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    What is Revolut? – The Good and the Bad of the World’s Most Popular Digital Bank

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    In a nutshell

    Revolut is a digital only mobile banking app + credit card which offers a revolutionary approach to banking based on fast transactions, low fees and unlimited flexibility.

    Revolut offers fast and cheap transfers abroad and peer-to-peer payments. Foreign card payments ATM withdrawals are low cost and one of the most competitive in the industry. 

    Revolut has been launched in 2015 in London. According to its website, it currently records 12 million personal users and  around 500,000 business accounts. Revolut’s customers make more than 100 million transactions a month, the company claims.

    To expand its product offering beyond a typical digital bank, Revolut has been gradually adding new features including the option to buy cryptocurrencies and trade stocks or commodities such as gold.

    The app also enables users to split bills and plan monthly budgets.

    Their standard personal account is free, premium and metal cost 7.99 EUR and 13.99 EUR, respectively.

    Business account costs depends on the number of transactions. Basic plan is free, after that companies pay either 25 EUR or 100 EUR per month. Revolut also offers  professional account for freelancers that costs 7 EUR per month. 

    Registration is simple and it only takes a couple of minutes. Verification is also fast – in most cases it doesn’t take more than an hour.

    Revolut is safe to use and regulated as a European financial services provider. The company holds a banking licence from the Bank of Lithuania and the European Central Bank (ECB).

    Read our Revolut review till the end to find out everything you need to know about this company.

    Good:

    • Easy sign-up and free account
    • Exchange  at interbank rate
    • Multiple currencies
    • Perks for travellers
    • Cryptocurrencies and trade stocks

    Bad:

    • Customer service can be clunky
    • High margin on cryptocurrency 
    • No  cash or cheque deposits
    Overall score: 9/10

    Costs

    You PAY:

  • Premium plans
  • Card replacements
  • Stock trades 
  • Certain transfer fees
  • You Don't PAY:

  • Basic plans
  • Cards
  • Transfers in EEA 
  • Currency exchange fees
  • Revolut Fees and Spreads  

    Revolut offers free basic digital banking experience and low-cost extra services. 

    Revolut likes to brag that they have fair and honest pricing. They are indeed one of the best value digital banks out there.

    Let’s look at the prices more in detail as Revolut offers three distinct plans:

    • Standard is free – no opening costs or any monthly fees. It allows exchange in 30 fiat currencies up to €1,000 per month without any hidden fees. There is no fee for ATM withdrawals up to €200 per month. You also get a debit card for free.

    • Premium costs €7.99. ATM withdrawals are free up to €400 and there is no limit on fiat exchange. You also get a bunch of perks such as global express delivery and priority customer support.

    • Metal costs €13.99. It includes everything that Premium does, with free ATM withdrawals to up to €800 per month and even more perks.

    We’ve broken the price further:

    Card Fees

    The card itself is free but users on the standard plan have to pay a delivery fee of €5.99. Replacement cards cost €6 plus the delivery fee. Cards and deliveries are also free with the Revolut Premium or Metal accounts, as are replacement cards which come with free global express delivery. On the free account you may be able to get your first card delivered for free if you refer a friend who also signs up.

    Transfer Fees

    Sending money within the UK or EEA is free. When sending money outside the UK and EEA, an intermediary bank may be used, and that bank and the receiving bank may charge a fee. Intermediary banks may also charge fees when you transfer to Revolut from outside the UK and EEA

    Currency Exchange Fees

    For most currency exchange there is no fee or margin – the rate is the same as the interbank rate, meaning it’s the best deal on offer. There are a couple of exceptions for illiquid currencies.

    It’s important to note  that the interbank rate is only available on weekdays when Forex markets are open. On weekends (Friday 00:00 - Sunday 23:59 London time) Revolut charges additional mark-ups – 0.5% for major currencies, and 1% for most other currencies (for THB and UAH the mark up rises to 2%). That means it’s more expensive to exchange over the weekend.

