The travel card that I recommend every time someone asks me is Revolut, I have been using it for years and in this post I am going to explain what it is, how it works and why you should definitely get one!
One of its handy uses is for situations like transiting through airports (hence the feature image!) or short trips, where you might not necessarily have that countries currency in cash to hand and don’t really want to get any cash out for such a short stay!
I should also point out that I have no affiliation with Revolut and was not sponsored by them or anyone else to make this post, this is simply just a Revolut users opinion on why you should use this outstanding product and service!
What is a Revolut?
A Revolut Card is a MasterCard debit card that you can use in pretty much any country that you would wish to travel to for making purchases and withdrawing hard cash out of an ATM! The card works in harmony with the free smart phone app of the same name that you can get on all app stores, to which you use to top up the card with cash and manage your spending with. You have full control of your card and spending through the app.
You don’t actually need a physical card in order for you to use your Revolut card, the app works as a means of getting access to your cash that you stored on it. You can actually use the app on its own for making online payments or making contactless payments under £30 via Apple Pay if you use an iPhone! If you wish to use Revolut with a physical card then you need to get one post to you at a cost of £5.
How does the Revolut App work?
Once you have downloaded the Revolut app from your smartphones app store, you will need to make an account. You can create an account quite easily just by following the instructions on the app. Once you are into the account you have a couple of options for loading the app with money..
The app works like any other online banking app where you can see the transactions you have made with the app, where you have made them and the cost in your currency and the currency of the country you were in.
So how do I spend my money?
The first way is to load the account with your home countries currency (e.g. £250) then when you make a payment abroad it will just automatically convert it to the required currency wherever you are and as you go! For example on a recent trip away I used my Revolut account to make 2 purchases in 2 different countries, once in Belgrade Airport in Serbia (Serbia uses the Serbian Dinar as there currency) and another in Munich Airport in Germany (Germany use the Euro as their currency)
What you can see from the screenshot is that the 2 payments went out of my account in the required currencies and I did not need to do anything else, I just used my card like I would at home! You can also get an idea from this screen grab of the app how simple it is to navigate and use throughout your travels!
The other option you have with Revolut is to load your account with an already converted sum of money, (e.g. $250 or 100CHF) which you can do with around 30 different major currencies from around the world!
You risk a gamble with doing this however, as you are converting a sum of money to the rate that your national currency to whatever it is you are converting to was at that moment in time and depending on what it is and how much you converted could mean you are worser off.
In simple terms, you can pre convert $1000 at a rate to the £ of $1=£0.7 in the morning and by the end of the day the rate could have gone to $1=0.8, meaning that you have just lost out on around $100!
Obviously rates are constantly changing and you could always make that loss back up or it could even make you better off, its just the gamble you take by doing this.
Other great features..
With a basic account Revolut offers £200 worth of transaction fee free withdrawals from ATM’s a month, this goes up to £400 and £600 if you upgrade to one of the Premium or Metal plans that Revolut offer, which have other additional features. All withdrawals thereafter are at a rate of 2%
Something that a lot of banks are starting to integrate into their online apps is the ability to ‘freeze’ your physical card and stop it from working if you were to lose it to stop it being used by the wrong people and then the ability to unfreeze it if you were to find it again. Revolut have followed suit and included this feature.
If you don’t know when to stop spending, you can set a monthly spending limit through the app as well, if you hit your limit then your card will simply not work when making a payment or withdrawing cash.
One of the best features of the app is the ability to give you an alert if an exchange changes (for better or for worse) as an example I set an alert for the £ against the $, so the app will notify me if and when the rate goes up to £1 to $1.25 from the current $1.22 it is currently at. This can also help if the currency rate was to start falling also!
If you don’t have a travel card at present (or even if you do!) I seriously recommend getting a Revolut account set up and getting a card ordered!
I have used mine in at least 30 countries all over the world and never had any issue with it! I have also found it to be the better option for getting cash out with its fair 0% free cash limits even when compared to commission free beraeu de change rates!
For more information and to get started click here
What travel card have you been using and recommend, please let me know in the comments below!