Tide vs Revolut: Comparing business bank accounts

Tide vs Revolut: Comparing business bank accounts

Keeping your business finances in order

When starting your own business, there’s so much to think about: writing a business plan, securing capital, buying equipment, choosing your company name, marketing – the list may seem endless. Opening a business bank account may not always be at the top of your priorities, but it should be. It’s so much easier – especially where tax is concerned – to keep your personal and business finances completely separate. If you’re planning to expand your company at any point, or borrow money to invest in the future, it makes sense to open a business bank account from Day 1. You can read more about the benefits in our article why you need a separate business account for your business.

Challenger banks defined

There’s a vast amount of choice when it comes to selecting a business bank account. As well as the traditional high street banks, there are now a wealth of online accounts provided by Challenger banks. These can be defined as new, smaller banks created to transform the banking space and ‘challenge’ the main High Street banks. They provide new digital, financial practices and many operate through online-only banking or a mobile app instead of having a branch network. You’ll still get the same security as you would with a traditional bank. Tide, for example, is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Our ClearBank-provided bank accounts all have FSCS protection. We are also one of the leading providers of digital business banking services in the UK.

In this article, we will compare and explain the different account features and products provided by both Tide and Revolut.

Table of contents

Tide vs Revolut: the similarities

Whether you’re a sole trader, freelancer, or director of your own limited company, both Tide and Revolut cater for you. Established in 2015, Tide is one of the first digital-only finance platforms to provide business bank accounts exclusively for those who work for themselves. The Revolut business accounts in both the UK and Europe were introduced in 2017.

Tide and Revolut both offer business bank accounts that can be opened and accessed from smartphone apps. With Revolut, you need to apply for an account in the name of your registered business. Both offer multiple types of business accounts with a free account aimed at those starting out. Whilst both Tide and Revolut accounts are secure, only Tide’s business bank accounts provided through ClearBank are FSCS-protected. To find out more about the differences you can take a look at our article about e-money vs bank accounts. You also receive a payment card with Tide and Revolut. They both offer a range of useful features, including the facility to manage company expenses and accounting integration with a range of popular accounting software, including Xero. However, there are also significant differences between the two, and throughout this article, we will explore the features that set them apart.

Tide vs Revolut: how much do accounts cost?

Feature Tide Revolut
Monthly account charge Free Free
Paid Plan Plus £9.99/month Grow £25/month
Paid Plan Cashback £49.99/month Scale £100/month
Fee for cash deposits £2.50 for deposits up to £500
or 0.5% of cash amount for deposits over £500
(at Post Offices)
3% (at PayPoints)
Cash deposits not accepted
Transfers between accounts (Tide/Revolut) Free Free
ATM cash withdrawals £1 each 5 on the Free plan, then charges apply
information correct as of September 2021

Firstly, it’s free to open a Tide account and there’s no monthly fee for the entry-level business account. There are also no transaction fees to transfer money between Tide accounts. Transfers in or out of your account cost 20p. There isn’t at present the facility to make international transfers directly from a Tide business account.

As with Tide, it’s also free to open a business account with Revolut and there are no monthly fees with the free account aimed at those starting out. The main difference with Tide is that Revolut offers the facility to hold and exchange up to 28 currencies and provides two local currency accounts in GBP and EUR.

Revolut Grow and Scale

Both Tide and Revolut offer paid accounts that unlock additional features and are aimed at those whose businesses may be starting to scale up. Revolut provides two paid account plans: Grow, charged at £25 per month, and Scale, charged at £100 per month. With Grow, you can add up to 10 team members for free and this increases to 30 with Scale. The number of free local transfers is 100 and 1000 respectively. International transfers increase from 10 with a Grow account to 50 with a Scale account. There are real rate FX allowances of £10k and £50k with the two accounts for foreign currency transactions. Both accounts offer useful features for those running their own business, including the ability to manage company expenses, as well as the facility to set up recurring payments.

Tide features

The Tide app could be likened to a business toolbox, providing a host of smart features to help members manage their finance admin. Many of these features are available for free or can be accessed with a small monthly charge. One of the most helpful products is company expense cards, which you can use to manage your team’s business purchases. You can order up to 50 cards per account for your team members, which cost just £5+VAT each. These enable your team to make purchases directly from your business account. All transactions are itemised and receipts can be scanned and uploaded directly to the app. You can also stay in control with the ability to monitor expenditure and set individual spending limits.

Another free feature available within the app is invoicing, which enables you to create and send your own customised invoices and track payments. Cashflow Insights is an invaluable tool to help you keep your business finances in the black. As well as providing you with easy-to-read forecasts for up to 30 days ahead, it offers tips and recommendations for actions you can take to protect your cash flow. With our new Open Banking integration, you can connect any other business accounts you may have too to get an even more accurate picture of your financial health. You can also access affordable and flexible credit options and check your credit rating thanks to the embedded Experian Credit Score.

Tide Plus and Cashback

As well as the free standard account, which is ideal for those who have just made the leap to work for themselves, Tide also offers upgrade options to support you as your business grows. For £9.99 per month + VAT, Tide Plus provides telephone support, a 24/7 legal helpline as well as up to 20 free transfers in and out. You also get a free company expense card, which you can use to manage your company expenditure. At £49.99 per month + VAT, Tide Cashback is perfect for those running larger businesses. In addition to your own dedicated account manager, you also receive 150 free transfers per month, 0.5% cashback on all spend on your Tide card, as well as 3 company expense cards for you and your team to use to manage company purchases.

How easy is it to open a business bank account with Tide vs Revolut?