    Here is how Revolut fares in comparison to other popular online banks:


    Revolut

    N26

    Monese

    TransferWise

    Foreign Currency Exchange

    0%-2% on the first €6000, 2% there after

    0%

    0% on the first  €2000, 2% thereafter

    0.35% - 2.85% - depending on the currancy

    ATM fees

    0% on the first  €2000, 2% thereafter

     € 1.70

    0% on the first  €2000, 2% thereafter

    0% on the first  €2000, 2% thereafter

    Card delivery fee

     €5.50

     €0

     €0

     €0

    Trust Pilot Score

    4.4/5 (70k reviews)

    4.1/5 (12k reviews)

    4.1/5 (17k reviews)

    4.6/5 (100k reviews)

    Trading with Revolut

    Trading or investing in stocks is straightforward and unlimited if you are a Metal account holder. 

    Revolut enables trading with stocks and commodities as well as crypto exchanges. All of the options are accessible through the mobile app. Fees are straightforward but also relatively high for traders on basic plan who want to trade more than just a few stocks per month. Metal account holders, on the other hand, can benefit from unlimited trading. Users can also set price alerts and take advantage of the news feed and watchlist feature. 

    Let's look at the trading option more in our Revolut review:

    Stocks

    With Revolut, you can trade more than 850 stocks listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges. This means that Revolut’s offering is relatively limited to U.S. stocks; Robinhood and Freetrade, two of its competitors, on the other hand, have a much larger product catalogue.

    A great feature of Revolut is the possibility to buy fractional shares. This means that instead of buying a whole share, you can buy only a smaller fraction of it; a handy feature for stocks that cost several hundred dollars apiece.

    What are the costs? Standard and Premium plans have a monthly allowance of 3 and 8 free trades, respectively. Outside the allowance, each trade costs €1, or its approximate equivalent in your base currency. As mentioned, Metal users have limitless commission-free trades.

    Revolut has no inactivity or withdrawal fees but they do charge an annual custody fee in the amount of 0.01% of the market value of your assets at the end of each month for custody.


    Revolut

    Freetrade

    RobinHood

    Trading fee

     €0 (Metal account)

     €0

     €0

    Account fee

     €0

     €0

     €0

    Inactivity fee

     €0

     €0

     €0

    Deposit fee

     €0

     €0

     €0

    Crypto

    You can exchange Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar and Litecoin cryptos with 30+ fiat currencies. To buy cryptocurrency, go to the Cryptocurrencies section of the Revolut Dashboard.  

    Revolut provides cryptos from the Bitstamp crypto exchange and charges a 1.5% markup on the cryptocurrencies' bid or ask price.

    Gold

    Gold can now be traded with Premium and Metal accounts if you add an XAU account through the Commodities widget. The costs are derived from the XAU market with a 0.25% markup by Revolut during market hours and a 1% markup during non-market hours. Users can also set price alerts.

    Revolut App features

    One of the best mobile banking apps out there; we've found it easy to use and very intuitive. 

    Revolut banking app is one of the best in the industry. It’s easy to use, nicely designed and fully functional. We sincerely recommended it if the user experience is very important to you.

    Let’s now look at the app features:

    • Revolut uses savings accounts which it calls Vaults. You can transfer into these using a one-off transfer, recurring transfers, or by rounding up your spare change on your purchase.

    • It also has Group Vaults or savings accounts, where multiple people can contribute to a vault for a common goal such as a group holiday or even a wedding. This is an alternative to joint accounts which are not available at Revolut.

    • You can link external bank accounts and then be able to see account balance and transaction details via the Revolut app.

    • Revolut offers the option for loans via Lending Works for its UK customers, though this credit feature was halted in April 2020 due to coronavirus.

    • You can use the app to track your daily and monthly spending, and create daily budgets for individual categories such as shopping and eating out.

    • Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay (not available in all countries).

    • Free transfers between Revolut customers.

    • Revolut Junior is an account service for children and teenagers that parents can set up through their own account. They can spend money made available for them – and parents can check and track their balance and transactions (only available to parents or legal guardians residing in Europe).
       
    • Premium and Metal account holders can create virtual debit cards, which allow you to shop online without worrying about security issues such as a merchant hack revealing your card number. Disposable virtual cards increase security even more by generating new virtual card details for each transaction and then destroying them.

