Home Travel Resources Revolut Travel Card Review: Save Money Abroad

Revolut Travel Card Review: Save Money Abroad

by Sam
Revolut Travel Card Review

Last Updated on

If you’re looking to avoid unnecessary charges and bad exchange rates when you travel, then this Revolut travel card review is for you. We’ve been using Revolut since 2016, and by now we can safely say it’s saved us hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. Changing money in advance is a thing of the past, as you can now arrive at your destination and use a Revolut prepaid card to get a better rate than currency exchanges ever offer. Although there are a number of different cards available, we personally think that there’s only one winner if you compare Revolut vs Monzo vs N26 or any of the other competitors. Revolut charges just 2% if you exceed your monthly withdrawal limit, whilst Monzo charge 3% and N26 charge on all transactions on free accounts. On top of that, the standard free Revolut accounts allows you to convert up to £5,000/€6,000 a month with no charge. If you’re looking for better features, then there’s also the option to sign up for a Premium or Metal Revolut account, although these accounts do come at a small cost. We fully recommend signing up now, but if you want to know more then check out our Revolut travel card review below!

Sign up to Revolut today via our referral link and get your first travel card delivered completely free! Click here to sign up!

Available currencies

One of the most important things with any travel card is the number of currencies supported for card payments and ATM withdrawals. Revolut allows you to make card payments and ATM withdrawals in over 150 different currencies, which means it provides you with great versatility almost anywhere you travel. All major currencies are supported through the card, so unless you’re going really off the beaten path then Revolut will support almost every currency you need. We’ve been using our Revolut cards since 2016 and since then have been able to use them everywhere we’ve visited throughout Europe, Asia, Central America and South America. 

Some of the currencies that aren’t yet supported are the Zimbabwean Dollar, Tuvaluan Dollar, Armenian Dram, Faroese Króna and Eritrean Nakfa. You can find a more comprehensive list of currencies that are not yet supported on Revolut’s website. Even if you’re visiting one or more of the countries where the currency isn’t supported, it’s still worth getting a card for when you travel elsewhere. More and more currencies are becoming supported, so don’t be surprised if soon you’re able to use your Revolut card anywhere in the world! 

Currencies available on Revolut

Exchange Rate

Revolut uses the interbank exchange rate, which is the same rate that banks use when trading with each other. This means you’re able to get a much better exchange rate by using Revolut than you would by changing money at a currency exchange or using your normal debit card. Simply put, you will almost always get a better exchange rate by using Revolut.

At time of writing (September 2019) many currency exchanges are offering around €1.09 for £1, whereas the interbank exchange rate offers €1.11 for £1. Although this is only a small difference, over the course of a trip it starts to add up. Whatever currency you’re changing, you will almost always find that Revolut offer a better exchange rate than any of your other options. If you had £10, you wouldn’t actively choose to throw it away, but if you’re getting a bad currency conversion rate then throwing away money is exactly what you’re doing. Considering a Revolut travel card is completely free, you may as well get more currency for your money! Click here to save money when spending abroad by signing up for Revolut!

As the interbank exchange rate changes in real-time, the rate you will receive depends on when you convert your currency. Rates will fluctuate throughout the day, so you may get slightly different rates if you make a number of payments throughout the day. 

Although Revolut uses the interbank exchange rate, the rates are fixed over the weekend to protect against fluctuations. This means that there is a markup of 0.5% on major currencies and 1% on all other currencies. Click here to find out more about which currencies come under which category! To avoid being affected by these markups we recommend making ATM withdrawals during weekdays. It will also affect card payments over the weekend, but there is no way to avoid these and it still almost always works out cheaper than using your normal debit card or a currency exchange.

On top of this, there is always a 1% markup for Thai Baht and Ukrainian Hryvnia. As neither of these are major currencies, they are also subject to the 1% markup on weekends, so if you make a payment or withdrawal in one of these currencies at a weekend there is a total markup of 2%.

How to get the best exchange rate with Revolut

There’s a very simple tip to make sure you get the best exchange rate when paying with your Revolut card. When using your card abroad you may be asked whether you would prefer to pay in the local currency or your home currency. Always opt to pay in the local currency. 

