Finally, I have gotten to the point where I get to talk about my absolute favorite pre-paid debit card: Revolut. I use it almost daily since moving to Switzerland 5 years ago and have used it in a lot of countries, including Japan, the Maldives, Iceland, Sweden, the US, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Dubai, Israel, Poland, and all around the European Union. I have specified all of these countries because they all have different currencies, and Revolut was incredibly easy to use in all of them. So read more if you want to know how to use Revolut for travel expenses and save money and time abroad.
Revolut is an online financial company that offers a range of financial services, including accounts and currency exchange, through its financial mobile app. One of the most popular features of Revolut is its pre-paid travel card, which allows users to spend money abroad without incurring high fees or incredibly high exchange rates. With Revolut, you can easily manage your money while on the go, making it a popular choice for frequent travelers.
Revolut’s travel card offers a number of benefits that make it an attractive option for those looking to save money while traveling. One of the key advantages of the card is that it allows users to spend money in over 150 currencies at the real exchange rate, which is often much lower than the rate offered by traditional banks.
Additionally, users can withdraw up to a certain amount of money from ATMs each month without incurring any fees (from Revolut, the ATM itself can incur fees though), making it a convenient option for those who need cash while traveling. Overall, Revolut’s travel card is a great option for those looking to manage their money efficiently while on the go.
Of course, it does have some situations when you’ll have to pay fees. Nothing is free in life, after all, and as a business, they need to make money to be able to keep the lights on. What matters is that these fees are transparent, you will always know about them before performing any action, and you can plan some things ahead so that you avoid some of them altogether. In case you didn’t know, I have a full list of free travel apps, and I absolutely loved checking all of them out for you.
And one very special disclaimer I need to make, apart from the usual one. All the information published here is valid at the moment of publication, to the best of my knowledge. Since the subject of money and healthy financial decision-making is of great importance to me, please check out the detailed Terms & Policies from Revolut for the most up-to-date information. If in doubt, always seek professional advice, no matter what anyone else might tell you.
Also, even if the Standard subscription for Revolut is technically free, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have limits in place. You’ll have to check each situation you will use it in to see if any fees will occur. For example, ATM withdrawals are free under a certain amount per month, transfers are free under a certain amount as well, and so on. Free does not mean limitless, so check this out every time you want to make a change. Luckily, Revolut has a very transparent fee model, and you’ll know before you click what will be fees that will apply to you.
Yes, it’s true guys, there might be affiliate links in this awesome, free post. This means that if you decide to buy something that you find here, and you use one of my links to do so, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I plan to use this money on ice cream, chocolate, and to travel more so I can write these useful guides for you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Table of Contents
Using Revolut Abroad – The Basics
Using Revolut abroad is a great way to save money on foreign exchange fees and to have access to your funds while traveling. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind when using Revolut abroad:
- Activate Your Card: Before traveling, activate your Revolut card and verify your identity in the Personal Details section of the app. This will ensure that you can use your card without any issues.
- Top Up Your Account: To use your Revolut card abroad, you will need to top up your account with funds. The best way to do this is via a bank transfer, as it has no fees from Revolut (it can have fees from your bank though, but you’ll have to check this with them). You can also use a debit or credit card, but there may be fees associated with this.
- Use the Correct Currency: When using your Revolut card abroad, make sure to use the correct currency for the country you are in. Revolut supports over 150 currencies, so you can easily switch between them in the app.
- Avoid Weekends: Revolut adds some fees on weekends for certain actions like currency exchange, so it is best to plan such activities during the weekdays.
- Withdraw Cash Smartly: Revolut offers free ATM withdrawals up to a certain limit. However, some ATMs may charge additional fees, so it is best to withdraw larger amounts of cash to avoid multiple transactions.
As you can see, using Revolut abroad is a great way to save money on foreign exchange fees and to have access to your funds while traveling. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can use your Revolut card with confidence and ease.
