Comparison of Revolut vs Curve GBP/BRL rates


#1

Three times while staying at a hotel in Rio de Janeiro last week, I asked the hotel reception to help me compare Revolut’s and Curve’s GBP/BRL rates, given that both use live FX rates. Each time, I paid the hotel simultaneously using two card terminals, with my Revolut card in one and my Curve card in the other. The amounts ranged from BRL 50 to BRL 2300. After entering my PIN, I pressed the green button at exactly the same time. Here are the results with rates rounded to 5 decimal places:

28/01/2019 21:46 GMT
Revolut: 4.94560
Curve: 4.95050
Difference: Curve better by 9.9 basis points (but the difference in GBP amounts was only £0.01 so not accurate)

31/01/2019 21:39 GMT
Revolut: 4.77813
Curve: 4.78051
Difference: Curve better by 5.0 basis points

01/02/2019 21:48 GMT
Revolut: 4.78231
Curve: 4.77730
Difference: Revolut better by 10.5 basis points

I conclude that both card issuers’ FX rates are equally competitive, but a test using GBP/BRL is not necessarily representative of all currency pairs.


#2

Curve’s rates depend on a lot and as such I wouldn’t rely on them for different currency transactions, to be honest.


#3

What do you mean by this?


#4

He doesn’t like Curve. He’ll bash them on every opportunity.

You just shown that Curve’s rates are slightly better than Revolut’s 2/3 times. Curve has kept their promises on FX rates, except for weekends which they have stated, JUST like Revolut.

All in all though, it honestly doesn’t matter. When travelling, as long you are going to a country with a currency that Curve and Revolut supports, you can take both cards (1 Visa + 1 Mastercard with the ability to use your local cards) and have the best of both worlds, since their FX is virtually the same. We are not going to cry over a penny.


#5

From what I’ve heard they depend on a lot of different variable factors including:

  1. Card currency
  2. Card issuing country
  3. How much you’ve spent in the month (curve has a £500 free FX cap)

And it can be either more expensive or cheaper depending on those.

It seems like you have a personal issue with me. I don’t like bad Produkts with bad service. I don’t give a toss about Curve in particular, nor Monzo. When their products improve I’ll stop bashing.

While they remain misleading and poor, product wise, I’ll bash. Just like how I’ve been bashing Revolut over their handling of insurance for Swiss users.


#6

Yes, it will depend on the currency pair, i.e. the card currency and the spending currency, but what evidence is there that the issuing country has a bearing on the FX rate?


#7

I don’t have a personal issue, it’s just that most of the time regarding Monzo or Curve, it’s negative. Am I right?

Up to the Curve’s launch of the new tiers and the Amex debacle, they have been pretty alright. Yes their CS has been slow, but 9/10 when they got to me they were helpful. But you have been critical about them even before the new tier launch. That’s the problem.

And Monzo is a bad product? Wait, what? How? How are they awful? So awful that many people trust Monzo as their main bank account? I don’t use Monzo myself, but I’m not an idiot to say Monzo is a bad product.

Again I am not attacking you, I’m not getting it personal with you…it’s just you are going way over the top with your criticism.


#8

I can’t find the forum post where I saw it, but I read it on a forum. Regardless Curve’s entire offering is very misleading to the consumer.

Yes. If I have a negative view of the brand they’ll be negative.

Free FX transfers (up to £500 a month) is not alright, its not clearly stated in the app (or it wasn’t the last time I checked)

I have seen lots of posts on forums saying otherwise.

On top of this Curve’s forum moderators have been heavy handed with anyone who criticises Curve in any way, so forgive me for not having many good thoughts of them.

  1. Bad CS (takes ages to respond, very bland responses, not even particularly polite)
  2. Misleading ‘free foreign fx’ (not clearly advertised with the £500 limit) (rates aren’t clearly visible either)
  3. no way to mark a card as ‘good rates’ or something similar, so it’d pass any currency through and let the underlying card do the conversion.

Yes.

  1. 50p a day overdraft.
  2. Insistance that they’re a consumer friendly brand, while charging for cash deposits, something likely to damage the poor more than the rich.
  3. Having their app marketing line as ‘making money work for everyone’ when they’re nowhere near this goal yet. (example: 50p a day overdraft is only likely to affect those with less money, as they’ll be the ones that go into the overdraft)
  4. Talks to you like you’re a friend, they’re a bank, I don’t need friendship I need a good bank.
  5. Inability to keep feature parity between iOS and Android apps.
  6. Condoning people on the Monzo forums attacking a journalist for criticism, by not condemning their behaviour.
  7. Playing favourites on the forum to stifle any serious debate in favour of pro-Monzo speech rather than improving their product to make the speech pro-Monzo.

