I recently came back from a trip where I used my N26 card exclusively. I used to be a Revolut fan but have since moved over to N26 and to be honest, I haven’t looked back. I still always pack my Revolut Card with me as backup but N26 is my main card now both at home in Ireland and when travelling. I thought it would be interesting to do the sums to see how much N26 ‘saved’ me during the trip.
There are things to keep in mind.
- I pay for N26 Black which costs €5.90 per month. If I hadn’t paid for N26 Black and instead had the basic N26 MasterCard I would have ended up paying 1.7%. This would have worked out at ~€17.95 for the trip so it would still have been cheaper than AIB and Revolut
- If I wasn’t using N26 and instead using AIB or Revolut I would have done fewer larger transactions. This would have saved fees but I would have had to walk around with more cash on me which I like to avoid.
- I am making some assumptions with exchange rates. Every third or fourth withdrawal I would use my Revolut card, that had no funds loaded to make the transaction. The transaction would fail as expected, but the euro converted amount shows as a failed transaction.
Revolut has launched a premium offering costing €7.99 a month. This includes a ‘Premium’ MasterCard, a free spare card, oversees medical insurance, unlimited foreign exchange, higher ATM withdrawal limit, global express delivery and 24/7 support. They are currently offering one month free if you upgrade. In my opinion, Comparing this to the N26 Black account there’s only one winner – N26 Black.
N26 Black: €5.90 per month (although comes with 1 year contract)
Revolut: €7.99 per month
Winner: N26 Black
N26 Black: Unlimited foreign withdrawals, 5 free euro withdrawals
Revolut: €400 limit then 2%
Winner: N26 Black
I’m a big fan of Revolut and have been using them for years. I always pack my Revolut card when travelling but after switching to N26 Black it is now my backup card. Yesterday Revolut payments were offline for approximately 10 hours. This was due to Global Processing Services which links Revolut to the MasterCard network experiencing technical issues. This downtime affected other fin-techs including Monzo, Curve and Loot. As a result customers were unable to make purchases or ATM withdrawals using their Revolut card.
Obviously this is not ideal and can be very inconvenient however issues like this can and will happen. Bank of Ireland experienced issues with their Visa Debit cards in June 2016 and Ulster Bank/NatWest and RBS had issued in October 2016. A lot of people have been using the downtime yesterday as a way to discredit fintech start ups which I think is unfair – it has happened to legacy banks. I always think its how a company responds to outages such as this which is more telling about the company.
Revolut have announced they will reimburse any FX fees incurred yesterday as a result of not being able to use your Revolut card which is very generous.
I normally have multiple cards on me and always take at least two different cards when travelling – in reality its normally 3 to be extra safe! Obviously downtime is going to hurt Revolut’s image but at the end of the day it was out of their control and they are reimbursing their customers who incurred fees as a result of the downtime. Rumour has it Monzo will be moving credit card processing in house after the outage so it will be interesting to see if Revolut takes similar action.
I posted yesterday about Revolut’s new feature – a UK current account for each customer. I updated the app on my Nexus 4 yesterday but still couldn’t see the new current account feature. Today, I noticed there was another update which I installed.
After this update, when after going into profile and selecting Bank account details I was giving an option to activate my GBP bank account.
Today Revolut announced that they have launched ‘current accounts’. I put current accounts in inverted commas as I don’t fully understand how they will work yet as information is a bit sparse. According to the blog post, all Revolut customers now have a personal UK account number and sort-code and can receive payments such as salaries into this account and transfer money to any UK bank in just a few hours. Revolut do point out it isn’t really a bank account – Whilst Revolut technically isn’t a bank, our app lets you do most of the things that a bank does – but better!
To find your Revolut bank account details select Profile from within the Revolut App