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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)

  • krys_k says:

    I’ve not been sponsored for this post 😉

    I find Revolut excellent in all aspects but one. Excellent: For payments abroad I link to my Virgin and get 1.5 points for each £ spent and the conversation rate is very competitive (whenever I’ve had to pay on my debit card the rate is much better). So together with Virgin it’s my FX card. Excellent: since you can add bank accounts and sort code for payment I make various payments to HMRC – admittedly my payments are to specialist departments that only take bank transfer payments. Not so good: limited ATM withdrawals on free card at £200 pm. The pay options are not cost effective.

    All in all a great product in my opinion and use.

    • The Original David says:

      Unless you’re cash recycling, what does anyone actually need £200 in cash for every month? Doesn’t your drug dealer accept bitcoin?

      • Lost+confused says:

        Maybe not every month but very useful if in countries where cash is king and commonly the only payment option or foreign cards are sometimes not accepted. And taxis everywhere! Unfortunately somewhere like China where Mastercard and Visa are almost universally not accepted your 200GBP will burn quite quickly so Starling bank unlimited withdrawal (fair use?) wins here.

        • John says:

          Most places in China have stopped accepting cash.

          • Lost+confused says:

            Many places appear to accept cash if you don’t have WeChat pay or UnionPay. Also many places will try to accept mastercard and visa (perhaps being polite) and it will fail on the terminal. Only came across 1 restaurant that wouldn’t accept cash or cards during a month in China (and there you couldn’t even order without WeChat). For example McDonald’s + KFC accept cash at the counter (yes yes, I know but they open late, serve predictable food+drinks and we expected them to have a toilet!) but not at the touch screen order points.
            Taxi drivers sometimes struggle with change so you may end up tipping (but mostly used an app in the big cities. In a sports shop a member of staff offered to take me to an atm to secure a sale 🙂
            We also failed to setup/make payments with WeChat pay or alipay because you need a local card to verify your identity.
            We spent a month in Shanghai, Inner Mongolia and Beijing in July and went to a wide variety of very touristy, and very local chains, independent cafes, restaurants and street vendors.
            Of course your mileage may vary!

      • Rob says:

        You clearly don’t have a cleaner or babysitter!

        • Anika says:

          I was surprised by how many places in Germany still won’t accept cards – especially restaurants, bars and smaller shops. And many places that do say they accept card payments only accept Maestro cards…

          • Liam says:

            Indeed. I once had a mildly embarrassing moment when we took a new client in Berlin out to dinner, only to find when the bill came that it was cash only, and there was no ATM anywhere close. The client then ended up paying the bill as, naturally, he was carrying a load of notes. Living and working in London I’d never even considered that a restaurant might not take card payments.

  • Yawn says:

    Very interesting. What are the charges for bank transfers? I have a Transferwise account and love being able to receive and keep money in euros and dollars, but there is an annoying 65 pence charge whenever I make a transfer even in the same currency. They also charge an ATM withdrawal fee if you withdraw more than 200GBP, but discovered that you can evade that by linking it to a Curve card…

  • Si says:

    What is different / better about using a Revolut card conpared to a Curve card or 0% on foreign spend and cash withdrawals Creation credit card i have??

    Am i missing a trick, or is it basically another product to do the same thing?

    • Nick_C says:

      If you want more than £200 a month from ATMs or are maxing out £50k a year on curve, Revolut is a useful addition to Curve.

      And I wouldn’t rely on only carrying Curve. Too many outages.

    • Lost+confused says:

      Revolut also works with ApplePay, GPay and FitBit pay (and probably Garmin pay but not Samsung pay) making it a handy backup card.

      Also weekend exchange rates appear to be better than curve (I don’t have curve so might be wrong).

    • Big Dave says:

      I would say revolut (being top up) and curve (being a proxy) are an excellent set to have
      but fiddly and geeky to manage the back end of – but thats the appeal to some

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Advantage is really over the weekend as you can convert your gbp to the currency you need before Friday afternoon and pay zero fee

      Other than that curve is the clear winner as no need to top up

    • Kai says:

      You can pay rent etc. using Revolut, not Curve.

  • Nick_C says:

    The security features are innovative and impressive.

    Its a simple thing, but I like being able to see a virtual card with CVV within the app. Makes on line transactions really easy as you don’t to have the physical card to hand.

    I suspect vaults are useful for locking in exchange rates for other currencies? Not used vaults myself. No interest paid on money set aside in vaults, so not really a savings account, just a way of separating funds for people who need help budgeting.

    Revolut is now my card of choice for spending overseas, and is another source of cheap cash from foreign ATMs. Well worth getting.

    • John says:

      Vaults are a gimmick for people too stupid to budget. The account itself supports many currencies- you just exchange some then it will appear

  • Tom H says:

    Is the security check at 25k spend hard wired in, or if you have a reasonable spend pattern it isn’t triggered? For those who have had the check, how long does it take to resolve?

  • Memesweeper says:

    I built up a stash of CA$ before a trip there last year — a nice way to save for a holiday.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Are they an actual bank with The 85k protection?

  • Kevin says:

    Any indication whether a US launch would add a US current account facility to the card?