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Wise vs Monzo

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Wise Multi-Currency Account vs Monzo: Which has the best card and account? What are the pros & cons of each?

Jul 29, 2022
Affiliate disclosure

Wise (formerly Transferwise) and Monzo are two top-class digital finance services that both offer fee-free banking, excellent exchange rates for international transfers, slick mobile apps, and debit cards for domestic and international spending. Even so, Wise’s Multi-Currency Account is quite a different product from Monzo’s bank account.

Monzo is a neobank service providing a well-featured current account, debit card, mobile app and a range of services designed for people with busy lifestyles. The Wise Multi-Currency Account is a financial service designed to make cheap international money transfers quickly and easily. 

Which one offers the best card for travelling? Who offers the lowest fees and best exchange rates to use at home and around the world? How about the best service for digitally managing money? We answer these questions and many more in this side-by-side comparison of Wise vs Monzo, offering and the pros and cons of each company.

We’ve carried out the research in detail so you can decide which one is best for you.

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Monzo Travel Card versus Wise Multi-Currency Card

Wise: To send money to your friends in countries around the world, use the Wise Multi-Currency Account to hold 50+ currencies, access 10 international bank accounts, and send money.

Monzo: If you need a travel card for yourself, then Monzo's card will charge no foreign transaction fees on purchases abroad. As a licensed UK bank, Monzo will give you access to overdraft and savings interest.

Wise Multi-Currency Account
9.3
Monzo
8.3

Trust & Credibility

Background check

Background check
Background check

Regulated by the FCA and HMRC in the UK and the relevant authorities in all operating counties.

Licensed as a bank by the PRA and FCA in the UK, and deposits are FDIC protected.

Security & reliability

Security & reliability
Security & reliability

Lacks a banking license, but uses segregated user accounts, HTTPS, and 3-D Secure.

Accounts are fully secured using segregated user accounts and HTTPS and cards are 3-D Secure.

Company size

Company size
Company size

Over 10 million customers and nearly $565 million in annual revenue.

Over 5.5 million customers and nearly $150 million in annual revenue.

Transparent pricing

Transparent pricing
Transparent pricing

A full overview of pricing is easily accessible and provides every fee as per the regulator-standard fee schedule.

A full overview of pricing is relatively accessible and provides every fee as per the regulator-standard fee schedule.

Wise vs Monzo: Which can I trust?

Wise and Monzo are both legally licensed firms that are regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. They are both subject to high levels of compliance when it comes to handling your money, which is why millions of customers have entrusted them with their finances — and you can too.

Wise scored higher on our credibility metrics mostly because they're a larger company. Wise has over 10 million customers globally, while Monzo operates only in the United Kingdom with 5 million customers. We also found Wise’s fee schedule more directly accessible on their website than Monzo’s, which counted in their favour.

What sets Wise and Monzo apart in terms of licensing is that Wise is technically an electronic money institution, while Monzo has a full UK banking license. What this means is that Monzo can offer deposit protection. Up to £85,000 of your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). In addition, Monzo can provide overdrafts and other debt instruments. 

Is Wise a Bank?

Wise (formerly Transferwise) is not a licensed bank, and instead partners with licensed banks to provide its international services to you. It is regulated by the FCA as an ‘Electronic Money Institution’. As a result, it cannot offer debt or investment services to its Multi-Currency Account customers. This does not affect its safety, however. Wise is still required by law to keep your money safe and segregated from its own account, like Monzo. That means that if Wise goes out of business, your money will be unaffected and be refunded to you in full. 

Supported Countries

Wise has an impressive global reach because it can partner with banks in countries around the world to provide their financial services. On the other hand, Monzo has a banking license from the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). This limits Monzo to opening its bank accounts for only citizens and residents of the UK. 

Wise, on the other hand, offers their multi-currency card to residents in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Switzerland, and EEA.

Wise is regulated by the competent authority in each country it operates in, and connects your card to unique bank account details in 10 countries (including a European IBAN, American account number, and a UK sort code). For example, Wise is regulated by FiCEN for operating in the United States with USD and by the FCA in the UK with British pounds.

Monzo

Wise

🖊 Licensing

Bank (FCA)

E-Money Institution (FCA)

📃 FSCS-Insured

💰 Profitable

📈 Publicly Listed

Try MonzoTry Wise

Last updated: 21/03/2022

Wise Multi-Currency Account
8.9
Monzo
8.4

Service & Quality

Using the mobile app

Using the mobile app
Using the mobile app

Slick and well-designed with interesting features, including transfer scheduling, a virtual card, and spending statistics.

Well-rated and slick user interface with many interesting features, including instant spending notifications and easy budgeting.

Managing the account

Managing the account
Managing the account

Supports many currencies and top-up methods, but overdraft, joint accounts, and interest aren't available.

Overdraft, interest, and multiple top-up methods are supported, but only one currency is available (GBP).

Contacting support

Contacting support
Contacting support

FAQ, live chat, and phone support are readily available, although not 24/7.

FAQ and live chat are available on the standard plan, but phone support isn't available to all users.