Go cashless with Revolut
One of the very first things I can tell you is that I have started to use cash less and less since I have Revolut. In both Iceland and Sweden, I haven’t even seen a coin or bill. In Japan, we withdrew money from ATMs as the country itself is still quite cash-demanding, but we used the card as well.
Since it provides so many options to go cashless, I love Revolut for this now. You have the physical card, of course, but you also have virtual cards you can use. You can also add it to ApplePay or other wallet apps, send and receive money easily and instantly if it’s between Revolut users, and use all of the other cool features that enable you to go cash-free.
Revolut offers an array of convenient ways to make payments while traveling. Users can make instant payments worldwide, hassle-free, and at great rates. Here are some ways to make payments with Revolut:
- Physical Card: Ensure to order a physical card in advance for card-present payments and cash withdrawals. With a physical card, users can make payments at any Point of Sale (POS) terminal that accepts Mastercard or Visa.
- Virtual Card: Users can create virtual cards on their Revolut app. Virtual cards are ideal for online payments, as they provide an extra layer of security. Users can create a virtual card for each online store they use, and if the card is compromised, they can delete it without affecting other cards.
- QR Code: Revolut users can make payments using QR codes. To pay with a QR code, users need to scan the code using their Revolut app and confirm the payment amount.
- Peer-to-Peer Payments: Revolut allows users to send and receive money instantly with other Revolut users for free. Users can also send money to non-Revolut users by using their phone number or email address.
It is important to note that Revolut charges a small fee for some transactions, such as ATM withdrawals and currency exchange, especially for bigger amounts of money. Users should check the fees and limits section of the app before making any payments.
When traveling abroad, exchanging currency is a necessary task. With Revolut, travelers can exchange over 30 currencies at real rates with no admin fee. When exchanging currency, Revolut offers several options to choose from. Users can either exchange currency manually or set up automatic exchanges to avoid travel fund shortages.
It’s important to note that a small fee can apply for exchanging currencies, especially if doing so during the weekend or for bigger amounts of money in any rolling 30-day period. Before performing any exchange, you will see in the app if you have any incurring fees that will be added to your transaction. This way, you can decide for yourself if you’re willing to pay the price or not.
Send money to other Revolut users
Whether they are traveling with you or not, your friends might benefit from instant transfers if they’re Revolut users. Especially if you’re traveling as a group, common expenses will appear all the time, and it’s so easy to send money like this. The app basically works like a chat to send money, this is how simple it is.
The transfer will be instant if the recipient has a Revolut account, and they will receive a notification of the transfer. If they don’t have a Revolut account, they will receive a text message with instructions on how to sign up and claim the transfer. Revolut offers free transfers to other Revolut users, so you won’t have to worry about any fees or hidden costs.
There are quite a few ways to send money to group members through Revolut, and I will go into more detail below. But keep in mind that you can either send them money straight away, request money yourself from other people, use the Split the Bill feature, or even have group vaults.
Splitting bills in a group
When traveling with a group, splitting bills can be a hassle and cause unnecessary stress. Fortunately, Revolut offers a feature called Group Bills that makes it easy to split expenses with friends and family. To get started with Group Bills, simply create a group and invite your friends or family members to join.
Once everyone has joined, you can start adding bills to the group. Each bill can be split evenly among the members or you can specify how much each person owes. Revolut also allows users to add notes and receipts to each bill, making it easier to keep track of expenses and avoid any confusion or disputes.
When it’s time to settle up, Revolut makes it easy to transfer money between group members. You can either transfer the full amount owed or just a portion of it.
It’s important to note that Group Bills might be only available for users with a Premium or Metal account. However, even if you have a Standard account, you can still split bills with other Revolut users by using the Split Bill feature.
Overall, Revolut’s Group Bills feature is a convenient and stress-free way to split expenses when traveling with a group. By using this feature, you can avoid awkward conversations about money (I’m not the only one who feels that discussions about money are shameful, right?) and ensure that everyone pays their fair share.
Using Vaults for Common Expenses
Another way to handle shared expenses with your group is by using Vaults. This is a feature that allows users to save money for specific purposes, such as (what a coincidence) travel expenses. This feature can be used to save for common expenses that travelers may encounter, such as accommodation, transportation, food, and activities.
