If you are looking for a simple and intuative banking app, you probably heard of Revolut and Monzo. They are both online banking providers offering many features that traditional banks do not, often referred to as challenger banks.
Both have become popular in recent years for travelling with their attractive travel features and almost instant set-up, but you may be thinking of using one of them as your entire bank account.
In this article, we will compare Revolut and Monzo so that you can decide which one is right for you.
Revolut vs Monzo, let's find out who wins in our challenges!
Short on time? Skip to the winner here
Revolut vs Monzo Brief Overview
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Revolut started as a prepaid travel card with no monthly fees that you could use abroad without being charged the typical high foreign transaction fees. You could also hold and exchange multiple currencies on the app, which is different to Monzo, where you can only hold GBP.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Monzo, is an online-only challenger bank and has been named as one of the best bank accounts in the uk. Monzo was designed with the customer in mind from the beginning. It has a sleek app design and offers many features that other banks do not, such as categorising your spending into different areas so you can see where you are spending the most money.
Monzo vs Revolut: Overview Table
Monthly Account Fees
Plus: £2.99 per month
Premium: £6.99 per month
Metal: £12.99 per month
Plus: £5 per month
Premium: £15 per month
Accepts Direct Debits
Allows you to hold foreign currency?
Free Debit Card
international money transfer services
Yes but through third party service.
Accepts cash deposits
Allows cash withdrawals
International Transfers: Send money overseas
Yes but through third party service.
joint accounts available
No, but Revolut instead have shared vaults allowing you to share some money.
protected up to £85,000
Personalise debit card?
Freeze card instantly
Interest on balance?
Up to 0.75% AER basic plan, calculated daily.
No interest on free account, interest paid on Plus accounts and above: 1.00% AER/Gross (variable) interest up to £2,000 On your balance and regular Pots
Salary paid 1 day early
24/7 via app
24/7 via app
Easy bill splitting by payment link?
Advanced security features on basic (free) account?
Disposable cards available, free card, instant notifications.
Advanced security features only available on plus accounts and above. Basic account allows instant notifications and freeze main card.
Offers Business Accounts?
Round 1: Travel Test: Which is Better for Travelling Abroad or Using Different Currencies?
Both Monzo and Revolut make fantastic travel cards and bank accounts. They both have the MasterCard or Visa logo, meaning you can use them in millions of places worldwide.
In this challenge, we will test all the respective travel benefits and see which is the best companion for your travels.
Both cards are excellent choices and work anywhere there is a Visa or MasterCard logo, and with both providers, you have the option to add to Google pay or Apple Pay.
With Revolut and Monzo, you have the advantage of fee-free spending abroad, meaning they do not charge you any additional exchange rates. This is a welcomed change from a traditional bank account that would normally charge you a fee on top of your purchase.
Tip: Both Revolut and Monzo offer free accounts meaning you can sign up to use them for travel and everyday spending if you don't want to leave your existing high street bank account.
If you do not plan to use them as your main bank account, you can top up both accounts with a simple bank transfer, and with Revolut, you can even top up via Apple pay instantly.
Suppose you are planning on using your card in multiple currencies. In that case, Revolut is the best choice as it offers free currency exchange and the ability to hold multiple currencies on your account. You can exchange in over 30+ currencies.
Tip: With Revolut, you can also set up currency alerts to buy your currency at the best time.
Why could this save you money? Let's say you have planned a holiday and want to start saving your currency with Revolut. You can set up a buy alert and buy amounts of your chosen currency when rates are at their best, potentially saving you even more money than your high street bank account!
With Monzo, all your money is kept in GBP; however, when aboard, you can use your card to pay, and you will not be charged any extra fees, which still beats a high street bank account, hands down. Monzo says they use the Mastercard exchange rate and give this rate directly to the customer. The main difference with Monzo is you only get the best exchange rate at the time, with Revolut you get both best exchange rates at the time and the ability to plan and buy your currency when rates are at the best.
With both cards, you're getting an incredible exchange rate when on holiday Revolut in our opinion, has the added advantage of getting your currency in advance, which could save you a little more if you set up a buy rate.
