revolut
Revolut card

Revolut has enjoyed great success in Ireland since it launched here in 2019. It’s arguably the company’s second most important market after the UK with more than 1.2 million users in such a small country. And certainly the most loyal one. Anyone that has worked as a sales assistant here will tell you that it’s by far the most used debit card at the moment. Read all about Revolut Ireland, but first, here’s our short verdict:

Revolut is a household name in Ireland by now that has impacted the banking sector in more ways than one. It is much more than a digital payments platform by now and is well on its way to being a one-stop-shop for all your financial needs. The fact that the four biggest banks are scrambling and playing catch-up really speaks volumes. We can recommend this app without any hesitation. 

We are covering Revolut in great detail. Make sure to read our general Revolut review, our Revolut Australia review (for anyone moving Downunder), and our Revolut Bitcoin review. We also covered its main competitor in Ireland N26 in our N26 review.

About Revolut Ireland

One fact alone will tell you just how much of an impact Revolut has had on the Irish market. Four of the biggest banks have joined together to launch their digital payments app. Isn’t that amazing. If it weren’t for neobanks disrupting the banking sectors around the world, we’d be still stuck in the middle ages.

The biggest banks getting together in a joint venture has raised some red flags by the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) of course.

This is nothing new for Revolut as it continues to chip away customers from the old guard. The UK-headquartered company has seen a meteoric rise since it launched in 2015. What started as a simple peer-to-peer e-money platform is now taking a more sculpted shape with more and more features launching every year.

Here’s one example of how Revolut is now the de facto market leader in Ireland. They were first to introduce instant EU money transfers for Irish customers in 2020 making it possible to send money to banks and financial institutions across Europe in a matter of seconds. No more waiting for 3-5 business days for the funds to clear. 

Expansion can be a costly undertaking though as the company is set to increase its fees and charges for the second time in less than a year. 

Revolut Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Multi-currency accounts
  • Connect all your bank accounts with Revolut
  • Instant international money transfers
  • Daily discounts and cashback
  • Great for traveling and sending money abroad
  • No need for a card
  • Great security features
  • Ability to pay with a single-use card to keep your money safe
  • Trade stocks, crypto, and commodities

Cons

  • No physical bank branches
  • No-fee ATM withdrawals up to €800/m only
  • No way to spend cryptocurrencies or send them to a crypto wallet

How is Revolut Regulated in Ireland?

Banking comes in all shapes and forms these days as technology is forcing institutions and government regulations to change. Although Revolut is called a lot of things, such as a mobile bank, digital bank, banking app, or neobank to name a few; in Ireland, it’s neither of those.

Here it’s technically an e-money institution (EMI) that operates under an e-money license from Lithuania. This has some repercussions on the Irish user until they are granted a license from the Irish institutions.

For example, Revolut is overseen and regulated by the Lithuanian Central Bank as opposed to the European Central Bank. If you’re unhappy with Revolut’s service, you’ll have to take your complaints all the way to the Bank of Lithuania.

Because the account you hold with Revolut is an electronic money account and not a bank account, your money is not covered by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme (DGS). 

Revolut does have some other safeguards in place though, that we’ll cover next.

Is my Money safe with Revolut?

So, there’s no insurance on deposits of up to €100,000. What guarantees are there in place then?

EMI’s need to adhere to other safeguarding obligations. They have to keep the money that they get from customers in segregated bank accounts that they have no access to. And in the case of Revolut Ireland, it’s JP Morgan. If something were to happen to Revolut as a company, you should get your money back from JP. And if JP Morgan goes down, well the world is probably in flames by then. 

Is your money safe on your Revolut account then? As the Wirecard and AIB scandals have shown us, bad things can happen and do happen in the banking and neobanking sector, but by all accounts, your money should be safe with Revolut. And once it gets its full banking license in Ireland, it should be even safer. 

More than 1 million customers in Ireland can’t be wrong, right?

How to open a Revolut account?

