I’ve had a Revolut personal account for about 9 months now (ever since N26 decided it wasn’t going to stick around in the UK) and overall I’ve been very happy with the service.
The account (Metal in my case) is packed full of features, from vaults that automatically round up your transactions and put the change away in your savings, to the ability to buy shares, crypto and commodities straight from the app and of course holding multiple currencies and quite favourable exchange rates. I even had the opportunity to try out the airport lounge access, before, well… you know.. 2020.
All in all, Revolut is a great alternative to more traditional bank accounts and that alone is enough for me to recommend Revolut to friends and family.
However, there is one feature, which is actually rarely highlighted (even by Revolut) and it has easily saved me hundreds, the unassuming single use disposable virtual debit card.
Today, I got less than pleasant reminder why this is actually the best feature.
This can’t only be happening to me
If you are like me and I think many if you will know what I mean, I tend to sign up to A LOT of subscription based online services. Whether its stock photos, some online tool I need, music, game streaming etc.. whatever the case, they all have a free trial period which you can access after you enter your credit card details.
If you are also like me, you will forget to cancel your subscription before the free trial expires 9/10 times (Im being quite generous, I think its more 99/100).
In fact, I’m pretty sure the only time I will remember to cancel is either the app is absolute crap and I will cancel straight away or after I’ve been billed. Even then, I don’t even want to count the number of times I missed the email or simply forgot to do it and ended up being charged again.
So today was one of those days… my Soundcloud Pro subscription (which I bought on a whim for an entire year) was renewed and since this was before I signed up to Revolut it was linked to my Paypal and BAM, £65 gone.
I haven’t logged in to Soundcloud for, I don’t know, at least 6 months and I actually have no plans to and even if I do, I’m quite happy to sign up again if need be.
Normally, I’d probably leave it but £65 is not insignificant and on balance is worth the headache of trying to get my money back.
Annoyingly, I now have to find a way to contact Soundcloud which I already know will not be straight forward.
There is no email address or phone number, obviously, instead you have to “chat” to a bot, skip through 3 or so iterations of “is this what you meant” prompts (which by the way is never what you meant) to finally get to the holy grail, the contact form.
So now Im having to juggle multiple apps (I’m on my phone of course), careful not to accidental close the contact form while I have to grab things like the email I used to signed up, transaction ID’s from Paypal and for some dumb reason, my Soundcloud profile link (literally, why??”) and write a nice email where I more or less beg to get my money back.
To top it off, I even got a reply back, from a bot no less, asking me if “is this what I meant”… (Nice touch there Soundcloud, you stay classy)
Of course, there is no guarantee they will refund me so potentially that’s more back and forth once an actual human decides to answer my emails.
The whole experience is enough to drive you up the wall which is exactly why you probably won’t bother doing it. In fact, in Britain alone, we waste £25 Billion (with a B) on unused subscriptions every year. It’s no wonder then that every company has an infuriating “AI” powered chat box.
Revolut’s Disposable Debit Card
So let’s get back to Revoluts virtual debit card. Revolut has this cool feature where you can create as many virtual credit cards as you want (Im sure there is a limit). These cards are more a less a standard debit cards and since you can connect them to Google Pay or Apple Pay you can use them in the real world straight away.
In fact when you open a Revolut account (which takes under 10 minutes) the app will prompt you to create a virtual card and link it to your phones contactless payment while you wait for your shinny all metal card to arrive.
So far so good, but there is a second option in the cards menu on the app, and that’s the single use ‘disposable virtual card’. As the name suggests this card is single use and as soon as it is used, it is destroyed and a new card is created.
Pretty cool right? Even cooler is that when you do sign up to a subscription the merchant will do an authorisation on the card to check it is real and when this happens the card is immediately destroyed.
This means no more bills for things you forgot you signed up to and I literally use it for everything, even subscriptions I use frequently because most of the time I don’t use them constantly or I get bored and move on to something else.
So while all the cool features Revolut offers are great this one ACTUALLY saves you a lot of money and a lot of headaches.
When’s the last time you’ve been burned by a forgotten subsection? Share your story and/or vent in the comments, you’ll feel better.