If you don’t pay in the local currency then the merchant will make the conversion, which normally means you’ll get a very bad exchange rate and will end up paying more. Paying in the local currency allows Revolut to make the conversion (if required) using the interbank exchange rate, which means you will get a substantially better rate. Sometimes when making card payments abroad the merchant may select for you to pay in your home currency without giving you the choice to pay in the local currency. Always check what currency you’re being charged in and ask to pay in the local currency if you notice you’re being charged in your home currency. Some merchants will insist you will get a better rate by paying in your home currency, but that is never the case.

Make sure to also check what currency you’re paying in when making an ATM withdrawal. Some ATM machines will ask whether you want to use their conversion, but through experience we can say it’s always better to reject this. The phrasing will make it sound like you may be charged more for rejecting their rate, but as Revolut use the interbank exchange rate you are almost always going to be getting a better rate by rejecting the machine’s conversion and allowing Revolut to convert the currency for you. If you’re unsure, go on the app and check the Revolut exchange rate calculator to compare it to the ATM rate. That way you can know for sure which offers the better rate – spoiler alert, it’s Revolut!

Revolut account exchange rate - Revolut travel card review

Revolut card fees and charges

There are currently three different types of Revolut account: Standard, Premium and Metal. The standard account is completely free to use, whereas the premium and metal accounts require a monthly or yearly fee. There are a number of advantages of upgrading to a metal or premium account, so it’s important to know the difference between the accounts.

Two of the main differences between the accounts are the amount you can withdraw from foreign ATMs each month without incurring a fee, and the amount of currency you can convert each month without a fee. Find out the difference in fees and charges on the different Revolut accounts below:

Standard Revolut Account

The standard free Revolut account allows you to make cash withdrawals abroad up to the equivalent of £200/€200 a month without any extra fees or charges. Once you go over this limit there is a 2% fee on any further withdrawals for the remainder of that month.

There is a much higher fee-free limit for transactions that require a currency exchange, such as making a card payment or ATM withdrawal in Euros and paying for it in Pounds. Revolut allows you to convert up to £5,000 a month at the interbank exchange rate without any charges. If you go over this limit, any payment or ATM withdrawal that requires a currency exchange will incur a charge of 0.5%. Unless you’re planning to spend huge amounts then this limit is unlikely to affect you!

Premium Revolut Account

Upgrading to a Revolut premium account costs £6.99/€7.99 per month, and enables you to withdraw up to £400/€400 from foreign ATMs in the local currency without any extra fees or charges. Like with the standard account, once you exceed this limit there is a 2% fee on any further withdrawals within that month. 

There is no limit for the amount of currency you can exchange on the premium plan, so if you intend to regularly convert over £5,000 a month it’s worth upgrading.

Metal Revolut Account

A Revolut metal account costs £12.99/€13.99 per month, and allows you to withdraw up to £600/€600 from foreign ATMs in the local currency without any extra charges or fees. If you exceed this monthly limit then there is a 2% fee on any further withdrawals.

Like with the premium plan, there is no limit to the amount of currency you can exchange on a Revolut metal account.

Click here to compare the fees and charges of the standard, premium and metal Revolut accounts!

It’s easy to check how much you’ve withdrawn or how much money you’ve converted each month by going to the profile section of your app and selecting ‘Price plan’. That way you can avoid accidentally going over these limits and ensure that you don’t get any charges you aren’t expecting! 

In our opinion, Revolut’s fees are more reasonable than their major competitors. For example, Monzo charge a 3% fee on any withdrawals that exceed the £200 monthly limit. Another competitor, N26, charge 1.7% on all withdrawals using their standard free account. Considering Revolut only charge when you exceed £200 a month but charge less than Monzo, then in our mind the best option is Revolut.

Personally we think it’s quite easy to avoid withdrawing over £200 a month, which means you won’t be charged any extra fees. If you prefer withdrawing cash and think you’re likely to exceed this limit regularly then it’s probably worth upgrading to either the premium or metal Revolut account. These accounts not only allow you to withdraw more money without extra fees, but also have a host of other advantages which we cover at the end of this article!

It’s important to note that some ATM machines charge a fee for using them, and no matter what card you use these are unavoidable. If a machine states that you will be charged a fee for using it then we suggest finding another ATM as you will be charged this fee regardless of what card you use. In some countries these fees are standard across all ATMs, but in many countries these fees can be avoided. We recommend searching on google to find fee-free ATMs in the country you’re visiting!

