Revolut Review – Is it the best way to take money abroad in 2024?

14 min Read Published: 19 Jun 2024

Revolut review

In this independent review, we take a look at the banking app Revolut, including how it works, how much it costs and whether you can use it abroad. We also look at alternatives such as Starling Bank* to help you make the best choice for your circumstances. We recommend reading the full review, however, you can jump to specific sections using the following links:

1 minute summary - Revolut Review

  • Revolut is a prepaid Visa card, which can be used in the UK and abroad.
  • Offers one of the best exchange rates available during weekdays but adds a markup when the market is closed (e.g. at the weekends).
  • The Standard plan is free but has restrictions on the amount of fee-free overseas spending.
  • All Revolut plans (including paid-for plans) restrict the amount of fee-free ATM withdrawals each month.
  • Rated ‘Great' on Trustpilot with a score of 4.1/5.0 stars.
  • Money held on a Revolut card is not FSCS protected & Revolut has no UK banking licence at the moment.
  • Starling Bank* is a viable free alternative which has a UK banking licence, full FSCS protection, no ATM fee-free limit, fee-free spending abroad with NO limits, a competitive currency exchange rate with no weekend markup and is an award-winning UK current account.
  • Another alternative is Wise*, a multi-currency money transfer app that allows you to hold more than 40 different currencies.

How does Revolut work?

Revolut, which describes itself as a ‘digital banking alternative’, features among a raft of companies that are transforming the way that consumers engage with their finances. Revolut was launched in July 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky, a former trader who worked at Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse, and Vlad Yatsenko, who previously built financial systems at investment banks. Revolut started life as a prepaid card and app, which allowed travellers to switch cheaply between currencies. It was born out of Storonsky’s frustrations with existing foreign exchange products. Since then, the company has expanded its range of products and services. The fintech company currently has more than 40 million customers globally and continues to develop its proposition.

Unlike high street banks, Revolut allows you to set up an account with no paperwork.  Your Revolut account is managed via the app, which can be downloaded for free onto your smartphone or iPad. The app is straightforward to use and well-designed. Revolut customers can pay for items using ApplePay and contactless, as well as using the traditional pin pad. Revolut also has an Apple Watch app that shows you notifications from Revolut on your watch face.

Its eSim feature allows users to get mobile data instantly in more than 100 countries making travel with the multicurrency app even more seamless. The recent introduction of RevPoints, the first Pan-European debit loyalty card programme, makes it easy to accumulate rewards points which can be redeemed against a range of travel perks such as discounts on flights, accommodation, experiences and more. Revolut's features are designed to make it easier to work and travel abroad in multiple currencies.

Revolut Key features

  • Spending analytics – get weekly insights into your spending with its categorisation features
  • Manage your finances in one place – connect your other bank accounts using Open Banking to track all of your money in one place
  • Set monthly spending budgets – take control of your spending by setting a monthly budget
  • Instant spending notifications – get instant alerts for transactions in and out of your account
  • Manage subscriptions Organise recurring payments and cancel unwanted subscriptions also, benefit from end-of-trial notifications giving you the opportunity to cancel
  • Earn RevPoints – Book premium accommodation, experiences, and flights with 30+ airline loyalty programmes such as British Airways and Flying Blue
  • Upcoming payment reminders – get reminded if your balance is too low to cover upcoming payments
  • Save money with Revolut's Rewards feature – get cashback and rewards with exclusive retailers when spending on your Revolut card
  • Get instant mobile data abroad with an eSim – eSims allows customers with eligible mobile devices to access mobile data instantly in more than 100 countries
  • Split bills – easily split bills with friends or family
  • Transfer money abroad – send money abroad in over 30 currencies using the Interbank Exchange Rate
  • Fee-free spending abroad – spend abroad without any hidden fees (there's a 1.00% fee for spending above £1,000 for Revolut Standard plans and a 0.5% fee for spending above £3,000 for Revolut Plus plans)
  • Earn interest on your savings – save money in a Revolut savings pocket to earn interest on the balance in an FSCS-protected bank account
  • Round up spare change – save as you spend with the round-up feature
  • Get paid early – get your salary paid into your Revolut account a day early
  • On-demand pay – employers can register interest with Revolut to set up on-demand pay which means that employees can access their salary at any point before it is paid at no cost to the employee
  • Pockets – sort your bills and subscriptions into pockets so that on payday the money is automatically moved out of your account and each bill is paid from a pocket, meaning you never have to worry about missing a payment
  • Apple/Google Pay – Spend using your phone with Apple and Google Pay
  • Virtual card – Revolut's virtual card allows you to shop online and protects you against online fraud by changing the card number each time you pay online
  • Revolut <18 – Open a Revolut <18 account for a child aged between 6 – 17 years old. More information on Revolut <18 accounts here
  • Investments – Manage your investments in the Wealth section of the app. Invest in stocks, commodities and cryptocurrency
  • Pet insurance – purchase a Revolut pet insurance policy via the app
  • Stays – Book trips away within the Revolut app and get up to 10% cashback (depending on your Revolut plan) on various accommodation around the world
  • Experiences – Choose from over 300,000 experiences e.g. hot air balloon rides and guided tours within the ‘Hub' section of the Revolut app. When booking you can receive up to 10% cashback depending on your Revolut plan and will not be charged booking fees.

