Nutty

Wise vs Revolut - which is best? (2024)

Christopher Dowling
Editor-in-Chief
Updated
May 19, 2024

In a nutshell

There’s not much in it, but overall, we’re calling Wise the winner. It’s easy to use, works seamlessly, and is super low cost too. Revolut is also epic, and works out cheaper overall if you convert your cash on a weekday (and less than £1,000 per month). You can’t go wrong with either, they’re both around 10 times cheaper than using typical bank accounts.

Looking for a card to use abroad? You’re in the right place (we’ll cover money transfers a bit too). Wise and Revolut are two of the top options out there right now, but which one is the ultimate winner? Or is there a better option out there? Let’s take a look.

For travelling, they’re both effectively prepaid travel cards – which are cards you send (transfer) money to before you travel (or even during). Then, simply spend away in the local currency, saving loads of cash while you do…

Prepaid travel card

If you choose to use your regular bank account the fees can add up to some serious money, and you might not even realise. They’ll typically charge a very bad exchange rate, and then extra fees on top, every time you use your card (and to withdraw cash).

Currency conversion fee

Using a dedicated travel card is a very good idea – and that’s where Wise and Revolut come in.

Nuts About Money tip: by the way, there’s another great option, called Currensea. It’s a travel card that simply connects to your existing bank account, and converts your money as you spend it (for a low fee of 0.50% (or 0% on their £24 per year premium plan)). No need to top-up and convert cash beforehand. Here’s our Currensea review to learn more, or visit the Currensea website¹.

Currensea travel card

About Wise

Wise is the king when it comes to international money transfers, it's their bread and butter. It’s a free account, super easy to use, there’s over 40 currencies available, and it’s very low cost.

Wise app

When it comes to spending money abroad, it’s great too. You’ll benefit from the very low exchange rate and spend just as you would normally with a Wise debit card (in the local currency). You can even withdraw cash from an ATM for free too (up to a limit).

Learn more: here’s our Wise review. Wise also has a business account¹ too.

Heard enough? Here’s the Wise website¹ to get started.

Wise wins

It’s super easy to use, and very low cost. Learn more and get started on the Wise website.

Visit Wise¹Visit Wise¹

About Revolut

Revolut is more than just international money transfers and spending abroad, but it’s excellent for that too. It’s an app that’s made for everything to do with money – it’s similar to a bank account.

Revolut app

When travelling abroad, you can use the debit card to spend in the local currency and save cash. And withdraw cash for free too (up to a limit).

Revolut has a free plan (called the standard plan), which is all you need to get a card and start spending abroad (and money transfers), but there are plans with extra features, but have monthly fees.

Revolut standard plan

Learn more: here’s our Revolut review. Revolut also has a business account¹.

Heard enough? Here’s the Revolut website¹ to get started.

Wise vs Revolut: ease of use

Wise and Revolut are both mobile apps (although you can use them on a computer too).

Wise is super simple, and all it does is money transfers and storing multiple currencies, so it’s very easy to use and understand, you can see your balance immediately, and top-up if you need to.

Wise website

All you need to do is add Pounds (GBP) to your account, and convert them into the currency you like, such as Euros, and that’s it, simply spend away.

And even if you’ve run out of Euros in your account, you’ll automatically spend your Pounds in your account (if you have them), without needing to exchange them first (it will exchange them per transaction).

Revolut is a bit more complicated. There’s lots of different parts to the app, as there’s loads of different services for your money, such as savings, stocks, crypto, and loads more.

Revolut investing

So, you need to figure out where and how to top-up and view your balance, but after that you’ll get used to it – you’ll need to convert your Pounds to Euros to spend money in Europe. It won’t automatically spend your Pounds if you’ve run out of Euros.

When it comes to the apps, both have insane ratings on the app stores. 

Wise is rated a massive 4.7 out of 5 on the Apple app store, and a whopping 4.9 out of 5 on Google Play store.

Wise app ratings

Revolut is almost as good, with an amazing 4.9 out of 5 on Apple, and 4.5 out of 5 on Google.

Revolut app ratings

Overall, we’re giving this one to Wise, it’s so easy to use, you simply can’t beat it.

