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EDIT May 2020:  This offer is currently suspended due to coronavirus.  You will NOT receive a free card if you use the link in this article.

Revolut, the app-based current account, started off life as a free debit card for people who do not have, or do not want, a separate ‘0% FX fees’ credit card to use when they are travelling.

The company has moved on substantially since then.  Revolut now positions itself as a digital current account provider, competing with Starling, Monzo, Atom, N26 and Monese.  ‘0% FX’ and fee-free money transfers are still a big part of the Revolut model, but the company has shifted its focus towards everyday banking.

There are now over 6 million Revolut cardholders across Europe and it is now available in beta in Australia. Revolut is also working on a US launch and currently building a waiting list.

Revolut has given us a special deal. If you apply for a standard Revolut card via the links in this article and top up £10, you will receive the card for free.  This saves you the £4.99 delivery fee.  Once you’ve tried it out, you can decide whether to upgrade to one of the new premium options.

The official Revolut website is here – you will see from the text that there is no card delivery fee.

Free Revolut card, save £4.99

How does Revolut work?

You can sign up for FREE on the Revolut website here. You will need to download the Revolut app and verify the account with your phone number.

As Revolut now operates as a current account, you can transfer money in or out using BACS or IBAN.  It is also possible to have your salary paid onto your Revolut card if you wish.

Alternatively, you can add money using a credit card (Mastercard or Visa).  Most credit card companies treat Revolut top-ups as a purchase, not a cash advance, although you should do a trial to test this.  This means that you earn miles and points on the top-up.  Be aware that Tesco Bank does charge cash advance fees if you load your Revolut card from a Tesco Bank credit card and there may be others too.

What are Revolut’s key features?

As a purely online current account provider, Revolut has started with a clean sheet of paper and introduced some interesting features which many High Street banks do not offer:

You get a current account in £ and €, with an IBAN number for EU payments

You can receive instant spending notifications on your smartphone

The app has various budget controls and analytical tools to help you monitor and analyse your spending

There are advanced security features – you can freeze the card via the app, you can block contactless payments, swipe payments, ATM withdrawals, and/or online payments and optional location-based security can block all transaction from a location which is not near your phone

The “Vaults” feature allows you to round up each purchase to the nearest full £1, moving your spare change to a savings account

You can send and request money from your friends – handy if you want to split rent payments, a bill, etc.

And, of course, you can still spend abroad and send money overseas at the real exchange rate

Revolut now operates with 150 currencies, of which the 24 core ones are fee-free up to a limit of £5,000 per month.   On the standard card, there is a 0.5% fee on FX spend or transfers above this level.  You can also withdrawal up to £200 per month from international ATMs with no fees added (£2 fee thereafter).

Not only are there no FX transaction fees when spending abroad, but as Revolut uses the interbank rate, you should be getting slightly finer pricing than using a 0% FX fees Visa or Mastercard credit card.  Other cards use a centralised Visa and Mastercard exchange rate which is slightly worse than the interbank rate.

There is some small print around the ‘0% FX fees’ options.  There is a 0.5% -1.5% mark up at the weekend depending on the currency, which gives Revolut a buffer against losses whilst the currency markets are closed.  You can get around this by loading your card during the week for free to create a credit balance which you can then spend during the weekend.

Revolut upgrades

Revolut offers two upgrades to the standard card, Premium and Metal.

Revolut metal card review

Revolut Premium

For £6.99 per month you can upgrade your card to a Premium card. This card comes with a free ATM withdrawal allowance of £400/€400 per month as well as unlimited FX volume.

As a Premium customer you also get free overseas medical insurance, free global express delivery, exclusive priority 24/7 customer support and exclusive Premium promotions.  To be honest, however, I struggle to see the value here unless you are hitting the £5,000 monthly cap for FX transactions.

There are four different Premium card designs which you can order for free.  A new feature is free disposable virtual cards which make onine shopping more secure by creating a new card number everytime you make a purchase.

Recently Revolut has added the option for Premium cardholders to purchase airport lounge access through the LoungeKey network via the Revolut app. Entry for one person costs £15 and the money will be taken off your Revolut account when booking via the app.

free revolut card save £5 on postage

Revolut Metal card

Revolut’s newest product is a contactless metal Mastercard. This card comes with all of the Standard and Premium features plus a free ATM withdrawal allowance of £600 per month.  There is also a 24/7 concierge service to help sort out your social life.

With this card you also earn cashback on your day to day spending.  You will get up to 0.1% within Europe and 1% outside Europe.

Revolut Metal card holders get one complimentary LoungeKey airport lounge visit per membership year.

The metal card costs £12.99 per month.  For regular travellers this might actually be better value than the Premium card, since the 1% cashback earned on non-EU purchases could mount up quickly.  

Remember that the 1% cashback on non-EU transactions is on top of the ‘no FX fees’ benefit.  This means, net, you are 4% better off with the metal Revolut card than you would be paying a non-EU bill with a standard credit card with a 3% FX fee and no cashback.

