The #1 Bank to use in 2022

Can banks go bankrupt? They can, and when they do, they can steal your money. Read more to see how you can protect yourself from such a scenario.

The #1 Bank to use in 2022
Image curtesy of

GB Square Placeholder

Use it like a normal bank for sending and receiving payments. Use the real or virtual card online and in shops. Buy Cryptocurrencies, buy stocks, buy commodities.

Why you need to change Your Bank

Are you looking to change bank in 2022?  Probably not, right?  Most people will not change bank, but why not? And are you most people?

Banking has changed a lot in the last twenty years.  Prior to 2008 probably many people had never thought of changing their bank.  Then after 2008 there came a sudden realization that banks were not necessarily the safe places to put our money, that we had been led to believe.  Around 2014 governments started creating legislation that now allows them to take money out of depositors accounts if they, the bank, has been making too many risky investments and is looking like it might go bankrupt.

Banks go Bankrupt?

When Lehman Brother's went bankrupt in 2008, it was because they had exposure to too much bad debt, in their case mortgages that were not being paid.  This caused people; investors and organisations, to lose trust in them and start to remove their investments.  As good investments get liquidated, this increases their exposure to the bad investments and things quickly go downhill from there.  Usually the last people to notice are the retail investors, you and I.  In this case though, institutional investors also got caught out, and it looked as though many other banks would go bankrupt as a result of this one mega-bank not being able to pay its debts.

Back then governments stepped in, increased their national debt (which devalues everyone's savings), and declared the banks too big to fail.  So the banks were let off the hook and those with savings paid for it indirectly through inflation.  If you had stocks and shares or an Index tracking fund then you may have benefitted as the markets rose thanks to the massive injection of cash from the governments to prop up the banks.

Governments didn't like the idea of being on the hook for a banks mistakes and that's why they created the bail-in legislation.  Now if a bank looks like it will fail, first the banks shareholders pay, then the banks bond-holders pay and next the banks customers pay.

Some good news is that if you have under €100,000 (£85,000) with that bank, you should still be insured through the government's regulated bank insurance scheme.  It includes all banks within a banking group though, so if you have an account with Lloyds, TSB, Bank of Scotland, Halifax etc., they are all one group and so all deposits get added up.

Where to Turn?

I've been using Revolut now since 2017.  I've had may salary paid into it, I've made national and international payments.  I own several cards.  I've had my wife sign up. I've set up multiple savings accounts.  I'm fully convinced that what they have to offer is a game changer.  I am not experienced in using Revolut in the US, so if you have feedback from that side of the pond, then please let me know in the comments.

1. Revolut is like a normal bank

With Revolut you can get your salary paid in to the account directly.  In the UK they are part of the Faster Payments service and so you can transfer money in and out within seconds.  You can make payments using sort-codes and account numbers, but you can also pay other app users using the contacts in your phone, or by scanning a QR code.

In Europe you can have a euro account and make payments into and out of the account using SEPA and the IBAN from your account.  Unfortunately Europe doesn't have Faster Payments ☹️

In the UK Revolut supports LINK meaning you can use pretty much every ATM without paying.  Europe does not have LINK meaning you're normally left looking for an ATM which won't charge you an arm and a leg to withdraw €20.  Some European banks have a special selling point where if you withdraw at least €50 then you won't have to pay the fee.  For those of us who don't like carrying cash this is still not great.

Revolut is better than any other German bank that I have found; I don't have to pay any fees to make ATM withdrawals from any bank, even for €20.

2. Revolut has savings vaults

A savings vault is basically a savings account.  You won't get any interest, but let's face it, you don't get interest from a high-street bank anyway.  I've not been able to find out about the deposit insurance scheme for the standard account, but there terms do say that any money kept inside a savings vault is insured up to the same value as with other banks.

This means if you plan on keeping quite a bit of money in Revolut, then what you don't need during the month, simply put it into a savings vault where you can access it any time you want.  You can have as many vaults as you like, assign a photograph to it, and give it a memorable name - or just call it Holiday Fund.  The vaults can then be funded regularly, each month or each week, or you can select to round of the value of any purchases and keep the extra in the savings vault.

