The Revolut card is one of the cards we always carry with us while traveling since it allows us to pay and withdraw money abroad without pesky currency exchange fees. Moreover, Revolut lets us carry out transactions in different currencies, such as changing from one currency to another when the exchange rate is more favorable.
I had read many Revolut reviews, but what convinced me to try it was hearing about my cousin’s experience. He went to London for a job opportunity and used his Revolut USD account to pay for his expenses in the UK. Once he started working, he added money to his Revolut card with British pounds, which he used to pay for his expenses when he came back to the USA.
Revolut works in the U.S., and many other countries which is great for us since we travel to different countries most of the year. So, in this guide, I’ll tell you all about Revolut, including what it is exactly, how it works, and why it’s the best financial app for expats and frequent travelers.
- What is Revolut?
- How does Revolut work?
- Types of Revolut cards
- How to apply for a Revolut card
- How to use Revolut abroad
- Revolut fees
- Revolut card reviews
Before we begin, I’ll tell you that we use Revolut in addition to other cards to help save money while traveling, like the Wise card. In this guide, I’ll focus on Revolut and how you can use it to make payments while avoiding currency exchange fees, withdraw money from foreign ATMs, and more.
What is Revolut?
Revolut is a financial management company that originated in the UK in 2015 and launched in the U.S. in 2020. Over 20 million people use this financial app to make payments abroad, exchange currencies, get paid in other countries, and more.
With your Revolut card, you can withdraw money from just about any ATM, including 55,000 in-network ATMs, without commission fees. Moreover, the card allows you to change your currency when the exchange rate is more favorable, so you can save more money while traveling.
Depending on the country, your Revolut card can be a Mastercard or Visa card. For example, in the UK, it’s a Revolut Mastercard, while in the U.S., it can be a Mastercard or Visa. Of course, it doesn’t matter which card you have with Revolut since the exchange rate is determined by the interbank rate, which is one of the best.
The Standard Revolut prepaid debit card has no card issuance fees (excluding the shipping cost), which makes it one of the best cards for travel out there. Also, since it’s a financial super-app, you can handle all your transactions in the Revolut app, including opening an account and ordering your card.
Revolut frequently updates its products and features, so check out the Revolut Terms and Conditions to see the latest offerings.
How does Revolut work?
The Revolut app lets you take care of basic transactions like ATM withdrawals and currency exchange in one place. Money loaded on your prepaid card is held at Metropolitan Commercial Bank and is FDIC insured up to $250,000 in the event of Metropolitan Commercial Bank’s failure. Securities products are not FDIC Insured, not bank guaranteed, and may lose value.
Revolut’s international bank account number (IBAN) is European, specifically Lithuanian, so deposits to other accounts are made via SWIFT. This means that the funds usually take one to three days to appear in the account.
You can also add money to the Revolut card via the app using a debit or bank transfer. Revolut sends instant spend notifications, and you can see your real-time balance at any time, so you’re always aware of how much money you have. Revolut uses location-based security, so if it sees that your card was used in an unusual location, it’ll alert you and you can freeze and block your card instantly right in the app.
I’ll show you more specific examples of how to use Revolut abroad in the following sections. However, I want to add that during our trips, we use the Revolut card and the Wise card so we can withdraw more money each month without exceeding the limits and accruing extra fees. So, if you think you’ll have a hard time adhering to the monthly withdrawal and transfer limits, consider getting a secondary card.
Types of Revolut cards
While we use the Standard Revolut card, the company offers other types of cards and accounts. I’ll explain each one below, so you can choose the plan that best suits your needs. You’ll also find a comparison chart so you can quickly and easily see the benefits of each plan.
Revolut Standard (no plan fees)
The Revolut Standard card has no minimum balance requirement or monthly plan fee. This plan lets you take care of spending and transfers abroad with no hidden fees. Below are the main features you can expect from the Standard plan:
- Currency exchange up to $1,000/month with no hidden fees (rare currency and/or out-of-FX-market hour fees may apply)
- ATM withdrawals up to $400/month (or an equivalent amount in a foreign currency) without fees at 55,000 in-network ATMs
- Low fee international transfers
As long as you don’t exceed the monthly limits, you won’t be charged any extra fees. These limits aren’t a problem for us since we use our Revolut card with the Wise card, so we can withdraw an extra $200 per month.
That said, keep in mind that when you order your Revolut card from the U.S., you’ll have to pay a small delivery fee of about $5.00 for shipping.
