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Using Revolut Abroad: Maximise Your Revolut Card's Potential While Travelling Abroad

Jarrod Suda

Guide

May 30, 2023
Advertiser disclosure

As early as two years ago, I was still using traditional debit and credit cards for my travels, even when going to places like East Asia and across the Atlantic. Every time I'd make a transaction or withdraw cash from an ATM, I'd get hit with foreign transaction fees and ATM withdrawal fees from my home bank. On top of that, I had times when I even resorted to exchanging my money at bureaux de change, only to get ripped off by terrible exchange rates.

Digital travel cards, like Revolut, have convenient and cost-effective features to tackle these exact problems. Digital-only fintechs and online banks have changed the game for anyone who loves to travel and wants to save some serious cash. In fact, the Revolut card was Monito's pick for the best travel card in 2024 for use abroad.

In this guide, we will walk you through how to use Revolut abroad effectively. We will cover how to avoid fees when withdrawing from ATMs overseas and review the company's other great international finance features.

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We consider Revolut the best travel card all-around as its versatile account and card can be used to spend like a local pretty much anywhere in the world.

How Does Revolut Work?

Revolut is a financial services app that provides a range of international financial services, including travel debit cards, currency exchange, and peer-to-peer payments. It was founded in 2015 in London and has since expanded to offer its services in 200 countries around the world, including the United States, Ireland, Australia, France, and Singapore.

Perhaps its best feature for frequent travellers is the multi-currency account feature. This allows you to hold, transfer and exchange money in over 30 foreign currencies. These intra-account transfers are made at the mid-market 'real' exchange rate (aka no hidden exchange rate markups). Instead, you'll pay an industry-low fixed fee of around 0.4% depending on your membership plan. Once you're holding the local currency of your travel destination, you'll be spending abroad like a local! However, it's worth noting that fair use limits and weekend surcharges may apply.

Revolut also has an international money transfer service, which you can easily access in the app. You can receive money from your friends around the world in different currencies too. Lastly, Revolut gives you access to some account details in foreign countries, such as UK sort codes or EU IBANs. These can be perfect for expats to receive salaries in the local currency.

For a deep dive into Revolut, read our in-depth company review and learn how it earned its Monito score.

How to Use Revolut Abroad

Revolut is an excellent choice to use abroad because it allows you to hold and spend money in over 30 currencies. When you use the local currency with your Revolut card, you avoid your typical foreign transaction fees and dynamic currency conversions. Users can also withdraw cash from ATMs around the world without incurring any fees, up to a certain limit depending on the type of account you have, although third-party ATM fees may still apply.

To benefit from these perks, you will first need to send money to your Revolut account. We found the process to be straightforward:

  1. Go to app, tap ‘+ Add money’;
  2. Enter the amount to top up;
  3. Tap ‘Add card securely’;
  4. Enter your bank card details;
  5. Tap ‘Add money securely’.

How to Use the Revolut Multi-Currency Account

Next, you'll need to convert your current currency into the local currency of your travel destination. The app allows you to open dozens on pots of various foreign currencies.

Monito revolut currency exchange

Revolut charges a very low fixed fee of around 0.4% per conversion (take note that the fee increases to 1 to 2% if you exchange on weekends):

  • On the home page, select 'Exchange';
  • Select the currency you want to add;
  • Enter amount of currency;
  • (In the example above, we're exchanging Pounds for Swiss francs);
  • Click 'Review Order' to see fees and total;
  • Start using for card payments or overseas ATM withdrawals;
  • To review the exchange rate applied, tap item in ‘Transactions’.

Revolut Payments

When using Revolut for payments abroad, you can make transactions with your physical debit card or virtual card as if you were back home. If you have holdings of the local currency, you'll simply pay the vendor like a local. If you only have holdings in foreign currency, then Revolut will handle the currency exchange using the real exchange rate. For example, if you have USD holdings on Revolut and spend while in the EU, then your dollars will be converted to Euros at the point of sale.

As long as you stay within the £1,000 monthly currency exchange limit, there are no fees to worry about. If you go over the limit, there's a fair usage fee of 0.5%, and weekend surcharges may apply. However, with the Revolut Metal plan, there is no spending limit.

For person-to-person payments within the Revolut network, there are no monthly limits. Enjoy free transfer with other Revolut users. You can request and send money or split bills with friends using the Revolut app too.

Income in Different Currencies

Revolut provides online account numbers to receive income in your home currency. Even better, you can deposit money in up to 30+ different currencies.

If you are a customer registered within the EEA and the UK, you can access a GBP local account (sort code and account number) and a EUR local account (Lithuanian IBAN for domestic transfers within the EEA). For all other supported currencies, Revolut accepts foreign deposits through its SWIFT account.

Moreover, if you receive direct deposit payments, you can access them from your Revolut account up to two days early.

