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.

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. 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, something you can only dream of with a traditional bank.

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 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, 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 both earn £5 once they join Monese and make their first card transaction; then you will earn another £15 once they have spent a total of £500 – either on their Monese card or by making international transfers outside the EEA.

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 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 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 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.

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£5.95Free up to £8,000 a month (2% fee after)Free up to £900 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 in the UK and on the continent. 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 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 it if were to go bust), but it isn’t protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Monese customer reviews

In our independent 2021 customer satisfaction awards, Monese came fourteenth with 3.5 out of 5 stars and 73% of users saying they would recommend the service. The brand’s well designed and user-friendly app, plus the overall experience, were favourites with customers.

Out of 5, the Monese app has a rating of 4.8 from almost 35,000 reviews in the App Store. It also performs very well on Google Play, where it has a score of 4.6 from more than 50,000 Android app users.

On Trustpilot, Monese received an average mark of 4.0 out of 5, and a rating of Great, from over 17,000 reviews. Users praised the card, app functionality and customer service in general, although there were some criticisms of Monese’s complaints procedure.

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.

The verdict

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 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 and joint accounts.

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.

Monese

Open a mobile money account today

  • 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

FAQs

Banking ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

The customer satisfaction score (“You say”) is based on a survey of 1,941 customers carried out in December 2020.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

Back to top

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.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked
Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.

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 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

    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 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

    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

    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 :)

Go to site