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.

Compare Revolut and Monzo side by side

What is it?Revolut is a multi-currency account that allows you to hold and exchange 29 currencies and spend fee-free abroad.Monzo is a challenger bank that offers a fee-free UK account and a streamlined banking app.
Core features
  • UK and EU accounts. Can hold 29 currencies.
  • App-based banking. Freeze the card on the go, get instant notifications, categorise and visualise your spending.
  • Fee-free international money transfers.
  • Fee-free spending abroad.
  • Put money aside in a Vault to save towards a goal.
  • Travel and device insurance can be added (and paid by the day, with great flexibility).
  • Multi-currency business accounts with stainless steel cards.
  • Full UK account.
  • App-based banking. Freeze the card on the go, get instant notifications, great spending visualisation features.
  • Fee-free spending abroad.
  • A range of interest-paying savings accounts is available through Monzo’s partners.
  • Overdrafts available.
  • Business accounts for small businesses with features including in-app invoicing and digital receipts.
Pros of each
  • Free multi-currency account that does pretty much all you can expect.
  • You can hold, transfer and spend in different currencies, without being charged any fees.
  • A slick and user-friendly app that is packed with features.
  • Insurance options available.
  • You can buy, hold and exchange cryptocurrencies.
  • Full UK current account that does all you can expect.
  • You can use the card and withdraw cash in the UK and abroad with no fees.
  • A slick and user-friendly app that is packed with features.
  • Deposit cash into the account at all PayPoints.
  • Other financial products available through the Marketplace.
Cons of each
  • Weekend markup on currency exchanges.
  • Low monthly limit for fee-free ATM withdrawals.
  • No overdrafts available.
  • Can’t deposit cash or cheques.
  • Fees if you’re withdrawing large amounts of money abroad.
  • Can’t hold different currencies in the account.
  • International transfers only available through Monzo’s partner Wise.
What is unique about it?Revolut has a few features no other banking app offers: namely, a multi-currency account, fee-free international money transfers, cryptocurrencies and an insurance option that can be added on the go.Monzo offers a full UK account that is almost entirely fee-free. It’s app-based, very easy to set up and use and is also expanding to offer more products, such as savings accounts.
What are the main costs?
  • The physical card normally costs £4.99.
  • 0.5% markup on all currency exchanges done during the weekend.
  • 2% fee on ATM withdrawals after the first £200 each month.
  • Standard account is free; monthly fees for Revolut Plus (£2.99), Revolut Premium (£6.99) and Revolut Metal (£12.99), that offer extra benefits.
  • 3% fee on foreign ATM withdrawals after the first £250 each month.
  • Going overdrawn costs 50p a day after the first £20.
  • Standard account is free; monthly fees for Monzo Plus (£5), and Monzo Premium (£15), that come with extra features.
How do I get the card?Download the app for iOS (rated 4.9/5) or Android (rated 4.6/5)Download the app for iOS (rated 4.9/5) or Android (rated 4.8/5)
How safe is it?It is regulated in the UK, but Revolut isn’t officially a bank so doesn’t offer protection for deposits through the FSCS.Your Monzo account is protected by the FSCS, up to the sum of £85,000.
Want to find out more? Read our review Read our review

Best for account plans and fees

Current account plans
Revolut: Standard (free); Plus (£2.99/month); Premium (£6.99/month); and Metal (£12.99/month)
Monzo: Standard (free); Plus (£5/month); Premium £15/month)

Verdict: A draw. Both of these challengers offer free current accounts, plus both have a selection of premium accounts to choose from (these have monthly fees in return for extra features).

In this guide, we’ll be focusing on the features of the free (standard) accounts.

Best for opening and topping up

Opening the account
Revolut: Download the Revolut app to open an account. The sign-up process only takes a few minutes and there are no credit checks.
Monzo: Download the Monzo app to open an account. The sign-up process only takes a few minutes and there is no hard credit check (unless you apply for an overdraft).

