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Clare's view:

The Verdict

Average Success Rate

50%
The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
info5-year performance across all Revolut ready-made portfolios.
26.4%
The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
infoIndustry average
Revolut is a truly disruptive brand. Since it launched in 2015, offering a prepaid travel card and app for transferring money abroad, it has grown rapidly. It now offers a wide range of services for customers to use at home and abroad, including a debit card, savings accounts, investment options, crypto trading, and under-18 accounts. Revolut now has 40 million customers and has shaken up the travel money world with its competitive fees.

I use it, my kids use it... if our household is anything to go by, it's well and truly now a household name. And Revolut's latest Annual Report (2023) shows it has no plans to rest on its laurels. 45M customers worldwide, #1 finance app by downloads in 11 countries, numbers of customers on paid plans up by 41%.

So, there's a lot to talk about with Revolut. But I've concentrated mostly on the travel money features Revolut offers in this review. Why? Because, it's here that I've chalked up Revolut as a top performer. I will take a quick look at the investment options offered by Revolut, but I'll be honest, I think there's better options available if you're wanting to get started with investing. That's because Revolut only offers a general investment account, so there are no tax wrappers available, and you'll only be able to invest in US stocks, although you can also buy and sell cryptocurrencies and commodities.

If you're looking for a provider that keeps foreign exchange fees low - for example, if you want to convert currencies, send money abroad, or use your debit card on holiday - then having a Revolut account has big advantages. That's why we've featured it on our Best FX fees comparison page. You can view that page here.

Revolut provides accounts and debit cards that can be used abroad with no foreign transaction fees. However, I'd issue a note of caution as there are still some costs that can sneak up on you - watch out for weekend fees and going over your 'fair usage limit' if you want to avoid the extra costs.
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quote

Pros

  • Fee-free currency exchange on weekdays (limits apply with some accounts)
  • Fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals on £200 p/m – £2000 p/m (depending on your plan)
  • Fast money transfer times
  • Perks on paid accounts including insurance cover and discounted shopping
  • Commission-free stock trading
  • Between 2.29% – 4.75% interest on savings (depending on plan)
  • Lets you hold and convert 36 currencies
  • Virtual and physical debit card available
  • Crypto trading with fees from 0%
quote

Cons

  • FX fees are only free on weekdays. At weekends, a high 1% FX fee applies.
  • Only business customers get the interbank exchange rate - a mark-up is applied to personal customers
  • If you exceed 'fair usage' allowances, you'll be charged a penalty of between 0.5% - 1%
  • Physical debit card costs £4.99 for Standard and Plus customers
  • Ordering more than 2 debit cards costs £39.99 for Premium and Metal customers, and £49.99 for Ultra customers
  • Not a bank so no overdraft, and you can't pay in cash or cheques
  • Doesn't offer a stocks and shares ISA
  • Verdict5.0
  • Fees5.0
  • Trading Platform5.0
  • Safety5.0
  • Education1.0
  • Customer Service4.5
  • Portfolio View

Clare's view:

Who do I recommend it for?

Average Success Rate

50%
The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
info5-year performance across all Revolut ready-made portfolios.
26.4%
The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
infoIndustry average
arrow-down-orangeRead more
quote

Pros

  • Fee-free currency exchange on weekdays (limits apply with some accounts)
  • Fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals on £200 p/m – £2000 p/m (depending on your plan)
  • Fast money transfer times
  • Perks on paid accounts including insurance cover and discounted shopping
  • Commission-free stock trading
  • Between 2.29% – 4.75% interest on savings (depending on plan)
  • Lets you hold and convert 36 currencies
  • Virtual and physical debit card available
  • Crypto trading with fees from 0%
quote

Cons

  • FX fees are only free on weekdays. At weekends, a high 1% FX fee applies.
  • Only business customers get the interbank exchange rate - a mark-up is applied to personal customers
  • If you exceed 'fair usage' allowances, you'll be charged a penalty of between 0.5% - 1%
  • Physical debit card costs £4.99 for Standard and Plus customers
  • Ordering more than 2 debit cards costs £39.99 for Premium and Metal customers, and £49.99 for Ultra customers
  • Not a bank so no overdraft, and you can't pay in cash or cheques
  • Doesn't offer a stocks and shares ISA
  • arrowVerdict
    5.0
  • arrow Fees:
    5.0
  • arrowTrading Platform:
    5.0
  • arrowSafety:
    5.0
  • arrowEducation:
    1.0
  • arrowCustomer Service:
    4.5
  • arrowPortfolio View

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Updates

Revolut released it's 2023 Annual Report:

Who do I recommend Revolut for?


