Live abroad

Revolut: One app, all things money. Why I use it and why you should use it, too.

Joanna Horanin

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I have been a faithful user of Revolut for a long, long time. How long? I have no idea. I think I must have gotten it when it first came out. In this post I will tell you why I use Revolut, how I use it and why you should download it, too.

Revolut has changed my life. It made things easier for me. When I was travelling and working, with no permanent address, their card came to my rescue. I can now be location independent, I can move nearly anywhere and still have unlimited access to my money.

If you’re looking for a banking app that will make your life easier, help you on the road, allow you to manage your money on the go, then this solution is for you. Check out why I love Revolut and what problems it has solved for me.

What’s Revolut and who is it for?

Revolut is an online banking account. They don’t have any branches and it’s all done online. You can do your banking on the go, in one app. It gives you a lot of freedom and flexibility when travelling or living abroad (of course not only, you can use it in your home country, too).

This app is for digital nomads, expats, people who travel abroad a lot, but also for those who don’t like to queue in a bank and want to share costs of a dinner with their friends without having to divide cash.

Features of a Revolut account

Revolut has a lot of cool features, which are helpful in everyday life. Here are the main ones.

Different currencies in one app

When you open your account, you can choose your main currency, according to your place of living, or the currency you are earning in. Then, you can choose other currencies. Your main account has the account numbers of your country and the other accounts have IBAN and BIC associated to those accounts and currencies.

For example, my main currency is the British Pound because my permanent address is a UK address. Except that, I have a Euro account, a Thai Bhat account and Polish Złotych account.

When I do business with a company that operates with Bhat, I give them the account numbers of my Thai currency account and get the money there. This reduces the costs of the bank transfers for the customer.

On top of it all, you can exchange the money within the app.
You can easily change Pounds into Złotych and then pay with your card in Poland without extra costs.

Quick transfers

It’s possible to transfer money from one Revolut account to another within seconds without fees. All of my teachers have Revolut accounts and I can pay them for their services at any time and they don’t need to wait for the money. The transfers arrive very quickly.

If your friends have Revolut and you go out for a dinner together, one of you can pay for the bill and then you can split it between everyone in the app.

International and domestic transfers to people and businesses that don’t have Revolut is easy, too. All you need is the account number and the address.

Cards

Order whatever number of cards you need. I always have at least 2. They come in great colours and look very stylish.
In the app, there are virtual cards as well, which you can use to pay online. Once paid, they disappear and new details appear again.

You can order your card to whatever address you want. My boyfriend once forgot his card from home when we went to Thailand. He contacted Revolut and they sent him a new one to his hotel in Chiang Mai.

Stocks

If you are interested in playing on the stock exchange, then Revolut makes it very easy. Buy and sell stocks in the app, check the trends and portfolios of other users.

Vaults – Saving accounts

Vaults are the same as piggy banks. You can open a couple of them to save for different things.

A cool feature is that you can set it up so any spare change from paying with your card goes to a vault.
For example, if I go shopping and pay 3.50 Euros for something, then those 50 cents that are left to make up 4 Euros, go to a chosen vault.
My boyfriend and I share the same vault and during the last couple of months we managed to collect over 500 Euros, which we’ll spend on our holidays.

In some countries vaults are like saving accounts and you can earn a little if you keep your money there.

Helpdesk

If you have a question, or you need to speak to someone, you can chat online to a live person. They used to be quite slow with answering, but now it’s very fast and they are really helpful.

Other perks

Revolut has other fun perks like:

  • Travel insurance – you can buy it separately or get an upgrade on your account to have it included.
  • Pet insurance – some countries offer very good deals on pet insurance.
  • Discounts and cash backs – in some countries you get cash back or discounts when paying with Revolut at shops like Nike, Adidas or Asos.
  • Lounges – you can get special rates on lounges at airports around the world.

But, what’s not so good about Revolut?

I really love Revolut and I can’t recommend it enough. However, there are some disadvantages of using it.

Exchange rates

Revolut exchange rates used to be very good, but now, they are getting a little bit more expensive. Depending on the currency and the country, it might be worth not exchanging the money and just taking it out of the ATM.

A risk of having your account closed

If you use your personal (not business) Revolut for doing business with your customers, then there is a risk that your account will be frozen.
Revolut tries to avoid money laundering and any larger amounts look suspicious to them. If your account is frozen, you’ll be asked to provide tax documents.
If you need to do money transfers for your goods and services, it’s best to open a business account with Revolut.

Insurance

Once my boyfriend was bitten by a monkey in Thailand. The only insurance he had was the one with Revolut. Unfortunately, it turned out to be really hard to claim the money back. The insurance company that Revolut uses was very unhelpful. He ended up paying for treatments himself.

Please note that this was a couple of years ago. Since then we haven’t used insurance with Revolut and don’t really know if they improved. If in any doubt, use one of the travel insurance policies I recommend in my other blog post.

How do I use Revolut?

I basically transferred most of my transactions from Natwest to Revolut. I find that traditional banks are way behind modern solutions. When you are an expat or a digital nomads, companies such as Revolut are the best ones to use for banking.

I use Revolut for my personal expenses and transactions. I pay myself a salary every month to that account. I split bills with my boyfriend and other people who use Revolut. I have a couple of vaults, where I save money for holidays and I have my ‘rainy day fund’ there, too.

I don’t use it for my business though. All business transactions are done in my Revolut Business Account.

Why I love Revolut?

The reason why I started using Revolut was that they really didn’t care where I was. Until that moment I had had to use Natwest. Don’t get me wrong, I think Natwest has good customer service and is a decent bank, but I always had to explain myself where I was and why my mobile phone wasn’t working. Once they blocked my account because I had changed my phone number on my account from a UK one to a Portuguese number.

With Revolut I don’t need to worry about these things. I can save money, transfer it, order a card, even if I’m in Thailand. I can also contact them when I need to and don’t waste time on waiting for someone to pick up the call.

A huge plus for me is an easiness of bank transfers and the fact that I don’t need to use cash in many cases (although, I do quite often because in Portugal a lot of small shops still use cash).

It’s an app that’s easy to use and gives me freedom and flexibility I need.

Open your Revolut account now in minutes. It’s easy and really hustle-free. I’m sure that you will love it as much as I do.