5 Free Revolut Alternatives that you’ll love!

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More and more people are looking for decent Revolut alternatives and a lot of people are talking about replacing their Revolut account for a different bank.

Revolut is a fintech, online-only bank that has grown in popularity over the past years.

For customers, the bank has offered a great advantage over their local bank and they have saved us all a lot of money on foreign currency exchange, bank commission, and recurring monthly payments.

But we can’t ignore the number of times they have been in the news. Usually, it wasn’t good news!

That’s why we finally decided to write this article about banks you can join as an alternative to Revolut.

So let’s dive into the Revolut competition!

How we compare these alternatives to Revolut

We’re listing different banks and accounts in this article.

For each of these currency and travel cards like Revolut, we researched the following information:

  • Where the bank is based
  • Residents of which countries can apply for an account
  • Which cards are available
  • Exchange rate information for the different Revolut competitors
  • Limitations for ATM withdrawals and payments abroad
  • Pros and cons

Security

All of the banks we mention have applied top-notch security. They all have to comply with the regulations for banks in their country and they do.

Security is usually applied through the option of setting limits, enabling and disabling payment options, and two-factor authentication.

Mobile apps

The mentioned banks are all mobile banks, most of them are mobile-only. So they have a state-of-the-art mobile app and sometimes also a desktop platform.

These mobile apps offer options to check your balance, transfer money, set security settings and limits, and a lot more!

Multi-currency accounts

Most of these banks offer the option to set up a multi-currency account.

This way, you can add currencies into your account and convert your money at a specific time when the exchange rate is optimal.

If you decide not to exchange your money, it will stay in your first currency. If you then use your card abroad in a country with a different currency, the exchange rate will be calculated at the time of your withdrawal.

So if you plan on traveling abroad soon, you could save money by keeping an eye on the exchange rates and change your money at the ideal time. This way, you won’t get the exchange rate that is applied at the time of your withdrawal or payment.

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ATM Withdrawals

Most of the banks we mention below allow you to withdraw a certain amount of money for free each month. When you reach that limit, fees will apply.

In order to avoid paying a fee for cash withdrawals, you can try to minimize ATM withdrawals and use your card for payments instead of withdrawing cash.

The world is becoming a cash-free environment and we adapted our own use to using our card. We seldom pay with cash and we use our card for almost every transaction.

This way, we keep our card use cheap and hassle-free.

Contactless payments

Contactless payments are the way to pay in this era and all of these digital banks offer contactless payments and NFC with their cards.

Exchange rates

In this article, we mention the exchange rates and the services used by the banks.

Most of these providers use real exchange rates or interbank currency conversion rates without adding a commission, which is obviously cheaper than your local bank.

N26

N26 is a German startup offering hassle-free accounts for residents of most EU countries.

They were founded in 2013 and they recently received their banking licence (July 2016), so now they operate as a regular bank, but much better (and cheaper).

We use N26 ourself and we can totally recommend this bank for every traveler.

Based in: Germany

Who can get N26?

Residents of Germany, Austria, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Finland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Estonia, Greece, Slovakia, the UK, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland

Types of available cards:

  • N26 Personal account
  • N26 Black Personal account
  • N26 Business account

Mobile: mobile app and desktop platform

Exchange rates: N26 uses Transferwise rates for exchanges

Usage limits:

  • ATM withdrawals in € are free up to 200€, after that you pay a 2% fee.
  • ATM withdrawals in other currencies are not free: 1,7% fee is added
  • Payments in shops, restaurants, stores, etc, are always free worldwide

Pros:

  • Available to a wide variety of nationalities
  • Expanding their territory continuously
  • N26 collaborates with Trasferwise for exchanging currencies

Cons:

  • You can only have 1 N26 account, so if you already have a personal account, you can’t get the business account
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Monzo

Monzo is a mobile-only, digital bank, based in the UK. They started out with a prepaid debit card, but they received their banking license in April 2017.

Now they offer a regular current account and they’re expanding their territory to offering travel insurance as well.

Monzo is currently only available for UK residents, but they’re working to broaden their audience to the USA as well.

Based in: the UK

Who can get Monzo?

UK residents only

Types of available cards:

  • Monzo standard: free
  • Monzo Plus: 6£ per month

Exchange rates: Mastercard exchange rate (better than your regular local card)

Usage limits:

  • You can withdraw money at ATM’s up to 200£ per month for free, after that there’s a 3% fee.
  • Payments in shops, restaurants, stores, … are always free

Pros:

  • You can join their waitlist for the USA
  • No day – to – day fees
  • You can upgrade to Monzo plus for extra features
  • You can also upgrade to get travel insurance and set the ATM limit to 400£

Cons:

  • Only available for UK residents
  • This account is designed to use with GBP £ only

Bunq

Bunq is a relatively young Dutch bank, which is internationally active. They were founded in 2015 in Amsterdam.

