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Revolution Money Exchange Review

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Note: Revolution Money Exchange was purchased by American Express and is now known as Serve by American Express. Read our Serve from American Express Review for more information!

revolutioncard.jpgRevolution Money Exchange is a new peer to peer money exchange program that plans to challenge PayPal by offering free on-line money transfers. That’s right. No more complicated fee structures to decipher (and pay!) when sending or receiving money on-line. I love the convenience of PayPal, but I hate paying the fees!

What is Revolution Money Exchange? Revolution Money Exchange is an on-line money transfer company that allows people and merchants to exchange money without paying fees. It’s free to register, add money, send money, receive money, request money and withdraw electronically to a bank account. There are fees to withdraw money by check or to receive a paper statement.

How is Revolution Money Exchange Different from PayPal? The biggest difference is in the fee structure, but there are several other notable differences. With Revolution Money Exchange, the only fees you will pay will be to receive a paper statement, withdraw funds via check, or if you mess up (withdraw too much, “bounce a check,” etc.). The good news is that you can use Revolution Money Exchange without being subjected to fees. With PayPal on the other hand, fees are practically unavoidable. PayPal’s fees are often substantial, and sometimes you don’t know what you will pay until you pay them.

With Revolution Money Exchange, there are also daily transfer limits of $1,000, and maximum monthly transaction limits of $2,500. The max you can keep in your account at any given time is also $2,500. This makes it less flexible for people using the accounts to run a business. There are also fewer merchants that currently accept Revolution Money Exchange transfers than accept PayPal. Account holders can only send and receive money with ACH transfers or transfers between Revolution Money Exchange accounts, there are no credit card transactions.

Is Revolution Money Exchange safe? Yes. It was important for me to research this before I signed up, because Revolution Money Exchange requires your social security number to create an account. Don’t worry, there is no hard credit check done using your SSN. It is clearly stated on the sign-up form – “This information is not used to review your credit history or to establish new credit.”

The account is issued by First Bank & Trust, Brookings, SD, Member FDIC and part of the Fishback Financial Corporation. It is also backed by Citi, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank AG, and brought in a $50 million venture capital round backed by Ted Leonsis and AOL Founder Steve Case.

Where can I use Revolution Money Exchange? You can use your Revolution Money Exchange account to transfer money to other members of Revolution Money Exchange, or you can sign up for their card which can be used at multiple merchants. The list is growing daily, as is the number of Revolution Money Exchange users.

How does Revolution Money Exchange make money? OK, it’s free to add money, send money, receive money… How does Revolution Money Exchange profit from this? First, the money held in your Revolution Money Exchange account does not earn interest for you. Your money is not in a savings account, though it is held at a bank. Second, electronic currency transactions are incredibly inexpensive to perform. That’s why so many banks offer free on-line bill pay. Finally, I’m guessing Revolution Money Exchange invests the money in it’s users accounts and earns interest on it while it is not being used. However, I’m not 100% certain on that last part, because I couldn’t find actual proof of that. However, I think that is a fairly reasonable assumption.

The RevolutionCard is offering a cash bonus of up to $100 for new users. This deal is open from now until January 31, 2009.

How to claim your RevolutionCard Cash back Bonus

  1. Become a Revolution Money Exchange user.
  2. Sign up for the RevolutionCard (this is a credit card).
  3. Spend $50 or more with your RevolutionCard credit card between 11/15/08 and 1/31/09 and receive a $5 credit on your statement. This offer may be used up to twenty (20) times for a maximum credit to your account of $100. Please allow up to 5 business days for qualifying credits to appear on your account.
  4. Repeat up to 20 times for a total cash bonus of $100. Expect your bonus to appear within about 5 business days of your purchase.

Visit their promo page for more details on this account bonus.

