I’ve been using Revolut for just under a month now, so thought I’d share my first impressions with you.
My job requires me to travel quite often, so I have had a global currency card (Caxton FX) for several years. It did what I wanted it to, so when a colleague mentioned Revolut to me, I didn’t really see the point of changing. However his brief overview of the app was enough to convince me to give it a try. I set up an account and ordered a Mastercard on the Saturday and it had arrived by Tuesday - great start. I’m not going to dwell too much on the packaging, but as far as first impressions go, it was very impressive. Functional yet fun; stylish yet professional.
After loading the card with some money (which was extremely straightforward) I started off using the card for some routine transactions at home, just to get a feel for it. The first time I used it was in the Post Office, and I could feel the notification vibrating in my pocket before I had even walked away from the counter. The analytics are very helpful, instantly categorising the transaction and even displaying the merchant’s logo, which is a nice touch. I could now enable contactless payments with the tap of a finger, so did this and jumped on a train to the city, using my card to “tap in” on the Transport for London Oyster point. Until that day, I never really knew how TfL fares were charged (from a bank account point of view) but using the app I could see the immediate £10 delayed transaction charge, which later changed to £5.40. Now I know why it’s so important to tap out at your destination!
Last week I was in Abu Dhabi with work, but before leaving I asked my employer to pay my per diems into my Revolut account, so I provided them with the sort code and account number. These are paid the week after a business trip, so more on that in a moment. While I was abroad, transactions were every bit as straightforward as they were at home. I didn’t receive instant notifications because my phone didn’t have data roaming enabled, but as soon as I reconnected to WiFi all of the information was there. It’s helpful being able to examine each transaction, to see how much was spent in both AED and GBP, and what exchange rate was used at the time. This morning (at 4am - thankfully my phone was on silent!) the BACS transfer from my employer came through, crediting me with my per diems for the week in Abu Dhabi, so with this in mind, I wouldn’t have any objection - in principle - to receiving my salary into Revolut too. Certainly something to consider for the future.
I like the idea of having an emergency card while travelling, in case my wallet is lost or stolen. Thankfully that has never happened to me, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, as the saying goes. I ordered the Visa as my second card and that’s what is now in my wallet. I used the app to “freeze” the Mastercard, which will travel with me in a separate safe place.
As I spend quite a lot of time in the Euro zone, I set up a Euro currency account in order to (hopefully) get the best exchange rate. I’m not particularly savvy with currency markets so I still need to work out when I should exchange some GBP to EUR for this, but I’m sure that will come with experience.
Anyway, thanks for reading if you have actually made it this far. I get the impression that I’m just scratching the surface of the many Revolut features, so I’d love to hear any suggestions, tips or recommendations from you. If there are any premium account holders out there, I’d be interested to hear about your thoughts and experiences with the premium features too.