Considering getting Revolut?
Revolut offers a ton of features that will benefit any digital nomad, traveler or expat. On the surface, it looks like a solution to a big problem.
But what is it really like when using Revolut for everyday transactions?
In my complete and honest Revolut review as a full-time digital nomad – I’ve left nothing out.
Here’s everything you need to know about Revolut to decide whether it’s worth it for you.
Revolut Review: What Is Revolut?
Revolut is an online financial app that allows you to exchange currencies cheaply and make international transactions easily.
It’s a UK based company that started in 2015 primarily as a travel card that provided international currency exchanges at the real international exchange rate.
While it may look like a digital bank, Revolut isn’t actually a bank. It’s a financial technology (fintech) company that offers some amazing features at extremely low prices.
Who Is Revolut For?
Revolut is for anyone that want’s to save money on international exchanges and foreign transaction fees.
Revolut is available to citizens and residents in:
- The United States
- European Economic Area (EEA)
- The United Kingdom
You can hold and make direct deposits in over 30+ currencies worldwide. Revolut also allows you to spend in over 150+ different countries and currencies.
Revolut Review: The Top Features Revolut Offers
Considering Revolut for yourself?
Here is a Revolut review of all of the features.
Revolut Debit Cards
Revolut provides debit cards and virtual cards.
The cards have different features you can use for different things.
Virtual Debit Cards
Virtual Revolut cards allow you to make purchases online without using a physical card. It’s like having card details that only exist within the app.
You can also get single-use virtual cards that expire after you one purchase with them.
Once you make a transaction with a single-use virtual card, the card details will automatically expire and new card details are generated. How does this help?
It’s an added layer of security when making a payment online.
Physical Debit Cards
What about the Revolut physical debit cards?
Revolut is accepted in most countries, allowing you to make transactions in over 150+ currencies around the world. Best of all, you get the real international exchange rate with no hidden fees.
This alone will save you a ton of money! I have even seen times when you get a better exchange rate than what’s displayed in the XE app.
Do you use Apple Pay or Google Pay?
All Revolut debit cards can be added to your phone wallet so you can use Apple Pay or Google Pay.
The debit cards also have “pay waive” so you don’t need to insert or swipe the bank card when paying in-store.
In Medellin, Colombia, we were surprised by how accepted Apple Pay was. We almost always used it instead of pulling out the card.
Another card feature I love about Revolut is notifications.
You’ll get instant payment notifications every time you spend money. The notifications are displayed in both the foreign currency you paid and your home currency. This is a great feature to track your expenses in real-time.
Revolut cards make spending money convenient and accessible all over the world.
International Currency Exchange
Here’s the truth:
Regular banks love it when you make transactions in foreign currencies.
Because they make a ton of money from you. They will charge you a:
- Foreign transaction fee
- Currency exchange fee
- Exchange commission fee
This usually ends up with you paying 4%-5% extra in fees for every transaction you make. And don’t be fooled; the amount they charge you does not at all represent the cost they incur.
The bank will then charge the vendor a 1%-2% fee to facilitate the transaction. This means they make anywhere between 5%-7% per transaction on purchases made overseas. It really does irritate me.
Ready for some good news?
Currency exchange is where you will get the most benefit from Revolut.
Revolut gives you the real international exchange rate for all currencies. This means you should be able to Google the exchange rate and get the same (or very close) price on Revolut.
You can also exchange money and hold it in 30+ currencies.
Here’s why I love this:
Imagine you are going to Playa del Carmen as a digital nomad. You can exchange your home currency directly into Mexican Pesos (MXN). But we also know that currencies fluctuate up and down daily for a number of reasons.
Revolut allows you to follow the exchange rate in real-time so that you can change money at the time when you get the best rate.
And if you don’t want to check the currency every day, you can set up an automatic limit and stop orders. That means you tell Revolut the price when you want to exchange and Revolut will do it automatically.
With Revolut, you not only get the best currency exchange rates possible, but you can also exchange your money with its most favourable to you!
It doesn’t get much better than that.
If you make regular international transfers, you know how high the fees are!
Revolut offers 10 zero fee international direct deposit transfers into 30+ different currencies every month. This means you make direct deposits into foreign bank accounts while still getting the real exchange rate.
