Payment and banking apps often referred to as neobanks, are the future of spending, transferring money, and maintaining funds in a bank account.
Established in 2015 in London, Revolut, is one of the most popular options. Revolut has over 20 million retail customers and more than 500,000 business customers.
A key driver of their success is the ease by which you can open a Revolut account. Here, we walk through the steps of opening a Revolut account and what features you can expect from one.
Keep in mind the information below is for Revolut Personal accounts in the UK. Revolut operates in other countries - like the EU, the US, and Singapore - where features and terms, and conditions may differ.
If you are interested in Revolut personal accounts in a specific country that is not the UK, check Revolut’s website in that country for more information. And If you're interested in opening a Revolut Business account, you can check this article.
What is Revolut?
Revolut is a fintech company offering access to a full range of payment and banking services to individuals and businesses.
What sets Revolut apart from a traditional bank is that it provides services via a mobile app and online only. There are no physical branches customers can visit.
Revolut has also built its reputation on competitive pricing and a commitment to avoid hidden fees.
They are a favorite among frequent travelers as the exchange rate Revolut uses on payment cards is low, helping travelers to minimize costs while overseas.
How does Revolut work?
The Revolut app offers a host of features you will be familiar with, assuming you already use a digital service provided by a traditional bank, like a banking app.
Revolut aims to provide an easy and enjoyable app experience. With the Revolut app, you can:
- Receive and send payments locally and internationally in 28 currencies, making it ideal for people who travel regularly
- Access a pre-paid debit card that can be used for purchases and ATM withdrawals anywhere in the world
- Receive your salary
- Trade stocks.
The Revolut app has popular features that give you more freedom and peace of mind when it comes to managing your money. These include:
- Vaults designed for saving money and reaching financial goals
- Overseas medical insurance and insurance for mobile phones
- Notifications when receiving payments
- Tracking your spending with end-of-month breakdowns
- No monthly charges for the standard account option
- Currency exchange in 30+ currencies without fees Monday to Friday
- A digital wallet to buy, sell and transfer cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and many others
- Airport Lounge access depending on the plans you're choosing
What services and options does Revolut offer to Individuals?
Revolut offers a range of accounts for personal use [*].
We'll break each Revolut account down for you so you can decide which could be your opening Revolut account.
1- The Personal Standard account
The Personal Standard account does not charge a monthly fee (it's free) and enables you to:
- Get a prepaid debit card that can be used wherever Mastercard and Visa are accepted in over 140 different currencies, with no fees up to a certain limit
- Make international money transfers
- Make payments to other Revolut account holders
- Create savings vaults for different categories and earn interest
- Set spending limits and budget your money
- Exchange currency in 30+ currencies with no fee up to a certain limit, including cryptocurrency
- Create 1 free account for a child under 18
- Basic option on the Protection Insurance.
All of these features and more are available with the Plus, Premium, and Metal accounts below.
2- The Personal Plus account
The Personal Plus account costs £2.99/mth and includes items like:
- Your first two prepaid debit cards are free, with one free replacement every subsequent year
- Personalize payment cards, subject to card stock availability and some fees may apply
- A free account for up to 2 children under 18
- Higher savings interest rates
- More options on the Protection Insurance.
3- The Personal Premium account
The Personal Premium account costs £6.99/mth and includes items like:
- Card express delivery
- Higher ATM limits
- A 20% discount on the fee for any international payments
- Unlimited currency exchange in 30+ currencies
- Overseas medical insurance
- Delayed baggage and flight insurance
- Higher savings interest rates
- Some travel benefits, including up to 5% on cashback for stays booking
- Free lounge access for you and 1 friend.
4- The Personal Metal account
The Personal Metal account costs £12.99/mth and includes all of the above benefits plus:
- Even higher ATM limits
- 40% discount on the fee for any international payments
- Free account for up to 5 children
- Car hire excess protection
- Higher cashback for stays booking, up to 10%
- Free lounge access with you and 3 friends.
A word on the Revolut card
As a customer, you can use Revolut anywhere in the world, and withdraw cash in over 140 different currencies [*].
However, the prepaid debit card cannot be used for:
- Financial securities brokers and dealers
- Foreign exchange bureaus (including Travelex ATMs).
Eligibility requirements for personal accounts
Based on the information available on their website, Revolut personal accounts can be currently opened by legal residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, and the United States.
We advise you to check the website for more information.
The EEA includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
How to open a Revolut personal account
Opening a Revolut personal account is simple and takes a matter of minutes.
Download the Revolut app and enter your phone number.
Tips: it's best to have a UK phone number, but Revolut App offers the option to open with other countries' phone numbers.
You will be sent a password and a 6-digit code to verify the Revolut account. It will ask you for to choose your country of residence, enter your first and last name, define your @revtag, and enter your birth date, address, and email.
Note: you can customize your revtag, however, each Revolut revtag must be unique, so if you use your name+lastname combination, sometimes it may not be available.
Once that is done, you will be asked to make an initial deposit. Enter your bank details to make the transfer, and then provide a selfie and a picture of your passport for verification.
You’ll then be asked to select a standard, premium, or metal account and pay the relevant fee. The standard account is free. We dive into the features of each Revolut account below.
Is Revolut safe?
Revolut is not a bank, and therefore does not need to adhere to the regulations banks must comply with. It is however regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an electronic money institution providing financial services.
To comply with these regulations, Revolut is obliged to protect customers. Revolut says on its website: “Funds with Revolut remain safeguarded in accounts with a tier-one UK bank, as per our obligations under the electronic money regulations".
Revolut partners with traditional banks that hold customers’ funds on Revolut’s behalf in actual bank accounts. If Revolut became insolvent, then funds credited to its accounts would be returned to you and other Revolut users before Revolut pays out its other creditors.
Also, all of your card transactions are processed by the Mastercard or Visa network and are protected by Mastercard or Visa rules.
A few things worth noting
As Revolut accounts are electronic money accounts instead of bank accounts, your deposits are not guaranteed under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
As with any app or website, watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams are designed to obtain your personal information to get access to your account. Remember, Revolut will only communicate with you through their online chat feature. They will not email you or offer support through social media or any other means.
Watch out for anyone calling you who says they are from customer support or another bank and are asking you for personal details or to withdraw money.
If you have any concerns, contact Revolut for more information.
After considering all the features Revolut has to offer and learning about the application process, it is time to make a decision on whether to become one of the Revolut customers.
Is Revolut a bank?
Revolut holds multiple banking licenses, however it is not yet a full bank.
Can I open a Revolut personal account online?