Revolut: How good is the one app for all money matters?
Revolut Ltd is a fintech from Great Britain that offers a banking app focused on money management. Although Revolut is not a bank itself, you can open an account with them, get debit and virtual credit cards, make transfers and payments, invest in cryptocurrencies and precious metals. Besides, Revolut is a good options for foreigners in Germany, since you can convert money into foreign currencies for low fees.
Revolut has been available in Germany since 2017 and is often seen as a competitor to N26 or bunq. Above all, the strong growth of Revolut was caused by being one of the first neobanks to offer a current account which fits the expat' life. With Revolut bank account and virtual credit cards, you can travel without worries and always keep an eye on your expenses, send money home at low fees and you don't need a credit history (SCHUFA) in Germany to open the bank account.
To gain experience with Revolut and give you the best possible overview of the fintech and its services, we opened a new account with Revolut, downloaded the iOS app from the Apple Store and used both the app and the desktop version. We also ordered the physical debit card, wrote to support and tested the virtual credit card.
We took a close look and compared the various subscription models and features that Revolut offers. In addition, we have read the terms and conditions and guidelines of both Revolut and the partner banks, Revolut Payments UAB and Revolut Bank UAB, thoroughly. Being the place your money is stored, and your transactions are conducted, for example via SEPA direct debit. Since Revolut explicitly aims at travelers and is based in the UK itself - we even carried out credit card payments in the UK to test the product live.
Due to the changing costs and services and the regular updates from the bank, we cannot guarantee that the information is complete and up-to-date, therefore we ask you to take note of the information on the Revolut website itself before applying for a bank account.
Pros and cons of Revolut
No account management fees: Your Revolut account is free. There are no fees for opening or maintaining an account.
Free debit card: With every account opening, you get a free debit card (plus shipping costs). Depending on which subscription you choose, you have several credit cards included.
Virtual credit card: The virtual credit card is included with every subscription. It can be used immediately after opening an account. You have the option of using virtual disposable cards, where the card number changes automatically after each payment.
No credit check (SCHUFA): Revolut does not check your Schufa when you open your account. No data is shared with the credit agency.
Expat benefits: In the Revolut app, you can exchange money in over 30 currencies free of charge. With a premium subscription, you have travel insurance included. Furthermore, payments in euros in the SEPA area are free of charge.
Many free features: With Revolut, you get many features such as vaults to save money, a detailed overview of your expenses in defined categories, virtual disposable cards, junior account, cash back with your credit card
Crypto and raw material trading: For a fee of 1.5%, you can invest in gold and silver in the app. For 2.5% fees, you can invest in 53 cryptocurrencies (costs vary for Premium and Metal)
Lithuanian IBAN: Your money is held by Revolut Payments UAB, an e-money institute founded by Revolut due to Brexit in Lithuania. In principle, you can pay anywhere with an IBAN that starts with LI.
No overdraft facility: The credit cards you receive from Revolut are debit cards. That means you don't have an overdraft facility, and you can only spend the money that's actually in your account.
No loans available: Revolut does not offer you the possibility to get a loan; therefore, Revolut never checks your credit history.
Maestro debit card: In the standard subscription, you choose between a Maestro and a Visa card. Here you have to note that Maestro is only recognized to a limited extent abroad. So we advise you to opt for the Visa card.
The 4 Revolut account models at a glance
Revolut has four different subscriptions for private customers, starting with the free version for EUR 0,00 up to the high-end metal variant with a metal credit card for EUR 13,99 per month. You get an account that works like a checking account plus a debit card with every subscription. Depending on which version you choose, the limits for cash withdrawals, for example, increase, and you unlock additional features.
Free cash withdrawals
Monthly € 200,- or 5 withdrawals
€ 200,- monthly
€ 400,- monthly
€ 800,- monthly
Disposable virtual cards
Customized debit card
Free international payments
1 payment per month
3 payments per month
Free foreign currencies' exchange
up to £1000,- per month
up to £1000,- per month
Fee for cryptocurrencies' exchange
Fee for raw materials' exchange
Free stock trades
Suitable for e.g.
