Monese Review

Digital banking is a great way to manage your money if you are serious about flexibility and convenience. In this review of Monese I will share the good, the bad and the alternatives.



Moneses enables you to get GBP, EUR and RON accounts in minutes – ideal for those wanting to build credit, save, travel and manage their money overseas.

It offers a digital accounts online money accounts in multiple currencies (EU, UK and RON) a prepaid debit card that can be easily set up and managed via a mobile app.

Monese is available across the EU (30 Countries) and UK and promises low fees, fast signup, instant top-ups and real-time spending notifications.

In this Monese review, you’ll find the good, the bad, and the ugly to decide what’s right for you.

Disclosure: This post may contain offers and affiliate links to save you money and it also helps us to keep providing the best information. For more information, see our disclosures here.

1. Quick Take

Monese is rated 4.1/5 on Trustpilot with over 31,000 reviews, which is considered “Great.” According to the reviews, users love their fast sign up process without credit checks, bank-like features, and easy to use app.

🏦 Established2015, London (UK) and Estonia
💁 ClientsPersonal and Business (Worldwide)
💱 Banking license?No
💱Currencies for bank accountEUR, GBP, RON
💱Currencies for international transfer19 currencies
🏛️ Physical OfficesThe UK (HQ) and Estonia
💻 AvailabilityThe UK and EU
⚖️ RegulationFCA (the UK), National Bank of Belgium (EU)
🔒 Security3D secure, Biometric log in, and other features
⭐ Reviews“Great” – 4.1/5 on Trustpilot with 31,000+ reviews
💰 FeesDepends on Tiers – Free Plan Available
🌐 Official WebsiteVisit Monese

To save you from wasting your time, check out if Monese is available in your country.

2. When Monese Works (and When it Doesn’t)

2.2 When it Works

Unlike high-street banks, Monese lets you sign up fast with a photo ID and a selfie.

You don’t need to show proof of address or undergo a credit check to set up an account – which is great for anyone living in the UK or the EU. It’s also a good option for expats or digital nomads living who don’t have proof of address or anyone who may need to build their credit score.

It offers many similar services to a traditional bank, which means you can set up direct debits to pay bills, shop online or in-store and split bills with friends or family. They also offer joint accounts.

Travelling overseas

Monese offers dual currency accounts to EU and UK citizens. So if you regularly travel between the UK and Europe, you can save a lot on currency conversion fees. 

The Monese MasterCard debit card also works in 200+ countries and you can use ATM withdrawals, contactless payments, and regular card payments. 

This is great if you travel regularly and want a reliable card to access your money.

Building your credit history and savings

You can get a no-interest loan for a year from 30 EUR/GBP. You need to make regular monthly payments to help build (or rebuild) your credit history (as well as savings).

These monthly payments go into a “savings pot” in your Monese account. By the end of the year, you’ll have built up your credit history, improved your credit score, and have a year’s worth of savings to spend or invest. 

For UK-registered businesses

If you have a personal account with Monese and operate a UK-registered business, you can also open a business account. 

The account lets you manage your expenses and income using a single dashboard, which can be a handy way to track your cash flow. You can also request client payments within the dashboard.

2.2 When it Doesn’t Work

Deposit protection

Because Monese doesn’t have a banking license, the government doesn’t protect your money like a traditional bank. 

However, they are required to hold your money separately from their operating expenses. That means you’ll get your money back – even if Monese goes bankrupt. 

International money transfers

While Monese does support international transfers in 17 currencies, it’s not a money transfer specialist. If you need to make regular international transfers, we recommend comparing international money transfer companies.

Many money transfer businesses support 100+ countries and currencies.

More importantly, they also have services designed for the amounts you want to send.

Multi-currency account

Currently, you can only get a dual currency account for EUR and GBP. This is a great option if you regularly travel to and from the UK and EU.

But if you’re a frequent traveller to other areas, a digital nomad or you do business internationally, a multi-currency account is a better choice.

2.3 Monese Alternatives 

ServiceNeedWhy they might be better for you
Revolut (review)Want an App that can do more than just bank like thingsRevolut is like a swiss army knife – designed to do everything
Monzo (review)A real digital bank in the UKMonzo gets a slightly better rating on 3rd party sites and Monzo has a banking license in the UK and offers deposit protection up to £85,000 GBP
Wise Multi-currency Account (review)Global multi-currency account for individuals and businesses Wise lets you hold, manage, and convert between 50+ currencies; get local receiving accounts in 10 currencies to send and receive money like a local.
Wise Money Transfer (review)Need to make regular bank-to-bank transfersWise is widely available in 50+ countries (including the US, Canada, Australia, etc.) and supports transfers in 70+ currencies with an affordable and transparent fee structure
Remitly (review)Need to send cash below £4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUDSend cash internationally to friends and family more affordable than traditional remitters like WesternUnion, Ria, and MoneyGram

3. Real Fees (including Hidden Fees)

There are various accounts for individuals and businesses to choose from, with different fees and capabilities.