Opening a Revolut account is easy. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Revolut website and enter your phone number
  2. You’ll get a link to download the app
  3. Install the app
  4. Fill in some personal details
  5. Take a photo of a valid ID document to verify your identity
  6. Next, take a selfie
  7. You’re all set

Revolut accounts

Standard (Free)

  • Free UK and Euro IBAN account
  • No-fee ATM withdrawals up to €200/m
  • 1 Revolut Junior Account
  • No-fee currency exchange up to €1,000/m
  • Crypto exchange markup of 2.5%
  • Commodities exchange markup 1.5%

Plus (€2.99/m)

  • Free UK and Euro IBAN account
  • No-fee ATM withdrawals up to €200/m
  • 2 Revolut Junior Accounts
  • No-fee currency exchange up to €1,000/m
  • Crypto exchange markup of 2.5%
  • Commodities exchange markup 1.5%
  • 0.3% APY on savings
  • up to €1,000/y purchase protection
  • Ticket and Returns protection
  • Customizable card with standard delivery

Premium (€7.99/m)

  • Free UK and Euro IBAN account
  • No-fee ATM withdrawals up to €400/m
  • 2 Revolut Junior Accounts
  • Unlimited no-fee currency exchange
  • Crypto exchange markup of 1.5%
  • Commodities exchange markup 0.25%
  • 0.65% APY on savings
  • up to €2,500/y purchase protection
  • International payments
  • Ticket and returns protection
  • Overseas medical insurance
  • Customizable card with free express delivery

Metal (€13.99/m)

  • Free UK and Euro IBAN account
  • No-fee ATM withdrawals up to €800/m
  • 5 Revolut Junior Accounts
  • Unlimited no-fee currency exchange
  • Crypto exchange markup of 1.5%
  • Commodities exchange markup 0.25%
  • 0.65% APY on savings
  • up to €10,000/y purchase protection
  • International payments
  • Ticket and returns protection
  • Overseas medical insurance
  • Car hire excess
  • Cashback on card payments
  • Customizable metal card with free express delivery

The Plus account was announced at the end of 2020 to entice more people to join a subscription. At a price point of only €2.99/m and with a lot of added benefits, we’re sure they succeeded. Compare all their plans in full detail here.

Revolut Business

There are more than 500,000 businesses worldwide with a Revolut Business account. You can sign up as a company or as a freelancer.

The plans for companies are as follows:

  • Free 
  • Grow (€25/m)
  • Scale (€100/m)
  • Enterprise (Custom)

And freelancers have three accounts available:

  • Free 
  • Professional (€7/m)
  • Ultimate (€25/m)

There are too many features and benefits to list them all here. We’ll mention only a few: 

  • It’s compatible with accounting tools such as Xero, ClearBooks, and QuickBooks, 
  • It’s a multi-currency account, 
  • You can send, receive, hold, and exchange funds in 28+ currencies at the interbank exchange rate, 
  • Easily manage your teams’ expenses, 
  • Pause or freeze recurring payments, and
  • Track spending in real-time.

You can compare company and freelance accounts here and see the complete list of features. To be honest, after reading this, I’m seriously thinking of opening a Revolut Business account.

Revolut Budget & Analytics

If you have trouble budgeting and keeping a tight lid on your expenses (and who isn’t), Revolut offers a great little tool to help you to stay on track with your expenditures. With its AI and smart analytics, the app will analyze your spending and help you predict your expenses. Your bills will automatically be categorized and you will get instant notifications when you’re getting close to the limit.

Simply open the Analytics tab and set up a budget for all payments or just within a specific category.

Revolut Money Transfers

If Revolut only did this one thing, it would be worth getting an account. Because sending and requesting money is just made so seamless. You can transfer money to local accounts for free, or wire internationally at good exchange rates. You’ll know exactly what you’re sending and receiving.

The new instant SEPA that Revolut introduced to the Irish market (before old school banks) allows you to send and receive Euro transfers in the SEPA region within a few seconds and that includes weekends and holidays.

You can track your subscriptions, direct debits, or recurring payments in one place and stay on top of scheduled payments. There’s even an option for group bills that will make sharing costs or splitting bills a breeze. No more awkward conversations at the dinner table.

Add any type of bill and decide exactly how much each member of the group needs to pay back.

Investing in Cryptocurrencies

Revolut is making it possible to buy and sell the following cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), EOS (EOS), OMG Network (OMG), 0x (ZRX) and Tezos (XTZ).

You can start investing in crypto from one Euro and even transfer them to your Revolut friends. But a major drawback is that you can’t transfer Bitcoin or other coins to a crypto wallet and off Revolut. This makes Revolut the owner of your cryptocurrencies and not you.

Your crypto is held in a virtual account that also holds cryptocurrencies for other Revolut customers.

