Revolut is an invaluable service for payments where currency exchange is a need. You can use it for international bank transfers, but to take full advantage of it, and to be able to pay for your favourite Frappuccino wherever you are, you need a payment card. There are two types of cards available with a standard free account:
Once you sign up, you are eligible for a virtual card. Virtual cards are debit cards with no physical presence so that you will receive a number, CVV and expiration date, but not a plastic card. It is therefore convenient for online payment. You as a user can deactivate the card after each transaction, thereby limiting the possibility of unauthorised charges and making your online shopping safer. But you will not be able to pay your cappuccino (unless you pay it via the app). To do this, you need a debit card.
Revolut card is with its blue to purple gradient one of the most beautiful non-premium debit cards. More importantly, it is what makes Revolut a valuable service and enables you to fully enjoy the main feature of Revolut – a cheap exchange rate.
The first card is for free + shipping. To start paying with a debit card, you need to top-up your Revolut account. The most convenient way to do so is with your bank debit card. If your card is issued within the EEA there is no fee (more details here), If this is not your case, use a bank transfer. Important: always use your local currency to top up in the Revolut app. Meaning that if your bank account is held in Euros than top up in Euros because you do not want your bank to handle the conversion, you want Revolut to do so.
Once your account is charged the magic can happen – meaning you can start exchanging. Revolut enables you to hold money in 24 currencies, and once you pay with the card, it will primarily use the currency of the shop. If you accidentally run out of Pounds, the app will automatically take away the rest of the payment from other currencies.
Of course, you can use a debit card for withdrawals from ATM, which is free of charge from Revolut up to 200 EUR a month (anything above that is charged by 2%). Unfortunately, some ATM networks can also charge a fee. Also, be aware that you do not want the ATM to do the currency conversion as they might be very unfavourable in comparison with Revolut.
Revolut offers debit cards in the Mastercard or Visa network. Both are suitable for online transactions. Both enable the user to pay contactless and have outstanding security options like allowing payment only at the same location as a mobile phone, or disabling online payments or withdrawal from an ATM.
One of the disadvantages is the fact that as the prepaid card is issued in UK, it might be declined by some services if your address is set to a different country, e.g. Spotify.
Overall the combination of high security and excellent exchange rates makes Revolut an excellent companion for your international travel.