Travelling round the world or just a city break into Europe needs money. Most us will have a personal account back home and rarely put any thought into what our bank is charging us to spend our very own hard earned cash while on the move abroad. I dread to think how much money I have wasted on ATM fees with my banks in the past when I have travelled. And it is a waste, money that I will never get back again. However, I now have a new tool in my pocket to forget about that while I travel. A company called Revolut has the solution.
When I returned from my motorbike trip I signed up to this card straight away. I heard a few things about this company and thought I'd try it out for myself. This card is available for anyone inside the European Union which is great. Right now quite possibly you're thinking 'Hey Aaron, these cards have been around for a while', well you may be right but I have also spent the past 18 months on the road and am not really up to date with this sort of thing.
My recent trip to Brazil is where I really tested it. They advertise it as a card that gives you the near exact currency rate for that day. I can confirm this. I was never more than 1 pence out of the official conversion rate from Interbank, very happy about that. More than I can say about my bank account back home. There are no ATM charges from this company however, the ATM itself may have charges so be careful with that but they will always tell you on the screen. Best to avoid small ATM's in garages and shops, they typically charge around £3-4. You can only withdraw up to £200 a month, or £400 if you upgrade to the premium account for £6.99. After these initial limits you'll be charged at 2% but, you can spend as much as you want using the card itself.
Everyone these days has a smart phone which is great as you get a dedicated app to do all your stuff. Every time you use your card it alerts you with a location and price both in local currency and home currency, plus it can put all your purchases into categories so you can keep check of where most of your money is being spent. There is online support through the app which I had to use and they were very good at getting back to me and resolving my situation.
Topping up the card is a breeze. You link it to a bank account of your choosing, input how much and click that top up button. I think the first two times you have to put in your details with your bank for added security but then after that it's an instant top up. £25000 is the maximum you can top up within the year. If at the end of your trip you have money left over then you can withdraw your funds just as easily. Other features for this card include setting up accounts in different currencies. I am guessing this would be very helpful for people sending you money or you're making purchases online using different currencies. You have a lot of variety and flexibility to suit your needs. If working abroad you can also set up accounts with separate account and IBAN numbers to have wages paid straight into your account.
Well that's enough of me talking about this card. My verdict is that it's good and incredibly useful. Being a Mastercard means it's accepted at a vast amount of places. The only downside I have found is the limited amount of withdrawal at the ATM itself before you incur a 2% fee. If it is an issue then upgrade to the premium account to go from £200 to £400. Or just plan ahead if you think you're going to need more than this.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Please do share and pass on this useful information with your friends and family. Also, this post is not sponsored and I am in no way receiving anything for passing on this information. I just don't want you to take a hit by your bank for unnecessary ATM fees. Our cash is for fun things on the trip instead. To receive future updates from this blog please do sign up to my occasional newsletter. I promise no spam!