Wise vs Monzo

About Author: Hi, I’m Quinn Askeland. In 2014, I started Transumo after experiencing expensive, slow, and frustrating international money transfers and payments through banks. Once I discovered how to manage my own international currencies much better, I became driven to help others improve their transfers and payments. Fortunately, today, there are many excellent options. See My Full Bio.

wise vs monzo review

When it comes to modern banking alternatives in the UK, Wise and Monzo lead the pack with Trustpilot scores of 4.2/5 and 4.1/5 respectively. But hey, it’s not just about the ratings – these platforms are quite different.

For a start:

  • Monzo is a licensed bank and offers deposit protection something Wise doesn’t offer.
  • Monzo can only hold GBP, while Wise lets you handle 40+ currencies.
  • Monzo is only available in the UK while Wise is available in over 160 countries.

So, stay with me as we break down more of their features, fees, and customer feedback. The result might just change the way you manage your finances.

Let’s get started!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which may save you and do not cost any more. For more information, see my disclaimers here.

1. Quick Comparison

Wise and Monzo are both great alternatives to traditional banks. On Trustpilot, Wise has 192k+ reviews with 91% positive ratings, while Monzo has 27k+ reviews with 84% positive. The big difference: Monzo is a UK bank, while Wise has a stronger international offering.

TrustHigh – Excellent Trust pilot reviews and regulated serviceHigh – Excellent Trustpilot rating and deposit protection by UK banking authorities
FeesMoney transfer fees (low percentage fee), and some account fees are applicable.Varies by account type  – Get started with a free account
Trustpilot RatingGreat – 4.2/5 with over 203,000 reviews (as of January 2024)Great – 4/5 on Trustpilot with over 39,000 reviews (as of January 2024)
Full ReviewWise (review)Monzo (review)
Official websiteWise.comMonzo.com

Winner: Tie

Both Wise and Monzo seem to be trusted digital banking alternatives with high customer ratings.

But there are some key differences in how they operate – for example, Monzo has a banking license and offers many cool things such as loans, overdrafts, deposit protection, and an international debit card.

Wise on the other hand is great for affordable money transfers and offers a robust multicurrency account that lets you hold, manage, and convert between 40+ currencies as well as a debit card and local receiving accounts in 10+ global currencies.

2. Important Differences

AvailabilityAvailable in over 160 countries including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and most European countries.Available in the UK and soon in the US
Banking LicenseNoYes – UK banking license and deposit protection
Personal Or BusinessBothBoth
Multi-Currency AccountYes – 40+ currenciesNo – hold only GBP
International TransferYes – in 40+ currenciesYes – in 35 currencies via Wise
Debit CardYesYes – for personal and business.
Instant TransferYes – depending on the currencyYes – local Monzo to Monzo transfers
Special featureLocal receiving accounts in 10 major currencies for expats and frequent travelersBuy now, pay later with Monzo Flex | Loans and Overdrafts

Winner: Tie

Monzo is only available in the UK, has a banking license, offers deposit protection, and even lets you borrow money (loans or overdrafts). Overall, it functions more like a high street bank in the UK compared to Wise. 

Wise brings the best of both worlds – money transfers and robust digital bank-like features, including a powerful multi-currency account that lets you hold, manage and convert between 40+ currencies. 

Wise is far more international. 

If you’re in the UK and just looking for an alternative to high-street banks, Monzo may be the best choice. 

But Wise is #1 in terms of transparency, can do almost everything Monzo can do in the UK and they are far better for managing currencies beyond British Pounds and Euro.

3. Pros and Cons

Wise Pros

  • Widely available
  • Earn interest on the money you hold (USD, GBP, and EUR only)
  • Licensed and regulated service
  • Personal and business accounts
  • Affordable money transfers 
  • Multi-currency account 
  • Available in small and large transfers
  • Local receiving accounts in 10 major currencies

Wise Cons

  • Not a real bank and no deposit protection
  • No instant transfers on some currencies

Monzo Pros

  • Real bank – UK banking license
  • Deposit protection up to £85,000 GBP (by FSCS UK)
  • Many service tiers (including free account)
  • Available for personal and business
  • Debit card for worldwide use
  • Buy now, pay later with Monzo Flex

Monzo Cons

  • Only available in the UK and soon in the US
  • No multi-currency account
  • Fewer currencies for international transfers

Winner: Tie

Both Wise and Monzo offer unique benefits.

