Revolut is a smartphone payment app that comes with a prepaid card.
It is available in Ireland and the rest of the European Economic Area plus Australia, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States.
Revolut was launched in July 2015 and now has over 7 million customers.
How Does Revolut Work?
Revolut describes itself as a “financial super app . A Revolut account is a payment account that holds your e-money. It may hold e-money in different currencies at the same time.
It is a digital service that runs on Apple or Android smartphones.
As well as typical banking services such as debit cards, direct debits and payment transfers – the Revolut app also offers share trading and cryptocurrency trading.
How to Get a Revolut Card
Signing up for a Revolut card and account is easy. You can sign up on this page .
You must be 18 or more to join Revolut. Under 18’s can have a Junior Account with Revolut, but only as a sub-account linked to the account of their parent or guardian.
As you will see below , there are 4 different types of Revolut accounts – we have compared the features. Don’t worry if you don’t know which type of account to choose – you can always upgrade later.
After installing the Revolut app you will need to verify your identity in order to use your Revolut account. This is in line with EU banking regulations commonly known as ‘Know Your Customer’.
You will need to take a picture of a valid government-issued photo ID and a picture of your face
Is Revolut a Bank ?
Revolut is a licenced bank in Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Revolut is not yet a licenced bank in Ireland, it is authorised as an “Electronic Money Institution” . Funds held by Irish residents in Revolut are not covered by any banking guarantee.
However – customers’ money is placed into ring-fenced accounts with large global banks in the EEA. Ring-fenced accounts are separate from Revolut’s own money and will be safe in the event of insolvency.
Due to Brexit – Revolut had to move all their Irish customer’s accounts from the UK to Lithuania. Eventually, Revolut hopes to be granted an e-money licence by the Central Bank of Ireland. When they get that, all of Revolut’s Irish customers will be migrated to the Irish entity.
Why Does Revolut Need My PPS Number?
Because Revolut is not an Irish bank – they are required by law to collect the Tax Identification Number of all customers living in Ireland. This is needed so that account information can be submitted to Revenue.
More here on Why Banks Ask for PPSN
- One of Revolut’s main competitors in Ireland is N26 – which has a full EU banking licence. Read more here about Revolut compared to N26
The Revolut App Features
- Top up with a debit or credit card, or by making a bank transfer.
- View spending habits: your spending can be categorised by type of transaction, by retailer or by country.
- Send money to other Revolut users instantly
- Control your card and account. You can lock and unlock your card in the Revolut app as well as set monthly spending limits.
- Save money. Revolut’s Vault feature lets you build up funds for a specific funding goal
- Buy shares – you can only buy US-listed shares on Revolut (Nasdaq and NYSE). Charges are €1 per trade (The first trade every month is free). Maximum trade $1000. Shareholding fee of 0.12% (i.e $12 on $10,000 worth of shares) . See details of other more serious Online Share Dealing Services
- Cryptocurrencies – You can trade the following cryptocurrencies with Revolut,
- Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), EOS (EOS), OMG Network (OMG), 0x (ZRX), Tezos (XTZ), Bancor (BNT), Cardano (ADA), Filecoin (FIL), Loopring (LRC), Numerai (Numerai), Orchid (OXT), Synthetix (SNX), The Graph (GRT), Universal Market Access (UMA) and Uniswap (UNI), Yearn Finance (YFI). Not Dogecoin or SHIBA
- However, you can not transfer crypto out of Revolut
- Find More places to Buy Cryptocurrencies in Ireland
Opening a Revolut Account
It is easy to open an account with Revolut in Ireland. You just enter your phone number and they will send you a sign-up link to download the app on your phone. You will then need to verify your identity by providing a picture of a valid ID document and taking a selfie. You will need to provide your PPS number too.
After you sign up, you can request your contactless Revolut card and begin using your account. Since Autumn 2020 – you can also check your Revolut account on your PC or laptop.
A Summary of Revolut Plans and Charges
Revolut has four different plans :
- Standard Plan : Free
- Plus Plan (€2.99 a month)
- Premium Plan (€7.99 a month)
- Metal Plan (€13.99 a month)
The table below shows you the features of each Revolut plan so you can work out which is the best one for you
(No Monthly Fee)
(€2.99 per month)
(€7.99 per month)
€13.99 per month)
|ATM Withdrawals||First 5 per month or first €200 free per month than a 2% fee. (Min €1)||First €200 per month is free then 2% fee.(Min €1)||First €400 free per month than a 2% fee (Min €1)||First €800 free per month than a 2% fee. (Min €1)|
|Currency Conversion Rate||Interbank rate with a 1% mark up at weekends.||Interbank rate with a 1% mark up at weekends.||Interbank rate with a 1% mark up at weekends||Interbank rate with a 1% mark up at weekends|
|International Transfers||SEPA transfers are free . Others 0.3% (Min 30c Max €5)||SEPA transfers are free Others 0.3% (Min 30c Max €5)||SEPA transfers are free.|
Others - First1 free than 0.3% (Min 30c Max €5)
|SEPA transfers are free.