You can see the exact amount the recipient will receive before hitting send. There are no hidden fees that the recipient or you will have to pay.
Run a business with international staff? Save yourself some money and make sure they get paid the whole amount when you direct deposit in their local currency.
If you compare this with a service like PayPal, you really start to see how much Revolut will save you international bank transfers.
A Revolut international bank transfer typically takes 1-2 business days to arrive in the recipient’s bank account. In some cases it takes less than a day!
Budgeting & Analytics
Like to keep track of your money?
Revolut offers some good budgeting and analytics tools to track your spending each month.
Each transaction you make is automatically categorized for you. At the end of the month you can see how much and where you spent your money.
You can compare your spending habits with previous months and get a year-to-date spending analysis.
Revolut also gives you an option to set a budget. If you aren’t sure what that budget should be, Revolut will provide you with a recommendation based on your previous spending habits.
You’ll also get notifications throughout the month about how you are going. After a while Revolut can even predict what they think you will spend as the month goes along.
These tools make it easy to track your spending and understand your spending habits. While we were in San Cristobal de las Casas as digital nomads, I could see that most days from 3-5pm I would go out and buy a snack.
Revolut showed this inside the app and made it easy to identify. It didn’t stop my habit, but that’s more of a personal problem.
One of the things I don’t like about the analytics features is it doesn’t automatically account for split bills.
Revolut has a feature that makes it easy to split transactions with other Revolut users. If you go to a restaurant with a friend, you can easily pay the whole bill and then split the bill with your friend all inside the app.
The thing is that the analytics will show you paid the entire bill even if your friend transfers their half. You have to manually link the transfer your friend made to the split bill in order for the analytics to add up correctly.
It’s not a huge issue, but it can change the accuracy of your analytics.
Not every location we visit accepts cards.
Cash is needed when traveling in lots of locations. That means you will need to withdraw money from local ATMs in the country you happen to be in.
This was especially true in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.
International ATM cash withdrawals are another place banks usually sting you with fees. And you often have to pay the bank that owns the ATM a transaction fee as well!
Revolut allows you to take out money at over 55,000 ATMs. Most of these are going to be located in your home country.
So what if you are overseas?
You can take up to $1200 USD out of foreign ATMs with no fees each month. And if you need more than that, it’s a 2% withdrawal fee for every dollar after.
Not bad at all!
The foreign ATM may still charge you a transaction fee, but there isn’t much you can do about that.
Before you withdraw, do a quick search within the Revolut app to see if any ATMs close to you within the Revolut network have fee free withdrawals.
It’s a simple way to save a few bucks whenever you need to take out cash.
Vaults are a cool way to save and manage your money.
Think of vaults like extra savings accounts inside of the app. Simply add money to the vault and Revolut will securely hold it for you.
Anytime you want to use the money, you can withdraw it back to your main current accounts. This all happens instantly and with a click of a few buttons.
And if that’s not enough…
Vaults don’t just have to be in your home currency. You can create vaults in 30+ different foreign currencies as well!
Have a savings goal you need to hit?
Set up a vault specifically to save for something. You can create automatic transfers to the vault so you can put your savings on auto-pilot.
If you really want to speed up your savings, you can turn on the “round-ups” setting.
This will automatically round up each transaction to the nearest whole dollar amount and deposit the difference into the vault.
For example, the transaction ends up being $11.37, Revolut will round it up to $12.00 and deposit the extra $0.63 into the vault for you. You can even set it so 1x-10x roundups so you really save at a rapid rate.
We use vaults and round-ups to make managing our money easier. It’s a cool feature that works really well!
On their paid plans in some countries, Revolut will pay you interest on the money you have in a savings vault. You’ll get .05% APY on savings with Standard Revolut accounts and .07% APY for Revolut Premium and Revolut Metal. It’s just like having savings account at a bank!
Do Revolut accounts have good security features?
Short answer – Yes.
The truth is Revolut security features are better than most traditional and online banks. They offer lots of control over how much security you want.
Here’s what I mean:
There are a number of security settings that you can turn off or on in the Revolut app. This includes allowing:
- ATM withdrawals
- Online payments
- Contactless card payments
- Swipe Card payments
- Location-based security
Location-based security is a really good feature. If your phone is not near where the transaction is being made, Revolut will block it and freeze your account. They also send you a notification.
