Alternatives to Monzo
Monzo is an online-only bank that claims to be loaded with everything you need for banking, such that it can replace your existing bank account with just an app. It was founded in London, the United Kingdom, in 2015. Monzo is a UK-licensed digital bank with the capacity to manage your entire financial life from your smartphone – no branches. With its app and cards, you can save, spend, and manage your money domestically and internationally, without stress, and at very low fees. It is also crypto-friendly.
Despite its wide-ranging and amazing functions, this European neobank might not be the best for your digital banking needs. Hence, in this article, we offer you the best alternatives to Monzo around the world.
Top Monzo Alternative Banks and Apps
Monzo was among the first app-based UK challenger banks. However, it was until April 2017 that it received a full banking licence in the UK, thus, allowing it to provide regular current accounts to UK residents. Today, you can use Monzo wherever Mastercard is accepted. The number of UK and non-UK residents having accounts with Monzo totals over 5 million as of 2022, with the majority of them based in the UK. We will now show you the best alternatives to Monzo in the UK and the USA.
Monzo alternatives in the UK
Revolut is a digital bank and mobile app with Mastercard and Visa cards for everything that relates to banking, money transfers, online and in-store payments, and investing. It is a very good alternative to Monzo in the UK. It allows you to receive, transfer, and spend money abroad for free in many currencies. With Revolut, you can earn money by saving in pots called “vaults”,investing in stocks, managing a good budget, buying cryptocurrency, converting crypto to cash, and doing a lot more using a Standard (free), Premium, or Metal account. For more information, you can find an honest review of Revolut, as well as how it compares with Wise and Monese on our website.
Like most Monzo alternatives available to UK residents, Starling Bank offers a free personal current account that can be created and managed through a mobile app. Starling Bank cards can be used free of charge anywhere Mastercard is supported, including hundreds of thousands of ATMs. It sends you notifications about payments made to and from your account. Also, it can assist you in analysing your expenses and following a personal budget. Eligible users can get overdrafts. In addition, it supports the deposit of cash via any UK Post Office, as well as in-app cheque deposits through its cheque imaging feature.
Monese is similar to Monzo in many ways, including in terms of fees, limits, and services. Also, they both issue Mastercard cards as official partners with the FinTech giant. Nonetheless, Monese is a better alternative to Monzo if you want to have a bank with a multi-currency account on your mobile phone. Monzo offers only a British pound (GBP) account and a single-currency card, which means that you cannot convert your balance into another currency. But with Monese, you can hold the euro (EUR) and the Romanian leu (RON) in addition to GBP in one account which comes with a multi-currency card.
Another alternative to Monzo is Curve. It is not a bank but an innovative card aggregator. This app allows you to link all your existing Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards in one place. In that way, you can make convenient payments with any of them directly via the app or through its card. When you are about to make a payment with your Curve card, you can use the Curve app to pick which of your accounts the money is to be deducted from. Curve makes spending abroad more profitable because you get to use just one card (instead of many) without paying any transaction fees. Besides, whenever you are with your card but without your phone (which has the app), Curve will revert by default to the previously used card when paying for a purchase. The "Go back in time" option in the app allows you to modify this default setting. Moreover, earning cashback is possible when you use Curve to transact with its retail partners.
Genome is a licensed electronic money institution supervised by the Bank of Lithuania. It is an alternative to Monzo for anyone who prefers an app that can open a multi-currency account or/and process a large volume of payments. It offers dedicated personal and business IBANs, merchant accounts, money transfers (instant, EU SEPA, and SWIFT), multi-currency accounts, currency conversion, shared company accounts, physical and virtual VISA cards, API for money transactions, and much more.
The UK’s first mobile-app-only bank is Atom Bank. Similar to Monzo, you can get different types of savings accounts and loans through Atom bank. However, as of May 2022, Atom bank is yet to offer its customers the option of having a current account. So, it is not a good option for spending abroad; digital nomads, freelancers, and expats should try other alternatives to Monzo. Besides, only UK residents can open accounts with Atom bank. Be prepared to close your account if you travel outside the UK and remain there for over three years. However, a good reason to choose this bank instead of Monzo could be its very competitive mortgage and savings rates.
Monzo alternatives in the USA
Residents in the United States can open an account with Revolut as an alternative to Monzo. Its customers can spend and transfer money abroad at the current exchange rate. Revolut allows them to do this without paying any hidden fees. They can also retain and trade 28 different currencies on the app, including the euro, British pounds, and Canadian dollars. Furthermore, through direct deposit, US customers can receive their salaries up to two days in advance of their normal paydays. They can also enjoy many other services aforementioned for residents in the UK.
Wise is an alternative to Monzo in a very similar way to Monese, in terms of banking and other functionalities. USA residents who travel often and would prefer a mobile bank with a multi-currency account can open accounts with Wise. Besides, Wise is the provider of the international money transfer services offered by Monzo. For more reasons why you should create an account with Wise, read this review on our website.
Compared to Monzo, Cash App, which was created in 2013, offers the simplest peer-to-peer app for money transfer service. It is a financial platform that provides banking services through its bank partners. It offers cheap and competitive rates to its customers, including residents in the United States. Cash App is a good option for savings account opening, business account creation and management, investing, buying and selling cryptocurrencies, and so on.
USA residents can use Paysera instead of Monzo so that they can enjoy e-shopping, gaming, entertainment, eating at restaurants, and making in-person retail payments via mobile Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals. Also, it provides card processing and currency exchange services. It offers a multicurrency account, which is ideal for frequent travellers. Find more information about Paysera in this overview by AskWallet.
