Home | Banking | Monzo vs Monese

Monzo vs Monese

Monzo vs Monese comparison

Table of Contents


At a Glance

MonzoMonese
Monthly CostFree | £5 | £15Free | £1.95 | £5.95 | £14.95
ATM Withdrawals-UKFree (if use Monzo as main account)Free up to limit, then 2% charge
ATM Withdrawals-AbroadFree up to £200, then 3% chargeFree up to limit, then 2% charge
Debit CardChoice of colours, metal on paid tierWhite, bright blue, midnight, contactless
Interest1% up to £2000 on Plus, 1.5% on PremiumAccess Raisin via the app
Cash DepositsPayPoint locations – £1 per depositFree up to limit on paid tiers, then 3.5%
Cheque DepositsOnly by postnot supported
Money ManagementPots, Saving Pots, CategoriesPots, Categories, Budgets
FSCS ProtectionYesNo
Instant NotificationsYesYes
Customer ServicesIn-app, telephone, emailIn-app, email
Mobile PaymentsApple Pay, Google PayApple Pay, Google Pay
Currency TransfersUse Wise as a transfer partnerEUR Account, FX starts at 2.5%
ExtrasExtensive on paid tiersEasy account opening
Business AccountYesYes
Child AccountYesNo

About Monzo

Monzo are a fully licensed UK bank, who launched in 2017, with the aim of bringing the efficiency of modern technology into the banking space. Their product is based around their award-winning smartphone app, and they offer a host of attractive extras.

About Monese

Launched in 2015, Monese was, and is, aimed at those who may have problems opening a bank account in the UK. New arrivals to the UK may not have an address or credit history yet, but with Monese it is possible to open an account without these. Monese also offer a Euro and GBP account to all customers as standard, which is great for those who travel.


Plans, Costs & Fees

Monzo

Monzo offer 3 account tiers:

  • Monzo Free – No monthly cost
  • Monzo Plus –  £5 per month
  • Monzo Premium – £15 per month

All basic banking functions are included on the free tier. There are some attractive features that can be useful on the paid tiers, but they are not crucial for running your account.

ATM withdrawals are free up to £250 per month. Above that, Monzo charge 3% for customers not on the monthly paid plans.

Monzo do not have branches as they are an app-based digital bank. Cash has to be paid into your account via PayPoint, and costs £1 per transaction.

Monese

Monese offer 4 account levels, and the more you pay monthly, the less day by day charges there will be for running your account.

Monese Starter: No Monthly Fee

Additional Costs:
  • Physical debit card – £4.95
  • International transfers – 2.5%
  • Card spending in other currencies – 2%
  • ATM withdrawals – £1.50 per withdrawal
  • Pay cash into your account – 3.5% of the amount paid in

Monese Essential: £1.95 Per Month

Additional Costs:
  • Physical debit card – free
  • International transfers – 2%
  • Card spending in other currencies – 0.5%
  • ATM withdrawals – up to £200 per month free
  • Pay cash into your account – 3.5% of the amount paid in

Monese Classic: £5.95 Per Month

Additional Costs:
  • Physical debit card – free
  • International transfers – 0.5%
  • Card spending in other currencies – free
  • ATM withdrawals – up to £500 per month free
  • Pay cash into your account – free up to £400 per month

Monese Premium: £14.95 Per Month

Additional Costs:
  • Physical debit card – free
  • International transfers – free
  • Card spending in other currencies – free
  • ATM withdrawals – up to £1500 per month free
  • Pay cash into your account – free up to £1000 per month

Verdict

Both Monzo and Monese have various paid monthly tiers. However on the free tier, it is possible to get more value from Monzo.


