Revolut…money revolution?

I applied for a Revolut card when I came out 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.

Revolut card
Revolut card

It’s partly for security, as you need a pin to get into the app, and I only to 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 don’t keep much cash in. 

I love the way it works, 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. The way I tend to use it though is I leave it in £’s, and when I pay for things it automatically converts enough £’s into that currency at the best rates. 

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. 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. 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. 

 

Post Office Money Card

Post-Office-Travel-money-cardThe Post Office Money Card has proved to be useless so far. Here’s the story:

I applied months ago after walking into a branch and getting  a pack. Supposedly you top it up online, then when you use it as a Mastercard abroad there are no fees. You are allowed £750 per year or £5,000 if you prove your address. I gave my address but their system did not find it (Typical!) so I had to send in ID. I don’t have a scanner so I took a high quality photo of my passport and the header of a bank statement.

I got an email back about a week later saying the header is no good. They need to see all 4 corners of the bank statement clearly, including any transactions. I baulked at this as the transactions don’t prove my ID, and are private. However a quick call to the data commissioners office and a very abrupt and blunt man told me that it is not against regulations to ask for this and if I don’t like it I can find a different card supplier. WoW!

Anyway I sent in a copy of my drivers licence instead of the bank statement. About a week afterwards I had heard nothing so I called again and guess what? The image of my passport was no good as I had obscured one corner where I had held it down for the photo. No they replied, we would not contact you for this, you’d only find out when you call. Oh wait, but they did when my bank statement was incorrect? Anyway, can I make a formal complaint please, yes Sir I’ll log it and a manager will call you within 24 hours. (I’ve heard that before too!) Anyway, I sent in another copy of my passport. 2 days later it had not been processed, I’m patient, I can wait.

In the meantime I can still use the card, and I put a second £100 on it just to make sure it works and there is enough diesel money to get me to Venice. 1st fuel stop in France, near Reims. Top up the tank and a jerry can and buy a map (cos the stupid TomTom is useless) for €97. Only problem, card not accepted. (Sigh) Thank goodness for my Visa. I check in the garage and yes they accept Mastercard. Next stop juts outside Stuttgart. A little more diesel and fill up the 5 litre diesel container and guess what? Yup: card not accepted. I checked and they take Mastercard.
Next stop isn’t til Munich in Germany. A half a tank and guess what? Hahahah you’re right, card not accepted and yes they take Mastercard! So, when I get a signal on my phone I’ll be checking to see if there is some problem I’m not aware of.

*Update…here’s a random photo of a lovely scene in Austria. The benefits of coming off the toll roads and using a map instead of TomTom! MK3_2585

Money Card sorted

I’ve been looking around for the best choice of card for Italy and the Post Office’s Money Card seems my best option. It works as a Mastercard, and you simply top it up a you go. What I like is that I don’t have to put £5000 Euros on it in one go, I can top it up weekly from my bank account, even using my phone if I wish. That means if I lose it I don’t lose much. You have to pay £6 I think to convert any money left to Sterling when you return, but I’ll juts make sure  spend it before coming back, on diesel if need be.

I popped into the Post Office in Barrow today to get one and you have to put €50 on as a minimum so that’s all done.  I’ve also sent my driving licence off it’s ten year renewal today and that should be back in a week. I tried to do it online but surprise surprise the Govt website didn’t work lol

Not much left t do now before Italy!