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Buy Bitcoin Cheaply in the UK: Revolut FAQ

Have you got a question about cheaply buying bitcoin in the UK which you can’t find the answer to in my previous guide? In this post, I’m answering some of the most frequently asked questions which I’ve come across about Revolut and how it can be used as a route to buy bitcoin as cheaply as possible in the UK.

Remember: I’m not a financial advisor. Check out my full disclaimer here.

Have a question?

You might find your answer in the Revolut FAQ, their community forums, or my previous post.  If you can’t find your answer, let me know in the comments below or tweet me. I am looking to expand this FAQ over time, so I welcome any questions you might have.

FAQ

Error: Beneficiary not allowed

Some users have reported that they’ll receive the error “Beneficiary not allowed” when attempting to add a cryptocurrency exchange, such as Coinbase or Bitstamp, as a beneficiary (i.e., payment recipient). As noted in the ‘Buy Bitcoin Cheaply in the UK’ post and this Reddit post, this can be resolved by activating your personal EURO account inside Revolut beforehand. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Revolut app.
  2. On the Revolut home screen, click the small icon in the top left corner of the screen (Accounts).
  3. Select EUR account.
  4. Select ‘Activate’.

Alternatively: Follow the instructions in this post.

Once you’ve activated your personal Euro account, you should be able to add exchanges like Coinbase/GDAX and Bitstamp as beneficiaries without issue.

If this doesn’t resolve your issue, try uninstalling and re-downloading the Revolut app. Failing that, contact their support in-app to troubleshoot the issue.

Can I withdraw from GDAX/Bitstamp to Revolut/Fire.com?

Yes, just reverse the process described as ‘route #1’ in this post. You’ll have to pay a €0.15 fee when withdrawing from GDAX and a €0.90 fee when withdrawing from Bitstamp.

Add your Revolut/Fire.com EURO accounts by:

  • GDAX
    • Go to Coinbase
    • Select ‘Settings’
    • Select ‘Payment Methods’
    • Select ‘+ Add Payment Method’
    • Add details of Revolut/Fire.com EURO accounts
  • Bitstamp
    • Go to Bitstamp
    • In the top right, select ‘Withdrawal’
    • In the left-pane, select ‘EU Bank (SEPA)’
    • Put in details of Revolut/Fire.com EURO accounts

Can I withdraw euros from Kraken to Revolut/Fire.com?

Yes, you can withdraw euros from Kraken to your Revolut or Fire EURO accounts. According to a Kraken support article here, Kraken:

may accept deposits from or withdrawals to third party payment processors if they provide their clients with personalised IBANs that are in the client’s own name.

By default, Fire Personal EURO accounts have a unique IBAN which is in your name. In contrast, Revolut EURO accounts do not have a unique IBAN in your name by default. Following the instructions from the question above (Error: “Beneficiary not allowed”), you can activate a personal IBAN for your Revolut EURO account. This might not activate instantly (15minutes+).

Check bank details with something like IBAN.com

Despite working for me, I have previously read about others having issues. In addition, Revolut themselves have previously noted that Kraken to Revolut withdrawals were being refused. I’d appreciate experiences from others regarding success with this.

Does Revolut have funding limits?

Once you’ve completed Revolut’s ID verification, you can check your annual funding limit in the app:

  1. Open the Revolut app.
  2. In the bottom right corner, select ‘More’.
  3. At the top of the app, select ‘Profile’.
  4. Select ‘Verification & Limits’.

On this page, it shows your annual limit and how much you’ve used of that allowance so far. My annual limit is set to £25,000 (but yours might be different). You can increase this limit by submitting additional information to customer support.

From the Revolut FAQ (here), it also notes that:

If you’re making a transfer in GBP in or out of your Revolut account there are daily and weekly limits. The daily limit is £75,000 combined, meaning that you cannot transfer more than £75,000 in or out of the account per 24 hours. The weekly limit is £125,000 combined. If you attempt to make a transfer larger than this amount, it will be automatically rejected by our payment processor.

How can I check how much of the monthly free foreign exchange allowance I've used?

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Revolut app.
  2. In the bottom right corner, select ‘More’.
  3. At the top of the app, select ‘Profile’.
  4. Select the option labelled ‘Price plan’.

This page shows how much of your free monthly exchange rate you’ve used (under ‘FX transactions’.

If you expect to regularly go over your monthly £5000 foreign exchange transaction allowance, consider looking into Revolut Premium.

Hypothetical: What happens if Revolut block payments to cryptocurrency exchanges in the future?

In /r/bitcoinUK, some users are getting the impression that Revolut might cease to allow payments to cryptocurrency exchanges once they integrate some cryptocurrencies into their application (due late November/early December). While I doubt they’ll start blocking payments, it’s always good to be prepared – as it would disrupt route #1 described in this post.

If this did occur, we could just add another hop through a Fire.com personal (Euro) account. Main features include:

  • It’s another mobile banking application.
  • Free to setup with no monthly fees to keep the account open.
  • Free to send or receive payments (no SEPA fees either).
  • Can send funds to cryptocurrency exchanges (e.g., GDAX/Bitstamp) without issue.

Unfortunately, Fire.com charges a 1.25% fee when exchanging from one currency to another. Probably better than what a high street bank would offer, but it can’t beat Revolut.

Beats the banks, but not Revolut.

You’ll need to verify yourself before you can access and use all the features of the account. I had some annoying issues and couldn’t verify successfully through anything but my smartphone. It takes about 15 minutes to complete the process. You can read more about this process (including what’s required) in their FAQ here.

If you were jumping through a Fire.com personal account, the process would look something like this:

  1. Transfer funds from GBP bank account (via transfer or debit card) to your GBP Revolut account.
  2. Exchange GBP funds in Revolut to EUR (at the real exchange rateinstantly).
  3. Transfer funds from your EUR Revolut account to your EUR Fire.com account.
  4. Transfer funds from your EUR Fire.com account to GDAX or Bitstamp.
  5. Purchase bitcoins at less than 1.5% above the real EUR to BTC exchange rate (or less than 1% if using Bitstamp).

While you’ll pay no extra fees for making this extra hop, it adds more time before your funds arrive in the cryptocurrency exchange (up to another 12 hours on weekdays).

Should I buy and sell bitcoin through GDAX or Bitstamp?

If you check out BittyBot’s EUR exchange comparison here, you’ll usually find that bitcoin is selling for less on Bitstamp (<1% above the real exchange rate) than it is on GDAX (>1% above the real exchange rate). This means that:

  • You get more bitcoin when you buy through Bitstamp.
  • You’ll get more euros when you sell bitcoin through GDAX.

Check out this spreadsheet to see for yourself.

If you’re curious, you can check the volume of transactions through each exchange here.

I don't want to (or can't) use Revolut. What other routes can I take?

If you don’t want to (or can’t) use Revolut, you could use something like TransferWise instead. I’ve provided a brief overview of their service in this post, which I recommend you check out. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use TransferWise to directly transfer euros to exchanges like GDAX or Bitstamp as they’ll refuse deposits from accounts which aren’t in your name. You can overcome this by using a Fire.com personal account (outlined in another FAQ above). Using these services, the process would look something like this:

Using this process, I was able to have funds on a cryptocurrency exchange in less than 24hours. Not bad.

Anything to add?

Did I miss something? Or did I make a mistake? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me. I’m going to be improving and expanding this post over time, so I appreciate any feedback from readers.

8 Comments

  1. Gabriel 10th December 2017
  2. Akif 12th December 2017
    • Penguin 13th December 2017
  3. Toto 16th January 2018
  4. Baudeleau 9th May 2018
    • Dean 11th May 2018

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