Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Revolut. If there’s one travel product I bang on about the most, this is it.
“What is this magical product?” I hear you ask.
Launched in July 2015, Revolut is a banking alternative designed for global use.
I opened a free Revolut account just before travelling Europe in summer 2016. Carrying lots of cash across various countries was not an option; I wanted great conversion rates and something easy to use. It didn’t disappoint.
After accessing the platform through their free app, ordering a card to your home address takes a matter of minutes. Waiting for your PIN to arrive separately in the post is a thing of the past as you can unlock this via the app once the card arrives.
The app itself has a clean interface and after you’ve set up your bank account, topping up money is a breeze. A bit like PayPal I guess. You have a couple of options in regards to changing your money into different currencies.
- Simply leave it in there as your home currency. When spending abroad Revolut will convert at the best exchange rate for that precise moment.
- Prefer to see your money in the currency you’ll be spending? Convert it by pressing ‘exchange’. You’ll notice the conversion rate shown will flicker up and down – this is because it updates by the second to give you the best rate.
As soon as you spend or withdraw on the card, a notification will pop up on your phone to show the amount and where this has been spent. I’m talking within seconds, it’s almost creepy.
If you opt for the free account, you get up to £200 free cash withdrawals a month. After you’ve hit £200 it’ll start to charge you a 2% fee. The way we got around this in Europe was to spend on card as much as possible and only withdraw when needed. There is an account for £6.99 a month with more features, but if you’re using it for occasional travel this probably isn’t necessary.
I honestly recommend Revolut to anyone travelling abroad. It’s currently compatible with 120 currencies and they’re planning to add more. No more paying extortionate exchange rates or carrying a wad of cash abroad!