Monzo Travel Card Review – The Best Card To Use Abroad
This post details my review of the Monzo travel card, which I have used while travelling throughout Europe.
This Monzo card abroad review guide should let you know if the Monzo travel card is for you.
If you travel a lot like me, then the last thing you want to see when you get home from travelling is huge foreign exchange fees all over your bank statement. These huge added fees were happening every time I would travel with my standard debit card.
I would come home to see my bank statement sprinkled with foreign transaction fees for that month. Though these fees might seem small as one-offs here and there, they add up over a few weeks or months.
After a few statements like this, I was determined to find a travel card with a 0% foreign exchange fee. So, I could continue to travel without the bank taking half my money in costs and using that money to explore even more.
For scenarios like this, the Monzo travel card comes in – a bright coral coloured card that I’ve been using over the last year.
I’ve taken my Monzo card abroad with me to Prague, Rotterdam, Cologne and Amsterdam, and I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that there wouldn’t be any pesky 3% foreign exchange fees to pay. This Monzo card is also great if you’re travelling in London.
Because I’ve used this card so much and love it, I wanted to put together a little Monzo travel card review together to help you. In case you are looking for a travel card to use while abroad.
I can honestly say that my Monzo travel card is one of the best prepaid travel cards I’veI’ve used so far. I use my Monzo card for travel more than my standard bank card.
Who or What is this Monzo travel card you ask?
Monzo is an app-only bank. They were initially only used as prepaid travel cards or prepaid travel money cards, which you could top up via an app (the Monzo app).
The Monzo card prepaid travel card has now switched to the Monzo current account.
Monzo bank is currently only available to UK residents, but they hope to expand to other countries eventually.
How to apply for a Monzo Bank Card?
UK residents aged 16 or over can apply for a Monzo account through the app, which is available to download at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
To register for a Monzo account, you download the app, scan your ID, and make a little introduction video. It takes only a few minutes. Then all you do is wait for your account to be approved.
Once activated, you’ll receive a lovely bright coral bank card. Monzo also created the app with the customer in mind. It had a beautiful, simple, user-friendly interface with well thought out functionality.
My account took less than a week to activate, and I received the card shortly after. I did all this in the comfort of my own home in my bathrobe! This is genuinely the bank of the future. I now always use my Monzo for travelling. I recommended it to my brother, and now he’s a proud owner of a Monzo card himself.
Monzo prepaid travel cards are great if you want to keep tabs on how much you spend while travelling.
Can I use my Monzo card abroad?
Yes, you can use your Monzo abroad, and I have listed some of the benefits that come with using Monzo abroad below.
What are the benefits of using a Monzo card abroad?
There are so many benefits that you can expect when using your Monzo card abroad. Here are a few of the top perks you can enjoy.
0% Foreign Exchange Fee When Using a Monzo Card Abroad
The number one benefit of using my Monzo card abroad was that I no longer had to pay those annoying 3% bank foreign exchange fees that my bank used to charge me. These fees look small on their own but add up for two weeks or more, which can take a massive chunk of your money. This could eat into the money you saved up for your travels.
No More Notifying Your Bank With Monzo
I hated calling my banking and notifying them that I was travelling because I usually forgot and had to do it while at the airport about to board a flight. No more!
Another benefit of the Monzo debit card is that you can use it abroad without notifying the bank. There is no charge for point of sale transactions (such as spending in hotels and shops) outside the UK.
Likewise, there is no charge for making online payments in a foreign currency. I am currently using my Monzo account for my international subscription that I pay in a foreign currency. Which normally can incur an extra charge, but I have been able to save a few pounds a month by doing this.
£200 Monzo Cash Withdrawals Limit
I no longer fear withdrawing my money from ATMs in other countries with my Monzo travel card. So if you are wondering, “does Monzo charge abroad fees?” the answer is yes, but it’s better than the rest.
They have something I call the Monzo travel transaction fee. When you use their cards, there is a £200 fee-free withdrawal limit for overseas ATMs over a month. If you withdraw more than £200, a 3% charge gets added to any withdrawals exceeding £200 during the 30 days.
The Monzo international fees daily cash withdrawal limit is £200, with a 3% charge after that.
The app can monitor the usage of this fee-free allowance to prevent any baller travel spending (because we are not Drake – we can’t YOLO our travel money away).
Mastercard Exchange Rate = Monzo Exchange Rate
When exchanging your money in a foreign country, that day’s Mastercards exchange rate is what you will get charged. This factor ensures that you will receive a competitive rate that responds to the live market. It acts like a Monzo.