3.1 Getting an account

Personal

Monese Starter Monese ClassicMonese Premium
Zero fees£5.95/€5.95 /24.95 lei
monthly
£49.95 / €49.95 / 205.95 lei annual
£14.95 / €14.95 / 69.95 lei monthly
£124.95 / €124.95 / 585.95 lei annual

Business 

Monese for Business
£9.95/month (Must have Monese Classic Personal Account to apply)

3.1 Payments and Transfers

Personal

Monese Starter Monese ClassicMonese Premium
Local Instant Monese to Monese transfersFreeFreeFree
International transfers2.5% fee, additional 1% fee on weekendsFrom 0.5% feeFree
Local transfers in and outFreeFreeFree
Recurring payments and direct debitsSupported and FreeSupported and FreeSupported and Free

Other fees can apply based on the plan you sign up to and what you do. For example a Currency exchange fees for international incoming transfers: Free plans is 2% (min £3 /€3.5 / 20 lei). 1.5% for Classic and Premium.

Business

Monese for Business
From 0.5% and minimum £2 GBP

The same hidden fees apply for personal accounts: sending and receiving banks and cross-border transfers between Monese Accounts.

3.3 Access to Credit Builder

Personal

Monese Starter Monese ClassicMonese Premium
£7.95/month£7.95/month£7.95/month

3.3 Card fees

Personal

Monese Starter Monese ClassicMonese Premium
First card deliveryFreeFreeFree
Replacement card£9.90£4.95Free
Spending in foreign currencies2% feeNo Monese fee, but currency conversion fees apply if withdrawing abroadNo Monese fee, but currency conversion fees apply if withdrawing abroad
ATM withdrawals£1.5 GBP per transaction (currency conversion fees applicable for overseas withdrawals)Free up to £500 GBP per month or up to 6 transactions

After that: 1.5 GBP/EUR per transaction
(currency conversion fees apply for overseas withdrawals)
Free up to £1500 GBP or up to 6 transactions

After that: 1.5 GBP/EUR per transaction
(currency conversion fees apply for overseas withdrawals)

Business 

Monese for Business 
First card deliveryFree
Replacement cardFree first time
Spending in foreign currencies0.5% Monese fee + currency conversion fee
ATM withdrawals6 free withdrawals per month and then £1 GBP per transaction (currency conversion fees applicable for overseas withdrawals)

3.4 Top-up fees

Monese offers many ways to top up your account, and each method has fees. Check them out below to avoid getting get caught out. 

Personal

Fees
EU Debit Card top-up:Free
International Debit Card top-up:Free 
Sofort top-up2% per transaction
ATM withdrawals6 free withdrawals per month and then £1 GBP per transaction (currency conversion fees applicable for overseas withdrawals)
Cash top-up via Paysafe Cash (available for Monese EUR and RON Accounts only)3.5% per transaction (€3 EUR / 15 lei minimum fee applies)
Post Office cash load (GBP Account only)3.50% (minimum £3 GBP)
PayPoint cash load (GBP Account only):3.50% (minimum £3 GBP)

Business 

Fees
Post office£1 GBP
PayPoint 2.5% (minimum £1 GBP)

4. How Fast are Payments on Monese?

Local Monese-to-Monese payments are instant. But the transfer speed of other payment types depends on the country, the payment method, and also the time of day.

Transfer Speed

Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect:

UK payments

  • UK Faster payments: instant
  • BACS payments: 3 business days
  • CHAPS payments: the same day, if made before 2pm UK time

SEPA payments to your EUR account

  • Before 2pm Central European Time (GMT +1): the same day by 17:00 CET time
  • After 2pm Central European Time (GMT +1): the next business day

International transfers

  • Payments to your secondary account: 8am, 11am and 5pm Monday to Friday
  • SEPA payments in EUR: the next business day
  • Payments from other countries or in other currencies may take longer (3-5 days)

Debit card top-ups

  • Instant

SOFORT top-ups

  • Top-ups made during working hours: instant
  • Top-ups made outside of business hours: 3-4 working days

Cash top-ups

  • Post Office: the next business day (if made before 6pm UK time), 2 business days (after 6pm)
  • PayPoint: instant
  • PaySafe: within 15 minutes

5. How to Use Monese

5.1 Signing Up 

You can sign up for a Monese account (personal, joint, and business). 

Make sure you visit your country-specific Monese website with a photo ID and selfie – you won’t need to show proof of address!

You can download their mobile app (available for iOS and Android) to manage your account and send and receive money.

You can also access Monese on a web browser to see the history of your transactions, download statements, etc. 

5.2 Verifying your address and applying for a card

While you don’t need an address to sign up, Monese must verify your location if you want a physical card. 

They ask you to enter a delivery address and verify your geolocation while using the Monese app. 

To apply for the card, open the app and go to Card and then select Order a debit card.

While you wait for your physical card to arrive, you can set up a virtual card to use your account. 

