I applied for a Revolut card when I came out to the continent this time. The Revolut card is a Mastercard and you can use it almost anywhere for purchases and ATM withdrawals and top it up from your bank account via an app on your phone.
I chose it partly for security, as you need a pin to get into the app, and I only top it up £100 at a time so if it was ever stolen and they managed to get the pin I’d not lose much. The bank account linked to it is a second one that I only transfer cash to when I want to top the card up. To ensure it works in unattended places such as night time fuel stations etc it needs €150 on it. In practice it’s most often €112 to €120 the machines take, then when you’ve finished fuelling up and you’ve spent say €40, it refunds the balance.
So if I lost my wallet I would lose nothing as I can use the app to disable the card. If I was robbed and they got the pin, the most they’d get is €150 as that’s the most I’d ever have on the card and the bank account it’s linked to for topping up only has money transferred to it when I am going to top up. It makes me feel very secure doing it this way.
I love the way it works too, you top it up however much you like and if you wish to convert to say…euros, you get the best rate going at that moment in time. I do tend to convert to euros too because you get a great rate anyway but paying by euros means you don’t attract additional charges on transactions.
I found it great for being in Poland because while some places do accept euros, they make up the conversion rate in their head so you can end up losing out, so I used it to pay Zloty. I also used it in Amsterdam to pay for the camp site as it was machine access out of hours.
You can also use the Revolut card in ATM’s for local currency and whichever way you use it you don’t pay any fees as long as you limit to €200 a month. You can pay micro fees such as for a coffee, it’s contactless and you can even pay other people who have a Revolut account using their mobile number! Definitely the card for a modern world.
If you lose it, you simply log into the app and disable the card, sorted. I have a backup phone that I use too if I am somewhere I’m unused to where there’s a lot of crime. I’m going to find out if you can have the app installed on more than one phone.
I dislike having to carry loads of cash in the van, and I like the security aspect of the Revolut card. it’s definitely my choice for use abroad even if you only ever go to countries with $’s or €’s.