Are you looking for the best debit card to use when traveling? Well, if you are reading this, we bet you are! We have found 2 very good cards to use for the cheapest money transfers, and they can be used almost anywhere in the world. We have created a comparison of both – Revolut and Transferwise, which are the most popular cards every traveler uses! Let’s start the Transferwise Revolut comparison and see which one wins!
HINT: The one that can be used in most countries, with the most currencies and with least withdrawal and transfer fees will win.
- Set up fee of Online Debit Cards
- International Money Transfers and Currency Exchange with Transferwise and Revolut
- Different Memberships of Transferwise and Revolut
- ATM Withdrawal Fees Transferwise vs. Revolut
- Available Currencies on Transferwise and Revolut
- Foreign Bank Account Details Transferwise vs. Revolut
- THE CONCLUSION: The Best and Cheapest Debit Card for Travelers?
Set up fee of Online Debit Cards
Set up fee – what set up fee? Both online cards are completely FREE to set up! You can have your virtual account and use it right away! However, if you want to order a debit card (YOU SHOULD!) you will have to load a small deposit on your card and it will be delivered in no time! To approve your debit card request it is necessary to put 20 EUR on Transferwise card! It is just a security measure, to ensure you are committed to using it at least once to spend the 20 EUR. We guarantee, once you try it, you will love it. They ship free of charge to US, UK, and all EU.
Once you register for your Revolut online account they will offer you to order a debit card for 15 EUR. But wait! Do not order it right away as you will have to pay for this one. Rather wait for 10 days and you will receive an e-mail from Revolut saying “We see you haven’t ordered your debit card yet! Go and do it for free now!” These guys are smart, but somehow, by accident, we outsmarted them and figured out how to get the card for free.
Having an actual card is the key, you can pay anywhere in the world without incurring huge commissions and use so many currencies. You can send money and top up the card from any bank account you have. You can even connect Transferwise to any of your freelance accounts or google Adsense if you are working online and receive your salary on it without any delays and fees.
International Money Transfers and Currency Exchange with Transferwise and Revolut
Both cards offer interbank rates at the time of money transfers or currency exchange. Those rates are very cheap. Most of the time they will be very close to XE rates (online currency calculator) which are the EXACT rate on the market at that time of the day. There is a certain maximum you can transfer or exchange in one go, for Transferwise it is 8000 EUR. However, you can make unlimited transfers. There is a small fee of 0.2 % added to your transfer. Revolut allows only up to 5500 EUR transfers and after that, you have to pay 0.5 % on top of it. Also, we have noticed that currency exchange rates are slightly better with Transferwise.
The transfer time usually takes 1-2 business days if you are sending to local accounts all over the world, friends who do not have Transferwise or Revolut or basically anyone you can think of. If you transfer money between people who have Transferwise or Revolut the transfer takes place immediately. Revolut has a Turbo Transfer option where you pay 6 EUR and the transfer takes place within 1 business day.
Transferwise has a nice referral program where you get 60 EUR ($70) for each 3 friends you refer! Revolut will only unlock cryptocurrencies for you, no referral incentive whatsoever.
Different Memberships of Transferwise and Revolut
Quite straight forward – there are no membership differentiations for Transferwise. There are no different limits or special features for paid accounts. Everyone has the same access to all the same cool features. More importantly, everything is free.
Standard accounts for Revolut are free, Premium accounts cost 10 EUR a month. With a premium account, you have a higher free withdrawal limit and you can order a metal card. You can use cryptocurrencies to pay with. There are different Business memberships for Revolut users – 32 EUR for Start membership, 120 EUR for Standard membership and 1200 EUR for Professional membership. If you want to use Revolut for your business, look into the perks that they offer. Honestly, we would not pay 1200 EUR for a membership, probably, but if you have a huge business, it has many benefits that would cost a ton more using conventional banking methods!
Transferwise are the kings of customer service! The nicest and most helpful people that ALWAYS answer your questions.
ATM Withdrawal Fees Transferwise vs. Revolut
Something both online debit cards have in common is ATM withdrawal fees. You can take out first 250 EUR free of charge every 30 days and then the rest will be charged with a 2% fee. It is a very, very cheap alternative compared to what your bank back home would charge. Our conventional bank back home charges 3% which does not seem that expensive, but the exchange rates are awful! Honestly, there are no better rates than the ones Transferwise and Revolut offer.
Available Currencies on Transferwise and Revolut
This is an important point and it was one of the main points that led us to the verdict on which online debit card is best for travelers. Transferwise offers all these currencies: GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, BRL, BGN, CAD, HRK, CZK, DKK, HKD, HUF, JPY, NZD, NOK, PLN, RON, SGD, SEK, CHF, BDT, CLP, CNY, COP, GEL, IDR, INR, ILS, MYR, MXN, MAD, PKR, PEN, PHP, RUB, ZAR, KRW, LKR, THB, TRY, AED, UAH, VND. A long list, right? They even have Myanmar Chat (MYR), Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) and Philippines Peso (Php). Thank you, guys, you just made a casual backpacker’s life a million times easier!
Revolut offers USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CAD, NZD, CHF, JPY, SEK, HKD, NOK, SGD, DKK, PLN, THB, UAH and CZK. Thus, Revolut is limited to all the major European and English speaking country currencies and two Asian currencies only – Thai Baht and Hong Kong Dollar.
Foreign Bank Account Details Transferwise vs. Revolut
Transferwise offer foreign bank account details for Eurozone, United Kingdom, United States, Australia. Thus, if you go work in Australia just share your Australian bank details and receive AUD in your account. The same for British Pounds (which we use often as we get paid from a social media marketing agency based in London ).
Revolut is limited to the United Kingdom and Eurozone. So for our American readers, this might be a bit of a downer. You can still of course exchange all the currencies listed above but you cannot share your US bank account details directly.
THE CONCLUSION: The Best and Cheapest Debit Card for Travelers?
If you want to order a debit card and start using it straight away for free – choose Transferwise. If you want to store as many currencies as possible – Transfwerwise will be your guys. Also, we have noticed while using both cards after the free money withdrawal limit that Transferwise is a tiny bit cheaper. They both are very cheap and great debit cards to use while traveling. However, Transferwise will save you a couple of cents. Transferwise is Mastercard, Revolut is Visa.
Honestly, get them both! They cost nothing to use so if you want to max your free withdrawal limit while traveling, use Transferwise and then use Revolut. It will give you 500 EUR ($600) of free withdrawal instead of 250 EUR ($300). THE VERDICT! A slight upper hand has to be given to Transferwise in this Transferwise Revolut battle! Their service is great, their work is very transparent and they offer way more currencies for travelers!