Revolut Premium ($9.99/month)
The Revolut Premium plan costs $9.99 per month and lets you enjoy the following perks:
- Currency exchanges up to $10,000/month with no hidden fees (rare currency and/or out-of-FX-market hour fees may apply
- ATM withdrawals up to $800/month (or an equivalent amount in a foreign currency) without fees at 55,000 in-network ATMs
- Low fee international transfers
- Travel medical insurance
- Priority Revolut customer support
- 2 complimentary lounge passes for flight delays over an hour (requires registering your flight)
- Express delivery option for your Revolut card
Revolut Premium offers many advantages for frequent travelers, including travel medical insurance, although I still recommend you take out a policy with one of the best travel insurance companies on the market.
Revolut Metal ($16.99/month)
The Revolut Metal card costs $16.99 per month and comes with the most benefits of all the plans:
- Unlimited currency exchanges with no hidden fees (rare currency and/or out-of-FX-market-hour fees may apply)
- ATM withdrawals up to $1,200/month (or an equivalent amount in a foreign currency) without fees at 55,000 in-network ATMs
- Low fee international transfers
- Travel medical insurance
- Express delivery option for your Revolut card
- Priority Revolut customer support
- 4 complimentary lounge passes for flight delays over an hour (requires registering your flight)
- Flight delay insurance and delayed luggage protection
Revolut cards comparison
Now that you know what Revolut is and how it works, as well as the different Revolut cards offered, here is a breakdown of each plan.
No-fee fair usage limit for out-of-network ATM withdrawals (per 30-day period)
Currency exchanges with no fees (per month)
International transfers with no fees (per month)
Priority customer support
Travel medical insurance
Flight & baggage delay insurance
How to apply for a Revolut card
Once you find the Revolut plan that’s best for you, you’ll need to apply for a card, which takes just five minutes. Plus, if you order your Revolut card through our link, you’ll get 3 months of Revolut Premium.
Requirements to apply for a Revolut card
First of all, it’s important to know the requirements to request a Revolut card:
- Be 18 or over
- Proper identification (passport, driver’s license)
As you can see, the requirements are very simple, so you shouldn’t have any problem applying for a Revolut account.
How to open a Revolut account
You can open a Revolut account from your phone in minutes:
- Click this link and download the Revolut app.
- Enter your phone number and agree to the Terms and Conditions. Then, choose a strong password for your Revolut account.
- Revolut will send you a text with a verification code. Enter that code into the Revolut app.
- Enter your personal info, including the address where you want to receive the Revolut card.
That’s it! You’ll receive a confirmation message stating that your Revolut account has been activated. The next thing to do is to request your Revolut card.
How to order a Revolut card
Use this link to download the Revolut app on your phone and follow these steps:
- Load the Revolut card with an initial deposit amount using a bank transfer or a credit or debit card you already have.
- Click on “Request card.”
- Verify your identity by taking a selfie and a photo of your ID through the app.
- Choose a physical card or a virtual card. I recommend the physical card since some places don’t accept digital versions.
- Select the type of shipment for your card. The Revolut Standard card comes with standard shipping, but Premium and Metal offer express shipping.
- Create a PIN for your Revolut card.
Once the card arrives, use it for the first time to activate it. If you open your account using this link, you’ll receive at no cost 3 months of Revolut Premium (normally $9.99/month). Of course, you can opt for Revolut Standard (no plan fees) or Revolut Metal ($16.99/month).
As you can see, applying for and receiving your Revolut card is quick and easy. Of course, depending on the type of plan you choose, you may have a monthly fee ($9.99 for Premium or $16.99 for Metal).
How long does the Revolut card take to arrive?
With standard shipping, it can take up to nine business days to receive your Revolut card. If you need it right away, choose express delivery to get the card within three business days (fees may apply).
It took five days for my Revolut prepaid debit card to arrive with standard shipping.
How to activate a Revolut card
To activate a Revolut card, make a payment with the card at any store, restaurant, or hotel. You could also use the card at any ATM since this requires you to enter your PIN. If you have a virtual card, it’s already activated.
How to use Revolut abroad
To help you get the most out of your new debit card, I will explain all the ways you can use Revolut. We use our Revolut card with the Wise card, particularly when we need to withdraw more than the monthly ATM limit with Revolut. This helps us avoid extra commission fees.
Below are the different scenarios when you can use your Revolut debit card.