I keep our children's savings in vaults here that way they're visible and I can transfer money regularly and when they get Birthday and Christmas money.

One further use of vaults I discuss in point 4.

3. Revolut has the absolute cheapest currency exchange

Revolut has been trying to become profitable in recent months and has played around with their terms and conditions in order to do so.  In particular they are removing some of the benefits of the FREE/STANDARD tier accounts and pushing more benefits into the paid accounts.  I will try to keep this post up to date as things change.

Currently Revolut currency conversions use the interbank exchange rate without any markup. Except that over the weekend they freeze the rate and apply a 1% markup (at least that's what I believe, I cannot see it in their terms now though).  Also for the STANDARD and PLUS accounts they charge 0.5% after you reach 1000€ exchanged in any one month.

If you pay with the Revolut card when you're in another country then the conversion happens instantly and there is still no markup.

Compare it with other banks, I think you'll also find that it has the absolute cheapest currency exchange!

4. Keep foreign currency in vaults

Now that you know about the best way to convert foreign currencies, how about keeping some savings in foreign currencies for a rainy day...

It just so happens that using the Revolut vaults you can make regular savings into a different currency.  My Ruble savings have gone up 10% in 2021!

I'm Rubles and Singapore Dollars in addition to some savings in Pounds and Euros.  Just in case inflation gets the better of any one particular currency.

5. Invest in Cryptocurrencies

This is getting a little more advanced now.  Once you're up and running in Revolut and are familiar with the basic functions then consider using it for Cryptocurrencies.  It is very simple to set up and start benefitting from the Cryptocurrency craze.

Again, you can transfer money regularly to one of several Crypto coins.  In 2020 I bought some Litecoin using Revolut and 6 months later was able to sell it for a tidy profit.

Revolut is not my favourite way to invest in Crypto currency, but it is the quickest and easiest if you're already a regular user.  It is not my favourite because you do not hold the coins at all, Revolut hold it on your behalf.  This is a minor downside but not too different to any other crypto exchange.  The main downside is the fees associated with selling the investment.  If you have a significant profit then it can be worthwhile upgrading your plan prior to selling, in order to get the best rates possible.

See my future articles for advice on how to do more advanced Crypto currency investing.  If you are only starting out then I'd suggest starting with Bitcoin and Ethereum.

I should note that Cryptocurrencies are not covered by any deposit protection schemes.  Only invest what you can afford to lose.

6. Invest in Commodities

Commodities is a general term to cover products that are typically bought and sold in the open marketplace.  This general term covers things like Previous metals, Oil & Gas, Farm produce etc.

With Revolut you can quickly and easily invest in Gold and Silver (I don't think other commodities are available yet).  If you've read my wealth retention strategy then you'll know that I favour having some investments in Gold and Silver.  To get your initial investments going then you can simply purchase Gold and Silver right inside of the app, as a one off or using a scheduled regular payment.

It's nice to have your cash, foreign currencies, cryptocurrencies and gold and silver all in one app.  But remember, don't keep all your eggs in one basket.  It's good as a starting place, but before long you'll need to consider diversifying where your investments are kept.

7. Invest in Stocks

I personally don't use this feature because at the time I looked at it, it only allowed investing into individual stocks and not into ETFs.  You may know that my preference is to choose an Index Tracker or two and be done with it.

Having looked for this feature on my Revolut app, I cannot find it.  It turns out it may only be available in certain countries, like the UK.

If you have access to it and want to use it, then feel free.  If you want to know what I'd recommend then stay turned for an article on that subject.

8. Children's Accounts

I think this is a smart feature, but I don't use it yet because our children are too young.  It is a bank account that you set up and manage through your app, but the child gets a bank card that they can use at a shop.

I've just checked the terms and it turns out that from 6 years old a child can have their own bank card.  That would qualify two of my children, but I think we'll leave it until they've figured out how to count the money in their piggy banks.

GB Square Placeholder

Use it like a normal bank for sending and receiving payments. Use the real or virtual card online and in shops. Buy Cryptocurrencies, buy stocks, buy commodities.