The exchange rate on Revolut for cryptocurrencies is 2.5% for Standard and Plus users and 1.5% for Premium and Metal users.

Yes, Revolut has made it extremely easy for ordinary people to buy BTC and other cryptos but it comes with a couple of red flags. The fees are rather high, the crypto can’t be transferred off Revolut or spent with the app, and the crypto balance isn’t insured by any government financial service scheme.

Commodities Trading

Similar to crypto, you can now invest in commodities like silver and gold, and get cashback on your Metal account in precious metals. The amount that you see on the screen is backed up by real, physical gold, that Revolut buys and holds with a secure financial institution. You can’t spend commodities but you can sell them or send them to others on the platform.

Commodities exchange markup varies by your Revolut plan and it’s 1.5% or 0.25%. There’s another similarity to cryptos here and that is that you’re not buying actual gold but only a so-called exposure to it. You can’t transfer it off the Revolut platform and you can’t spend it.

Revolut Vaults

Vaults are comparable to a saving account but without any actual interest rates that are working for you. Vaults are only means to stashing money away for trips and holidays, weddings, dream cars, or something similar.

You can open a group vault for example, so that you and your friends or family can save up for something more or less important to you. One can set financial goals and deadlines and choose how to fund the vault. For example, your spare change or your crypto and gold can go to your vault. There can be one-off payments or recurring transfers.

Revolut Junior Account

Revolut Junior accounts are a brilliant thing for teaching kids from early years about healthy money manners. I’ve seen several pre-teens in my local Spar using their Revolut Junior accounts at the till.

I’m guessing that there’s a great adoption of these kids’ accounts by parents as a new means for paying out their weekly allowance. The kids must feel cool as well when they’re using them. They’re bigger adults than some actual adults that I know.

All Revolut accounts have Junior accounts enabled. Standard allows 1 account, Pro and Premium 2, and Metal 5. You can order their prepaid card from your Revolut app and/or download a dedicated Revolut Junior app.

Savings Vaults

Savings Vaults are apparently “coming soon” to Ireland but are currently only available in GBP and USD, to customers whose sole tax residency is the UK. They are what it says on the tin – interest-earning deposits you place with banks using the Revolut app. 

Once this feature eventually comes to Ireland, you’ll have to be a paid member of Revolut. The daily interest on savings is up to 0.4%, 0.5%, and 0.65% AER or Annual Equivalent Rate depending on your plan.

Extras

Donations

This is truly one amazing feature by Revolut. You can donate with a tap on your screen to charities all over the world that will receive 100% of your donations because there are no fees attached. 

You can donate a one-off amount, set up recurring payments, or round up your change to be sent to a charity. There are many charities to choose from, including The Jack & Jill Foundation, Focus Ireland, the Irish Cancer Society, ISPCC Childline, Pieta, and Safe Ireland.

Overseas insurance

You can get emergency dental and travel medical insurance while you’re abroad with a click of a button. It’s never been easier to get peace of mind when traveling. The most ingenious feature is that the travel insurance uses geolocation technology so you only get charged for the days that you are actually abroad. 

Device insurance

Revolut is now offering comprehensive phone insurance that includes all sorts of damages and those annoying out of warranty breakdowns. You can get covered straight from the app for as many phones that you have. 

Open Banking

Revolut has launched its Open Banking feature in 2020 that allows you to use their app as a banking hub by connecting your Irish bank account to Revolut. You’re now able to see all your financial information in one place, including balances and transactions.

Competitors

Revolut vs N26

Revolut and N26 are more similar than they are different. They both offer similar benefits, yet there are two key differences. N26 doesn’t offer any kind of investing but on the flip side – it is a proper bank with a proper banking license that offers up to €100,000 insurance for your deposit by the European deposit guarantee scheme.

You can read our review here.

Revolut vs bunq

bunq is another great alternative to Revolut. The key difference here is, again, that bunq is a bank and has deposit insurance while Revolut doesn’t. bunq also seems to have a green “agenda”. That is great if you’re asking us, as long as it isn’t so-called “greenwashing”. The bunq lads are promising that “without any effort, you can become CO2-free in less than 2 years.” 

You can read our bunq review here.

The Bottom Line

Revolut has already taken over Ireland and is set to take over the world. If the old banking behemoths aren’t careful, that will happen sooner rather than later. We hope this review helped you decide if you were still on the fence.