Travelling Is Expensive Enough Already – Let’s Use Revolut To Save Some Money
For those of you who frequently read this blog, you’re probably aware that I’m currently enjoying a 5 month adventure around South East Asia with a fairly small bag, my Revolut card and, of course, my MacBook Air (these posts aren’t going to write themselves you know!).
As always, before my trip I did plenty of research of things to buy, what to wear and most thankfully how to save money whilst traveling. This lead me to an excellent discovery of a company that are doing something very innovative. This post is all about that company and how they can save you money and be totally awesome.
The company is called Revolut and you can read more about them by clicking here.
To summarise (in a travelling context):
Revolut can provide you with a Debit MasterCard that allows you to spend money anywhere in the world FOR FREE
Check out the 2 scenarios below where this solutions shines:
1. You go to any country in the world, let’s say Italy. Try the local cuisine by visiting an enticing looking restaurant by the river. Enjoy a lovely steak with a well earned beer (travelling is a chore) and ask for the bill. When the bill arrives, you hand over your Revolut card, enter your PIN and walk away knowing that you’ve paid a very generous exchange rate resulting in you paying no more than you should. That’s right, you paid JUST FOR THE MEAL!
2. You arrive in Brazil and in all excitement forgot to exchange any money…or chose not to. As soon as you’ve collected your bag you run over to a suspicious looking ATM machine with it’s delightfully evil green flashing light. You put your Revolut card in and take out way more Brazilian Real than you know you should be carrying on you. Hop on the wifi as soon as you arrive in your hotel, check your Revolut account on the phone app and realise that you haven’t been charged anything for that withdrawal and once again, have received a very generous exchange rate.
Let’s Do Some Exciting Mathematics
I plan to be away for 5 months and have estimated this entire trip in SE Asia to cost me around £4,655 (gotta get specific with those estimates – oh, and £35 a day in case you’re interested). Let’s say that £1,500 of that is used up on travel. And, let’s also say I’m a rather relaxed person and didn’t exchange any money before leaving Blighty (slightly true).
That leaves me with £3,155 spending money that I need to get by either using an ATM or my card.
My HSBC Advance account charges 2.75% each time I take money out OR use my Debit/Credit card to purchase something. I am going to 8 countries and suspect I will need to make 2 ATM visits at each country (I never seem to get the right amount out the first time!). In reality, it will likely be more times than this! To be generous, I’ll average that I’ll do 20 ATM transactions.
£3,155 divided by 20 (transactions) is £157.75 taken out of an ATM each time.
2.75% charge on each of these transactions is £4.34 (rounded).
£4.34 charged each transaction, 20 times, is (drum roll please):
£86.80! – Do you have any idea how many meals and beers that is in Thailand!? Madness! This shows the usefulness of beautiful Revolut.
Yes, it’s true. I do these type of calculations all the time and LOVE it. I am half tempted to put a mistake in there to make sure you’re all paying attention ;).
How It Works, How To Sign Up & All That Jazz
OK, so you’re sold on the idea of it? Awesome. Let me explain how to easily sign up and get the free money debit card you’re drooling over.
1. Download the Revolut App On Your Phone
First things first, either go to revolut.com by clicking here OR search for their app on your Android/iOS app store to download the Revolut app.
2. Upload a Bank Card OR Bank Account Details
Upload a bank card OR add a bank account so you can make payments straight into your Revolut account. Adding a bank card is extremely easy. You can use the camera to scan the card straight in and it automatically adds it without you needing to type anything.
It is worth me mentioning that this is all very secure – your card/bank account will only be used to top up your account and will never make a transaction without your own doing.
3. Top Up Your Revolut Account
Top up your Revolut account using the card or bank account mentioned above. I just did £10 at first to try it out and it worked perfectly. You can even play around with the exchange rates at this part to see how good a rate you get exchanging into Dollars and Euros.
As soon as I got to this stage, I accidentally converted £10 into dollars and back again. After doing this, I had £9.99 in my account. Which means that I got pretty much the perfect exchange rate both ways! If you went into any Bureau De Change then I’m sure you wouldn’t come back with only 1p less.
4. Order Your Debit Card
Ordering a debit card (Mastercard) from within the app is easy as well – and is completely free. Just click on the Card tab at the bottom and follow the process to have a card delivered to you. The button will say something like: Deliver the Card To Me.
You’ll notice that you can actually use the card already without having a physical one being delivered. This is great if you plan to buy anything online in a different currency. For example, purchasing that shirt that only exists in America! I’m talking about the Becket from Mizzen+Main if you’re interested.
Note: The card may take up to 8 working days to be delivered due to high demand. It’s popular!
5. Use The Card
Use the card to take money out at ATM machines or pay for items/meals using your card. You can get your PIN by clicking on the Card tab at the bottom of the app and clicking on the Show PIN button
That’s It! You won’t get any of the usual bank charges and the money will be converted straight into the local currency for free, at a very good exchange rate. It seriously works and has saved us a lot of money already so go check it out.
It’s Not All Fun And Daisies
A WARNING: The ATM scenarios described here are very real and true BUT there are some ATMs out there in the big wide world that charge you for taking money out. These are exactly the same as the ones you see on the high street in a city in England. As you know, it’s probably better to walk another 100 feet to go use a free one! These charges come from the bank that you are taking money from and can be avoided by doing what you do in England and avoiding the ones that charge. Sometimes it’s worth having a quick Google of the area to find ATMs that don’t charge.
Citibank: I know that Citibank don’t charge so recommend you nip in and get some currency using your Revolut card whenever you’re passing by one of these.
Enjoy The Savings
I seriously hope you find this useful and sign up. The Revolut card has been a life saver for me on this trip as I love to be as efficient as possible.
Please comment below now to let me know your thoughts and enjoy the savings.
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Posted on: March 28, 2016