Revolut threatening to disrupt AmEx $AXP
The Revolut app is amazing!
It’s the kind of app which should have existed long before now, enabling us to swap currencies at decent rates and move them quickly. It’s user-friendly, fast and more convenient than a typical banking app. I’ve lived in a couple of different places and always had to move currencies from place to place, and this is the service I always needed.
What makes me even more excited is the sense that I’ve only scratched the surface of its features, since downloading it a couple of weeks ago. I’m excited about the prospect of getting a Revolut card, and am seriously contemplating the Silver and Metal options!
The Metal card, at €13.99 (or £12.99) per month, gives 1% cashback, a concierge service for hotel and flight bookings, medical insurance, travel delay insurance, and a bunch of other benefits.
This article sums up the feeling which Revolut gives its customers:
I may just be a freelance fintech consultant, working on a bench in a coffee shop in Sheffield rather than a bar on a beach in Thailand, but I have a VIP concierge service and my card is in the post and it is ice cool Metal. You know how Revolut makes me feel? Like a rich man.
The “I feel rich” sensation has traditionally been associated with the cards issued by American Express ($AXP). However, I don’t think that AmEx offers the payments and FX functionality that Revolut does – if you’re an AmEx customer, let me know what you think in the comments!
And Amex cards are expensive. While the Basic Card is free, it doesn’t provide many benefits worth writing home about. To get the benefits, what you really need is the Platinum Card for an annual fee of £575.
So I wonder: for a new generation of mobile, technologically-savvy professionals, could Revolut eliminate the desire for an AmEx platinum card? Why pay AmEx for lounge access, travel insurance, hotel benefits and other rewards if these are all available for a fraction of the price and in a more functional way through Revolut?
I own a tiny sliver of AmEx through my Berkshire Hathaway ($BRK.B) shareholding, and I think this could be a real concern.
Well done to the former bank trader Nikolay Storonsky, who set up Revolut in 2015:
I was travelling a lot and wasting hundreds of pounds on foreign transaction fees and exchange rate commissions which just didn’t feel right. As someone with a financial background I knew exactly the rates I should be getting. As a solution, I tried to find a multi-currency card and was later told it wasn’t possible. But I was determined to make it work.