Monese Review

Monese Review

Monese was started by Norris Koppel, an Estonian immigrant that never forgot his introduction to the UK banking system. When he first arrived his application for a current account at a major banking institution was declined due to his lack of credit history and proof of residency. He founded Monese because he thought banking services should be easily available to everyone.


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FCA: 900188 




APP: iOS and Android

CS METHODS: Email, Chat and Telephone in 11 languages




LOADING OPTIONS: Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card

Quick Reference

What is Monese?


Monese is a web app that lets people open a UK bank account even if they don’t have a UK address. Your account can be carried across 20 countries in the European Economic Area. The app allows you to pay people and bills with convenient, quick bank transfers, with foreign transfers possible across eight different currencies. If you choose you can opt for a contactless, prepaid debit card that makes purchasing easy in 200 countries, anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Monese is also avaialble for use European countries and avaialble 11 languages.

How Does Monese Work?

Opening an account is quick and easy, and the Monese app is streamlined for quick access to all of the available banking services. You can set up direct debits to automate bill paying, and send friends and family money directly from your phone’s contacts list. All available services are accessible through the Monese app.


What Are the Fees Associated with Monese?

This depends on the type of account you choose to open. There are three account tiers, with varying monthly fees and associated service charges. This tiered structure allows the user the freedom to pay in the manner that suits him or her best.

                        Monthly charge         Associated fees

Starter            Free                             Service charges apply for many common services

Plus                £4.95                           Fewer, smaller service charges

Premium        £14.95                         No service charges

Editors thoughts...

Monese is a great option if you want all of the features of a bank account including a separate account and card for spending in Europe. Ideal for the traveler or everyday spending.

Account Charges and Delivery Costs

Many banking services are provided for free regardless of tier. With all three account levels, customers will enjoy:

  • All UK Faster Payments and SEPA payments in the EU for free
  • No charge for using your card in your home currency
  • Free (UK) Direct Debits
  • Recurring payments / standing orders free within UK

There are other fees, all detailed below.

Are There Any Additional Monese Card Charges?

Yes, depending on your account tier.

Starter: Your Monese debit card will be issued for £4.95

Plus: Your first debit card is free

Premium: Your first debit card is free

Top Up Charges

When you add funds to your debit card the fee you’re charged will depend on your account tier.

Starter: 3.5% at Paypoint (min £3) and 2% at Post Office (min £2 fee) – in the UK only

Plus: 2.5% at Paypoint and only £1 at Post Office – in the UK only

Premium: Free, unlimited top ups

Exchange Rates

Currency exchanges are executed at the base, interbank rate, with no hidden fees. As for the service fee, it depends on your account tier.

                        Intl. Bank Transfers                          Intl. card purchases and ATM usage

Starter            2% base FX rate (£2 min. fee)          2% base FX rate (£2 min. fee)

Plus                0.5% base FX rate (£2 min. fee)       0.5% – 0.75% base FX rate

Premium        No service fee                                     No service fee

Monese Fees and ATM Withdrawal Fees

As before, your fees will vary based on the account tier you purchase.

Starter: All ATM withdrawals are £1 each

Plus: Your first six ATM withdrawals are free, each additional is £1 each

Premium: All ATM withdrawals are free

Editors thoughts...

Monese is a great option if you want all of the features of a bank account including a separate account and card for spending in Europe. Ideal for the traveler or everyday spending.

The Monese Mobile App

The app is a free download and it costs nothing to open an account unless you opt for the Plus or Premium tier. It’s extremely user friendly, well-organized, and easy to use. Its integration with your phone’s contacts list is a nice touch. It certainly won’t replace all of your banking needs, but for travelers interested in opening a UK bank account without UK residency, Monese is a must. Plus it has some of the lowest rates available for foreign payments and bank transfers, making Monese a solid service.


Which Monese Plan Is Best For Me?

There are 3 different types of services offered by Monese. The best way to decide is to take a look what each account plan offers and then make your decision based on how you think you will actually use Monese. Don’t worry, you can always start with the free plan and upgrade later should you need more features. Below is a summary of the costs and fees involved with each plan.

The first plan is called ‘Starter’ and is the most basic type of plan that comes with no charge. The next plan is a kind of in between plan with slightly more benefits. This will cost you just £4.95 or €4.95 depending on your base currency. Finally, the most powerful option is the premium account which costs £19.95/€14.95.

First of all, lets take a look at the Starter plan. If you choose this free plan you must bear in mind that there are small fees for some functionality. Things like international transfers and spending in a foreign currency will incur fees, so if you intend to use your account for this purpose you may want to explore some of the other plans. With the starter plan the additional fees are as follows:

What you get for free:

  • All UK payments via SEPA within EU at no additional cost.
  • Card usage in pre-selected home currency at no extra cost.
  • Direct Debits within United Kingdom have no extra cost.
  • UK and Euro current accounts are free.

What you will pay a fee for:

  • Card delivery fee for your debit card costs £4.95 or €4.95.
  • ATM withdrawals are £1/1€ per transaction.
  • If you choose to top up your card at a Pay point the fee is 3.5% with a minimum £3.
  • Likewise, if you use the Post Office to top up, the fee is 2% at Post Office with a minimum £2 fee.
  • There is a minimum 2% base exchange rate (minimum fee £2/€2) on any transaction in a currency other than your pre selected currency. This includes foreign transfers and ATM withdrawals in a foreign country.

Now let’s move on to the plus plan. We recommend this plan if you are considering using Monese as your main banking account for everyday use. Here’s why:

What you get for free:

  • UK/EU SEPA payments in EU at no additional cost.
  • Debit card usage in base currency with no extra charge.
  • Direct Debits within the UK are free.
  • UK/Europe transfers are free.
  • No delivery costs when you order your initial Monese card.

What you will pay a fee for:

  • 6 ATM cash withdrawals free of charge (6 per month), after that the usual £1/1€ fee will apply.
  • Cash top ups slightly cheaper, only a 2.5% fee at Paypoint and only £1 at a UK Post Office.
  • The minimum exchange fee is just 0.5% with a minimum fee of £2/€2 on international transfers.
  • The card itself has just 0.5%-0.75% exchange rare and then any spend and ATM usage outside your base country without minimum fees.

Monese FAQs

How to contact Monese?

You can contact Monese via email ( or by phone (+44 1706 304 001) (Mon – Fri 8am – 5pm and Sat 10am – 4pm).

Can you trust Monese?

Monese is a credible, legitimate bank just like any high street bank. The only difference is they operate only online. You can find many positive reviews online from current customers. Also they are registered with the FCA so you can rest assured you are protected.

Where is Monese located?

The Monese headquarters are located in London, UK. The address is . Monese also have offices in Estonia.

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Monse Debit Card
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