First approach to credit cards for kids
Expats and Travelers
Power users, Travelers, Expats
Which subscription is the best for me?
In our opinion, the free Standard version is sufficient for regular use. You can already use all the functions that a standard checking account offers. You can make regular card payments with both physical and virtual credit cards, withdraw cash and make transfers. Besides, you can invest in cryptocurrencies. The Standard model is also good for a short vacation in a country that does not belong to the eurozone, since it is enough for you to pay cheaply in foreign currencies. However, the debit card in the standard version is only available as a Visa or Maestro and not as a Mastercard, as is the case with the fee-based subscriptions.
The Plus subscription can make sense for you if you want to teach your child how to handle money and a credit card with a junior account. Here you can create a free pre-paid sub-account with a children's card and introduce your child to the topic.
The Premium version is worthwhile for travelers or expats who often and regularly need money in different currencies and make payments in other currencies. You have unlimited free foreign currency exchanges and one international payment free of charge per month, that's really practical, if your family doesn't live in Germany yet.
The Metal subscription is for absolute power users who want to secure all the advantages Revolut offers and want to have a chic metal card in their wallet. However, the difference between Premium and Metal account models is not that big.
Your top features at Revolut: Travel, trading, cards and Junior-features
The Revolut app has many valuable features at your disposal, which get better and better depending on the subscription version. Here we will show you the best features and functions for travel, investing, kids and sharing money with your friends.
Note: Although the fintech also offers an account for the self-employed and small businesses with "Revolut Business," we have only focused our features and advantages on private individuals.
Revolut virtual credit card: how does it work?
Revolut offers three different card models. It is important to stress that they all are debit cards, which means that with Revolut, you are not granted a credit to pay at the end of the month. The purchases made with Revolut cards will be directly debited from your account. So, be sure to dispose of the money you are spending! In this way, you can easily keep an eye on your finances. If you want to know more about the advantages of debit cards and the main difference between debit and credit cards, you can read our dedicated page.
That being said, let's have a look at Revolut cards. When opening a Revolut bank account, you will be able to dispose of three card' types:
Physical debit cards: A physical debit card will automatically dispatched to you, when you open an account with Revolut. This is not for free, since you have to pay a one-time fee for the dispatchment (EUR 7,99)
A virtual credit card: As soon as you open an account with Revolut, you will granted a free virtual credit card connected to your account balance: With a virtual credit card, you can issue physical and online payments but you will not be able to withdraw any cash
Disposable virtual credit cards: also known "one-time virtual credit cards", these cards can be created everytime you need them and can be used one single time, the one you gave the permission for. Disposable virtual credit cards are a good tool to keep your money safe, since card details don't give access to your bank account after that one single-use.
That being said, let's have a look at Revolut cards. When opening a Revolut bank account, you will be able to dispose of
How can I order a debit card with Revolut?
To add one card to your account, you simply have to:
Open the "Cards" section in your app
Select the type of card you would like to have (physical or virtual)
Refine some fancy details as colours and labels
In less than 2 minutes your new debit card is good to go, you can directly add it to Apple or Google Pay and start using it!
Traveling with a Revolut account, paying in foreign currencies and get a travel insurance
Revolut has good options for foreigners living in Germany. The online bank has special features for travelers who need to pay in foreign currencies, among other things. With the Premium and Metal variants, you can exchange unlimited money in over 30 currencies free of charge. You can also pay in euros with all cards in the SEPA area free of charge and send money to your friends at home if they also use Revolut. This function is comparable to TransferWise or Monese, for example.
The Premium subscription has your insurance included. These contains international health insurance, winter sports insurance and insurance for delayed baggage and flights. With Smart-Delay, you have access to the airport lounges in the case of delayed flights.
