We've been singing the praises of our Transferwise Borderless accounts for a while now and have had great success using it while travelling. We've received money in multiple currencies as well as made payments in other currencies in an efficient and cost effective manner.
However, we've been comparing the offering from Revolut with TransferWise Borderless and there might just be enough reason to switch to Revolut! Now, we're not suggesting you should choose between one or the other, as both products has it's individual strengths and we will keep using them both.
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TransferWise and Revolut are two of the most praised pre-paid inter-currency providers with their strengths being payments in different currencies, and cheap money transfers – both established leaders in this sector.
Both TransferWise and Revolut on the surface seem to offer similar services, but they were born to serve different purposes and which is best for you will ultimately depend on your specific circumstances.
Let's start by looking at their different strengths:
TransferWise has primarily focused on offering cheap international money transfers between bank accounts, though its peer transfer system. While they have expanded their range of services over the years, most people still use it exclusively to make bank-to-bank payments from one currency to another. They offer a transparent, low fee structure and in addition to the newly added borderless account (review here), it's a service that appeals to those who need local bank details in various countries.
Revolut was designed with travellers and international business people in mind and its main strength is the multi-currency card that allows for quick and super-cheap currency exchange, either in-app or directly while paying with your card or withdrawing currency from an ATM.
For the purpose of this comparison, the focus is on fees and benefits of these two products from the perspective of a traveller. We're ignoring whether your country of residence is supported, whether you qualify for either account or if there are additional 'nice to have' perks to either product.
SHOULD WE SWITCH TO REVOLUT?
Both companies will help you save money on foreign currency exchanges. However, they are still different in their fees and their offers. They both have some pros and cons.
With TransferWise , transfers are not free and you need to pay between 0.2 and 0.5% fee on each transfer - depending on the currency pair you are converting money from.
On the other hand, Revolut offers transfers for free! It is valid for each currency pair, however, there is a limit of £5000 (GBP) per month. Once you reach this limit, you will have to pay a 0.5% fee on any amount exceeding your free foreign exchange allowance. Also, on weekends, you will have to pay an extra fee for each transfer.
Overall though, Revolut is significantly cheaper than TransferWise for currency exchanges using standard currencies. If you stick to the major currency pairs and stick to the free foreign exchange allowance of £5000 per month, it means you might not pay any fees using Revolut. Once you exceed this allowance limit, the fee will depend on the currency though. For some currencies, TransferWise will then be cheaper, and Revolut will be less expensive for others. Also, remember that almost in every case Revolut charges higher fees for exchanges over WEEKENDS.
In conclusion, It seems that if you want the best fees in every case, you will have to use both cards:
Revolut for small transfers in standard currencies (less than £5000 per month)
TransferWise for transfers in exotic currencies
TransferWise for big transfers (more than £5000 per month)
Although this video is a year old you can learn a lot by watching this comparison: