I’m really sick of crazy high bank’s commissions for cash withdrawal or foreign exchange spreads applied by my bank when paying with a credit card abroad. I started to search for other solutions and finally, I found the best way to pay abroad. Read on to know more.
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How Did It Start
This summer I took my kids to Germany where we visited Legoland Deutschland and Gamescom 2019 – world’s biggest games fair trades. Usually, I take some cash in the local currency but, as you can guess, not this time… I thought that I will just pay with my credit card, but in some parts of Germany, in some small towns credit card is not an obvious mean of payment.
That’s why I had to withdraw some cash from ATM. Well, I didn’t realize it will cost me so much. I paid a couple of Euros for the bank commission. I was pretty angry with that. On top of that, I was not happy with the exchange rates on my credit card for a long time. As I’m traveling a lot, these small amounts are becoming bigger and bigger and in the whole year it sums up to even hundreds of Euros loss… That was it – I had to start looking for the best way to pay abroad.
Is Currency Bank Account the Best Way to Pay Abroad?
My first idea was to run the current bank account. First I had to find the bank which is offering this service as my bank did not support this type of account. Next, I had to start also the local currency account to have a currency account. That was annoying as I already have my bank account and I didn’t want to start a new one. Well, finally I opened the currency account in EUR.
That was a good start. But in the end, that was covering just Europe. As I’m traveling a lot around the world, an account in EUR was not the best way to pay abroad for me. On top of that, they charged me with some small amounts each month for running this account.
First Encounter With Revolut
As I couldn’t find anything better, I was happy with my currency bank account and I kept on paying abroad with my credit card even though I had to pay some extra amounts because of my bank exchange rates.
Somebody could say that I’m talking nonsense as I could take with me cash. Well, believe me, or not, but I hate cash. Traveling each year to more than 10 countries around the world brought me to a big basket with a mix of coins and notes from different countries. It was the time when I came to the point where I said that I’m not going to sort it, exchange it and handle that stuff ever again.
Soon after I came across the article about the fastest growing FinTech in Europe – Revolut. This company, launched in July 2015 has more than 7 million customers around the world and transaction volume on the level of 8 billion dollars monthly and employs 1350 people globally. That made me really curious.
How Does Paying With Revolut Work?
First of all, Revolut is not a bank. It is an “Electronic Money Institution”. Even though it’s not a bank (anyway, for me no difference – I just don’t trust banks anyway 🙂 ), Revolut Ltd is authorized in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011, Firm Reference 900562.
Second thing, Revolut is a prepaid card and app which you can use to pay with no fees in over 150 countries using a contactless MasterCard or Visa. On top of that, even in the lowest plan, you can withdraw £200 in cash per month with no commissions from international ATM (2% fee thereafter). Additionally, on the same account, you can hold, exchange and transfer cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple & Bitcoin Cash). So far I didn’t try it but it’s becoming more and more popular so why not to try. We will see.
As it has been said, the best thing is that Revolut supports card payments and ATM withdrawals in over 140 currencies wherever Mastercard and Visa are accepted. That’s really great being in Romania, China or Brazil and not care about exchange rates and fees. I just pay.
The Revolut App
Ok, so let me give you some hints on how to sign up to Revolut:
- Use this link to download and register in the Revolut app.
- Next, you have to set up your account. The app will ask you for some personal details. Additionally, you will be asked to take a selfie to confirm your identity.
- Then, you can order your physical card to be able to use it similar to your credit cards.
Next, you will be able to choose between three plans: Standard, Premium, and Metal.
- The Standard plan offers support of all 140 currencies and withdrawals up to £200 per month with no commissions from international ATM.
- The Premium plan offers personalized card designs, overseas medical insurance, £400 monthly ATM withdrawal for free and unlimited FX transfers.
- The Metal plan brings you an exclusive metal card, up to 1% cashback, £600 monthly ATM withdrawal for free, and some more cool features.
Ok, now you have your Revolut app and the card is on the way. After a couple of days you should have it and to activate it use your app and then do the first transaction using your PIN code. And that’s it – you are now one of the Revolut users.
Paying With Revolut Abroad
In order to make your first purchases, you have to transfer money to your Revolut account. You have several ways to transfer money to your account like bank transfer, Google Pay, Apple Pay or credit card. I do it with my credit card – anywhere in the world I just input the amount I need in the Revolut app at that moment and a couple of seconds later I see funds in my Revolut account.
You transfer the money in your local currency. Then, whenever you use the Revolut card it’s being exchanged using interbank rate Monday-Friday. When you pay abroad at the weekend, Revolut charges a small markup fee. This is how they are covering themselves against any changes in the currency market over the weekend when it’s closed.
Is Revolut the Best Way to Pay Abroad?
Answering the question from the header, I must say that in my opinion – yes. Currently, Revolut is the best way to pay abroad for me. Mainly because:
- It covers 140 currencies
- It has great app linked with the physical card
- Easy money transfers from and to the Revolut account
- No fees for paying abroad and applying the interbank rate
- Easy money transfers with your friends (for example: splitting the bill)
Thanks for reading and enjoy paying abroad with your Revolut card.
Featured image source: pixabay.com