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ABOUT rEVOLUT << CLICK HERE >>

What is Revolut?

Revolut is a digital-only banking app and card that sets itself apart from traditional banks with a focus on technology, low fees and flexibility.

It’s especially aimed at those who travel a lot, offering spending abroad and international money transfers with no hidden fees.

Launched in 2015, Revolut has more than 8 million customers who, according to Revolut, have completed more than 350 million transactions with a total value of over £40 billion.

Opening a standard free account with Revolut will give you a UK current account, a Euro IBAN account, and a blue-ish, pink-ish bank card.

As well as all the usual things you can do with a current account like send money to friends and withdraw money from an ATM, you can use an impressive range of other features, including free international money transfers, fee-free global spending and access to cryptocurrency exchange.

If you’re a small business you can read our Revolut for Business review to find out more.

What can you do with Revolut?

Once you’ve decided that Revolut is for you, signing up is simple. You just need to download the app and register – you won’t need a proof of address and there are no credit checks, which speeds up the process.

However, you will need to verify your identity by taking a picture of both yourself and a valid ID document. After you sign up, you can request a contactless Revolut card.

The app is simple, easy to navigate and streamlined. With Revolut you can:

  • Use it as a UK current account. You get a UK account number and sort code. You can set up recurring payments, withdraw cash at ATMs, make contactless payments, and use Apple Pay and Google Pay.

  • Make international payments. The app enables you to transfer money to 29 countries, fee-free, at the interbank exchange rate (the same rates banks give each other).

  • Spend globally fee-free. All spending abroad is charged at the interbank rate, which is as good as it gets for consumers.

  • Hold different currencies. You can hold a balance on the app in 29 currencies.

  • Pay friends. Pay other people with ease or use the split bill feature to divide a group spend.

  • View spending habits. Using analytics, you can see your spending, categorised by type of transaction, by merchant or by country.

  • Freeze your card and set spending limits. Freeze a card if you lose it, unfreeze it if you find it, set monthly spending limits and enable additional security.

  • Save money. Put money aside through regular payments or round up your spare change with Revolut’s Vaults. It doesn’t pay any interest, but can be helpful for saving towards short-term goals. You can also set up a Group Vault with your friends and family and save for a common goal, such as a holiday.

  • Add device insurance and medical insurance. At the touch of a button, you pay by the day, and the rates are low.

  • Buy cryptocurrency.

Revolut fees, limits and pricing

Revolut has three tiers: Standard, Premium and Metal. This review covers the Standard offering. We’ve also reviewed Premium and Metal – they both essentially offer more features and benefits.

The Standard Revolut account comes with a few fees:

  • Weekend markup on all foreign exchanges. If you make a currency exchange during the weekend, you’ll be charged a markup. That’s because the interbank rate is always fluctuating and may not be the same on a Monday as it was on the previous Friday. The markup is 0.5% for the 15 major currencies and 1% for the others.

  • Bank transfers. Fee-free, at the interbank rate, in 29 fiat currencies – although it charges 0.5% for transfers that exceed £5,000 a month.

  • Withdrawals. Free ATM withdrawals of up to £200 per month. After this limit there is a 2% fee.

  • No overdraft. You cannot go into the red. If a purchase exceeds your available funds the transaction will be declined.

  • Card delivered. This is £4.99 with standard subscription – unless you use this link, in which case it’s free!

A bit more on the weekend markup: keep in mind that card payments, ATM withdrawals and money transfers abroad all imply a currency exchange, so the weekend markup applies in all these cases. There’s an easy way around it though: if you know you’ll be travelling or sending money abroad over the weekend, exchange the currency in advance on a weekday and you’ll avoid the fee. This will be possible with all the 29 currencies that Revolut lets you hold.

Using Revolut abroad

One of Revolut’s most appealing features is that it lets you spend fee-free at the interbank rate in 150 currencies.

When you’re spending abroad, you typically get hit with transaction fees or hidden charges. That’s because most financial institutions will either charge you extra fees to use your card abroad, or they change money at a less competitive rate, or both.

Revolut doesn’t do that, which is why it’s popular with those who have a global lifestyle. Using it abroad is much like using it in the UK. However, don’t forget that while there’s no spending limit for card payments, free ATM withdrawals are limited to £200 a month – after which you’ll be charged a 2% fee, whether you’re in the UK or abroad.

What is Revolut’s auto-exchange?

The app lets you switch from, say, sterling to euros with a couple of taps – and it does the exchange automatically for you. If you’re planning to go abroad, there’s a useful feature that tracks a rate for you to watch for a drop in your favour; use the app to select the currency you’re interested in changing your money into, and set a a target exchange rate. When it’s reached, Revolut will convert your money. If you use it correctly, you can get better value on your funds without making much effort.

