British financial technology company Revolut was founded in 2015, and has recently fully launched in Australia. If you’re wondering what you can do with Revolut, this guide is for you. We’ll walk through the products and services available, as well as the fees you’ll need to think about.
We’ll also take a look at a few alternatives for comparison to help you decide if Revolut is the right solution for you. Depending on your needs, you might find you can get more flexibility - or lower fees - with a different product such as the foreign currency account from Wise. More on that later.
Revolut describes itself as a global financial superapp¹. With Revolut you can open an account to hold and manage your money, directly from your phone. You’ll be able to exchange, send and spend 27 currencies from the same account², as well as getting data on your spending to allow you to save against specific targets, and manage your finances more easily.
Revolut has a few other features, including the ability to hold and use crypto currencies and trade in precious metals. There are fees for some connected services, so check out the full details online if you’re thinking of using this feature.
Revolut offers 3 plan types³:
- Standard - no monthly fee
- Premium - AUD10.99/month fee
- Metal - AUD29.99/month fee
You can open an account and manage your money from your phone only - there’s no web access. Each plan type comes with different features, such as lounge access for Premium subscribers, and cash back on purchases at home and abroad for Metal account holders.
With a Revolut account you can send money to other Revolut account holders instantly using just their mobile phone number. You can also request payments from friends, making it easy to split restaurant bills and other shared costs.
Revolut account holders can access features to help money management and saving. You can set up your own Vaults, which are savings pots for different goals. You can have your account round up purchases and place the small change in a savings account, make recurring payments to your savings pots, or deposit one-off payments as and when you can. You can also set monthly budgets by category, and manage your cash flow via the Revolut app.
With Revolut you can hold multiple currencies in one account and switch between them when you want to.
You can add money to your account in AUD, and convert it within the account to the currency you need. You can also get paid in foreign currencies directly to your Revolut account. Most currency conversion is done using the mid-market exchange rate, although there are a few important terms, limits and fees you should know about⁴:
- If you have a Standard account, you’ll pay a fair-usage fee if you convert over a fixed limit in any given month. At present the fee is 0.5%, and the exchange allowance is listed as AUD9,000 - although this may change in future
- If you trade exotic currencies you pay a premium - this is an extra 1% for THB and UAH
- If you trade on a weekend you pay an extra fee of 0.5%-1%
- Trading crypto currencies comes with a fee of at least 2.5%
- You’ll pay 2% for ATM withdrawals at home or abroad above AUD350 in any given month
Revolut has 27 currencies available for use - if you need more, or want to compare your options, consider a foreign currency account from Wise. You can send and receive 50+ currencies using the mid-market exchange rate, for low transparent fees, and get access to smart perks to make managing your money across borders easier. We’ll cover this in more detail later.
After a partial launch and beta phase trial, Revolut launched fully in Australia in August 2020. You can now access a broader range of products and services if you were on the Revolut waiting list during beta trials, or if you’re new to Revolut and want to check the products out.
If you’re considering getting a Revolut account it makes sense to do your homework and compare a few alternatives before you decide.
If your main aim is to reduce the cost - and hassle - of sending money overseas, take a look at the foreign currency account from Wise as a smart alternative to Revolut. Wise international payments are made using the mid-market exchange rate, with just a low transparent fee - no complex markups based on when or where you send money, and no hidden charges to worry about.
You’ll be able to open your account online and access it using your phone, laptop or any other device, with the option of holding 50+ currencies at any one time. You also get your own bank details for Australia, New Zealand, the US, UK, Poland and the Euro area, to receive payments like a local in these major regions. And if you’re looking for a multi-currency solution for your business, take a look at Wise Business for a simple, business friendly account which saves both time and money.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a regular bank account but want the convenience of managing your money online, it’s worth taking a look at digital banking products from Australia’s biggest banks. Most banks now offer accounts which can be opened without needing to visit a branch, offering simple traditional banking. You’ll also find a broad range of products including cash back accounts, savings and loans, from digital banks like Me Bank⁵.
Revolut is a new arrival in Australia, and offers some great niche features for users, including the ability to hold and use crypto currencies and even precious metals. You’ll also be able to hold, spend and save a range of foreign currencies, with most exchanges done using the mid-market exchange rate.
Before you decide on Revolut though, it’s smart to compare a few options - and read the terms and fees carefully. There are a few costs which may be unexpected, such as weekend exchange rate markups, which may catch out new customers. Consider your options to make sure you find the best possible solution for you - and don’t forget to take a look at the foreign currency account from Wise to see if you can save.
All sources accurate as of 19 August 2020
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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