    Revolut Research Tools and Educational Program

    Great tutorials and help centre for banking, poor in the trading segment. 

    Revolut fares badly in terms of education and research tools it provides to traders. There are no trading ideas or fundamental data. Charting tools are poor without any technical indicators and with only basic charts. Education is also not a particularly strong suit.

    From our Revolut review goes off that this is partially understandable – Revolut is primarily a banking app. As a result, their help centre for all bank and app related questions is rich and exhaustive.

    Revolut Customer Support 

    The customer support is responsive and helpful – but we missed email support. 

    Revolut customer service is available 24/7 around the clock via its app. The default is a Chatbot – to reach a real person type ‘Live Agent’ into the chat box. We found chatboat to be pretty useful, although it can answer only basic question.

    Revolut has phone support that runs on pre-recorded answers. The phone number is primarily available for blocking the Revoult card. Our Revolut review showed that there is no email support.

    Revolut Regulation

    Revolut is a regulated and safe provider. 

    Revolut is regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    It also has a banking license (in Lithuania), which makes it subject to tougher regulations in EU countries. 

    Revolut Review and Final Verdict

    Revolut is probably one of the best mobile banking options out there. The app works great, it's functional and clean. 

    You can easily use Revolut completely for free, and still receive a very decent banking experience. If you are heavier user, the premium plan is well worth the price. 

    We welcome the fact that Revolut is regulated and possesses an official banking licence. This makes it a legit and trustworthy provider.

    Revolut is not only a banking app, however. The company is planning to become a one-stop-shop for all things financial, and providing trading possibilities is a step into that direction. 

    If you're an investor or trader, note that Revolut is not not a traditional online broker. That means that their offering and trading tools are very limited and not on-par with the well known brokerage providers. Having said that, the trading addition is still a very nice feature for casual investors.

    All in all, Revolut is one of top choices when it comes to mobile banking apps. We fully recommend it!

    Frequently asked questions

    Is Revolut a real bank?

    Officially, Revolut is an electronic money institution. They are authorised to handle money, facilitate business transactions and currency exchanges, but they cannot offer certain financial services; such as the FSCS deposit guarantee. They don’t handle cash or cheques or offer phone assistance. They also don’t have brick and mortar branches.

    Is Revolut bank safe?

    Yes, Revolut is a legitimate company and a secure option to send money abroad. The company is authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). However, your money is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

    Can I get my salary paid to Revolut?

    You can have wages paid into your Revolut as your account comes with BIC and IBAN numbers, but the company has no physical presence, so you can't make cash deposits or log cheques at your local branch.

    What if Revolut goes bust?

    In the event Revolut goes bust, you would reclaim your money from them coordinated by administrators/liquidators of Revolut and whoever manages Revolut's relationship with either bank. This may be less, but not substantially, as Revolut has to pay for someone to manage the liquidation of assets.

    Can I use Revolut card to pay online?

    You can make online and in-app purchases with Revolut virtual card. To get a Revolut virtual card, head to the app and open up the “Cards” section. You’ll see your normal card there. Swipe through to the “Get New Revolut Card” screen and you’ll see options for physical or virtual cards. Select virtual and choose between a “Virtual” and a “Disposable Virtual” card.

    Methodology 

    The mission of Business24-7 is to provide comprehensive, unbiased ratings and reviews of online providers. User experience, the mobile experience, customer service, costs and fees, security, the quality of trade executions, the products available on their platforms are all part of our six-month evaluation of a providers’s platform. The rating scale was based on thousands of data points that have been weighted into the scoring system.

    Providers were also required to fill out a multi-point survey regarding every aspect of their platform. In-person demonstrations and evaluations were provided by the majority of the online providers we reviewed.

    Stefan Grasic, along with our team of industry experts, conducted our reviews and developed this methodology for ranking what form is used in online investing.

    Business24-7 maintains high editorial standards and provides the best advice and recommendations. The products and companies that we review may compensate us when you click on the links on this website. Click below to find out more about our review process and methodology.

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