Online Banks Like Monzo

banks like monzo

For those familiar with Monzo Bank, you’re already aware that it’s a fully digital bank that offers its millions of customers a current account and a debit card to use worldwide. But, as is the case with most things in life, different styles suit different consumers.

If Monzo isn’t the best fit for you, we’ve gathered together some Monzo alternatives that you may prefer, depending on your needs. 

Keep reading for a thorough breakdown of Monzo bank alternatives that you can sign up for immediately.

Quick Review of Banks Like Monzo

  • Monese: This mobile bank has a very simple sign-up process that doesn’t require any documentation such as proof of residence or your credit history to open a basic account.
  • Starling: This is one of the digital banks that’s great for managing your savings goals. Starling also features a marketplace, and you can access your account through both the app and your desktop PC. 
  • Revolut: This mobile banking app includes many features, such as the ability to purchase cryptocurrency. Revolut also offers the roundup service that rounds your purchase to the nearest whole dollar and puts the spare change in savings.

The Three Online Banks Like Monzo Bank

Here are the challenger banks that are Monzo alternatives:

Monese Bank

monese

What is similar to Monzo:

  • You can open basic accounts for free
  • There are no fees to hold an account
  • You can send funds internationally
  • They have budgeting tools
  • Easy-to-use mobile app
  • Excellent customer service
  • Free debit card delivery
  • Instant spending notifications
  • You can arrange direct debits (GBP for Monzo/GBP and EUR for Monese)
  • Financial planning resources are available
  • You can receive financial analyses for multiple currencies
  • You can block or unblock your card from the mobile app if you think it’s lost or stolen
  • There are no physical banking branches
  • Easy sign-up through the app
  • Contactless pay is possible through Google Pay and Apple Pay.

What is different from Monzo:

  • ATM withdrawal fees: For Monzo, ATM withdrawals are free up to £200, and then you’ll get charged a two percent fee for any amount higher. For Monese withdrawals are free up to £200, and then you’ll get charged a two percent fee for any amount higher.
  • Fees for international money transfers: Monzo collaborates with TransferWise to provide currency exchange services at low rates; the fees take from 0.35 percent to 2.85 percent. Monese will charge you a €2 minimum and a flat rate of two percent.
  • Spending abroad: Monzo doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees when you use your card abroad. Monese doesn’t charge any fees up to €2000 per month, but then you’ll get charged two percent on each purchase beyond that amount.
  • Monzo offers joint accounts, Monese does not.
  • You can only use Monese through its mobile app; Monzo has an app as well as a website in the case of emergencies.
  • Monzo offers savings pots, which function as small savings accounts that you can use to separate your money to meet financial goals.
  • Monese doesn’t require a credit check or proof of residency to open an account.
  • Monzo offers overdraft protection.
  • Monzo offers a competitive 1.63 percent interest on their savings accounts; Monese does not offer interest on their savings accounts.
  • Funds are guaranteed up to £85,000 with Monzo.
  • Monese is available in more countries (EEA vs. UK only) 

Through Monese, you can open three different types of online bank accounts. You can get the free account, or you have your choice between two paid premium accounts that have higher limits in the free ATM withdrawals and purchases made abroad. 

Their limits and fees are similar to Monzo bank. One shortcoming is that Monese doesn’t offer nearly as many perks and extra features as you can access through Monzo’s app. Nonetheless, you can meet your banking needs by setting up direct payments, tracking your purchase history, using your Mastercard anywhere in the world, and paying and receiving money from other users of the Monese app. 

You’ll also still have plenty of features at your disposal that help you to manage your money better, all while enjoying low premium account, currency exchange, and ATM withdrawal fees. You may change your plan whenever you like, directly from the app. Overall, Monese stacks up against Monzo nicely. 

