Monese

Monese review

You can open and use a Monese account in the UK and across Europe. We round up the fees and features of this app-based current account.

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Finder rating
★★★★★
Expert analysis
Customer rating
★★★★★
Satisfaction survey
Quick and easy to open an account
Fee to deposit cash and doesn't accept cheques

Monese is a digital banking app and card using smartphone technology to improve your banking experience. Monese is great for travellers and works well if you are looking to set up an account quickly in another country. It allows fee-free card payments and ATM withdrawals abroad. Let’s take a closer look.

Promoted
Monese
Open a free account
  • Open your account using your mobile
  • No credit check required
  • Earn cash for referring friends

How we scored Monese

FeatureRatingDetails
App rating★★★★★Monese scores highly across the App Store and Google Play.
Monthly fees★★★★★Monese is free to use, with no monthly fee.
Transaction fees★★★★★Pay a fee to deposit cash, withdraw funds at an ATM, and receive your card.
Overseas fees★★★★★A fee applies to both purchases and cash withdrawals abroad.
Customer service★★★★★Monese scored just above average for customer satisfaction.
Green credentials★★★★★Monese was not included in the Finder Green Banking Awards.
Account access★★★★★Account access is limited to mobile and online banking.
Payment features★★★★★Most payment features are available, but Monese doesn’t offer cheque deposits or a cashback or rewards programme.
Extra features★★★★★Benefit from spending categories, budgeting tools, savings pots, and more.

What is Monese?

Monese has provided basic banking on smartphones since 2015. It gives people in the UK and abroad a chance to experience streamlined, modern finance.

This feature is what makes Monese unique: the ability for anyone to open an account anywhere in the UK or continental Europe. Whether or not you have a UK address, a credit history or fixed income, you can access Monese and open an account today. The app is currently available to anyone in the European Economic Area.

Monese is completely portable across 30 countries across Europe and, if you move to another country, your Monese account goes with you.

How does Monese work?

Monese works like a traditional banking system, but more streamlined. Like with most digital-only accounts, it’s all managed through the app. You can choose from a free account or pay for the Classic or Premium plans.

Below are some of the key features and benefits of Monese:

  • Debit card. Order and manage your contactless debit card. You can see whether your card is active and get a reminder of your pin.
  • Support. The support tab in the app provides customers with easy access to customer service via telephone, instant messenger or email. This tab also has an FAQ section.
  • Direct debits. View and manage your active direct debits. Your account number and sort code are provided on this page for you to copy.
  • Add Eurozone account. Add a Eurozone account at the click of a button. You can switch between your UK and European accounts at any time on the home page.
  • Earn cash when referring friends. Invite a friend to join Monese and you can earn money.
  • Interest-free credit builder. For a monthly fee, you can build your credit history and savings through the Credit Builder feature. As you make your monthly repayments, these are reported back to the credit reference agencies.
  • Link your bank account. Through Open Banking you can easily link a UK bank account and manage all your money accounts and balances from the app.
  • Budgeting tools. You’ll easily be able to keep track of your spending and even set yourself budgeting goals.
  • Savings pots. Set aside money in up to 10 different pots to keep it separate from your day-to-day spending.

What does the Monese app look like?

Monese app
Monese app
Monese app

How can I transfer money with Monese?

  • UK bank transfers. Pay friends, families or bills with bank transfers. Monese uses the Faster Payments Service and says that these money transfers are typically instant.
  • Foreign transfers. Transfer money abroad into eight different currencies. Monese uses the “interbank rate”, much like Revolut. The delivery time for your money depends on the processing times of the receiving bank. Depending on the currency you’re sending and the time (try sending before 4pm), your transfer should take between 2-4 business days.
  • Foreign transfer from Eurozone account. If you’re transferring money to someone with a Euro account through a SEPA payment, then it should reach them the same day or by the next working day.
  • Direct debits. Set up a direct debit and automatically pay for utilities and services. Whether its your gym membership, phone contract, or your electricity bill – this way you won’t forget to pay the rent this month.
  • Standing orders. Set up a standing order (or “Recurring Payment”) to make routine payments for a specified amount, payee and date – all managed in-app.
  • Pay your contacts. Make payments to friends and family – straight from your phone’s contact list. See who’s already a Monese user, and to whom you’ll be able to make an instant payment.

Using Monese abroad

Monese has the option of opening an account across Europe making it easier to spend money in the UK and on the continent. Being able to switch instantly between your UK and European accounts means you’ll be able to spend abroad like a local. You can also open an account in Romanian lei.