Revolut provides low-cost solutions for:

  • Holiday-makers and those travelling abroad
  • Traders looking to avoid or lower FX fees when trading on non-GBP stocks and other assets
  • Those looking to transfer wages or income overseas

4.0

Accounts


Revolut feels a lot like a bank account. You get a debit card, there's an app, and it allows you to keep and spend money, pay bills and receive payments.

However, Revolut isn't a bank – it's an e-money institution (EMI). With Revolut, you can hold money in as many as 37 different currencies, send and receive transfers to multiple countries and currencies, and spend money around the world.

Products and services

Revolut offers the following products and services:

  • Spending accounts that can be hold up to 37 different currencies
  • Budgeting tools
  • Currency transfer and currency exchange
  • Debit card that can be used abroad
  • Savings account which can be funded in UK-sterling, US dollars or Euros
  • Under-18 spending card account
  • Crypto trading and crypto transfers
  • Joint accounts and business accounts
  • Investing – 2000+ stocks available

The currencies that Revolut offers access to are currently: AED, AUD, BGN, CAD, CHF, CLP, COP, CZK, DKK, EGP, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, ISK, JPY, KRW, KZT, MAD, MXN, NOK, NZD, PHP, PLN, QAR, RON, RSD, SAR, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, ZAR.

What does Revolut do really well?

  • Money transfers are FAST: I haven't found another provider that can match Revolut on transfer times
  • Money transfers can go far and wide: 160+ Countries. 70+ Currencies
  • You have options over how to transfer money: it's super easy to transfer to friends if they have Revolut, or, if they don't, you can transfer to their mobile wallet through their phone number
  • You can hold multiple accounts in multiple currencies
  • Nifty budgeting tools: You can set your budget, then allocate it to specific categories such as groceries, shopping, restaurants, etc.
  • You can ‘split the bill' through your app to make paying for meals with friends easy
  • Excellent currency exchange fees

What is Revolut missing?

Unlike competitors Monzo and Starling Bank, Revolut isn't a bank. That means you won't have access to an overdraft or other lines of credit, and you can't top up your account by paying in cash or cheques either.

4.5

Fees


Revolut's fees vary according to the plan you choose. There's a free Standard account, then four accounts that require a monthly subscription.

You can see what is included in each plan, and the price you'll pay, here:

The higher-tier accounts also come with other perks including:

  • Rev points which can be used for air miles and discounted hotel bookings
  • Discounts on international transfer fees
  • Airport lounge access
  • Various types of insurance cover
  • Higher interest rates paid on cash savings
  • Subscriptions and credits for Financial Times, Deliveroo, WeWork, MasterClass, Headspace, and Tinder Gold, among others.
  • A metal or platinum-plated debit card

It's a pretty big hike in price for those top account tiers. It might be worth the £540 per year for Ultra if you do a lot of travelling, and you can make use of those subscriptions. For the couple of overseas trips I take each year, I'm more than happy with the free Standard plan.

Even with the free plan, weekday ATM withdrawals and debit card use is fee-free.

There are some things to watch out for with Revolut fees, however. Providers need to make money somehow, and this is where Revolut takes their profit:

  • Weekend fees: Weekday transactions might be free with Revolut, but withdrawing cash from an ATM or using your debit card at the weekend will mean an automatic 1% fee is added to your costs. That applies across all plan tiers.
  • Breaching your ‘fair usage' allowance: Fair usage allowances vary according to the plan you choose. With the Standard plan, your limit for card usage is £1,000 per month. For the Plus plan, your limit is £3,000 per month. If you exceed these limits, you will be charged a fee, even if it's a weekday. For Standard customers, that fee is 1%. For Plus customers, it's 0.5%. On higher plans, there are no fair usage limits.
  • Breaching ATM withdrawal limits: Customers on all plan tiers are limited to how much they can withdraw in cash from foreign ATMs for free. On the lower tiers, it's £200 per month. The amounts get larger as you go up in plan, with the top-tier Ultra plan allowing up to £2,000 to be withdrawn each month for free. Fees for exceeding these limits are hefty 2% (min £1) so don't get caught out here!

How does Revolut compare as a travel money card?

If you use your card only on weekdays and stay within your fair usage limits, then Revolut is highly competitive. But, as the below table shows, drifting out of the fee-free zones means the costs can quickly add up.