This means that even if your card is stolen, you won’t lose any money.
Freezing and unfreezing cards is also easy and fast. You can tap the setting you want inside the app and it takes effect immediately.
I see lots of people online complaining about the account freezing security feature. To me, this makes no sense.
It’s a security feature that protects your money. And if Revolut freezes it by mistake, it takes less than 5 seconds to unfreeze it again.
But what if you don’t want the feature at all?
Simple: Just turn it off.
With Revolut, you really do have more control over your security. This is a huge benefit that many other traditional banks don’t offer.
Most Revolut transactions will require you to put in your pin. When you set up your account, you will choose a unique pin for your card.
What if you forget or lose your pin?
You can always see your pin inside your app.
You can also change your pin at any time, at any ATM.
The bottom line – your money is protected!
And if something does happen, deposits in your vaults are FDIC insured up to $250,000 USD for US customers and FSCS insured up to £85,000 in the UK. European and Australian customers also have some similar protection.
I am really impressed with the amount of security that Revolut offers and gives me complete peace of mind when spending overseas.
Customer support on Revolut can be hit and miss.
If you do a quick Google search for Revolut review customer support, you’ll see a ton of people complaining. This isn’t accurate because most people only bother reviewing when they have bad experiences.
I have spoken to Revolut support quite a bit. This is my personal experience.
Revolut offers a chat feature within the app to contact customer support whenever you need it.
Their agents are pretty knowledgeable and can help you with most things. Sounds pretty good, right?
Here’s the problem:
It can take 4-12 hours for their customer support to message you back. Have a time-sensitive issue? You could be in some trouble.
If that’s not bad enough…
When they do reply, if you aren’t online or don’t see the response they will close the chat after about 5-7 minutes.
That means you need to start the whole process again.
This is how Revolut picks up its negative customer support reviews. And I think that’s fair enough because it’s not very “instant” or “customer-friendly”.
But there’s a way around it…
Pay for one of their premium plans. I have the metal plan and whenever I contact support, it’s almost an instant reply. The level of customer service I have experienced has also been much better on Metal than when I was on the free plan.
I guess this makes sense but I do see it as a big mark against Revolut in general. After all, Revolut manages people’s money whether they pay for a plan or not, so they should offer a high level of customer service regardless.
Revolut Support Tip – If you need to contact Revolut support you will have to go through their AI chatbot, Rita. This is an annoying and time-consuming process so here’s what you should do instead.
Open the chat support and immediately type in “live agent”.
This command will automatically transfer you to a live agent and skip dealing with Rita altogether.
Revolut Investing Tools
Revolut has evolved into more than just a multi-currency financial app.
They are moving towards being an easy-to-use financial services company. Think of it as a simple version of Charles Schwab.
Revolut has added some cool investing tools to the app that I think have some merit. Especially if you are just getting started.
Revolut introduced crypto trading to the app back in 2019.
And it has been very successful for a number of reasons. First of all, they charge very little fees and allow you to buy crypto for as little as $1.
Most crypto exchanges will make you buy at least $25 of crypto. With Revolut it’s easy and doesn’t cost much to get in on the crypto action.
Revolut also features simplified trading charts that make it easy to understand the markets. You can even set up live notifications to get notified whenever a currency you are following hits a certain point.
Want Revolut to handle buying and selling automatically?
Easily set up stop and limit orders so you can buy and sell whenever the crypto hits a certain price. Revolut also offers recurring buys so you can make repeat purchases regularly without having to do anything.
All of this is simply done from the app!
At the moment, they only offer 30+ cryptocurrencies you can trade on the platform, and they tend to be the bigger well-known currencies. They are always looking at adding more, but if you are a big altcoin investor, you’ll still need your other exchanges.
While I think the crypto features are great for beginners, there is a couple of downsides.
Revolut is not actually a crypto exchange. To offer instant trading and low fees Revolut has partnerships with a number of other crypto exchanges.
What this means is Revolut buys the crypto from the exchange and “holds” the currency for you. You do own the currency but if Revolut went out of business tomorrow, it’s possible you could lose all of your crypto investments.
Of course, this isn’t likely to happen but it’s good to know.
Another issue is you can’t send your crypto from your Revolut account to your crypto wallet.