Receiving your card
Revolut: It costs £4.99 to order a card with the standard account. Cards are normally dispatched the next working day after your order, but Revolut says cards for standard account holders are currently taking up to nine days to arrive.
Monzo: A card for the standard account comes for free. Monzo says that 90% of cards arrive the next day (if ordered before 3pm on a weekday), but that it can take 2-5 working days if Royal Mail is busier than usual.

Topping up your account
Revolut: You can transfer money electronically into your Revolut account for free. You can’t deposit cash or cheques.
Monzo: You can transfer money electronically into your Monzo account for free. You can pay in cash via a PayPoint – its costs £1 a time, and you can deposit £300 in one go, but only £500 in total across any rolling 180-day period. You can deposit cheques by sending them to Monzo by Freepost (which will take up to 10 working days to arrive).

Verdict: Monzo. It’s free to receive the physical card that comes with your Monzo account, while Revolut charges a fee. You can also top up your Monzo account with cash and cheques, which is not possible with Revolut.

Best for travelling

ATM withdrawals abroad
Revolut: Free for the first €200 withdrawn per month, 2% charge after that.
Monzo: Free for the first £250 withdrawn every 30 days, 3% charge after that (note that the £250 limit is for UK and European cash withdrawals combined).

Using your debit card overseas
Revolut: It’s free to spend up to £1,000 a month abroad using your Revolut card, after which a 0.5% fee applies.
Monzo: There are no fees for spending on your Monzo card abroad.

Accounts in specific currencies
Revolut: UK account holders can hold balances in different currencies within their Revolut account.
Monzo: UK account holders can only hold British pounds in their Monzo account.

Verdict: Could be one or the other, depending on your use. Monzo if you just want to use your card to spend or withdraw cash abroad (as its limits are slightly better than Revolut’s), but Revolut if you want the ability to have different currencies in your account.

Best for international transfers

Cost of transferring money overseas
Revolut: You can make bank transfers in euros for free to accounts in the SEPA region (Single Euro Payments Area). Payments made to accounts outside the SEPA region are charged at 50p each (although you get one of these for free each month).
Monzo: You’ll need to use Monzo’s integration with Wise to make international transfers. There are small fees involved, which vary by amount and currency, but they say a €500 transfer would cost £2 (and you’ll be shown the cost before you give the go-ahead).

Verdict: Revolut, for its free SEPA transfers and charge of 50p for transfers elsewhere.

Best for safety

FSCS deposit protection
Revolut: Revolut doesn’t have a full UK banking licence yet, which means that money in its accounts is not specifically protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). But in order to operate in the UK, Revolut must safeguard customer money in a separate account at a licensed UK bank, which means these funds are ring-fenced should Revolut go bankrupt.
Monzo: Monzo is a fully licensed UK bank, which means that individual customer funds of up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Verdict: Monzo, for its FSCS protection. Although customer money in Revolut accounts will be subject to safeguarding rules, so it does also have a legal level of protection.

Best for customer service

Customer support hours
Revolut: In-app chat available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Automated phone line also available to block your Revolut card if it gets lost and you’re not in a position to report it through your app.
Monzo: In-app chat available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Manned phoneline available for current account support, or you can email Monzo for help.

Languages supported
Revolut: Revolut’s app is available to download in 24 languages. If you already have an account, you can also switch between languages within your existing app (as long as it’s updated to the latest version available). But it’s worth noting that whatever language your app is set to, the in-app chat support is in only English or Polish.
Monzo: Monzo’s app is only available in English, as is its customer support.

App popularity and reviews
Revolut: Revolut has in excess of 10 million customers globally. In the App Store, its app has a rating of 4.9 out of 5, from over 411,000 reviews. On the Google Play Store, the Revolut app has an average score of 4.6 out of 5, from more than 975,000 reviews.
Monzo: Monzo is approaching five million customers in the UK. In the App Store, its app has a rating of 4.9 out of 5, from 32,000 reviews. Over on the Google Play Store, the Monzo app also has an average score of 4.8 out of 5, from around 43,000 reviews.

Customer satisfaction
Revolut: Revolut received a star rating of 3.5 out of 5, and a “would recommend” score of 69% in Finder’s latest customer satisfaction survey of UK current account customers.
Monzo: Monzo received a star rating of 5 out of 5, and a “would recommended” score of 89% in Finder’s latest customer satisfaction survey of UK current account customers. These were the top scores among the current account providers included in our survey.

