Revolut Review 2021 - Discover the Pros and Cons
Revolut has generated a lot of buzz with its range of accounts and its innovative mobile app with inbuilt budgeting tools. But does Revolut stack up to its rave reviews? Check out our hands-on Revolut review to see how we faired opening an account, using the Revolut app, and using our new Revolut card to spend in-store and online.
If you are unfamiliar with Revolut and want to read all about its range of accounts and features available, then we have all the information you need in our guide to Revolut.
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Why should you trust a Selectra review?All of our reviews are done by us, in house, by Selectra staff. We provide an honest, unbiased opinion of all the products or services we review. Although we sometimes receive a commission for the products or services we review, we never let this impact our opinion as ultimately it is you, our reader, who comes first.
Revolut Review - Customer service
Before we applied to open our new Revolut account, we took a look at some of the customer reviews that are doing the rounds on the internet to see what we should expect on our Revolut review journey.
Over 50,000 Revolut customers have left a review on Trustpilot where it currently sits with an impressive score of 4.7 / 5.
91% of customers rate Revolut as Great or Excellent and 6% rate it as Poor or Bad.
In our experience, customers are more likely to leave a review if they have had an exceptionally bad experience with a product or service or an extremely good one, so the amount of positive reviews is a good sign that Revolut is providing a good service to its customers.
"Great service. Everything went great, I got feedback for every transaction and action I took and all in all it was a great experience. I enjoy having such an efficient app!"
"Revolut is honestly the best thing that has happened to me after I moved to Europe. Finally a banking system with super fast transactions, free notifications, great exchange rates and possibility to exchange money within the app. Will defenitely[sic] continue using it. Way to go, guys!"
"Poor Customer Service. Their services are awesome but they lack a lot in the customer care area. Their customer support is slow and there is no customer service at all outside their App."
"I am a Metal user and I am trying [to] reach out to Revolut support via chat and for [a] few days now there has been no response."
It seems that customers enjoy the benefits and features they receive with a Revolut account, but the negative Revolut reviews focus on its customer service. Because Revolut is a digital bank, its customer service is only available through the Revolut app, which may not be suitable for everyone. This is not uncommon, and nearly every digital bank provides its customer service via its respective mobile banking app.
However, if you are providing a service that aims to be a better, easier, and simpler alternative to traditional banking, then your customer support should have the same principles - In our opinion, if it is supposedly easier to manage your money with Revolut than a traditional bank, then it should also be easier to get help and support when you need it.
Revolut Review - Customer service
4.7 / 5
Revolut Review - Opening an account
The first step we needed to complete in order to open our account was to download the Revolut app, which is available for free from the App Store and Google Play Store for iOS and Android devices.
- 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.
Once we had the app downloaded to our phone, it was just a case of opening it up, entering our mobile number, creating a password, and we were ready to start our application.
The application process asked us to provide some personal details, such as:
- Date of birth
And that was it - no seriously, that was it and we were done.
Revolt claims that it takes only 60 seconds to get your account opened. We had our stopwatch at the ready expecting it to take much longer when, in fact, we were done before we reached a full minute - You don’t get that with a high-street bank. So far, we are feeling very much #teamrevolut.
Providing proof of ID
At this point, our account is open and we can already view our sort code and account number, but we are asked to complete two final steps:
- Take a photo of our ID
- Top up by £10 or more
This was very straightforward to do. We took a photo of our ID within the app as prompted, which was then sent off for secure verification - It was verified 2 minutes later (Revolut sent a notification to our phone to let us know).
Revolut does advise it can sometimes take longer than the two minutes we experienced to have your ID verified. A quick search online showed varying wait times depending if the photo you took is of good enough quality i.e. the photo is not blurry or too dark, and how busy Revolut are at the time. Most people were verified the same day, but others had to wait a few days.
Topping up by £10 or more is required to have your debit card posted out to you. The Revolut app allows you to top-up in a few different ways, including by debit or credit card or bank transfer. We, however, opted for the quickest option - Apple Pay (Google Pay is also available on Android devices). We entered the amount we wanted to top up, in the Revolut app, hit the Apple Pay button and boom, the money was in our Revolut account straight away.
Ordering a Revolut card
Now that we have topped up, we can order our shiny new Revolut debit card. At this point, we also have the option to upgrade our account from the Standard Revolut account to Revolut Premium or Revolut Metal. The differences between the three accounts come in the form of additional features and benefits. However, we opted for the standard Revolut account with no monthly fee.
Select the Revolut account you want, confirm your delivery address is correct, and you’re done - Your new Revolut card is on its way to you.
