With a fully digital ecosystem, the British neobank Revolut has won over millions of users in Europe thanks to its easy access and cutting-edge features. So, is Revolut the revolutionary bank it claims to be? Find out in this review.

Revolut Features

💶Sign-up Bonus3 months of free Premium subscription
📃Income RequirementsNone
💳Bank CardsVisa or Mastercard
💰Initial Deposit£10
💸Account Maintenance FeesNone
🤝Referral ProgramYes
💲Mobile PaymentApple Pay/Google Pay
🔐3D SecureYes

Revolut in a nutshell

Originating from British FinTech (a contraction of Finance and Technology), Revolut is a neobank launched in 2015 by two young Russian entrepreneurs, Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko. Their ambition was to create the Amazon of financial services, a bank that breaks down the opaque boundaries between individuals and financial giants.

With rapid growth in recent years, Revolut has attracted numerous investors to raise hundreds of millions to expand its operations in Europe and into diverse sectors such as insurance, credit, and cryptocurrency.

Today, it has its own banking license and, before the end of Brexit in 2020, transferred its operations and all its clients to Lithuania. With 2 million customers in the UK and around 15 million across Europe, Revolut has recently set its sights on the United States.

Revolut isn’t the cheapest neobank, but it’s not the most expensive either

Revolut offers four accounts, each with cards tailored to a specific budget and need, as is the case with most neobanks on the market. Interestingly, Revolut doesn’t rely on a specific entity to issue its cards, but on both major market players, Visa and Mastercard. Customers can’t choose the card type, which is issued based on location, user language, and subscription type. Here are the different cards offered by Revolut:

  • Standard: Physical or digital classic card (Visa or Mastercard)
  • Plus: Classic card (Visa or Mastercard)
  • Premium: Customizable Premium card (Visa or Mastercard)
  • Metal: Customizable Premium card (Visa or Mastercard)
Account TypeStandardPlusPremiumMetal
Monthly FeeFree*£2.99/month£7.99/month£13.99/month
Initial Deposit£10£10£10£10
Type of DebitSystematic authorizationSystematic authorizationSystematic authorizationSystematic authorization
Income RequirementsNoneNoneNoneNone
International PaymentFree and unlimitedFree and unlimitedFree and unlimitedFree and unlimited
International ATM WithdrawalsUp to £200/month, then 2% of the withdrawal amountUp to £200/month, then 2% of the withdrawal amountUp to £400/month, then 2% of the withdrawal amountUp to £800/month, then 2% of the withdrawal amount
Payment Limit£100,000/month£100,000/month£100,000/month£100,000/month
Withdrawal LimitUp to £200/month, then 2% of the withdrawal amount with a limit of £5,000/monthUp to £200/month, then 2% of the withdrawal amount with a limit of £5,000/monthUp to £200/month, then 2% of the withdrawal amount with a limit of £5,000/monthUp to £200/month, then 2% of the withdrawal amount with a limit of £5,000/month
International TransferUnlimited incoming/outgoing in £Unlimited incoming/outgoing in £Unlimited incoming/outgoing in £Unlimited incoming/outgoing in £
Account Opening/ClosingNo feesNo feesNo feesNo fees

There’s an option to get a physical card for a one-time fee of £5. Similar to N26 or other challenger banks, the features are alike. However, be aware that while the bank advertises free and unlimited foreign payments across all its cards, it’s important to note that beyond £1,000 in transactions (with currency conversion), a 0.5% fee is applied to amounts exceeding this limit.

Additionally, all transactions on weekends are charged at 1%. This is crucial to know if you travel frequently and your account is based in the UK.

There’s also a significant difference regarding foreign withdrawals, capped at a few hundred GBP depending on the offer before fees apply. Moreover, these fees vary depending on whether the withdrawal is made on a weekday or weekend. Therefore, we recommend avoiding using your Revolut card in a country where payments are mainly made in cash. Also, unlike N26, Revolut offers UK IBANs.

