Trustworthy and Awesome?
Monzo and Revolut are much loved by many and for very good reason.
They take boring – expensive banking and make it cheap and even fun!
However they are very different.
So, who do you choose?
We also want you to know the main differences so you can decide for your needs.
And in some cases neither is the best options – so we will show you who is!
- The Down & Dirty
- Who Can Get Which?
- Cost & Services (& What You Get)
- Currencies (Spend, Exchange and Transfer)
- Ways to Send & Receive Money (and Alternatives)
- Transfer Speed
- Cards & Accounts
- Reviews (inc. Negative Reviews)
- Cool SH*t
- Customer Service & Support
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
1. The Down & Dirty
Revolut and Monzo are major players in the international currency game. Both offer a wide range of features for managing your finances, and both offer impressive exchange rates.
If you plan on using the account to accept payments from others in different currencies you will also want to check out our Revolut VS TransferWise comparison.
Revolut is already one of the most popular prepaid international currency services in the UK and Europe, but now it’s also has [plans for the United States.
Monzo also has a sizeable corner of the market. As a full-fledged bank, Monzo can offer features that Revolut can’t; personal loans, interest on savings, and bill-pay services but it is focused on the UK at this point.
Here they are side by side:
2. Who Can Get Which?
Revolut and Monzo both strive to offer the ability to spend money internationally with low fees.
However, while their cards are generally accepted everywhere Mastercard is accepted, only residents of certain countries are able to apply.
Revolut’s services are available for residents of the following 30 countries:
|Republic of Cyprus||Italy||Slovenia|
There is also a waiting list for the United States and Canada.
While Monzo offers many awesome features for users, you must be a UK resident in order to use them.
3. Costs & Services
Spending money internationally can rack up fees pretty quickly; this is what Monzo and Revolut are helping customers to avoid. Each company uses a different fee structure and exchange rate, and certain features are only available with paid accounts.
Revolut offers personal and business accounts. Personal accounts are separated into three different tiers.
A standard personal Revolut account includes the following:
- Free UK account
- Free Euro IBAN account
- Spending in over 150 currencies
- Spending at the interbank exchange rate
- Exchange up to £5,000/month in 29 different currencies for free
- No-fee cash withdrawals up to £200/month
Premium personal accounts include all the benefits of basic accounts plus the following:
- Unlimited currency exchanges and spending limits
- No-fee cash withdrawals up to £400/month
- Worldwide emergency medical insurance
- Travel insurance for delayed flights and luggage
- Money transfers within 2 days
- Disposable digital cards to protect your security
- Keycard to over 1,000 international airport lounges
- Exchange 5 different cryptocurrencies
Metal personal accounts include all previous benefits, plus additional features:
- .1% cashback on purchases within Europe
- 18g reinforced steel contactless MasterCard
- 1% cashback on purchases outside Europe
- Concierge service
Business accounts offer features that benefit companies that travel frequently or operate in multiple countries:
- Personal account benefits
- Instantly transfer money to any other Revolut account for free
- Schedule batch payments
- Track expenses on each employee prepaid card
- Integrate XERO, Slack, and Zapier
- Open API for easy integration
Monzo only offers accounts for UK residents. Each account offers the foundational services of a traditional bank account, but since Monzo is all digital, they also offer unique benefits.
- Pre-approved overdraft
- Direct debits and automatic bill pay
- Instant payments to any UK bank account
- Integrates easily with Apple Pay & Google Pay
- Debit card accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted
- Live chat customer service
- Fund account with cash, check, or direct deposit
- Automatic account migration from another bank
Business accounts offer all the features of standard accounts, plus:
- Xero and FreeAgent integration
- Add employees and coworkers to your account
Monzo is working on adding more features to their business accounts, including:
- Tax help
- Send & receive payments internationally
- Spending categories for tracking expenses
- Batch payments
- Instant payment through Monzo.me link
Monzo also offers joint accounts, which is basically a standard account with a few added features:
- One card for each account owner
- Track each owner’s spending
- Shared budget to hold each owner accountable
Monzo offers a unique bank account for minors, with almost all of the features as a standard account. The only difference is restricted spending in certain categories that are illegal for minors, such as gambling.
Monzo and Revolut support spending in many currencies, but each has their own limitations.
Revolut offers spending in 150 currencies at interbank rates. It’s free for the first £5,000 per month, and there’s a small 0.5% fee over that amount.
They do not support the following currencies
- Armenian Dram
- Bhutan Ngultrum
- Cook Dollar
- Cuban Convertible Dollar
- Eritrean Nakfa
- Faroese Krona
- Guernsey Pound
- Iranian Rial
- Jersey Pound
- Kiribati Dollar
- Manx Pound
- North Korean Won
- Sahrawi Peseta
- Saint Helena Pound
- Somali Shilling
- Sudan Pound
- Syrian Pound
- Tuvaluan Dollar
- Zimbabwean Dollar
Revolut also offers trading in 5 different cryptocurrencies:
- Bitcoin Cash
Revolut also offers transfers in 29 different currencies.
Monzo does things differently than Revolut. While Revolut supports currency transfers, cryptos, and international spending, Monzo only supports spending wherever Mastercard is accepted.
Granted, Mastercard is accepted almost everywhere. However, it’s possible to go to a country where Monzo and Revolut are both supported, but a merchant does not accept Mastercard. Because Revolut offers Mastercard or Visa, this makes Revolut more flexible as a spending option.
5. Ways To Send & Receive Money
Revolut and Monzo have different options for funding accounts and paying others. That said, if sending money is a priority using a specialist money transfer service has advantages which we discuss in our verdict (below).