Verdict: Monzo pips it here due to its slightly higher app ratings and customer satisfaction scores. Both Revolut and Monzo have 24/7 in-app support, although if you want to use your banking app in a different language, then Revolut would be your go-to.

Best for app features

Budgeting tools
Revolut: You get automatic spending categorisation, monthly spending analysis and future predictions, the ability to set daily spending limits and be notified when you are close to going over budget, spare change “round-ups”, and “Vaults” to put money to one side to save up for something.
Monzo: You get your spending organised by category, instant notifications of money going out of your account, monthly spending summaries, spare change “round-ups”, and “Pots” to set money to one side to save up for something.

Group bills
Revolut: Revolut’s “Group Bills” features allows you to track, split and settle up expenses in one centralised place. You can add all you joint bills to the group you’ve set up (e.g. for your flatmates), divide the bills up and pay each other your share (via instant transfers between those in the group that have Revolut accounts).
Monzo: Monzo has a feature where you can split bills. You select the payment you want to share, select the number of people you want to split the bill with, and request a payment from those individuals via the app if they have a Monzo account. You can also include people without Monzo accounts in the bill split – but you’ll have to ask them separately to transfer their share.

Rewards and cashback
Revolut: Revolut does operate a rewards and cashback programme at selected retailers. When making an eligible purchase, pay with your Revolut card at the checkout, then any available discount is applied instantly or any cashback is credited to your Revolut account.
Monzo: Monzo doesn’t have a rewards programme but it does offer a link-up with a cashback company called Tail. If you register your Monzo card with Tail you can get cashback at a (very) limited number of retailers and hospitality businesses.

Cryptocurrencies
Revolut: You can buy and sell cryptocurrencies through the Revolut app. For standard account holders, the fee for this is 2.5%.
Monzo: You can’t buy and sell cryptocurrencies through the Monzo app.

Share trading
Revolut: You can open a trading account via your Revolut account. This allows you to buy US stocks and shares (including fractional shares). Standard account holders get three free trades a month, after which it cost £1 a trade. Remember, you capital is at risk if you decide to invest.
Monzo: There is not a facility to trade shares via Monzo.

Verdict: Revolut wins this one. Day-to-day banking features, such as budgeting, tracking your spending and paying your bills, are very similar across both Revolut and Monzo. But Revolut has a layer of extra features, such as crypto and share trading, which will appeal to some users.

Best for marketplaces and provider partnerships

Marketplaces and access to other services
Revolut: Revolut operates a price comparison service for utilities and home services, exclusively for its banking customers. Called “Revolut Essentials”, the offering means that account holders can compare and switch their gas, electricity, broadband, TV or mobile phone provider directly through their Revolut banking app.
Monzo: You also switch your energy provider through your Monzo app. You can also use its “Marketplace” to select a financial provider to open an interest-paying savings account with (as Monzo’s regular “Pots” don’t pay interest).

Verdict: A tie. Both offer their customers access to some different providers and services through their “Essentials” and “Marketplace” models.

Our overall verdict: Revolut vs Monzo

Whether you go for Revolut or Monzo will depend on what specialist features you need your digital current account for the most.

This is because Revolut and Monzo are both solid choices for everyday banking, particularly if you’re looking for an alternative to the traditional banks. They have great apps with useful tools to manage your money better, including spending insights and real-time notifications. Both are also great if you travel often – it’s almost entirely fee-free to spend on your card and you’ll get a limited amount of fee-free cash withdrawals too.

The only real drawbacks with Revolut on the day-to-day banking front are the charge to receive your card and the fact that you can’t deposit cash or cheques into the account. If you need to do the latter regularly, then maybe Monzo would be the better option for you.

But if international transfers and holding different currencies are your thing, then Revolut could be what you’re looking for. It’s free to send money to accounts in the SEPA region and pretty cheap to send money elsewhere too. Revolut also has the option to buy and sell cryptocurrency or even venture into share trading, if that’s what you’re interested in.

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!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    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
      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.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

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