Monese

Review & Pricing

May 28, 2022


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 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 to find out if this challenger bank from London fits your needs.

Founded 2015
Headquarters London, UK
Users > 2'000'000
Official website monese.com
Available in UK + EU
Sign-up bonus 1yr free (students)
Free tier Available
Currencies EUR & GBP
Monese has a really distinct card style

Monese Plans for 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.

Monese Simple

No monthly cost

This plan doesn't come with a subscription fee - it's that Simple! Although it's free, it's pack with a ton of what Monese offers and many of the "standards" you might expect from a digital bank. Aside from the 3-currency accounts, you can create virtual cards for your online payments and a decent amount of fee-free spending in a foreign currency. You also get day-to-day features such as budgets, spending insights and being able to create pots for things you're saving up for or simply money you'd like to put aside.

Classic Plan

€5,95 per month

The most noticeable upgrade is a boost in ATM withdrawal and card spending in foreign currency free allowance. You also gets a free allowance for cash top-ups as opposed to the Simple plan. And you can of course use its convenient features for everyday finances.

Premium Plan

€14,95 per month

Premium is the top-tier plan from Monese so naturally most of the limits you had to deal with on Simple or Classic are gone, you can enjoy fee-free ATM withdrawal, cash top-ups as well as card spending in foreign currencies.

Monese account comparison table is below. Interested in one of the plans? Just visit Monese's website and download the app to try it out yourself!

Plan Simple Classic Premium
Account
Price p/m Free €4,95 €14,95
Interest Varies, depending on partner (Raisin)
Cards
Included 2 free (excl. delivery fee)
Maestro yes
Debit yes
Credit yes
Virtual yes
Various Fees
Lost card Free (excl. delivery fee)
ATMs €200 free p/m, then 2% €900 free p/m, then 2% Free
Refused DD Free
SEPA Free
International transfer 2% fee (€2 min) Free
Interest rate on accounts
Current no
Savings no
Cashback no
Currency
Exchange rate Free up to €2000, 2% after Free up to €9000, 2% after Free
Monese's black business card always attracts attention

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pots with interest - this is not unique but Monese does have a very smooth integration with Raisin for you to take advantage of interests on the money you're putting away.
  • 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.

Cons

  • Slow 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 does have a unique style

The Verdict

We think Monese is a pretty good option for expats, the plans and features available do deliver on it's 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 someone who uses cash often, Monese is actually be a great choice for you as it gives more options with pretty fair and low fees.

To wrap it up, we recommend to check out Monese if you are an expat in any country within the European Economic Area. It's a no brainer if you have a frequent need to exchange between any 2 currencies among EUR, GBP and RON.

Monese app is fairly straightforward and very user-friendly

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