Revolut and Degiro could not approach trading more differently. Revolut is full of shiny new features, while Degrio takes a pared-down, bare-bones approach to investing. So, between the two, which one do we recommend for European investors?
- Founded in London in 2015
- Founders: Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko
- Tradable assets: Stocks and crypto
- Available around the world, including Europe, the U.S., and Japan
- Fees: Currency exchange fees, monthly subscription fees, and fees for transferring money between countries
- Mobile and web availability
- Founded in the Netherlands in 2013
- Founded by a group of former Binck Bank employees
- Tradable assets: Stocks, ETFs, funds, bonds, options, and futures
- Available across Europe
- Fees: very low—no account minimum, inactivity fee, or withdrawal fee
- Mobile and web availability
Revolut markets itself as more than just a stock trading app. It’s a global bank, too. Some of the features you have access to on this entirely online “neo-bank” include getting your salary a day early, credit cards with built-in security, and currency exchange. They also have checking and savings accounts, so you can use Revolut just like you would use a bank.
Revolut also has a variety of options for saving money, which are called “vaults” on the site. These operate similarly to traditional savings accounts, except Revolut introduced “bonuses” as well. Revolut received a bank license in 2018, so they have been transitioning into being a full bank for many years.
Image: Revolut is known for making currency exchange cheaper than going through a traditional bank. You can send money abroad easily as well. Image from Revolut.com
Degiro’s Award-Winning History
Degiro has also won over 80 international awards–that’s how respected and trusted it is as a broker. It also has some of the lowest fees compared to its competitors, making the barrier to entry for new investors very low.
Traveling with Revolut
The company started out as a travel card that offered great rates on exchanging currency. Now they offer much more, but they are still a good option for anyone who has to exchange currency frequently, since your fees will be lower.
Eliminating expensive currency exchange fees was the primary goal for the founding of the company. Revolut has since added various tiers of travel insurance to continue appealing to travelers of all kinds.
Flexibility and Versatility on Degiro
One of the best things about Degiro is that it’s a very flexible trading platform, offering a variety of asset classes to trade at very low fees.
Degiro offers a more bare-bones approach than many other brokers. They do not have savings or cash accounts like many of their competitors. Rather, they just focus on what they’re good at and continue to improve their product year after year.
We like how easy to use and simple both the mobile and desktop apps are. The charts and analytical tools are detailed yet easy to read. This makes it easy for anyone to learn to invest and understand the markets.
Image: Degiro has a sleek, advanced desktop app, setting it apart from competitors. We like the simple, minimalist approach Degiro takes to trading. Image from Degiro.com
Savings on Revolut
One of the ways Revolut advertises itself as a savings app is through their credit cards. With your Revolut credit card, you spend what is in your Revolut account. This is like a built-in budget, because you can’t spend more than what you’ve transferred in.
Revolut also has a number of savings “vaults” that you can use. One of them offers putting your money into crypto, another gives the option to save as a group, and another rounds up purchases and puts the extra cents into a savings account.
Overall, however, we recommend putting your money into a well-established bank in the country you are living in. Revolut is still very new to banking and cannot yet fully replace a bank. However, in a few years, they could catch up to competitors.
One-Time-Use Virtual Cards
Revolut offers a unique feature that can protect your online purchases: one-time use credit cards that reset their details every time you use them. This is for safety reasons, so your credit card information can’t get stolen. Revolut also claims that virtual cards help you budget better.
One of the downsides of single-use credit cards is that you can’t use them for any in-person transactions. You can only make online purchases with them. Regardless, this is still a new and exciting feature that can help beat credit card fraud.
Image: Revolut offers a Junior version of their app designed for teens ages 12-17. Revolut Junior offers many non-financial features, such as making task lists for your child to complete. Revolut says that their app helps kids become more financially savvy so they have good money sense entering adulthood. Image from Revolut.com.
