When I wrote about credit card payment fees in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, a reader suggested that I check out a product called Revolut.
Revolut basically issues you a MasterCard (debit card – doesn’t say that anywhere on the card itself) out of the UK and is available for European Union countries plus few others.
You can access Revolut here.
Note that Revolut recently instituted a limit for free ATM withdrawals per month. The limit is 500 GBP, 650 EUR or 700 USD. There is a fee of 2% for withdrawals that exceeds the monthly limit.
The main selling points of this product are:
1. Free foreign exchange
2. Free foreign payments
3. Free foreign withdrawals using ATMs
4. MasterCard debit card that can be used online
I have an account with European banking institution and couple of credit cards with them. I can withdraw cash from foreign ATMs 48 times a year without any fees. The possible ATM fees that are charged by the operator are reimbursed.
Revolut can come handy in countries/ATMs when there are no ATM fees. I can use it to withdraw cash up to the free monthly limit.
I have only topped up the account from my European bank account. The deposits have been acknowledged within a day and there are no fees for me to make a payment within SEPA.
There are quite a few European banks that have terrible fees for withdrawing cash from a foreign ATMs. I believe that product such as this Revolut can come handy.
I don’t, however, see any point for someone not living in the European Union or one of the countries where they are willing to send the card to have an account with them.
The ability to make foreign payments using the app and without fees is quite interesting. There are usually heavy fees associated with the foreign payments. If you are making a payment outside of the SEPA area, there are likely intermediary bank fees that are deducted before the payment hits the recipient’s account.
I like the fact that you can block/unblock ATM withdrawals, ecommerce transactions and swiped transactions as you please.
The only problem that I had with the card was trying to get my identity confirmed for lifted transaction limit. Reading my passport or identity card didn’t work. I was surprised that the system did recognize my Finnish driver’s license.
Activating the card using the PIN number first at an ATM in Finland didn’t work. I used another ATM at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport where it was successful, however.
I guess that Revolut is trying to get users to swipe the card and then use whatever commission they from these transactions to fund the day to day operations of the company.