In some countries, you may need to top up your card with enough money to cover the delivery of the card.

5.3 Topping up 

Monese offers several ways to top up your account. 

  • You can request payment from someone
  • Send money from a linked bank account
  • Top up with cash at a Post Office or PayPoint location (the UK)
  • Top up with cash at a PaySafe Cash location (the EU)
  • Sofort payments 

Note that each method has fees attached, as outlined above. 

5.4 Spending your money

Once you’ve set up your account and activated your card, you can spend your money in several ways. 

  • Make ATM withdrawals
  • Make online payments 
  • Link your card with your PayPal wallet (go to Account in the app and select Add account and then select PayPal
  • You can link your account with Google Pay or Apple Pay in the same way for contactless payments
  • You can also set up local and international transfers within the app (Monese-to-Monese or Monese-to-bank)

5.5 Receiving money

You can receive your salary in your Monese app. Just provide your account number to your employer like you would with a regular bank account. 

You can also request payments from your contacts who are on Monese. Go to the Payments screen and then go to the Request tab. Then select the contact you would like to receive money from and enter the amount. 

6. What do Monese Customers Say (including Negative Reviews)?

Monese has positive ratings on most review sites, although their ratings have declined a little over the years. 

The last time we did a Monese review, their rating was 4.5/5 on Trustpilot with over 13,000 reviews, which is considered “Excellent.”

Monese currently rates 4.1/5 on Trustpilot with over 31,000 reviews, which is still considered “Great.”

Out of the current online reviews, 76% of ratings are 4-star and 5-star reviews. 

But what is worrying is that 21% of users on Trustpilot have rated their service as only 1-star or 2-stars.

So what about the negative reviews?

We looked at hundreds of positive and negative reviews to find out what Monese is doing well and where they’re dropping the ball. So you can decide if it’s right for you. 

What customers are saying

“One of the best digital banks. I tried so many others, but they rejected my application without any reason. But MONESE gave me an account at the first attempt.

Besides this you will get a precise time and date of any transactions. I have used it for google pay too. It is so effective for any transaction.”

– Mari on Trustpilot

“This is a very good app for people who just need an account to use for everyday banking.”

– Wahseen Lachen on Trustpilot

Exploring the negatives

As a regulated e-money institution, Monese conducts internal audits to prevent financial crimes via its platform.

And a lot of the negatives from Monese appear to come from regulatory issues.

If Monese suspects an issue, they’ll freeze it until they get to the bottom of it. While they do this to keep your money safe, it can be frustrating – especially if you’re using Monese as your primary bank account. 

Sometimes Monese also blocks accounts for holding money over a country’s prescribed limit.

If you have a business account and a customer recalls a transaction, Monese audits these payments.

7. Is Monese Safe?

The short answer – is yes. 

Although Monese doesn’t have a banking license, they are a regulated financial institution.

So, while they may not have a deposit guarantee, they’re legally required to keep your funds separate from their operating funds

If you want to find out more, the following financial institutions regulate Monese:

Monese also keeps your money safe in the following ways:

  • KYC with government-issued photo ID to keep their platform free from fraudsters
  • 3D secure technology for transactions
  • Single-phone access for all Monese accounts (tied to your phone and cannot be untied unless you authorise)
  • Biometric login with Face ID, Touch ID, or Fingerprint Scanner
  • Virtual cards for safe online transactions
  • Extra security steps when paying someone new 
  • Instantly block your card from the app if it’s misplaced or stolen
  • Real-time notifications for all account activities

Monese for Business

Monese can be a great way to handle business payments if you have a UK-registered business and operate locally in the UK

With the Monese Business Account, you can: 

  • Set up direct debits in the UK 
  • Make payments via the UK Faster Payments network for free
  • Receive and send money fast in local currency with no extra markup fees
  • Request money from clients or other contacts straight from your app to get paid even faster
  • Pay for business travel with the MasterCard debit card
  • Manage online subscriptions easily

However, the Monese Business Account may not be right for you if you’re a growing global business

Instead, we recommend you look at a Wise Multi-currency Account, which lets you hold, manage, and convert between 50+ currencies. You can also set up local receiving accounts in 10 currencies to send and receive money like a local. 

Verdict

If you live in the UK or EU or Estonia, Monese is a great alternative to a bank for everyday banking through an app.

The paid plans offer reasonably competitive exchange rates for international transfers and managing your money but you can usually do better.

For example, if you need a multi-currency account or you regularly transfer money we think you’re better off looking at Wise.

However where they really shine is in their innovative and useful way to build a credit score fast. This in itself makes Monese a very desirable.

Happy Money!

Can Monese be trusted?

Yes. Even though they don’t have a banking license, they must comply with regulations and based on analysis of 3rd party reviews they are doing exactly that.

Is Monese a better option than a high-street bank

Monese can be a better option for convenience, savings, lower fees and building a credit score a traditional bank offers credit and deposit insurance if they go bust.

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