TransferWise vs. Revolut: A Swiss perspective

Good that you’re having a good experience, but I’ve been both stolen from and scammed by revolut. I had money being charged from my account, and the charge showing as being from online merchants when in fact was from revolut by mistake they say. Then I had also a situation with a ghost physical card that after all never even existed. No wonder I didn’t receive it…

Probably more incompetence than malice, but you better be vigilant. These kinds of issues really need to stop happening

At a risk of this being slightly off topic;
I’m sorry to hear that, were these issues resolved? I hope so, Were they explained and communicated properly? Was this early on in Revolut’s service or recently? Do you continue to use Revolut after this? If so, why?

All services may and probably do have issues similar to this, even traditional banks do, but we have a forum to voice the issues and concerns here making it more visible so it appears more unreliable or more common than traditional bank issues.

I really hope your issues were sorted out and apologised for where necessary, I wouldn’t like it either if what you described happened to me.

The money that was taken was fortunately refunded, but not without first revolut insisting I talked to the merchant who supposedly had made the charge and of course didn’t know anything about it. I also had to wait about 5 days from first identifying the problem and contacting revolut until I was refunded.

As for the card I never got any refund for the express delivery or explanation for what happened with them sending the card to the wrong address, however I’m willing to let it slide as it is an infinitely lower amount than the issue above

These issues both occurred last month, and I do still use Revolut as I’ve already invested a bit of money in cards and premium plan and I believe the issues don’t occur due to malice but rather incompetence, though I’ll bail if stuff like this happens again

Hey guys,
I’ve read somewhere that TW offers full debit card unlike Revolut, I’m owner of both cards but couldn’t see any difference between these 2 cards, I tryed to find an answer on this forum or internet but nothing clear to me… Please could someone explain me what it really means?
Thank you in advance

Usually a prepaid card like revolut’s is not accepted to warranty things, like when renting a car or pumping petrol.

Besides some legal differences about how they are related to bank accounts, the main practical difference is that Debit cards have a different service code configuration to allow offline verification. They cary a separate offline limit, often something around 100 bucks, that is basically a credit. When there is no online connection, a payment is “drawn” from that credit and then settled the next time the card goes online.

Technically, a card with the same “Debit” style service code configuration but an offline limit of “0” is possible. This card would behave like a prepaid online only card, but would have higher acceptance in cases where merchants decline prepaid cards out of principle. There is no real reason why a car rental should not accept a prepaid card when it carries sufficient funds to block a security deposit.


Hey @Frank,
Thanks for great explanation. So do we know if Revolut put this limit to “0” (like TW in fact, because it’s also not possible to take fuel at “offline” pump for ex.) or if it’s definitely not a real Debit card?
But anyway, the answer is not that important finally…Fingers crossed for some change about this restriction one day…


Unfortunately, no. I haven’t seen a post anywhere about the UCOL/LCOL configuration.

Also: when I checked my TW card a while ago, BIN databases reported “issued in Spain”. That changed to “United Kingdom” now. Makes more sense.

actually I use both services. as revolut is not set up to receive CHF IBAN transfers atm, I use TW as a bridge between my swiss bank account and Revo.

I transfer CHF from swiss bank to chf account of TW for free. I send money and exchange it to EUR so I can fund my personel IBAN EUR Revo account for free. only charges is a small fee by TW. and very transparent!

I sent it in the morning and received it in the evening in my Revo account.

Because Revo has really good rates, if I has changed it back to CHF, I would have only lost the TW fee.

So really fast, cheap and nice feeling of both apps.

I just discovered TWs mastercard, maybe have a look at it but atm I prefer Revo

Ps: for comparison, other solution would be to send EUR from my swiss bank account for free (SEPA), but they have really bad exchange rates compared to TW or Revo. With EUR 100.- I loose about CHF 2-3.-

Or use the TW card to top-up your Revo CHF account directly without any fees:

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yes I use the TW card to top-up now.

It works very fast and without transfer costs! like I have no costs to top-up TW, no costs to transfer it via TW card to Revo account through top-up function in Revo app (because its a GB registered card) and no exchange.

ps: I use this for CHF top-ups

Comparing their support.
I have sent on Sunday to both pooled CH IBANs an amount of money without using the reference number.

I have contact them via the online app and on Tuesday. I got their response 5 minutes later and the issue was fixed aproximately in 15 minutes… It is worth to mention that this happened during non-working hours.

There are three options to contact them:

  • Online chat: The service was down.
  • Phone call: I didnt try. There is no swiss number and for non-working hours the only options available are overseas.
  • Send them email via their platform. Sending option was stacking and when it finaly worked I got the response that they are going to be back to me via email in 2-4 busness days…

Not any new from them untill now (Thursday)… I dont want to believe that I have lost my money… but the support matters… and I dont think that Transferwise has… Given the fact that the app and the currencies are almost the same… (security options for Revolut looks better) I highly recommend Revolut and I highly do not recommend TransferWise…


An update regarding this just to be 100% fair… I got today (Thursday…) a reply via email from Transferwise support and a verification that the amount has already been returned to the sender on Wensday.


User of both TW and Revolut. Like them both and use them both.

TW mainly for money transfer
Revolut for shopping

What I like about TW and not about Revolut is how the process of money transfer works. In the first case you see upfront the exact amounts you’ll be charged (if any). With Revolut I have no clue. It’s always the statement that money might me charged by anyone else but Revolut. Not very assuring.

So I end up transferring money with TW even if there is a small fee. I also have a physical Mastercard. And for all the shopping stuff I use Revolut. With physical Mastercard as well but also Apple Pay.

For both the main source account is the same (a real bank).

Another thing with Revolut is that I can top up via Apple Pay and instantly. So I top up in the same currency as my bank and fees are zero. And than I spend with Apple Pay. So this is just great for me.

Topping up for TW is via bank transfer with zero fees as well and in the same day.

That’s my experience. To sum up: bank transfer goes to TW (because of transparency), shopping goes to Revolut (because of Apple Pay and better analytics)


Should this be updated now that Revolut has a Swiss IBAN? I’ve joined the game late, but never experienced any top-up fees, so looks like this has been resolved.

This was still true for more than a half year after posting. (local account was available around christmas 2018)

you are right, this information is not up to date anymore.

Been a user of transferwise since 2016 and very happy with them. I use them as my main account for international transfers. Never had any issues and now with their card and borderless accounts can’t beat them for large transfers.

Revolut for daily spending etc.

Each one has their purpose in the market.

and what is wrong with transferwise for daily spending?

Nothing wrong with it. I just prefer to have the transactional detail and instant alerts of spending etc with Revolut and similar cards. Prefer to keep transferwise for what they were first designed for.

Transaction details and notifications are available with TransferWise also.

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