To use Vaults for common expenses, travelers can create a Vault for each expense category and set a savings goal for each. For example, a traveler may create a Vault for accommodation and set a goal of $500. The traveler can then add money to the Vault as they save for their trip.
Using Vaults for common expenses can help travelers budget for their trips more effectively. By setting a savings goal for each expense category, travelers can ensure that they have enough money to cover all of their expenses without overspending.
In addition to setting a savings goal, travelers can also set up recurring transfers to their Vaults. This can help them save automatically and avoid the temptation to spend money that they have set aside for their trip. Travelers can also use Group Vaults to save money with friends or family members who are traveling with them. This can be useful for shared expenses, such as accommodation or transportation.
Using Vaults for common expenses can help travelers budget for their trips more effectively and avoid overspending. By setting a savings goal for each expense category and using recurring transfers, travelers can ensure that they have enough money to cover all of their expenses and enjoy their trip without worrying about money.
Setting Money Aside for Trips
Traveling can be expensive, and it’s important to budget accordingly. One way to do this is by setting money aside specifically for your trip. With Revolut, setting money aside for trips (or anything else really that you know you need to save for) is easy and convenient.
Revolut offers two features you can use to save money: Vaults and Pockets. Vaults allow you to add money to a fund (or multiple), similar to a money jar you would have on your counter. You can set recurring deposits so that you ensure you have constant input, and you can even set it so that it sends any loose change to one of the vaults. This is actually cool as you won’t miss those few dollars you save from every purchase you make, but it will all add up in your vault.
Pockets are a way to budget accordingly. Basically, you create collections of bills for different purposes, like household needs, recurring fees, and so on, and it keeps you on track with your spending habits. If you want to be financially responsible, knowing your expenses and having a good overview will help you immensely with this.
Paying for Accommodation and Flights
When it comes to paying for accommodation and flights, Revolut offers several options to make it easier for travelers to manage their expenses. They also provide cool benefits like cashback and awesome exchange rates, so booking your travel needs with Revolut is not only easy but also beneficial.
One of the simplest ways to pay for accommodation and flights is to top up your Revolut account and use the funds to make payments directly. This method is especially useful for those who prefer to have a set budget for their trip and want to avoid overspending. Also, sometimes it’s better to book them in the currency of the other party, especially when it comes to accommodation.
Revolut also offers virtual cards that can be used to pay for accommodation and flights. These cards are generated within the app and can be used for online purchases. They are especially useful for those who prefer to keep their physical card details secure and avoid the risk of fraud. We’ll discuss more about these safety features later, don’t worry, just keep it in mind for the moment.
Withdrawing Money at ATMs
Revolut offers its users a convenient and cost-effective way to withdraw cash while traveling abroad. With more than 55,000 in-network ATMs, Revolut makes cash withdrawals easy, fast, and free (under certain conditions). Users can withdraw up to $200 per month at out-of-network ATMs with no hidden fees.
When withdrawing cash from an ATM, it is important to choose either a ‘checking’ or ‘savings’ account. If the ATM asks whether you would like to complete the transaction ‘with conversion’ or ‘without conversion’, you should always choose ‘without conversion’. As a rule of thumb, users should always opt to be charged in the local currency of the country they’re in.
Revolut users should also pay attention to the “Charged by ATM” amount when checking their latest transactions. If the amount is equal to the fixed amount that the user was trying to withdraw, there is no additional fee. For example, if a user is trying to withdraw 5000 JPY in Japan and the “Charged by ATM” amount is also 5000 JPY, there is no additional fee.
It is important to note that Revolut offers a free withdrawal limit of up to 200 EUR/USD/GBP per month for basic service users. While exceeding the limit, a fee is charged. The limit mentioned above is reset after a month from the moment of making the first withdrawal.
To ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience while traveling, Revolut users should verify their identity in the Personal details section, order a physical card in advance for card-present payments and cash withdrawals, and top-up their account via bank transfer. Adding money automatically can help avoid travel fund shortages.
