Revolut vs Monzo

Revolut and Monzo are two of the biggest names among “challenger banks”, but there are some big differences in the services they provide.

In recent years, traditional banks have been losing customers to smaller, newer and slicker start ups. Years of miserable savings, poor customer service, and clunky online interfaces have seen many people turning to apps like Revolut and Monzo.

Popular with young people especially, this new wave of banking apps offer features like fee-free spending abroad, smart tools to keep tabs on spending, and instant interaction with your account – allowing you to view transactions in real time or cancel your debit card in an instant.

Here we cover the two biggest rivals in this new banking landscape.

Revolut and Monzo at a glance

What is it? Revolut is a complete alternative to high-street banking. It offers a prepaid card, a currency and cryptocurrency exchange, and P2P payments. Monzo is more simple, offering a UK current account. It has highly rated customer support and involves its community in app updates.
Pros of each
  • Free UK current account
  • Free mobile app
  • A blue/pink Mastercard
  • Hold different currencies simultaneously
  • Payment splitting functions
  • The best exchange rate for spending abroad
  • Borrow money using P2P loans
  • Insurance options
  • Buy cryptocurrencies
  • In partnership with PensionBee
  • Free UK current account
  • Free mobile app
  • A bright coral Mastercard
  • Mostly fee-free spending
  • Transparent: Users are involved in changes
  • Pay your friends easily
  • Can switch your current account using CASS
  • You can integrate with outside apps like Yolt. So you can see all your bank accounts in one place.
Cons of each
  • Some of features are only for Premium Users
  • £4.99 card delivery
  • Currently only supports direct debits in euros. But exchange rate into GBP is good.
  • You can only withdraw £200 a month with a regular account before a 2% fee is applied
  • No interest paying accounts, or savings options (except ‘pots’)
  • Some fees if you’re withdrawing large amounts of money abroad
What is unique about it? Revolut is the only digital banking solution that offers the whole suite of features listed above. Revolut also offers interesting security features such as location based security. This means your transaction won’t go through unless it’s close enough to your phone.

Like all of these apps, updates and new features are being added constantly. Revolut’s recent fundraising saw it raise $250m, which will in part be used to double its workforce. So expect new features soon.

Monzo’s key feature is the way it tracks your spending. You can view a live breakdown of your outgoings, where you’re spending money and on what.

New features are added piece by piece. Monzo keeps its community up to date with a public roadmap. Users can interact with the Monzo team via the app or the Monzo blog. Next up is an overdraft facility, as well as more savings options.

What are the main costs?
  • Revolut has a Standard and Premium pricing structure.
  • Standard Users get a free service, but pay £4.99 for the card
  • Premium Users pay £6.99 a month (or £72.00 a year, saving £11) and get extra features.
  • Metal users pay £12.99 a month and get extra features and higher fee limits.
  • Monzo can be used in the UK with no costs.
  • You’ll be charged for withdrawing large amounts, or for going into your overdraft.
  • Foreign fees are a little more complicated. Check them out here.
How do I get the card? Download the app for iOS (rated 4/5) or Android (rated 4.2/5) Download the app for iOS (rated 4/5) or Android (rated 4.2/5)
How safe is it? While covered by the FCA, Revolut is not protected by the FSCS. Your Monzo account is protected by the FSCS, up to the sum of £85,000.
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You can check out the full list of Monzo and Revolut’s competitors, and read all of our reviews to decide which is right for you. Our favourite finder is the Revolut card. Click the link or the button above and enter your phone number to get £5 off your order.

Popularity of Revolut and Monzo over the past year

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Revolut vs Monzo: The verdict

As with most things, it depends. Both are competing to keep up with one another so their app experiences are hugely similar. Both Revolut and Monzo give you spending insights, breaking your transactions down into categories like groceries, transport, eating out. Likewise both give you real time information and spending notifications and let you freeze your card in the app.

The small differences emerge when you consider what the two are. As a fully fledged bank Monzo offers you more security if the bank goes bust. Up to £85,000 is covered by the FSCS. Revolut, by contrast, isn’t. So if it goes under your money is more vulnerable.

Another key difference is Monzo customers get free and unlimited ATM withdrawals in the UK. With Revolut you only get £200 a month fee-free.

This doesn’t mean Revolut is worse. In fact, because it’s still technically a prepaid debit card you can still do instant top ups. Just go in the app and press the ‘+’ sign, and you can add balance to your card in a second. This has huge benefits if you’re travelling. Monzo cancelled this top up option, so transferring money in is still easy but a fraction slower.

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5 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AmorphousMarch 4, 2019

    Revoulut does not have web app. It means if you loose your mobile you are in deep trouble. What about Monzo?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesMarch 5, 2019Staff

      Hi Amorphous,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Yes, Monzo has a web app that you may be able to use in emergencies. The Monzo web would allow you to:

      Freeze and defrost your card
      See your last 50 transactions or up to three months of transactions

      Hope this helps!


  2. Default Gravatar
    WayneSeptember 22, 2018

    I have both cards and generally find Monzo has the better exchange rate, but Revolut is great for holding currency and saving for holidays as you know what the rate will be as soon as you exchange.

  3. Default Gravatar
    GeorgeAugust 17, 2018

    Does Revolut automatically offer travel/medical insurance when purchasing air tickets?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezAugust 17, 2018Staff

      Hello George,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You are not automatically insured by using Revolut in purchasing air tickets.

      Revolut actually offers medical and dental cover at the lowest prices. There are three kinds of insurances they can offer.
      – Pay-per-Day insurance – this uses geolocation to only cover you for the days you are abroad, starting at less than £1 per day.
      – Annual policy (bought separately) – if you travel a lot, they have a cap to limit your total annual spend.
      – Annual policy (received with Revolut Premium) – for those who would rather be insured for multiple trips over the course of one year at one flat rate, you can buy an annual policy with exactly the same coverage, or upgrade to Revolut Premium now and receive this annual policy for free.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.


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