bunq Travel Card
bunq is another of the new digital banks available in Ireland. It is similar to other digital banking services such as
bunq has premium account that comes with a €7.99 monthly fee – but here we are comparing the Revolut free account with the bunq Travel Card , both of which have no monthly fees.
bunq is an option as an alternative to Revolut – or maybe to use alongside Revolut to get around some of the charges.
With the bunq Travel card there are no fees on any card 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 other very useful feature of the bunq Travel
Card is that it is a prepaid Mastercard credit card.
With the bunq Travel Card , unlike a real credit card,- you can’t spend more than your balance. Every payment will be immediately deducted from your Travel Card balance. But it will be accepted like a credit card for car hire and all hotel reservations, unlike prepaid debit cards such as Revolut.
The Irish government stamp duty of €30 is NOT charged on the bunq travel card 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 very often.
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 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 at all – then it’s ideal. It can also be used by under 18’s with parent/guardian permission.
You can order a bunq travel card here.
With a Revolut
There is usually a
Using the Revolut prepaid debit card you can spend/exchange up to €1,000 in other currencies every month for free. Anything over €1000 is charged a 0.5% fee . (This lower limit is effective Aug 2020)
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 .
|Features||Revolut||Bunq Travel Card|
|Full Banking Licence?||No||Yes|
|Account Currency||Euro / GBP||Euro|
|ATM Withdrawals in Euro||First €200 each month|
is free then a 2% charge
|Non Euro ATM withdrawals outside Ireland||First €200 each month is|
free then a 2% charge
|Foreign Currency Spending||First €1000 worth of |
spending in a month is free
– then a 0.5% fee
|Spending Limits||€5000 in 96 hours||€50,000 daily.|
|Can be operated from PC/Laptop as well as Smartphone ?||No||No|
|Top up with another debit card?||Yes||Yes - 0.5% fee|
|Age Limit||18||16 = with parental approval|
|Debit Card Type||Visa (Prepaid)||Mastercard (Prepaid Credit)|
|Exchange rate||Interbank rate on |
weekdays but 1%
worse on weeekends
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
So that would mean,on weekdays, a spend of £1000 GBP would cost just €2.65 more with the bunq Mastercard than Revolut. (On weekdays)
Weekend Exchange Rates
This , assuming spending was equal on every day of the week – this would make the overall average difference over the full 2 weeks just 0.02% .( bunq just slightly better than Revolut)
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 0.735% more with Revolut than using a bunq Mastercard. (€7.35 on a £1000 spend). Not a massive amount – but maybe enough of a reason to use bunq?
Both bunq and Revolut are great for spending in foreign currencies and avoiding some of the conversion fees charged by the “mainstream” Irish banks.
bunq has the advantage of no transaction fees whilst Revolut will charge 0.5% on any foreign spending over €1000 in a month.
(See details of how much the other Banks Charge Here)
Maybe having both cards might be an idea – With Revolut using mainly 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 deposit Euros and be able to spend in non Euro currencies – then there isn’t much to choose between them. bunq will work out slightly cheaper overall – and will usually be cheaper than Revolut for people spending over €1000 a month in other currencies.
The much higher daily spending limit on bunq and the fact that it is backed by the Dutch banking guarantee also gives bunq advantages over Revolut for bigger spenders.