It’s been over a year since my first Revolut review – it was in a video format and you can still find it here.
Revolut is a millennial bank and just like the millennials it serves, including me, it has come a long way in not much time. If you don’t know Revolut, I am assuming you don’t travel, don’t budget or just aren’t interested in fintech. But since you are reading this post, let’s cover the key information briefly and then move onto what Revolut has done in the past few months to make it even better.
Revolut is a app-based bank
It used to be a travel and currency friendly pre-payment card which you order, top up and manage via mobile app. As of December 2018 Revolut became a licensed bank – this means it’s subject to the same rules, regulations and guidelines as all other high street banks. This also means that as they work with the European Central Bank (the banking big daddy which governs the licensing of all banks registered in Europe), they answer to the same set of requirements as all other banks would. Yet, they still provide the same, travel friendly, hassle-free currency card and then some.
Getting the card for free
Revolut usually charges an equivalent of £5 for the card and its’ delivery, but if you dig around the interwebs, you might be able to find some affiliate links which enable you to get the card for free/without the delivery fee. I’ve been a Revolut affiliate for a short while, so here is one of those links you can use: http://revolut.com/gettheapp?p=FV4GR. To register, you will enter your mobile phone number, receive a message with the link to download the app. Then fill in your basic details via the Revolut App and you’re off to the races. You do not need to enter any financial information when ordering the card, be weary of any company asking you for your current account details!
More account options
One of the big things that changed in Revolut App is that they now offer two premium level accounts in addition to the standard, free one. ‘Premium’ at £6.99 per month includes card delivery, disposable virtual card (amazing for online shopping and card-related identity theft prevention), travel delay insurance , higher limit for no-fee abroad ATM withdrawals (£400, standard offers £200) and unlimited FX and a discount on device insurance. The ‘metal’, recently launched at £12.99 per month comes with cashback facility, concierge, medical insurance and everything that the other two levels offer. It’s pretty extensive and if you travel a lot, probably worth it just for the medical and travel insurance aspect.
There are two things I love Revolut for. First one is the convenience of currency exchange. I travel a lot and it proved to be by far the best, and largely the cheapest way for me to pay for things. The second thing is budgeting function and option to save your spare change into a saving pot. Forget having 30 different accounts for all your expenses, you can just set a budget and the app tells you how you are doing – it’s my dream come true for budgeting. I use it for every expense category that involves spending random amounts of money from a larger pot such as groceries, going out, beauty etc. I said it in 2017 and I say it again, it was a game changer and had a huge impact on how efficient my budgeting became.
I addition to budgetting, Revolut allows you to easily pay your friends back or request money if they owe you some cash, transfer money abroad (free below £5000 per month) and set up standing order payments. It’s better than my bank account in all honesty.
I will kill you if you touch my phone. Luckily, I don’t have to kill anyone to protect my money. Bad jokes aside, if I happen to lose the card when exiting a country, location-based security just disables it. Swipe payments (oh hi USA), contactless payments, ATM withdrawals and online transactions can all be enabled or disabled within the app, you can set a monthly spend limit and you can just freeze the card. As it’s a pre-paid card operating on a secureMastercard payment network to which you put your money on, there is no overdraft so you are never going to spend or lose more than you put on it and this makes me like it more than my debit card. Majority of the features just mentioned have been present in the app when I first started using the card, but now they are ALL available on standard account which is lovely. In addition to a physical card, you can also get a virtual card on the standard plan which goes some way to protect your identity if you are doing a lot of online shopping (I am). On the two paid plans as mentioned above, a throwaway single use virtual cards are also available. All in all, the security is good on all key aspects.
In the next post, let’s talk about budgetting for the whole year.