Monese: Review (2022)

Learn more about Monese's features and pricing in our comprehensive review

November 25, 2022


General Information

Monese is neobank based in London, UK that positions itself as an alternative to banking "the traditional way". Founded in 2015 by Estonian Norris Koppel, who experienced quite a few issues trying to open a bank account at a high street bank when he has just moved to the UK. As such, it would be fair to say Monese was created with expats as the primary target audience in mind, with a goal of making it easier to sort out your personal finances when relocating to the United Kingdom.

Monese logo

Monese: Quick Facts

Active Since 2014
Headquarters London, UK
Total Users 2'000'000+
Website monese.com
Personal Banking Free plan available
Business Banking
Sign-up Bonus -
Shared Accounts Available

Monese is available across all the EEA countries and has already become a favorite of many, standing at over 2 million users as of February 2021. The fintech caters to both personal and business customers, offering a simple 3-tier plan structure similar to what's offered by competitors such as bunq or Revolut. Read our detailed Monese review below to find out if this challenger bank from London fits your needs.

Monese: Countries Supported

Monese is available for citizens and permanent residents of the following countries:

🇦🇹

Austria

🇧🇪

Belgium

🇨🇾

Cyprus

🇪🇪

Estonia

🇫🇮

Finland

🇫🇷

France

🇩🇪

Germany

🇬🇷

Greece

🇮🇪

Ireland

🇮🇹

Italy

🇱🇻

Latvia

🇱🇹

Lithuania

🇱🇺

Luxembourg

🇲🇹

Malta

🇳🇱

Netherlands

🇵🇹

Portugal

🇸🇰

Slovakia

🇸🇮

Slovenia

🇪🇸

Spain

🇬🇧

UK

Stylish app and smart-looking cards

Plans available: Personal banking

At Monese you have 3 choices of subscription from Simple, to Classic or go all-in with Premium. No matter which one you go with, you can easily get currency accounts in EUR, GBP and RON. Check out below to find out the differences between the 3 tiers.

Simple

No monthly cost

Simple is Monese's no-hassle, feature-rich entry plan. You can open an account easily from your mobile device and get a digital account for your everyday banking needs. A free debit Mastercard is included, along with Apple or Google Pay, budget insights as well as multi-currency accounts in GBP, EUR and RON. You can easily transfer money abroad in 15 currencies including USD, AUD, PLN and more.

Classic

€ 5.95 per month

Classic is the mid-tier plan offered by Monese. It comes at a price point of €5.95 per month, which is lower than the usual €7.99 monthly price tag usually seen with mid-tier subscriptions from the likes of Revolut. Classic gives you free limits for cash deposits, withdrawal and more. It's worth mentioning that with this plan you can spend in foreign currencies free of any fees.

Premium

€ 14.95 per month

Premium is the top-tier banking plan from Monese. With everything you get from Simple and Classic, this plan gives you an even bigger allowance of free cash withdrawals and topups, as well as transactions and transfers in foreign currency. This plan will be well worth it for those that are heavy cash users and also quite frequently spends or sends money in foreign currencies.

Monese's bank accounts are also featured in our selection of in-depth "one-on-one" comparisons of the most popular and the best bank accounts in Europe. Read these using the links provided below:

Find a detailed breakdown of feature sets and pricing details for various plans offered by Monese in our comparison table below.

Monese: Plan Comparison Table

Monese logo
Simple Classic Premium
Price, per month € 0.00 € 5.95 € 14.95
Commitment Cancel monthly Cancel monthly
Sign-up bonus
Website monese.com
Accounts
IBANs BE BE BE
Sub-accounts included 1 1 1
Shared accounts Free Joint Account Free Joint account Free Joint account
Child accounts
Mobile Payments
Apple Pay ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Google Pay ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Samsung Pay
Other methods - - -
Cards
Cards available Mastercard Mastercard Mastercard
Cards included 1 1 1
Maestro/VPay
Debit cards ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Credit cards
Virtual cards ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Extra card fee - - -
Replacement fee - - -
Free replacements - - -
Metal card
Wooden cards
Payment Methods
iDeal
SOFORT ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Bancontact
Various Fees
SWIFT (receive) N/A N/A N/A
Foreign exchange fee 2.00% - -
Currency fee-free limit - - -
ATM Withdrawals
Daily limit € 750 € 750 € 750
Free withdrawals, per month 7500 times 7500 times 7500 times
After that, per withdrawal € 1.50 2.0% 2.0%
Withdrawal fee abroad 2.0%
Interest Rate
Current accounts 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Savings accounts
Transaction & Deposit Limits
Deposit limit € 50,000 € 50,000 € 50,000
Deposit Protection Up to €85'000
Monthly spend limit - - -
Other financial products
Overdraft
Investments in-app
Crypto trading
Cheques
Cashback
Insurance UK only: accident, medical and purchase protection UK only: accident, medical and purchase protection UK only: accident, medical and purchase protection
Lounge access
Transaction categorization ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Purchase protection
Round-up savings ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Budgeting features ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Deals & Discounts
Other benefits Savings account, credit builder Free foreign spending Fee-free foreign currency transfers
Learn more
Go to monese.com
Monese also has a desktop app

