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Neon vs Revolut

Neon vs. Revolut

Aug 12, 2022
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Neon vs. Revolut: Who offers the best options for Swiss customers? 🇨🇭 Who offers better deals for traveling? The better card? What about the best way to manage your money digitally? Who offers the most options to add to your account's balance and the lowest fees or best exchange rates to use it at home or around the world? Check out our side-by-side comparison of Neon vs. Revolut offerings for Swiss customers, and the pros and cons of each company.

Neon vs. Revolut: A Comparison for Switzerland

Neon vs. Revolut: Plans & Fees

Neon and Revolut are two app-based services available to users in Switzerland. Both services provide generous features in their free plans, but the exact features vary greatly between the two providers for Swiss users. Neither account charges for basic banking features, although you will pay fees in other ways. Note that fees for both services along with all information shared here are specifically for Switzerland. 🇨🇭

Plans & Fees

Neon vs. Revolut Plans & Fees

Neon

Revolut

Plan Name

No plan name

Standard

Monthly Fees

CHF 0

CHF 0

Comission on Card Transactions in a Foreign Currency

None

0% on the first CHF 1000 per month on weekdays, 0.5-1.5% on weekends and beyond the first CHF 1000. This foreign exchange allowance applies to all Revolut transactions

International Money Transfers

Starting at 0.75% (TransferWise's transparent fee + 0.4%)

One free cross-border transfer a month, 0.5% for further transfers. Free to other Revolut users. The CHF 1000 foreign exchange allowance applies.

ATM Withdrawals

2 free withdrawals a month in Switzerland, CHF 2 per withdrawal thereafter. Unlimited Sonect withdrawals. CHF 5 for withdrawals in EUR at a Postomat in Switzerland. 1.5% of the sum for withdrawals abroad

Free up to CHF 200 a month, 2% afterwards. The CHF 1000 foreign exchange allowance and weekend exchange fees apply on top of that for withdrawals in currencies you do not have a balance in.

Card Delivery Fee

CHF 10

CHF 5.99

Card Delivery Speed

1 week

Up to 9 working days

Open an Account

Try Neon

Try Revolut

Neon vs. Revolut: Who has the better free banking plan? Neon 🏆 

Overall Banking Service: Neon

What’s important to keep in mind when comparing Neon and Revolut for banking services is that Revolut functions more as a prepaid, multi-currency card rather than a full bank account, whereas Neon is a Swiss bank 🇨🇭 that will give you all the benefits of having a fully-functioning Swiss bank account. Neon partners with Hypothekarbank Lenzburg and is regulated by the FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. This gives Neon the license to function as a bank and also ensures that deposits up to CHF 100,000 are protected by the government. Revolut has no such deposit protection in place and is not licensed to function as a bank at this time. 

Banking Perks: Neon

As Neon is a recognized bank, they provide you various perks that can help you build your portfolio and plan for the future through exciting partnerships with Swiss fintech peers who provide a variety of different services such as sustainable, impact investment with  Yova, and retirement planning with SELMA. This is a big plus over Revolut

Using Your Debit Card Overseas: Neon! 

Up until Revolut announced fee hikes effective August 2020, it was widely accepted that Revolut had a really good travel money card that was often the best to travel around with, especially in Europe. Once Revolut’s new fees kick in, that will no longer be the case. Neon meanwhile has recently improved their fees.

Here’s what a week of travel of travel looks like, with a Neon card vs. a Revolut card:

Neon fees to use the card abroad

Neon for the win! 

ATM Withdrawals: Neon

Revolut offers a better deal if you’re making multiple withdrawals that add up to less than the equivalent of CHF 200, as withdrawals are free up until that limit, then cost 2%. Neon meanwhile allows two free withdrawals a month in Switzerland, then 2 CHF per withdrawal. Abroad, withdrawals cost you a 1.5% fee. Neon also allows unlimited free withdrawals with Sonect at any participating establishment, in Switzerland or abroad. Overall, it depends on your needs, but Neon offers more and cumulatively better options for ATM withdrawals

Getting a Debit Card: Revolut

Although Revolut normally charges CHF 5.99  to deliver a debit card to you, if you sign up through Monito, they will send you the card for free – you can choose its PIN in the app as you order it. Neon charges you CHF 10 to send you a debit card if you do not have a referral from a friend, and they will send you its PIN in a different envelope. Revolut charges CHF 5.99 to ship you a replacement card, while Neon charges you CHF 20. Revolut also has an ace up its sleeve: you get a free virtual card, which you can use online and with mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay without having to wait for the delivery of a physical card!