Revolut ATM withdrawal
Revolut has over 55,000 ATMs in its network, so you can enjoy withdrawals almost anywhere at no cost. Depending on which Revolut account you have, you can withdraw up to $400 (for Revolut Standard), $800 (for Revolut Premium) o $1,200 (for Revolut Metal) per month (or an equivalent amount in a foreign currency) from out-of-network ATMs with no hidden fees. If you exceed this limit, you’ll pay a 2% commission fee on the withdrawal amount in the same currency.
When doing an ATM withdrawal via Revolut, you can withdraw money in another currency and apply the interbank exchange rate for that day. Or you can change currencies in the Revolut app and withdraw the money later on or the next day. This ensures you get the best bang for your buck (note that rare currency and/or out-of-FX-market-hour fees may apply).
Making a payment with Revolut while abroad is simple. Just pay in the local currency, and Revolut will do the currency exchange for you, using the interbank exchange rate. As long as you don’t surpass the monthly spending limit of $1,000, you won’t have any fair usage fees (note that rare currency and/or out-of-FX-market-hour fees may apply). If you exceed this limit, you’ll pay a 0.5% fair usage fee. The Revolut Metal plan doesn’t have a fair usage spending limit.
For person-to-person payments within the Revolut network, there is no monthly limit (though fees may apply if currency conversion is required to complete your payment). Just use your Revolut app to request and send money or split bills between friends. You can even send money via ACH to local bank accounts at no charge.
Income in different currencies
If you receive income in a currency other than USD, the Revolut card lets you deposit money in up to 28+ different currencies. This way, you can use them when, where, and how you want.
If you receive direct deposit payments, you can access them from your Revolut account up to two days early.
With the Revolut app, you can quickly and easily exchange currencies. Just choose the amount you wish to exchange, and the type of currency. Revolut will even tell you when the exchange rate is most favorable, so you get the best deal.
Revolut money transfers
You can make unlimited U.S. ACH bank transfers with Revolut with no transfer fees in the app. Revolut also offers domestic USD wire transfers and international transfers with competitive fees.
Send money abroad with Revolut
You can send money abroad or make a transfer with Revolut in another currency right in the app. Remember that you may have to pay a conversion fee if the transfer is in a different currency than that of your Revolut account (note that rare currency and/or out-of-FX-market-hour fees may also apply).
Other things you can do with the Revolut app
In the Revolut app, there is a feature called Savings Vault that you can use to save money.
If you activate this feature, your Revolut purchases will be rounded up to the nearest dollar. So, if you buy something that costs $20.58, you’ll pay $21 and the extra 42 cents will go into your Savings Vault. This occurs for all your purchases, with your Savings Vault accumulating savings over time. You can withdraw or use the money whenever you’d like.
Another interesting feature, which I touched on earlier, is that you can share trip expenses with your friends if they have a Revolut account. Alternatively, you can set up recurring payments to other people in the Revolut network.
How to add money to a Revolut card
Adding money to your Revolut account is super simple. Open your Revolut app and click on “Add money” on the home screen. This will open a menu with different options.
You can then add money using a debit card, or you can add money to your Revolut account using a bank transfer. If your device supports Apple Pay or Google Pay, you can add money this way, too.
Which currencies work with the Revolut card?
You can use Revolut in over 140 currencies, but you can only do international transfers in these currencies: AED, AUD, BGN, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HRK, HUF, ILS, ISK, JPY, MXN, NOK, NZD, PLN, QAR, RON, RUB, SAR, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, and ZAR.
As you saw with each Revolut plan, there is an ATM withdrawal limit of up to $1,200 per month on Metal plans (or an equivalent amount in a foreign currency). If you exceed your plan’s limit, you’ll have to pay a commission fee of 2% of the value of the withdrawal amount.
If you have Revolut Standard, you can exchange up to $1,000 per month, after which you’ll be charged a fair usage fee of 0.5% on any additional amount.
Regardless of which Revolut card you have, there is a 1% markup on foreign transactions outside of FX market hours due to market closures, so be aware of that.
I recommend having another card that you can use in addition to Revolut, so you can avoid extra fees. For example, we use our Revolut card as well as our Wise card.
Revolut card pros and cons
Before you sign up with Revolut, it’s important to look at the main benefits of the Revolut card, as well as its drawbacks.
Again, we travel with the Revolut card as well as the Wise card to avoid going over those monthly limits, which is the only disadvantage that would affect us the most.
