Earn Avios and Skyteam miles with a Revolut debit card – which Revolut card to choose?

Earn Avios and Skyteam miles with a Revolut debit card – which Revolut card to choose?

Earn Avios and Skyteam miles with a Revolut debit card – which Revolut card to choose?

What is Revolut?

Revolut is a financial app launched in 2015 with many facets, including exchanging currencies for low fees, withdrawing money abroad without fees within customers’ plan limits, and even trading cryptocurrency. It works like a pre-paid debit card, and you get a physical Visa or Mastercard debit card to use. However, it is not like a bank account in that your money is not protected in the same way so it is best not to leave large sums in there. Transfers from your nominated account are instant, and you can also have auto top-up selected at a certain level. 

Last week, Revolut launched a new reward scheme that allows you to earn points to exchange for Avios and most major airline miles when you spend (not withdraw money or other features) on your Revolut card. This means a real opportunity for those who either don’t want a credit card, can’t get one, or already have an Amex and want an alternative for where places don’t accept the card. You can also use the points towards a discount on hotel accommodation.  I wrote about it in more detail here and how to add it to your existing account but it took a few days for it to show in everyone’s account. 

I have been using Revolut for years and mainly use it for withdrawing currency abroad, transfers in foreign currency and cryto. I now plan to use it for everyday spending where I don’t want to use Amex or my Virgin card. 


Which airlines can you earn miles with?

The list of airlines is decent but essentially, it is Avios or Flying Blue, which opens up all of oneworld and Skyteam airlines. 

Airline Miles:

  • Flying Blue
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Aer Lingus – Aer Club
  • Vueling – Vueling Club
  • Iberia – Iberia Plus

The exchange rate is 500 Revolout points to 500 miles. 


Comparison of the Revolut levels

There are currently four levels of account with different benefits, so I will be looking at the Avios/miles aspects and benefits of each one.

The first thing to note is the different RevPoints earning rates which vary from 1 per £10 spent on the free card to 1 per £1 spent on the Ultra Card. This compares to a free credit card such as the BA Amex or Barclaycard, so it is not worth buying unless you would use the extras and don’t have them already included in another card such as the Platinum. There is also the bonus to consider when you spend £2000 in the first three months which gives up to 10,000 bonus points on the Ultra card. 

Most financially astute people are probably thinking, OK, I’ll sign up for the monthly plan, get my bonus and then downgrade. However, it is a complex set of criteria when it comes to downgrading depending on when you do it and which plan you are on, even for monthly customers. There is a full explanation of all the fees they can charge for cancelling on this web page.

When looking at some of the perks, it is worth doing your sums. If you are relatively young, you should be able to get an annual policy cheaper (<£100) than having one of these plans, and if you have pre-existing conditions, the medical part of the insurance is unlikely to cover you, so you’d still have to get some. Similarly the car excess insurance can be bought for around £70 a year.  I’d read the insurance terms and conditions closely, particularly for those with pre-existing conditions, many of which are usually not covered by these sorts of policies.

However, if you have Deliveroo Plus Silver, Financial Times, WeWork, or a VPN subscription, then these are included with the higher plans, along with a few other perks. 

The e-sim 30gb data is also useful with the Ultra plan if you use data abroad. I generally only use around 2-3gb a week at the absolute max as I tend to use hotel wi-fi so it would not be enough to sway me. I would normally spend around £12 a week for this sort of data, but only outside the EU and US, as my O2 plan includes those. 

I would not bother with any of the plans for lounge access except the Ultra which is cheaper than Amex Platinum per month and has similar insurance benefits but does not offer status. The discounted rates are not valuable as you can buy a cheap Priority Pass on Groupon starting from £6 which gives a similar benefit. 

So ultimately you will need to add up all the elements that you do not have covered already or could cancel and see if that along with the Avios earning makes sense. 


Revolut Ultra

Since this is a relatively new card I have not reviewed before, I thought it was worth exploring this one in more depth.

The physical card looks very impressive, as it should, being plated in actual platinum metal!