Others - First 3 free than 0.3% (Min 30c Max €5)
|Money Exchange/Spending in Non Euro||First €1000 is free then 0.5% fee.||First €1000 is free then 0.5% fee.||No limits . Fee Free||No limits . Fee Free|
|Sign Up||Apply Here||Apply Here||Apply Here||Apply Here|
|Share Dealing||1 free trade a month then 0.25% fee (min €1) per trade.|
Plus 0.12% (annually) of the market value of your assets.
|3 free trades a month then 0.25% fee (min €1) per trade. Plus 0.12% (annually) of the market value of your assets.||5 free trades a month then 0.25% fee (min €1) per trade. Plus 0.12% (annually) of the market value of your assets.||Unlimited free trades a month . Plus 0.12% (annually) of the market value of your assets.|
|Crypto||Exchange Fee of 2.5%||Exchange Fee of 2.5%|| Exchange Fee of 1.5%||Exchange Fee 1.5%
(Cancellation.Delay, Baggage and Medical cover)
|YES (Additional cover for Personal Liability, Sports Equipment and Car Hire Excess.)|
|Purchase Protection||NO||YES - up to €1000||YES - upto €2500||YES - up to €10,000|
|NO||YES - up to €1000||YES - up to €1000||YES - up to €1000|
|NO||No||YES (2)||YES (4)|
|Cashback on Spending||NO||No||No||1%|
Some Alternatives to Revolut
Revolut was one of the first digital payment apps to launch in Ireland – and they have picked up a lot of customers. But there are now a few good alternatives to Revolut.
- N26 is a fully licenced EU digital bank with many of the features of Revolut.
Read our full comparison of Revolut Vs N26
- Wise has recently changed its name from Transferwise. They can provide you with a multi-currency international account and a debit card. The Wise international money account provides you with a UK account number as well as accounts in Euro , US Dollars, Australian Dollars and New Zealand Dollars.
You can link a Wise account to their debit card for spending.
Comparison of Bunq Easy Bank Vs Revolut Plus
Is Your Money Safe With Revolut?
Since Jan 2021 – all Irish customer accounts at Revolut are regulated by the Lithuanian Central Bank. Revolut hopes to eventually get a licence from the Irish Central Bank.
If a Revolut customer in Ireland has a complaint they will need to contact the Lithuanian Central Bank .
Revolut is not a bank, it is an “Electronic Money Institution” . It is authorised by the Bank of Lithuania under the Law on Electronic Money and Electronic Money Institutions of the Republic of Lithuania.
Funds in Revolut held by Irish customers are not currently covered by any banking guarantee. However , Revolut keep your money safe by either:-
- placing it into ring-fenced accounts that they hold with lage global banks or
- by investing in low-risk assets held in a separate account with financial institutions.
If Revolut was to become insolvent, an administrator will be able to repay customers from these ring-fenced accounts.
Revolut Exchange Rates
When spending outside the Eurozone, Revolut says they use the “Interbank” rate.
We did a comparison on 14 random dates in 2019 – including 4 weekend days. We looked at purchases made in Sterling using Euro currency and compared Mastercard’s rates Vs the Interbank rate 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.)
Weekday Exchange Rates on Revolut
On average –for
In real money terms that would mean spending £100 would cost you just €0.26 more using a Mastercard compared to the Interbank rate used by Revolut.
A spend of £500 would cost you about €1.32 more with a “normal” Mastercard than Revolut. (Excluding any fees the card provider adds on for currency conversion.
However – once your currency conversion on the standard Revolut account exceeds €1000 in a month you will be charged 0.5% extra. So, higher foreign currency spenders will be better off using N26 than Revolut.
Weekend Exchange Rates on Revolut
So at weekends, based on our small survey, Revolut would cost on average about 0.735% more than a standard Mastercard.
So, assuming spending was equal on every day of the week – this would make the Mastercard rates slightly better than Revolut by an average of just 0.02% .
Overall – the difference is probably not enough to worry about for day to day spending abroad or online unless you are spending more than the equivalent of a thousand euros in a month.