Freeze Your Card if You Lose It
If, like me, you’ve had the pleasure (or mental breakdown) of losing your bank card while travelling and then spent most of your time calling your bank (and bawling) for help. Asking if they could cancel your card and your life as the fear of someone spending all your money like no one’s business is too much. Then Monzo can help.
With Monzo, it’s easy to freeze your card within the app as there is a Freeze card option. And if you only miss-placed your card, you can ”Defrost” it again and go on your merry way.
Monzo’s Welcome Intros When You Arrive in a Country
When you arrive in a new country, you’ll get a welcome screen. The screen gives you the basic information about the destination. Information such as the current exchange rate and any fees (if any) for the destination will all show up.
Track Spending While Travelling
Another thing I like about the Monzo card is if, like me, you want to keep an eye on your money whether in London or travelling. Monzo makes it easy by instantly sending a notification of every transition to your phone, which means no more waiting for a few days for the transaction to clear like regular banks.
There is also a summary breakdown of where you spend your money in categories like transport, eating out, travelling, and bills.
You can also see a summary of your spending with Monzo when you leave your travel destination. Seeing an overview of how much you spent whilst you were away.
READ MORE: 5 Day London Itinerary
Where can you use your Monzo travel card
You can use Monzo anywhere Mastercards are accepted.
Is Monzo the best Travel card?
I used my Monzo in Prague, Amsterdam, and a host of other countries, and I can say yes, Monzo is the best travel card I’ve used so far.
Does Monzo Non-Sterling Transaction Fees?
Monzo doesn’t charge any non sterling transaction fees, so you can use your card anywhere in the world without worrying about extra charges. Monzo
Just be aware that some ATM providers may charge their own fees, so it’s always best to check before you withdraw cash.
Can I Use Monzo in Dubai?
Yes, you can use your Monzo card in Dubai! However, since Dubai is not part of the European Economic Area (EEA), you won’t be able to use your Monzo card in the same way as you would at home. For example, you won’t be able to make contactless payments or withdraw cash from an ATM without being charged a fee. You will still be able to use your card for point-of-sale transactions and online purchases without any additional fees.
Using Monzo in France?
Can I use Monzo in France? Monzo works just like any other debit card in France. You can make purchases in stores, restaurants, and online without being charged any extra fees. You will also be able to withdraw cash from ATMs, although beware that some ATM providers may charge their own fees.
Monzo ATM Limit Abroad?
The limit for ATM withdrawals varies depending on which country you’re in.
Withdrawals in the European Economic Area (EEA)
If you use the free Monzo bank account, Monzo Plus or Monzo Premium, your withdrawals are fee-free.
Monzo Euro cash withdrawal?
Monzo offers a handy cash withdrawal service in Euros while you’re abroad. All you need is your Monzo card and your PIN. Withdrawals are limited to €200 per day, though you can make multiple withdrawals to withdraw more if needed. You’ll be charged cash withdrawal fees of 1.5% on the amount withdrawn, with a minimum charge of €0.99.
However, Monzo doesn’t use the MasterCard exchange rate – instead offering a fair rate that’s update every morning. This means you could potentially save money on your withdrawal, depending on the market rates. Monzo also doesn’t charge any ATM fees, so you can use your card at any ATM in the Eurozone without worry. All in all, Monzo’s euro cash withdrawal service is a convenient and affordable way to get access to cash while you’re abroad.
The rest of the world (outside the EEA)
In most countries, using the free Monzo account your limit is £200 per every 30 days, and they’ll charge 3% after that. However, with a Monzo Plus or Monzo Premium, the limits of up to £400 and up to £600 respectively, for free every 30 days. Then after that, they’ll charge 3%.
Is Monzo Good For Abroad? Final Thoughts
Is Monzo good for travelling? The short answer is yes. Monzo is one of the best travel cards that I have used, making travelling a lot easier. There’s nothing worse than getting back from travelling and paying an arm and a leg in exchange fees.
So, using Monzo has helped me save money. As well as using my Monzo bank card abroad, I’ve been using my card in London for some of the benefits listed above, and it’s made managing my money a little more fun. Who knew a bank could do that.
I can’t stop using my Monzo for travelling, and yes, you can use Monzo in the Czech Republic.
I hope this Monzo travel card review helped you, and If you have more questions about travelling with Monzo, you can check out their travel FAQ.