Starling Bank

starling bank

What is similar to Monzo:

  • You can see your spending breakdown in the app
  • You can set spending budgets
  • You can arrange direct debits through the mobile app
  • You can use the top-up feature by completing a bank transfer
  • You can have your cheques direct deposited into your account
  • You can create joint accounts
  • You can create goals for savings on accounts called pots
  • The round-up feature that rounds your purchases to the nearest dollar and deposits that amount onto your savings
  • Excellent customer service available through the app or telephone
  • No physical banking branches are available
  • You can block and unblock your card in case it’s lost or stolen
  • You can send money overseas
  • They both have a UK banking license which protects customer funds up to £85,000
  • Contactless payments are available with Google Pay and Apple Pay (Monese also works with Samsung Pay)
  • You’ll receive a Mastercard debit card free of charge through the post
  • Overdraft protection (15, 25, or 35 percent EAR for Starling/ 19, 29, or 39 percent EAR for Monzo)
  • Unlimited foreign transaction free of charge
  • Teen accounts available
  • Business accounts available
  • Loans are available up to £5000 for Starling and £15,000 for Monzo. Both companies require a soft credit check.
  • Easy sign-up through the app
  • Monzo offers 1.63 percent interest on their savings account, while Starling offers interest on your total balances.

What is different from Monzo:

  • You can scan your cheques into your account through the mobile app.
  • ATM withdrawals: Monzo offers free ATM withdrawals up to £200 in the United Kingdom, then there’s a three percent afterward. Starling doesn’t charge any fees whatsoever for ATM withdrawals in the United Kingdom.
  • Starling’s business accounts are completely free, and they come with excellent features that can even be synced to accounting software. Monzo’s business accounts come in Lite and Pro, but both have a monthly maintenance fee. 
  • Monzo provides three current accounts to Starling’s one. Two of them, however, come with a fee.
  • Starling offers a kid’s account.
  • Sending money abroad: There’s a local network fee plus Starling’s fee of 0.4 percent. Monzo’s fees are determined by their currency exchange partner, TransferWise.
  • In-credit balances: Starling offers 0.05 percent AAR, Monzo does not currently offer interest on current accounts
  • You can make cash deposits into your accounts at the post office with Starling. With Monzo, you can make deposits at verified PayPoints.

Starling provides current accounts for free as well. Moreover, you can open up a new account and manage your funds through the convenience of a mobile app. You will receive notifications when funds enter or leave your account. Furthermore, the app analyses the way you spend and aids you in budgeting for the future. You will also have the option to create goals for yourself which will help you set money to the side to achieve those goals.

If you wish to receive a plastic debit card, one will get sent to you for in-store and online purchases, and you will be able to withdraw cash from the ATM up to £300 per day. A notable fact about a Starling card is that there are no fees for spending or withdrawing cash when you’re abroad or if you’re in the United Kingdom. 

Starling doesn’t have any bank branches; however, this will not keep you from making any deposits because you can make cash deposits into your bank account at any nearby Post Office. Furthermore, using the cheque imaging system on your app, you can deposit your cheques. If your cheque is over £500, you will have to send it to Starling through the postal system without charge.

Revolut

revolut

What is similar to Monzo:

  • The standard account is free
  • Split the bill feature allows users to request money from other users in order to split the cost of a bill.
  • Excellent customer service 
  • You can block and unblock your card through the app if it gets lost or stolen.
  • Superb fraud assistance
  • Savings pots/vaults 
  • Spending categories
  • Instant spending notifications
  • You get access to budgeting tools
  • The mobile app is easy to use
  • You can track and analyse your spending from the app
  • You can obtain important money management tips to help you reach financial goals

What is different from Monzo:

