What is Revolut? Find out everything you need to know here

Even in a world where cross-border transactions and international travel have become the norm, exchanging between different currencies cheaply is still a challenge. One solution that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years is Revolut.

The FinTech from London promises to make handling foreign currencies and international money transfers easier. But while Revolut offers many impressive features, there is one crucial aspect you should be aware of: the exchange rate on the weekend. In this article, we’ll explain everything about Revolut and look at cheaper alternatives.

What is Revolut?

Revolut¹ is a London-based financial services company founded in 2015. It has quickly built a reputation as a modern, user-friendly solution for international financial transactions. Revolut’s services are diverse and range from different currencies to stock and cryptocurrency trading and insurance.

Who is Revolut suitable for?

Revolut is mainly aimed at travelers, digital nomads and people who frequently make international transfers. It is also suitable for people who want to optimize their spending abroad and keep money in different currencies.

How much does Revolut cost?

Since Revolut was founded, a lot has changed in the FinTech’s offering. There are now five different subscription options available in different price categories. Before we take a closer look at the various subscription features, let’s take a quick look at the costs of a Revolut account:²

  • Standard : This subscription is free but comes with many limitations.
  • Plus : The Plus subscription includes more benefits, but incurs a monthly fee of EUR 2.99.
  • Premium : The premium subscription can do much more and costs EUR 8.99 per month.
  • Metal : The Metal membership includes almost all features and costs EUR 15.99 per month.
  • Ultra : The Ultra subscription leaves nothing to be desired – but at a price of 50 EUR per month.

Revolut used to reward its customers with a cheaper price when they signed up for an annual subscription, but this no longer seems to be the case.

As you can see, the price difference between the individual options is sometimes significant. This raises the question: How do the subscriptions differ from one another?

What accounts does Revolut offer?

Here is a brief overview of the features of each subscription:

Revoult Standard

Revolut Standard³ is the subscription for beginners and is therefore free. For people looking for a cheap account with the most important features, the Standard subscription could be a good option.

With this package you can make payments and exchanges in 29 different currencies, but there are some restrictions. Your limit for fee-free currency exchanges with the free subscription is EUR 1,000 and – as with all other subscriptions – only applies Monday to Friday. We will explain more about this rule shortly.

Certain features such as purchasing cryptocurrencies, buyer protection or 24/7 customer service are not available at all in this subscription.

Revolut Plus

The cheapest paid subscription at Revolut is Revolut Plus.⁴ For EUR 2.99 per month, you get additional benefits compared to the free standard package. Unlike the standard package, you do not have to pay any shipping costs for your personalized Revolut card.

Plus customers also benefit from buyer protection and 24/7 customer service, which is also available via in-app chat. If you have children, you can add up to two <18 accounts with full access. 3 stock trades without commission are also included in your Plus subscription.

Revolut Premium

Revolut’s Premium plan, which currently costs EUR 8.99 per month, is aimed primarily at those who want to use Revolut’s travel features and insurance.

The Premium plan⁵ also offers a wide range of Revolut features, including all the features of the Standard and Plus packages. You save 20% on international transfers compared to the cheaper plans. You can also exchange currencies free of charge from Monday to Friday – with no limit.

It also includes international health insurance, insurance for delayed baggage and flight delays and a number of other benefits for frequent flyers.

Revolut Metal

With the Metal plan⁶, which costs EUR 15.99 per month, you have access to almost all of Revolut’s features. Compared to the Premium plan, Metal offers twice the limit for free cash withdrawals (EUR 800 per month), higher limits for free international payments, a 40% discount on international transfers and better buyer protection. So if you regularly withdraw a lot of cash abroad, Revolut Metal could be the right plan for you.

Revolut Ultra

Revolut Ultra⁷ is the latest addition to the Revolut subscriptions. The price jump between Metal and Ultra is extreme, however: Although you get benefits worth over 4,000 GBP with Revolut Ultra, the subscription will cost you a whopping 600 EUR per year during the current introductory offer – that’s 50 EUR per month. Only very few can afford this exclusivity. And for good reason, because most of the services of the Ultra subscription are also included in Revolut Metal.

In addition, you will receive five subscriptions for children and young people under 18, 1.2% cashback for your card payments, all Revolut insurance and lower fees for trading shares.

Choosing the right subscription naturally depends on your individual needs and priorities. Even with the cheaper subscriptions, you can enjoy many benefits. It’s best to compare the subscriptions in detail to find out which one suits you best.

What exchange rate does Revolut offer?

While Revolut prides itself on being the right FinTech for all your travel needs, is that really the case? As you’ve already seen from Revolut’s features, there are actually many benefits for globetrotters.

However, if you travel abroad a lot and withdraw and pay money there, you should be careful with Revolut. One important point that you should definitely pay attention to is Revolut’s exchange rate.

In principle, Revolut offers pretty good exchange rates – but these only apply from Monday to Friday. If you exchange currencies or pay abroad at the weekend, there is a 1% surcharge, regardless of your subscription.⁸

Advantages and disadvantages of Revolut

To better understand the pros and cons of Revolut, let’s take a look at the
table below:

Advantages Disadvantages
User-friendly app Exchange rate premiums at weekends
Features for frequent flyers Only available as an app
Different account types Limited coverage for certain countries
Cryptocurrency trading High monthly fees for Premium, Metal and Ultra plans

A good alternative: Wise

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is an excellent alternative to Revolut, especially when it comes to international transactions and currency conversions. Unlike Revolut, Wise does not charge any surcharges on the exchange rate at weekends. Fairness, security and transparency are Wise’s top priorities – and you also save money because the multi-currency account is free!

Other benefits of Wise’s multi-currency account include…

  • Easy account opening from home within a few minutes
  • Fee-free payments with your debit card all over the world
  • cheap and transparent international transfers with no hidden costs
  • Bank details for 10 currencies to receive money like a local (AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD, TRY and USD)
  • Hold and exchange 40+ different currencies at the real mid-market exchange rate
  • optimal protection through anti-fraud measures and international regulations

Wise vs. Revolut: The comparison

Both Wise and Revolut are popular options for people who like to travel or live and work internationally. But how do the two FinTechs differ in detail? Here is a brief overview of the features and fees of Revolut and Wise:

Wise Multi-Currency Account Revolut Standard Revolut Plus Revolut Premium Revolut Metal Revolut Ultra
Cost For free For free 2.99 EUR / month 8.99 EUR / month 13.99 EUR / month 50 EUR / month
Card type Debit Debit Debit Debit Debit Debit
Fee-free cash withdrawal 200 EUR / month 200 EUR / month 200 EUR / month 400 EUR / month 800 EUR / month 2,000 EUR / month
Currencies 40+ 30+
Exchange rate Real mid-market exchange rate Interbank rate + 1% surcharge on weekends
Free currency exchange No 1,000 EUR \ + 1% surcharge on weekends Unlimited \ + 1% surcharge on weekends

Conclusion

Revolut is undoubtedly a practical solution for many Austrians, especially those who frequently travel internationally or send money abroad.

However, it is important to note that Revolut adds a markup to the exchange rate over the weekend, resulting in higher costs for withdrawals and payments during weekend trips. In this case, Wise is the better option as you always get the official mid-market exchange rate with Wise.

The decision between Revolut and Wise ultimately comes down to your individual needs and priorities. Both services have their pros and cons, and it’s worth comparing the exact fees and terms to make the best choice for your financial needs.

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