Investing in precious metals, crypto and vaults
You can invest your money directly in the app. You can do this either in cryptocurrencies or in precious metals. Stocks are currently not available in Europe due to Brexit. If you want to put your money aside and save, you can do so with vaults.
Revolut currently offers 53 cryptocurrencies in which you can invest. Among them are the big ones like Bitcoin or Ethereum and so-called Altcoins like Sushi or Curve. Investing in the app is playfully easy and only takes 4 clicks to make a purchase. However, the fees per purchase are high, standing at 2.5% for Standard and Plus users and 1.5% for Premium and Metal users. You have the option to send Crypto Coins to your friends within the app.
Buying precious metals is just as easy as investing in crypto. However, only gold and silver are currently available as investments here. The fees are 1.5% for Standard and Plus users and 0.5% for Premium and Metal users.
Good to know when investing in crypto and raw materials
It is essential to know that investing in cryptocurrencies and precious metals is handled by Revolut Ltd., i.e. the British parent company, and not by Revolut Payments UAB. But you don't notice that in the transactions. If you buy Crypto Coins in the Revolut App, Revolut Ltd. buys the coins for you and deposits them in a virtual account, along with the coins of other Revolut users. So you don't have your own crypto wallet and no direct access to your coins, but they are bought by Revolut and not represented by certificates. You cannot currently deposit cryptocurrencies from an external wallet or transfer them to an external wallet as a German customer.
If you want to save without risk, you can create vaults in the app. You can set a target amount and a deadline for these sub-accounts. Then you can, for example, select the "Round-up" function so that each of your purchases is rounded up and the difference is deposited into the vault, automatically saving for your next vacation.
What about funds and stocks' investments?
By the time of our first Revolut's review, it was not possible to buy stocks with a Revolut account. Now we have good news! With each Revolut account you have at least 1 free trades per month (and up to 10 trades for Metal users) that you can use to buy or sell companies' shares.
Some additional details on trading accounts with Revolut:
Opening a trading account is very handy and can be done in less than 10 minutes, Revolut will only require some additional personal information (as your tax number)
The third party broker is Drivewealth LCC, with which Revolut holds an omnibus account
This means that your assets will be kept together with the assets of other clients in a unique account
You are eligible to receive dividends' payouts and to exercise your voting rights, depending on the stocks you buy.
Junior accounts for children and young people
With the Revolut app, you can teach your children how to handle money from the age of 6. This works via junior accounts that you can create as a sub-account in your Revolut account, one in the standard subscription and up to 5 in the metal version.
The junior account is a prepaid account. You deposit money from your main account, which your child can then use. The junior user gets his own prepaid credit card and can see his spending in the app. As a parent, you'll get instant spending notifications when your child makes a payment, and you can block the account and card at any time.
From the Plus subscription, you also get extra junior functions. You can then set up vaults with goals for your child, for example, on which the junior user can save their pocket money for toys. Or you set him up tasks that he has to fulfill to earn extra pocket money.
Community banking in the app
At Revolut, you can easily connect with your friends. For example, you can send money to your friends for free in the Revolut app. Furthermore, you can upload bills and share them with your friends in the app. Saving together is also possible in the app. You can create a group vault with your friends or family, into which you can all pay and save together for your next vacation.
This is how the account opening at Revolut works
To give you the best possible impression of Revolut, we opened an account ourselves and ordered the debit card with the standard subscription. Opening an account cannot be done via the website but only via the Revolut app, and it took us less than 10 minutes.
The requirements for opening the Revolut account are:
Minimum age of 18 years (there are Junior accounts from 6 years, but these can only be managed as a parent's sub-account)
Valid ID card, driving license or passport
Tax residency in the European Economic Area, Switzerland, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Great Britain or the USA
Smartphone with a valid mobile phone number
Valid Email Address
After you have downloaded the app, you must register with your cell phone number. You will first receive a code via SMS, which must be entered into the app. In the next step, some primary personal data must be entered, such as your date of birth.