What’s new?

Some of the recently added new features are:

Revolut Donations (round up your spending and donate to charities like Save the Children, WWF or ILGA-Europe)

Group Vaults (connect with your friends and save up for a joint gift, holiday, etc.)

Gold and Rose Gold metal cards (new design of the metal cards)

Cash rewards with Revolut Perks (the more you spend the more perks will be activated and loaded to your account)

Free Business account

Commission free stock trading (Revolut Metal customers can make up to 100 commission free stock trades of up to $1,000 each per month – US stock market only)

Conclusion

You can sign up for the standard Revolut card for FREE on the Revolut website here.  Using our exclusive HFP link will remove the £4.99 delivery fee for your card as long as you top-up with £10.  Once you’ve tried it out, you can decide whether to upgrade to Premium or Metal.

EDIT May 2020:  This offer is currently suspended due to coronavirus.  You will NOT receive a free card if you use the link in this article.

Comments (99)

  • Jonny says:

    Anyone know if HSBC Premier World CC counts as a cash advance or a purchase? TIA

  • Anna says:

    Morning all. Is there any benefit to using Revolut over Curve for spending abroad? Also, is Revolut any use for buying foreign currency or is it still treated as a cash transaction?

    • MarkZ says:

      I cannot answer your first question. However, here goes with your second question. When you open a Revolut account in the UK, it defaults to a GBP account. Then, you top up your account from your chosen source – say, Nat West Visa Debit via Apple Pay. The money appears in your account. Then, you choose the “Exchange” option, and choose your desired non-GBP currency – Euro, US Dollar, etc. The current exchange rate will be shown (Careful, Monday to Friday only – don’t do this at the weekend, as per earlier comments). You can opt to either convert, say, £x GBP, or to buy x US Dollars, or x Euros, and the conversion amounts will be calculated for you. When you are happy with the numbers, then press Exchange. The GBP from your default account will then be converted and transferred into a separate account in your chosen foreign currency. Both accounts are then visible across the top of the Home screen of the Revolut app. When you conduct a transaction in the non-GBP currency, it is deducted from the non-GBP account. If the non-GBP account does not have sufficient funds, then enough GBP from the default account is converted and transferred across to cover the shortfall. In summary, yes, Revolut is very good for buying – and spending – foreign currency, and it is effectively treated as cash because the actual transactions are all within Revolut; and it is all free, within the transaction limits for your type of Revolut account.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Mark – and can the foreign funds be withdrawn as physical cash without fees?

        • Nick_C says:

          I believe the £200 monthly limit on free ATM withdrawals applies, regardless of whether you convert in advance or at the time of the transaction

        • MarkZ says:

          I have never tried that myself. The online help advises the account holder to choose “without conversion” when withdrawing cash abroad, to accept any ATM-specific fees in the local currency, and to avoid Travelex ATMs. There are also ATM withdrawal limits linked to your chosen Revolut plan. So, it is probably best to obtain some physical foreign cash before you travel, at an acceptable exchange rate. Best I can do in this case.

        • Mr. AC says:

          I regularly withdraw 200 EUR at the Rafaels bank ATM in Kings Cross. No fees.

    • Harry T says:

      I used Revolut extensively recently in several Eastern and central European countries – worked flawlessly. I made sure I pre converted my funds before the weekend. I withdrew 200£ worth of currency as cash on the card too. In conjunction with curve, it gives you 400£ of free cash withdrawals abroad in a month.

  • Jon E says:

    Sorry all – I may be missing something here so can I check my thinking? I have to pay off a car loan around £6k – they can take a CC payment but it’s over my Curve daily limit so can’t use that. Can I load the revolut card over a series of days from my Virgin CC and then use it to pay off the car loan balance? Is there a max per day I could load from Virgin?

  • Rob Donovan says:

    I prefer my FX cards not to fund slave labour. Research it yourselves and you’ll find revolut is ethically unsound.

  • DaveL says:

    Can you set up direct debits to come from Revolut?

  • James says:

    Does anyone know if you can pay HMRC with a Revolut Debit Card (which would in turn have been loaded up with funds from an HSBC World Elite?

    If so then happy days, but if not then interested to know why exactly.

    • Rob says:

      Hard to see why not. Remember Curve works with HMRC too.

      The Revolut money can just be withdrawn back into your bank account …,

      • James says:

        Yes already love a bit of HSBC WE / Curve / HMRC action.

        But hadn’t quite cottoned onto how interesting Revolut was… crikey!

        Cheers,

  • Nicole says:

    I followed the link to create a revolut account which took me to the app. I’ve downloaded and set it all up, topped up £10 but when I go to order a physical card, it still says it costs £4.99 for standard delivery?

    How do I get it for free?

  • xcalx says:

    Did a £10 top up from Virgin a few days ago to activate account, tried to top up £200 today and was informed the maximum top up was £190 as my annual limit is £200 and I need to verify my identity. Which I had done with drivers licence and selfie.