Like the other accounts, the card itself is a Mastercard or Visa debit card. So there are no credit checks to go through to get the account or fear of being rejected.


What perks do you get?

Revolut views the card as suited towards frequent travellers who will get the most benefits from the card.

The inclusions on the plan are impressive and on a par with other luxury cards, such as the American Express Platinum card, but have some interesting additions I have not seen before. If you make full use of them, you could save £4000* or more per year. The cancellation insurance is a key one for me, along with all the purchase insurance benefits. The decision is whether Ultra would be a better fit than Amex Platinum as the benefits are different in some areas. The key difference for frequent travellers being the lack of hotel status included. 

Here are the Ultra benefits:

  • Unlimited access to 1,400+ airport lounges worldwide.
  • Worldwide travel insurance for emergency medical and dental cover, including winter sports as well as cover for car-hire excess, lost or damaged baggage, delayed flights and personal liability. (Insurance T&Cs apply).
  • ‘Cancellation for Any Cause’ insurance. Regardless of their reason for cancellation, Ultra members will be refunded up to £5,000 for flights, trains, accommodation or events. You get between 70-100% of the money back, depending on the reason for cancellation. This, for me, is a huge benefit as usually travel insurance only covers cancellation for medical reasons or the death of a relative.
  • £10,000 per year purchase protection (insurance T&Cs apply).
  • 24/7 member support in the app chat and phone support in English.
  • Ultra members that book accommodation with Revolut Stays (Revolut’s accommodation booking feature) will receive up to 10% cashback.
  • Unlimited foreign currency exchange in 30+ currencies, plus £2000 in withdrawals worldwide with no extra fees charged by Revolut. You can also spend, exchange and transfer unlimited amounts of money at great exchange rates, with no fees between Monday and Friday. A customer can withdraw up to £2,000 from ATMs each rolling month for free, no matter where they are, saving an estimated £130+ worth of fees per year.
  • No international transfer fees charged by Revolut for every international transfer sent, with no limits. 
  • Ultimate subscription package, gathering a range of brand memberships together which is something I have not seen available in this wide-ranging format. These include credits and subscriptions from brands including Financial Times Premium, ClassPass, Deliveroo, WeWork, NordVPN and more – with a total retail value of £2,200+ a year
  • Ultra members can earn up to 0.1% cashback within Europe and the UK and 1% everywhere else in the world (capped at the monthly plan price).
  • Purchase protection of up to £10,000 a year on stolen or damaged items within a year of purchase
  • Cancelled event protection of up to £1,000 and refund protection of £300+ on eligible purchases within 90 days of purchase.


How to get a Revolut account

You can sign up to Revolut for any of the cards here.




*The value displayed has been calculated based on the standalone financial value of new Ultra benefits (e.g. included partnerships), added with the value of savings made on charged fees for benefit usage (e.g. reduced remittances fees) in comparison to Standard plan fees. The latter is informed by the average use of each existing benefit by our top 10% of Metal customers during 2022. The overall value can be realised from using each plan benefit throughout a 1 year period. Please see the plan terms for a full plan benefit breakdown.

The trip and event cancellation insurance value is for illustration only based on the same customer sample as above, and their average annual spent on flights purchased with Revolut (£1,672.32) and bookings made through Revolut Stays (£1,340.30), equaling to £3,012.62 per year. A cancellation rate of 20.6% based on Revolut Stays data was applied and is the assumed factor for total trip cancellations (incl. flights). Value assumes all submitted claims qualify for 70% reimbursement. Please note this is an illustration only based on no product performance data being available to date. Maximum value will depend on user behaviour and can be derived up to the per claim and annual policy limit. Please refer to Insurance T&Cs for details and claims submission criteria.

Value of travel insurance is based on a standalone multi-trip, family travel insurance price provided by Revolut’s insurance partner and not on usage.

Points to note:

  • Ultra T&Cs apply. See applicable plan fees on the Fees Page.
  • Insurance excess applies, see Insurance T&Cs here
  • You can find all the Revolut Ultra general T&C here.
  • This article is for general advice only and does not constitute financial advice.

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