What About ATM Withdrawals?
With both cards, you can withdraw cash abroad depending on the type of account you go for.
Monzo is a little vague on their website. Here's their official explanation:
'We may charge you for some cash withdrawals, depending on how and where you use Monzo. The best way to check your allowance is to tap on 'Manage', then scroll to 'ATM allowances'.'
Monzo says that if you use their account as your primary account, i.e. have your salary paid in. Then you get free ATM withdrawals in the EU area. If you don't, it's capped at £250, and you are charged 3% on any withdrawals.
With Revolut, there are no stipulations to use their account as the main account, but the ATM withdrawals differ depending on your plan. The free account costs £200 a month and goes up to £800 per month with its metal card.
ATM Summary: If you plan to withdraw a lot of cash, then Monzo is the better choice regarding limits, but you must use it as your primary account or subscribe to one of their premium plans.
International Money Transfers
One of the main benefits of a Revolut account over a Monzo account is its ability to send and receive international money transfers.
With the Revolut account, you have added multiple currencies and even on its free account, you can exchange up to £1000 a month without any fees as long you complete it Monday to Friday.
Monzo has recently updated their account and teamed up with transfer expert Wise making it possible to send money abroad. However, you cannot still today open a multi-currency account which makes it difficult if you plan to receive international payments. You will also be charged for the transfer, see illustration above.
If you want to hold international currency then Revolut is the best option, or you may also want to consider Starling who also allow you to hold EUR and USD currency.
More information in this post: Starling vs Revolut
Premium Account Holders Travel Benefits
If you are travelling more regularly, you may wonder if both accounts can help enhance your travel experience. With both accounts, this is indeed possible.
Monzo's Premium account (£15 per month) gives you several travel benefits, such as mobile phone and travel insurance. You can also get up to £600 fee-free cash withdrawals worldwide per month with no conversion fees.
Suppose you are looking for comprehensive worldwide travel insurance. In that case, the Monzo premium account will not only get a fancy metal card but also access to travel insurance for the whole family and discounted airport lounge access which is handy when visiting airports during busy times.
Revolut's premium plans are even cheaper and have a lot to offer. Consider checking out their premium and metal plans (£6.99 per month or £12.99 per month, respectively), which offer comprehensive worldwide travel insurance for you and your family and up to £800 fee-free cash withdrawals per month with no conversion fees. You also get an impressive array of concierge services available 24/365, along with a dedicated support team.
Round one Winner: Revolut. Revolut has several advantages over Monzo, the main one being its ability to send and receive international money transfers. If you exchange monday to Friday, there are no fees (up to £1000 for free accounts).
Revolut offers comprehensive worldwide travel insurance, including winter cover (on metal plans), which Monzo does not. Additionally, Revolut's premium plans are cheaper than Monzo's.
In summary, if you plan to transfer money overseas, Revolut's multi-currency ability is hard to beat!
Related article: Best Money Saving Apps
Round 2: Revolut vs Monzo for Everyday use
Although Revolut and Monzo originally became popular for their travel benefits, you may want to have just one card and use it all the time, so how do they compare?
Both accounts offer comprehensive services if you are looking for a card to use primarily in the UK.
Although not officially referred to as current accounts, you can use both Monzo and Revolut just like your standard current account. You can set up direct debits, standing orders, receive payments and even have your salary paid in.
Both accounts offer an impressive amount of free ATM withdrawals per month, too - the limit depends on if you are on the free or premium plans, but with both accounts, you can withdraw at least £200 a month.
Monzo also offers an overdraft facility of up to £2000. The rate of interest depends on you and your circumstances. Monzo will give you the exact amount once you apply.
Revolut does not offer any overdraft facilities at the moment.
With both accounts, there is no need to go through the hassle of setting up separate savings accounts as you can open a saving pot with either provider and start earning interest on your deposits.
Monzo Savings Pots
Monzo saving pots are very easy to use. You can create as many posts as you like and name them whatever you want to help keep track of your savings. The interest rates are not the highest, but they are still very competitive compared to other banks. As of writing, up to 2.70%, AER is available by Monzo through one of its banking partners.
