We've been singing the praises of our Wise Multi-Currency 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.
Wise BORDERLESS - Should All Travellers Have One?
However, we've been comparing the offering from Revolut with Wise Multi-Currency 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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Wise 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 Wise 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:
Wise 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. Please visit the websites of both to see what offers are available to you specifically. For Revolut we only consider the 'Standard' account as comparison.
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 Wise , 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 an initial amount of transfers for free! It is valid for each currency pair, however, there is a limit of £1000 (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 cheaper than Wise for currency exchanges using standard currencies. If you stick to the major currency pairs and stick to the free foreign exchange allowance of £1000 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, Wise 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 £1000 per month)
Wise for transfers in exotic currencies
Wise for big transfers (more than £1000 per month)
Whether you use Wise or Revolut, their travel cards will be an essential part of your travel strategy.
It's worth mentioning that Revolut offers some potentially useful benefits if you do decide to sign up for a paid account.
As example the Premium Revolut account (£6.99) per month not only doubles the free ATM limit, you are able to make international payments AND it includes basic protection on purchases made using your Revolut card - such as theft / accident cover, ticket refund cover and returns protection. You also receive basic travel insurance when you purchase your return flights with your card which gives you overseas medical insurance, delayed baggage and flight insurance.
What do you think? Do you prefer Wise or Revolut?
Although this video is a year old you can learn a lot by watching this comparison: