Thanks for replying. Where are those stated? I haven’t found them in the app or on their website. Any info regarding my questions about fees?
The limits, you can see in the FAQ.
Thanks for the FAQ pointer. Indeed there are extra weekends (and other) fees:
For a few illiquid currencies, we provide the best rate we possibly can. For THB and RUB, we apply a small 1.5% markup on the exchange rate. For UAH we apply a 1% markup.
At the weekend (Friday 23:59 - Sunday 23:59) we apply a small mark up on the spot rate as the Forex markets are closed. We take the rate from Friday 23:59 and apply a 0.5% mark up on major currencies and 1.0% on other currencies to protect the company from potential losses due to a large fluctuation in the rate. For illiquid currencies like Russian Ruble and Thai Baht, there is 1.5% mark up on weekend.
The flashy website shouts “free” all over the place, but this is hidden nicely in the FAQ. This is the opposite of being upfront. It’s borderline deceptive. I was interested in a Premium account, but not anymore (whether or not the Premium account is subject to the same fees, which is not clear)
Also, “0.5% on major currencies and 1.0% on other currencies”. Too vague, on purpose. Nicely done again.
Have these online “revolutionary” startups learned nothing from why we dislike high street banks? Disappointing.
p.s. Revolut also claims interbank (mid-market) rate and that it has smaller fees than Transferwise, yet Transferwise always seems to give a better rate and always results in a better deal even after their fee and even for small transfers (e.g. 1.1267 vs 1.1330 GBP to EUR rate on Revolut vs Transferwise)
One note: Revolut offers interbank spot rates, not mid marked rates. (No additional fees when markets are open).
Transferwise has mid market rates + fees. So yes, when the spread between bid and sell rate is higher than mid market + fee, Transferwise could be cheaper altogether.
Well, Revolut does charge 0.5% for transfers higher than £5000 (another fee hidden away they are not quite upfront about), plus another 0.5% during weekends (also rather hidden fee). Also, if you want up to 1 working day transfer on Revolut, you need to pay £5 (how cute, both UK and SEPA transfers take less then 24h).
Revolut deceptively claims they are cheaper than Transferwise, but whenever I tried it, it was the other around. Take the big flashy graph they show here, titled “Total cost of sending 1000 GBP to EUR”:
Revolut gives you 1126.7 EUR in up to 2 working days, whereas TransferWise gives you 1128.14 in less than 1 working day. That’s 0.13% more and faster. If you want up to 1 working day, revolut gives you only 1121.7 EUR.
For £10,000 it’s 11,267 (Revolut) versus 11,289.57 (Transferwise). That’s 0.20% more, i.e. Transferwise gets even better as the transfer grows.
I’m not against setting fees and charges, they are entitled to do whatever they want, but when they aren’t upfront about it then I can’t trust them.
Well, sure. But that wasn’t my point. I only wanted to make sure that you see the difference between mid market and spot rates with a spread between by and sell rates.
Sure, and thanks for replying, though while I’m not an expert on finance, I see that mid-market rate, interbank rate, spot rate, real exchange rate etc. are all synonymous:
Revolut advertises real exchange rate and interbank rate (on the main webpage), and spot interbank rate (in the FAQ).
There is always some spread between buy and sell rates, the mid-market rate being the mid point in-between, and according to the above links, synonymous with spot rate and all other definitions. What am I missing?
I agree that the information in web page can be confusing.
I don’t see advertising mid-market rates. So far so good.
On the homepage, it indeed says “by using the real exchange rate”. That is incorrect and should rather be “by using the real TIME exchange rate” (with a * next to it, explaining further the weekend mark-up).
On FAQ, it says “spot interbank exchange rate”, which is fine. Then it continues "The interbank market is the top-level foreign exchange market where banks exchange different currencies."
This is also good, but it should add some more explanation, such as “The interbank echange rate is not a mid market rate, but rather a spread of buy and sell rates closely around the mid market rate”.
I remember I got initially confused myself thinking these are the mid market rates, then realised this is too good to be true without any fee…
One final point: should list all the currencies explicitly in a table with the markup percentages next to it. Saying “major” or “illiquid” is not good enough for everyone.
Revolut uses at least 3 (three) different expressions for their fx rate (see my post above), all which are otherwise synonymous (see links in my post above), but in fact I take it Revolut means something a little different …
I’ve only looked at Revolut yesterday for the first time, and I already feel there is a bit too much effort to skew/conceal information (especially when contrasted with the “challenger” status).
All this info is good to know as I never knew there were extra weekend fees.
Fully agree with @SamK
Their text could be written to be more clear and transparent.
Yes, but the whole problem is not limited to Revolut. There is no “real” rate. One can argue that mid-market rates are less “real” because they do not reflect the currency market technically.
To break it down a little bit: interbank means that theses are the rates banks use if they exchange currencies between them. These rates are made by market makers. They reflect bids and offers, like on the stock market. There will be a spread between buying and selling currencies. The spread is the dealer’s income. Just like with buying and selling stocks. They are “real”, because they are live wholesale trading rates. Keep in mind that there are different market makers. Just like stock prices can vary between markets, interbank exchange rates can vary depending on the market maker or rate provider. There is not one single interbank rate. There will be more than one real rate. Like you get different real prices for gas at different gas stations.
Spot rate means that it is a live rate. Both bid and offer rates fluctuate when markets are open. So a spot rate is a rate “on the spot”, a live rate at a given moment.
Mid-market rates are rates that combine the bid and offer rate into one. It is simply the mid-point between bid and offer.
There we have it: Transferwise uses mid-market rates, and they are “spot” rates. Like the ones you see on Google. Traditional credit card companies use mid-market rates that aren’t spot rates. They calculate a rate for every day in retrospect.
So yes, I would argue “interbank spot” is as “real” as one can get here. Since mid-market is already a mathematical construct of the prices at wholesale currency markets.
Where did you get that sh!tty rate from?
As a test just now I got 1.14 from revolut, I’ve used travelex in the past and they quoted me 1.132…
PS uk based so this is the Queen’s £s to avoid any confusion
Could have been weekend?
Having bit the bullet and used Revolut for a while now, I have to say that it’s been great and very useful. Some of the criticism I laid out in this thread still stands (not 100% upfront about fees, poor app security with only a 4 digit code, etc), but I’m fairly happy with the service and I also got better rates than Transferwise during the week; the example I showed in this thread was during the weekend. I also got others from across Europe to create an account and it was a snap, they were impressed. Helped me on a couple of occasions already.
You got my vote, well done. Please keep it up! I’m now considering a Premium account since I’ll have larger cash flow.
P.S. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE implement proper security! Take a hint from TransferWise and use a transparent 2FA without Google Authenticator. Don’t leave our funds at the hands of a 4 digit code than any attacker can see (and that’s probably used in a myriad of other places).
I edited the first post to add this info since it’s only fair.
… and I’m now a Premium customer. There you go, quite a departure from the first post.
I agree that 2FA could be improved. But Revolut not only relies on the passcode. Installation of the app on a new device and some transactions (like adding an new recipient for outgoing transfers) also need access to a mobile phone number used to set up the account.
The login security has nothing to do with the installation. It’s rather perplexing that Revolut leaves all funds at the mercy of a 4-digit code. Needing a phone number afterwards is irrelevant if the attacker has your phone. Very poor design here.
Well. True. But as long as someone getting ahold of your app PIN can’t hijack your account or pay money out to an account in his name, where is the risk?
Someone would also have to get ahold of your phone.
as long as someone getting ahold of your app PIN can’t hijack your account or pay money out to an account in his name, where is the risk?
Oh dear … the above naive undersatnding of security is what leads to easy theft. There is a reason why most banks and eMoney institutions use strong passwords, pins and 2FA (Revolut is a fairly shocking counterexample). You should read about Kevin Mitnick, or the many breaches and thefts performed by folks who obtained only basic account information, e.g. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7174760.stm
Someone would also have to get ahold of your phone.
That’s why apps allowing money transfers on phones (paypal, transferwise, bank mobile clients, etc) have better security than Revolut …
Well. I am aware of this. Like I started my response to your initial post – I agree that security should be improved. I was merely mentioning that Revolut does use 2FA in some circumstances – a weak one, because the same device is used for 2FA and the app – in case you weren’t aware of this.