Using One-Time Cards
Revolut offers a unique feature called one-time cards that can be used for online purchases. These virtual cards are a great way to protect your primary card from fraud and unauthorized transactions. Especially when you’re making payments for more “exotic” things, like accommodation bought from a local guesthouse in a 3rd world country, single-use cards are a great way to protect your money from fraud.
One-time cards are generated for a single transaction and are destroyed after. Once the transaction is complete, the card becomes invalid, and a new one must be generated for the next purchase. This feature is particularly useful when making purchases on unfamiliar or untrusted websites. To use one-time cards, simply generate a new virtual card in the Revolut app, set a spending limit, and use it to make the online purchase. The spending limit can be set to a specific amount or expire after a certain time period, adding an extra layer of security.
One-time cards can also be used for recurring payments, such as subscriptions or memberships. By setting a spending limit and expiration date, you can ensure that the subscription is canceled automatically if the card is no longer valid. Another advantage of using one-time cards is that they do not reveal your primary card number, adding an extra layer of privacy. If a merchant’s website is compromised, your primary card details will not be exposed, reducing the risk of fraudulent activity.
If you’re worried about the safety of your items while traveling, check out my detailed post on ways to keep your valuables safe while traveling. You’ll find it quite useful, I’m sure!
Blocking Features for Security
Revolut offers several blocking features to help ensure the security of your account and your money while traveling. These features can be accessed through the app and can be used to block or unblock your card, set transaction limits, and more.
One of the most useful blocking features is the ability to block and unblock your card instantly. This can be done through the app, and it allows you to quickly and easily prevent any unauthorized transactions from taking place. If you suspect that your card has been lost or stolen, you can block it immediately to prevent any further transactions from occurring. Once you have found your card or received a replacement, you can unblock it just as easily.
Another useful blocking feature is the ability to set transaction limits. This allows you to limit the amount of money that can be spent on your card in a given period of time. For example, you can set a daily limit on ATM withdrawals or a monthly limit on online purchases. This can help prevent fraudulent transactions and ensure that you stay within your budget while traveling.
Revolut also offers the ability to block certain types of transactions. For example, you can disable contactless payments or enable location-based security features if you know that you won’t be using them. This can help prevent your card from being used fraudulently or cloned. In addition to these blocking features, Revolut also offers a number of security features to help protect your account. These include face ID for mobile devices, biometric login, and the ability to freeze your account if you suspect that there has been unauthorized access.
The blocking features offered by Revolut can help ensure the security of your account and your money while traveling. By taking advantage of these features, you can enjoy peace of mind and focus on enjoying your trip. And even more important, you can tailor them to your needs, straight away, from the app.
Keeping Only a Small Amount of Money
When traveling, it is important to keep only a small amount of money on hand to avoid losing a large sum of cash in case of theft or misplacement. Revolut offers a convenient solution for travelers to keep their money safe and secure while on the go. Using the top-up feature, you can keep as little or as much money as you want on Revolut, and keep your main bank card safely at home or at the hotel.
While abroad, you can think of your Revolut card as “the one you can afford to lose”. It’s not planned to do so, but in case it happens, you have minimal damage to your main account. Even if you get robbed, you can just give up on this card and at least you have your main one safe. If you don’t lose your phone in the incident, you can even block the card immediately and you’ll keep your money safe from a distance.
Exchanging Leftover Currency
When traveling abroad, it’s common to have leftover currency when returning home. Unfortunately, exchanging this currency back for your home currency can come with high fees and unfavorable exchange rates, and it’s the last thing you want to worry about right before you leave home, or worse when you arrive back in your home country. However, with Revolut, exchanging leftover currency is easy and cost-effective.
Revolut allows users to exchange over 30 currencies at a competitive exchange rate. This means that users can exchange their leftover currency without worrying about unfavorable exchange rates or high fees, wherever they are, and no matter what amount they have left. I was often left with a few dollars in foreign currency upon leaving a country, an amount any exchange office won’t even accept if I wanted to.