Winner: Wise

Wise vs Revolut: travel card

If you’re reading this to find out what the best card to use abroad is, well, you’re in the right place. Wise and Revolut are probably the top options you’ve got, alongside Currensea¹ (a card that links to your existing bank for a low fee).

Best card to use abroad

With Wise, you’ll get a contactless debit card, so you can spend like a local wherever you are in the world – there’s over 40 currencies available and works in over 150 countries. So, wherever you’re going, you’re pretty much covered!

You’ll also be able to create virtual cards within the app, so you can spend online without your physical card (with a different card number, if you don't trust the website), and create new cards for specific purchases if you like. It's a very clever idea!

Wise virtual card

With Revolut, it’s pretty similar, you’ll get a contactless debit card, and there’s 29 currencies available, and it works in 150 countries around the world. You can create as many virtual cards as you like too.

With both, you can freeze and unfreeze your cards whenever you like. So, if you’re travelling around and know you won’t be using your card for a while, you can freeze it and feel safe if it can’t be used by anyone else.

Wise freeze card

Wise and Revolut offer both a Mastercard and Visa card (it depends on your location and plan). There’s not much difference between the two card providers for most people. You’ll also be able to add both to Apple Pay and Google Pay, to pay on your phone too.

Overall, there’s not much in it, both cards are great. But as there’s a few more currencies with Wise, benefiting adventurous travellers, Wise wins this one.

Winner: Wise

Wise vs Revolut: withdrawing cash abroad

You might also want to withdraw cash from an ATM (cash machine) abroad too – it’s always good to have a bit of change to hand for tips and things! 

As you’ve got a regular debit card with both Revolut and Wise (either Mastercard or Visa), you can use pretty much any ATM in the world, and withdraw (take out) the local currency. That means it all comes down to the fees.

With Wise, you’re able to take out £200 per month completely free, as long as that’s within 2 withdrawals (so using the ATM twice).

For 3 or more withdrawals (per month), it's 50p per withdrawal. And for withdrawing over £200 per month, it's a fee of 1.75%, plus 50p per withdrawal.

With Revolut, you can withdraw £200 for free, or withdraw up to 5 times per month for free (whichever comes first). After that, it’s a 2% fee, with a minimum of £1 per withdrawal.

Overall then, pretty similar, you get a limit of £200 per month with both, but Wise works out cheaper after that (1.75% vs 2%).

Winner: Wise

Wise vs Revolut: overall fees

Now time for the big showdown, which is cheaper overall?

First of all, you need to know that both companies use the ‘real’ exchange rate. That’s the exchange rate without any extra fees added, and the currency exchange rate banks use themselves when transacting with each other. It’s also called the interbank rate, or mid-market rate.

Mid-market rate

That’s great news, as if you were to use your regular bank card abroad, they’d use their own exchange rate (which is not a good one!), probably with some extra fees per transaction. Sometimes you can end up paying nearly 5% per transaction. How crazy is that?

With Wise, the main fee you’ll pay 0.43% to convert your money, e.g. swapping Pounds to Euros. And that’s the main fee you’ll pay.

It’s £7 to order the debit card, but after that, there’s no hidden fees. Simply spend away to your heart's content.

With Revolut, you’ll pay a different fee depending on which currency you want, and most of the time there won’t be any fee added. For instance, Pounds to Euros is normally free, you’ll just pay the exchange rate.

However, on weekends a 1% fee applied – so convert your cash during the week beforehand, ready to spend at weekends, otherwise it could cost you a fair bit. There’s also no fee to get the card.

There’s also a ‘fair usage’ policy, which means converting money is only a low fee up to a limit, which is £1,000 per month. After this, you’ll pay a 1% fee on the free plan, or 0.50% on the paid-monthly plan (0% on more expensive plans).

Overall, Revolut works out cheaper, providing you don’t convert currency on the weekends, or spending over £1,000 per month.

Winner: Revolut

Wise vs Revolut: international money transfers

Although we’ve focused on travel money, Wise and Revolut are both very popular for international money transfers too – and by that we mean sending money abroad to friends and family, or buying things abroad, normally converting your cash into another currency as you send it.

The fees are pretty much exactly the same as converting your currency, which we’ve covered just above.