This means it’s kind of “stuck” in Revolut. You have to sell and change it back to a fiat currency to get it out. This sucks if you are buying and holding crypto for long-term gain.
The truth is Revolut crypto trading isn’t for everyone and that’s ok.
One of the biggest reasons to use Revolut for crypto trading is the speed and fees. You could buy a cryptocurrency in the morning, sell it in the afternoon and use the profits to buy dinner that evening (hypothetically, of course).
But it really is that seamless and fast!
Revolut has recently launched stock trading in some countries.
Similarly to crypto trading, the goal is to make it quick and easy to trade stocks in real-time.
The user experience is really nice and it’s easy to buy and sell stocks whenever you want. You can also set stop and market orders so you can automatically buy a stock at a set price and get out of a trade when the stock increases/decreases.
Currently you can invest in 800+ global companies, which are mostly well known leading companies like Apple and Amazon. The minimum investment is just $1, making it easy to get into the stock market game.
Inside the Revolut stock dashboard you’ll get simple analysis graphs that update in real-time. While these won’t satisfy seasoned professionals, they are perfect for people starting their stock trading portfolio.
You can also set up notifications to be alerted when a stock drops or hits a desired price.
What about fees and commissions?
Revolut offers 1 zero fee trade per month for Standard account users and 5 zero fee trades for Premium and Metal users. This is pretty generous because most stock exchanges charge traders pretty hefty fees and commissions.
After the free trade, they charge a flat 0.25% fee or the minimum country-specific fee – whichever is greater. Minimum country-specific fees are usually about $1-$2 USD but do change depending on what country you are from.
Overall stock trading on Revolut is really fluent. You don’t need much money to get started and it’s easy to buy and sell as you want.
Love your silver and gold?
Yes, you guessed. Revolut even allows you to buy commodities instantly through the app.
And like stocks and crypto, the minimum investment is just $1. You can even round up spare change in commodities, so you are consistently buying over time.
The commodities that have Revolut has at the moment are just silver and gold.
But for most interested people this will be enough to have some fun and hopefully make a little bit of money as well.
Revolut Fees & Plans
Want to get the most out of your Revolut account?
Revolut Offers 3 different plans:
- Standard – Free
- Premium – $9.99/m USD (or your country equivalent)
- Metal – $16.99/m USD (or your country equivalent)
Revolut Premium and Metal users get a lot more benefits. If you are interested in learning more about Revolut Premium, check out my complete Revolut Premium Review.
Here’s a curated list of what’s included and the differences between the Revolut plans:
|Spend in currencies||150+||150+||150+|
|Hold in currencies||30+||30+||30+|
|Out-of-network ATM withdrawals||Up to $1,200/month||Up to $1,200/month||Up to $1,200/month|
|Crypto, Commodity & Stock Trading||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Saving Account APY Earnings||0.05% APY (depends on country)||0.07% APY (depends on country)||0.07% APY (depends on country)|
|Free Card Delivery||Standard (5-10 business days)||Express (1-3 business days)||Express (1-3 business days)|
|Fee-free international transfers||10||10||10|
|Overseas medical insurance (depends on country)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Delayed baggage and flight insurance (depends on country)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Cashback (depends on country)||None||None||1% on foreign transactions. 0.1% on home currency transactions.|
|Card Design||Standard||Premium card with exclusive designs||Exclusive Revolut Metal card|
|LoungeKey Pass access||None||Yes, Discounted (about $30 USD per lounge pass)||Yes, Discounted (about $30 USD per lounge pass)|
|Free lounge passes for 1hr delayed flights||None||You + 1 Friend||You + 3 Friends|
|24/7 customer support||Standard||Priority||Priority|
I personally have the Metal plan and love it! If you use Revolut as your day-to-day debit account, I think it’s worth upgrading to a paid plan.
Plus with the Metal plan, you actually get real 18g metal cards. It feels so premium that most restaurants don’t believe me when I tell them it’s a debit card, not a credit card.
One of the big reasons I recommend the Metal cards is cashback. Revolut gives you 1% cashback (depends on your home country) on all purchases made in a foreign currency. This alone more than covers my Metal plan fees every month.
Revolut Plus: Coming Soon?
Revolut has launched a plan called Plus in the UK only. They are currently testing this plan with UK customers to see if it’s worth rolling out globally.
