Monzo bank account and card review: Is it worth it?

Meet the poster child of digital banking and learn more about its 5 account plans, including the 2024 additions..

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Monzo

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As one of the main challenger banks, Monzo offers current accounts, integrated savings accounts, loans and investments in a slick app. And it updates its range and features pretty often. In April 2024, it launched 3 perk-laden, paid-for current accounts. Customers love Monzo, with 98% saying they’d recommend the bank to a friend in our 2024 banking customer satisfaction survey.

Compare Monzo accounts

1 - 5 of 5
Name Product Finder Score Account fees Funding requirement Interest (AER) Arranged overdraft Incentive Representative example Link
Monzo Free
4.6
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39% EAR variable
tag iconMonzo Instant Access Savings Pot earns you 4.10% AER interest (variable), paid monthly into the Pot you create.
Current account switch service guarantee badgeRepresentative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39% EAR variable. Account fee of £0.
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Monzo Extra
Not yet rated
£3.00 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39% EAR variable
tag iconGet the best of Monzo money management: see your other banks and credit cards in Monzo, credit insights, personalised spending categories and more.
Account fee of £3 per month. 18+ only. T&Cs apply. You must have a Monzo Current Account to sign up to Monzo Extra.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39% EAR variable. Account fee of £3 per month.
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Monzo Max
Not yet rated
£17.00 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39% EAR variable
tag iconWorldwide Travel and Phone Insurance + UK and Europe RAC Breakdown Cover.
Monzo Max is £17 per month, for a minimum 3 months. 18-69 only. T&Cs apply. You must have a Monzo Current Account to sign up to Monzo Max. Travel insurance provided by Zurich, powered by Qover. Phone insurance provided by Assurant. Breakdown cover provided by RAC.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39% EAR variable. Account fee of £17 per month.
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Monzo Max + Family
Not yet rated
£22.00 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39% EAR variable
tag iconWorldwide Travel and Phone Family Insurance + UK and Europe RAC Family Breakdown Cover.
"Monzo Max with Family Add-on is £22 per month. 18-69 only. T&Cs apply. You must have a Monzo Current Account to sign up to Monzo Max + Family. Travel insurance provided by Zurich, powered by Qover. Phone insurance provided by Assurant. Breakdown cover provided by RAC."
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39% EAR variable. Account fee of £22 per month.
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Monzo Perks
Not yet rated
£7.00 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39% EAR variable
tag iconGet extra every day: a weekly Greggs treat, an annual Railcard every year, 4.60% AER (variable) interest in a linked instant access savings pot and more.
Monzo Perks is £7 per month. 18+ only. T&Cs apply. You must have a Monzo Current Account to sign up to Monzo Perks.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39% EAR variable. Account fee of £7 per month.
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How does Monzo work?

Monzo works in a similar way to any normal current account. When you apply for an account, you’ll be issued with a bright coral contactless Mastercard.

However, the account is entirely managed through the Monzo app, which is jam-packed with cool features and much slicker than your average banking app. The card is even controlled via the app: you can freeze it if it gets lost or stolen (and unfreeze it if you find it again).

Here are some of Monzo’s main features:

  • Earn cashback. Monzo allows you to earn cashback at popular retailers, restaurants and on travelling. You pick your offers, shop in person or online and see what you’ve earned instantly via the app.
  • Get paid a day early. Does what it says on the tin!
  • Salary sorter. Divvy up your salary into spending, savings and bills.
  • Spending budgets. Set budgets by category (e.g. eating out, entertainment, transport).
  • Savings pots. Split money into interest-earning “savings pots”. You can also “round up spare change” into a pot. We’ve got a full review of Monzo’s savings feature if you want to read more.
  • Bills pots. Get direct debits or standing orders paid out of a “bills pot”.
  • Instant spending notifications. See what you’re spending in real time.
  • Free cash withdrawals abroad. What your free limit is will depend on which type of Monzo account you have.
  • No transaction fees abroad. Contactless payments and spending overseas is free.
  • Energy switching. If you switch energy provider using the app then you can get cashback.
  • Joint accounts. Open a joint account with another Monzo customer.
  • Overdrafts. Apply in the app for an overdraft of up to £2,000.
  • Apple and Google Pay. Monzo cards work with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Loans. Apply for a Monzo loan of up to £25,000.
  • Buy now, pay later. Monzo offers a pay later (BNPL) option. If you’re a Monzo account holder, the Flex feature is designed to let you pay for purchases over £30 in a series of instalments.
  • Investments. Monzo Investments has 3 ready-made fund options all managed by BlackRock. Each fund has a different risk level: Careful, Balanced and Adventurous. So you can choose which one suits you best.