Features

Monzo

  • Easy to use smartphone app – bank wherever you are, around the clock.
  • Instant Notifications – get informed of any activity on your account immediately
  • Left To Spend Notifications – let the app track your spending and display the amount of money you have before your next salary
  • Spending Budgets – Easily set up budgets within your account for different areas i.e. groceries, entertainment or transport.
  • Monzo Pots – areas within your Monzo account, that allow you to split your money into different areas, for example bills, saving etc
  • Mastercard debit card – with full contactless functionality
  • Metal debit card – Available on the Premium tier
  • Apple Pay/Google Pay – set up your Monzo card to pay with your phone
  • Interest on your current account balance – 1% on Monzo Plus, 1.5% on Monzo Premium, up to a balance of £2000.
  • Salary Sorter – set your account to distribute your salary amongst your pots once it hits your account
  • Free UK ATM Withdrawals – on all paid Monzo tiers
  • Pay in cash via PayPoint locations – up to £1000 every 180 days for £1 per deposit
  • Insurances – available on the paid tiers
  • Overdrafts – available for qualifying customers
  • Loans – available for qualifying customers
  • International currency transfers – Monzo have partnered with Wise to provide
  • Monzo Flex – spread payments with Monzo’s own Buy Now Pay Later product

Monese

  • GBP and EUR current accounts – for all customers as standard
  • Mastercard debit card – with full contactless functionality
  • Set up direct debits – within the app
  • Pots – divide up your money to create separate areas so you can save or keep bills money separate
  • Categorised spending – set your own categories
  • Set monthly budgets – keep track of your money
  • Earn interest and invest – via Raisin within the app
  • Real-time spending notifications – see any account activity
  • Free transfers in your local currency – and between Monese accounts
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay – set up with you debit card
  • Pay cash into your account – via the Post Office and PayPoint locations

On the paid tiers of Monese, other features are available:

  • Insurances and purchase protection
  • Priority customer support
  • Credit Builder

Verdict

Features-wise, both Monzo and Monese have packed in extra features – especially on the paid tiers, as they have to justify those monthly subscriptions! The features are similar in some cases, for example with the money management tools. In other areas they have a different focus, with Monzo giving out things like metal debit cards, whilst Monese focus on things that assist their more international customer base, like a Euro account for all customers.


Debit Cards

Monzo

Monzo vs Monese - Monzo silver metal card
Monzo’s elegant metal card

The Monzo Mastercard debit card is available in 7 colours (including 4 neon options) for personal account holders. The cards are fully contactless and enable for Apple Pay and Google Pay. Subscribers to the Monzo Premium tier get a metal debit.

Monese

Monese cards, pearly white, bright blue and midnight
Monese Debit cards – Simple, Classic and Premium (from left to right)

Monese offers personal account holders a white Mastercard debit card on the Starter tier. On the Classic tier the card is light blue, and on the Premium tier the card is dark blue. Business users get a black card. Cards are all enabled for Apple Pay, Google Pay and contactless.


Safety

Monzo

  • Monzo are a fully licensed UK bank, so all customer deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000 per customer.
  • Freeze or unfreeze the Monzo card easily and instantly via the app.
  • Monzo are a fairly recent startup, having launched initially in 2017. As such they are not yet a profitable business, and the amount of money they have been losing each year has increased, and they reported losses in 2020 and 2021. However, they do appear well funded and stable.

Monese

Monese is an e-money provider rather than a licensed UK bank. They are still regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), but it means that customer deposits are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in case of the company’s insolvency. Monese do have ways to protect customer deposits, via their practice of ‘safeguarding’. They state:

Safeguarding means your money is kept separate from any money owned by Monese or PPS and it’s placed into a secure account with an authorised bank, or covered through an insurance policy or similar guarantee. We never lend your money to anyone and it’s always available to you, on demand. There’s also no upper limit per customer or account for safeguarding. This means that all the money within your Monese account is protected.

Verdict

Monzo are a licensed UK bank, whilst Monese are not. This means that customer deposits are protected under the FSCS with Monzo, but not with Monese, so if that is an issue for you then the choice is clear. Aside from this, both companies offer a safe and secure current account service.