You have to take a selfie in the app for authentication, which Revolut will later compare with your ID document. Before you continue with the actual registration, you will be given the opportunity to share your contacts to network with your friends in the app. After requesting your tax identification number and creating a 4-digit PIN, you must upload your identity card, driver's license, or passport.
After being authenticated, you can choose one of the four subscription models. We chose the Standard subscription. You can now decide which credit card system your debit credit card should run. Visa and Maestro are available for the standard version.
Shipping your selected card to Germany costs EUR 7,99. The last step consists of loading money directly into your account, which can be done, for example, via Apple Pay or an existing credit card. In addition, your account is now open and directly available for transfers or payments with your virtual credit card.
Revolut App Login-in
Logging into the Revolut app is now very easy, either using the 4-digit pin you created when registering or even easier using Face ID.
For example, to log into your account on the laptop via the website, you must enter your mobile phone number and your PIN for two-factor authentication. Then you have to confirm in the app that it is you before you can access the web version.
Revolut and Brexit: what has changed?
Brexit has changed a lot for Revolut as a fintech from Great Britain and is responsible for the fact that your account has a Lithuanian IBAN and BIC. Before Brexit, your accounts as a German customer were with Revolut Ltd., the British original founded in 2015 by Nik Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko.
But that has changed since Brexit. Your IBAN no longer starts with GB but with LI. Revolut has two other companies in Lithuania, Revolut Payments UAB and Revolut Bank UAB, which, together with Revolut Ltd., form the Revolut Group. These two Lithuanian subsidiaries of the Revolut Group have licenses for e-money institutes and a full European banking license. Before January 2021, your sight deposits (banker's language for credit balances) were either kept in a current account at Revolut Bank UAB or as e-money at Revolut Payments UAB. This was relevant as e-money is not covered by deposit insurance.
However, Revolut Bank UAB has now a full authorization as a bank in Germany via the Lithuanian banking license. Existing customers can now switch from Revolut Payments UAB to Revolut Bank UAB via a pop-up window in the app. Your money with Revolut is now also covered by deposit insurance up to €100,000! However, nothing will change with the Lithuanian IBAN for the time being.
Services such as insurance are handled through Revolut Payments UAB with third-party providers while investing in cryptocurrencies and precious metals are still conducted through Revolut Ltd. running in the UK.
All information relates to customers with tax residence in Germany and can change at any time. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the correctness and completeness and ask you to observe the information on the Revolut website itself.
Revolut review and guide in detail
Opening a Revolut account in the app requires only few steps and takes less than 10 minutes. In our test via Apple Pay, depositing credit is also done with one click. The virtual debit card that comes with your account is immediately ready for use.
When transactions are carried out, you will receive push notifications directly on your mobile phone, and you can track everything in real-time in the app.
We do have one point though, for the delivery of the physical debit card. The delivery time is 14 days, which is well above the industry average.
Account and cards:
The unique feature of the Revolut current account is that you can have several sub-accounts in different currencies. For example, you can simultaneously hold euros and dollars in one account with one IBAN.
The virtual debit card also works without any problems, both when shopping online and in the supermarket.
However, it should be noted that Revolut only offers debit cards and not real credit cards. When buying cryptocurrencies, you also do not get your own wallet. Instead, the coins are kept by Revolut in a virtual account.
The standard subscription from Revolut offers you all the functions you need every day for free. Transfers in euros are free of charge in the SEPA area, as is the exchange of FIAT currencies.
However, the fees for trading precious metals and cryptocurrencies are comparatively high.
From a price-performance point of view, either the free standard subscription or the premium version for EUR 7,99 per month makes sense for us, with which you unlock many additional features.
Revolut offers you many great features in one app. These include travel services, community banking, expense tracking, investing and saving opportunities, junior accounts, cash-back and coupons, 30+ currencies, disposable virtual credit cards, sending money free of charge to other users, receiving money via sent QR code and control over your subscriptions.
