Monese Premium: Is It Worth It?

Nov 18, 2020
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Monese is a mobile banking service based in the UK but available throughout much of Europe. Monese provides localized bank accounts in 31 countries and has an advantage over many of its competitors by not only serving individuals but businesses as well, and allowing for joint accounts. 

Like many of its peers, Monese offers paying premium accounts on top of its basic, free account: Monese Classic and Monese Premium. These accounts come with bonus features and allowances that may meet more of your banking needs. Monito is here to review the different accounts available and in this piece will be focusing on Monese Premium:

What are its premium features?

How does Monese Premium compare to Monese’s Simple and Classic accounts? Is it worth it?

Monese Premium at a Glance

Feature

Feature Description

What We Think

ATM Withdrawals

Free and unlimited anywhere in the world.

A great feature for travellers, but also for those who live in a cash-centric country like Germany.

Cash Top-Ups

Free and unlimited, though only available in select countries.

A niche feature, but if you get paid in cash, it makes Monese Premium a must-have.

Foreign Currency Spending

Free and unlimited!

This won't be the key feature, unless you're regularly spending more than 9,000 GBP/EUR a month outside the Eurozone or the UK.

International Transfers

Free and unlimited, though only to the Eurozone and select countries.

As long as the currencies you're transferring to are supported, this makes international transfers very convenient. But don't forget to compare rates with our comparison engine!

Unique Card Design

Dark blue card, with holographic textless Monese logo.

A very pretty card, and the vertical orientation is a nice touch. Most competitors, however, offer actual metal cards at that price point, something to consider if looks are important to you.

Price

14.95 GBP/EUR a month, 120 upfront for a full year.

The price itself is average, but can seem a bit high in comparison with other premium accounts which offer more features. The discounted yearly price, however, makes it one of the cheapest options.

Pricing and Minimum Duration

Monese Premium costs 14.95 Pounds (or Euros) per month, up from £/€5.95 for the Classic plan. There is no minimum duration, but you can choose to pay £/€125.95 for a full year upfront, which makes it cost around £/€10.40 a month — a 30% discount! This pricing sets it in line with its main competitors. Revolut’s Metal plan costs £/€12.99 a month, with a minimum term of one year — though you’ll pay only £/€120 if you pay upfront. In the UK, Monzo Premium is a comparable offering, priced at £15 a month with a 6-month minimum duration. In some European countries, N26 has a Metal plan, priced at €16.90, with a one-year contract.

Free ATM Withdrawals and Cash Top-Ups

Even in your home currency, Monese Simple and Monese Classic only let you withdraw a limited amount of cash for free: respectively 200 and 900 pounds or euros per month, with a 2% fee for any withdrawal beyond this allowance. Monese Premium completely gets rid of this restriction, and lets you withdraw as much as you want, as often as you want, which can be really useful if you live or travel often in a cash-centric country like Germany.

On the other hand, if you regularly need to top-up your account with cash — because you get paid or tipped in cash, for example — Monese Premium is also the best choice. It allows you to do so as often and as much as you want for free, whereas Simple accounts can pay up to 3.5% in fees to do so, and Classic accounts 2% once a £/€900 allowance — shared with withdrawals — is exhausted. Do note, however, that cash top-ups are not available in every country: GBP accounts can only be topped up in the United Kingdom at Post Office and PayPoints, while EUR accounts can be topped up via SOFORT in Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, and Spain or via Paysafecash in France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Austria, Luxembourg, Poland, Bulgaria and Belgium. If you’re not in one of these countries or if you don’t have access to one of these services, you’re out of luck…

In any case, when it comes to handling cash, Monese Premium is a much better option than either Revolut’s Metal plan — which doesn’t let you top-up with cash and limits free withdrawals to £/€800 a month — Monzo’s Premium account — which only lets you top-up five times in cash, with only £600 a month in free withdrawals. It’s also better than N26 Metal, which doesn’t offer cash top-ups and only gives you 8 free withdrawals a month within the Eurozone, though interestingly, it lets you withdraw as much as you want for free anywhere else in the world.

Free Foreign Currency Spending

Monese Simple and Monese Classic both allow you to use your card in other currencies for free, but only within a certain monthly limit: £/€2,000 for the Simple plan and £/€9,000 for the Classic plan. Beyond this, Monese charges you a 2% fee on each transaction, which can quickly add up! Monese Premium completely removes the limit, allowing you to spend freely in any currency. The 2000 limit on Simple accounts might be too low if you live — or if you intend to spend more than a couple of weeks — outside the UK or the Eurozone, especially in an expensive country like, say, Norway or Japan, but the 9,000 of the Classic plan should be more than enough for most people. If you do need to spend more abroad, then the Premium plan is ideal — though keep in mind that Monese lets you have accounts in both Euros and Pounds Sterling, which allows you to spend without any limit within the Eurozone and the United Kingdom, even on the Simple plan.

Free International Money Transfers

All three Monese plans allow you to transfer money for free to other Monese users instantly or through SEPA for euro accounts, but they are not equal when it comes to foreign currency transfers.  With Monese Simple, you’ll have to pay a 2% fee per transfer, while the fee goes down to 0.5% with Monese Classic — though in both cases, there is a minimum fee of £/€2. Monese Premium simply doesn’t charge any fee for international money transfers — though the transfer will still “cost” you, since Monese doesn’t use the mid-market exchange rate.

In all three cases, note that Monese uses peer-to-peer transfer services, which limits the countries and currencies you can send money to: only seventeen countries beyond the UK and the Eurozone are supported, and not all countries where Monese is available are supported — if you live in Iceland, you can open a Monese account, but you can’t transfer money to an account in Icelandic króna!

If you’re going to be transferring money internationally, even through Monese Premium, don’t forget to use Monito’s comparison engine to make sure you’re getting the best deal, no matter how much money you want to send or where you want to send it — even to countries unsupported by Monese!

Compare Providers with Monito!

Exclusive Card Design

While a popular draw to many premium accounts these days tends to be a Metal Card, Monese Premium has opted out of the Metal Card trend and instead offers another exciting design: a dark blue card with a textless, holographic Monese logo. The card is a pretty one, and as a bonus, its design is a vertical one — something that is both increasingly popular and practical. If a Metal Card is what you’re after in upgrading to a premium account, then Monese Premium may not be for you, but aesthetically, we’re sold!

Is Monese Premium Worth It?

Whether Monese Premium is worth it highly depends on your personal needs, but there is no denying that it is a solid offering. The account doesn’t come with some of the flashy perks that draw customers to some competing offers such as travel insurance, access to airport lounges or a metal card, but it comes loaded with solid banking features that may more than make up for lack of glam depending on your lifestyle. If, for instance, you frequently need to handle cash, whether because that’s how you get paid or because you frequently travel to cash-centric countries, then there’s no doubt that Monese Premium is the best premium account in the field as it allows you to make unlimited cash withdrawals and deposits, at home and abroad. Overall, Monese Premium is a great offering that puts exactly what you’d expect from a bank on the center stage: your money.

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