You can also do it with cryptocurrencies. The only limitation Revolut imposes is that if the market is especially volatile, it’ll stop the conversion – it can move a maximum 0.75% over or below the target for regular currencies, and 5% for cryptocurrencies.

When will my Revolut card be delivered?

After you’ve signed up on your phone, your Revolut card should be dispatched the next working day. Standard delivery can take up to 9 days, while express delivery to the UK, US and Canada will get you your card in 2 working days. For all other countries, express delivery should take 3 business days.

Customers are warned, though, that these are estimated delivery times and it may take longer.

Card delivery is £4.99 unless you use this link, which will get you free delivery.

How to top up with Revolut

Linking your main bank account with your Revolut card lets you top up instantly. In the app, do the following:

  1. The first time you top up you have to link a main bank account with your Revolut card. Go into the app and put in your 16-digit card number, expiry date, CVC code, and billing postcode.

  2. Make sure the address is correct otherwise the payment might fail to go through.

  3. Press the “+” symbol in the top left corner of the accounts screen.

  4. Add the card you want to top up from, and choose the amount you want to add into your Revolut account.

  5. Tap top up and the money will go into your account instantly.

Another top-up option Revolut offers is the automatic top-up feature. With this, you get the app to automatically top up your Revolut account from your main card if it drops below a certain amount.

What is Revolut’s virtual card?

The virtual card is for making online transactions – buying stuff from ASOS, a Netflix subscription, Deliveroo, UberEATS and things like that. It can’t be used for recurring payments like paying rent (though you can still set up a normal recurring payment in the app). So what’s the point of it this card? Can’t you just use your physical card for everything?

Well, the idea is that it’s safer. You can freeze your virtual card, and set monthly spending limits to keep within your budget. On top of this, you can delete the virtual card every few months, making it harder for fraudsters to steal your details and clone your card.

To use it, head to the “Cards” section in your app and scroll to your virtual card. Use the displayed card number and CVV at checkout.

However, Revolut’s real show pony is its “disposable” virtual card. They’re only available to Premium users, though. After every online transaction Revolut deletes your virtual card and gives you a new one. Revolut says this has reduced fraud by 30%.

Is Revolut a real bank?

Revolut isn’t officially a bank yet, but is well on the way to becoming one. At the end of 2018, Revolut got a European banking licence from the European Central Bank but the licence isn’t fully operational yet, and depends on a series of tests and improvements Revolut is currently working on.

Once this phase is over, the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), will lift the restrictions on Revolut’s licence, the company will be able to call itself a bank and it could roll out new features such as overdrafts. At that point, customers’ money would get extra protection (see “Is Revolut safe?”).

It’s also worth noting that it’s still uncertain what will happen after Brexit. At the moment, European banking licences are “passported” to the UK (which just means they’re equally valid). If things were to change, Revolut has said that it will apply for a full UK banking licence as well.

Is Revolut safe?

Despite not being a bank yet, Revolut is regulated by the FCA. The company is licensed as an institution that deals in electronic money and has to hold all client funds in a “segregated account”.

This means that users’ money is kept separate from Revolut’s finances and that Revolut cannot invest it. So, even if something were to happen to Revolut as a company, your money couldn’t be used to pay off its debts.

However, until it officially becomes a bank, funds held with Revolut aren’t protected by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which protects deposits up to a maximum of £85,000), nor by its European equivalent.

When it comes to security, Revolut’s smartphone app is protected by a password or fingerprint ID. Immediately freeze or unfreeze your card in the app if it’s been misplaced, lost or stolen. Add further control by turning online, ATM and contactless payments on or off.

What is Revolut cryptocurrency?

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, Revolut stands out from its competitors. In 2017, it became the first challenger bank to let customers buy cryptos in its app.

What’s more, it’s incredibly easy for anyone to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin with Revolut. Revolut’s aim is to make them accessible, so you don’t have to be a tech whizz to get your hands on them.

  • Cryptocurrencies. Customers have access to 5 different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and XRP.

  • Unlock. With a basic Revolut account you have to invite three friends to app before you can “unlock” the crypto feature in the app. Premium account holders get it automatically.

  • Exchanges. Exchange one of the 25 base currencies in the app for one of its crypto options. So, change Pound Sterling into XRP, or change Euros into Bitcoin. The choice is yours.

  • Real-time rates. Real-time cryptocurrency graphs show you current rates. Plus set up price alerts to hear when your cryptocurrency hits a certain value.

  • Fees. Revolut do charge a 1.5% markup for the transaction. Revolut says it gives the best possible exchange rates, but it’s certainly worth taking a look at your other options if your looking at delving into cryptocurrencies.

  • Send to friends. Transfer cryptocurrencies to other Revolut users for free.

