Home / Banking / Revolut vs Monese – Smartphone Focused Current Accounts

Revolut vs Monese – Smartphone Focused Current Accounts

Monese vs Revolut

Table of Contents


At a Glance

MoneseRevolut
Monthly CostFree | £1.95 | £5.95 | £14.95Free | £2.99 | £6.99 | £12.99
ATM Withdrawals-UKFree within limit, 2% aboveFree monthly limit, then 2% charge
ATM Withdrawals-AbroadFree within limit, 2% aboveFree monthly limit, then 2% charge
Debit Cardmint green, contactless4 colors, plus metal options
InterestAccess Raisin via appUp to 0.7% on highest paid tier
Cash DepositsFree up to limit on paid tiers, then 3.5%Not supported
Cheque DepositsNot supportedNot supported
Money ManagementPots, Categories & BudgetsVaults, Pockets, Round-Ups
FSCS ProtectionNoNo
Instant NotificationsYesYes
Customer ServicesIn-app, emailIn-app, telephone, email
Mobile PaymentsApple Pay, Google PayApple Pay, Google Pay
Currency TransfersEUR Account, FX starts @ 2.5%EUR Account, hold 28+ currencies
ExtrasEasy Account openingInsurances, trading +more
Business AccountYesYes
Child AccountNoYes

About Revolut

‘One app, all things money’ is Revolut’s slogan, making their intentions clear; they want to become a one-stop-shop finance app so you don’t need to use anything else. However, the core of their product is still the current account and debit card. They have seen significant success with this approach, with millions of customers across the world, and a valuation in the tens of billions.

About Monese

Launched in 2015 by founder Norris Koppel, Monese was one of the first smartphone only current accounts available. The initial idea behind the app was to create a current account that people in the UK could easily open, even if they had no UK address or credit history.


Plans, Costs & Fees

Monese

Monese has 4 account levels. The higher the cost of the subscription, the more things you will get without having to pay extra for.

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

Revolut

With Revolut you can choose from 4 different tiers:

  • Revolut Standard – No charge
  • Revolut Plus – £2.99 per month
  • Revolut Premium – £6.99 per month
  • Revolut Metal – £12.99 per month

As with Monese, the basic functions are available on the Standard tier, with extra features in the paid tiers.

The amount of fee-free ATM withdrawals you can make depend on the tier you are subscribed to. On the Standard tier, you can withdraw up to £200 monthly, with a charge of 2% if you exceed that (minimum charge £1).

It is not possible to deposit cash into your Revolut account.

Verdict

The cost bases of Revolut and Monese are quite similar, with 4 tiers of account, both starting with the free account. Users do seem to get more on the free tier with Revolut, as they can still do ATM withdrawals free up to £200 per month, whilst Monese charge.


Features

Monese

Key Features:

  • 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

Revolut

  • Easy to use smartphone app – bank wherever you are, around the clock.
  • Spending Analytics – get insights into your finances
  • Pockets – categorise your spending with Pockets
  • Vaults – set up within your account to save
  • Instant Notifications – see any account activity instantly
  • Set budgets – create monthly budgets for spending categories
  • Earn interest on savings – on money within your dedicated Savings Vault – interest rate depends on which tier you are on
  • Mastercard Debit Card – with contactless and enabled for Apple Pay/Google Pay
  • Metal Debit Card – available on Revolut Metal
  • Round Up payments – round payments up to the nearest pound and save the difference
  • Investments – invest in stocks, crypto and more
  • Insurances – available on higher paid monthly tiers
  • Low cost currency transfers – save money on international payments
  • Quick and easy account set up – no fuss quick account opening
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals – up to a certain limit on each account tier
  • Purchase Protection – available on higher paid tiers

Verdict

Whilst Monese does have some interesting features, especially on the higher paid tiers, it is really hard to compete with Revolut – as the sheer range of things you can do with Revolut is very impressive. However, if you are just after a basic current account and debit card, with some standard money management tools, then both products are very comparable.


Revolut vs Monese – Debit Cards

Monese

Monese debit cards are available in three different colours and depend on the chosen price plan. Pearly white for Simple, bright blue for Classic and midnight for Premium plans. It is enabled for contactless and has Apple Pay and Google Pay functionality.

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

Revolut

Revolut offer a Mastercard debit card in a range of colours, and a metal card, with a choice of 4 colours and design, is available to Revolut Metal subscribers. The card can be used contactless and is enabled for Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Revolut vs Monese - Revolut card image
Revolut Debit card

Safety

Are digital challenger banks safe?