Revolut plans

Revolut offers a range of plans and we summarise the different types available below.

Revolut personal plans

We summarise the key features of the plans offered by Revolut in the below comparison table.

Standard Plus Premium Metal Ultra
Monthly Cost FREE £3.99 £7.99 £14.99 £45
Exclusive card cross Personalised Plus card Personalised Premium card Personalised Metal card Platinum-plated card
Unlimited disposable virtual cards tick tick tick tick tick
Fee-free spending abroad £1,000/month £3,000/month tick tick tick
Fee-free ATM withdrawals Up to £200/month (or max 5 withdrawal limit) Up to £200/month Up to £400/month Up to £800/month Up to £2,000/month
International transfer fees discount cross cross 20% 40% Free international transfers
Daily £ savings interest (AER) Up to 2.29% Up to 2.39% Up to 3.00% Up to 4.00% Up to 4.75%
Revolut Rewards tick tick tick tick tick
Revolut Pro cashback  0.4% 0.4% 0.6% 0.8% 1.2%
Priority customer support cross tick tick tick tick
Everyday insurance  cross tick tick tick tick
eSim data plans  tick tick tick tick 3GB global data a month
RevPoints  tick tick tick tick tick
Global medical insurance cross cross tick tick tick
Winter sports insurance  cross cross tick tick tick
Car hire excess insurance  cross cross cross tick tick
Delayed baggage & flight insurance cross cross tick tick tick
Trip and event cancellation insurance  cross cross cross cross tick
Personal liability insurance  cross cross cross tick tick
Revolut <18 account access 1 child (limited features) 2 children 2 children 5 children 5 children
Full Revolut <18 account features cross tick tick tick tick
Airport lounge access cross cross Discounted Discounted Unlimited
Partner subscriptions (e.g Nord VPN/Financial Times Digital Premium)  cross cross cross cross tick
MasterClass Premium membership  cross cross cross tick tick
The Athletic subscription  cross cross cross tick tick subscription  cross cross cross tick tick
Cashback on Stays bookings up to 3% up to 3% up to 5% up to 10% up to 10%
Cashback on Experiences up to 3% up to 3% up to 5% up to 10% up to 10%
Commodity exchange fees  1.99% (min £1) 1.99% (min £1) 1.49% (min £1) 1.49% (min £1) 1.49% (min £1)

Revolut Joint Account

Revolut joint accounts mean that personal Revolut account holders can share an account with a partner, friend or family member. Each joint account holder will have a Revolut card and joint accounts can be opened with any of the Revolut subscription plans. A joint account can be opened within the Hub in the Revolut app but you will need to invite the other applicant to accept your invitation. In order to open a joint account both individuals must be existing Revolut personal account holders, over 18 and living in the same country. You cannot have more than one joint Revolut account and a maximum of 2 people can open a Revolut joint account.

Remember that opening a joint account with someone else links you to them financially which is something worth considering if they have a poor credit rating. Additionally, Revolut joint accounts are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Our article has more information on the pros and cons of opening a joint account.

Revolut Business Account

Revolut offers a global business account with the following features:

  • The ability to hold, receive and exchange 25+ currencies using the real interbank exchange rate
  • Send money to other Revolut business accounts instantly with no fees
  • Prepaid multi-currency business cards, that allow the business to set spending limits for each employee and keep foreign exchange costs low
  • Integrate accounting software such as Quickbooks and Xero within the app
  • Revolut’s Open API (application programming interface) can be used to automate cross-border business payments, send payments to clients or employees or monitor transactions

For more information on the Revolut business account, read our Revolut Business account review.

Revolut Pro Account

If you are self-employed, a freelancer or earn money via a side hustle you may benefit from Revolut's Pro account instead of needing a Revolut business account.

Revolut Pro features:

  • Free self-employed business account within the main Revolut app
  • Easily keep your business and personal finances separate
  • Up to 1.50% cashback on debit card spending
  • Multi-currency payments
  • Unique IBAN number
  • Create, track and send invoices
  • Fee-free spending abroad

If you require more features or a separate business account, Revolut does offer Freelancer and Company business accounts with its separate Revolut Business app. You can find out more in our Revolut Business review.