But wait! A little prompt in the Revolut app informs us that we can start using our debit card straight away even before it has arrived - handy! We can add our card to Google Pay or Apple Pay and start using it straight away.
We can already view our new account number and sort code to start setting up our direct debits and standing orders. A nice surprise feature that wasn’t advertised heavily on the Revolut website, but something that we found very useful.
- At this point, we have:
- Visited the Revolut Website
- Downloaded the Revolut App
- Opened an account
- Verified our ID
- Topped up by £10
- Ordered a Revolut Card
- Added our Revolut Card to Apple Pay
We are still drinking the same cup of hot coffee, 4 songs into our Spotify playlist and we can already nip out to the shop to pay for our office biscuits with our new Revolut account.
Revolut Review - Opening an account
5 / 5
Revolut Review - The app
While we wait for our card to arrive, we decided to have a look around the Revolut app to discover its features. We will give you a little spoiler - We found the Revolut app very easy to use but felt that the spending analytics section was lagging compared to some other digital banks out there.
The Revolut app is split into five tabs:
The first tab, Accounts, is where our transaction history is displayed, which currently comprises the £1.50 we spent on biscuits, plus an interactive graph which displays peaks and trends in our spending behaviour. From this section of the app, we can also add money to our account, exchange currencies, view our account details, and switch between any other Revolut accounts we have.
With Revolut you can open multiple accounts in different currencies. For example, we have a GBP account with a UK account number and sort code, but we can also instantly open a free additional account in Euros with its own European account number (IBAN).
You can exchange currencies and move money between your accounts within the app. When you buy something with your Revolut card, it will automatically deduct the money from the Revolut account that matches the currency you are spending in - A very useful feature for those who need to manage multiple currencies or those who travel frequently.
Tapping on a specific transaction, on the account tab, displays additional information, such as the category of the transaction, which Revolut assigns automatically. For example, Revolut knows that the £1.50 we just spent was on groceries. We can also see exactly where the transaction was carried out, add a receipt, or view a breakdown of how much we have spent in this shop month by month.
If Revolut assigns the wrong category, you can change it by tapping on the transaction and selecting the correct category. For example, buying petrol from a Tesco petrol station may accidentally get assigned as groceries instead of transport. Whenever you reassign a category in the app, Revolut will remember the correct category for next time.
The analytics screen displays a further breakdown of our spending behaviour. We can view how much we have spent on different categories such as groceries, transport, and restaurants, as well as viewing a total of how much we have spent at specific merchants.
You can use the analytics screen to set an overall monthly budget as well as individual category budgets. You can see how close you are to reaching your monthly budget, how much money you have left until payday, or how much you have left to spend on certain categories such as transport or restaurants. Revolut will send a notification to your phone to let you know when you are close to reaching any of your budgets.
The analytics screen is very useful for keeping track of where you are spending your money and can prevent you from overspending.
Payments, Cards, and Dashboard
The last 3 tabs are pretty self-explanatory - Head to the Payments section of the app to send money, view your direct debits or set up a standing order. Visit the Card section to view or edit your Revolut debit card details and settings, including viewing your pin, or freezing your card if you have misplaced it. Finally, the Dashboard tab is where you can customise shortcuts to different parts of the app.
We did not use the Dashboard section much, as the app is easy enough to navigate around without the need for any shortcuts. However, if you decide to open any additional Revolut products or features, you will use this screen to access them.
Revolut Review - The Revolut App
4 / 5
Revolut Review - Notifications
You can have all the budgeting tools in the world built into a digital bank, but if you don’t remember to log in to your mobile banking app to check out your spending, then you will never know how much you have spent or have left until payday. To help combat this problem, Revolut sends notifications to your phone whenever you make a payment.
When we used our Revolut card, we received a notification to our phone as soon as the payment went through, before the shop assistant had even given us our receipt. The notification showed us:
- Amount spent
- Where the money was spent
- How much money has been spent so far that day
It is a handy feature that helps you keep tabs on your spending throughout the day without needing to check the app, and Revolut also notifies you whenever you transfer money or someone sends you money.
Revolut Review - Notifications
5 / 5
Revolut Review - Payments, Direct Debits, and Transfers
It is possible to use your Revolut account as your main bank account as it provides all the features needed to have your salary paid in and your bills paid out.
With our Revolut account, we received everything we needed to spend in-store and online, with a few useful features. Every Revolut account comes with:
- Contactless debit card.
- Account number and sort code.
- Virtual debit card.