  • Risks. Revolut does still warn that the value of cryptocurrencies can rapidly increase or decrease at any time, so you the customer are at risk. As well as gains, you could make some serious losses. Unlike the rest of Revolut’s services, cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the FCA.

Pros and cons of Revolut

Pros

  • Free multicurrency current account, you can hold up to 29 different currencies.

  • Quick to apply for and set up, no credit checks.

  • Use the card abroad with no fees.

  • User-friendly app with control over accounts and cards, spending control visualisation and a lot of great features.

  • Fee-free money transfers in 29 currencies, at the interbank exchange rate.

  • You can put money aside in a Vault and set a spending goal for it. Group Vaults are also available.

  • 24-hour customer service.

  • You can get travel insurance directly from the app, at a competitive price.

Cons

  • At weekends, when the markets are closed, Revolut applies a mark up of 0.5% on major currencies and 1% on other currencies on its rates.

  • Free cash withdrawals are limited to £200 a month.

  • No other banking products available, such as overdrafts, credit cards or interest-paying savings accounts.

  • No branches, which can put off those who prefer face-to-face customer service.


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ABOUT mONESE << CLICK HERE >>

What is Monese?

Monese has provided basic banking on smartphones since 2015. It gives people in the UK and abroad a chance to experience streamlined, modern finance.

Besides being completely mobile and making your money accessible on the go, Monese takes mobility a step further than the rest, allowing customers to create an account without a UK address.

This feature is what makes Monese unique: the ability for anyone to open an account anywhere in the UK or continental Europe. Whether or not you have a UK address, a credit history or fixed income, you can access Monese and open an account today. The app is currently available to anyone in the European Economic Area.

Monese is completely portable across 20 countries across Europe and, if you move to another country, your Monese account comes with you.

How does Monese work?

Monese works like a traditional banking system, but more streamlined. Like with most digital-only accounts, it’s all managed through the app, which has multiple tabs focussed on different aspects of your account:

  • Debit card. Order and manage your contactless debit card. You can see whether your card is active and get a reminder of your pin.

  • Support. The support tab provides customers with easy access to customer service via instant messenger or email. This tab also has an FAQ section.

  • My plan. Monese offers a free account and two paid account options. From this tab you can see what benefits might come from an upgrade or subscribe to the service.

  • Direct debits. View and manage your active direct debits. Your account number and sort code are provided on this page for you to copy.

  • Add Eurozone account. Add a Eurozone account at the click of a button. You can switch between your UK and European accounts at any time on the home page.

  • Invite and earn. Invite a friend and you will earn £10-25 once they deposit money into their account. They also get £10-25.

How can I transfer money with Monese?

  • UK bank transfers. Pay friends, families or bills with bank transfers. Monese uses the Faster Payments Service and says that it typically takes around 2-4 hours for your payee to receive the money you’ve transferred.

  • Foreign transfers. Transfer money abroad into eight different currencies. Monese uses the “interbank rate”, much like Revolut. The delivery time for your money depends on the processing times of the receiving bank. Depending on the currency you’re sending and the time (try send before 4pm), your transfer should take between 2-4 business days.

  • Foreign transfer from Eurozone account. If you’re transferring money to someone with a Euro account through a SEPA payment, then it should reach them by the next working day – or the day after that.

  • Direct Debits. Set up a direct debit and automatically pay for utilities and services. Whether its your gym membership, phone contract, or your electricity bill – this way you won’t forget to pay rent this month.

  • Standing Orders. Set up a standing order (or ‘Recurring Payment’) to make routine payments for a specified amount, payee and date – all managed in-app.

  • Pay Your Contacts. Make payments to friends and family – straight from your phone’s contact list. See who’s already a Monese user, and to whom you’ll be able to make an instant payment.

Monese fees and limits

The cost and the limits of a Monese account depends on which pricing plan you choose.


Using Monese abroad

Monese has the option of opening an account anywhere in Europe making it easier to spend money on the mainland. Being able to switch instantly between your UK and European accounts means you’ll be able to access your money easily wherever you are in Europe.

All Monese’s pricing plans offer some level of fee-free spending outside of Europe too, but with different limits. If you have a free plan, you get up to £2,000 of fee-free card payments abroad and up to £200 of fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals.

Is Monese safe?

As a current account provider, Monese makes security a priority. To register it requires your address, a passport photo and video identification.

Your money is also safe behind a passcode which can be changed at any time and you are logged out after 20 minutes of inactivity. If your phone or card is stolen, customer service is available Monday to Saturday during working hours.

Monese is registered with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and is authorised to deal in electronic money, but isn’t technically a bank. In practical terms, this means that your money is held safe in a segregated account that Monese can’t touch (even it if were to go bust), but isn’t protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Pros and cons of Monese

Pros

  • UK current account that does all you can expect, including direct debits and standing orders.