There are also situations when you cannot exchange currency abroad. For certain currencies, you can only get it from inside that country, and that’s it. You cannot get it abroad, at all. So if you have to change it back, you have to take this into account before leaving but keep in mind all the other expenses you have left. This makes you often exchange at the airport before departure, and we all know the exchange rates at the airport offices.
Connecting to Apple Pay or Wallet
Revolut makes it easy to connect your account to Apple Pay or Wallet, allowing you to use your Revolut card to make purchases with your Apple or Android devices. Once you have added your Revolut card to Apple Pay, you can use it to make purchases in-store, online, and in-app. One of the benefits of using Apple Pay with Revolut is that it adds an extra layer of security to your transactions. When you use Apple Pay, your card details are never shared with the merchant, reducing the risk of fraud.
In addition, using Apple Pay with Revolut allows you to take advantage of features like automatic transaction categorization and spending alerts, helping you keep track of your expenses while you travel. Plus, you don’t even take your card out, making you less noticeable to people around you that might be interested in where you’re keeping your wallet.
Creating a Revolut <18 Account
Revolut offers a great solution for parents who want to give their children a taste of financial independence while keeping a watchful eye on their spending. With a Revolut <18 account, parents can easily manage their children’s finances and teach them valuable money management skills. And when you go on vacation and they keep asking for stuff without realizing what a budget is, you might want to teach them this lesson.
What’s nice about this feature is that the parent can control everything to their own liking and comfort. As a parent, you are in full control of how much money your kid has, what expenses are made, and how much or little freedom you give them with this responsibility. This way, you ensure they learn healthy spending habits, and they get to enjoy a bit of independence. I call that a win-win!
Getting Lounge Access in Airports
Revolut offers its users the opportunity to access airport lounges all around the world. This is a great feature for those who want to relax and unwind before their flight. In order to access the lounges, Revolut users need to purchase a Lounge Pass through the app.
The Lounge Pass feature is available to all only to Premium and Metal users and provides access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. The Lounge Pass is valid for one visit to a lounge and can be refundable under certain conditions. This offers a nice way to wait for your flight, especially if traveling for business reasons when you might want to catch up on some extra work before take-off.
Revolut users can also access airport lounges through SmartDelay. SmartDelay is a feature that automatically sends Lounge Passes to users if their flight is delayed by an hour or more. This is available to all Revolut Premium and Metal customers. Premium customers can bring one guest into the lounge, while Metal users receive three guest passes.
It is important to note that Lounge Passes are subject to availability and some lounges may be excluded from the Lounge Pass feature. Users should also check the terms and conditions of each lounge they wish to visit, as some lounges may have specific rules or restrictions.
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Using Revolut’s Travel Insurance
Revolut offers travel insurance benefits to its Premium and Metal account holders. The insurance package is provided by Allianz Partners, a leading global insurance company.
To be eligible for the coverage, the account holder must be a resident of the UK or the EEA, between 18 and 75 years of age, and have their primary residence registered with their Revolut account. The insurance covers emergency medical expenses, trip cancellation or curtailment, personal accidents, baggage loss, and more.
The insurance is activated automatically when the account holder travels outside of their home country or more than 100 km further away from their residency home. The coverage is valid for up to 40 consecutive days per trip, with a maximum of 182 days per year. It is important to note that travel insurance is not available to Revolut Standard account holders. Moreover, the insurance does not cover pre-existing medical conditions, extreme sports, or certain high-risk activities.
To make a claim, the account holder must contact Allianz Partners directly through the Revolut app. The claims process is simple and straightforward, and the insurer aims to process claims within 48 hours. Revolut’s travel insurance benefits are a valuable addition to the company’s suite of travel-related services. However, it is important to read the terms and conditions carefully to understand the coverage and limitations of the insurance package.
If you’re planning to only use the Standard Revolut account, I cannot recommend SafetyWing enough. They have a great travel insurance policy that has unbeatable prices, great coverage, and awesome perks like being able to change it on the go and children being insured for free if traveling with their parents. Check out my detailed SafeyWing review for more information.
