Revolut is back


This is pretty straightforward actually. UBS exchange rate is typically +2.3% over interbank rate and another +1.75% foreign transaction fee. Terminals will charge +5% typically for currency echange. If you use the CHF rate from the terminal with an UBS card, you will pay +5% AND +1.75% for foreign transaction as the payment was done outside of Switzerland even if in CHF.

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Just a note for new customers who are unaware of it: Revolut does not have a Swiss banking license and your cash stash is not protected in the event of bankruptcy. So don’t go out and put all your money into the Revolut bank account.


this is a good point, personally I put 500-1000chf in it whenever I need it (for trips etc). It can also be nice for budgeting within Switzerland. In that case just put 200chf in and see how long it lasts.


We’ve been discussing around 18th Jan in this thread and I posted a link from Handelszeitung about the converdion rates.


Hi all, so an update regarding my abroad payment for 107 EUR. I got the missing amount.

  • Swiss credit card in CHF (conversion by terminal provider): 131 CHF
  • Swiss credit card in EUR (conversion by card provider): 126 CHF
  • Revolut in EUR (conversion by Revolut): 121 CHF

Following the recent blog post on revolut and cumulus mastercard, I tried to top up revolut with my cumulus card as well. Apparently there were 0 fees and I don’t understand why. There should be one on revolut side according to their FAQ and as well on the mastercard side, 1.5% for a foreign payment (it is listed as GBR). I had neither, what’s the catch?
It’s definitely faster and more practical than using the IBAN and on top you get some cashback.

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You can load up Revolut with CHF; why would you go GBR?


I meant GBR the country, the currency is CHF.


I recently tried loading my revolut with another credit card from UBS and I was not dinged by fees on either end. Transferred 50 and got 50. Great to get around foreign exchange or foreign transaction costs! And much faster than before without IBAN transfers

Just transfer the amount instantly from your Swiss credit card to revolut and then pay with revolut.


I have the same experience using the cembra cumulus credit card, no fees!


Wow, that’s cool!

I just went looking for confirmation on Revolut and I found that:

Will I be charged for topping up by card?
Topping up via a debit card issued in your home country is completely free.

So as long as we use a Swiss credit card, it should be free!


But it’s not a debit card… And they say that there should be charges for a credit card.


Has anybody ever thought of maximising the CC-cashback with Revolut?
Lately, I had the following idea: why not use your CC to the limit every month to top up revolut, and then pay your CC-bill with Revolut.

Let’s say, you have:

  • 1 Postfinance CC with 0.5% cashback
  • 1 Migros Cumulus Mastercard with 3 points per 1 CHF “cashback” (per 100 points you get 1 CHF to use at Migros, which results in 0.33% cashback)
  • 1 Swisscard Cashback CC with 1% cashback

Assume you get approved for 5000.- CHF credit rating. So every, month, you top up revolut with 3x 5000.- from each of the credit cards. After one year, you get:

  • 300 CHF cashback from postfinance
  • 180 CHF cumulus cash vouchers (which are as good as cash if you shop at Migros)
  • 600 CHF cashback from Swisscard

Total over 1080 CHF for relatively little work.

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You would get blocked by Revolut after a month or two.

Also be careful with:

  • topping up Revolut with a Swiss CC - sometimes they charge a fee for transaction in CHF abroad, sometimes they might not count the cashback on Quasi-Cash transactions
  • recently Swiss transfers go with SWIFT SHA, so it might happen that not the full amount arrives after you send it (this changes over time, might be free now, but might be not)

BTW, you don’t have to limit yourself to the CC limit, just send more money (overpay), and then you can use your CC for bigger spending than the limit itself.


Are you sure that transfering money from e.g. postfinance to Revolut would constitute a purchase?


I did a test with my PF credit card to top up Revolut: Loaded 10 CHF, 10 CHF were charged, 10CHF arrived at Revolut. No fees. I then sent the 10 CHF back to PF. 10 CHF arrived back at PF. (Top up last Tuesday, immediately sent it back from Revolut, money arrived today.)

The “purchase” does not yet show up on my PF credit card statement (always takes some times). The question, however is, why should PF treat this different from any other online purchase? I would say, if the top up appears on my CC statement as any other purchase, it will count toward the cashback.
Im mean, why should PF care about my spendings? The only thing they want is me to use the CC more often - thus the cashback. I actually asked a colleague at work about this (who once calculated a business plan involving credit cards) and he said that no CC company in Switzerland would give away the cashback as acquisition costs. The cashback you get from PF is most likely a revenue share between PF and Mastercard.
So PF probably doesn’t care.

The question is, will Revolut care? Again, why should they? Revolut wants to disrupt the banking industry. The actually want people to wire their salary to Revolut and then spend it with their cards. And as long as they do not offer a personalised IBAN, they will most likely allow top ups via CC. So wiring a big amount once a month should not ring any bells with Revolut.
Would the wire back to my account ring any bells with them? Possibly, but that would mean they filter all transactions and check for exactly this case. Would they? I don’t know. But I assume they have clients with much bigger wire transfers than the 15K we would be talking about in this hypothetical case.

And, Karol, as you pointed out correctly, you don’t even need to restrict yourself to the CC limit. You could actually send the money you topped up on Revolut back to PF and then charge the CC and start the whole process again. Thus, with 2 days for the wire transfer, you could charge your revolut account around 15x a month. Now, you get 4500.- cashback/year. Do this with 3 different credit cards, and you can already support your life in a cheap Asian country. But I am sure, THIS will definitely rain red flags with the money laundering systems of PF and Revolut. :slight_smile:

Also, this is probably not something I am actually going to try to do, but more of a hypothetical idea. Yet, it could be the only way in which CC hacking actually works in Switzerland.


Loss of (lucrative international) transaction volume to competitors.

I dont‘t think so. Why would Mastercard pay them so much? I rather think it‘s a portion coming from interchange.

Because it will cost them money. Paying fees for credit card acceptance and letting customers wire the money out by bank transfers is in no way a sustainable business model that will do anything except lose money - and, of course, attract/retain customers. As a startup in the growth phase, they can afford and are willing to do so for the moment: lose money on these transactions.

You couldn‘t make your „gaming the system“ more obvious than transfering to the very same entity that issued your credit card that you topped up with. This is gonna fly only until they notice and bother about it. I‘ve read that they did caution a few customers already.

Completing this circle, you are going eventually to run into Revolut asking for verification of source of funds once you hit certain (reportedly yearly 5-digit) limits.


they will just block your account. it’s quite easy to detect such a hack. and they do have all sorts of checks for various things so i wouldn’t expect them to let this through.

First you’ll hit the topup limit though. unless you gave them a copy of your tax forms or salary receipts.

Anyway, overall this sounds like a rather crazy idea to me.


Form what I read, they‘re still rather tolerant about card top-ups that get transferred out - if you don‘t overdo it in relation to your income and/or legitimate sources of funds) and don‘t operate too obvious a carousel type of scheme.

Still, enjoy while it lasts.


I think that’s the key. It can’t be something they allow for too long unless they’re desperate to loose money. But agree, it might work for a month or two. So let’s all do it! :slight_smile: