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Revolut is a digital banking company based in the UK, but it’s available in Ireland too. It’s not a traditional bank, as it only offers mobile app-based current accounts and doesn’t have any physical branches.
When you open an account with Revolut, you’ll also get a prepaid Revolut card and access to the Revolut app to manage your transactions.
In this guide, we’ll give you all the details on getting and using a Revolut card, including any fees you need to know about.
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We’ll also take a look at how Revolut compares to alternative cards, such as the Wise debit Mastercard. With Wise, you can hold 40+ currencies and spend all over the world at the mid-market rate with low fees.
A Revolut card works just like any other card, except that it’s prepaid. This means that you top up the card with money, and can’t spend more than that amount. This can be very useful if you’re on a budget, or for travelling when you only have a certain amount of holiday cash to spend.
There are a few different Revolut cards to choose from¹:
- Revolut Standard card
- Revolut Plus card
- Revolut Premium card
- Revolut Metal card
Each of these cards is part of a different Revolut plan, each with its own limits, fees and perks.
The Revolut Standard plan is the free account and is the most basic, with limits like fee-free ATM withdrawals on up to €200 a month. Step up a level to Plus and you’ll pay a monthly fee but you’ll also get a customisable card and increased limits.
The Revolut Premium plan offers increased ATM withdrawal limits, an exclusive design customisable card, international payments and other extras such as overseas medical insurance. But of course, it comes with a higher monthly fee.
If you want all the bells and whistles, you’ll want the Revolut Metal card plan. This is the most expensive, but gives you far higher limits and all the perks Revolut has to offer. It’s the only plan that comes with the exclusive Revolut metal card.
Last but not least, there’s the virtual Revolut card. Rather than have a physical card, this is a virtual payment card for spending online and in the app. You can also link it to mobile wallet services such as Google Pay and Apple Pay. The only thing you can’t do with a virtual Revolut card is to withdraw cash with an ATM.
Like the sound of a virtual card? The Wise card has this feature too, so you can save money shopping online and abroad with an extra layer of security. Check out the Wise virtual card.
The fees for using your new Revolut card depend which plan you go for. Here are the headline fees you need to know about²:
|Revolut Standard||Revolut Plus||Revolut Premium||Revolut Metal|
|Order card||Free (delivery charge applies||Free||Free||Free|
|ATM withdrawals||Free for first 5 withdrawals up to €200 a month (2% above this limit)||Free up to €200 a month (2% above this limit)||Free up to €400 a month (2% above this limit)||Free up to €800 a month (2% above this limit)|
|Spend (local and send to other Revolut users)||Free||Free||Free||Free|
|Spend (international)||Variable fee of 0.3%³ depending on currency||Variable fee of 0.3% depending on currency||First payment free, then variable fee of 0.3% depending on currency||First payment free, then variable fee of 0.3% depending on currency|
Revolut often uses the mid-market exchange rate to convert currencies. This means that if you pay for something abroad using your Revolut card, you should get a fairly competitive rate.
However, there’s a pretty huge catch with this. Revolut charges a fee of 1% for any exchanges that are made on weekends and bank holidays, which makes it rather inconvenient if you want to pay for things at the weekend on an overseas trip. It also adds a mark-up on some less traded currencies.²
If you want to avoid getting stung with exchange rate mark-ups and weekend exchange fees, consider using Wise.
Wise offers the real, mid-market rate on all transactions at all times, and there are never any hidden fees to worry about.
You can currently hold around 30+ currencies in your Revolut account, including AUD, GBP, EUR, USD and NZD⁴. You can exchange between them in your account, or spend using your Revolut card.
Want more currencies? With a Wise account, you can hold 40+ currencies at once. Switch between them when you need to, convert currencies for a tiny fee or spend worldwide using your Wise multi-currency card.
If you like the sound of Revolut, here’s how you sign up and get a card:⁵
- Sign up for a Revolut account using your phone number, choose your plan and download the app
- Open the Revolut app and swipe to ‘Add new card’
- Choose your card and select which features you’d like (i.e. custom design)
- Set a secure 4-digit PIN (entering it twice to confirm)
- Enter your delivery address and order your card
- Your new Revolut card should arrive in the post in 10 working days or less.
So, you’ve received your new Revolut card, but it’s not quite ready to use yet. You’ll first need to activate it. The first step is to verify your identity by submitting a government-issued photo ID and selfie.
Once your card arrives, all you need to do to activate it is make your first chip and PIN payment or ATM withdrawal.
The Revolut card and app is a handy way to manage spending on the move. It’s straightforward, easy to check up on your balance and great for people on a tight budget.
But it does have its restrictions. Unless you’re happy to cough up for a monthly fee, you’ll face some withdrawal limits - and won’t get the full range of Revolut perks.
There’s also the issue of international spending, where Revolut charges a mark-up or extra fees on the exchange rate for certain transactions.
With Wise card, you get all the benefits of a contactless card but with greater freedom to spend internationally. You can hold far more currencies in your account and are always guaranteed the mid-market exchange rate with no mark-ups. Wise is easy to use, only charges tiny, transparent fees and even has its own handy money tracking app.
So, that’s pretty much everything you need to know about the Revolut card, from how to get one to how much it costs.
Before signing up for any card, make sure you consider alternatives such as Wise, which could potentially save you a bundle.
Sources used for this article:
- Revolut pricing plans
- Revolut account fees
- Revolut international payment fees
- Revolut supported currencies
- Revolut card - how to order it
- Revolut card - how to activate it
All sources last checked on 25-February-2021.
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 Wise Payments 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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