So, with a Wise account, you’ll typically pay a fee of 0.43%, and they use the ‘real’ exchange rate (that has no fees). Unless, they are also a Wise user, and then there’s no fees.

Wise international money transfers

And with Revolut, you’ll also use the ‘real’ exchange rate, so no hidden fees in the exchange rate.

There’s no fees to send within Europe (normally), and no fees to send to another Revolut user. However, there will be fees for international payments (if you are using the standard, free plan), which can range from 0.30% to 1.5%, depending on the currency. And at weekends, there will be an extra 1% fee on all transfers (that involve a currency conversion).

If you are also converting currency when sending money, the fair usage policy will still apply, which is a 1% fee on anything over £1,000 per month on the free plan, and 0.50% on the paid plan (0% on more expensive plans).

Revolut international money transfers

With both Wise and Revolut, you’ll be sending a bank transfer, so it should be super fast, and normally your money will arrive within 2 hours.

Overall, if you can send cash when you choose, and within Europe, it’s best to use Revolut, and send during the week, when there’s no extra fees (unless exchanging more than £1,000 per month). But there’s really not much in it, and Wise is typically better for payments outside of Europe.

Winner: Revolut

Wise vs Revolut: customer reviews

We like to look at customer reviews to get a good idea of the customer service, and how most people are getting on with the apps. To do this, we use the popular reviews website, Trustpilot.

Wise has a rating of 4.3 out of 5, from over 190,000 reviews. Wow. That’s a lot of reviews! And, an excellent score to go with them. There’s loads of reviews about how easy it is to use, and spend on the card worldwide.

Wise customer reviews

And guess what? Revolut has exactly the same score, 4.3 out of 5. That’s from over 133,000 reviews – excellent too. The reviews mention how spending abroad is easy, and low cost.

Revolut customer reviews

Winner: it’s a draw!

Wise vs Revolut: the winner

We said it was close didn't we?! They’re both great options for travelling and spending money abroad easily, using a debit card in the local currency. And epic money transfer services too (with low transfer fees). Both are also great for businesses, and included in our best business accounts.

And they’ve both got great apps to manage your money too – available on Apple and Google, and both very highly rated.

Fees wise, a Revolut account comes in cheaper if you exchange your money during the week (often with no fees), but much more expensive on weekends (1% fee) – and only if you exchange less than £1,000 per month (otherwise more fees apply).

Wise is cheaper to withdraw cash from an ATM (1.75% vs 2%), although both allow £200 to be withdrawn each month before any fees.

Overall, we think Wise is easier to use, it’s so simple, and it specialises in money transfers, exchanging money, and spending money on your card – all you need to do is open an account, get your card and your away.

What we really like is that you don’t need to convert your cash beforehand if you don’t want to, simply have Pounds in your account, spend in the local currency on your card, and it will convert your cash for you.

With Revolut, it’s more than just a travel money app, there’s lots of features, such as saving, investing, budgeting features and more – so it’s a bit more confusing and complicated to start with, although a great app for your money overall.

You’ll also need to top-up your account with the currency you need before you go (or when you’re travelling).

So for spending and sending money abroad, we’re calling Wise the overall winner. It’s so easy to use (you’ll see why when you use it), the fees are super low, and it works pretty much everywhere in the world, with almost every currency. Here’s the Wise website¹ to learn more and get started.

If you only care about cost, it’s best to use Revolut, but only in a specific way – work out how much cash you’ll need in the local currency beforehand, and convert your money during the week for no fees, then spend away (or send away). Here’s the Revolut website¹ to learn more and get started.

Winner: Wise

No items found.

Wise wins

It’s super easy to use, and very low cost. Learn more and get started on the Wise website.

Visit Wise¹Visit Wise¹
No items found.

Wise wins

It’s super easy to use, and very low cost. Learn more and get started on the Wise website.

Visit Wise¹Visit Wise¹
No items found.

Wise wins

It’s super easy to use, and very low cost. Learn more and get started on the Wise website.

Visit Wise¹Visit Wise¹
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This article was written, reviewed and fact checked by the expert team at Nuts About Money. You’re in safe hands. Learn more.

Wise wins

It’s super easy to use, and very low cost. Learn more and get started on the Wise website.

Visit Wise¹Visit Wise¹

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