Brace yourself for a bit of a long story.
A few months ago, I was on a night out with a group of friends.
When the bill came, one of the girls – someone I met for the first time that night – pulled out her card and swiped for everyone.
The next morning, she sent round Revolut me links* for payment.
What are Revolute me links
For the uninitiated, Revolut.me links takes you to a payment page that looks similar to the ones you use in internet shopping sites if you’re not a Revolut customer.
You plug in your details and then the money gets sent to the person making the request’s account.
It doesn’t accept Amex, but Visa or Mastercard credit or debit cards are fine.
What happened next
I don’t use Revolut so I paid the £14.15 due with my credit card.
A couple of weeks later I checked my credit card account and a fee and interest charge had been applied.
Apparently that Revolut payment counted as a cash transaction, rather than a purchase, so not only had I been charged a £3 fee for basically using my card to withdraw cash, I was also unknowingly accruing interest on that outstanding balance.
I was obviously shocked.
The Revolut me link I received never indicated that it would be counted as a cash transaction – there were zero warnings about additional fees if you use a credit card – and a subsequent Google search revealed mixed results.
It was a tiny penalty but had I known that’s the case, I would have just used my debit card.
Instead, I’m paying quite a bit more for this one drink and it could be affecting my credit score.
How I dealt with it
I queried this with my card provider straightaway and reached out to Revolut.
Revolut on their part told me: “Usually it is a payment transaction but it also depends on the card and the issuing bank of the card.”
So it seems I was just unlucky that my card provider classed it as a cash withdrawal.
And Revolut were unable to help me further because I wasn’t a customer.
Meanwhile, my card provider reversed the payment while they’re investigating, but not the fee or the interest.
A month later, it turned out they thought my query was about something entirely different.
They reapplied the £14.15 and took off the £3 cash transaction charge and the interest.
I thought that would be the end of it. Except a month later, I noticed another interest payment being applied to my account.
Again, I queried it with my card provider.
It turned out that when they reapplied the £14.15, it was still classed as a cash withdrawal so I was still accruing interest on it – even though I had paid off my balance by direct debit in the meantime.
Exasperated, I complained and they reversed the interest. I also paid off that balance in full.
But guess what, almost four months on from that initial payment, I’m still waiting to see whether I’ll accrue even more interest on it because of the lag between when the interest appeared and I paid off the balance.
Long story short, if you’re ever sent a Revolut me link, only use your debit card.