International Money Transfers: Neon

Since teaming up with Wise, Neon is the big winner for making international money transfers from Switzerland. Not only do you get to transfer from your own personal Swiss IBAN, but you get to do so with full Wise integration and fees starting at 0.8% (the transparent Wise fee + a 0.4% fee from Neon). Revolut recently announced a hike in foreign exchange fees, and so, is the more expensive option with fees going up to 1.5% when sending money to European countries or 2.5% when making transfers into less frequently traded currencies. Neon is consequently our winner!

Neon vs. Revolut: Who has the better card? Revolut 🏆

If you’re weighing your options and looking at Neon and Revolut because you want to add a new, internationally-friendly card to your wallet and don’t necessarily want an account to store money in, then the criteria changes a bit. Neon offers better fees when spending abroad, but Revolut has card features – including a virtual card and the ability to block your card without having to make a phone call – that put it ahead in our book.

Let's take a look...

Card Features

Card Features

Neon

Revolut

Card model and design

Neon pink debit Mastercard

Pink and purple gradient debit Mastercard, Maestro or Visa, depending on availability.

Contactless

Yes

Yes

3D Secure

Yes

No

Apple Pay

No (But they're working on it)

Yes

Google Pay

No (But they're working on it)

Yes

Samsung Pay

Yes

Yes

Twint

Yes

No

Virtual Card

No

Yes, one free, CHF 5.99 by additional card.

In-app card number

No

Yes

Neon and Revolut have completely different approaches to banking. Neon is a fully-accredited Swiss bank thanks to its partnership with Hypothekarbank Lenzburg. It doesn’t always have the most advanced features in its app, but it is the only digital bank of its kind in Switzerland and is continually being updated. Revolut meanwhile boasts of being “better than your bank”: it has one of the most advanced and intuitive money apps available and gives you many freedoms through its different account levels that a brick and mortar bank does not. It is however, not a bank. 

Overall Winner for Account Experience: Neon 🏆

The User Experience: Revolut 

At this current time, Revolut has a slight edge over Neon in its user experience. Its app is more developed, more intuitive, and gives you more options. You can make payments, transfers, and you can hold money in your account in different currencies (something that can be quite practical for a Swiss resident from abroad). Its notifications are more sophisticated, and it also allows you to block your card if you lose your wallet, directly from the app itself. 

With Neon at this time, you need to make a phone call to block your card, sometimes need to make video calls to verify your account, and notifications are not yet integrated into the app: instead you receive an SMS every time you make a transaction. While direct human interaction is a sign of Neon’s more secure qualities, part of the appeal of digital accounts for the modern user is to avoid face-to-face interactions. 

Consequently, though Neon is being continually developed and can reassure its users that it is the safest option, Revolut has the user experience edge. 

Local Accounts Details and Ability to Have a Swiss Salary Deposited: Neon

A huge ball in Neon’s court is that in itself can be enough to make it a better option for Swiss is that your Neon account provides you with a local Swiss IBAN and allows you to have your Swiss salary directly deposited into your account. The inability to do so can be a huge hassle for people moving to Switzerland and needing to set up a Swiss account in order to get paid by their new jobs, and so the fact that Neon provides users with local account details while also not charging for account upkeep is a huge benefit. 

Revolut does not provide users with a Swiss IBAN, does not allow the storage of Swiss Francs, and does not allow for the deposit of Swiss salaries. 

Other Bank Account Features: Neon

Through its partnerships with other fintechs, Neon has the upper hand over Revolut. Thanks to its partnership with Wise, Neon provides better international money transfer options, with a low fee of 0.8%. Through its partnerships with Yova and SELMA, Neon allows its users to plan for the future and make investments that they can take with them into retirement. 

