Revolut Review: Pros & Cons

OUR RATING
4.5/5
Our take: Revolut Personal is a competitive money exchange and transfer service that is now moving into online banking, offering features such us virtual cards. Depending on the time and amounts of exchanged currencies the fees may be attractive or not. The customer service support could be improved. We would recommend Revolut for current spending, especially abroad while keeping a relatively reasonable balances, but since it doesn’t have a banking licence from a Tier 1 Regulator we do not view it as a safe institution similar to traditional banks. We also recommend independent brokers for investments instead of Revolut’s investment products.

Key Features

Key Limitations

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Global Reach: Revolut is offering personal and business accounts. It operates globally, supporting transactions in 36 currencies in over 150 countries.
  • Main Appeal: Revolut’s main appeal is a multi-currency account, reasonably priced international transfers and competitive exchange rates, though they may be less favorable at times e.g. on weekends. It offers various subscription plans, each providing different levels of fee waivers and additional services.
  • Mobile Friendly Platform: The platform is praised for its user-friendly mobile app. Some drawbacks are slow response times and difficulties in resolving issues related to blocked funds, impacting user satisfaction and potentially trust.
  • Regulatory Challenges: Revolut faces challenges in securing a banking license in the UK, with only a Lithuanian banking license currently in place in Europe. Since its inception, Revolut has grown substantially and achieved profitability in 2023, with revenues estimated at $2 billion.

Pros & Cons and suitability

Pros

CONS

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Revolut Snapshot

What Is Revolut ?

Revolut is one of the leading global electronic money platforms. It is used by over 40 million private customers, supports 36 currencies in 150+ countries.

Reaching Profitability, with a good service offering

Revolut was established in 2015 and it is headquartered in London. The company is privately owned, with the current CEO and cofounder owning about 20% of the company. As of 2023, the company reported a total revenue of $2 billion with $350m profits. It offers several accounts in several currencies and debit cards.

Company Info

CharacteristicRevolut
Inception Date🛈 2015
Headquarters🛈 London, UK
Key Owner🛈 Privately owned: Corporate investors ~75% stake, Co-founder and CEO Nikolay Storonsky ~20% stake, private investors ~5% stake
Company EvaluationEstimated at $25.7 billion (April 2024)
Revenue✅ $2 billion (2023)

FEATURES

FeatureRevolut Personal
Key Base Currencies🛈 All Major Currencies
Transfer Speed✅ Instant
Multicurrency✅ Yes
Cash Interest✅ Very High
Mobile App✅ Yes
Debit Cards✅ Yes

I. Company

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Business Profile

Starting as an electronic payment service with low transfer and currency conversion fees focused on the UK and Europe, Revolut has since expanded in multiple ways. Their offering through the years introduced business accounts or commission-free trading. Their services are now available globally, with 150+ countries and territories supported. 

Safety Considerations

The company’s headquarters are located in London, UK, but their EEA markets are served by the subsidiary Revolut Bank UAB which is based in Vilnius, Lithuania. The company is therefore regulated by the FCA in the UK (but as an electronic money platform – not a Bank) and the Bank of Lithuania in Lithuania (as a Bank, but from a Tier 2 Regulator). Thus, Revolut only have one banking licence – in Lithuania and are in the middle of a long and uncertain process of obtaining a banking licence in the UK.

Cash Custodians & Guarantee

Depending on your residency, funds held at Revolut are protected by either the safeguarding approach in the UK or by the deposit and investment insurance by the Bank of Lithuania in EEA countries. The safeguarding approach in the UK involves keeping customers’ funds in a safeguarding account with another bank or investing it in low-risk assets approved by the regulators. Revolut’s EEA customers have the Bank of Lithuania’s independent deposit protection scheme, similar to traditional banks. The customer’s funds are only insured in Lithuania up to EUR 100,000. The UK protection is irrelevant as it’s not customer-specific. Virtual currencies, commodities, and investments are also outside of the Lithuanian guarantee.

Security

There are advanced security features offered in the Revolut app, such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and fingerprint reading. Revolut is also monitoring any suspicious financial activities and employs standard “Know Your Customer” (KYC) practices when opening an account with them.

