As of November 2018, we rank Revolut as the best banking solution for nomads and global citizens. It has a very high convenience factor, great security features and a few special attributes that are hard to find elsewhere.
- 1 General Features of Revolut
- 2 Next-level security features
- 3 The different Revolut plans explained
- 4 The Revolut premium perks in more detail
- 5 Special Revolut banking features
General Features of Revolut
Revolut already offers its free users an impressive set of banking features.
Solid multicurrency support
Revolut offers it’s users many different currency options. Every user automatically receives a free UK current account as well as a free Euro IBAN account.
They can spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate.
Depending on where you register your account, your base currency will either be EUR or GBP.
You can receive the following accounts:
- A personal EUR account with a UK IBAN
- A personal GBP account with a local UK account number and sort code. You can also use SWIFT transfers, however only with a collection account (no personal account).
- A USD account in the UK
Excellent mobile app
One of the big advantages Revolut has over many other fintechs and even more so over most traditional bank, is the easy of use that the mobile app offers. Every feature and option is available right from your phone.
Analysis and Budgeting
The app offers very near analytic and budgeting features. Your spendings can be broken down by merchant, category and country. With custom budgets for each category, you can keep your spending under control.
You also receive instant payment notifications. No longer do you have to wait for card payments to show up days later on your statement. Instead, you get instant notifications the moment your card is charged, and exactly how much you’re being charged in your base currency. Very useful when paying in unfamiliar currencies.
Next-level security features
Getting your card stolen, cloned or the information copied is a credible threat when traveling. Revolut spouts many security features that will make fraud and misuse of your card much more difficult.
All of these features are available from within the iPhone/Android app.
Set monthly card limits
You can turn on spending limits for each of your physical and virtual Mastercards through the app. This way you can make sure, that no big charges can even occur on your cards if you don’t want to.
Change your PIN
You can view and change the PIN code for your Mastercards right in the app. This is the most useful application of this feature: Sometimes you want to pay for something, but someone else is supposed to buy it, pick it up, etc. Set a temporary PIN code as well as a temporary limit on your card. You can now hand your card to your friend or acquaintance, without having to worry about what they might do with your card. Once they return the card, just remove the limit and change back the PIN.
Freeze/unfreeze a card
It happens to the best of us. We temporarily misplace our wallet/credit card. We are pretty sure we didn’t lose it, but we can’t find it right now. Just freeze your card. When it turns up again, unfreeze it. Simple.
Deactivate stripe payments
The magnetic stripe on credit cards can be cloned, the chip not. Just deactivate stripe payments in general, and you never have to worry about someone cloning your card.
Deactivate online payments
You hand over your MasterCard to a lot of people. They could jot down the information, then try to purchase things online. It might be a wise decision to deactivate online payment for your physical Mastercard in general and use virtual MasterCards for that purpose.
Deactivate contactless payments
Deactivates the contactless payment system on your card. If you never use this feature, you might want to turn it off.
Deactivate ATM withdrawals
You can also turn of ATM withdrawals manually.
Another new, additional security feature. Your card may only be used in close proximity to your location (determined by the location of your mobile phone that runs the app). Nobody that might have seen you type in your pin can steal your card and then buy stuff at the other end of town.
The different Revolut plans explained
Revolut offers different tiers for their product. Besides the standard version, which is free, they also have two premium options. Revolut Premium and Revolut Metal. This is how they differ.
Revolut Standard (free)
A single MasterCard, standard Revolut design200€ or USD/GBP equivalent per month of free cash withdrawals, 2% after that
Revolut Premium (7.99€/month)
Two Mastercards, premium designs
Virtual & disposable Mastercards
400€ or USD/GBP equivalent per month of free cash withdrawals, 2% after that
Revolut Metal (13.99€/month)
All of the features of the premium planAdditional metal card with premium design600€ or USD/GBP equivalent per month of free cash withdrawals, 2% after that0.1% cashback inside Europe, and 1% cashback outside of EuropePremium Perks
The Revolut premium perks in more detail
In the premium and metal tier, Revolut offers special perks, like insurance and a concierge service.
Travel insurance (included)
The Premium and Metal plans include a worldwide travel insurance.
The travel insurance consists of an overseas medical insurance, an insurance for delayed flights as well as for delayed baggage. The medical insurance covers emergency medical assistance and emergency dental treatment.
Insurance for winter sports and travel companions can be added for further costs.
There is a catch, however: The total trip duration cannot exceed 40 days. Most perpetual travelers will therefore not be able to take advantage of the insurance at all.
Device Insurance (optional)
You can insure your smartphone right from within the app, at an additional cost. Your phone must be undamaged and not more than six months old.
Premium members also get free access to a concierge service. As of the writing of this article, I haven’t yet used this feature, so I can’t tell much about it.
Special Revolut banking features
While several other fintechs also have good mobile apps, security features, and instant payment notifications, there are some special things that only Revolut offers.
Virtual Mastercards (premium)
On the premium plan, you can create virtual Mastercards. You can use them for online payments, and at any time delete them and receive new payment details. This way you could make sure, that services can’t keep rebilling you.
Disposable Mastercard (premium)
If you want to enter your credit card details on a website that doesn’t look very trustworthy to you, this feature is for you. A virtual Mastercard, that can only be used exactly one time to pay for a product or service. Afterward it “self-destructs”, and Revolut creates a new disposable card, for the next time.