Referring Friends for Rewards
I know, I know, this is not precisely travel related, but hear me out. Some of these super helpful ways to use Revolut for your travel needs are dependent on your travel companions being Revolut users as well. And to be honest, once you have it, you’ll use it in your home country as well, as it’s just so easy to use for day-to-day things.
Revolut offers a referral program that rewards users for inviting friends to join the platform. The program is a win-win for both the referral and the referrer, as the referral receives an incentive for joining, and the referrer receives a reward for inviting them. The reward for referring a friend varies based on the current promotion, but it can range from a few dollars to as much as $40 per referral. Users can refer as many friends as they want, and there is no limit to the number of rewards they can earn.
It is important to note that the reward is only given once the referral completes certain steps, such as signing up for an account, verifying their identity, and making a transaction using their Revolut card. Users should also keep in mind that rewards may take up to 30 days to appear in their accounts. These steps are clearly stated when you invite your friends, so you both know what you’re getting yourself into.
FAQ about using Revolut for travel expenses
Can Revolut be used as a travel card?
Yes, Revolut can be used as a travel pre-paid debit card. It is a digital financial app that offers multi-currency accounts and allows you to spend and withdraw money abroad without hidden currency exchange fees.
Is Revolut good for traveling?
Yes, Revolut is great for traveling. It is a convenient and cost-effective way to manage your money while abroad. It offers free ATM withdrawals, and competitive exchange rates, and allows you to spend in over 150 currencies without any hidden fees.
How to use Revolut abroad?
To use Revolut abroad, you need to ensure that your identity is verified in the Personal Details section. You should also order a physical card in advance for card-present payments and cash withdrawals. Top up your account, make a first payment to ensure it’s activated, and you’re good to go!
How do you spend euros on Revolut?
To spend euros on Revolut, you need to ensure that your account is topped up with euros. You can do this by transferring euros from your bank account or by exchanging currency from other accounts. All of this can easily be done from the app.
What’s the withdrawal limit for euro for Revolut?
The withdrawal limit for Revolut varies depending on the type of account you have, the amount you wish to withdraw, and some other conditions that may apply. Standard accounts have a monthly limit of €200 for ATM withdrawals, while Premium and Metal accounts have a monthly limit of €400 and €600, respectively.
Why get a Revolut card for travel?
Getting a Revolut card for travel is a good idea because it offers a range of benefits, including (mostly) free ATM withdrawals, competitive exchange rates, and the ability to spend in over 150 currencies with transparent fees. It is also a convenient and secure way to manage your money while abroad.
Can I use Revolut for travel?
Yes, you can use Revolut for travel. It is a digital financial app that offers multi-currency accounts and allows you to spend and withdraw money abroad without hidden currency exchange fees.
Can I use my Revolut card abroad for free?
Yes, you can use your Revolut card abroad without additional expenses. Revolut offers (mostly) free ATM withdrawals, competitive exchange rates, and the ability to spend in over 150 currencies.
What are the disadvantages of a Revolut card?
The main disadvantage of a Revolut card is that it is not accepted everywhere. Some merchants may not accept digital financial apps or may charge a fee for using them. Additionally, Revolut may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who prefer traditional banking methods.
Which ATMs can Revolut use?
Revolut can be used at any ATM that accepts Visa or Mastercard. However, some ATM operators may charge a fee for using their machines, and they should state so before you withdraw the money. Revolut has no control over these fees.
How to use Revolut for travel – The takeaway
In conclusion, Revolut is a reliable and convenient way to manage your finances while traveling. With its user-friendly app, competitive exchange rates, and low fees for international transactions, it’s no wonder why so many travelers are turning to Revolut as their go-to financial tool. By following the tips outlined in this article and taking advantage of all that Revolut has to offer, you can travel with peace of mind knowing that your money is safe and secure.
Now that you know better how to use Revolut for travel, you can better decide if it’s a good fit for you or not. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for Revolut today and start experiencing hassle-free travel like never before!