What is Monese?
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?
- 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 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 and you can both earn money.
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.
|Plan||Monthly fee||Card payments abroad||ATM withdrawals||Cash loads||Money transfers|
|Starter||£0||2% fee||£1.5 fee||3.5% fee||2.5% fee, additional 1% fee on weekends (free between Monese accounts)|
|Essential||£1.95||0.5% fee||Free up to £200 a month||3.5% fee||2% fee, additional 1% fee on weekends (free between Monese accounts)|
|Classic||£5.95||Free||Free up to £500 a month||Free up to £400 a month||From 0.5% fee (free between Monese accounts)|
|Premium||£14.95||Free||Free up to £1,500 a month||Free up to £1,000 a month||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?
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 2022 Customer Satisfaction Awards, Monese came eighth with 4.5 out of 5 stars and 83% 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 over 51,000 reviews in the App Store. On Google Play, it has a score of 4.0 from more than 92,000 Android app users (July 2022).
On Trustpilot, Monese received an average mark of 4.0 out of 5, and a rating of Great, from over 27,000 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
- 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.
- You can load cash into the account for free.
- Can open both a UK and European account and switch instantly.
- 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.
- No physical branches.
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.
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.
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