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Monese review

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Established in 2015, Monese is a challenger bank that prides itself on giving customers an easy route into managing their money, especially if they have already been rejected by other major high-street banks.

You can expect an application process that will not ask for proof of address or delve into your credit history, making it ideal for those who have recently moved to the UK or have had issues with borrowing money in the past.

We’ve put together all relevant information you will need on Monese, especially useful if you’re thinking of applying for an account. Read on to find out more.

 Monese Simple is a free current account

Classic and Premium both have a monthly fee (£4.95 and £14.95 respectively)

Easy to apply as you don’t need proof of address or credit history

Free secondary account for GBP or EUR so you can spend in two different currencies

​​​​​​​ Instant transfers between Monese accounts

​​​​​​​ Supports Google Pay and Apple Pay

 Cash withdrawals above £200 per month incur a 2% charge (limit differs for Classic and Premium)

​​​​​​​ Foreign spending above £2,000 per month incur a 2% fee (limit differs for Classic and Premium)

​​​​​​​ Additional fee of up to 2% for international transfers or payments (Premium is free)

​​​​​​​ Can’t use the card for pay at the pump transactions

Products

  • Simple – this free current account has no monthly fees but does have a lower limit of £200 for free ATM withdrawals and £2,000 for free foreign transactions than its premium accounts. You can expect to pay a 2% fee if you surpass your limit
  • Classic – you can expect to pay £4.95 per month for this paid account from Monese, with which you can withdraw up to £800 in cash for free and spend up to £8,000 in foreign transactions for free too. For international transfers the fee is also reduced to 0.5%
  • Premium – recommended for active users, the premium account costs £14.95 per month but doesn’t have any limit on free cash withdrawals or foreign spending. International transfers are also fee-free too

Eligibility criteria

  • At least 18 years old
  • You must live in the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • A compatible smartphone to download the iOS or Android app
  • Mobile phone number capable of receiving text messages
  • Have a government-issued photo ID
  • Valid email address
  • Create a short video

App features

The Monese app will allow you to check your current account at any time, with a variety of features to help with the management and security of your personal funds. This is ideal for keeping track of real-time notifications from your account and any irregularities that could be potential fraud.

Instabalance is an easy way of viewing your balance without even having to click on the app, straight from the notification area of your smartphone. This combined with a balance graph on the app itself will give you a clear indication of how much you’ve spent during the month and also help you budget until your next payday.

Free secondary accounts are available for all Monese customers, giving you the option of working between GBP and EUR quickly and easily. This means that if you have a classic or premium account, you won’t have to pay your monthly fee twice.

Lock card is available via the app, meaning that you can easily keep your personal money secure at the touch of a button if you’ve lost your card and unlock it if you find it again.

Security

With access to the Monese app on iOS and Android, you can monitor your account to ensure personal funds are being kept safe. This includes password protection and any other security features offered by your device, including Touch ID and Face ID for Apple devices.

You can access your PIN number and have the ability to change it through the app as well, giving you full control over your Mastercard debit card too. If your card is lost or stolen you can choose to lock the card and then unlock it if you’ve managed to find it again, all at the touch of a button.

Spending abroad

Monese is the account that welcomes those who want to travel, especially since they provide a free secondary account so you can easily spend in Euros if and when required. The Simple and Classic accounts are limited when it comes to how much you can withdraw and spend abroad, but you always have the option of choosing the Premium account for unlimited withdrawals and spending.

Try and stay within your limits depending on the account you’ve chosen and always spend in the local currency, as this will give you the best exchange rate.

Fees and charges

There are several options of accounts with Monese, so it’s worth familiarising yourself with the limits you have before you start withdrawing cash or spending money abroad. You can expect to pay the following fees depending on the account you’ve chosen:

  • Simple – free account but if you withdraw over £200 or spend over £2,000 abroad you will pay a 2% fee
  • Classic – £4.95 per month account fees and if you withdraw over £800 or spend over £8,000 you will pay a 0.5% fee
  • Premium - £14.95 per month account fees with no additional fees for withdrawing cash or spending abroad

Support

Monese have an online help centre that should answer most common questions around their accounts, but you can also use their online chat to find answers too. If you would prefer to email, they also provide a support email so you can ask your query in more depth.

If for any reason you need to get in touch over the phone, their UK contact centre is open Mon-Fri between 8am-5pm for customers to get relevant support on any issues they’re facing with their account.

Summary

Overall, Monese has positioned itself as a the most accessible challenger bank in the market, especially given the easy application and the flexible pricing that appeals to a wide customer-base living in the UK and wider European Economic Area (EEA).

Whilst they might not offer all the features and benefits of other challenger banks, they certainly make up for it with a reliable current account that you can use throughout Europe. Make sure you choose the account that best matches your spending and cash withdrawal habits, and you’re bound to have a good experience with Monese.

Does Monese sound like the best challenger bank for you? Find out more details about Monese over on their provider page or start browsing our current account tables using the link below.

Robert Bester