It should be noted that because Monzo is an official bank and operates under the FSCS scheme, your funds are protected for up to £85,000 (just like any other bank).
Tip: To save money every day, turn on Monzo's round-up feature and the app will automatically round up your purchases to the nearest pound and transfer the spare change into your savings pot.
With Revolut, you also have the option to open multiple savings accounts, which they call vaults. The advantage of using Revolut's vaults is that you can automate your saving by setting up a weekly or monthly amount to be transferred into your vaults.
Revolut offers very competitive interest rates on its vaults, up to 1.35% AER daily interest on some of its plans.
The downside is that because Revolut is not an official bank, the FSCS scheme does not protect your funds, however this does not mean Revolut does not have protection of your money. In fact you are still protected up to £85,000 just like Monzo it is simply though a different process. See details below:
What differientiates Revolut from Monzo is its ability to invest. You can easily and quickly invest in many different things such as stocks, shares, cryptocurrency and even commodities through the app.
However, it should be noted that your capital is at risk. Take extra care, especially if you plan to invest in cryptocurrency, as this is not FCA-regulated. Remember that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future gains.
Monzo does not offer any investment services at the moment.
Round 2 Winner: Monzo. When comparing the two providers, it is clear that Monzo is has the upper hand as a bank replacement with its overdraft options. Although Revolut offers some great features, such as investment options, and spare change round up on its free plan making it a great budgeting app. Monzo still outperforms its current account and savings account offerings.
Round 3: Revolut vs Monzo for Protecting Your Money
With Revolut and Monzo, your money is protected for up to £85,000. This is the same level of protection offered by any other UK bank. With Monzo, it is straightforward as it is protected under the FSCS scheme. However, with Revolut, it's a little different.
Revolut is not a bank, but it does offer similar services. Your money is held by an authorised institution and is protected in the same way as if it were held in a normal bank account. They partner with FCSC banks to protect your money so if anything were to happen you would be protected.
The bottom line is that Revolut and Monzo are safe places to store your money, and you can be confident that your money is protected for up to £85,000.
What Happens if They go Insolvent?
With Monzo, you would claim the FSCS scheme the same way as any other bank.
With Revolut, things are a little different and more complicated. Because Revolut is not a bank, if it were to go insolvent, your money would not be protected by the FSCS scheme. However, your money would still be protected. Revolut give full details here.
Is Monzo Safer than Revolut?
One of Monzo's main differences over Revolut is that it is a registered bank. This means that it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and your money is protected for up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Revolut is not a bank, but the FCA authorises it. Your money is held in a segregated account with Barclays Bank and is protected up to £85,000; however, it's not under the same scheme, meaning you follow a different process should Revolut ever go under.
In summary, if either company goes insolvent, your money is protected.
Other Safety Features
Both Monzo and Revolut have excellent security features. They use the latest encryption technology to keep your data safe and secure. They also have fraud monitoring systems to protect you from fraudulent activity.
You can set up one-time virtual cards on premium accounts with Monzo, which is great for online shopping. If the details are compromised, you can cancel that card and not your entire account. With Revolut, this feature is available even on the free account!
Round Three Winner: Revolut, although not a registered bank, your money is still protected. We also like that Revolut gives you security as standard, even on the free account.
Round 4: Which has the Best App?
Both apps are excellent, and it depends on your personal preference. They are both user-friendly and offer a great user experience.
Monzo app is good for budgeting and tracking your spending as it categorises your transactions. It also has a great design and is very user-friendly.
Revolut app is best for foreign travel as it has excellent features for managing multiple currencies. It also offers a great selection of other features, such as stock trading, cryptocurrency exchange, and peer-to-peer payments. Revolut can also be used as a great budgeting app too and allows you to super charge your spare change round up as standard, unlike Monzo who only offer this on their premium plans.
What we also loved about Revolut is that you can set up savings vaults with other Revolut users meaning if you are jointly saving for a holiday you can do it together easily without the need of a joint account.
Round 4: Tie. It depends on how you will use the app. For currency and travel Revolut is the winner.
