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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Monese

Monese


Easy account opening

Send money abroad

Budgeting tools
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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 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 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 and cash loads Money transfers
Simple £0 Free 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 £4.95 Free 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 £14.95 Free and unlimited Free (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

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.

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.

Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Ratings Interest (AER) Arranged overdraft Key benefits Link Representative example
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
0%
15% EAR variable
Award-winning current account, apply in minutes
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
No fees for spending or withdrawing cash overseas - currencies are converted at Mastercard’s standard exchange rate
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 15% EAR variable.
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
0%
39.94% EAR variable
Interest and fee free overdraft
for first four months when you switch
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Up to 15% cashback at a range of major retailers
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 39.94% EAR variable.
We say
★★★★★
0%
N/A
Guaranteed acceptance plus a credit building feature
Go to site
Account fee of £5.95 per month.
We say
★★★★★
0%
N/A
Guaranteed acceptance
Go to site
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Earn cashback on your purchases when you shop through the ThinkMoney rewards portal
Account fee of £10 per month or £15 per month.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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
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