  • Fast and easy set-up (no credit check or proof of local address needed).

  • Colourful app that is easy to use, allows you to categorise your transactions and freeze the card if you lose it.

  • Free card payments and ATM withdrawals abroad.

  • You can load cash into the account for free.

  • Can open both a UK and European account and switch instantly.

Cons

  • With a free plan, fee-free ATM withdrawals and cash loads are limited to £200 per month.

  • You can’t put your savings in a separate account or earn interest on them.

  • It doesn’t offer anything more than a current account.

  • No physical branches.



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About Curve << click here >>

What is Curve?

Curve aims to provide “One place to spend, send, see and save money.” Rather than follow the structure of traditional banks, Curve tries to distance itself from it. It acts as the meeting point for all your accounts, allowing you to keep track of your money wherever it is.

By connecting all your accounts, Curve defines itself not only by its mobile nature but also by working as a virtual bookkeeper. Rather than looking through a mountain of receipts or tabs of online statements, Curve takes a record and lets you know what you’ve been spending.

How does Curve work?

Curve works from your phone, bundling your accounts into one app.

This record of your transactions encourages good spending habits. In addition to all this, Curve partners with different companies, allowing customers to spend their money at selected stores to earn cashback.

The app itself relies on simplicity rather than style, with a functional design allowing easy access to every feature:

After you sign up, you’ll receive a contactless Curve card. Customers have complete control over their card, with the ability to freeze and unfreeze at the touch of a button, a feature that provides added security and convenience.

The app is easy to navigate. Features include:

  • Home: From here you manage your cards and check their balance. You can also add new cards and see your rewards.

  • Timeline: A complete record of your transactions. Along with the list are tools to filter what you wish to see and an option to search for specific payments.

  • Curve: Activate or deactivate your Curve card, check rewards and your balance.

  • Send: Send money to anyone in your contacts (they’ll have to sign up for Curve).

  • Support: A list of FAQs, features, benefits and fees. Open tickets for queries and customer service.

When you sign up, you also get a 90 days introductory offer that features a 1% cashback on purchases from 3 retailers of your choice – the options include Netflix and Amazon.

Using Curve abroad

Curve makes itself useful on holiday in a handful of ways. As mentioned already, Curve keeps a record of your card balance, allowing you to check your budget at any time.

As well as this, you always have a record of your spending to make sure you don’t go over your holiday budget. Curve also allows you to add foreign currency cards and offers fairly low exchange rates to help you get away.

IF YOU'RE TRAVELLING ABROAD

If you are heading overseas and are thinking about travel money, head to our travel money section for the cheapest deals on foreign currencies, or to our travel section for tips on how to get cheap flights!

Curve fees, limits and pricing

Curve offers reasonable rates on both their business and personal accounts, with the opportunity to earn privileges on your account after risk checks and a spending history has been established:

  • Setting up a Curve account is free, apart from a £1 charge to verify your identity, which is then refunded. There are no charges for adding new cards.

  • There are no additional fees when using your Curve Mastercard in the UK: it costs nothing to withdraw, transfer or deposit money.

  • Using Curve abroad is also fee-free on weekdays, but it’s charged a 0.5% fee during the weekend. Curve uses the wholesale interbank rate for currency exchanges.

  • You can withdraw up to £200 from foreign ATMs without paying a fee. Withdrawals cost £2 or a 2% fee after that.

Limits are fairly generous and, as mentioned above, can be raised after a certain amount of time and activity. Business and personal accounts share standard starting limits:

  • £2,000 daily spending limit. £5000 monthly and £10,000 over the year.

  • £200 daily withdrawal limit, and a 2% charge on any extra withdrawals that day.

The “enhanced limits” for business and personal accounts are:

  • £3,750 daily spending limit, £20,000 per month and £50,000 per year.

  • You may withdraw £1000 per day with the charge still active for anything over that limit.

For Curve Prepaid business accounts:

  • You can spend £5000 per day, £15,000 monthly and £50,000 over the course of the year.

  • There is a £500 withdrawal limit per day, with a charge still in place.

Is Curve safe?

Curve understands how important your accounts are and as a result prepares to protect them from any forces working to compromise them. Rather than being password protected, Curve sends you an email every time you make a login request, adding another step to your account’s security.

All the data on the app is encrypted and in line with industry standards.

Pros and cons of Curve

Pros

  • Account can be set up in 20 minutes or less.

  • Bank card provided on registration.

  • A complete record of your spending over multiple accounts.

  • Spending history can help you to save money.

  • Cashback rewards from retailers.

  • Safe and secure.

  • Registered with the PRA and FCA.

  • Compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay and FitBit Pay.

Cons

  • Limits on spending and withdrawals.

  • Lack of face-to-face contact when banking.

  • Long queue times means it can take a while for your account to be fully set up.



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