What is Monzo?

Monzo review - Overall score: 4.7

Monzo is a digital bank founded in 2015. It is a very popular digital bank for UK customers, with a full banking license. The company is regulated by Financial Conduct Authority.

Monzo is an excellent choice if you live in the UK, a digital bank that could easily replace your old bank. What they do they seem to be doing very well and reliably, and recently they've also switched gears when it comes to rolling out new features.

It is recommended to users looking for a neobank with the best tools for spending categorization.

 

Monzo review - Monzo bank card sample

Monzo Review 2021
Monzo pros and cons

Pros

  • Has a banking license (deposit guarantee, direct debits and standing orders)
  • Smoothest app and user experience
  • Great customer service experience

Cons

  • Only available to UK residents

  • Can't receive international payments (no IBAN number)

  • Cash deposit only on Paypoints for £1

Monzo Review 2021
Monzo fees - 3.8

Account opening and maintenance fee

At Monzo, the account opening is free and maintaining your account is also free for a Standard account, with no monthly cost. Monzo Premium costs £15 per month for a minimum of 6 months. 

Card fees

Getting a Monzo bank card, including delivery, is also free. However, card replacement has a £5 fee. 

ATM fees

Withdrawing money from any ATM in the UK is free without a limit. Withdrawing abroad is free up to £200 /month, but costs 3% after that.

Transfer fee

Transferring money in the same currency as your Monzo account (within the UK, in GBP) is free. Monzo's international transfers - outside the UK - are provided by Wise. The fee structure matches Wise's international transfer structure, with a €0.50 EUR fixed rate, and a 0.41% variable fee if you send money in a different currency than GBP. If you send GBP internationally, only the €0.50 EUR is charged.

Currency exchange fee

Monzo does not charge a currency exchange fee over Mastercard's standard mark-up and the European Central Banks' rate for international transfers. This varies between 0.35-2.00% of the exchanged amount, depending on the currency.

Top-up fee

Monzo does not charge a fee when you top up your account using another bank card. However there's a £1 fee when using a Paypoint to deposit cash. 

Monzo Review 2021
Monzo vs. Starling

  Monzo Starling
Multicurrency account No No
ATM withdrawal fees (standard account) Free in the UK

£200/month fee abroad

3% after
Free
International transfer fee €0.5 £5.50 delivery fee
International transfer exchange fee 0.35-2.00% variable fees 0.4% transfer fee

Monzo Review 2021
Monzo account opening - 5.0

Opening an account at Monzo is super easy: it takes only a couple of minutes to do it via your phone and receiving your physical card also takes only a few days.

Monzo countries

Monzo is available only in the UK.

Monzo currencies

At Monzo you can open your bank account only in GBP.

Current accounts

Monzo current account is also available only in GBP.

Currencies in the app

Within the app, you have only GBP as well.

Top up currencies

At Monzo, you can top up only in GBP.

Monzo cards overview

Monzo cards are provided by Mastercard. 

Monzo Premium account benefits

Monzo has no premium accounts.

Monzo top-up methods

At Monzo, you can use the following top-up methods:

  • Bank transfer
  • Cheques
  • Cash at Paypoints for £1 per top-up

Monzo Review 2021
Monzo banking features

Monzo offers a wide array of banking features:

  • You can see your spending categorized by the type of transaction (e.g. shopping, restaurants). This is where the bank shines the brightest. 
  • You can set monthly budgets and spending goals, both overall and for different spending categories.
  • You can send money to other Monzo users instantly and for free. You can also send a money request to another user.
  • Smart savings are also available, where Monzo will round up the amounts you actually spend and store the difference as savings.
  • These savings can also be stored separately for easier overview and management.
  • You can earn interest on your savings.
  • Setting up or canceling direct debits is quick and easy with Monzo.
  • Overdrafts are possible.
  • Joint accounts are also available.
  • You can set up Apple Pay or Google Pay.
  • 3D Secure online payments are supported.

Monzo Review 2021
Monzo additional features

You can only use Monzo through your mobile app. On a desktop computer, you can access Monzo only for emergency functions. You can freeze or unfreeze (Monzo calls this "defrosting") your card and see your transactions.

Monzo also introduced its new loan service.

Monzo does not have any additional features like investments or insurance.

Monzo Review 2021
Monzo customer service - 3.0

You can contact Monzo via:

  • Live chat: It is fast and reliable. You can choose between urgent and non-urgent ways of connecting.
  • Phone: It connected immediately.

Customer service is available 24/7.

Author of this review

Tamás Deme

Author of this review

Tamás believes in clear and simple writing that is accessible to everyone. He has almost 20 years of experience as a financial journalist, as well as an editor and proofreader. He previously worked at Interfax news agency and wrote about M&A deals for EMIS DealWatch.

Tamás Deme

Content Editor

Tamás believes in clear and simple writing that is accessible to everyone. He has almost 20 years of experience as a financial journalist, as well as an editor and proofreader. He previously worked at Interfax news agency and wrote about M&A deals for EMIS DealWatch.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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