Revolut <18 Account

Revolut has a <18 account for children aged between 6-17 years old. The Revolut <18 account allows you to teach your children about money whilst you still have access and control over their accounts.

Revolut <18 account features:

  • Revolut <18 card and app
  • Track pocket money
  • Instant spending alerts
  • Custom card controls

With a Revolut <18 account, you only get basic features but you can upgrade to a Revolut Plus, Premium, Metal or Ultra plan for more benefits such as Tasks and Goals. For other bank accounts or prepaid cards for children check out our article, ‘The best bank accounts for under 18's‘.

Is Revolut a bank?

Revolut applied for a banking license in the UK back in 2021, but for the moment it remains a digital payment service. Until the banking license is fully approved, Revolut remains an electronic money institution, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, so accounts are ring-fenced in a Barclays account.

This means the money should be safe should any problems arise at Revolut. But bear in mind that the strength of such protection relies on the institution not breaching its obligation to ensure that funds are indeed ring-fenced. It is also important to understand that your money is not protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS is an independent organisation set up by the UK government that will return consumers' money, up to the value of £85,000, within seven days if an FSCS-protected firm were to fail. Revolut is not an FSCS-protected firm.

How much does Revolut cost?

Revolut is free to download but an example of some additional costs you may incur on a basic plan can be found in the below table. For further information on the fees associated with a premium plan or Revolut Business account, you can check out the full list of fees on Revolut's website.

Revolut's fees for its Plus, Premium, and Metal subscription plans are £3.99, £7.99, and £14.99 depending on the plan of your plan of choice. Existing Revolut subscription plan holders will be notified via email as to when they can expect their subscription plan to increase and will have the opportunity to lock in at the current price if they opt to pay for their subscription annually. Alternatively, users can choose to downgrade their subscription plan for free by the date in the email.

Action  Cost
Delivery charge Can be found within the Revolut app
Additional physical Revolut card £5
International transfers (not to another Revolut user and outside SEPA region) Varies depending on the currency e.g there is a £1.50 bank transfer fee to transfer £1,000 to USD and a £0 fee to transfer £1,000 to EUR. You can calculate the exact fee here
ATM withdrawals 5 free ATM withdrawals a month (or up to £200 whichever is first), 2% fee thereafter (minimum of £1)
Spending abroad Up to £1,000 fee-free per month Monday – Friday (interbank exchange rate markups apply at the weekend) and up to 1% above the £1,000 or £3,000 limit (plan dependant)
Exchanging money The fee varies depending on what and when you are making the exchange but you can find out the fee within the app
Exchanging cryptocurrencies Depends on the region but varies between £0.99 – £1.99 for Standard and Plus users or 1.49% of cryptocurrency transaction
Exchanging precious metals 1.99% fee or £1 for Standard and Plus users and 1.49% for Premium, Metal and Ultra users

Can you use Revolut abroad?

Revolut’s customers can use the physical, prepaid currency card to make payments abroad fee-free using the interbank exchange rate in over 150 currencies. This is the rate that banks offer to each other when exchanging currencies and is much more competitive than the rate offered at a bureau de change or by most other prepaid cards. This makes Revolut one of the most attractive cards available on the market to use abroad.

Customers with a Revolut account can take out £200 per month fee-free (or withdraw a maximum of 5 times, whichever comes first) at an ATM, after which point a 2% fee is applied with a minimum of £1. Up to £1,000 can be spent, transferred or exchanged each month with a standard Revolut account and after this point, a 1% fee is applied for Revolut Standard plans. Revolut Plus plan holders will be charged a 0.5% fee for currency exchange over the £3,000 limit. Premium/Metal plan holders are entitled to £400/£800 of fee-free ATM withdrawals per month and unlimited foreign exchange transactions at the interbank exchange rate. While Ultra plan holders can withdraw up to £2,000 fee-free a month and spend abroad without any foreign exchange fees.

It is worth noting that when the market is closed Revolut typically applies a markup to the interbank rate (depending on the currency).

Revolut customer reviews

Revolut is rated as ‘Great' on Trustpilot with a score of 4.1/5.0 stars from over 151,000 reviews. 74% rated Revolut as ‘Excellent' citing great customer service and an easy-to-use app. 11% of customers rated it as ‘Bad' citing problems with cashback, logging in to the app and uploading documents.

Alternatives to Revolut

In the following review section, we compare Revolut to other app-only banks and currency cards. Below is a comparison table comparing a Standard Revolut plan with a Starling Bank, Monzo, and Wise personal account. To find out more about the other app-only banks, read our reviews; ‘Starling Bank review‘, ‘Wise review‘, and Monzo review‘. For a more in-depth comparison of using each of the accounts abroad, watch the following YouTube video.