Making card payments

Making card payments
Making card payments

Contactless, online payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and social payments are all supported.

Contactless, online payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and social payments are all supported.

Wise vs Monzo: Which Has the Better Account & Card?

Both Wise and Monzo are excellent services that provide a digital current account, connected to a high-quality mobile app, to manage your savings and spending easily. They do differ in one major area, however. As a licensed bank in the UK, Monzo offers overdraft and interest of savings — but only does so in British Pounds. Wise, on the other hand, lacks overdraft, interest, and joint account functionality. Wise makes up for this with its multi-currency function, which gives you vast access to over 50 foreign currencies.

Wise Card vs Monzo Card

The debit cards offered by Monzo and Wise are extremely similar. Both offer virtual and physical debit cards. While Monzo partners with MasterCard and Wise partners with Visa, both offer Google Pay, Apple Pay and contactless payments. Each provider allows you to freeze and unfreeze your debit card from their app if it goes missing.

The Account Experience

Both run on superb platforms that make banking simple and organized. You can turn on notifications that track your budgets, save money with their savings features, and analyze your spending habits with their statistics.

In the traditional sense, the Wise Multi-Currency Account isn’t a full bank account. Although you can easily exchange currencies and spend money from the debit card, you can’t get cashback or access overdraft. However, you are able to set up direct debits (in USD, EUR, GBP, AUS, and CAD), scheduled transfers, and trigger transfers at specific exchange rates.

With Monzo, you can set up direct debits (only in GBP though) and joint accounts with your partner. All customers are provided a free overdraft of up to £20. After that, it cost 50p per day overdrawn. Monzo gives their customers access to a unique marketplace for interest of savings too. Monzo has partnered with other British banks to get you interest on your money, although withdrawal and deposit limits may apply. Use Monzo’s Savings Marketplace to choose the most competitive savings rates on the market.

Does Monzo Have a Multi Currency Account?

Monzo provides balances in GBP only, while Wise offers a huge range of currency balances. Among Wise’s over 50 currency accounts include GBP, EUR, USD, JPY, and CHF. When you travel to a country that uses the currencies you hold, you’ll pay like a local when you use Wise’s debit card.

In addition to these accounts to hold currency, Wise gives you local, virtual bank account details in the U.S., U.K., EU, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Romania, Singapore, and Turkey so you can easily receive a transfer from a bank in any of those 10 countries.

Monzo Card Abroad

Although Monzo is limited to British Pounds, the company will not charge you a foreign transaction fee when you travel abroad. The exchange rate set by MasterCard will be passed directly onto you when you spend on your holidays.

Topping up Your Account

Monzo offers cash, cheque, and bank transfers for topping up an account. With Wise, you can pay in funds with a bank transfer, credit card, debit card, or wire transfer. Wise does not support cash or cheque top ups. 

Monzo

Wise

Card

Card Model and Design

Red coral debit Mastercard

Green debit Mastercard or Visa

💳 Contactless

🔒 3D Secure

🍎 Apple Pay

💻Google Pay

🌐 Virtual Card

🧾Account Details

GBP

EUR, USD, GBP¹

⬆ Top-Up Methods

Bank transfer, cash, cheque

Bank transfer, debit/credit card, wire

💱 Currencies

GBP

EUR, USD, GBP²

📤Direct Debits

🪙 Interest

💸 Overdraft

👥 Joint Account

📱 Platform(s)

Mobile app, website

Mobile app, website

Go to MonzoGo to Wise

1 Wise account details are available for the EU, the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Romania, Singapore, and Turkey.
2 Over 50 other currencies supported.
Last updated: 21/03/2022

Wise Multi-Currency Account
7.6
Monzo
9.8

Fees & Exchange Rates

Everyday use

Everyday use
Everyday use

No day-to-day fees but ATM withdrawals come at a small cost.

Zero everyday costs such as monthly fees, transfer fees, and local ATM withdrawal fees.

ATM withdrawals

ATM withdrawals
ATM withdrawals

Withdrawals over 200 GBP/EUR, 100 USD, or 350 AUD/NZD/SGD cost between 1.75% and 2% per transaction, with additional fees for more than two withdrawals per month.

Withdrawals are free but are only available up to a daily limit of £400 and a monthly limit of £5,500.

Online spending

Online spending
Online spending

Online spending comes at no cost in the local currency, although a small conversion fee applies for spending in a foreign currency.

Ordinary online spending comes at no cost, neither in the default currency nor in a foreign currency.

International spending

International spending
International spending

Fees are very reasonable for overseas spending, although conversion fees and ATM withdrawal fees do apply.

No fees for spending abroad, although Mastercard's exchange rate can apply to foreign currency transactions.

Wise vs Monzo: How Are Their Exchange Rates and Fees?

Monzo and the Wise Multi-Currency Account both offer a range of features under their free plans. Neither charges you to open or hold an account; both allow you to send money internationally and have great mobile apps. Monzo wins in this category, though, due to their more fully-featured services, although if you’re more interested in currency exchange, Wise is a great choice.

