I am going to start this article with a caveat, I am in NO way affiliated with Revolut, I don’t get paid by them and I don’t receive any money for referring you to them. Although, Revolut, if you’re reading this, hit me up!
I am writing this, as I will be about other products, because I have tried and tested it and found that it is a fantastic way to keep travel money and also works pretty well as a bank. Because finance and fintech can be a boring proposition, I am just going to get to the point and tell you why using Revolut is a no brainer.
No More Rip Off Exchange Rates
Traditional banks, building societies and other travel money outlets, purchase foreign currency at what is known as the bank rate. They then pass on the foreign currency at an inflated cost which is where their profit margin lies. When you sell currency back to a bank or other travel money outlet they will underpay you for it, then sell it on, and you guessed it, at an inflated cost.
With Revolut, they give you the bank exchange rate so you get the true value of the currency you are buying.
This Is All Done in Real Time
Once you get the Revolut app (which I will get to in a bit) you will be able to see the exchange rate as it changes in real time. You can then compare it to the exchange rate on Google or any search engine you use and it will nigh on match the real time rate that is on app. Bear in mind search engines don’t update the rate in real time so you may notice slight differences but this is negligible.
That means you get the correct value at the exact moment you transact.
Get the App for FREE and Test It Yourself
The app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play store for android. It is completely free to download. Registering is completely FREE as well. Once you have registered look at the exchange rate, then compare it to the likes of your personal bank, the Post Office or Tesco Money. You will instantly see how much money you’re saving by transacting with Revolut.
You don’t need to deposit ANY money to check this out. Only once you’re satisfied that you’re truly getting the best rate with Revolut should you deposit your funds and get those great rates.
Spend Money Anywhere
Revolut makes use of Mastercard payment processing, this gives you universal use the world over to make payment with just your Revolut card. No need for traveller’s cheques, pre-paid top up cards or hard currency. If a vendor accepts Mastercard they accept Revolut.
This means that you have all the security you would expect from your debit or credit card, with pin protection so even if your wallet is stolen on holiday, the thieves will not be able to access your funds.
Your Money is Protected
All funds are protected and ringfenced so that you have complete peace of mind that if Revolut experiences financial difficulties your money is lock down and secure for you to get out. Ringfencing is a banking term that means a pool of funds is completely separated from business operations of the provider and there is as a failsafe in the event of insolvency. Barclays bank provide the ringfencing facility for Revolut giving another layer of protection with a big financial institution backing up your funds.
So, where is the Catch?
Revolut is a business, they do make money and have profit margins. This isn’t through providing the banking facilities I have mentioned above. You will need to order a Revolut card which has a small fee attached to it (from memory it cost about £5) and if you wish you can sign up to their premium facilities which are growing all the time.
Premium facilities require a subscription. I have never needed to use the premium facilities or been lured in by them and have been using Revolut for three years now.
There are some issues that you should be aware of that I have experienced;
- Customer Service is often slow to respond, they always do respond eventually but it can take hours to speak to someone.
- If you’re transferring money from your bank to Revolut, it is best to do as a card payment as this credits your account instantly. A bank transfer can take up to 24 hours to clear the funds.
Other Benefits of Using Revolut
Like other banking software, Revolut has some great features that I have found useful in my time using them.
- Revolut to Revolut transactions are seamless and quick. This is especially good if you wish to transfer money overseas to an account holder in a different country as it negates both the exchange rate costs and transaction fees.
- Revolut breaks down your expenditure to show you what you’re spending and where. If you spend $300 on a meal it will log that information in your restaurant expenditure for example.
I have attached pictures of screenshots from my account to verify the information and also give you an idea about the interface. It isn’t perfect, but Revolut are really trying to pioneer a new way of handling and processing money. For travellers it is a no brainer, unless you like burning money on commissions and inflated currency prices.