It is easy to think that, as traditional high street banks are far more established than the newer app-based banks, that they are more safe. However – this is not necessarily the case. The new digital banks are all regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, just like the old banks. In addition, some of the new banks, such as Starling Bank and Monzo, are fully licensed in the UK as banks, and so customer deposits are covered up to £85,000 per customer under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

In some ways, the new fintech banks may even have a head start in safely, as their technology has all been built recently with the latest technology and security practices in mind.

Monese

Monese is an e-money provider, not a licensed UK bank. Therefore customer deposits are not covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Monese claim that customer deposits are still safe, due to 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.

Revolut

In 2021, Revolut applied for their UK banking license, but have not yet received it. Therefore, currently customer deposits are not protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Revolut say they keep all customer deposits separate from their company funds, and so if they did go out of business, customer deposits are safe. Revolut do appear to have a stable and expanding business.

Business Banking

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.

Revolut

Revolut offer 3 tiers of business accounts, Free, Grow, and Scale. Features include:

  • Borderless business account – Receive, hold money and pay in over 30 currencies. Currency transfers done at interbank rate.
  • Virtual credit cards – create virtual cards to give to staff so they can easily control spending
  • Mobile & Desktop – access your account via Revolut website on your computer
  • External App integrations – with the Revolut business API, connect to accounting packages like Xero, Quickbooks and Clearbooks, or business apps such as Slack and Zapier.

Read our full Revolut Business Review.

Travelling

Monese

  • Paying with your card abroad is free on the paid tiers (2% charge on the free account)
  • ATM withdrawals abroad are free up to your tier limit.

Revolut

  • Paying with your debit card whilst abroad is free.
  • On every tier, the account holder gets a Euro account (with IBAN) as well as the main GBP account.
  • Currency Exchange: customers can transfer between 28+ currencies within the app at interbank rate. If on the Free or Plus account, you can transfer up to £1000 per month fee-free. Above that amount, a charge of 0.4% of the amount converted is charged. Premium or Metal tier customers have unlimited fee-free transfers.
  • ATM withdrawals – customers can withdraw £200/month on the Free & Plus plans, £400/month on the Premium plan and £800/month on the Metal plan. Above these limits a charge of 2% is charged.

Verdict

Whilst Monese outshine most other app based current account providers when it comes to dealing with other countries, they have met their match with Revolut, who provide a great service for those who travel and pay/get paid in currencies other than GBP.

Child accounts

Revolut Junior

Revolut for under 18s

Revolut’s under 18s product is linked to the account of an adult Revolut user, and can be opened by someone between the ages of 6 and 17. Full Revolut users can add 1 under 18 account free on the free account, 2 under 18 accounts on the Plus and Premium tiers and 5 on the Metal tier.

Monese

Monese do not offer a product for younger customers currently, all account holders need to be over 18.

Mobile App

Revolut’s app has lots of features, but at the core of the app – the current account functionality is easy to navigate and use.

Monese have less features available within their app, but the various current account and money management features are accessible and functional.

Extras

Revolut

Revolut want their app to give as many financial products to people as possible, so they have packed in many extras. However, most of the extras are only available to those who subscribe to a paid package.

Monese Joint Account

Monese

Monese have a far less extra rich product than Revolut, but then most competitors do as Revolut have so many extras. Monese do still have various things that are above and beyond the standard current account however.

  • 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

Verdict

It is hard to compete with Revolut when it comes to extras, as they have such a large choice.

Revolut vs Monese – FAQ

Is Monese the same as Monzo?

Despite the names being similar, Monese and Monzo are totally separate companies and products. Read our comprehensive Monzo review.

Is Monese a UK bank?

Monese is a UK based company that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, but it is not a licensed UK bank, but rather an e-money provider.

Does Monese have monthly fees?

Monese offer a free account, which gives you the basic version of the app. However they have 3 paid tiers – Essential at £1.95/month, Classic at £5.95/month and Premium at £14.95 per month. Subscribers to these paid tiers unlock more features the higher the monthly cost.

Is Revolut UK or US?

Revolut initially launched in the UK, and it’s head office is based in the UK. However, they also offer their app in the US and have a company there.

Which app is better than Revolut?

For a digital banking app, there are many options such as Starling Bank, Monzo, Cashplus Bank, Monese and more. Which one is better really depends on what your requirements are as each one has strengths.

Verdict

At first glance, Monese and Revolut offer a similar product. Both offer a current account (both GBP and EUR) and a debit card, and both are not currently licensed UK banks. However Revolut have a far more comprehensive product offer, with many extras, so it would be hard for the standard customer to choose Monese over them. However, Monese does have advantages for certain people – especially those who have no UK address or credit history.