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Chase vs Monzo

Find out how the free current accounts from digital challenger banks Chase and Monzo stack up against one another.

Can new kid on the block Chase rival the poster child of digital banking Monzo? Our guide compares their free account features side by side to help you decide which one might be your best option.

Vital statistics

Free spending abroad
Overdraft rateNo overdrafts19%, 29% or 39% EAR
Interest when you're in credit0%0%
Branch access
FSCS protected
Sign-up bonus
Product image
More InfoMore Info

With the free Monzo current account, you get its well-known coral-coloured card, while Chase’s only (and free) current account comes with a blue numberless card.

Neither bank has branches, with the accounts being fully managed via a mobile app. The 2 banks don’t pay interest on current account balances, although Chase is presently offering a linked saver account, where current holders can deposit savings on an easy-access basis and earn 1.5% interest (AER).

Both Chase and Monzo have a UK banking licence, which means individual customer funds up to the value of £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) should a bank go under.

You can apply for an overdraft with Monzo – the interest rate you’re offered will depend on your personal circumstances and credit score – but Chase doesn’t offer any overdrafts yet.

Monzo scored 5 out of 5 stars in Finder’s latest banking customer satisfaction survey, with 84% of its customers saying they would recommend the current account. The Chase account had not fully launched at the time of our survey, so it was not included in the customer survey this year.

One other point to note is that while Monzo doesn’t offer cashback, Chase has entered the market with a 1% cashback offer on card spend, but this only lasts for 12 months.

Round 1: App features

Visual breakdown of spending
Spending categoriesN/A12
Set spending budgets
Set up direct debits in the app
Top up via bank transfer
Have salary paid in
Savings goals or pots
Customer service via the app
Customer service via a telephone line
Cheque scanning
Freeze/unfreeze card in app
Send money abroad
Fee for sending money abroadInternational payments unavailableFee set by Wise (Monzo's money transfer partner)
More InfoMore Info

With both the app-managed Chase and Monzo accounts, you can set up direct debits, receive your salary and make bank transfers (although with Chase, noticeably not international payments). You can also freeze and unfreeze your debit card and reach the customer service teams through an in-app chat.

Both offer “round-ups”, where you can round up your card transactions to the nearest pound and put that money to one side. Chase keeps this round-up balance separate from your main current account balance and will pay 5% interest (AER) on it, but only for the first 12 months. With Monzo, this spare change will go into a “savings pot” with no interest earned on it.

Unlike Monzo, Chase has no spending categories, specific budgeting tools or saving pots available.

Neither app has a cheque-scanning feature, although you can post cheques to Monzo to deposit into your account and pay in cash at PayPoints for a fee of £1. Chase doesn’t accept cash or cheques into its current accounts.

  • Winner: Monzo. While Chase has launched its account with a decent range of app features, Monzo’s more established app shines through, particularly when it comes to spending insights and budgeting.

Round 2: Spending in the UK

Free card transactions in the UK
Contactless card limit£100£100
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Samsung Pay
Free ATM withdrawalsUnlimitedUp to £250 per month
More InfoMore Info

Spending on your Chase or Monzo card is free in the UK, and both cards currently have the standard contactless limit of £100.

You can also add your Chase card or Monzo card to Apple Pay and Google Pay, but neither card supports Samsung Pay.

Chase offers unlimited free ATM withdrawals in the UK, while Monzo lets you withdraw up to £250 for free every 30 days in either the UK or EEA (it’s a combined limit), then there’s a 3% charge.

  • Winner: Chase. The bank edges it with its free UK ATM withdrawals, compared to Monzo’s free limit of £250 per month.

Round 3: Using the card abroad

Free foreign transactionsUnlimitedUnlimited
Free foreign ATM withdrawalsUp to £1,500 per monthUp to £250 in EEA and £200
elsewhere every 30 days
More InfoMore Info
Chase and Monzo are the same when it comes to using their respective cards to make purchases abroad – neither charges a fee. Plus they both use the competitive Mastercard exchange rate for foreign transactions.

When travelling with your Monzo card, there’s a £200 limit on free cash withdrawals overseas every 30 days – after which there’s a 3% charge. And if you’re in Europe, then the combined UK and EEA monthly free limit of £250 applies, before the 3% fee kicks in.

Chase doesn’t have fees for making ATM withdrawals anywhere overseas, but it does have a monthly withdrawal limit of £1,500 (and that’s a total cut-off point, rather than a fee applying to amounts over that). The daily withdrawal limit within that £1,500 monthly limit is an industry-generous £500 per day.

  • Winner: Chase. For its fee-free card purchases and ATM withdrawals overseas (although the £1,500 per month cut-off limit may prove troublesome for some account holders on longer trips abroad).

Round 4: Account types

Free account
Premium account
Joint account
Teen account (for 16 and 17 year olds)
Kids' account or card
Business account
More InfoMore Info

Both Chase and Monzo offer free current accounts (which are the subjects of this guide), but that’s where it ends for new entrant Chase (apart from the linked saver account mentioned above).

Monzo, meanwhile, has expanded its current account range with 2 paid-for accounts: Monzo Plus and Monzo Premium.

It also has joint accounts, business accounts and teen accounts (for 16- and 17-year-olds) on its roster, but no kids’ account yet.

  • Winner: Monzo. No contest on this front.

Round 5: Signing up

Apply through the app
Quick application
Credit check
Card delivery feeFreeFree
Card delivery timescale5-7 working days2-7 working days
More InfoMore Info

You can apply for either a Chase or Monzo account through their respective mobile apps in a matter of minutes, with no hard credit checks.

The banks’ cards are free to receive, but although card delivery should normally take about the same amount of time, Chase says it’s currently experiencing card delivery delays due to the influx of new customers. But as your Chase card details are stored in the app, you can still use it to buy stuff.

  • Winner: A tie. In normal circumstances – although people rushing out to sign up for a Chase account may experience card delivery delays until it clears its backlog.

Overall winner: Is Chase better than Monzo?

New entrant Chase is certainly gaining a lot of attention. Although the bank is a massive player in the American banking market, it hasn’t quite brought all of its account features to the UK yet. For that reason, if you want a fully rounded current account with a well-designed and engaging app, then you’d probably be better off going for Monzo. But what is tempting from Chase are some of the financial offers with its current account – namely the linked 1.5% saver account, 1% cashback on card spend and 5% interest on round-up balances. If any of those catch your eye, and they outweigh the more advanced features of Monzo for you, then maybe Chase is the way to go.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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