Save money when you travel with the Revolut prepaid card

Hold multiple currencies simultaneously

As well as allowing you to spend in over 150 different currencies, Revolut also has the capability to hold money in a number of currencies at once. It’s currently possible to hold money in British Pounds (GBP), American Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR) as well as 27 other currencies including New Zealand Dollars (NZD), Turkish Lira (TRY) and South African Rand (ZAR).

The ability to hold different currencies at the same time is a useful one if you’d rather change some money to another currency all in one go, instead of the conversion being made each time you make a card payment or ATM withdrawal. By changing your money to another currency you are able to secure the rate at the time of exchange. The alternative is to leave money all in one currency and allow the conversion to take place each time you pay. If you do this you may end up with a better rate, but you may also end up with a worse one. By converting a set amount of money to another currency you don’t need to wonder what rate you’ll be getting each time you make a transaction.

If you do hold money in multiple currencies then the card decides which currency to use in the following order:

  • The currency of the payment. If you have sufficient funds in the currency you are paying in then the payment will automatically be taken from this.
  • Your base currency, which defaults to the currency used at the home address registered to your account.
  • The next currency with a sufficient balance.

It’s important to know that Revolut cards are unable to draw from 2 currencies to make one payment. For example if you want to pay $100 USD using the card, it will only be possible if you have a high enough balance in one currency to make the transaction. If you do not hold the equivalent of $100 USD in one currency the transaction cannot go through, even if between currencies you have enough money. This is a relatively unlikely scenario, but should you find it happens to you then just use the app to convert enough money to one currency in order to pay.

Topping up

There are a number of ways to top up your Revolut travel card, all of which are extremely easy. One of the options, and our personal favourite, is to top up using your debit card. Once you’ve registered your debit card this means you can top up within the app in a matter of seconds from anywhere in the world. Competitors like Monzo and N26 don’t allow you to top up directly from your debit card, which in our opinion gives Revolut a slight edge over the competition.

Another way of topping up your Revolut card is by bank transfer. To find your account details to do this you just need to select the ‘transfer to your Revolut account’ option when you’re on the top up screen of the app. You will then be presented with your Revolut account number and relevant details to top up for both local and international payments. This option takes slightly longer than topping up by debit card as you will need to log in to your online banking to actually make the payment. If you would prefer to do it this way then you have the option, but we personally prefer to top up via our debit card as it’s quicker and can be done instantly from within the Revolut app.

Another great feature of Revolut is the ability to set an automatic top up from your bank card once your balance falls below a certain amount. This is an ideal way to make sure you don’t run out of money when you’re travelling but don’t have any access to the internet access in order to top up. 

Topping up your Revolut account

Delivery

Although signing up for Revolut itself is free, you normally have to pay for the delivery of your card. Fortunately for you, if you sign up using our link then standard delivery is completely free too! That means you won’t have to spend a penny to get yourself set up on Revolut – so you can start saving money on your next trip!

Click here to sign up for Revolut today and get free delivery of your first card!

Tracked and express delivery options are available too, but you will have to pay for these. The timeframe for delivery depends on the option you select. Standard delivery and tracked delivery both have a timeframe of 9 working days until you receive your card, although in our experience the cards are often delivered in 4-5 working days anyway. Express delivery has a timeframe of 3-4 working days to receive your card. Check out the list below to see the cost of different delivery options when you sign up for a Revolut card:

Standard Delivery – 9 working days – £4.99 GBP/€5.99 or completely free if you click here and sign up via our link!

Tracked Delivery – 9 working days – £7.99 GBP. Tracked delivery is only available in Great Britain, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

Express Delivery – 3-4 working days – £11.99/€19.99 although the cost may be higher depending on the delivery address.

Please note that prices may vary depending on your currency and location.

Alternatively, if you sign up for either a premium or metal Revolut card account then express delivery is completely free. 

Make sure to order your card in plenty of time before your trip, especially if you’re opting for the standard delivery. It’s worth planning ahead to make sure you have your card in time so that you can spend your money hassle-free on your travels. Click here to sign up to Revolut now and get your first card completely free!

What countries is Revolut available in?

Revolut is currently only available to legal residents in the European Economic Area, Switzerland, and Australia. If you’re unsure which countries are in the European Economic Area then take a look at the list below:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

If you want a Revolut card but aren’t a resident of the UK or one of the other countries above, then you may not have too long to wait. The company have plans to launch worldwide so hopefully you should be able to get your hands on one soon! You can currently put yourself on the waiting list for Revolut in the USA, Singapore, New Zealand, Brazil and more, so if you want to get a card then click this link to see if there’s a waitlist in your country!

