Getting Something for Nothing – My $25 from Revolution MoneyExchange

By Linsey Knerl on 24 March 2008 16 comments
Photo: Luc Legay

(Note:  The $25 sign-up bonus offer expired on April 15th, 2008.) 

Just when I thought I couldn’t take another online money transfer product, I was introduced to Revolution MoneyExchange. My familiarity and past experience with PayPal had me convinced that the world just didn’t need anymore of these services. The $25 sign up bonus kept calling my name, however, so I went for it. Here’s the skinny on the new kid on the block.

When a friend told me about Revolution MoneyExchange, my mind went back a few years to the PayPal bubble. (Remember, when everyone got $25 for signing up, and they earned additional cash for each referral.) Eager to get in on the next big e-commerce tool, people are once again scrambling to be the top referrers for Revolution’s new product. Launched as “the” application for sending and receiving money on Facebook, I scoffed at how practical it could be for me. I rarely visit Facebook, much less do business on the social network.

$25 is $25, however, so I looked into it a bit further. Here are the details I was able to get:

MoneyExchange is just one of many products and companies developed by Steve Case’s Revolution. (In case you care.) The former AOL CEO has tried to market his new online cash service as a necessary social networking tool. At less than 6 months old, MoneyExchange follows in the footsteps of similar tools, such as OboPay and ChipIn.

Signing up for MoneyExchange was relatively easy. Yes, they did ask for some personal information to be able to issue me an account. If you don’t feel comfortable giving out your Social Security number, this process won’t fly for you. If you already do a large percentage of your business transactions online, however, you know that this is hardly confidential info these days. A quick form with your name, address, phone, and SS# will get you an account in less than 3 minutes, if you reside in the U.S.

Getting your bonus was automatic. When I confirmed my account via email, I was instantly credited with $25. This was mine to keep, no strings attached. There are no fees for sending or receiving money to other MoneyExchange users – too bad I have no one to send it to! For a small $2.50 fee, I could cash out my account with a check in the mail. Those who are comfortable linking their accounts to an external checking account can also choose to have it electronically deposited after a standard verification process, and there is no fee for this service.

Referrals can be made, and a $10 bonus is offered for each complete registration. Most of my relatives don’t even know what Facebook is, so this was not the selling point I was hoping for. If you are looking to get your friends and family to sign up, your best bet is to mention it as a viable PayPal alternative.

Privacy could be seen as an issue for some who want to fully protect their personal and financial info. This article by TechCrunch seems to suggest that by signing up for your free account, and your $25 bonus, you are making yourself available for credit card solicitation from RevolutionCard (who is hoping to get into the business in a big way.) For those who have no interest in future or partner offers, the Privacy Policy clearly offers an opt-out form you can mail in. The 41cents for a postage stamp might be worth avoiding future hassles.

Whether you are looking to ditch PayPal or just wanting to earn a quick $25, Revolution made good on its promises during my trial. Within 3 business days, I was holding a $22 check (after fees) in my hand, with no further obligation. Not one to usually cut and run, I would have loved to test out my $25 credit on some of their services, but with no friends on the MoneyExchange or a need to send funds, I opted for the cash payout. Those interested in earning some referral funds, while the earnings are good, might want to consider spreading the love.


(Note: There are no affiliate or referral links of any kind in this article. It is written purely for your own money-making enjoyment.)

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Guest's picture

I got this message:

Unfortunately, we are unable to verify the information you provided, and therefore an account cannot be opened at this time. We will send you an email explanation or request for additional information soon to the address you provided.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore the features of the MoneyExchange site by clicking the continue button below.

If you have any questions, please call Customer Service at 1-800-794-9071 daily between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET.

Thank you!

Linsey Knerl's picture

That's strange.. I signed up and hubby signed up with no problem. Let us know if you hear anything.


Edited to add:  a friend just emailed me that they were able to do it with no problems.  Google searches have turned up a few people who were having problems.  I'm not sure why some are able and some aren't. 

Lynn Truong's picture

Thanks for reviewing this product, Linsey! I had seen the ads but didn't want to spend the time looking into how legit this company is. Since PayPal charges fees for me to receive money from anyone, this would be a good account to have when I need to get money to and from my friends and family conveniently. And the free $25 is nice too! I got the $25 email before the screen even confirmed my account signup!