Revolut how to find revolut account number

How to Withdraw Cash With Your Revolut Card Abroad

To avoid currency exchange processes and fees, Revolut provides you will its multi-currency account. When using your multi-currency debit card abroad, it will be treated as a local customer's card for spending and withdrawing cash from ATMs abroad.

Revolut Fees

Under the Standard plan, the Revolut debit card provides up to five free ATM withdrawals or £200 per month, after which a fee of 2% of the withdrawal amount applies. To help you avoid extra fees, the Revolut app keeps track of how much of the free limit you have used. However, fair use limits, weekend surcharges, and third-party ATM fees may apply.

It may be useful to compare this to Wise Multi-Currency Account, which is a Revolut alternative and another great fintech account. Wise also offers a £200 per month fee-free limit, but only allows you to withdraw twice a month. After that, they charge 1.75% of the total amount withdrawn. If you withdraw cash more than twice a month, you'll be charged a fixed fee of £0.50 per withdrawal by Wise.

Types of Revolut Cards

Monito Revolut membership tier plans

Revolut offers several types of debit cards, including the plus card, premium card, and metal card:

  • Revolut Standard: The entry plan allows you to spend and transfer money abroad with no hidden fees. It includes currency exchanges up to £1,000/month, and 5 ATM withdrawals up to £200/month, with fair use limits, weekend surcharges, and third-party ATMs potentially applying.
  • Revolut Plus: Costs £2.99/month and offers up to £1,000 currency exchanges per month without fees. It offers £200 in fee-free ATM withdrawals and refund and purchase protection, with fair use limits, weekend surcharges, and third-party ATMs potentially applying.
  • Revolut Premium: Costs £6.99/month and offers unlimited currency exchanges, ATM withdrawals up to £200/month, unlimited free international transfers, travel medical insurance, priority customer support, 2 free lounge passes for flight delays over an hour, and express delivery for your Revolut card, with fair use limits, weekend surcharges, and third-party ATMs potentially applying. This also unlocks access to the Revolut credit card.
  • Revolut Metal: Costs £12.99/month and includes unlimited currency exchanges, ATM withdrawals up to £200/month, unlimited international transfers (with fair use limits, weekend surcharges, and third-party ATMs potentially applying), travel medical insurance, express delivery for your Revolut card, priority customer support, 4 free lounge passes for flight delays over an hour, flight delay insurance and delayed luggage protection, and the Revolut credit card.

Revolut Card Reviews

Revolut boasts a high Trustpilot satisfaction score of 4.4/5, with over 91,300 reviews. Positive feedback includes responsive customer service, an easy-to-use mobile app, and efficient problem-solving. However, some customers have experienced delays in international money transfers, blocked accounts due to expired cards, and difficulties reaching customer service.

The app's ratings on the Apple Store and Google Play are also excellent. It boasts a 4.8-star rating on the App Store with 159,555 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Google Play with 2,208,940 reviews. Learn more with our extensive product review and YouTube guide.

Send Money Abroad With Revolut

Revolut allows users to send money abroad quickly and easily from the app, with no hidden exchange rate margins. Users can send money in over 30 currencies, and the recipient will receive the money instantly in their Revolut account or within 1 to 5 business days to their bank account.

Free Revolut Money Transfers

Revolut charges only a fixed fee for international money transfers without any markup on the exchange rate. Revolut even waives those fixed fees up to a certain limit if you pay for their tiered memberships. To learn more about their fees, which vary by currency, read our full review of Revolut's money transfer service.

Revolut is not always the cheapest provider, however. Compare international transfer fees from different providers to ensure you're getting the best deal. You can do so on Monito's real-time comparison engine:

Find cheaper ways than Revolut to send money transfers abroad

Alternatives to Revolut For Paying Abroad

While Revolut is a great option for paying abroad, there are several travel card alternatives to consider, such as the Wise Multi-Currency Account and Starling Bank in the UK. We briefly walk through them here and we link our in-depth reviews if you want a deeper dive into the companies.

Wise Multi-Currency Account

Wise allows you to hold and exchange over 50 different currencies at the real mid-market exchange rate, allowing them to spend and transfer money internationally with no hidden fees or commissions. In other words, Wise charges no markup on exchange rates. For more info, see our full Wise Multi-Currency Account review.

  • Fixed fee of between 0.35% and 2.85% to exchange currency;
  • 2 ATM withdrawals of £200 per month fee-free.

Starling Bank

Starling Bank has everything you need to travel with peace of mind. It only offers multi-currency accounts for holding GBP, EUR, and USD. But if you are a frequent visitor to any of those currency regions, then Starling Bank is a great choice. Even for travel elsewhere, Starling charges no international spending fees. For more info, see our full Starling Bank review.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using Revolut Abroad

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Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

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