- Offers a physical card for use anywhere that accepts prepaid Visa or Mastercard
- Unique card number for every transaction, keeping your real card details safe
- Supports bank transfers and ATM withdrawals in 140+ currencies
- Excellent rebates with the Revolut card
- 1-2% currency exchange markups on weekends
- Extra fee for cross-border transfers except on the highest membership tier
- Offers crypto trading but no ability to send or receive cryptocurrencies
- The best features are locked behind paid memberships
Looking for a payment solution that can give you peace of mind when managing cross-border transactions? Revolut may be just the tool you need.
Like competitors Wise and YouTrip, Revolut is a multi-currency account with a free virtual debit card. Since you can change foreign currencies at preferential mid-market rates, globetrotters can save a significant amount on FX transactions. This banking alternative promises users a convenient and affordable way to exchange their money into over 150 different currencies.
Read on as we’ll be covering more details about Revolut to help you decide if this tool is for you:
- What is Revolut?
- How does it work?
- The different types of membership and features
- What is a Revolut Junior Account?
- The pros and cons of Revolut
What Is Revolut?
Revolut Singapore is not a bank but rather a regulated payment institution that was founded in 2015 in Great Britain. It has now expanded to over 35 countries. To date, Revolut claims to have 15 million personal account customers, 500,000 business account users, and over 28 different currencies offered on its platform.
When you sign up for a Revolut account, you can exchange money in any currency and make payments to foreign merchants without using physical cash. You can also apply for the Revolut card, a prepaid Mastercard that allows users to transact in over 140 currencies in 36 countries.
This means you can travel around the world without needing to hold different foreign currencies in your wallet at all.
How Revolut Works
Revolut is a digital banking app that lets you spend globally at a minimal cost. Think of this payment app as a highly-secure virtual card that can be used for online payments or transfers.
Sending and Receiving Money
Out for a night with friends? You can use Revolut to split the bill and settle payments instantly. The app allows you to send payment requests with just a few taps, so you won’t have to face the awkwardness of playing debt collector.
If you have loved ones overseas who need urgent funds, Revolut is an extremely useful tool for quick money transfers with no hidden fees. Your money will also be converted at low mid-market exchange rates (banks usually charge between 0.3% to 20%!).
Not so tech-savvy? Don’t worry, the app is rather user-friendly. You can make a payment link to send or request money even if you don’t have the other party’s bank details. The person receiving the payment link will get simple instructions on how to complete the rest of the process. Those sending you money can do so even without a regular credit or debit card — it’s that easy.
Read also: 5 Best Money Transfer Apps (2022 Review)
The Revolut Prepaid Card
To make it even easier, you can also request a Revolut card that works like a debit card. This can be used for contactless payments online and in stores — as long as they accept Visa or Mastercard, you can use the Revolut card.
You can also use it to withdraw cash from ATMs around the world. Just convert some money into the foreign currency beforehand and you’re good to go.
Just note that if the ATM asks whether you want to withdraw ‘with conversion’ or ‘without conversion,’ choose ‘without conversion’ — this way, you can stick with the low foreign exchange rates you selected beforehand instead of the bank’s marked-up rates.
Opening an Account
To open a Revolut account, simply input your phone number on the website. Thereafter, you’ll receive a text message prompting you to download the app and fill in some personal information for identification purposes.
There are several types of accounts to choose from but you’ll be eligible for the Revolut card as long as you keep a minimum balance of S$20 in your account. Upon application, the card should arrive within nine working days.
Revolut Memberships and Features
Unlike some other multi-currency cards, Revolut has a monthly fee for tiered plans. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect for each tier:
|Monthly Fee||S$0||S$9.99 (Annual payment is S$99)||S$19.99 (Annual payment is S$199)|
|Exchange limits||Up to S$5,000 per month with no hidden fees||Up to S$15,000 per month with no hidden fees||No limit|
|Monthly ATM withdrawals limits||No fees up to S$350||No fees up to S$700||No fee up to S$1,050|
|Revolut card||Free (excluding delivery)||Premium card with exclusive designs||Exclusive Revolut Metal card|
|Transfer/payment||Send money in 28 currencies||Send money in 28 currencies with one fee-free cross-border transfer||Send money in 28 currencies with unlimited fee-free cross-border transfers|
|Revolut Junior account||For one child||Up to two children||Up to five children|
The higher tiers, Premium and Metal, are designed for frequent flyers and those who transact regularly with different currencies. If you’re just trying out this multi-currency account, you can always get the free Standard membership and upgrade to a higher tier later on when you need it.
