How do I use the new Revolut card, what is useful for, and how does it help you save money?
I've been using Revolut since July 2018 and I think the time has come for this honest blog post about my experience with this "bank".
Because our relationship is somewhat at the beginning, and I am usually very skeptik with new things (probably most people are), I am only topping up the account with rather small amounts of money or if I need to make a bigger purchase I will just top up right before the purchase, or just before departing onto the trip when I have one planned.
What made me to take the decision to try it, was the fact that you can pay or make international transfers in other currencies at a very good rate (interbank exchange rate) and without any comissions.
Before, when I started traveling, I used to go to the bank before my trip and exchange money. Besides the fact that the conversion rate and the comissions were a bit high, there still was the security issue. I mean, even with the best precautions that you can take, there are still some chances that you may loose your cash, or worse .. they can get stolen. Even though it never happend to me, I decided to take all the precautions that I can..
On a side note, and to be completely fair, I still lost my GoPro and bluetooth earphones.. but that's a story for another time.
What I use Revolut for?
- Any payment abroad. For example, in Taiwan I paid 80% of the time with Revolut. That meant saving money by simply saving at the exchange rate.
- Online payments for: accommodation, flight tickets, products, etc.
- Withdraw money abroad. Altough theres a limit on ATMs withdrawals, but more on that later.
- Split bill with friends, either when traveling abroad or not (this is a great future, especially when traveling with a group of friends)
Shortly .. What is Revolut ?
Revolut is a fintech application. Fintech applications combine current technology and make it easier for you to save up and spend money. The app has a lot of options: you can have multiple currencies associated with the same account, an excellent exchange rate, bank transfers or friends transfers, commission-free stock trading and many more.
What do I like about Revolut?
I will try giving you a few of my reasons. It will not be a list of all the benefits of Revolut and I will certainly not try to convince you to get a card. I just want to gather in one place the benefits that it brings to me, so you can more easily decide whether it might help you or not.
Analysis of the expenses I make
Revolut divides all transactions into categories. Thus, I always know how much I spent on shopping, how much I spent at restaurants every month or how much money I leave at supermarkets. A good analysis of these expenses help me figure out if I spend money on things I don't need and if so, figure out what.
It offers a lot of security options. If you have any suspicions, you can lock the card instantly from the app and unlock it just as instantly, considering you have an internet connection to get into the app.
Let’s say, for example, that you lose your card. Or, you have a transaction that you do not recognize. You can freeze your card, call the support guys and check whats the deal with the transaction, and when everything is clear, unfreeze the card.
Instant transfer to other Revolut users.
In my list of contacts on the phone there are 56 friends who already have a Revolut card. Those I interact with more often (close friends or colleagues) already have a Revolut card, and that helps me a lot for when I borrow money and I have to get it back or simply when I want to send someone a sum of money and I want the transfer to be done quickly. And Revolut is as fast as sending an SMS. When you click on Send, the user at the other end is notified that he has received the money. So simple.
Another great advantage, is in-app money transfers between users. For example, you go to a restaurant with your friends and you pay the bill. After that, you can set up the Split Bill function, which will notify all your friends from the table and tell them that you owe them a certain amount of money. They just have to confirm the debt by pressing a button, and you instantly receive the money they owe you.
Revolut can put money aside for you without feeling like you're doing it. The Vaults function rounds out every transaction you make, and the difference its put for you in a separate place, where you can raise money for various things you want to buy, or why not, for your next vacation.
You can get both a virtual card and a physical card, so it's an ideal way to shop online or offline. Revolut also integrated Apple pay recently so you can pay with your iPhone or Apple Watch.
You can create single-use virtual cards (which you can later delete from the app), that you can use without worry on online sites where you make orders for the first time, for example.
With the physical card you can make payments in physical stores (at any POS - contactless, with magnetic strip, etc), regardless of currency, and the most important thing: without commissions.
However, there’s a limit set at £200 a month - or the equivalent in other currencies - for the standard Free card when you withdraw money from ATMs from anywhere in the world. After that limit, Revolut will get a small commission for the transaction.
However, you have to be careful about which ATMs you use the card for and do not withdraw from those who charge commissions separately, for example “Euronet” or similar stand-alone ATMs. These are sometimes in airports, convenience stores, hotels, and mostly in touristic places. I recommend you to read all the disclaimers when using the ATM and hit cancel if anything looks fishy, and also pay attention to fees and exchange rates, if they are listed. ATMs owned by banks are usually the safest option.
Revolut service is, by default, free. You also have some premium options, with a monthly subscription, but for regular use it is quite enough to get the free one, which has no account administration costs.
What else tempts me at Revolut?
The Premium options - Revolut Premium and Revolut Metal - sound very tempting to me, especially because of the delayed baggage & delayed flight insurances, travel insurance, the LoungeKey Pass access and for the Revolut Metal card, the fact that you can also get 0.1% cashback within Europe and 1% outside Europe on all card payments. However, for the premium options there's a monthly or annual administration fee. If you are traveling very often, then of course that you could take advantage of all the benefits that this premium options can offer.
For me, I’m happy with my standard card, for now.
If you think that this card would help you too, you can get your own Revolut card for FREE here!
Newly registered users, can receive a €10 gift. How? Very simple! You will need to register using this link, confirm your account and make a €10 top up (the topped up money can be withdrawn on an ATM, or transfered back to your original card).