Is Monese safe?

As a current account provider, Monese makes security a priority. To register it requires your address, a passport photo and video identification.

Your account is protected by a passcode which can be changed at any time, and you are logged out after 20 minutes of inactivity. If your phone or card is stolen, customer service is available Monday to Saturday during working hours.

Monese is registered with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and is authorised to deal in electronic money, but isn’t technically a bank. In practical terms, this means that your money is held in a segregated account that Monese can’t touch (even if it were to go bust), but it isn’t protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Pros and cons of Monese

Pros

  • UK current account that does all you can expect, including direct debits and standing orders.
  • Fast and easy set-up (no credit check needed).
  • Colourful app that is easy to use, allows you to categorise your transactions and freeze the card if you lose it.
  • Free card payments and ATM withdrawals abroad.
  • Can open both a UK and European account and switch instantly.

Cons

  • With a free plan, fee-free ATM withdrawals and cash loads are limited to £100 per month.
  • No physical branches.

Customer service information for Monese

Email support
Telephone support
In-app or live chat
Contact form
Branch support

Our verdict: Is an account from Monese worth it?

Monese is great for travellers and works well if you are looking to set up an account quickly in another country. It allows some fee-free card payments and some fee-free ATM withdrawals abroad, something you can only dream of with a traditional bank.

However, it isn’t your only option. Competitors Monzo and Starling are similar but have a full banking licence and offer more features, including overdrafts.

Finally, if you regularly need to make international money transfers and hold multiple currencies, you should check out Revolut, which beats Monese by allowing you to hold and transfer around 30 different currencies for free. Get started by downloading the app.

Frequently asked questions

Banking scores

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Finder scores, in blue, are based on our expert analysis. We also show reviews from users, where we've received more than 10, with a score in yellow. We gather more reviews from customers every year in Finder's customer satisfaction survey.

To find out more, read our full methodology.

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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15 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MohamedJanuary 27, 2019

    It’s not a safe account cause someone took money from my account 220£ if I didn’t Lock my card will take all my money and my card was it with me in my pocket I don’t know how they did it but this is not safe

      AvatarFinder
      johnbasanesJanuary 28, 2019Finder

      Hi Mohamed,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      It is best that you reach out to Monese’s fraud department for assistance as this may be an example of a cyber attack on your account. You may need their help in tracking as well as safeguarding your account immediately. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    JanNovember 27, 2018

    Hello together,
    I want to share my experiences with Monese. But first I want to do some advertisment for myself. If you use my bonus code B5MP2AJP you will get 5 GBP for free (after signup).

    I got to Monese because I was moving to the UK and had no bank account. As you might know when you foreigner, you will need to get a bank account to get a place to live. If you have no address you can not open a bank account. Thus I looked for an account where this is not the case. I stumbled over Monese and though that I want to give it a shot. The account creation process is really easy to do and a few days later I already received the bank card at my address in Germany.

    After several months of using it I can say it is by far this most easy to use banking application I ever had. You have to be aware that there is some sort of 7000 GBP a day limit and a single transaction can not be higher than 4000 GBP but except for that it is a nice banking account.

    Feel free to contact me if I you have any questions.

    Cheers
    Jan

    Default Gravatar
    OlalekanSeptember 26, 2018

    I don’t know why my account with Monese was closed. It’s been almost 2 months now and my balance has not be received in the bank account I gave to them. Monese service is very bad and I am very disappointed.

      AvatarFinder
      JhezelynSeptember 27, 2018Finder

      Hello Olalekan,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I am sorry to hear about what happened to your Monese account. Upon checking, it was stated on their website that all Direct Debit transactions that were set up on the Monese Account will be rejected once your Monese UK Account is closed. Please contact Monese directly so they can check this for you.

      If you have complaints, you can directly get in touch their complaints department.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

    Default Gravatar
    FrancescoSeptember 25, 2018

    They closed the account with my money inside and 15 days after they still did not send me to my other account. They give me a lot of problems with this, logistics and economics. It’s a big fraud, attention please to everybody, don’t open an account with this bank.

      AvatarFinder
      JhezelynSeptember 26, 2018Finder

      Hi Francesco,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I am sorry to hear about how unfortunate your banking experience with Monese. If you have complaints, you can directly get in touch with the bank and be transferred to their complaints department.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

    Default Gravatar
    JonesSeptember 23, 2018

    A really useful app and with low fees also! I used the code YN6PELE3 when registering to get a £10 bonus. The best part of a monese account is that you can solve any problem online :)

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