II. Fee structure

Transfer fees

There are no charges for transfers inside the SEPA region and the United Kingdom. Transfer fees for international transfers vary by country and are always shown upfront. Keep in mind that intermediary banks might charge their own fees.

Exchange Rates and Fees

Revolut’s exchange rates vary based on currency and are typically worse in the range of 0.1-0.8% than the central bank exchange rates. 

Exchange rates are the same for both transfers and payments. If you have one of the two cheaper subscriptions, you can be also charged if you pass the overall free exchange limit. 

There is a 1% currency exchange fee on weekends: between 5 pm New York time (11 pm CET) on Friday and 6 pm (midnight CET) New York time on Sunday.

Exchange Fees as May 2024

Account SubscriptionStandardPlusPremiumMetalUltra
Fee-free monthly exchange limit€/£1000
€/£3000No limitNo limitNo limit
Exchange fee above the limit1%0.5%0%0%0%
Exchange rate fee on the weekends1%
1%1%1%1%
Discount on international transfer fees0%0%20%40%100%

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Savings account cash interest comparison with Wise

The table below compares interest rates for Revolut’s Flexible Accounts (Standard) and Wise Interest Account across three currencies: GBP, EUR, and USD. Overall, Wise consistently offers higher interest rates across all three currencies. Wise is used as a comparison because it is a leading competitor in digital banking and international money transfer services, providing a relevant benchmark for evaluating Revolut’s offerings. The data are as May 2024, net of fees.

Cash Interest as May 2024

CurrencyRevolut Flexible Accounts (Standard)Wise Interest account
GBP4.04%
4.66%
EUR3.97% 3.67%
USD3.09%
5.05%

REVOLUT STANDARD vS WISE

The table below compares currency conversions for Revolut (Standard Account) and Wise across different transaction amounts including fees and spreads.

 It shows the converted amount for 100, 1,000, and 5,000 units of the base currency for various currency pairs, including a specific comparison for 5,000 units with Wise. The data are as May 2024. 

This comparison highlights the differences in conversion amounts between Revolut and Wise, with Wise generally offering more favorable rates across various currency pairs and amounts. Revolut tends to offer slightly better rates for smaller amounts across several currency pairs due to the free allowances.

For example, USD to EUR, USD to GBP, and EUR to GBP conversions show marginally higher converted amounts for Revolut at the 100-unit level. However, for larger amounts (5,000 units), Wise generally provides better rates, as seen in the comparisons for USD to EUR, USD to GBP, and other currency pairs. 

Thus, Revolut might be more advantageous for smaller transactions, while Wise appears to offer more favorable rates for higher amounts.

REVOLUT VS WISE - Standard Account Simulation as June 2024

From/ToFor 100 (Revolut)
For 1,000 (Revolut)For 5,000 units (Revolut)For 100 (Wise)For 1,000 (Wise)For 5,000 (Wise)
USD to EUR91.4
915.64,560.290.6913.24,569.6
USD to GBP77.9780.23,88577.1777.83,891.7
USD to CHF88.7
888.44,424.387.1885.64,434.4
EUR to GBP84.8848.54,208.383.9846.84,237.5
EUR to NOK1,140.611,447.356,778.11,125.611,414.957,144.8
EUR to
SEK
1,130.611,346.256,279.11,115.811,315.356,649.9
EUR to
PLN
426.34,276.221,209.9422.34,270.321,372.5
GBP to
PLN
500.65,021.424,905.4498.25,020.125,116.8

Additional Charges

There are no deposit or withdrawal fees for bank transfers including your home account in your home country. There are however fees when depositing funds by bank transfers outside your home country, by Paysafe, or by certain debit/credit cards. 

The first Revolut card is also free, but replacement cards are charged (along with delivery fees regardless if it’s the first card or not). ATM withdrawals are also free, but only up until a limit (depending on the country and your plan), after which there is a 2% fee applied.

