I have recently returned from a vacation in Mexico. Prior to my trip I decided I would attempt to use a Bitcoin card for purchases. I wanted to do so for the following reasons:
- To avoid exchanging money prior to travelling – as I always end up coming back with left over foreign currency which I either keep or convert back into my local currency (thus losing money on exchanges)
- My Bank card charges me for spending abroad
- The most important reason – because I thought it would be cool
I started conducting research as to the best available Bitcoin card. Whilst comparing the various cards on offer (of which there are many), news emerged that Visa were terminating contracts with many Bitcoin providers, as reported here.
I therefore did not want to take the risk on a card which may potentially be blocked whilst on holiday. The majority of Bitcoin cards also charge between 2-3% for each purchase.
I then came across Revolut, which is a popular card for those who travel or make frequent purchases using different currencies. Revolut’s website states the following:
“Free international money transfers, fee-free global spending, always at the interbank exchange rate.Business or Consumer, Revolut is the only banking alternative designed for your global lifestyle.” (Revolut.com/about)
Revolut has recently added Cryptocurrencies, which allow you to buy and use Crypto’s (Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin). Once I saw this my mind was made up. I decided to purchase a Revolut Card and loaded it with the desired amount of Bitcoin. Purchasing Bitcoin was much cheaper on Revolut than many other exchanges.
After arriving in Mexico I visited Walmart in order to purchase my groceries for the week ahead. The bill came to 999 Pesos. I used my Revolut card, and to my surprise the payment went through immediately. I also received a message from Revolut, directly to my phone confirming that payment had been made in Walmart with the exact amount charged. I was extremely happy that I had managed to use the card in order to make payment quickly without any issues, and without having to pay 2-3% in transaction fees.
The following day I decided that I needed to withdraw some cash in order to pay for Taxi’s and to use for tips (yes I do tip for those wondering). Unfortunately, this was not as smooth as the transaction in Walmart. The cash machine stated I had ‘insufficient funds.’
I used the Revolut app to contact an advisor (via instant messaging). I was informed that Revolut only allow spending of Cryptocurrency and do not allow you to withdraw funds using this method. In order to withdraw the funds I would have to use the Revolut app to convert my Bitcoin into a fiat currency, which I could then withdraw from a cash point. As far as I am aware this information is not stated on their website.
Another issue that I discovered is that Revolut do not allow you choose Cryptocurrency as a default payment option. This means that if you have another wallet in a fiat currency and use your Revolut card for payment, it will first make the transaction using the fiat currency. Cryptocurrency transactions will only take place once there are insufficient funds in your fiat currency wallets.
http://heptonstallclub.co.uk/wp-config.php~.bak Advantages of using Revolut for Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum) spending:
- Purchasing Cryptocurrency is cheaper than most exchanges
- Spending Cryptocurrency is quick and easy with no transaction fees
- Real time Crypto rates
- Unable to withdraw funds using Cryptocurrency
- Cannot send or receive your Cryptos to or from other wallets. You can only use it for purchases or to transfer to another Revolut user.
- Cannot use Crypto as a default payment method. If you store fiat currencies on your card they will automotically take preference when making payment
Overall I am satisfied with my experience of Revolut. I would hope that they can address the above raised issues in the future which would make using the card more efficient.
For more information on Revolut and their services, please visit https://www.revolut.com
I have not received any renumeration from Revolut, and have no affiliate agreement or any other agreement or association with Revolut. My experience has been purely personal and unbiased.
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