The Revolut plus plan starts at £2.99 per month.
For this you get:
- 24/7 priority customer support
- Better international ATM withdrawal limits
- £1,000/year limit purchase protection
- Higher interest on your savings
We will wait and see if they end up launching the plus worldwide.
Revolut Review: Pros & Cons
For the most part, Revolut offers a ton of benefits to digital nomads and travelers.
But not everything is perfect. Here is a list of Revolut pros and cons:
- A powerful app that allows you to manage your money (and more) from your phone
- Debit cards and disposable virtual cards that can be added to Apple Pay and Google Pay
- Transactions are made at the real exchange rate which will save you lots of money in foreign exchange fees
- Hold money in 30+ foreign currencies
- 10 free direct debit deposits to over 30+ countries at the real exchange rate
- Simple budgeting and analytics tools to keep track of your money easily
- Free international ATM withdrawals up to $1,200 USD per month
- Vaults make saving and managing money easy
- Excellent and flexible security features to protect your money while overseas
- Simple and beginner-friendly investment tools for crypto, stocks and commodities
- Travel insurance and medical insurance are included for paid members in some countries
- Long customer support wait times and sometimes unhelpful
- The Revolut app takes a while to get used to and isn’t super user friendly
- At some point, you may need to prove your income and Revolut will just freeze your account until you provide the documents (this is to prevent money laundering)
How To Sign Up For Revolut
I get it:
Signing up for most digital banks is a long and annoying process. But because Revolut is not a bank, you don’t have those issues.
Revolut has made it super easy to signup. It can take you less than 5 minutes and it’s completely free. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to help you.
- To start off, use my Revolut referral link and you’ll get $10 USD when you make your first transaction.
- Type in your mobile phone number and click Signup now.
- Download the Revolut app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and input the code you should have just received by text from Revolut.
- Now you need to add your address details and upload a photo ID to verify your account.
- Review and accept the Revolut terms and conditions.
- Lastly the exciting part! Order your new Revolut card and it should arrive within 5-10 business days.
Revolut Review Wrap Up
Revolut Review Verdict: Is Revolut worth it?
My answer – Yes.
As a digital nomad, I think Revolut is one of the best banks for digital nomads, travelers and expats. I use Revolut as my everyday checking bank account and subscribe to the Metal plan.
Revolut will save you a ton on international fees if you travel a lot. The app makes it easy to manage your money overseas and offers lots of other great benefits to take advantage of.
I also really love the level of security that Revolut offers.
You are in complete control of your security settings and can change them with a tap of the button. I don’t know of any other bank (traditional or digital) that offers this level of control!
Ready to get your own Revolut account?
Use this link and you’ll get a $10 welcome bonus when you make your first transaction of any amount from your new account. Some terms and conditions do apply.
Got any questions?
Feel free to ask them in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Revolut a real bank?
No, Revolut is not a real bank. It is classified as a financial technology (fintech) company. Fintech companies can offer more benefits than traditional banks but still operate like a normal bank which is what makes them so attractive.
What bank is behind Revolut?
There are lots of banks behind Revolut. The bank that is behind Revolut will change from country to country. In the US it is Metropolitan Commercial Bank in New York. In the UK it’s Barclays and Lloyds. In Australia, it’s ANZ that is behind Revolut.
Is Revolut bank safe?
Yes, Revolut bank is safe. Revolut is a real, legitimate company and offers many account security features. It is a great option to spend money securely overseas and make international foreign wire transfers.
Please note that Revolut is frequently updating its products and features, see the Revolut Terms and Conditions for the latest offerings. Revolut is a financial technology company. Banking services are provided by Metropolitan Commercial Bank, (Member FDIC).
The content of this Revolut review does not concern any customers that are based outside of the US” or “All crypto fees and features are for customers based in the USA only. Revolut’s cryptocurrency services in the US are provided directly by Paxos Trust Company. As a reminder, please note that cryptocurrencies are not FDIC or SIPC Insured and that investments in cryptocurrencies may lose value.
Metropolitan Commercial Bank does not hold, trade or sell cryptocurrency and does not provide FDIC Insurance for cryptocurrency funds. Non-fiat funds (i.e. cryptocurrency) are converted to US Dollars before being spent on the Mastercard.