Business Banking

Monzo

The Monzo business account is available in 2 tiers – Lite, which is free, and Pro, which is £5 per month. Notable Monzo features:

  • Tax Pots – separate funds for tax
  • Integrate your accounting software
  • Multi-User Access – give employees account access
  • Invoicing – generate invoices directly from your Monzo account.
  • Mobile & Web Access – smartphone or computer
  • Currency Transfers via Wise – take advantage of the better rates

Read our full Monzo Business Review

Monese

The Monese business account is available to users with a Monese personal account:

  • Business account costs £9.95 per month
  • GBP account only for business
  • Money management tools
  • Pay cash into your account via Paypal & the Post Office

As of late 2022, Monese has stopped accepting new business account applications.

Travelling

Monzo metal with worldwide travel insurance
Monzo metal card with worldwide travel insurance

Monzo

  • Paying with your debit card whilst outside the UK is always free.
  • Withdraw up to £250 every 30 days within the European Economic Area (EEA), and up to £200 every 30 days in other countries fee-free. When you take cash out above these limits you will be charged a fee of 3%
  • Monzo partner with Wise, a popular currency conversion provider, to make their currency transfers. The currency transfer is made at interbank rate, with a small fee added to each transfer (which depends on which currencies you are transferring between).

Monese

  • All Monese customers get a GBP and EUR account as standard.
  • Paying with your card abroad is free on the paid tiers (there is a 2% charge on the free account)
  • ATM withdrawals abroad are free up to your tier limit.

Verdict

Monzo have a simple suite of products for the traveller, which will suit those going on holiday or travelling occasionally. Monese offer a Euro account to all customers, so this can be very useful for those who travel often around Europe.

Child accounts

Monese

Monese do not currently offer an account option for under 18s.

Monzo for 16-17 year olds

The Monzo 16-17 year old account is almost identical to the standard Monzo account with some age related functions, such as spending on gambling, blocked. The account is available on the free Monzo tier.

Mobile App

The Monzo app has many users that praise how useful and intuitive it is. In 2022, Monzo won Best Banking App at the British Bank Awards.

The Monese app may have less features than some competitor apps, but the core functions are accessible and easy to use.

Extras

Monzo

Monzo want their customer to upgrade to their monthly paid tiers, so they have packed them with attractive features. They have metal debit cards, various types of insurance, airport lounge access and more.

Monese

Monese Joint Account

Monese offer various extras on both their free and paid monthly tiers.

  • GBP and EUR account for all customers
  • Credit Builder – a way to improve your credit for £7.95 per month
  • Insurances and payment protection – on paid tiers
  • Joint accounts

Verdict

Monzo offer more cool/flashy extras than Monese, but Monese also have some extras that could be very useful, especially the Euro account for every user.

Monzo vs Monese– FAQ

Is Monese better than Monzo?

For some people, yes it could be! Monzo is a very good digital bank that is fully licensed in the UK and has a host of features. However, Monese has better features for customers who travel or use different currencies, for example the Euro account for all customers as standard. If this sounds like you, then Monese could well be better for you than Monzo!

Does Monese affect credit score?

It is possible to set up a Monese account with no credit check, so setting up an account will not affect your credit score in any way. They also offer their Credit Builder service, which helps people with either a bad, or no credit score, to improve their credit score.

Is Monese only for UK residents?

No, Monese can be opened by residents of 20 countries:

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the UK

What bank is better than Monzo?

The wide range of digital banks available gives consumers a great choice, and which bank is better really depends on your requirements. Monzo is a great all-round UK licensed digital bank, as is Starling Bank. Revolut is good for people who want lots of features in one app, Wise and Monese are both great for travellers, and Cashplus Bank is a good option for those who have had financial issues in the past.

Verdict

Despite having similar names and a similar core product, Monzo and Monese have several differences. Monzo is more of a standard digital bank, with a full UK banking license, and many extra functions that would easily allow customers to replace their existing bank by setting up a Monzo account. Monese are not a licensed UK bank, and have a smaller selection of money management tools and extras. However, they do have several features, such as the Euro account as standard, and a super quick and credit check free application process, that could be very useful for certain people.