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
All 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.
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!
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.
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 are the way to pay in this era and all of these digital banks offer contactless payments and NFC with their cards.
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 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).
Who can get N26?
Residents of Germany, Austria, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Finland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Estonia, Greece, Slovakia, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland
N26 is also available for US residents now!
Types of available cards:
- N26 Personal account
- N26 Black Personal account
- N26 Business account
Awesome mobile app and desktop platform
N26 uses Transferwise rates for exchanges
- 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
- Available to a wide variety of nationalities
- Expanding their territory continuously
- N26 collaborates with Trasferwise for exchanging currencies
- You can only have 1 N26 account, so if you already have a personal account, you can’t get the business account
Bitwala is a crypto-friendly banking solution, which offers an excellent bank account without banking fees. You can do your day-to-day banking or use the card abroad without paying high commissions.
The bank account also offers an easy way to start out with crypto, thanks to its integrated crypto wallets. So if you want to start out with crypto currency or if you’re looking for a bank which can also handle your own crypto wallet, Bitwala is the bank you need.
Who can get the free Bitwala bank account?
Bitwala is available for residents of the European Economic Area, including Switzerland.
The bank accepts identification documents from more than 70 nationalities.
Types of available cards:
- Euro (IBAN) account: free
Bitwala has a fully functional mobile app, which get an average 4,4 star review in the Google Play Store.
Bitwala uses the Mastercard exchange rates. They won’t charge you anything more than the standard Mastercard rates.
- ATM Withdrawal limits are high: 3000€ per day or 10.000€ per month
- All accounts are set up in € and Bitwala only supports Euro payments
- Most cost effective banking solution for transactions in €
- Supports cryptocurrencies
- Highly secure and encrypted bank account
- If you plan on using other currencies than euro, you might encounter issues
DKB or the German ‘Deutsche Kredit Bank‘ offers a nice alternative with the DKB Cash card. The card itself is free of charge and there are no monthly service fees. If you want to withdraw cash worldwide, for free, you need the DKB Visa Card, which is also for free.
The combination of both is a very nice payment solution for travelers.
DKB uses a similar onboarding approach as N26, with a video identification.
The first year, you’ll enjoy all the free benefits of the card. After that first year, they do want you to stay an active customer, meaning that you earn and spend money on the card.
If you’re an active customer, you’ll get all the benefits:
Free payments and ATM withdrawals in the euro area
Free payments and withdrawals outside the euro area
If you’re not an active customer, your payments outside of the EU will be subject to conversion fees.
Free payments and ATM withdrawals in the euro area
2,2% conversion fee on non euro payments and withdrawals
Who can get the free DKB Card and Visa Card?
The DKB website states no limitations to opening an account from anywhere in the world.
Types of available accounts
DKB Cash (free)
DKB Cash with DKB Visa (free)
More banking options available at the DKB site
DKB has mobile apps for different platforms. They also offer Google Pay and Apple Pay integrations.
The DKB Visa Card uses real exchange rates for transactions outside of the EU.
This is: during your first year and if you stay an active user afterwards.
If you only use the card sporadically, exchange rates are at 2,2% for non € transactions.
There are no usage limits, as long as you’re active.
No maximum on payments not withdrawals
You need a cash flow to be an active user
More accessible for German speaking people
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.
Who can get Monzo?
UK residents only
Types of available cards:
- Monzo standard: free
- Monzo Plus: 6£ per month
Mastercard exchange rate (better than your regular local card)
- 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
- 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£
- Only available for UK residents
- This account is designed to use with GBP £ only
Wise (formerly Transferwise)
We kept the best for last! Wise used to be called Transferwise, but they changed their name to Wise!
As you can read in the other card descriptions, these companies are all happy to brag about the fact that they’re partnering with Wise for their foreign currency exchanges.
But you can also get an account and card with the master of currency exchange!
Wise 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.
Wise doesn’t hold a banking license, but they are an authorized Electronic Money Institution, regulated by the FCA in the UK.
We use the Wise account ourself and we are very happy about it.
Who can get Wise?
Wise is available worldwide!
Users all over the world can apply for a Wise Borderless account.
There are only a few countries that can’t open an account yet. Check those countries here.
Type of available cards:
Real exchange rates / mid-market rates
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
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
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.
The best worldwide provider is Transferwise, which we tested and liked!
If you’re from The Netherlands, Bunq is an awesome option, which, we’re in the process of testing. Bunq is also available for most EU residents.
DKB is an awesome option if you’re a German speaking EU resident.
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