Revolut highlights its advantage of being a bank with no hidden fees. It also doesn’t require specific income apart from the possibility of making an initial transfer of £10 to validate account opening. Thus, there’s no issue in creating a Revolut account even if you are banned from banking. There’s no need to use the card a certain number of times per month, where fees may apply for most online or traditional banks.

In line with its universality, Revolut offers cards that support payments in over 150 different currencies. The prices are generally lower than those offered by other challenger banks, especially N26.

The free offer is even more appealing than its German counterpart, as it provides the same price features as other tiers, which is not the case for its competitor. The main differences lie in additional benefits such as insurance and functionalities detailed later in this review.

If you don’t want to subscribe to a card monthly, Revolut offers an annual upfront payment option, resulting in a 20% savings on prices.

Like N26, Revolut’s standard tier doesn’t provide a physical debit card. Instead, a virtual card is available on your phone and can be used via its NFC functions. However, this feature is difficult to use in the UK, as physical stores are still limited in terms of terminals capable of accepting mobile payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay. However, it’s possible to order a standard card for £5 during checkout.

Recently, Revolut introduced a dedicated business card called Revolut Business to align with its competitors. In addition to standard options like collaborative spending management and visibility, it offers unique features for professionals such as accounting tools, payment automation, and native integration of productivity apps or APIs like Slack or Xero.

How to fund your account?

Revolut does not allow funding your account through cash or check deposits, so you need to use bank transfers. Fortunately, the bank offers a convenient “top-up” system, which allows you to add funds from your regular bank account using your primary bank card.

This is done without any exchange fees if your bank is based in the UK, as it will be in GBP. Revolut is the only neobank offering this feature, with N26 charging a 3% fee for similar transactions. This feature is especially handy for travelers who can use their Revolut account as a card for use abroad, without incurring currency conversion fees when traveling outside the GBP zone.

A Revolut account ready in minutes

Like N26 and most neobanks, Revolut focuses on the speed of registration and account usage. Signing up is very simple and quick, taking no more than 10 minutes. We signed up via the mobile app, completing each step one by one until the (digital) contract was signed.

These steps include entering your contact information, scanning both sides of your ID directly from your phone, and providing a selfie photo, also taken using your smartphone’s camera. All that’s left is to pay a shipping fee of 6 GBP to receive your card within a stated nine business days.

In our case, it arrived in five days, and in the meantime, you can use your smartphone.

Regardless of the subscription level, Revolut requires its customers to make an initial deposit of at least 10 GBP to open an account. Regarding overdraft authorization, it’s worth noting that Revolut’s cards are systematically authorized. Consequently, it’s impossible for your account to go into negative balance or overdraft. If you attempt to make a payment without sufficient funds in your account, the transaction will be declined.

Welcome bonuses

Revolut does not offer a welco

Revolut does not offer a welcome bonus and does not aim to carry out temporary operations to attract potential customers. Instead, the neobank focuses on the attractiveness of its offer through the speed of implementation, the absence of hidden fees, and free access to its product.

Referral bonus

One of the acquisition strategies for neobanks comes from word-of-mouth and the referral bonus system. Revolut is no exception and offers its customers a bonus of 6 GBP for each referred person who subscribes to one of the proposed offers. Each customer can refer up to 100 people for a potential total gain of 600 GBP. To qualify, the referred person must order a card and make at least one purchase for the bonus to be activated for the referrer.

Insurance, offers, and services of Revolut

Apart from the insurance provided by credit card companies, Revolut does not offer any notable services. While these services are accessible through a Premium or Metal subscription, they are not automatically available for standard and Plus cards.

However, Revolut allows customers to subscribe to them in one click through the app with a subscription fixed at 1 GBP per day. This feature is convenient for travel coverage without subscribing to an annual insurance package.