Revolut customer service
The Revolut app is intuitive and user-friendly, so you can manage all your money and transactions in one place. However, if you need to contact Revolut customer support, you can do so in the following ways:
Revolut phone number
If you want to block your card because it was lost or stolen, you can do so in the app or call the automated Revolut phone number at +1-844-744-3512. Since it’s an automated number, it won’t call you back, but it will provide recorded information on how to block your card.
Revolut live chat
Revolut’s live chat is the best way to contact customer support since it’s available 24/7.
Just open your Revolut app and go to the menu in the upper left corner. Click on “Help”, then “New chat”, and you’ll be connected to one of the customer service agents. If you have the Premium or Metal plan, you’ll get priority support.
Revolut card review
When my cousin explained his experience with Revolut to me, I had recently moved to the United States, so I decided to give it a try. While my cousin had great things to say about Revolut, I didn’t have the best experience at first because U.S. banks don’t have IBANs. So, putting money into my Revolut account from the United States was at first a hassle. Then I found out that adding money to a Revolut card using a debit card was very easy, so I’ve been doing it that way.
Of course, Revolut has been the most beneficial for us when we take trips, especially when traveling abroad, where we rely heavily on my Revolut card.
I’d also like to share some Revolut reviews from other friends and family members:
- As I mentioned, during my cousin’s trip to London, he was easily able to exchange his money from USD to GBP. He also likes how secure Revolut’s virtual cards
- My brother also uses Revolut abroad, and on his last trip to Colombia, his wallet was stolen. Fortunately, he was able to freeze his Revolut card in a matter of seconds through the app. With the rest of his cards, he had to make a phone call, which took up a lot of time.
- Finally, my friend Sarah went to study Spanish in Mexico, and she paid for her expenses with the Revolut card. She also used the Savings Vault feature and managed to save over 300 dollars in just three months.
You can check out more Revolut card reviews on Trustpilot.
FAQs about Revolut
If you have any questions about using Revolut, here are the answers to some common questions:
The Revolut debit card is a Visa or Mastercard depending on the country. In the U.S., it’s a Mastercard.
Use the Revolut app to add money to your Revolut card, either via a debit card or via bank transfer.
The Revolut card has no fair usage fees as long as you don’t exceed the monthly limits. If you exceed the limit, the commission fee is 2% for ATM withdrawals, plus 0.5% for foreign exchanges (with an additional 1% outside of FX market hours and an additional 1% on rare currencies).
Revolut offers added benefits with their Premium and Metal plans which have monthly fees.
You get unlimited transfers at no cost within the Revolut network (person-to-person). You can also get low-fee international transfers with all plans.
Revolut’s payment limits depend on the type of transactions you wish to make, but have rarely been an issue for us on our travels.
You can withdraw up to $1,200 per month on Metal plans (or an equivalent amount in a foreign currency) without fees at 55,000 out-ofin-network ATMs. Standard and Premium plans have lower limits.
I hope this guide helped you get familiar with Revolut, its features, and its benefits. Remember, Revolut regularly updates its products and features, so check the Revolut Terms and Conditions to see the latest promotions and deals.
If you have any questions about the Revolut app, feel free to leave me a comment below. I’d be happy to hear from you, and I’d also like to hear about your experience with the Revolut card.
Enjoy traveling with Revolut!
The Revolut USA Prepaid Visa® and Prepaid Mastercard® are issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. for Visa cards, and Mastercard International for Mastercard cards, and may be used everywhere Visa or Mastercard are accepted. Banking services are provided by Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, and are subject to the terms of a Cardholder Agreement. “Metropolitan Commercial Bank” and “Metropolitan” are registered trademarks of Metropolitan Commercial Bank © 2014.
A note from Metropolitan Commercial Bank: Funds in your Revolut Prepaid Card Account are held at an FDIC insured institution. Your funds will be held at or transferred to Metropolitan Commercial Bank, an FDIC-insured institution. While there, your funds are insured up to $250,000 by the FDIC in the event Metropolitan Commercial Bank fails if specific deposit insurance requirements are met and your card is registered. See fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/prepaid.html for details. FDIC insurance does not protect your funds in the event of Revolut’s failure or from the risk of theft or fraud.
Revolut Prepaid Visa Card and Revolut Prepaid Mastercard are issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank (Member FDIC) under Visa U.S.A. Inc. license, subject to applicable terms.
Savings Vault services provided by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC.