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Revolut vs Monzo: Which is the best?

Revolut and Monzo are two of the biggest banking challengers in the UK, but there are some differences in the services they provide. Find out more in our comprehensive comparison guide.

In recent years, high street banks have been losing customers to smaller, newer and slicker startups. This new wave of digital banking apps offer features like fee-free spending abroad, smart tools to keep tabs on spending, and the ability to view transactions in real time or freeze and unlock your debit card in an instant. Two of the biggest challenger banking brands in the UK are Revolut and Monzo. This in-depth guide compares their features side by side, helping you decide which one of the two might suit you best.

Revolut vs Monzo: Vital statistics

Revolut StandardMonzo
Free spending abroad
Overdraft rateNo overdrafts19%, 29% or 39% EAR
Interest when you're in credit0%0%
Branch access
FSCS protected
Sign-up bonus
Product image
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You’ll receive a blue and pink two-tone card with the free Revolut “Standard” account, while the free Monzo account comes with a coral coloured card.

Revolut and Monzo don’t have branches, but you can deposit money into your Monzo account at a PayPoint, for a flat £1 fee (you can pay in a maximum of £1,000 every 180 rolling days). Neither of these accounts pay interest on in-credit balances, but you can apply for an overdraft with Monzo, something that is not available with Revolut.

Monzo has a UK banking licence, which means individual customer funds up to the value of £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if the bank goes bust. Revolut doesn’t have a UK banking licence, so doesn’t come with FSCS protection. But as a FCA-registered electronic money institution, it does keep its customers’ funds in a separate account at a licensed UK bank, which means the money is ring-fenced should Revolut go bust.

In Finder’s 2021 Banking Customer Satisfaction Awards, Monzo was the winner, achieving 5 out of 5 stars in our customer survey, with 89% of its customers saying they would recommend a Monzo current account. Meanwhile, Revolut scored 3.5 out of 5 stars, with 79% of its customers saying they would recommend one of its accounts.

Round 1: App features

Revolut StandardMonzo
Visual breakdown of spending
Spending categoriesCustomisable12
Set spending budgets
Set up direct debits in the app
Top up via bank transfer
Have salary paid in
Savings goals or pots
Customer service via the app
Customer service via a telephone line
Cheque scanning
Freeze/unfreeze card in app
Send money abroad
Fee for sending money abroadFree in SEPA region, between 30p and £5 to send elsewhereFee set by Wise (Monzo's money transfer partner)
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Revolut and Monzo both have an extensive set of features in their mobile banking apps. There are spending categories in both apps, where your account transactions are automatically grouped in an appropriate category, such as utility bills, transport or eating out. With Revolut you can create and customise your categories, whereas with Monzo they are pre-set.

You can also analyse your daily, weekly or monthly spending insights in both apps, which helps you set budgets, as well as receive alerts you when payments go in and out of your account.

Revolut’s “Vaults” and Monzo’s “Pots” let you put money aside for specific treats or goals, like a new pair of trainers or saving for a new car. Both also offer a “round-up” tool, where spare change from your transactions can be “rounded up” to the nearest pound and put into your savings bucket.

You can pay your salary into either your Revolut or Monzo account, manage direct debits and make international payments (although you can’t directly receive international payments with Monzo, which uses its money transfer partner, Wise, for overseas transfers).

You can freeze or unfreeze your card in these two apps, as well as contact both customer service teams through the in-app chats. You can also get hold of the Monzo team on the telephone, but that’s not the case for Revolut.

If you have a cheque to pay in, there is no cheque scanning tool in the Monzo app, but you can send the cheque via a Freepost service to Monzo, who will deposit it into your account. Revolut, however, doesn’t accept cheque deposits at all – and it doesn’t accept cash either.

  • Winner: Tie. This pair’s features are very similar, so it’s not possible to pick a winner in this round. In terms of the small differences between them, Revolut has customisable spending categories, while Monzo lets you deposit cash and cheques, as well as speak to someone on the phone.

Round 2: Spending in the UK

Revolut StandardMonzo
Free card transactions in the UK
Contactless card limit£100£100
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Samsung Pay
Free ATM withdrawalsLimited to £200 per
month or 5 withdrawals
Up to £250 per month
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Spending on your Revolut or Monzo card is free in the UK, and both cards currently have the new maximum contactless payment limit of £100.

You can also add your Revolut card or Monzo card to Apply Pay and Google Pay, although neither supports Samsung Pay.

Monzo offers free ATM withdrawals up to £250 every 30 days in the UK, then a 3% fee applies. With Revolut you can make up to 5 ATM withdrawals or take out £200 for free every month – whichever of those limits you hit first will trigger a charge of 2% on each subsequent withdrawal (with a minimum fee of £1).