About the RevolutionCard

The RevolutionCard is part of the company that owns Revolution Money Exchange,a free alternative to PayPal. The unique feature about the RevolutionCard is that it does not have any personal identification located anywhere on the card. It is accessed solely through the use of a PIN. This is a security feature – without the PIN, the card is useless. Revolution Money’s RevolutionCard is the only interchange free credit card and they only charge 0.50% transaction fees, which makes the RevolutionCard more user friendly for businesses and customers alike.

The card can be used at over 300,000 stores, some of which offer discounts or rewards for using the RevolutionCard.

Here are more credit card bonuses.


Published or updated March 20, 2014.
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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dividend growth investor

I’ve signed up for RME a while ago and today I transferred my bonus to my checking account. Pretty sweet. I love free money :-)

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2 Ron@TheWisdomJournal

This sounds pretty interesting. How DO you find these sites? :)

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3 Jesse

Ryan, how many merchants support this so far? Or how many people in general are using it? That seems to be one of the “biggest” obstacles with new services like this. Sort of the squirt gun into a tsunami type phenomenon.

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4 Ryan

Jesse, I’m not sure how many merchants accept it at this point. So far, it appears the main market is geared toward social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, etc. Basically college age people who won’t need to send large amounts of money through this, but may have the need to quickly send money (buy concert tickets, pay for a pizza, repay a loan, etc.).

As this grows in scale and popularity, it may do really well. But I think it has several huge roadblocks in place – PayPal’s saturation of the market chief among them, followed closely by limited merchant acceptance, then by limiting the amounts of money that can be sent through or held in accounts.

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5 PT

Ryan,

Wow. Quick money. The way I see it, I can make $60 quick off of this by signing up, referring my wife and having her sign up. Then I can just move the money to my bank account and be done with RME. Right?

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6 Ryan

Mark, I think they make money from interest on the money held in the accounts – because the money held in individual accounts does not earn interest for the account holder.

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7 Mark @ TheLocoMono

Very interesting how Revolution Money doesn’t seem to have fees from what I understand here. Is it possible they could add fees in the future?

No banking mechanism can survive in the Information age without some kind of fee. That is what I am very curious to see because I used to work with electronic transactions for a major employer. Nothing is entirely free. Terrific breakdown though.

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8 leverbeeva

I signed up and recieved the instant $25.00 + $20 in referrals. I also sold and received payments from ioffer.com (totaling $668). I requested a transfer to my linked bank account and I have not received it yet. Its been 4 working days so far…I am still waiting for funds to show up in my bank account.Anyone else transfer funds to bank, how long did it take to post in ur bank account???

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9 Ryan

leverbeeva, When I made an online transfer to my accounts, I think it took 3 or 4 business days. I recommend checking with your bank, or contacting RME’s customer service dept. They were helpful when I had to contact them.

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10 Upset at RME

I signed up for RME the day before last, and for some reason, one of the “Continue” buttons wouldn’t work. I just gave up, but the website still had all of my information, my account registration just wasn’t complete. Early in the morning, all of my information was stolen and someone spent 1500 dollars from my debit account. I hadn’t given any other information to any new sites in months, either. This has never happened to me before, and I’ve been using paypal for years. I don’t “know” that it was RME, but I would be seriously wary.

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11 Ryan

Upset at RME,

I am very sorry to hear about this! I have not heard of anything like this before, and I’m sure RME would like to know about this. From everything I can tell, RME is on the up and up. It is possible that somehow the link was redirected and your information was somehow stolen.

The first thing you should do is contact your bank to let them know there has been an instance of fraud. Then I recommend contacting the police to file a police report. Then, consider contacting RME. They may be able to help find the thieves who did this, or more likely, find a way to prevent this from happening to someone else.

RME is backed by some prominent businessmen who would not allow something like this to tarnish their reputation. One of them is Ted Leonsis, who is a longtime executive at AOL and remains prominent in the business world. I will forward you his e-mail address. I’m sure he would like to hear about this.

I truly hope you get this situation settled, and I hope you will contact me with updates. I am interested to hear how this turns out.

