Making the right choice is always a challenge! Especially when it involves your money, spending (and occasionally wasting) recklessly and without having done your market research. That famous market research which can in fact save you quite a sum, if you add it all up.
Imagine it’s something similar to the dilemma we had when we were 10 years old, on a hot day at the beach, with just £2 Cyprus Pounds then (the equivalent of something around €3.40 today) to spend on ice cream. Choosing the right ice-cream van was the challenge. Flashy stickers on the outside, blasting incredibly annoying (yet appealing?) Barney tunes, and all sorts of different flavours on the inside.
They all sold ice-cream, but which one would really do the trick for what you were after?
As much as I would like to give you the secrets to making that type of right choice, that’s a childhood memory I wouldn’t want to take away.
What I would like to take away though would be the difficulty in deciding which online “bank” to choose from. So, when it comes to choosing between two of the most famous online banking tech start-ups- I’ve tried them out for you.
And here’s what I’ve found.
After using Revolut for sometime now, I am thoroughly enjoying the features that this company has to offer. From Standard to Premium account option, to the medical and travel insurance and the 25 currencies to choose from for conversion, to the innovative cryptocurrencies (you can find more details on the perks of being a Revolut user on my post here). Most of its features come at no cost, with that small 2% charge if you exceed your cash withdrawal limit and that €6 shipping fee for your Standard card – *which you can avoid if you check the link at the end of this post!*.
In the same market, offering similar features with Revolut, you can find TransferWise. Founded in 2011 by two friends who had the same thoughts as I very often have, that “it can’t be, others must be fed up with these stupid bank fees too!“, they created their own platform and now have over 3 million users and are transferring over £2 billion pounds every month. TransferWise is also FCA regulated so again, it’s super legit.
TransferWise has recently launched its Borderless account, which comes with a green “glow-in-the-dark” MasterCard and offers conversion in 40 currencies. The catch is that TransferWise, unlike Revolut, charges a small fee to your account for the conversion which is calculated based on the amount you want to convert and is usually between 0.35% and 1% of the total amount. It is always shown to you prior to completing the transaction so there are “no hidden fees” – sticking to their promise.
There is no fee for holding money in your account or for receiving money in to your account (from those generous friends and family of yours). TransferWise offers a sleek application to manage your transfers but also operates on the web, so if you’re not good with applications (or your phone has run out of memory to download yet another App) you can complete all the transactions through their website as well.
The greatest thing about choosing a TransferWise account is that by creating a Borderless account you ultimately have the option to own four accounts at the same time, just in different currencies. What that means is that you can provide full bank details to your employer if they were to pay your salary into your Borderless account, irrespective of where you may be around the world.
With one Borderless Account you will basically get:
- Australian account number and BSB code
- British account number and sort code
- European IBAN
- US account number and routing number
Makes going on a secondment or even freelancing from around the world sound all the more appealing, doesn’t it?
On their website, TransferWise gives a table showing all the fees a bank would normally charge you for spending and withdrawing money in a different currency and how it is actually impossible for some banks to give you the option to receive money in a different currency. In such a case they would of course force you to visit the bank in person, suffer the transaction/commission/higher exchange rate conversion costs and then thank you for being such a good customer…
Inspired by TransferWise’s comparison table, we have summed-up our findings between using TransferWise and Revolut below to make thinsg faster and easier for everyone!
Depending on what you’re after both applications have a variety of super handy features to offer and irrespective of which one you go for, you are 100% guaranteed better rates and much, much lower fees than any bank would offer.
Receive & Top Up: Free
Withdrawals: Low, fixed fee (of about 0.35% to 1%)
Conversion Fee: Low, fixed fee (of about 0.35% to 1%)
Subscription Fee: Free
Bank Account Details: Four countries (AUS, US, UK and EU)
Card Fee: Free shipping. You need to top up €20.
Currencies supported: 40
Receive & Top Up: Free
Withdrawals: Standard Account: up to €200 per month is free, then 2% fee on the amount. / Premium Account: up to €400 per month is free, then 2% fee on the amount.
Conversion Fee: Free
Subscription Fee: Standard Account: Free / Premium Account: €8 per month
Bank Account Details: UK account details / (European accounts coming soon
Card Fee: Standard Card €5.99 standard delivery fee / €20 Express Delivery fee / Free for Premium Account users
Currencies supported: 40 ____________________________________________________________________________
Do you have any experience with either of the two or any other online banking companies? We’d love to hear your feedback and comments!
*We have been upgraded to Revolut Ambassador, which means you can get your new Revolut (Standard) card for free if you follow the link here.
When you join Revolut through this link you get free delivery of your new Revolut card, you become part of the Revolut(ion) that saves people money and you give us the chance to get a free Premium account. We think it’s a win-win, don’t you?*