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21 May 2017

Revolut Turbo: is this the cheapest way to transfer money abroad?

How to beat the banks when you send money abroad

The market for sending money overseas has become hotly competitive with digital only companies such as TransferWise cutting the cost of sending money abroad. And now app-based banking alternative Revolut has got on the act by launching a 'free' money transfer service.

Revolut allows users to transfer up to £5,000 abroad for free per month. A 0.5% fee applies only for amounts above the first £5,000. Transferring in-app takes just 30 seconds and funds transfer within three to fivebusiness days, Revolut says.

The launch of Turbo will allow users to speed up their transfers to one to twobusiness days for a flat rate fee of £5.00 for transferring up to £5,000, and an additional 0.5% fee for anything above the first £5,000.

Revolut says it is the only service allowing customers to transfer money abroad for free, and even the new Turbo option will be cheaper comparatively. It stated that compared to TransferWise, another digital international transfer service, it's fees are cheaper:

  • TransferWise: Transfer £5,000 and you'll pay £24.88 in fees
  • Revolut: Transfer £5,000 and you'll pay £0.00 in fees
  • TransferWise: Transfer £10,000 and you'll pay £49.75
  • Revolut: Transfer £10,000 and you'll pay £25.00

However, TransferWise claims that its transfers already only take one to two days, while Revolut charges an additional £5 to speed up its transfers to this timeframe.

What else does Revolut offer?

In addition to money transfers, Revolut offers a prepaid card that allows users to set up a current account in 60 seconds, exchange currencies at the interbank exchange rate, transfer in 23 currencies to any bank in the world, and spend fee-free in 120 currencies with a contactless MasterCard.

Revolut says it will also launch a business service later this year, allowing European companies to set up multi-currency current accounts, which it claims will make international payments 10 times cheaper than the banks and issue their employees with corporate cards to reduce expenses by eliminating foreign exchange fees.

This story was updated at 12:28pm on 21/05/2017.