Revolut Card Limits

Although we’ve gone over some of the spending limits above, we thought it deserve its own section so that everything you need to know is in one place. The following limits apply to a standard Revolut account:

  • No fee ATM withdrawals up to £200 per month. If you exceed this amount you will be charged a 2% fee.
  • Convert up to £5,000 fee-free per month. If you exceed this amount you will be charged a fee of 0.5%.
  • £3,000 limit for ATM withdrawals within 24 hours.

Customer service

Revolut offer great customer service for all users. There is a help chat function in the app which allows you to speak to a bot named ‘Rita’ who is able to provide generic answers to any queries you may have. If this doesn’t solve your issue then just type ‘Live Agent’ and you will be connected to a Revolut customer service representative who will be able to help. It usually only takes a few minutes to be able to speak to a representative, but if the chat function is busy it may take longer. The customer service chat is available 24/7, with priority support available for customers with a premium or metal account.

Extras 

There are loads of other great benefits that come with signing up for a Revolut account, some of which don’t fit into any of the categories above. These range from push notifications on your phone when you make a payment to the ability to buy travel insurance to make sure you’re covered for your trip. The list below covers some of our favourite extras that come with signing up for a standard Revolut account:

  • Alerts on your phone when you make a payment.
  • Ability to disable your card instantly using the app if you lose it.
  • Option to enable location based security to help prevent fraud.
  • Option to buy travel insurance and device insurance through Revolut.
  • Option to disable any of the following: Swipe payments, Contactless payments, ATM withdrawals and Online Transactions.
  • Special edition cards are sometimes available. For example, rainbow-coloured cards were released for free to celebrate Pride in 2019. 
  • Revolut Vault – a money saving tool that rounds up every payment you make and puts the spare change aside in order to help you save up for a target amount of money. Click here to find out more!
  • Ability to set monthly spending limits.

Revolut app extras screenshot - Revolut Travel Card Review

What do you need to sign up for Revolut?

Revolut need to verify your identity, which means you will need to provide some ID during the sign up process. You can easily provide your ID through the app, which has easy to follow instructions to guide you through the process of signing up. To further verify your identity you will need to provide personal information including your name, address, phone number, email address and date of birth in order to set up an account.

Premium options

If you like the sound of the above but want higher limits and added perks then upgrading to either a premium or metal Revolut account is probably worth it. Signing up for a Revolut premium account costs £6.99/€7.99 per month, whereas a Revolut metal account costs £12.99/€13.99 per month. Alternatively, both plans are discounted if you pay for a year up front. Find out the additional benefits that come with Revolut premium and metal below:

Revolut Premium Account

  • Ability to withdraw up to £400 per month from ATMs without any fee.
  • Exchange money in 29 fiat currencies with no monthly limit.
  • Free overseas medical insurance.
  • Free delayed baggage/flight insurance.
  • Free global express delivery.
  • Priority customer support.
  • Access to 5 cryptocurrencies.
  • Exclusive card designs only available to Premium members.
  • Disposable virtual cards for safe online shopping.
  • Ability to instantly book access to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world.

Revolut Metal Account

  • Ability to withdraw up to £600 per month from ATMs without any fee.
  • Exchange money in 29 fiat currencies with no monthly limit.
  • 0.1% cashback on card payments within Europe and 1% cashback on card payments outside of Europe.
  • Free overseas medical insurance.
  • Free delayed baggage/flight insurance.
  • Free global express delivery.
  • Priority customer support.
  • Access to 5 cryptocurrencies.
  • Exclusive Revolut Metal card only available to Metal customers.
  • Disposable virtual cards for safe online shopping.
  • One free airport lounge pass, plus the ability to instantly book access to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world.
  • A concierge to help you manage your lifestyle. Click here to find out more about the Revolut concierge!

So, is Revolut worth it?

Simply put, yes. In our opinion, you’re actively choosing to throw money away if you don’t sign up for a Revolut account. It’s completely free to sign up, and it’s certain to save you money in the long run even if you only spend a few days abroad a year. Considering there’s absolutely no cost to you, we recommend signing up now so you can start saving money on your next trip!

Ready to sign up? Click here to get a Revolut account today!

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