III. Platform & Features

Revolut account Features

Revolut Personal offers two main account types:

  • Savings (Flexible) accounts: Accounts with a flexible interest on deposited funds. The money you deposit here is invested in a low-risk Money Market Funds managed by Fidelity International and the displayed interest is net of Revolut’s fees. Therefore, the interest you get is mostly determined by the current market interest rates. Higher account levels (Premium, Metal, and Ultra) are providing a higher interest. 
  • Trading accounts: Revolut offers investing in stocks, ETFs, crypto, commodities, and automated portfolios. Revolut itself is not responsible for investing services, and they outsource is to a number of partners, such as Upvest (ETFs) or DriveWealth (stocks). There are free monthly trades whose number varies based on your account level (there is one free trade for the Standard account). Usual fees are 0.25% of the trading amount (0.12% for Ultra customers) with a 1 EUR/GBP minimum. Automated portfolios is their robo-advisor product which uses ETFs as an instrument and charges a 0.75% annual fee. Crypto trading fees are set at 1.49% of the trade’s value in most countries, with a minimum fee that varies between 0.99 and 1.99 EUR/GBP or currency equivalent. 

⚠️ Given the outsourced nature of the service and the lack of Tier 1 Regulators we do not recommend investing through Revolut.

Account Subscriptions

Revolut offers a range of subscription plans with each plan offers progressively more features and benefits :

  • Standard plan is free and provides basic services with limited fee-free currency exchange. 
  • Plus plan, at approximately €/£2.99 per month, increases the fee-free exchange limit, adds purchase protection and priority customer support.
  • Premium plan, costing around €/£6.99 per month, offers unlimited fee-free currency exchange, overseas medical insurance, higher ATM withdrawal limits (€/£400) and lounge access with SmartDelay.
  • Metal plan, at about €/£12.99 per month, includes cashback on card payments (0.1% in Europe, 1% outside Europe), dedicated concierge service and higher withdrawal limits (€/£800). 
  • Ultra plan, at approximately €/£45.00 per month, provides the most extensive benefits, including full discounts on international transfer fees and higher cashback on card payments. 

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Pros:

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Revolut Account Currencies

As May 2024, Revolut offers the following currencies account: AED, AUD, BGN, CAD, CHF, CLP, COP, CZK, DKK, EGP, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, ISK, JPY, KRW, KZT, MAD, MXN, NOK, NZD, PHP, PLN, QAR, RON, RSD, SAR, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, ZAR.

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Others Features

  • Transfer Speed: Instantly (between Revolut accounts and Wise); regular bank transfers usually take 1-2 working days (sometimes longer).
  • Mobile App: Available for Android and Apple (free of charge).
  • Joint Accounts: Both users have equal access to the account’s balance and features. It includes real-time spending notifications for both account holders. Users can also split bills directly within the app and track shared expenses.
  • Revolut <18 service: it is designed specifically for young people aged 6-17 (the parent need to have an adult account). Parents can set up and manage the account from their own Revolut app, monitor transactions, and set spending limits. The accounts includes a personalized card. 
  • Debit Card: There are no deposit or withdrawal fees, but there is an undisclosed deposit daily limit. There are also fees for currency conversions and ATM withdrawals (after a certain commission-free limit) depending on your account level and day of the week.

IV. REvolut Customer Review

Reputation

Revolut boasts a 4.2-star rating on Trustpilot, with over 150,000 reviews, but users commonly cite fund freeze issues and subpar customer service:

  • Sign-up: The digital sign-up process requires ID verification and address confirmation, usually taking minutes but occasionally several days.
  • Mobile App: The mobile app, preferred for its organization, underwent a user-friendly redesign in the Revolut 10 update, though finding support can be challenging for newcomers.
  • Transactions. Transactions are straightforward, with dedicated submenus for transfers and easy setup for recurring payments.
  • Customer Support. Customer support primarily operates through in-app chat and email, with an FAQ section available, but users often report slow responses.
  • Currency Exchanges: Users praise commission-free currency conversions and free transfers, along with an intuitive user interface.
  • Areas for improvement: addressing fund freeze issues, enhancing customer service, and adding traditional banking services.
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