Guest's picture

I've heard some very good things about this service. PayPal has been getting to a point where an alternative is needed and this seems to be a good choice! I'll definitely be trying it out when I have a few minutes to sign up.

Guest's picture

I tried to do this also, but I got the same message as Brian did. When I go back through the registration process on my "main page", the system will not allow me to complete the process.

Linsey Knerl's picture

I have found that a few other people have been having problems with registering.  It seems to be due to the verification system that have in place.  It is similar to opening an account at a brick and mortar bank branch.  It comes from a conflict in information (address, Social, phone, etc) that is not matching up.  This is from the Revolution website:

"You might wonder why we ask for certain pieces of information that you may be nervous to share, such as your Social Security Number. We would not ask for any information that was not necessary to enable the security we promise to you. Also, to help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.

With identity theft on the rise, we use your Social Security Number to confirm your identity by cross referencing it against other personal data you provide. This way, if someone were to get a hold of your Social Security Number, a MoneyExchange account could not be set up in your name without knowing your other personal information. So, sometimes it may seem as if you have to share more information about yourself, but in the end it actually protects your financial information to an even greater degree."

Have you changed addresses or phone numbers recently?  Could you have been a victim of fraud and not know it?  Some things to consider as to why they are flagging your account.


Guest's picture

Within 20 minutes, I had $45 (initial 25 + 2 referrals). I can't wait till my bank account info is verified, and I can put all that in my checking. I am sending invites to everyone I know. This is great. And if it replaces Paypal? Even better.

Guest's picture

Check that Privacy Policy. They will send all your info all over the place, unless you send in that Opt Out form. And I assume this classifies as a credit request, meaning your FICO score will take a hit. I wouldn't do this if I were planning to apply for a mortgage or some such in the near future.

Linsey Knerl's picture

Seems very similar to PayPal..

I would imagine that opting out is smart.  I don't think they are any more inclined to run a credit request than when you open a free checking account at your local bank (which mine doesn't do unless you are applying for a line of credit.)  If so, then you probably get the same credit request when you open any online account (i.e. ING Direct, etc.) 

Guest's picture

I signed up for this last month and my credit score went down 30 points in one month. In the past it has never wavered more than 8 points from month to month (my credit card shows my FICO score each month in a Credit Profile section). I can't think of any other reason why it would've dropped, so I think it is actually due to signing up with Revolution MoneyExchange.

Luckily I'm not getting a mortgage any time soon, but it'd probably be best not to sign up for it if you are in the market for one.

Linsey Knerl's picture

to the customer service line just a few minutes ago to get clarification. According to their terms and conditions, by providing your information required to register for an account, Revolution Money Exchange will pull a credit "snapshot" for verification purposes (and probably to see if you are a good candidate for their credit card offers). As I guessed, this is not the same as a "hard" credit check used to obtain a new line of credit, or one that would adversely affect your score in any way. Companies do this kind of credit snapshot all the time, and if you have seen your credit report lately, will probably find that every major credit card company (including the ones you already do business with), your car insurance, health insurance, mortgage company, etc do these at least annually, if not more often.

As far as the 30 point drop in FICO scoring, unless you are certain that Revolution did a "hard" credit pull (which usually requires your explicit consent), I would be careful to attribute it all to something that can't be directly proven.  Also, even one "hard" credit inquiry won't have more than a 5 point effect on your credit score (based on FICO's own system).

I would suggest that anyone with questions regarding FICO should take a look at FICO's own explanation of what "counts" and what doesn't, as well as what factors could contribute to a drop in credit score.


Guest's picture

I signed up for Revolution Money Exchange and have been using it for a couple of weeks now. I got my $25 signup bonus, as well as $30 in referrals. I've also used it to receive a payment from a friend for tickets that he bought from me. Nice thing was there were no fees like with paypal. I'll probably continue using it for now, it seems like a good deal so far.

Guest's picture

yeah I called up custoemr service and waited for 30 minutes on the phone... the employee explained that it's due to a conflict in their system (i.e address, ssn, etc) and that it should be cleared up within a day or two. I can see the 25 dollars waiting to be recieved on my home page once I login, so I know it's there at least.

Guest's picture

I just went to the site, and there's no mention of the $25 incentive. Do you know if the offer is still available?

Guest's picture

I just went to the site, and there's no mention of the $25 incentive. Do you know if the offer is still available?

Linsey Knerl's picture

was the last day.  Hope you all got in!