Anyone used Revolut in South Korea?


Here’s a repost of my contribution to another thread, thought it might be useful here as well.

Below is my feedback after using Revolut (basic card) as my only source of money in South Korea for two weeks :

Payment with Revolut card in South Korea: great

Not much to say really other than it works perfectly fine : payment by card, Visa or Mastercard at least is accepted pretty much everywhere in Korea. No fee imposed whatsoever when paying with Revolut and the exchange rate applied is very favorable. The transaction is registered in your Revolut account immediately and you receive confirmation on your smartphone within seconds of your payment. I never had any trouble. Very very useful.

However, one difficulty you might face if you have not anticipated it the maximum limit of international payment from you “traditional” bank account (see below).

Withdrawing cash with the Revolut card : not so great

Withdrawing cash was a much less satisfactory experience for 2 main reasons, one general to Revolut in any country, the other more specific to South Korea.

The first one is that you have to always keep in mind that Revolut (with a basic Revolut card anyway) allows you to withdraw cash in foreign currencies without any fee but only in the maximum limit of 200 €/£/$ (whichever your revolut account is in) per month.

This is not a lot ! Even in a country like South Korea where payment by card is accepted almost everywhere, 200 Euros or Pounds (even more 200 USD) a month are very likely to be insufficient even for the few expenses you have no choice but to pay in cash.

The second problem I faced is that after two weeks I have only found one single bank in South Korea where i was able to withdraw cash without fee with my Revolut card, which is Shinhan Bank.

I read on other threads that people had been able to do it at KB Star offices, however i was never able to get cash from a KB Star, with ot without a fee, the transaction would get straight up rejected everytime.

Other banks I have tried which requested a fee include KEB, Korean Commercial bank (or something like that) and Bank of Busan.

Thus what I would recommend is to run into the first Shinhan Bank you come across upon arrival (this is a vey big bank, you will see many at least in Seoul), and withdraw your 200 € (approx. 264,000.00 KRW today) or the quivalent in GBP or USD, since it is all you can get for a month anyway as explained above.

Warning : be aware of the international payment maximum limit on your “traditional” bank account

Another difficulty you might encounter is not related to Revolut, but to your “traditional” bank account that you might use to top-up your Revolut account.

You have to bear in mind that Revolut is a UK-based company. Thus, your Revolut account is considered to be based in the UK as well in the banking/financial/legal system.

Thus, if you are not a UK resident yourself, and use a card from a “traditional” bank account to top-up your Revolut account, this transaction will be considered by your " traditional" bank to be an international payment, for which most banks impose a monthly maximum limit that is lower that your limit for domestic payments.

I strongly recommend anyone to go check what their monthly limit for international payments is before starting topping-up their Revolut account, as once you’ve reached the limit you will not be able to add money to your Revolut account anymore (unless you have other “traditional” bank accounts), nor pay anything with your “traditional” card while travelling (unless you have other bank accounts), which might put you in a very difficult situation …

Hope this is helpful,