  • Revolut supports more languages (Monzo only offers EN)
  • Revolut supports more currencies (Monzo only supports GBP)
  • Top-ups: Monzo offers bank transfers, cheques, and cash deposits for top-ups. Revolut offers bank transfers, debit cards, and credit cards for top-ups
  • Revolut doesn’t offer overdraft protection
  • Revolut does not offer interest on savings account
  • Revolut only offers customer support through the mobile app; Monzo also has a website for emergency support
  • Revolut does not offer joint accounts
  • Monzo guarantees customer funds up to £85,000 through the FCSC
  • Revolut is available throughout the EEA (and the United States, Australia, Singapore), while Monzo is only available in the UK
  • Revolut charges a fee for card delivery, Monzo does not
  • Revolut gives you instant access to five different cryptocurrencies
  • Revolut offers travel insurance
  • You have the opportunity to increase your monthly ATM withdrawal limit with Revolut.
  • Monzo’s savings pots are free of charge; Revolut offers a similar service at an additional cost.
  • Monzo offers loans
  • Monzo has an energy company switching service that also includes perks
  • Monzo doesn’t charge you foreign transaction fees whole Revolut doesn’t charge any fees up to £5000 for the weekdays, and the fee is 0.5 percent on weekends

You can sign up for a free basic account with Revolut. That type of account fulfills any standard banking needs, and you can perform your day-to-day account tasks via the app. You can also use the app to view a spending analysis and create saving pots, referred to as vaults. Revolut does not yet have an option for depositing cheques or cash.

Unlike Starling, Revolut has a few fees associated with card use. So making purchases overseas or in the United Kingdom is free; however, if you choose to use the ATM and withdraw over £200 per month, you’ll be charged a fee whether you’re home or abroad.

Revolut has some international features which make it very attractive to potential customers. For example, you can have a balance in 30 different currencies, and when you’re transferring money overseas, you get the exchange rate from the interbank. Interestingly enough, Revolut gives you the opportunity to access a buying platform for cryptocurrencies.

With Revolut, you might also choose to try their paid banking accounts for customers that come with perks and extra features. For a yearly or monthly fee, you can have access to these services. You can choose between the Plus, the Premium, or the Metal paid-for current accounts available for purchase.

Summary

Searching for a digital banking brand that meets your individual needs, has low fees, and can provide you everything you’re looking for in a standard banking account through one app is challenging. It requires you to give thought to what you usually use your primary account for and the items you wish to prioritize.

Even though challenger banks are always expanding the range of their services, there are some functions that still aren’t possible. It is very likely that in exchange for better working fees, less bureaucracy, and lower fees, you’ll probably give up something that your conventional bank offers.

Below are some features that might catch your attention:

  • Withdrawals from the ATM: The best option in this regard is Starling. Their withdrawals are free if you’re in the United Kingdom and when you’re abroad.
  • Cash Loads: You can deposit money to the Starling account at the post office free of charge. On the other hand, with Monzo, you can only do this at their selected PayPoint’s, and it costs £1 each time.
  • Monese is also a contender because you can make deposits at the post office or at a PayPoint location. Also, up to £200 each month, it’s free of charge. Afterward, there’s a two percent fee charged. Remember, with Revolut, you can’t load cash into your account.
  • Direct Debits/Recurring Payments: Direct debits are indeed supported by most digital-only banking brands, and you can arrange automatic payments for your bills. Moreover, Revolut permits direct debits from their accounts in both euros and sterling.
  • Overdrafts: While Starling and Manzo allow for planned overdrafts, Starling’s happens to be cheaper. When it comes to travelling, transactions overseas, as well as payments, is where challengers usually thrive, and they’re a great alternative to Monzo.
  • Spending While Travelling: When using your card overseas, traditional banks will often charge you additional fees. However, with challengers such as Starling, Monzo, Monese, and Revolut, you can pay with your card when overseas, free of charge.

Starling allows ATM withdrawals for free. On the other hand, Monese and Revolut let you make withdrawals from the ATM machines overseas up to £200 each month. They’ll charge you two percent once you cross that amount. Monzo also offers free withdrawals for up to £200 abroad, but they charge a three percent fee beyond that.

Final Thoughts

Monzo spearheaded UK digital banking, and its current banking accounts have a plethora of useful features. However, if you find that Monzo isn’t quite the right fit for you, then hopefully, one of the alternatives that we’ve outlined in this guide will turn out to be suitable for your specific needs.