Overall Banking Service

With both services, you get a fully-featured current account, a debit card with no foreign transaction fees, international money transfers through Wise, well-reviewed mobile apps, and a range of other services. There’s no monthly cost to holding either type of account. 

Monzo provides a more complete banking service than Wise, with notifications, direct debits, budgeting, and financial planning options. It lacks multi-currency functionality, however. 

The Wise Multi-Currency Account is a more specialized service that is ideal for fast and easy international money transfers and provides a local, virtual bank account in major regions. For its innovative multi-currency service, Wise will charge an industry-low fixed fee for foreign exchange (0.35%-2.85% depending on the currency.)

International ATM Withdrawals

Wise wins in this area due to their lower international ATM fees. Wise charges 2% for withdrawing money from an ATM when you’re overseas, but the first €200 per month does not attract a fee. Monzo gives you a free limit of £200 every 30 days but charges you 3.00% of the amount withdrawn after that.

Getting a Debit Card

Wise gives you a free virtual card when you open an account, but charges a one-time £5 fee to deliver you a physical Visa debit card. Monzo’s physical card is completely free, but you will need to upgrade to its £5 per month Monzo Plus plan to access a virtual card.

It should take 5 working days to get a card from Monzo, while Wise takes between two and four weeks. Wise also offers an express delivery service at the cost of 22 EUR to get you a card in one to three days. 

Is Wise Connected to Monzo?

Monzo has partnered with Wise to provide transparent and low cost international money transfers, which you can access right from their Monzo app. This means that the fee you’ll pay with either provider will be between 0.35% to 2.85% of the amount you’re transferring, depending on the currency (the fee applied to the most popular currencies is typically toward the lower end of this range). 

Monzo Exchange Rates: Using Your Debit Card Abroad

Monzo does not charge any commission for foreign exchange services when you pay with your card abroad. 

If you already have the local currency of your holiday destination saved on your Wise multi-currency account, then you will be charged no foreign transaction fees. With your Wise card, you will be able to spend like a local. If you don't have the local currency pre-loaded onto the card, Wise will charge its standard fixed fee of 0.35% to 2.85% to spend overseas, depending on the currency. 

Monzo

Wise

Card

💷 Maintenance

£0.00

£0.00

🏧 Foreign Withdrawals

0.00% on the first €200/m, 3% thereafter

0.00% on the first €200/m, 2% thereafter

💳 Foreign Payments

0.00%

0.35%-2.85% depending on the currency

💸 Int'l Transfers

0.35%-2.85% depending on the currency (via Wise)

0.35%-2.85% depending on the currency

🚚 Card Delivery

£0.00

£5.00

📆 Delivery Speed

Up to 5 working days

Between 2 to 4 weeks

Go to MonzoGo to Wise

Last updated: 21/03/2022

Wise Multi-Currency Account
9.6
Monzo
9.3

Customer Satisfaction

Customer review score

Customer review score
Customer review score

Average Trustpilot rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Average Trustpilot rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Number of positive reviews

Number of positive reviews
Number of positive reviews

Over 121,000 four- and five-star reviews.

Over 15,000 four- and five-star reviews.

Wise vs Monzo: What Are Customers Saying?

Wise and Monzo have been highly rated for their quality customer service on Trustpilot by millions of their customers. We consider this one a draw, as both are large, popular, and highly recommended digital banking services.

Wise, with a Trustpilot score of 4.6, narrowly beat Monzo’s 4.5 score. Both have over 15,000 four and five-star ratings on the review site too. In terms of customer support, Monzo has the edge here as they provide support over the phone from the U.K. and abroad, via email and through an in-app live chat. Wise offers support through email and call centres, although hours do vary by country. 

In the end, we think it's safe to say that you will be impressed with either choice.

Monzo

Wise

🌍 Availability

UK

Worldwide

💬 Languages

English

English, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, Portugese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish

👥 Customers

5.5 million

10 million

🔒 Trustpilot

4.5/5

4.6/5

📞 Support

In-app live chat, phone, and email

Email, call center by country (hours varies)

🗨 Support Languages

English

English, France, Spanish, German, Italiano Polish, Portuguese, Japanese, Hungarian

Go to MonzoGo to Wise

Last updated: 21/03/2022

Wise vs Monzo: The Verdict

Both Wise and Monzo are reliable and high-quality services that Monito highly recommends without reservation. Your choice will largely depend on your needs and preferences:

If you are in the UK and looking for a fully-fledged bank account, no monthly fees, savings with interest, and other banking services like overdraft, then Monzo is likely the choice for you. Its mobile app, which tracks your spending habits and budgets on a mobile app, is a major bonus that your current high street bank account likely does not provide. 

On the other hand, if you are happy with your primary bank account and are looking for a multi-currency function, then Wise may be a great supplement. The service is free to sign up for, and it puts you in touch with dozens of the world's most popular currencies at some of the best rates in the international money transfer industry. 

To take a deeper dive into both companies, read through our in-depth Monzo review and Wise Multi-Currency Account review.

To compare Wise and Monzo to other alternatives, also take a look at our rankings of the best digital banks in the UK in 2022, as well as the best travel cards on the market in 2022.

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

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