Monzo Extra

Beyond its free current account, Monzo has 3 paid-for account plans: Extra, Perks and Max. Monzo launched all 3 in April 2024 and each offers something slightly different. First up is Extra.

Basically, a Monzo account with a little bit more, Extra offers more advanced money management tools.

For a monthly fee of £3, you get:

  • Connected banks and credit cards. Add other bank accounts and cards to your Monzo app so you can see all your balances and transactions in one place.
  • Virtual cards. Link a virtual card to one of your Pots to help with budgeting.
  • Advanced roundups You can boost your spare change roundups and automatically put 2x, 5x or 10x into your savings every time you spend.
  • Custom categories Create your own categories to track how much you spend.
  • Credit insights Monzo now tracks your Equifax and TransUnion credit scores weekly and offers tips on how to improve your score by making certain changes.

Monzo Perks

Monzo Perks builds on Extra and offers more rewards, discounted fees and interest all for a monthly fee of £7.

  • Saving interest. Get 4.60% AER interest on your Instant Access Savings Pots and Cash ISA.
  • Fee-fee withdrawals and cash deposits. Benefit from a higher fee-free withdrawal limit and 3 fee-free cash deposits.
  • Discounted investment fees. You’ll pay less in Monzo Investment fees as a Perks account holder.
  • Annual railcard. As part of your account you’ll get an annual railcard from Trainline. You can pick which one suits you best depending on your age, where you live and how you like to travel.
  • Weekly Greggs treat. Monzo knows its customer base, as it’s introduced a free weekly hot drink or snack at Greggs.

Monzo Max

Monzo’s top-tier account, Max, has everything that Extra and Perks offers plus benefits such as insurance and breakdown cover. Of course, there’s a higher monthly fee as a result and you’ll need to hold the account for a minimum of 3 months.

For £17 a month, you’ll get:

  • Worldwide travel insurance. Multi-trip cover including medical bills, lost valuables, winter sports and car hire excess. You can also choose to add family cover for £5 extra a month.
  • Worldwide phone insurance. Protect your phone from loss, theft and accidental damage.
  • UK and European breakdown cover. Benefit from personal cover including home insurance, onward travel and vehicle recovery.

Expert analysis: A premium account from Monzo: Is it worth it?

rachelwait profile pic
Rachel Wait

Writer

Paying for your current account is always something that needs to be considered carefully.

If you’re looking at the Monzo Extra account, £3 a month might not sound much, but remember that it’s still £36 a year. And in return, all you’ll get is slightly more advanced money management tools. A lot of this is already included with the free account, including spending notifications, budgeting tools and savings pots, so it’s unlikely to be worth upgrading.

Monzo Perks, meanwhile, costs £7 a month or £84 a year. Whether this fee is worth paying will depend on how often you buy a snack or coffee at Greggs and how often you travel on the train. If you do both frequently, it could work to your advantage. After all, a weekly regular cappuccino at Greggs will set you back more than £9 a month, already more than covering the account fee.

However, be aware that if you’re a frequent commuter, a monthly or annual season ticket could work out cheaper than using a Railcard. And if you’re only using Monzo Perks for the Railcard, you’ll save money by buying it separately - it costs £30 a year.

Monzo Perks is definitely not worth it if you are only paying the extra to get access to a better savings rate or fee-free cash withdrawals. Although the 4.60% AER rate on the account’s savings pots is competitive, there are better deals on the market. And there are plenty of bank accounts that offer unlimited fee-free cash withdrawals both in the UK and overseas (such as Starling).

Monzo Max is the most expensive of the lot at £17 a month, or £204 a year. Admittedly, you’ll get worldwide travel insurance, worldwide phone insurance and UK and Europe breakdown cover for that. But my biggest bugbear is that if you want travel insurance for the whole family, you’ve got to pay another £5 a month - or a whopping £264 a year. By contrast, the Nationwide Flex Plus account gives you all of this for a lower fee of £13 a month, or £156 a year.

You will still get the free Greggs weekly treat and the Railcard with Monzo Max, but again, these may be of limited value.

If you are tempted to apply for Max, it’s worth working out how much it would cost you to buy each of the perks separately first - or think about applying for the Nationwide account instead. Also check insurance terms and conditions carefully as there will likely be exclusions - you’ll only be covered up to the age of 69, for example. Keep in mind too, that you might already have cover elsewhere - perhaps your mobile phone is covered through your home insurance, for instance.

Is Monzo good to use abroad?