Both Tide and Revolut have it covered when it comes to opening a business bank account. You can apply in minutes using the respective apps and there are no complicated forms to fill in. Revolut maintains it can take between 1 and 7 days for a business account to be set up, while Tide states that it can take as little as 10 minutes for an account to be opened.

Feature Tide Revolut
Apply through the app ✔️ ✔️
Quick application ✔️ ✔️
Credit check
Card delivery fee Free Free
Card delivery timescale 2-5 working days 2 weeks, express delivery within 2 days
Replacement card fee Free A replacement card fee may apply, depending on the country
information correct as of September 2021

Tide account sign-up

To get started with opening a business bank account with Tide, you’ll first need to download the Tide app from either the App Store or Google Play Store. You will then need to provide a form of ID: either a driving licence, passport, or European National ID card. You may also be asked to provide evidence that your business is already up and running, such as HMRC registration, evidence of any qualifications you may have, or signed contracts. The Tide pledge states that 53% of new business customers open their accounts in under 10 minutes, 70% in under 60 minutes, and 81% within 48 hours. There will be no hard credit check and your accompanying bank card will be supplied for free. If you lose your card, there’s no fee to order a replacement.

Revolut accout sign-up

The application process to open an account for your business with Revolut is very similar to opening a business bank account with Tide. You can apply directly from your phone, as soon as you’ve downloaded the Revolut app from Google Play Store or App Store. In terms of ID, if you’re a UK, EU, EEA, or Swiss national, then you should upload a photo of a valid passport, identification card, or driving licence (UK) with a minimum of one month until the document expires. For residents of other countries, a valid passport is also required, but it must have at least three months until expiry.

In addition to photo identification, Revolut also asks you to supply a high-level structure of your company. This will entail you providing the names of any shareholders who directly or indirectly own 25% of your company, as well as the names of your company directors. Once you’ve supplied this information, the Revolut team will review your application, carry out due diligence and let you know if your application has been approved, which normally takes a few days.

Tide vs Revolut: using your card in the UK and abroad

Both Tide and Revolut offer free card transactions when spending in the UK. The contactless card limit is £45 with Tide and, while there is no official limit with Revolut, you will be prompted every 5th transaction to reset your contactless limit within the app. When it comes to withdrawals from ATMs, the free limits on Revolut’s plans are as follows: Free plan users can withdraw a total of £200, or make a total of 5 ATM withdrawals (whatever comes first). Grow users have £200 per month in fee-free ATM withdrawals. Scale users have £400 per month in fee-free ATM withdrawals. Tide has a flat fee of £1 per withdrawal and there are no limits.

If you travel abroad, then you can use your Tide card to spend at any retailer or outlet where Mastercard is accepted. You’ll also receive the Mastercard exchange rate with no additional mark-up or fees. Unlike many other digital or High Street banks, there is also no free-spending limit. However, you will still be charged £1 to withdraw cash at an ATM (the same charge as applies in the UK).

Revolut offers its customers a pre-paid currency card to make payments abroad with no fees using the interbank exchange rate in over 150 currencies. The interbank rate is the rate that banks offer to each other when exchanging currencies and is more competitive than those typically offered at a bureau de change. However, when making payments at weekends, Revolut will typically charge a mark-up fee between 0.5% and 2.5% to the interbank rate depending on the currency. This is due to foreign exchange markets being closed.

Tide vs Revolut: customer support

Feature Tide Revolut
Customer service via the app ✔️ ✔️
Customer service by telephone ✔️ ✔️
information correct as of September 2021

Account-holders with a free Tide account can contact Member Support through the app. You can also send Tide an email with your contact number and request a call back from the Member Support team during working hours. An automated telephone service is available to report a lost or stolen card. For members on the Tide Plus or Cashback plans, there is access to telephone support, as well as a 24/7 legal helpline to assist with any tax or contract issues. Tide Cashback members also benefit from their own dedicated account manager.

Like Tide, Revolut provides support via the app for members on the free plan. Business customers on both the Grow and Scale plans can access 24/7 priority support experts who are on hand to answer any queries.

Tide vs Revolut in conclusion: similar yet different

In summary, the business accounts on offer from both Tide and Revolut have a number of similarities. They are both digital accounts, which you can manage from the convenience of a mobile app. You apply for a free business account with no monthly charges with both Tide and Revolut. Their apps contain a range of smart features and you can upgrade to paid accounts to suit your business needs. However, while Revolut offers accounts for both business and personal finances, and has more focus on international currency transactions, Tide’s mission is solely to help start-ups and entrepreneurs with its mission of saving small businesses time and money. From company formation and VAT registration, setting up a virtual office address, to invoicing, expense management, and managing cash flow, Tide supports small business owners at every step of their journey.

Join the Tide community 👷‍♀️👨🏽‍🍳

350,000 fellow business owners, just like you, already love our features:

✔️ Register your business for free

✔️ Open a business bank account with no monthly fees

✔️ Predict your cash flow and improve your credit score

✔️ Unlock exclusive member perks and discounts

✔️ Get 24/7 legal support with Tide Plus and Cashback

Open your business bank account with Tide today 🚀

Sources used for this article

  1. Wikipedia – Revolut
  2. Wikipedia – Challenger Banks
  3. Wikipedia – Financial Crash 2008
  4. Tide blog – e-money vs bank accounts: how Tide keeps your money safe
  5. Revolut website – https://www.revolut.com/business/help

All sources checked as of 13th August 2021

Caroline Wire

Caroline Wire

Senior Small Business Copywriter

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