- Drops, breaks, screen damage
- Liquid damage
- Third-party damage
- Out of warranty breakdowns
You can instantly exchange any available currency into cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoun, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and XRP. You can quickly set up alerts to let you know when your cryptocurrency has reached a certain value. You can also transfer your cryptocurrency to other Revolut users with no hidden fees.
Revolut travel insurance
Although the Premium and Metal accounts come with travel insurance included, you can opt to add pay-per-day overseas medical insurance from just £1 a day to your Standard Revolut account.
The Revolut app uses geolocation technology to activate your travel insurance automatically whenever you leave the country and disable it when you return home, so it only charges you for the days you are abroad. The Revolut app will send you an alert whenever your medical insurance gets activated or disabled.
It covers you for
- Emergency medical and dental treatment
- Access to an extensive network of medical centres around the world
- Rapid reimbursement paid directly into your Revolut account
If you travel frequently, you can opt to pay £30 upfront to get covered for the entire year. You can also add additional people to the policy from within the Revolut app.
If you require more complex travel insurance or would like to explore your options, you can check out our travel insurance guide.
To do your part for charity, Revolut gives you the option to round up your spare change and automatically donate the difference to charity. You can also set up a recurring payment or donate periodically as and when you want.
With Revolut, you can donate to Save the Children, WWF, Rainforest Alliance, and ILGA-Europe
Charities receive 100% of your donations and Revolut deducts no fees
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