One of Revolut’s advantages in payment management is the ability to create temporary virtual cards. These cards are useful when buying goods or services online without fear of having your banking details stolen and shared online. It can also be helpful when you need to provide banking details for booking a hotel or flight.

Cashback reserved for Business accounts

La fonctionnalité de cashback est uniquement utilisable via un abonnement Revolut Metal. Cette option permet d’obtenir un retour sur investissement sur l’ensemble des achats effectués avec votre carte. Le taux est fixé à 0,1 % du montant de la transaction. Le tout est cumulable via un porte-monnaie dédié dont il est possible de transférer le montant voulu à tout moment sur son compte Revolut. C’est une agréable surprise que ce système soit accessible via un compte particulier là où chez N26, le cashback est réservé aux comptes Business Metal.

An Effective Customer Service Based on Your Account

Revolut, having no physical branches or traditional bank providers, relies on a fully digital customer support service accessible through their mobile app. The primary means of communication is online chat, but it is also possible to speak with an agent over the phone to ask questions or address any issues. This service is responsive and available to all bank customers, even those using the free offer.

Of course, customers who have subscribed to the Metal offer receive priority, but we had no difficulty reaching a representative through chat, in French, using the free offer. Moreover, if you lose your card, Revolut commits to providing a replacement within three days.

A Pioneering Bank in the Cryptocurrency Field

Cryptocurrencies are attracting the attention of banks due to their growing popularity. While some banks distance themselves from cryptocurrencies, even prohibiting transfers from them, others follow suit to be pioneers in the field and attract a ready-made customer base. Revolut is one such bank, as one of the first neobanks to delve into cryptocurrencies.

Specifically, the bank allows users to directly purchase popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Note that you must have at least a Premium account (£7.99/month) to take advantage of this feature.

However, trading is not available directly through the app; you will need to use an external provider. Revolut also supports the purchase and sale of speculative assets like gold or precious metals through a dedicated space on their app. Unfortunately, it is not possible to use a Revolut account or card to transfer money to Coinbase.

In the realm of investment, Revolut also allows users to invest in tangible assets like rare metals for speculation and exchange. As of now, gold (Au), silver (Ag), platinum (XPT), and palladium (XPD) are available for investment. These opportunities are accessible to all Revolut Standard, Plus, Premium, and Metal customers through the app.

Our Review of the Revolut Mobile App

As is often the case with neobanks, the accompanying Revolut app is central to the user experience. The Revolut app, available on Android and iOS, is comprehensive, perhaps even slightly overwhelming for newcomers. The app’s main page provides a quick overview of recent transactions and spending trends.

The app also offers numerous settings, such as customizing card limits, adding a one-time or permanent monthly spending limit, or disabling online payments. Additionally, the app has well-thought-out features like rounding up purchases to the nearest GBP, with the option to multiply the difference by two. This amount is then placed in a “vault” to save for significant purchases, essentially a piggy bank-style savings account.

Cryptocurrency trading has become an essential aspect of the app’s user experience, with a dedicated trading space featured prominently.

Revolut for Android

Revolut for iPhone & iPad

The Revolut app has evolved significantly, becoming a sort of “super-app.” Users can now book hotels or accommodations worldwide directly through the app while enjoying a return on investment. This feature competes with leading online accommodation booking platforms like Booking.com and Airbnb. However, this service is intended for customers with a Premium or Metal account.

Recently, the app introduced a new chat function that allows users to exchange messages, similar to WhatsApp (including stickers and GIFs), while sending and requesting funds from other customers. Revolut ensures end-to-end encryption of conversations and the option to disable the feature if needed.

thursday 03 nov 2022 14 33 50 Revolut Review: Is it the Best Online Bank in UK?

In addition to 3D-Secure authentication, Revolut offers an additional security measure for online purchases: the neobank allows users to create a temporary virtual card for one-time use, preventing significant hacking risks. Finally, as mentioned earlier, Revolut also supports contactless payments through a smartphone or smartwatch using Apple Pay and Google Pay.