Bunq vs Revolut – a comparison.

Bunq Travel Card

Bunq is another of the new digital banks available in Ireland. It is similar to other digital banking services such as Revolut and N26.

Bunq has premium account that comes with a €7.99 monthly fee – but here we are just comparing Revolut with the bunq Travel Card , both of which have no monthly fees.

With the Bunq Travel card there are no fees on spending inside or outside the Eurozone.
The Bunq travel card has a maximum €50,000 daily spending limit. The default is €1000 per day but you can reduce or raise this at any time in the app.

One useful feature of the bunq Travel Card is that it is a prepaid Mastercard credit card.

Unlike a real credit card – you don’t get to spend more than your balance. Every payment will be immediately deducted from your Travel Card balance. But it does mean it will be accepted like a credit card for all car hire and all hotel reservations, unlike prepaid debit cards such as Revolut.
No Irish government stamp duty is charged and no credit checks are required with Bunq.

ATM fees with Bunq are 99c each – but with a large maximum daily withdrawal limit of €500 you won’t need to use it much.
The Bunq travel card has a one off fee of €9.99 to order one.

Bunq has a full EU banking licence (unlike Revolut and Monese) and all funds are covered by the Dutch bank guarantee.

The functionality of the bunq Travel Card app is fairly basic – it’s not a full-blown banking app. But if you just want access to a payment card that has no foreign spending fees – then it’s ideal.

You can click here to order the bunq travel card.



Revolut

With a Revolut account, you get an EU IBAN and a UK GBP account. Revolut can accept incoming payments in several currencies which might be useful for some people.
There is a one off fee of €6 to get your Revolut card delivered to Ireland.

Using the Revolut prepaid debit card you can spend, transfer or exchange up to €5,000 in total every month (a 0.5% fee applies after this).
Free ATM withdrawals are limited to the first €200 each month, after that a charge of 2% is added.

Direct Debits are also possible with Revolut .


You can apply for a Revolut card here

FeaturesRevolutBunq Travel Card
Full Banking Licence?No Yes
Annual FeeNoneNone
Account CurrencyEuro / GBPEuro
Card Delivery€6€9.99
ATM Withdrawals in IrelandFirst €200 each month is free then a 2% charge99c each
Non Euro ATM withdrawals outside IrelandFirst €200 each month is free then a 2% charge99c each
Foreign Currency SpendingFirst €5000 worth of spending a month is free – then a 0.5% feeNo fees
Spending Limits€5000 in 96 hours€50,000 daily.
Apple PayYesYes
Google PayYesYes
Direct DebitsYes No
Can be operated from PC/Laptop as well as Smartphone ?NoNo
Top up with another debit card?YesYes - 0.5% fee
Age Limit1816 = with parental approval
Debit Card TypeVisa (Prepaid)Mastercard (Prepaid Credit)
Exchange rateInterbank rate on weekdays but 0.5% worse on weeekendsMastercard Rate

Revolut and bunq Exchange Rates Compared

When spending outside the Eurozone – the bunq Travel Card uses Mastercard’s exchange rates.
Revolut say they use the “Interbank” rate – but the difference appears to be very small overall.

We did a check on a small sample of dates comparing Mastercard’s rates Vs the Interbank rate as used by Revolut.
(For the interbank rate we used the rates provided by Xe.com who state that all their figures are based on live mid-market rates.)

We did a check on 14 random dates in 2019 – including 4 weekend days. We looked at purchases made in Sterling using a Euro currency card.

On average – on weekdays, the Interbank rate with Revolut was 0.265% better than the Bunq Mastercard rate.
So that would mean purchases totalling £100 would cost you €0.26 cents more using a Bunq Mastercard compared to the Interbank rate used by Revolut.

A spend of £1000 would cost €2.65 more with the bunq Mastercard than Revolut. (On weekdays)

Weekend Exchange Rates

However , on Saturdays and Sundays, Revolut adds 0.5% mark up to their rates. This would make the overall average difference over the full 2 weeks just 0.1328% .( Revolut just slightly better than the Bunq Mastercard)

But – If you did all your spending on Revolut on a Saturday and Sunday , based on our small survey, it could cost you on average 0.224% more with Revolut than using a bunq Mastercard. (€2.24 on a £1000 spend).


Summary

Both bunq and Revolut are useful for spending in foreign currencies and avoiding the conversion fees charged by the “mainstream” Irish banks.

Maybe having both cards might be an idea – With Revolut using Visa and bunq using Mastercard – you are covered if there are problems with one of the payment systems .

If you need to receive payments in Non Euro currencies – then Revolut is better than bunq . But if you just want to pay in Euros and be able to spend in non Euro currencies – then there isn’t much to choose between them.


The much higher daily spending limit on bunq and the fact that it is backed by the Dutch banking guarantee might give bunq advantages over Revolut for bigger spenders.

Apply for a bunq Travel Card here

Apply for Revolut Here