Neon also has partnerships with Sonect and Twint, making it more convenient for day to day life in Switzerland, with money withdrawals and no contact payment options. 

Account Features

Account Features

Neon

Revolut

Currencies available for balance

CHF

CHF, EUR, GBP, USD…

Personal Swiss IBAN

Yes

No, but personal EUR IBAN and GBP account.

Funds top-up

Bank transfers

Bank transfers, debit/credit card top-up

Interest on balance

No

No

Exchange currencies

No

Yes, between the balances available. Free within the CHF 1000 foreign exchange allowance, between 0.5 and 1.5% beyond that and on weekends.

Domestic payments

Free

Free

Swiss payment slips and QR bills

Yes

No

Swiss eBills

Yes

No

International payments

Yes, via Transferwise. Usually between 0.8 and 1.7% depending on the currency and the amount (TW transparent fee + 0.4% Neon fee).

One free cross-border transfer a month, 0.5? for further transfers. Free to other Revolut users. The CHF1000 foreign exchange allowance applies.

Direct Debit

No

Yes, only with a balance in Euro

Recurring payments

Yes

Yes

Overdraft

No

No

Joint accounts

No

No

What happens if you lose your card?

You have to place a call to Neon to block your card, but you can then reorder a new card straight from the app. The replacement card will cost you CHF 20.

You can block your card from the app at any time and reorder a new card for CHF 5.99. If you're not sure where you card is, you can freeze your card and unlock it later if you find it.

What happens if you lose your phone?

If you lose your phone, your Revolut card will still work. You will need to install the app on a new smartphone, enter your phone number and select "I haven't received a code yet" to speak with a support agent as you won't be able to receive the validation SMS. As Revolut customer accounts can't be managed on the web, it's the only way that you'll be able to manage your account if you lose your phone.

What happens if the company goes bust?

Neon's customers funds are mangaged by the Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, a Swiss bank certfied by FINMA. Your deposits are guaranteed up to CHF 100,000, just like at any other Swiss bank.

Revolut's customer funds are not guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK. However, as an authorized Electronic Money Institution regulated by the FCA in the UK, Revolut keeps its customers funds separated from its own and in case of insolvency, you would be able to claim a full refund. If Barclays/Lloyd's would become insolvent (where Revolut holds your funds), the money would not be guaranteed.

Neon vs. Revolut: Who has the better app? Revolut 🏆

In this category, Revolut is the clear winner. It’s been around longer, is used and rated by thousands more, and is a more fine-tuned app. Neon is solid, but as a user says in a 4 star review, it’s a “Good app for a Swiss bank, but still behind industry leaders.” 

App Features

App Features

Neon

Revolut

Google Play Store Ratings

4.1/5 stars, 805 ratings

4.6/5 stars, 739,420 ratings

Apple App Store Ratings

4.6/5 stars, 355 Ratings

4.9/5 stars, 31,000 ratings

Push Notifications

No (But they're working on it)

Yes

Card management from App

No (But they're working on it)

Yes

Spending Categorization

Yes

Yes

Saving "Pots"

No, but has a partnership with Yova and SELMA for investments.

Yes

In-App Money Transfers

Yes

Yes

In-App Bill Scanner

Yes

No

Our Verdict: NEON! 🏆

While Revolut makes a solid offering, Neon is the best option for Swiss residents. Neon allows you to have a local Swiss bank account and to deposit your salary into your account – something which is not possible with other neobanks at this time. As a bonus, since Neon partnered with Wise and started offering full Wise integration through their app for international money transfers, Revolut lost its international edge for Swiss users. Anything Neon does not currently have integrated into its app, it makes up for through partnerships with other fintechs – such as with the investment opportunities it provides its users through Yova and SELMA.

🎉 🏆 While Revolut offers a better app, Neon offers better, safer coverage for its users in Switzerland, with better international money transfer fees, better deals when traveling abroad, and more opportunities that reflect its status as a Swiss bank. 🏆 🎉

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