Best for Foreign Bank Transfers
Now, if you are looking for Monzo alternatives to make international transfers, foreign bank transactions, and free/low-cost card usage within or outside Europe, here is our list of the best on the market:
Best for Effortless Saving
To anyone who would like to save money effortlessly by using an alternative to Monzo, we recommend the following:
Best for Real Savings Account
You can get real savings accounts from the following Monzo alternatives on the market:
Best for Staying with Your Current Bank
Creating an account with a mobile-only bank does not mean that you must abandon your previous bank accounts. There are Monzo alternatives that allow you to stay with your current bank(s) and continue using your old bank cards while enjoying the innovative services of a neobank or challenger bank. They include the following:
Are Challengers Safe?
Neobanks are sometimes called challenger banks because they are “challenging” traditional banks by using advanced technology to render new and innovative services to millions of people in the banking industry. They have opened many customers’ eyes to new digital payment services and fostered the digital transformation in banking.
The fact that most challenger banks do not have branches but operate totally online raises serious safety concerns in the minds of many people. For them, knowing a physical place to meet and speak with someone about their money and bank accounts makes them prefer traditional banks to neobanks. But does it mean that challenger banks are not safe? Our response to this question is no and yes. Your money is safe with any of the Monzo alternatives we have provided in this post. However, beware of other fraudulent so-called digital banks on the market. A mobile-only bank that is not licensed or regulated by any well-recognised institution is unsafe for you and your money.
Since Monzo, Atom bank, and Starling Bank have UK banking licences, account deposits of up to £85,000 are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which is the regulatory standard for registered UK banks.
Revolut and Monese are not registered as banks. Instead, they are registered as electronic money institutions with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). What does this mean with regards to the safety of your money? It means that they must retain all of their clients' money in separate accounts with regulated UK banks. By doing so, they ensure that their customers’ funds are safe even if their businesses fail.
Is Monzo bank in trouble?
The Online Bank—released this information as part of Monzo's annual report at the end of July 2021. According to the company, the FCA notified us in May 2021 that they had begun an investigation into our compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, as well as potential breaches of some of the FCA Principles for Businesses and related rules for Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crime Systems and Controls.
In its Annual Report, it also states, "Over the previous year, we have made significant investments in our controls in this area." Despite the fact that they have had no influence on their daily job so far, they remain committed to delivering quality service.
If you're looking for an alternative to Monzo, there are a few other options available. Starling Bank is a good option if you're looking for similar features to Monzo. Another option is N26, which offers a variety of features and is available in multiple countries. For those looking for something different, Revolut is an interesting option that offers a prepaid card with no monthly fees. Finally, TransferWise is a good choice for those who need to send money abroad frequently.
Which is better N26 or Monzo?
N26 is a great option if you're looking for an online-only bank. They offer free ATM withdrawals in Europe and have a sleek app design. However, they don't have as many features as Monzo.
Monzo is a good choice if you're looking for a bank with lots of features. They offer budgeting tools, as well as the ability to round up your purchases to the nearest pound and save the difference. However, they don't have free ATM withdrawals in Europe.
So, which is better? It depends on what you're looking for in a bank. If you want lots of features, go with Monzo. If you're looking for an online-only bank with free ATM withdrawals, go with N26.
Is Revolut or Monzo better?
If you're looking for an alternative to your standard banking experience, you may be wondering if Revolut or Monzo is the better option. Both are digital-only banks that offer a variety of features and benefits, but which one is right for you? Let's take a look at some of the key differences between these two popular banking options.
- Cards and Accounts:
One of the biggest differences between Monzo and Revolut is in the cards they offer. Monzo offers physical debit cards whereas Revolut offers virtual prepaid debit cards (although you can request a physical card from them). When it comes to account types, both banks offer free individual accounts with no overdrafts and unlimited transactions per month as well as free business accounts with overdraft protection.
Budgeting with either bank will require downloading their respective app; however, both allow users to create budgets within their apps that are synced across all devices, making it easy to track expenses without having to manually enter data each time.
The fees associated with using Revolut or Monzo depend on the type of account you have as well as what type of transaction(s) you make. For example, free accounts do not incur any fees for withdrawing cash abroad, while a small fee applies when withdrawing money domestically. You must pay 2% of the amount for ATM withdrawals above £200 to GBP using Revolut. While ATM withdrawals are free with Monzo.
- Customer Service:
If you have questions about either service, live chat support is available 24/7 by going to their websites. Additionally, both companies also offer FAQ sections to help answer any questions you might have before signing up.
If you are searching for an account that offers competitive rates, quick transfer times and great customer service then Revolut might be the way to go. You may also find it helpful that Monzo charges less in fees than Revolut does because of its location outside of the European Union.
However, if you are content with your current bank account but looking for another place to store some of your money - preferably one where all of your currency is stored together - then Monzo may be a good option due to its simplicity and lack of additional features offered by many banks today.
Does Monzo steal your money?
No, Monzo does not steal your money. In fact, it's a really great app! There are no charges for creating or keeping a Monzo current account. All domestic transactions, cash withdrawals in the UK (with some exceptions), and foreign transactions are free of charge, although there is a cost for international transactions that utilize Mastercard's regular currency rates.
Monzo is a great mobile-only bank. It was amongst the earliest app-based banks in the United Kingdom. It has many useful features for managing your savings, expenses, money transfers, and many other aspects of your financial life. But if you have found reasons to go for an alternative to Monzo, then you most likely have found one or more of them in this guide.