Besides the basic features, here are other key features that have made Revolut the choice multi-currency account for some:
- One of the first banking apps to offer cryptocurrencies
- Convert money using mid-market rates, which are more current than money changers’ rates and cheaper than banks’ fees
- All spending abroad is charged at mid-market rates
- Pay securely with a unique card number for every spend. Your real card details stay hidden, safe from hackers and fraudsters
- Lock or unlock your card in the Revolut app as well as set monthly spending limits for greater control
- Revolut card can be used at any shopping place in Singapore that accepts prepaid MasterCard and Visa cards
- Get up to 42% cashback at select brands like Apple, Nike, Myprotein, ASOS and AliExpress
- Easily transact online or in stores at 61 million merchants around the world
- Customise your virtual cards with spending limits and card colours, and skip entering your details with autofill for faster checkout
- Option to open a Group Vault with friends or family to save money for future vacation plans
- Grant withdrawal permissions to trusted members so they can book the flights or hotel
- Use your Revolut account for recurring payments or request for funds from international clients
- Pay friends or request for payments, or use the split-bill feature to divide a group spend with ease
- Easily top up funds in your Revolut account from your bank account
- Get in touch with customer service directly through Revolut’s app. Premium and Metal members are also entitled to concierge service and priority customer support
Fees and Currency Exchange Rates
While Revolut comes with lots of convenient features, you may want to take note of the fee structure and exchange rates before signing up for an account. Specifically, depending on the type of membership, currency, and time of day or week, you may incur fees of up to 2% on foreign currency conversions.
- If you exchange currencies on weekdays (Monday to Friday London time) you will receive the mid-market exchange rate without any markup on all currencies except for Thai Baht (THB) and Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) where there’s a 1% markup. In addition, a 0.5% fee will apply to anything above S$5,000 per month for Standard users and S$15,000 per month for Premium users.
- On weekends (Saturday to Sunday London time) the provided rates are fixed to protect against fluctuations. Additionally, there will be a 1% markup on all currencies (except THB and UAH where there will be a 2% markup).
- Free overseas ATM withdrawals are capped each month, exceeding which, you’ll pay a 2% fee on withdrawals. The withdrawal limit for Standard membership is S$350, Premium is S$700 and Metal is S$1,050.
- Standard users must pay $19.99 if they want express delivery.
- Adhering to Singapore’s Payment Services Act, all Revolut Singapore accounts have a daily storage limit of S$5,000 (or foreign currencies of equivalent value). If you choose to link an external bank account, Revolut will automatically transfer any balance above S$5,000 to this external account before the end of the day. Additionally, Singapore users can transact no more than S$30,000 (or equivalent) each year.
Revolut Junior Account
If you have children aged between 6 and 17, you can set up a Revolut Junior account and debit card for them. This is not only convenient for children to make payments online or when they are overseas, but it also helps them to learn how to manage their finances.
You can track their fund status with features such as instant spending alerts, customised controls for their online and contactless payments, and freeze settings if your child’s spending gets out of control.
If you’re a Revolut Premium or Metal member, you gain access to additional features that allow your children to earn rewards for tasks you assign. Say your youngster desires a big-ticket item: you can co-fund it via the app while encouraging him or her to save up the remainder to make the purchase.
Overall, the Revolut Junior Account works as a money management tool that helps your little ones learn how to manage, save, and earn money with digital interfaces and analytics. There’s really no harm in starting your kids young since the world is moving into digital transactions.
Pros and Cons of Revolut
After an extensive review of what Revolut is all about, here’s a quick look at the pros and cons to help you determine if this multi-currency account is the right one for you:
- Revolut is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which means even if Revolut goes out of business, there’s a high chance of getting your money back
- Exchange rates based on mid-market rates and no additional fees, making it cheaper than banks
- Easy access to cash with global ATM withdrawals
- Security features to detect suspicious transactions and the option to freeze your card in case of loss or theft
- Need to monitor day/time of exchange and amount of exchanged money since different fees apply on weekdays and weekends
- An additional 0.5% fee applies for Standard account members if they make currency transfers of more than S$9,000 per month
- Limited cash withdrawals every month can be inconvenient in the event of emergencies abroad
- No physical bank branches, though you can withdraw money at any cash machine overseas that supports Visa or Mastercard (ATM operator fees may apply)
Revolutionising the Way You Manage Foreign Currencies
Revolut is a great option to consider if you’re looking for a multi-currency account packed with great features and better exchange rates. Especially for frequent flyers who are on the road most of the time, an upgrade to Premium or Metal membership will give you even more convenience, cost-savings and luxury to your travel experience. Not forgetting parents who want to inculcate more discipline in their children’s money management skills, Revolut seems to be an excellent tool with minimum investment.
Overall, Revolut is a good option for:
- Frequent flyers who transact with foreign currencies regularly and want to enjoy more travel privileges
- Parents who want an easy-to-use money management tool to guide their children in spending, saving, and earning
- Those who receive or send payments from foreign clients, friends, or family regularly