So many people trust Lloyd’s and RBS and the government needed to bail those out with taxpayer money, what’s your point? People have blind faith in lots of things, from companies to deities.

Nice low-key way of insulting me, ad hominems just show an inability to think of ways of refuting an argument.

You just low-key called me an idiot.


#9

Free FX transfers (up to £500 a month) is not alright, its not clearly stated in the app (or it wasn’t the last time I checked)

It’s in the app under subscriptions. I can’t remember though if they listed it though before the big update, however this info was found here when they launched fee-free abroad.

I have seen lots of posts on forums saying otherwise.

Yes, now they are slow and unresponsive probably due to the overflow of complaints from the Amex/Metal debacle.

On top of this Curve’s forum moderators have been heavy handed with anyone who criticises Curve in any way, so forgive me for not having many good thoughts of them.

There is criticism in that forum, and no one is getting banned. I even gave Curve stick for their lame metal offering and I’m not banned.

  1. Bad CS (takes ages to respond, very bland responses, not even particularly polite)
  2. Misleading ‘free foreign fx’ (not clearly advertised with the £500 limit) (rates aren’t clearly visible either)
  3. no way to mark a card as ‘good rates’ or something similar, so it’d pass any currency through and let the underlying card do the conversion.
  1. Just went through that
  2. I don’t know, but from my past experiences the rates (especially GBP to EUR) has been solid. So I trust them for that reason. I’ll wait until someone (or me) catches Curve out with a ridiculous rate.
  3. Eh, that’s not true with Curve’s supported currencies.
  1. 50p a day overdraft.
  2. Insistance that they’re a consumer friendly brand, while charging for cash deposits, something likely to damage the poor more than the rich.
  3. Having their app marketing line as ‘making money work for everyone’ when they’re nowhere near this goal yet. (example: 50p a day overdraft is only likely to affect those with less money, as they’ll be the ones that go into the overdraft)
  4. Talks to you like you’re a friend, they’re a bank, I don’t need friendship I need a good bank.
  5. Inability to keep feature parity between iOS and Android apps.
  6. Condoning people on the Monzo forums attacking a journalist for criticism, by not condemning their behaviour.
  7. Playing favourites on the forum to stifle any serious debate in favour of pro-Monzo speech rather than improving their product to make the speech pro-Monzo.
  1. They give all accounts a £20 free overdraft though. Which bank gives you a free overdraft anyway? (And don’t point at student accounts)
  2. I’ll give you that one, because I agree.
  3. So what do you want Monzo to do? Give everyone free £500 overdrafts? I can take £500 from Monzo and may not do a thing for 5 years. Now times that by 200,000 people. Do you want Monzo to lose money?
  4. I don’t see this as a negative. Annoying to you maybe, but generally it’s not.
  5. Starling does this as well? And at times N26 and Revolut? And I don’t hear you say jack about them?
  6. Thread link? Need to see the full story.
  7. Each company is going to have diehard fanboys, especially how big Monzo is. Sad but true.

So many people trust Lloyd’s and RBS and the government needed to bail those out with taxpayer money, what’s your point? People have blind faith in lots of things, from companies to deities.

I don’t think it’s blind faith, I think it has more to do with being lazy to switch. People who really care about their money, would have left them. And Lloyds? Are you sure you mean TSB?

Nice low-key way of insulting me, ad hominems just show an inability to think of ways of refuting an argument.
You just low-key called me an idiot.

I apologise for that. You’re not an idiot, I’m sorry.


#10

In what way? Whilst I agree it’s absurd that Curve charges a fee for cross-currency transactions above GBP 500 per month, most of what it does is what it says on the tin.


#11

The info was originally found in the Curve terms of service, it was hidden from the customer unless they explicitly looked for it.

Now its a bit more transparent for the blue tier, not for the others though (listed as: Unlimited (subject to fair use)). So not unlimited!

They took days to reply to me long before American Express support/Metal existed.

Not banned. A couple of users on the Fintech forum have received private messages from Curve staff telling them to edit and remove posts.

I mean like, I’d like the ability for Curve to just charge me in whatever currency. I don’t need them to handle and conversion. Most of my cards offer free conversions regardless.

On offline purchases only if I recall, that’s the buffer. Nationwide also offer this (AFAIK).

They have no way to make money and keep their socialist ‘we’ll help everyone’ ideals. So I want them to pick, profitability or helping people. If they want to go with the latter they should transition to a building society.

I don’t think so? I personally haven’t seen any with Revolut or N26. As for Starling, I don’t use the app enough to notice. I also have both Android and IOS and all of the apps seem to have the same features, even if they look a little different.

