Monese review

Is this really banking without boundaries?

Last updated:

Monese
We say
★★★★★
Finder expert rating
You say
★★★★★
Customer satisfaction
  • UK current account that does all you can expect, including direct debits and standing orders
  • You can’t put your savings in a separate account or earn interest on them
Monese is a digital banking app and card using smartphone technology to improve your banking experience.

Our review goes into Monese’s key features, fees and frequently asked questions.

Monese (Starter)

Download Monese now for free

  • Open your account using your mobile
  • No proof of address or credit check
  • View account details immediately
  • Send and receive payments
  • Sign up takes just 60 seconds
  • Make £15 for referring friends
Promoted

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.

Besides being completely mobile and making your money accessible on the go, Monese takes mobility a step further than the rest, allowing customers to create an account without a UK address.

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 20 countries across Europe and, if you move to another country, your Monese account comes 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, which has multiple tabs focussed on different aspects of your account:
  • 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 provides customers with easy access to customer service via instant messenger or email. This tab also has an FAQ section.
  • My plan. Monese offers a free account and two paid account options. From this tab you can see what benefits might come from an upgrade or subscribe to the service.
  • 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.
  • Invite and earn. Invite a friend and you will earn £15 once they deposit money into their account. They also get £15.

Check out this video to see how the app looks and works:


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 it typically takes around 2-4 hours for your payee to receive the money you’ve transferred.
  • 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 send 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 by the next working day – or the day after that.
  • 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 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.

Monese fees and limits

The cost and the limits of a Monese account depends on which pricing plan you choose.

PlanMonthly feeCard payments abroadATM withdrawals and cash loadsMoney transfers
Simple£0Free up to £2,000 a month (2% fee after)Free up to £200 a month (2% fee after)2% fee (free between Monese accounts)
Classic£4.95Free up to £8,000 a month (2% fee after)Free up to £800 a month (2% fee after)0.5% fee (free between Monese accounts)
Premium£14.95Free and unlimitedFree (limited to £300 a day for ATM withdrawals and to £500 a day for cash loads)Free

Using Monese abroad

Monese has the option of opening an account anywhere in Europe making it easier to spend money on the mainland. Being able to switch instantly between your UK and European accounts means you’ll be able to access your money easily wherever you are in Europe.

All Monese’s pricing plans offer some level of fee-free spending outside of Europe too, but with different limits. If you have a free plan, you get up to £2,000 of fee-free card payments abroad and up to £200 of fee-free foreign ATM withdrawals.

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 money is also safe behind 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 safe in a segregated account that Monese can’t touch (even it if were to go bust), but 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 or proof of local address 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.
  • You can load cash into the account for free.
  • 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 £200 per month.
  • You can’t put your savings in a separate account or earn interest on them.
  • It doesn’t offer anything more than a current account.
  • No physical branches.

Overall verdict

Monese is a great option 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, something you can only dream of with a traditional bank.

If you live in the UK with no plans to travel but wish to join a mobile bank instead, it’s still competitive, but there might be better options. Other UK challenger banks, such as Monzo and Starling, are similar but offer a wider range of features, including overdrafts, joint accounts and savings accounts. On the other hand, Monese is the only one that lets you deposit cash on the account for free, so if you need to do it regularly, it may be your best option.

Finally, if you regularly need to make international money transfers and hold multiple currencies, you should check out Revolut, that beats Monese by allowing you to hold and transfer 29 different currencies for free.

Compare Monese against its competitors

We’ve put together a list of all of Monese’s main competitors, and reviewed them here. Or use the table below to compare all of the UK’s leading banking apps at a glance.

Updated November 15th, 2019
Name Product UK ATM withdrawals Foreign ATM withdrawals Ratings
N26
Free
1.7% of amount drawn
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
£200 free monthly
£200 free monthly
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Free
Free
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
£200 free monthly
£200 free monthly
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app
Free
£200 free monthly
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
Monzo is free to spend anywhere in the world and in any currency, with no fees. All money is exchanged using the MasterCard rate.
Free
Free (up to 10 withdrawals monthly)

Compare up to 4 providers

FAQs

Back to top
Starling Bank
Starling Bank

What is it?

Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
N26
N26

What is it?

App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
Revolut (Standard)
Revolut (Standard)

What is it?

App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Monese (Starter)
Monese (Starter)

What is it?

A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app
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15 Responses

  1. 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 Customer Care
      johnbasanesJanuary 28, 2019Staff

      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

  2. 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

  3. 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 Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 27, 2018Staff

      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

  4. 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 Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 26, 2018Staff

      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

  5. 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 :)

  6. Default Gravatar
    PetyqAugust 30, 2018

    Can I cash a cheque?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezSeptember 1, 2018Staff

      Hello Petyq,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Upon further checking, Monese is currently unable to accept cheques.

      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

  7. Default Gravatar
    domJuly 16, 2018

    Great app :) if you use this code 6YL3B953 you have 5 £ offered at the opening of your account after making a first deposit of 10 £ !
    easy to use and very practice. Unfortynately debit card cost 4,95 pounds :( You can a good alternative for those who have problems in opening a bank account at traditional banks and good transfer fee

  8. Default Gravatar
    MeganJune 9, 2018

    Hi, Can I transfer money from my Monese account to PayPal?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJune 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Megan,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      You can no longer withdraw funds from your PayPal account direct to your Monese account. Monese is working on a solution with PayPal, but in the mean time you can still make a direct bank transfer or online payment into you Monese account (using your Monese account details), or if you are in the UK or Romania you can deposit cash via PayPoint. You may call Monese at +44 1706 304 001 from Monday – Friday, 08:00 – 17:00 Saturday 10:00 – 16:00. Please note that their all support is in English and the timezone is UTC

      As a friendly reminder, while we do not represent any company we feature on our pages, we can offer you general advice.

      I hope this helps. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Have a great day!

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

      • Default Gravatar
        PeteSeptember 9, 2018

        Hello ,
        Can you let me know how much money I can deposit at one given time into my monese account please. Also if I have the standard account how much cash transactions I can make please per monthh is it still only 6 .
        I would also like to know is there a limit on how much money I can hold in my account?

        • Avatarfinder Customer Care
          JoshuaSeptember 10, 2018Staff

          Hi Pete,

          Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

          Let me answer your questions one by one:

          1. Can you let me know how much money I can deposit at one given time into my monese account please?

          The answer depends on how you deposit your money. If you use the post office, the maximum deposit per day is £500. If you use PayPoint deposits, you can deposit a maximum of £249 per transaction but a total of £500 per day.

          2. Also if I have the standard account how much cash transactions I can make please per monthh is it still only 6 .

          You can do as much cash transactions as you want provided you don’t reach the limit. If you’re referring to withdrawals, there’s no limit on how many times you can withdraw money, but you can only withdraw £300 per day.

          3. I would also like to know is there a limit on how much money I can hold in my account?

          The Monese UK account maximum balance is £40000. If you want to know more about the limits and fees of Monese, please read the details written under the subheading “Monese fees and limits” found above this page.

          I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

          Have a wonderful day!

          Cheers,
          Joshua

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