Pros & Cons of Monese

Advantages

  • Plus sign
    Easy and standard: Everything is pretty standard with Monese as it delivers the textbook experience of a digital alternative to a high street bank. You can sign up and complete verification directly in the app and start using the account almost straightaway.
  • Plus sign
    Multi-currency with a focus: On paper, it seems Monese is the best choice if you're an Expat from the UK or European and moving to a different country in EEA. It's special plus if you're relocating to or from Romania as you can very easily get an account in RON with Monese.
  • Plus sign
    Pay as you go: Unlike most mobile banks, you have access to the same variety of features no matter which plan you choose. If you don't plan to use Monese as your main account, Simple is already sufficient.
  • Plus sign
    Pots with interest: This is not a unique selling point, but Monese does have a very smooth integration with Raisin for you to take advantage of interests on the money you're putting away.
  • Plus sign
    Cash-friendly: Many mobile banks have more stringent fees or limitations on cash withdrawals and popups but it seems Monese want to make it easier even if you use cash more frequently.

Downsides

  • Minus sign
    Slow product development: It seems that Monese is a bit slow with rolling out new features, so it might not be a good choice for you if you're looking for a more innovative and different experience.
  • Minus sign
    Technically not a bank: Monese has an e-money license, meaning there is no deposit guarantee scheme for you to take advantage of. It does not mean that Monese is not safe, there is still a high level of regulatory oversight, frequent financial audit and a wide range of compliance controls in place, but it is important to understand the subtle legal differences.
  • Minus sign
    Limit on account balance: There is a balance limit of €50,000 that applies across all the plans available, so if you intend to hold large sums on your current account, you might want to consider an alternative option.

Monese: Frequently Asked Questions

Is Monese a real bank? Is it a trustworthy financial institution?

Yes, Monese is a reliable financial institution. The company is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom. Monese is also a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), meaning that your deposits are protected up to £85,000.

How long does it take to open a Monese account?

It should take no more than 10 minutes to open your Monese account. After visiting the official website, just start your sign-up or download the app, complete the standard identity verification process and you are done! You can then start using your new Monese bank account immediately.

How long does it take to get a Monese card?

Once you have opened a Monese account, you can order your Monese card. Your card will be delivered to your address within 5-7 working days.

How do I top up my Monese account?

You can top up your Monese account in several ways: via bank transfer, using a debit or credit card, by adding money via either Apple Pay or Google Pay, depositing cash at a PayPoint or simply loading your account using cash at the post office. Convenience and the abundance of options, especially when dealing with cash, is one of Monese's selling points.

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Simple and easy banking with Monese

Alternatives to Monese

Looking for a different bank offering bank accounts that are similar to Monese? Find our selection of three Monese alternatives that might better suit your needs below.

  • Free plan available ✔️
  • Joint accounts
  • Business accounts ✔️
  • Sign-up bonus Save 20% paying annually
  • Official Website revolut.com
  • Monthly cost Starting from €2.99
  • Joint accounts ✔️
  • Business accounts ✔️
  • Sign-up bonus 30 days free trial
  • Official Website bunq.com
  • Monthly cost Starting from €3.00
  • Joint accounts ✔️
  • Business accounts
  • Total users 90'000+
  • Official Website tomorrow.one
Always something to surprise the user with

Our Verdict: Is Monese worth it?

The result of our assessment: Monese no doubt has an attractive offering for expats, the plans and features available do deliver on its goal to make moving abroad in Europe more pain-free. There are quite some nice budgeting features that can give you more control over your finances using the account for your everyday needs. If you are a person who uses cash a lot, Monese becomes a very strong contender for you as it gives more options with pretty fair and low fees.

In conclusion, we at Fintech Compass strongly recommend checking out Monese, especially if you are an expat in any country within the European Economic Area. Convenience, product quality, the packaging - Monese is guaranteed to be a solid choice in case you want an easy-to-use banking product, frequently travel abroad or value having an option of swift and budget-friendly currency exchange between EUR, GBP and RON.


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