Degiro has more educational tools than Revolut, but they are still limited. Degiro has an Investor’s Academy with lessons for investors who are just starting out. These lessons can be helpful for investors who know absolutely nothing about investing, but the topics are so basic (“What is a Broker” and “Thinking Ahead” are two of the lesson titles) that they won’t be much help to most investors. They also have a blog with articles such as “How to invest in cannabis stocks” and “The global semiconductor shortage.”
Revolut has no educational tools. Their only real educational option is Revolut Junior, which is a separate but associated app where parents give kids a prepaid card to use for spending. Geared for teens ages 12-17, Revolut Junior is essentially a scaled-down version of Revolut. Parents can also give their kids tasks and goals (such as making your bed), which show up on the app as boxes to tick off. This is advertised as a fun way for kids to learn about money and budgeting.
Fees on Revolut are mostly subscription-based. You’ll also have to pay currency conversion and ATM withdrawal fees. Revolut is often used primarily to send money abroad, and fees apply for those transactions. A more comprehensive breakdown of the different international transfer fees can be found here.
Revolut has a variety of paid subscription plans that offer more features than their free version. Here are the upgrades you can get:
- Plus: 2.99 euro per month. Additional features include: customizable cards, Junior features for teens to start banking, event ticket protection, returns protection, and lower fees.
- Premium: 6.99 euro per month. Additional features include: range of exclusive card designs, unlimited disposable cards, discounted device insurance, crypto withdrawals, overseas medical insurance, delayed baggage and flight insurance, and lower fees.
- Metal: 12.99 euro per month. Additional features include: exclusive metal card, cashback on card payments, car hire excess insurance, and lower fees.
Image: Degiro is an extremely well-respected and trusted broker in Europe. We like how they set high standards and make sure they’re as safe for consumers as possible. Image from Degiro.com.
Account Freezing Controversy
In 2019, Revolut received backlash for automatically freezing accounts that it suspected to be laundering money. The problem was that many of these flags turned up to just be average customers who weren’t doing anything fraudulent. One writer discusses his friend’s experience with having his Revolut account frozen for over a year.
One of the problems with the account freezes was that customers struggled to get them unfrozen. They were often met with chat bots that didn’t lead anywhere, and it was difficult to get a human on the phone. This led to many questions as to whether Revolut is cut out to replace brick-and-mortar banks.
While Revolut offers many shiny features, we recommend using Degiro for your trading needs. Degiro is well-established, regulated by a variety of authorities, and offers every asset class you’ll want to trade. Their 80+ awards don’t hurt, either.
Revolut is new to the game and has lots of bells and whistles that may make it look like the better option. However, we want to warn against falling into the trap of obsessing over the unique new features. Innovation is great, but not at the expense of simplicity and ease of use. We also wonder how Revolut will fare with its bank-to-trading-app hybrid. We like that Degiro is working on bettering its sole product and winning awards for it left and right. For these reasons, Degiro is our top pick.
Is Revolut a Neobank?
Yes, Revolut is considered a Neobank because it is all online and has no brick and mortar location. There is no real difference between an online bank and a neobank, however.
Is Revolut legit?
Yes, your funds are safe with Revolut. They are FCA-approved.
Is Degiro legit?
Yes, you can be certain your funds are safe with Degiro. They are regulated by a variety of top-tier German and Dutch institutions.
Where is Revolut available?
Revolut is available in countries around the world, including most of Europe, Japan, and the U.S.
Where is Degiro available?
Degiro is available in Europe. Degiro is not available in the U.S.
What are the benefits of Revolut?
Revolut has a variety of benefits, including an all-in-one solution for savings, investment, and cash. Revolut has credit cards, various assets to invest in, cryptocurrency, and savings “vaults” that bring unique features to saving. Their primary benefit is the ease of exchanging currencies.
Does Revolut have crypto?
Yes, Revolut has crypto trading on the app. However, you own a position of the asset, not the actual coin itself. Only UK traders who have the Metal version of Revolut can withdraw crypto.
Does Degiro have crypto?
No, Degiro does not offer crypto trading.
Is Revolut on desktop?
Yes, Revolut recently announced a desktop platform for individual users.