Tide vs Revolut: Comparing business bank accounts
If you’re starting your own business, opening a business bank account probably isn’t near the top of your priority list – but there are a number of reasons why it should be.
For one thing, keeping your personal and business finances completely separate will make your tax returns much simpler. And if you’re hoping to expand your company or borrow money at some point, it will be helpful to have a business bank account that’s been active since day 1.
But if you’re thinking of heading straight for a traditional high street bank, think again. A range of digital-first ‘challenger’ banks have emerged to offer you a wealth of options.
What is a challenger bank?
Challenger banks can be defined as new, smaller banks that have transformed banking through their use of innovative, digital practices.
Many challenger banks operate through online-only banking or a mobile app instead of having a branch network. You still get the same security as you would with a traditional bank. Tide, for example, is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and our ClearBank-provided business bank accounts come with FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) protection.
In this article, we compare the different account features and products provided by two of the leading digital-first challengers: Tide and Revolut.
Table of contents
- The similarities
- How much do accounts cost?
- Paid account plans and smart features
- How easy is it to open a business bank account?
- Using your card in the UK and abroad
- Customer support
- In conclusion: similar yet different
Tide vs Revolut: the similarities
Tide and Revolut both offer small business bank accounts that can be opened and accessed from smartphone apps. Both offer multiple types of business accounts, with a free version aimed at those who are just starting out in business.
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 both Tide and Revolut, and both providers offer a range of useful features, including:
- the facility to manage company expenses
- integration with a range of accounting software, and
- the ability to create and send invoices from within the app.
Tide vs Revolut: how much do accounts cost?
|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||2%|
It’s free to open a Tide account and there’s no monthly fee for the entry-level business account. There are no fees for transferring money between Tide accounts, and transfers to or from other bank accounts cost 20p.
As with Tide, it’s free to open a business account with Revolut and there are no monthly fees for the free account. The main difference with Tide is that Revolut allows you to hold and exchange up to 30 currencies, and provides two local currency accounts in GBP and EUR.
Tide vs Revolut: paid account plans and smart features
Revolut Grow and Scale
Both Tide and Revolut offer paid accounts that unlock additional features for those whose businesses are starting to scale up. Revolut has two paid account plans: Grow, and Scale.
Charged at £25 per month, Revolut Grow allows you to make 100 free local transfers and 10 international transfers per month, and provides a real rate FX allowance of £10,000 for foreign currency transactions.
With Revolut Scale (£100 per month cost), these numbers increase to 1,000 free local transfers and 50 international, and £50,000 in real rate FX allowances for foreign currency transactions.
Both accounts offer useful features for those running their own business, including the ability to manage company expenses and set up recurring payments.
The Tide app provides a host of smart features to help you manage your business finance admin – many of them for free and some at a small monthly cost.
One of our most helpful products is company expense cards, which you can order for up to 50 team members per account at a cost of £5 + VAT each. These enable your team to spend directly from your business account, with spending limits set by you. All transactions are itemised and receipts can be scanned and uploaded directly to the app.
Other free features include:
- invoicing, which enables you to create and send your own customised invoices and track payments
- Cashflow Insights, an invaluable tool that can forecast your cash flow up to 30 days ahead – and offer tips for staying in the black
- Open Banking integration, so you can connect other business accounts and get an even more accurate picture of your financial health
- access to affordable and flexible credit options, and the ability to check your credit rating in-app with Experian Credit Score.
Tide Plus, Pro and Cashback
As well as the free standard account, Tide also offers upgrade options to support you as your business grows.
For £9.99 + VAT per month, Tide Plus provides telephone support, a 24/7 legal helpline and up to 20 free transfers in and out. You also get 1 free company expense card.
Tide Pro is available for £18.99 +VAT per month and comes with phone support between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday, unlimited free transfers per month and 2 free Expense Cards.
At £49.99 + VAT per month, Tide Cashback gets you:
- your own dedicated team of account managers
- 150 free transfers per month
- 0.5% cashback on all spend on your Tide card, and
- 3 company expense cards for free.
How easy is it to open a business bank account with Tide vs Revolut?
Both Tide and Revolut have made it quick and simple to open a business bank account. You can apply in minutes using the respective apps and there are no complicated forms to fill in.
Both Tide and Revolut say you can open an account in as little as 10 minutes, though both providers warn it can take longer if additional information is needed.
|Apply through the app||✔️||✔️|
|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|
Tide account sign-up
To open a business bank account with Tide, you’ll need to download the Tide app. 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.
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 account sign-up
Opening a business account with Revolut is very similar to opening a business bank account with Tide – you can apply directly from your phone by downloading the Revolut Business app.
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). For residents of other countries, a valid passport is also required and it must have at least 3 months until expiry.
Revolut also asks you to supply a high-level structure of your company. This will include 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. When it comes to ATM withdrawals, Revolut charges a 2% fee regardless of which business plan you choose and there is a daily withdrawal limit of £3,000 for all cards linked to the account.
Tide has a flat fee of £1 per withdrawal and there are no limits.
If you travel abroad, you can use your Tide card at any retailer that accepts Mastercard. You’ll also receive the Mastercard exchange rate with no additional fees. There is also no limit on how much you can spend abroad for free but you will be charged £1 to withdraw cash at an ATM.
Revolut offers a prepaid currency card to make payments abroad with no fees using the interbank exchange rate in over 150 currencies. 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
|Customer service via the app||✔️||✔️|
|Customer service by telephone||✔️||✔️|
Free Tide account holders can contact Member Support through the app, or send an email requesting a call back during working hours. An automated telephone service is available to report a lost or stolen card.
Members on the Tide Plus, Pro or Cashback plans have access to telephone support, as well as a 24/7 legal helpline to assist with any tax or contract issues. Tide Cashback members also get their own dedicated team of account managers.
Like Tide, Revolut provides in-app support for members on their free plan. Business customers on any Revolut plan can also access 24/7 support.
Tide vs Revolut in conclusion: similar yet different
Tide and Revolut provide business bank accounts that have a number of similarities. They both:
- can be managed from the convenience of a mobile app
- offer a free version at no monthly cost, and
- have a range of smart features that vary depending on the plan you choose.
However, while Revolut offers accounts for both business and personal finances and has more of a focus on international currency transactions, Tide’s sole mission is to support start-ups and entrepreneurs.
From company formation and VAT registration, setting up a virtual office address, to invoicing, expense management, and managing cash flow, Tide helps small business owners save time and money at every step of their journey.
Sources used for this article
- Revolut website – https://www.revolut.com/business/help
- Revolut help for business users – https://www.revolut.com/business/help
All sources checked November 2022