Based in: The Netherlands

Who can get Bunq?

Most EU residents

Bunq is active in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and Ireland, but other EU citizen can also open a Bunq account for free

Types of available cards:

  • Premium Personal account (7,99€/month)
  • Travel account (free with a one-time fee of 9,99€)
  • Business account (9,99€/month)

Exchange rates: Bunq has partnered up with Transferwise for currency exchanges

Usage limits:

  • Global ATM cash withdrawal: 0,99€ fixed fee per withdrawal
  • Payments in shops, restaurants, stores, … are always free worldwide

Pros:

  • Available for a broad audience within the EU
  • Updates are being rolled out constantly

Cons:

  • Topping up with debit or credit card is not free

Monese

Monese is a UK based company that offers money transfers and current accounts to its users.

This company was founded in 2013 and has grown steadily over the last couple of years.

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Monese services used to be completely free of charge, but recently fees have been applied.

Based in: The UK

Who can get Monese?

All residents in the European Economic Area

Residents of these countries can apply for a Monese account: 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, Sweden and the United Kingdom

Types of available cards:

  • Simple: free
  • Classic: 4,95€/month
  • Premium: 14,95€/month

Exchange rates: 0.5% base FX rate

Usage limits:

  • With simple: You can withdraw money at ATM’s up to 200£ per month for free, after that there’s a 2% fee.
  • With classic: the amount is raised up to 800€
  • With premium: free ATM withdrawals worldwide
  • Payments in shops, restaurants, stores, … worldwide, are always free with each plan

Pros:

  • You can get Monese with no proof of residence, which is ideal for digital nomads and travelers.

Cons:

  • foreign currency transfers are only free to other Monese accounts

Transferwise - The ruler of them all

We kept the best for last!

As you can read in the other card descriptions, these companies are all happy to brag about the fact that they’re working together with Transferwise for their foreign currency exchanges.

But you can also get an account and card with the master of currency exchange!

Transferwise was founded in the UK in 2011. They provide the widest range of available currencies and transferring money between international accounts and currencies are their strong point.

This company has been named: the future of international money exchange. They’re known worldwide and they hold a top position in the banking world.

Transferwise doesn’t hold a banking license, but they are an authorized Electronic Money Institution, regulated by the FCA in the UK.

We use the Transferwise account ourself and we are very happy about it.

Based in: the UK

Who can get Transferwise?

Transferwise is available worldwide!

Users all over the world can apply for a Transferwise Borderless account.

There are only a few countries that can’t open an account yet. Check those countries here.

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Type of available cards:

  • Borderless account

  • Business account

Exchange rates: Real exchange rates / mid-market rates

Usage limits:

  • You can withdraw money at ATM’s up to 200£ per month for free, after that there’s a 2% fee.

  • Payments in shops, restaurants, stores, … worldwide, are always free

Pros:

  • Hold up to 40 currencies in 1 account

  • Awesome customer service

  • You can get sub-accounts with EU, UK, US, AU, NZ, … account numbers and IBAN numbers

Cons:

  • There is a small fee to send money

More Revolut competitors

Leopay is an e-wallet and financial platform that allows you to make transfers. It was founded in Malta and now operates from Bulgaria. Leopay is available to citizens from different countries in Europe and a handful of countries outside Europe. Opening an account is free of charge.

WeSwap is a currency exchange platform that links travelers who are heading in opposite directions and exchanges their money with each other. The company is based in London, UK. WeSwap is available for residents of 10 countries in the EU: United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden

Pay With Fire offers business accounts, as well as personal accounts. The personal account is free to open. Fire is based in London and Dublin, and it’s designed for the Pound Sterling and Eurozone.

Travelex is a foreign exchange company, based in London, UK, but they also have a US department. Their Travel Money Card is the best option for travelers and it is a prepaid currency card with 6 available currencies. Travelex lets you lock an exchange rate when it is optimal, so you won’t ever pay too much. Travelex is not link to your regular bank account.

Conclusion - The best Revolut Alternatives

To conclude this list of alternatives to Revolut, we’ll provide you with a short overview of the options. Some of these banks offer full-fledged credit cards or Master cards, while others resemble a prepaid card option or a travel debit card.

Not all of these bank account providers are available worldwide, so that’s why we included a section about who can get which card in every description.

As you can see, a lot of these banks have been founded and are still based in the UK.

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The best worldwide provider is Transferwise, which we tested and liked!

For citizens of the EU, we definitely recommend N26, a card we’re using for our own banking as well. Monese is a good option as well.

If you’re from The Netherlands, Bunq is an awesome option, which, unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to try yet. Bunq is also available for most EU residents.

It’s good to know that you have a few available options when looking for a mobile banking platform and all of these options are great choices when searching for a decent, free travel card.

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