  • Winner: Tie. There’s nothing to split the two here when it comes to card features and fees for UK use.

Round 3: Using the card abroad

Revolut StandardMonzo
Free foreign transactionsLimited to £1,000 per monthUnlimited
Free foreign ATM withdrawalsLimited to £200 per monthUp to £250 in EEA and £200
elsewhere every 30 days
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With Monzo, there’s no charge for using its card to make purchases abroad. If you’re withdrawing money from a foreign ATM, you get a free limit of £250 in the EEA and £200 elsewhere every 30 days, then a 3% charge kicks in. It’s also worth noting that the £250 EEA free limit also includes any UK ATM withdrawals you may have made during the 30 day period.

With Revolut, you need to look a bit closer at the small print! You can use your card to make purchases abroad for free on weekdays, up to a monthly limit of £1,000. You can use your card to withdraw money abroad for free on weekdays, up to a monthly limit of £200. But on the weekends, a mark-up of 0.5% applies to both card spending and cash withdrawals overseas (Revolut says this is because the international money markets close over the weekend). That 0.5% mark-up relates to all the major currencies, but for some minor currencies it rises to 2%.

  • Winner: Monzo. It has a less complicated fee structure that includes totally free card spending abroad and a slightly higher free limit for ATM withdrawals in the EEA.

Round 4: Account types

Revolut StandardMonzo
Free account
Premium account
Joint account
Teen account (for 16 and 17 year olds)
Kids' account or card
Business account
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Revolut and Monzo both offer free accounts, and both providers have also branched out into subscription accounts that come with extra features and allowances in exchange for a monthly fee. Revolut’s range includes three paid-for tiers: Plus, Premium and Metal. Monzo has two paid-for tiers: Plus and Premium.

Monzo offers joint accounts and teen accounts for 16 and 17 year olds, which Revolut doesn’t. But Revolut does have a kid’s account called Revolut Junior (which is managed through the parent’s current account), but Monzo doesn’t have anything similar for children. Both brands operate business accounts though.

  • Winner: Monzo – just. This duo are equal on offering free, premium and business accounts, plus Revolut has a child account while Monzo has a teen account. But Monzo does have a joint account option, which you can’t get with Revolut.

Round 5: Signing up

Revolut StandardMonzo
Apply through the app
Quick application
Credit check
Card delivery fee£4.99Free
Card delivery timescaleUp to 9 working days2-7 working days
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You can apply for either a Revolut or a Monzo account through their respective mobile apps in a matter of minutes. There are no credit checks, although a photo of your ID and a selfie is required. The accounts are then usually opened on the same day and both the cards are sent through the post. Monzo sends its card for free, while Revolut charges £4.99 for card delivery, which can take up to 9 working days.

  • Winner: Monzo. Although both accounts are quick and easy to open digitally, Revolut charges almost £5 to have your card delivered, and it could take nearly 2 weeks to arrive in the slowest case scenario.

Round 6: Extra features

Revolut StandardMonzo
Free euro account
Trade shares
Buy gold and silver
Buy cryptocurrencies
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This is where Revolut really shines through. Account holders have the option to trade shares, purchase gold or silver, and buy cryptocurrencies, all through the Revolut app (fees will apply and your capital is at risk if you decide to invest). Monzo doesn’t offer any of these particular features – but to be fair, Revolut’s other rivals don’t either.

There isn’t a full “marketplace” available through the Revolut or Monzo apps, where account holders can choose products from other providers, such as insurance or pensions services. However, users of either brand can now opt to open interest-paying savings accounts from Revolut’s or Monzo’s financial partners, and these savings accounts can then be managed through either the Revolut or Monzo banking app.

  • Winner: Revolut, for the unique investment options available in its banking app.

Overall verdict: Is Revolut better than Monzo?

The free accounts from Revolut and Monzo are very similar. Both are managed via an app, both have spending analysis, budgeting features and savings tools, and both accounts can be used to make international transfers.

This makes it difficult to select one over the other, but if we had to choose just one to open, it would probably be Monzo. It has the same main banking and insights features as Revolut, but also the ability to deposit cash and cheques (which you can’t do with Revolut), plus totally free card spending abroad. Monzo’s UK banking licence also means that its customers’ deposits are protected by the FSCS, and it doesn’t charge you for delivering your card.

However, Revolut does have some unique advantages of its own. It’s currently free to transfer euros to any account in the SEPA (Single European Payments Area) region, and if you’re interested in trading shares or buying cryptocurrencies then you can do it directly from your Revolut app.

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.
  1. Financial Services Compensation Scheme
  2. Finder Banking Customer Satisfaction Awards 2021
  3. Finder survey, January 2021

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5 Responses

    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!


    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.

    Default Gravatar
    GeorgeAugust 17, 2018

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

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezelynAugust 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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