Wise offers the best of both worlds – small and large bank transfers at affordable rates as well as several bank-like features and a robust multi-currency account. You even earn interest on the money you hold in your multi-currency account.

On the other hand, Monzo is a better option for day-to-day use since they’re a licensed bank, offering deposit protection up to £85,000 GBP by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). They offer a range of service tiers, including a free account, with many benefits such as a debit card for worldwide use, savings pots, joint accounts, loans and overdrafts. 

4. What Others Say – Third-Party Reviews & Analysis

Wise Pros

Trustpilot Score

Great – 4.2/5 with over 203,000 reviews (as of January 2024)


Positives (91%)

All the positive reviews suggest that Wise is an efficient system for banking and money transfers.

People loved their low fees, fast transfers, and how easy it is to use the app. 

Many users consider Wise the best way to manage multiple currencies while travelling.

Negatives (7%)

Transfer delays and cancelled transfers

While Wise is usually fast, many customers were disappointed with the transfer delays and cancelled transfers. Many claimed that their money was held for weeks before the transfer was cancelled.

Typically, bank-to-bank transfers – such as ACH transfers from the US – can be slower vs card-to-bank transfers.

As for the money being held, Wise conducts regular audits as a regulated financial institution to make sure transfers comply with their usage terms and to keep your money safe (preventing online transfer scams).

Account blocked

Several reviewers also mentioned that their accounts were deactivated without any notice or reason, and their funds were frozen.

What They Said

“Absolutely excellent banking platform and banking app. Cannot compare to traditional banks. Everything can be done online and the FX rates are brilliant”

– Jason on Trustpilot

“I’ve been using Wise as my only app for transfers, i’ve never had any issues with my transfers or payments, big amounts or small.I’m also using the debit card and it’s such a life safer for international travels, no need to go looking for expensive currency exchanges”

– Navin Singh on Trustpilot

Monzo Pros

Trustpilot Score

Great- 4.2/5 on Trustpilot with over 29,000 reviews (as of January 2024)


Positives (85%)

Many users appreciate the ease of use of the Monzo app and its innovative features, including the ability to create pots for savings, monitor spending, and pay for things while traveling abroad.

Negatives (13%)

The negative reviews are primarily related to poor customer service. Customers are frustrated with their inability to get their complaints resolved in a timely manner and the lack of concern or apology from Monzo. 

The lack of transparency and communication regarding account closures and blocks are also prominent.

What They Said

“Great bank with a fantastic app.

Easy to manage money, set up savings, transfer money between accounts and to people. I now use Monza as my primary bank account.

Spending abroad and Monzo flex are just some of the benefits that are worth getting Monzo for.”

– Craig on Trustpilot

Winner: Tie

Based on the Trustpilot scores and analysis, it appears that both Wise and Monzo are well-liked by their users overall.

While there are some negative reviews, the percentage is relatively low.

5. Wise vs Monzo: Fees

Wise Pros

Account fees

Personal Account – Free

Business Account – One-time fee (varies by location)

International transfer fees

  • Transfers at the mid-market rate
  • Low percentage service fee (0.66% of the amount on average)
  • Sending large amounts – pay less when you send more (above £100,000 GBP)

Other fees

ATM withdrawal – 2 free per month | 1.75% per withdrawal over the limit

Card delivery fees – One-time fee (varies by location)

Receiving fees applicable for some locations (for example, wire transfer fees in the US)

Monzo Pros

Account Fees

Personal Account 

  • Monzo Standard (Free)
  • Monzo Plus – £5/month
  • Monzo Premium – £15/month

Business Account

  • Monzo Lite – Free
  • Monzo Pro – £5/month

International Transfer Fees

 Same as Wise

Other fees

Cash deposit fees – £1 fee+

Free account ATM withdrawal: Withdraw £250 for free every 30 days, 3% charge over £250 for withdrawals abroad