You can use a Monzo card abroad really easily. You don’t have to do anything! Just travel anywhere in the world and there are no charges for card transactions at all and no charges for ATM withdrawals up to £200 a month – then there’s a 3% fee. The monthly limit for cash withdrawals in European countries is slightly higher at £250, but be aware that is a combined threshold for ATM withdrawals made in the EEA and the UK (then the 3% fee applies).

If spending cash abroad is what is most important to you, we recommend considering Starling Bank. Starling’s account offering is very similar to Monzo’s, and there’s no charge on overseas card transactions, but there are also no charges at all for withdrawing cash abroad, and the maximum amount you can withdraw at an ATM each day is £300.

Also be aware that individual foreign ATMs may charge a fee too – that’s to do with the ATM network itself and nothing to do with Monzo though. All transactions on your Monzo card in a foreign currency are made at the current day’s Mastercard exchange rate, offering a competitive rate that responds to the live market.

Then, when you get back from your trip, Monzo will send you a little summary of how much you spent.

What does the Monzo app look like?

Monzo app
Monzo app
Monzo app

Is Monzo safe?

It’s as safe as any other bank. The money in your Monzo account is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000. The FSCS is an independent statutory fund set up to safeguard consumer finances in the event of a bank being unable to meet its payment demands. Monzo has full FSCS protection, covering up to £85,000 of your money – as is the standard for UK bank accounts.

Customer service information for Monzo

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

Case study: Richard found separating his money into pots useful

Richard Loftin profile pic
Richard Loftin

Buckinghamshire

I chose to move to Monzo as I like the ability to use the pots feature. It helps to separate my bills, everyday spending money, rent and savings separately and clearly. I also like the idea of the bank being online and not having to visit a branch to resolve queries.

If there's one thing you'd tell a friend who's thinking of getting this, what would it be? I would highly recommend Monzo to a friend. I'd let them know how useful I've found the pots feature.

Monzo customer reviews

In our independent 2024 customer satisfaction survey, a tremendous 98% of Monzo’s users said they’d recommend the brand to a friend. Users highlighted the bank’s easy to use app and convenient savings pot tool. Here’s what some of those Monzo customers had to say:

“I love monzo, they are quick, efficient, everything is easy to understand. They set up pots very quickly, can’t fault them!”

“The communication is great and they provide a good service.”

“So easy to open a current account. Download the app, answer a few simple questions. Voila!”

On the Apple App Store, Monzo scored 4.9 out of 5 stars from over 188,500 reviews. On the Google Play Store, it scores 4.5 out of 5 stars, from a total of 124,000 reviews (last updated, February 2023).

However a number of users have complained about the app layout and design and talked about struggling to find key features on the account. There have also be complaints on trying to reach the customer service support team.

Pros and cons of Monzo

Pros

  • Full UK current account – you can do all the stuff you can do with a normal bank and more.
  • Apply quickly from the app without proof of address – you won’t be credit-checked unless you apply for an overdraft.
  • Slick, fun app that is packed with cool features.
  • Spend abroad with no fees at the Mastercard exchange rate.
  • Deposit cash into the account at any store which shows the PayPoint logo.
  • Buy now, pay later option for account holders (Monzo Flex).
  • Open a savings account directly from the app with one of the providers Monzo works with.
  • Fully FCA-licensed and FSCS-protected.

Cons

  • No bank branches isn’t great for those who prefer face-to-face customer service.
  • 3% charge for overseas ATM withdrawals over £200 – some other digital bank accounts (e.g. Starling Bank) have no such charges.
  • No interest on your current account balance.
  • No switch incentives if you switch your account.
  • You need to upgrade your account for full functionality.
  • Users have reported long waiting times to speak with the customer service team.
  • Cash deposits can incur a fee depending on your Monzo plan.

Our verdict: Is Monzo a good bank?

Monzo is the most popular digital challenger bank in the UK (by customer numbers), and for a good reason. It’s free account is super easy to use, set up and manage, and the app is colourful and fun (as long as you can live with the loud, judgemental sound it makes every time you spend money!).

The only real drawback is the limit on free ATM withdrawals abroad, which is quite low compared to that of Starling, for example. For most people this won’t really be an issue, but if you are a bit of a globetrotter and often travel to countries where cash is still king, you might want to consider the alternatives. Or have a look at some of Monzo’s other account plans which offer higher limits for fee-free withdrawals and cash deposits.

All in all, Monzo is great if you’re looking for a mobile-first current account with almost no fees, a slick user experience and a young and fresh vibe. Whether you’re planning on using it as a primary current account for your day-to-day finances or as a secondary account when you travel, it does the job quickly, efficiently and with a degree of cheerfulness.

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. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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