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12 Upset at RME

Ryan,

I just thought I’d update you on my RME issue. My bank refunded all of the fraudulent charges, so I’m ok there. I contacted RME and they didn’t really explain much. They just said they they saw the issue and it was resolved (they didn’t offer to refund my money or anything). I then got an email telling me that my account had been suspended due to suspicious activity. I think it’s disconcerting that they confirmed that there WAS suspicious activity on my account. I guess that was better than denying it, but I would still be wary. That said, it IS possible that the link could have been redirected, and that it wasn’t an error on their part. They were pretty vague in their message. Thanks for your concern, though! I would pass it on!

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13 Baron

Okay, so I signed up on the 22nd of May to xfer some money from my checking acct. The money was taken from my account but the RME still has this pending. This may be a free service but I could have sent a check in the mail and the transaction would hve been done by now.
So I will be done with RME after this.

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14 lnhouston

I used RME to accept payment for a laptop valued at $1150. I sold it for $700 plus express shipping of $55. I went to withdraw my $755 directly to my bank account and was denied and account locked. Seems that the sender had NSF and the payment from the sender’s bank was returned and I’m out my $755 and a laptop. There is no seller or buyer protection with RME. I have to go after the person that I sold the laptop to. Even though a person has to add funds from their bank account and have them clear before payment can be sent the funds can come back as NSF because they don’t directly clear from their bank account (does that make sense?) So I’m screwed!

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15 Ryan

Inhouston,

I wasn’t aware that RME didn’t have any consumer protection. I have used RME with no problems, but I have only used it for a few minor transactions. I’m sorry to hear you had this issue with them. At the minimum, RME should open an investigation, and I hope they do that. To open an account, one must register their SSN, so hopefully RME will be able to track the person down. If not, you may be able to track them down if the “buyer” wasn’t careful. I hope you get the jerk who did this. Good luck.

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16 Rev

Revolution Money cant seem to get it right. They just sent out an email to its customer base, “Subject: Generated Monthly Statement” and the last name was wrong. Not even close. They used a bunch of constants.

They have had three layoffs since September and no one knows if they are getting any more funding.

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17 Ryan

I guess each startup faces difficulties. The concept is a good one, but with interest rates as low as they are, I wouldn’t bu surprised if they have to change their business structure, much like Zecco recently did be restricting the number of free stock trades.

I never keep much money in my RevMoney account, or any similar account like PayPal. I prefer to keep my money where it will earn better interest for me and isn’t at the mercy of a new company.

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18 Rev

Revolution Money is going under. They have run out of money. The Board of Directors and Executive Management are to blame. The Board tried to drive accounts with a huge marketing spend. This is typical of AOL where the business model was to drive accounts and not take care of the customer. The online approach mirrored that and the user interface, customer issues and processes were not a priority.

One problem was they didn’t take care of the customer or look for long-term value and the user interface required an overhaul or temporary band-aids. None of which were done. The online interface was actually an AOL-esque application and not a web-based interface.

Online issues were identified early yet there was no course correction. The senior management and directors did not have experience with an immature online business that needed to take care of the customer. Directors and VPs were hired who had little or no online experience. Early hiring strategy was to hire the executive staff, rather than hire workers. Several VPs was upset that they did not have a secretary to manage their schedule.

While the business model was solid, the executive management did not have the expertise to run an integrated online and direct marketing campaign. While their response will be – failure was caused by an economic downturn, this is far from the truth. For example, the executives gold-plated the IT operation, installed it and then saw funds were low and fired all the contractors who helped install this. Worse, the Executives purchased the new Mac Air Notebooks when their PC laptops were just fine. Proven web strategies were ignored in favor of driving accounts. Priorities were ever shifting and became a running joke amongst the staff. Also, the call center was moved in-house from an outside location, which may have redirected IT and other resources from existing priorities.

This failure will be a great study for B-Schools. Also, the lessons of the Internet business in the late nineties and 2000 were ignored.

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19 Ryan

Very interesting, Rev. Thanks for the info. Any idea when the announcement will be made, or has it already been made public?

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