A journalist from the guardian if I remember correctly ended up calling Monzo a cult after he had made a negative article and got a bunch of hate.

The hate came in bounds after Tom wrote an article directly addressing it, but the article didn’t tell people to not attack the author, nor was it edited to reflect the hate the author got for (mostly) valid criticism.

The thread was on Fintechtalk but it was in a broad thread about Monzo, so I’m not going to go searching.

Yeah but it’s not fair of Monzo to unfairly prosecute the opposition side that actually challenges them while letting the pro-Monzo side attack people and get a slap on the wrist each time.

It used to be Lloyd’s TSB. They split afterwards, if I remember correctly. Lloyd’s is now the one I’d choose if I had to pick between them!

  1. Their gadget insurance is capped to £750, so your newer iPhone’s and high-end Samsung devices aren’t going to be covered (the two most popular brands in the UK).
  2. Their cashback is time limited AFAIK and isn’t clearly displayed in the subscription management section.
  3. Their fair use policy on higher tiers for FX when it’s stated as unlimited
  4. Their weekend surcharge which isn’t clearly stated as between 0.5-1.5%
  5. Their ‘Curve Purchase Protection’ which they’ve clarified is just an early payout on Mastercard charge backs, not actual insurance or protection. They’ve stated they’ll possibly redebit accounts if the chargeback is declined.

#12

Hello all, this is my first post here. I’m new to the world of these fintech cards.

I’m replying to this thread as I’m a Brit with intentions to use this card in Brazil (like NFH).

How does this actually work? I understand that with the Revolut card you cannot hold BRL as a currency - but you can pay/withdraw with the real-time live exchange rate (week days only). Is this correct?

Also, what are the fees for weekday withdrawals? (I know theres a charge for weekend, and 2% on withdrawals after the free monthly limit). Is there a conversion fee?

NFH, could you give me a real life example?

Many thanks!


#13

@PaperTiger, there are several points to be aware of in Brazil:

  • There’s almost no need to withdraw cash. You can pay with a card almost everywhere, including many beach vendors.
  • If you do need to withdraw a small amount of cash, Revolut will charge you if you withdraw more than £200 or €200 per month. Much more significantly, most Brazilian banks have started charging foreign cards with hefty fees for cash withdrawals. A notable exception is Itaú, Brazil’s largest bank with distinctive bright orange branches.
  • If your Revolut card is Visa as opposed to MasterCard, then it will be rejected by most merchants. See: Most merchants in Brazil 🇧🇷 don't accept Revolut Visa cards
  • Card cloning happens a lot in Brazil. If Revolut finally releases Apple Pay before your trip (or if you can use Google Pay), then it’s safer to use these as they can’t be cloned.

#14

Yes, on the weekdays there is 0% markup on the rate that Revolut’s FX partners are trading for.

If you pay in a shop or withdraw from an ATM it will use this rate.

From Revolut there are none besides the 2% after 200£/€.

Banks and other ATM operators have the ability to charge you for this service though, Revolut won’t reimburse the costs.

On weekends there is a 0.5% fee to account for the lack of FX trading on weekends, incase the currency drops in value over the weekend.

If you want to avoid the aftermath of your card being cloned it might be an idea to pay then freeze your card, if internet access allows. You can order a new one when you’re at home again.

If you have Premium or Metal you can just order the cards after each trip for ‘free’ (Revolut ships world-wide!)


#15

Wouldn’t it be enough do disable the magnetic stripe in the App or does card cloning work differently?


#16

When my Santander credit card was cloned in Rio last year, I didn’t use the magnetic stripe or let the card out of my sight once. Everywhere was chip & PIN and once using Apple Pay. When I reviewed the list of merchants where I had transacted, the most likely culprit was an unmanned automated laundrette. My theory is that the merchant had logged my card number and that its security camera had the PIN that I had entered.


#17

@NFH and @Recchan

Thank you for your replies.

Wow so theres zero conversion fee?! The weekday live-rate (as on XE/Google etc.) at that time is exactly what I will get? That is amazing.

What are the hefty cash withdrawal fees at the Brazilian banks like? Sounds like I will need to use Itau only.

Yikes, I hope the Visa issue does it get sorted out.


#18

That’s actually a median between the ask price and the selling price. So the rate will be slightly below that, as far as I’m aware.


#19

I can’t remember exactly - probably around BRL 20. But I wouldn’t bother with cash. You will hardly need it in Brazil.


#20

What is DCC situation in Brazil?
I like best when everything is auto-charged in country local currency.
In my country its exactly like that. I never even have been asked about choosing currency. POS always automatically bills you in local currency.