Monzo Plus ATM withdrawals – Withdraw £400 for free every 30 days, 3% charge over £200 for withdrawals abroad

Monzo Premium ATM withdrawals – Withdraw £600 for free every 30 days, 3% charge over £200 for withdrawals abroad

Cash withdrawal abroad – Mastercard exchange rate

Winner: Tie

Both Wise and Monzo offer free personal accounts with no monthly fees, which is a significant advantage for users who are looking for a basic banking service.

The cost of Wise transfers is very competitive for small bank-to-bank transfers since they offer a mid-market rate. And if you send above 100,000 GBP, the fee decreases with the amount. 

Wise’s multi-currency accounts are also free for personal users and there’s a small, one-time fee for business users. 

We also love that Monzo offers various paid tiers that come with many perks for more robust users. 

Monzo’s rates for international transfers are similar because Monzo processes their transfers through Wise. In fact, it may be better to transfer with Wise directly to avoid any hidden fees and access more currencies.

6. Wise vs Monzo: Transfer Speed

Wise Pros

  • Transfers funded by a debit or credit card: from almost instant to a day
  • Bank-to-bank transfers: 0-5 days (a lot depending on the countries involved and their banking systems)

Monzo Pros

  • Local Monzo to Monzo transfers: Instant
  • Local Monzo to other UK bank account: 2-4 hours
  • International transfer via Wise: 0-5 days

Winner: Tie

If you’re in the UK, Monzo-to-Monzo transfers can work very well for sending money to friends and family. 

For international transfers, Wise and Monzo are at par because Monzo processes these transfers through Wise.

7. Wise vs Monzo: Safety


  • Regulated by financial authorities in the US (FinCen), UK (FCA), Canada (FINTRAC), Australia (ASIC), and more
  • Customer funds held separately in reputed high-street banks
  • Two-factor authentication on the website and app
  • Dedicated audit and fraud detection teams


  • Has a full banking license from the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK
  • Deposit protection up to £85,000 GBP by FSCS in the UK
  • Touch ID, Face ID, fingerprint or PIN
  • Instant notifications on all account activity

Winner: Monzo

Both apps are regulated and have taken the right measures to protect your money and data. However, since Monzo has a banking license and offers deposit protection, they win this round.

BONUS Wise vs Monzo:  For Business

Wise Pros

  • Paid account only
  • Multi-currency Account (40+ currencies)
  • Get paid like a local with receiving accounts in 10 major currencies
  • Business debit card
  • Integration with software like Xero
  • Bulk payments (local and international)

Monzo Pros

  • Free and paid account
  • Free instant bank transfers in the UK
  • Get paid with a link
  • Stripe payments
  • Accounting integration
  • Physical and virtual debit cards
  • International transfers (via Wise)
  • Deposit protection up to £85,000 GBP
  • Pay in cash and cheques

Winner: Tie

Wise is a great option for businesses that operate locally and globally or freelancers who work with international clients. Managing your international money and getting paid without high fees becomes very easy with Wise. 

Monzo is best for local businesses in the UK – they’re quite robust in terms of the features they offer, including deposit protection as a real bank with a UK banking license.


Wise and Monzo are great financial services providers but have different strengths and weaknesses.

Monzo is a fully licensed bank that provides protection for your money. It’s a solid choice for those who are UK-focused and are looking for a better alternative to high street banks.

The Wise Multi Currency Account on the other hand can do all the basics Monzo does but is a better choice for international people and businesses and the reviews of others put them ahead as well.

Happy Money!

Which is better Monzo or Wise?

Wise is better if you travel frequently, transfer money internationally or work with multiple currencies but if you are looking for a digital bank with a more traditional bank like benefits loans and overdrafts, Monzo is the better option.

Is Monzo safe to use?

Monzo is a fully licensed bank, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Plus, Monzo has a bunch of top-notch security features to keep your account super safe.

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