However, not all of these features are included in the free standard version.
FAQs about Revolut
How much does a Revolut account cost?
An account with Revolut is generally free and includes a virtual credit card and a debit credit card, but you have to pay for the shipping.
To unlock more services and increase your limits, e.g. for free currency exchange, you can choose a paid subscription.
For example, you can start with the Plus version for EUR 2,99 per month, including buyer protection. The Premium subscription costs you EUR 7,99 per month and reduces, for example, your fees for crypto trading from 2.5% to 1.5% per transaction. The most expensive subscription is the Metal version, which gives you a metal credit card and 1% cash-back on card payments outside of Europe for EUR 13,99 per month.
Can I use Revolut as bank account?
Revolut Ltd., the British parent version that also processed all transactions in Germany before Brexit, as well as Revolut Payments UAB, which has been carrying out your transactions since Brexit, are e-money institutes. This means they are not real banks but are still allowed to carry out transactions. However, the Lithuanian Revolut Payments UAB is authorized by the European Central Bank, regulated by the Bank of Lithuania and subject to European law. Since January 2021, Revolut obtained an authorization for banking in Germany via its Lithuanian license.
Does Revolut check SCHUFA when opening an account?
Revolut does not ask SCHUFA when opening an account. That means it doesn't matter if you already have entries at the Schufa. You can still open an account.
Where can I find my card number and IBAN on Revolut?
You can find your debit credit card's card number and CVV on your physical debit card.
But you have them displayed in the app as well. To access this information, click on the image of the desired debit card under Cards and then click on "Showcard details." You then have to enter your PIN and another 6-digit PIN that you will receive via SMS before you can see your credit card details
You can easily see the IBAN of your account by clicking on your profile in the app and then on account data. Please note that your IBAN starts with LI and only has 20 digits instead of 22 digits. Your foreign currency accounts do not have their own IBANs as they are sub-accounts. But you can also see their account number here.
How can I transfer money to my Revolut account?
There are a variety of options at your disposal to deposit money in your Revolut account. Here your find them listed:
By bank transfer
By Google Pay and Apple Pay
Via Revolut transfers with other Revolut users
For the first three options, you will need to open your Revolut app, tap “Add money”, select your preferred method and enter the necessary details. If you want to request money to another Revolut users, than go to the “Payments” section and pick up their names.
Is Revolut reputable?
Revolut Ltd holds an e-money license in Great Britain and is regulated by the competent authorities there. Revolut Payments UAB, which stores your money in the form of e-money and executes your transactions, is an e-money institution authorized and regulated by the Bank of Lithuania. In addition, Revolut Payments UAB is subject to European law and has an authorization as bank in Germany.
This means that your money is secured up to a sum of at least €100,000 like with conventional banks.
In which countries can I use Revolut?
Revolut is available for tax residents in the European Economic Area (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus), Switzerland, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Great Britain or the USA.
You can pay with Revolut everywhere your VISA, Mastercard or Maestro is accepted.
What is the bank code BIC at Revolut?
The BIC, also known as Swift Code, from Revolut Payments UAB, where your money is managed as a German customer, is REVOLT21.
The BIC from the British parent company Revolut Ltd. is REVOGB2LXXX.
Are Revolut cards free?
With Revolut you can dispose of three different card' models:
A physical debit card whose delivery is free for the Plus, Premium and Metal accounts but costs EUR 7,99 for the Standard one
A virtual credit card free of change to be added through your app
Disposable virtual credit cards free of charge which you can allow for a single-use
Before leaving make sure to have transferred enough money to your Revolut account. Then, you should plan enough time for your card to be dispatched, if you wish to have a physical one. When paying at an ATM or POS terminal, you should always choose to do so “without conversion”. In this way, you will avoid being charged with the ATM provider exchange rate, and you will rather pay the interbank rate. In addition, you should opt to be charged in the currency of the country you are in.
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