What is a virtual debit card?A virtual debit card works in the same way as your physical debit card, except that it lives within the Revolut app and it has a different card number to your physical debit card. It is designed to be used for online shopping when you may not wish to provide your physical debit card details, adding an extra layer of security. Premium and Metal customers benefit from disposable virtual cards, which refresh after each use to give you completely new virtual card details every time you make an online purchase.
Revolut issues its debit cards through Visa and MasterCard, meaning you can use it anywhere in the world that accepts these forms of payment as well as at ATMs.
As with any other bank account, to set up a direct debit, you just need to provide the company or organisation with your Revolut account number and sort code, and they will get everything set up for you.
Once set up, you can view your direct debits within the Payment section of the Revolut app. You can see the amount due to be paid, the date due, as well as the ability to cancel it if you no longer wish for the direct debit to be authorised to come out of your account.
Revolut is designed to be a global bank account. The fact that you can open multiple accounts in different currencies is an incredible feature. In fact, we have already opened a second account in Euros for the next time we go on holiday.
Sending money is just as easy, no matter where in the world you are sending your bank transfer or what currency you need to send.
Transferring to other UK accounts is a simple task. Simply head to the Payments tab of the Revolut app and enter the person's account number and sort code. The money transfer is sent straight away and should be in their bank immediately.
If the person you want to send money to has a Revolut account and is in your phone’s contacts, then they will appear automatically in the payment screen, so you can just tap on their name and enter the amount you want to send.
International money transfers are done in the same way as sending to a UK bank account, except you need to select the country and the foreign currency of the recipient you want to transfer money to. The app will display the converted amount the person will receive, and the currency exchange rate updates in real-time. You will need the other person’s account number or respective equivalent, such as an IBAN if they are in Europe.
Revolut Review - Payments, Direct Debits, and Transfers
5 / 5
Revolt Review - Using Revolut abroad
Revolut is designed for travel, so it is no surprise that it makes it as easy as possible to take your account with you on your travels or holidays.
You do not need to let Revolut know that you are leaving the country and because Revolut uses real-time exchange rates, you always get the best exchange rate available when spending with your card. Using your Revolut card abroad can work out cheaper than withdrawing foreign currency in advance, and it is definitely a safer option than carrying a lot of cash on you while you travel.
Revolut is free to use abroad and you can pay with your card anywhere that accepts Visa or MasterCard payments.
You can withdraw cash at an ATM for free, although there is a monthly limit on how much you can withdraw for free. The amount of cash you can withdraw for free increases if you are a Revolut Premium or Metal customer. If you exceed your free limit, then Revolut will charge you 2% on each ATM withdrawal.
Revolut Review - Spending abroad
5 / 5
So far, we are very impressed with Revolut and would not hesitate to recommend a Revolut account to anyone who is looking for a bank account with no fees and the ability to use multiple currencies. Even if you don’t travel often, it is a great feature to have for holidays.
That being said, there are a few alternatives out there that offer a similar experience to Revolut.
N26 boasts an ultra-fast, paperless application process; automatic budgeting tools, fee-free spending in the UK and abroad, and rave customer reviews.More info
With a Monese bank account, you have access to in-app budgeting tools, simplified bank transfers, and instant notifications on your mobile phone.More info
Compare the best current accounts available in the UK and find all the information you need to open an account or switch from your current bank.More info
If you are happy with your current bank but just need some help with your budgeting, then there are stand-alone apps available that connect to your existing bank accounts and credit cards to help you budget better and save money, which you can read about in our guide to the best budgeting apps.
Revolut Review - Our Verdict
|Revolut Pros||Revolut Cons|
| Free secondary Euro account
Virtual cards for online security
Exchange currencies within the Revolut app
Choice of account options
Extensive premium features
Metal debit cards
| No option to apply for an overdraft
Free ATM withdrawals are limited
Revolut Review | 4.5 / 5
From opening an account to making our first purchase, everything about Revolut was seemless. What we liked most about Revolut was how many features and benefits you receive even with its free standard account, which should satisfy most people. Although, frequent travellers will definitely benefit from a Premium or Metal account.
The Revolut app is a powerhouse of information and tools. Its budgeting tools and spending analyitics are incredibly useful features and will help people make huge changes in their spending behaviour.
Revolut bills itself as an account for people who travel frequently. However, it can do so much for people who just need a UK account and help with their budgeting. It can definitely go a long way in helping people get out of debt, save money, and become more aware of their spending habits.
To find out more about Revolut, read our full guide - Revolut - The Prepaid Card for The UK and Abroad.
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