My advice is: know your fair usage limits and keep track of what you're withdrawing when abroad. And don't use your card on a weekend, if you can help it!

If you can keep within those boundaries, Revolut is a very cheap way to spend money abroad.

What exchange rate does Revolut use?

Revolut Business customers get access to what's called the interbank exchange rate. That's generally considered to be the best rate as it's the ‘trade' price. You might also hear it referred to as the mid-market rate because it's midway between the rate the buy and sell rates used on the trading markets where currency is bought and sold. The interbank, or mid-market rate, is free from mark-ups. Very few platforms provide access to this wholesale rate to all customers, but there are exceptions: Wise offers the interbank rate to all customers, as does Currensea.

Revolut adds a mark-up to the interbank exchange rate for personal customers. However, all the analysis I've done on different exchange rates points to the differences being minute, so I wouldn't particularly worry about this.

Of much more importance to overall cost are the FX (foreign exchange) fees that providers charge. These fees are unrelated to the exchange rate, and are really just service charges. These will make a much bigger difference to your overall costs than differences between the varying exchange rates used by well-known providers.

My guide to getting the best FX fees has more information on how to keep your costs low if you're a trader.

Investing fees

If you want to invest with Revolut, there are additional fees to pay. Those fees may consist of:

  • Commission paid to Revolut for handling your trades
  • FX fees

Depending on your plan, you’ll be able to make a certain number of commission-free trades:

Standard: 1 free trade per month
Plus: 3 free trades per month
Premium: 5 free trades per month
Metal and Ultra: 10 free trades per month

Any additional trades outside your monthly allowance will be subject to a commission fee which is currently 0.25% of the total order amount if you are a Standard, Plus, Premium or Metal user, or 0.12% of the total order amount if you are an Ultra customer. All of these are subject to a minimum fee of £1.

Since Revolut only offers US-listed securities, you will need to convert your deposits (if they're not held in USD) to make the trade. That means paying Revolut's currency exchange fees.

There may also be some small additional fees, imposed on all US stock traders by regulators. You'll find these are applied on all legitimate platforms that abide by regulations.

Revolut's investing and FX fees keep them solidly in the ‘low-cost provider' category. If you want to invest for free, then you can by staying within your allocated number of free trades per month. If you want to trade more regularly, then the prices you're paying are still reasonable. I'd say, however, that Revolut really is just a gateway into investing. There are other low-cost platforms, such as Dodl, which offer more choice for a lower cost (0.15% vs Revolut's standard rate of 0.25%) AND you're not paying a monthly subscription with Dodl as you are with Revolut's paying accounts. That said, of course, you're getting other services with Revolut that Dodl and other specialist investment platforms aren't offering.

If you're an Ultra customer, that 0.12% is cheap, although you are paying a whopping £45 per month to be an Ultra customer. It really does come down to whether you're getting your money's worth with the other products and services Revolut provides. If you are, then why not take advantage of that very low 0.12% commission rate.

If investing is something you're serious about then it's worth checking out the competition where you will get far more choice of assets to invest in. Trading 212 and InvestEngine offer alternative, ultra-low-cost options, for example.

For the cheapest trading platforms, take a glance at our comparison page.

Safety


As an ‘e-money institution', Revolut is obliged to protect your money through safeguarding rules. These rules are designed to ensure that if Revolut fails, your money can still come back to you as it has been kept in a safe place.

That is not the same as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), however, which provides bank account holders in the UK with compensation up to a total of £85,000.

When Revolut receives your money, it must either be placed in a dedicated ‘safeguarding account’ with a bank, or it must be invested in low-risk assets that the regulator has approved as an alternative to cash. Revolut keeps your money in these accounts or investments until you spend it.

In the unlikely chance that Revolut, or any e-money institution, fails, the customers’ claims on their funds will be paid from the safeguarding account.

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Revolut vs Monzo


Awards


FAQs

Revolut is authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. Although it is not a bank, and therefore isn't covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, Revolut does have to adhere to certain safeguarding rules which means your money should be kept separate ‘safeguarding' accounts until you spend it.

You can use Revolut for free, and not pay a monthly fee, if you sign up for the Standard plan. With all plans, there are no FX fees for using your card abroad on weekdays. The fee for using your card at the weekend, however, is 1% for all plan holders. Withdrawing cash from an ATM using your Revolut card is free, up to the limits of your plan. Beyond those limits, you will need to pay.

Yes. With Revolut, you'll get an account number and sort code so, in many ways, you can use it just like any other bank account. You can use your account to receive money, pay bills and make payments.

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