Revolut, a form of a pre-paid card which is used in the form of digital banking, appealed to me mostly due to the fact that I was able to change the money I put onto this card into a range of different currencies. Since I'm travelling a lot I would hate to lose my regular bank card abroad, with the countless stages to get it back as well as not being able to use if in an emergency, leaving me with only the cash I had brought out with me.
Applying for this bank card was easy and quick, with it only taking me to download the Revolut app and then putting in my details as well as deciding what plan I had wanted. I decided to pick the standard plan, which has its limited features but has the benefit of it being completely free. However, I had to pay for the card itself with it being £4.99 excluding delivery which then took another 9 days to arrive. Luckily I had thought of getting this card weeks before my next holiday so I could try it out and make sure it worked before I ventured abroad.
My favourite feature about the Revolut card is the simplicity of it, I was able to transfer money from my bank account straight into my Revolut account within seconds. This money then appeared immediately in my account with the date and time of the transfer being present. From here I was able to convert this money into any currency I wanted to. When I mentioned before that Revolut have a lot of currencies available, I wasn't exaggerating with there being 130 currencies currently available. This meaning this card can be used globally with a small exception for countries with a currency that is not currently featured with this card. Even without transferring money I was able to purchase dinner in Spain with Revolut doing the conversion for me, with them taking it out of my main account (which has the currency in GBP), by using the exchange rate at that period of time. The only downside to this would be if the exchange rate is extremely poor, you will be the one suffering and losing out, which is why I recommend watching the exchange rate for your preferred currency and then exchanging money through the app when it's at its highest.
Just like a regular bank card Revolut allows money to be withdrawn in ATM's in your home country as well as at destinations you're travelling to when abroad. There is a catch to this, if you're on a standard plan then you're only allowed to withdraw up to £200 a month without being charged 2% for each withdrawal made after this. I barely withdrew money since I made a plan of how much physical money I would spend and how much I would spend on my Revolut card. However, if in need of emergency cash or if you travel a lot monthly then this may be a big downside for this card due to the charge applied after reaching your £200 a month limit.
The app for Revolut is one of my most used and helpful apps since when I purchased something on holiday, such as a meal or a drink at a supermarket, I'd get a notification seconds after. This notification would let me know how much I've spent and how much I've spent that day in total, an easy way to see if you're following your budget. The app also divides your transactions into categories such as groceries, restaurants and transport as well as showing how much you've spent in each category per month. This feature is handy since I was able to see how much I spent on food and transport and whether or not I was under or over my budget. The app also allows you to freeze the card, in which if your bag was stolen with your card in it, you would be able to immediately freeze it, so no one would be able to use it and you'd be able to cancel it. From the app I'm also able to see exactly where I made my purchase, this helped me find a restaurant I used and didn't remember the name of (since I wanted to return there the following day). The only downside to using your phone to keep track of your spending and making sure your card is topped up would be to make sure that your phone is fully charged or to make sure you have a portable charger with you.
Revolut is a form of digital banking, as mentioned before, which unfortunately means there is no physical branches in which people can go to if there is a problem. There's only the online support which is available through the app or by phone, this may make some people feel cautious about using Revolut since there is nowhere to physically go if something went wrong. The company itself is very new with Revolut being launched in 2015 with over 2 million customers in just under 3 years, which indeed did make me suspicious when I first read that on their website. Regardless, the website makes a strong point in saying that they're regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) in which allows your money to be protected.
The Revolut card has made my life so much easier when travelling abroad since I always know that money is in the account regardless of whether or not I have converted it to the chosen currency for the country to. The only real downside was waiting for the card to come and the initial payment for it but regardless once it came I was able to use it straightaway.
Tips and tricks for all aspects of travelling, most of which include saving money.