For budgeting Monzo has the upper hand with the easy-to-use interface, although Revolut does have budgeting too and allow you to super charge spare change round up as standard.
Is Monzo or Revolut Better for Budgeting?
Monzo has excellent budgeting tools to help you keep track of your spending. You can see where you spend the most and set monthly budgets. Monzo also has Pots, which allow you to put money aside for specific goals, such as a holiday or a new car. You can also set up to pay money from pots, making it perfect for setting aside money for bills.
Revolut does not have the same extensive budgeting features; however, it does have Vaults. With Vaults, you can set aside money each week or month, which will automatically be transferred into a Vault. You can also set up Vaults for specific goals. The only downside is that you can't pay bills directly from your Vault like you can with Pots on Monzo.
Round 5: Who has the Best Customer Service?
Monzo and Revolut both have excellent customer service. They have 24/7 live chat support and are always quick to respond to queries on social media. They also have a large knowledge base on their websites which are packed with useful information.
Round five: Tie. Both providers are easy to contact through the app and its 24/7.
Round 6: Revolut vs Monzo: Which has the Best Card?
Both accounts have quirky cards, which is one of the reasons we love them!
Monzo cards are all pink for the standard, but you have more choices on the plus and premium accounts. We love the white metal card.
Revolut on premium accounts has the most personality as you can genuinely pesonalise your card. You can add your text or even an emoji!
Round six: Revolut. Although both cards are quirky, Revolut has more choices and allows users to create their own look for individuality. With Revolut the metal card is also cheaper at £12.99 per month as opposed to £15 per month.
Round 7: Best Premium Account
Both accounts have a good offering when it comes to a premium account.
Monzo premium gives you a better card, advanced round-ups, more security features, better interest and even insurance.
Revolut, in our opinion, has more on its standard account and delivers even more on its premium accounts. With Revolut, you get a personalised card, cashback on selected retailers, travel insurance, airport lounge access and much more.
Revolut's Junior Accounts
If you have young children, Revolut has added a fantastic feature with its junior accounts. Available for children from ages 6-17.
You can monitor and control their spending, set limits and even freeze their card if necessary. This is a great addition for parents who want to give their children some financial freedom but still have peace of mind. It also could help teach your child how to manage money from a young age. You can order a personalised card to suit your child's personality for a small additional fee.
Monzo does not currently offer anything similar. However, we think this could be something they add in the future.
Round seven: Revolut. Even on the free plans you get more as standard with Revolut! Plus the junior account for families is a lovely feature to help your children get in to the spirit of budgeting from a young age.
Revolut vs Monzo?! Overall Winner
So who is the winner in our Revolut vs Monzo battle? Both banking providers offer great features. The winner depends on what you will use the card for. Here is the breakdown of each round:
1: Travel Test: Revolut
Multi-currency features, and potential to save more money by setting up currency buy alerts.
2: Everyday Use: Monzo
Monzo is a UK registered bank and thus benefits from having overdraft facilities. With both Revolut and Monzo you can use direct debits and pay anywhere with a Mastercard of Visa.
3: Money Protection: Revolut
Revolut has more protection features to fight against fraud as standard, like virtual cards which are available on its free plan. Monzo charges for the benefit.
4: App - Tie
Both apps are very easy to use, technically Revolut's app has more features as standard but it really does depend on user preference.
5: Customer Service - Tie
Both providers make it easy to get in touch if you need any support
6: Best Card - Revolut
More choices and you can personalise your card! Plus if you have always wanted a metal card it is cheaper to do so with Revolut.
7: Premium Account - Revolut
Revolut is cheaper and offers more. Plus for those with young children there is the option to add on a junior card which is a fantastic benefit.
If you plan to travel and want to get the best rates on currency, Revolut wins hands down. It offers more features than Monzo and is a better choice if you are planning on travelling or using your card in multiple currencies.
Monzo is the better choice if you are looking for a bank with traditional features such as loans and overdrafts.
Both apps are user-friendly and offer excellent customer service.
So, which is right for you? It depends on your needs! We hope this article helped you decide between Revolut and Monzo.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!
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