I am looking for the best card for my use in the close future. I live in the UK and I will be working for an english company called Eurocamp. I will be working in France this april coming till about September/October. After that I am planning on backpacking around Europe and visiting my family in Poland. I’ve done quite a bit of research and all major banks are rubish, because they charge you for all transactions at crazy rates and also want you to pay them for the possibility to pay it out at a lower rate…BS.
Any ways, I see there are plenty of people from all around the world, so my question is:
Does Revolut co-exist with my bank and it just gives me the opportunity to pay out my money and use my direct debit card without high fees?
Maybe someone here could give me advice on what would be the best to do in my situation. I am not tied up to England so that means that England may just be a stop on my journey through life…I’m looking for a bank card/bank that would be suitable for people travelling and working mainly in the Euro zone.
Sorry, I realize that my post may be “all over the place” I hope someone will be able to give me meaningful advice.
I see five primary use cases for international travelers. Just be aware that every card has the potential of not working at any moment. You must have multiple methods of payment and in Revolut’s case, multiple methods of “top-ups”. It is common to have a failure on any card especially when traveling internationally. Be aware that prepaid cards, such as Revolut, are occasionally not accepted. Furthermore, card support may be unavailable at the time of need. Absolutely have multiple backups.
Currency exchange. Revolut is the king of currency exchange when exchange markets are open. Their weekend rate is still best but can be close to some other methods.
ATM withdrawals in a foreign currency. Revolut offers free ATM withdrawals at interbank rates up to around a maximum of 200 GBP. Afterwards you are charged 2%. 2% may or may not be an issue depending on your situation. I use N26 Bank’s Black Card for foreign ATM withdrawals. It’s a standard debit card that has a high limit and offers reimbursement of ATM fees. The Black Card cost 6 Euros/month. Their basic card is free but ATM withdrawals cost 1.7%. Even 1.7% shouldn’t be an issue for most people and with N26 you’re never paying any bank fees.
USA to Euro/GBP money transfers. Revolut in conjunction with my Capital One 360 (USA) bank account (via Apple Pay) offers a can’t-be-beat method of transferring money from USA to Euros/GBP. I let Capital One’s Mastercard (via Apply Pay) do the currency exchange, not Revolut’s method, often at incredibly great rates. I move USD into Revolut and then into my Euro accounts.
Day-to-day payments. For non-foreign currency exchange payments (like hotels, restaurant bills), use the card that offers you the most value. This might be a card that gives you a discount, a percentage back, airline miles, etc. Cards such as these are more common in USA.
Payments requiring foreign currency. For payments in foreign currency, you could use your normal credit card or Revolut, N26, Capital One. Mastercard foreign exchange rates are almost always somewhat better than Visa. Still, it’s very situational.
Thank you for your extensive response, thank you for taking the time do do so.
I have my bank account in Lloyds TSB (UK) but to be honest there is nothing there that is absolutely keeping me there, so I would not mind switching accounts. I do plan on visiting Halifax in person to speak with someone about switching accounts, but that’s in my hands, however you mentioned N26 bank: How do you find there service? Is opening an account easy? Are there any secret fees? I do plan on working with Eurocamp for possibly a few seasons, so I will be keeping a UK bank account open, just trying to find the best one. Also, because I still receive my salary in my Lloyds account: would I need to completely close my lloyds account while opening the N26 one, or if I just give me current employer my new bank details the salary will be paid in there without any issues?
If you could give me some advice I would very much apreciate it.
N26 Bank is a startup which has stumbled badly with customer service. Fortunately, it has never adversely affected me. Banking has proceeded perfectly well. I didn’t answer receive simple answers to simple questions for weeks . That said, I’m sure it’s a temporary problem. Come to think of it, I also received really bad service from French banks too. The American banking service is so much better. Opening an account is easy. There’s an identity verification process which took some time. It’s done live on the phone. Interesting actually. There are no secret fees.
The only advice is to do what you’re doing. Get a (free) account at N26, get a cheap account in the UK or France, have another free backup like Revolut.
I need an English account as the company I will be working for is UK based,
I had a look at n26 and apparently I need a German address. Thank you for
the time and effort you have put into replying. The best thing I could
hope for is a UK based account that has a good euro current account as
well. I see that most of the option I found are cards that are seperate
from your account, so called “prepaid”… I am awaiting for a few responses
from a few banks and am going to Halifax on Wednesday… Hopefully i will
figure something out soon…
You can open an N26 account in most countries of the EU. France opened up two months ago. Try again when you get your French address as you wish.
I’m sorry for the delayed response. My employer is based in the UK and I need a uk account, not a french one. And I looked and n26 is not opened in the UK yet so that is a problem. But hey- I’ll figure something out