Revolut vs Starling Bank vs Wise vs Monzo

Revolut Starling Bank* Wise* Monzo
UK registered bank account  cross tick cross tick
FSCS protection  cross tick cross tick
Personal Account tick tick tick tick
Business Account tick tick tick tick
Direct debit tick tick tick tick
Standing order tick tick cross tick
Overdraft cross tick cross tick
Personal loan cross cross cross tick
Budgeting features tick tick tick tick
Fee-free spending abroad Free up to £1,000/month FREE cross FREE
Fee-free cash withdrawals abroad Free up to £200/month FREE 2 free withdrawals a month Free up to £200 per month
Interest on current account balances cross tick cross cross
Exchange rate

(see how Revolut's exchange rates compare to Monzo & Starling)

Interbank Mastercard  The real mid-market exchange rate Mastercard

Revolut vs prepaid currency cards

If you are travelling abroad and considering other prepaid currency cards, here are two alternatives to consider:

Travelex Money Card

You can top up this card with up to 15 currencies and lock in exchange rates in advance with a minimum load of £50 online or in the Travelex app. If you don’t have enough money converted into a particular currency, you can draw funds from a different currency on the card. However, to do this Travelex will levy a 5.75% fee on each transaction. On the plus side, there are no overseas ATM charges or ATM withdrawal limits. However, there is an ‘inactivity fee’ of £2 per month if the card has not been used for 12 months.

Caxton FX Currency Mastercard

This card can hold up to 15 currencies and does not charge transaction fees. There are no fees for overseas purchases or international ATM withdrawals. In addition, there are no monthly ATM withdrawal limits. However, the card must have a minimum of £10 loaded up before you can get the card sent to you.

Caxton does not charge for overseas ATM withdrawals although you may be subject to a fee by the ATM provider. If you want to use the card in the UK, there is a £1.50 charge for purchases and ATM withdrawals. If you wish to complete a foreign exchange transaction in a currency that isn’t loaded on the card, Caxton applies a 2.49% markup.  Caxton also applies a £2 charge per month if you stop using the card for more than 12 months.

How do Revolut's exchange rates compare?

To provide you with a better idea of how the exchange rates compare, here’s how much Revolut, Caxton, Travelex, Monzo and Starling were offering to convert £1,000 into USD and EUR on June 19, 2024.

£1,000 to $ £1,000 to €
Revolut $1,268.96 €1,182.16
Starling* $1,260.70 €1,172.54
Wise* $1,272.65 €1,184.14
Monzo $1,272.74 €1,181.05
Caxton $1,243.87 €1,157.38
Travelex $1246.50 €1,163.40

Revolut's exchange rates are the best when it comes to other prepaid travel cards but Starling* and Monzo use Mastercard's exchange rate which can sometimes be marginally better on the day.


Revolut offers its customers significant savings when spending abroad by using the interbank exchange rate and cutting out transaction fees of between 2% – 3% charged by most banks and credit card companies. However, the monthly free ATM withdrawal limits represent a niggle, particularly if you are travelling to a country where you need to carry cash. Also, there are monthly spending limits when using your card if you are on the free Standard plan or the Plus plan, which costs £3.99 a month, beyond which you are charged up to 1% on further spending. Also at the weekend, and when markets are closed, Revolut adds a markup on the interbank exchange rate depending on the currency.

Perhaps the biggest drawback to Revolut is that it is not a UK-licensed bank and customers' money is not protected under the FSCS in the main account. One way to limit exposure in the meantime is to only top up your Revolut card as and when you need to rather than leave large balances on the card. This isn't a problem as top-ups happen instantly when you process them via the app. So you can even top-up the card while you are in a shop queue waiting to pay.

Revolut is continually improving its proposition and provides a useful analytics function while its savings pockets feature can help you to squirrel money away. Also, Revolut does not run any searches on your credit file when you sign up.

An attractive alternative to Revolut is to take out a current account with Starling Bank* which gives you all the exciting features you'd expect of an app-only bank but it doesn't charge any fees for overseas spending. As mentioned, Revolut's Standard and Plus plans begin charging a 1% or 0.5% fee on transactions once you've spent more than £1,000 or £3,000 in a month. Also unlike Revolut, Starling doesn't have a monthly limit on the amount of money you can withdraw from an ATM for free each month. If you compare the exchange rates used by Starling and Revolut there is often little difference between them, although Starling doesn't apply a weekend markup like Revolut. As the Starling account is a current account a soft search on your credit report will occur when you apply. However, this will not be visible to other financial institutions nor will it affect your credit score. But the good news is that Starling is covered by the FSCS meaning that up to £85,000 will be protected should Starling go bust.

In summary, Revolut is a great way to take money overseas especially if you just want a prepaid card to use. Some people prefer using prepaid cards for security reasons. But if you are travelling for longer (where your ATM usage and spending may be higher) then Starling Bank's current account is likely to be an attractive alternative.




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