Revolut has two options for sending money.
Revolut to Bank
Transferring to a bank from the Revolut app is simple:
- In the app, tap Payments
- Select Bank Transfer
- Select Add New Beneficiary
- Add recipient’s bank account information
- Enter transfer amount and currency
- Select Send
You will have the option of an express transfer for a small fee.
Revolut to Revolut
Transferring from app to app is instant and free:
- In the app, tap Send Money
- Contacts with Revolut accounts will have a blue R next to their name
- Select the contact you wish to send money to
- Enter the amount
- Select Send
Monzo does not currently have the ability to receive international payments, but it is easy to receive money with TransferWise and have it deposited into your Monzo account.
To receive money through TransferWise:
- Open a TransferWise account
- Select which currency you are receiving money into, and how much
- Click on the currency to see detailed bank information
- Send this bank information to the person sending you money
Monzo also offers a solution for receiving international payments:
- Generate an IBAN number (wiki)
- Give the IBAN number to the person sending you money
- Transfer money into your Monzo account
This process comes with some risks, as Monzo can’t guarantee that you will receive your money. However, many people use this process for sending and receiving money, and it only adds one extra step.
While it is difficult to receive international payments with Monzo, it is very simple to send them:
- Connect your TransferWise account to your Monzo account
- Click on International Transfer in the Monzo app
- Enter recipient’s details
- Click send
6. Transfer Speed
Revolut can transfer money to a UK bank account in as little as two hours, although it’s normal for transfers to take 1-2 business days. Depending on the bank, it could take as many as 3-5 business days.
International transfers take 3-5 business days.
Turbo-boost is available for transfers, and can increase the transfer speed up to five times. There is a fee for turbo-boost transfers for Standard users, but turbo-boost is free for Premium and Metal members.
Monzo may take longer for payments through TransferWise, but card purchases and payments to other UK banks should be instant. Very few TrustPilot reviewers complained about the speed of service, and since Monzo mostly handles purchases, not transfers, speed is instant and reliable.
7. Cards & Receiving Accounts
Revolut is known for its stainless steel prepaid Visa or Mastercard for premium and metal users. Monzo also makes a statement with hot coral debit cards.
Paid subscriptions with Revolut allow you to customize the look of your card. Monzo’s accounts are all free, and the cards are all pink.
At four and a half stars each both Monzo and Revolut have impressive TrustPilot scores, with a large amount of positive reviews and happy customers.
However, it’s the negative reviews that show a services true colours.
Out of more than 20,000 reviews on TrustPilot, almost 2,000 were 1-star ratings.
The reviews break down like this:
- 40% of 1-star reviewers complained about blocked and frozen accounts
- 30% of 1-star reviewers complained about being unable to talk to a live person in customer support
- 20% of 1-star reviewers complained about miscellaneous issues
Monzo has less than 4,000 reviews on TrustPilot, and over 500 are only 1-star.
The reviews break down like this:
- 38% of 1-star reviewers complained about Monzo closing accounts without warning
- 38% of 1-star reviewers complained about poor customer service
- 24% of 1-star reviewers complained about customer service failing to resolve their issue
9. Cool SH*t
Monzo and Revolut each offer some incredible benefits. We’ve already covered the basics, so now let’s look at what makes each of them unique.
Please note: some features are only available with paid accounts.
- Available in 11 countries where N26 is not available
- Prepaid Visa or MasterCard
- Disposable digital cards (link is to more info about this handy feature)
- Cryptocurrency exchanges
- Access to airport lounges
- Concierge service
- Track employee spending
- Open API for integration
- Schedule batch payments
- Integrate XERO, Slack, and Zapier
- Direct-deposit for your paycheck
- Paid interest on savings pots
- Arranged overdrafts
- Integrated with Google Pay & Apple Pay
- All accounts are free
- Personal loans up to £15,000
10. Customer Service & Support
According to reviews, Revolut has better customer support than Monzo.
Both companies had the same types of complaints, but Monzo’s were more concerning.
Revolut customers complained about a chatbot that was unable to help, and the inability to speak with a live person. This may be why their services are so inexpensive, but it does leave consumers in a tight spot.
Monzo customers also complained about customer service, although they chatted online with real people. Many reviews complained about funds being unavailable for more than 4 weeks with no warning.
For the serious traveller, Revolut is our pick. It is focused on providing the best experience including travel lounges, insurance, a booking service and even disposable digital cards (for security abroad or online). To get all these perks you need to get a premium or metal card – which comes at a cost – but also higher higher free limits on ATM withdrawals.
If you are an occasional traveller who mostly just does short trips (and is unlikely to exceed £200/mo in ATM withdrawals) and you want a real bank with personal loans, interest on savings, and bill-pay services – Monzo might be your best option, especially if you are not interested perks like travel lounges.
Not in the UK but in the Eurozone and want a bank like Monzo – Check out our TransferWise Borderless.
Although analysing 1-star reviews is not exactly science, both are similar in their issues. The biggest concern for users is blocked funds or frozen accounts. This is an industry challenge as these services work hard to meet regulators needs while also providing a good service.
For you this has two important considerations:
- Given there is about a 5% chance your account funds could get blocked or frozen we think it wise to have a backup card/account and do not keep the majority of your funds with these services.
- With money transfers, if you plan to send large amounts or even just really important amounts, the chances of there being any issues are minimised if you use a specialist money transfer company.
Overall there is no doubt in our mind that prepaid travel cards are a must have in anyones wallet who travels overseas.