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Avios online banking partner Monese boosts its benefits – should you apply?

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Back in February we wrote about the new partnership between online banking service Monese and Avios.

Avios Group joined a £60m funding round for Monese in December 2018, and this is now leading to various bits of Avios functionality appearing in the Monese app.

Monese has just revamped its benefits package, and it is now substantially more competitive alongside Revolut, Monzo, N26, Starling, Atom etc.  Most importantly, the free plan now allows you to spend £2,000 per month in foreign currency with no foreign exchange fees.

What is Monese?

Monese, founded in 2013, aims to simplify the process of getting a bank account in Europe.  It’s a ‘mobile app only’ bank that gives users a £ and a € account allowing them to bank like a local across the UK and Europe.

Accounts can be opened within two minutes with a photo ID and a video selfie.  (This does work, I set up an account for myself in record time without leaving my desk.)

The company launched its banking product in 2015 and currently has over 1,000,000 users in 31 countries, supporting 12 languages.  Customers are currently moving $3 billion through their Monese accounts each year.

How does Monese work?

You can find full details of how Monese works on its website.

In summary, there are three different plans to choose from.

  • Simple – FREE
  • Classic – £4.95 / month
  • Premium – £14.95 / month

What has changed about Monese pricing?

The free ‘Simple’ plan is now substantially more attractive:

  • There is no longer an ATM fee – you can now withdraw £200 per month without charge
  • There is no longer a £5 delivery fee for getting a plastic debit card – this is now free
  • There is no longer a charge for foreign currency spending – your first £2,000 per month is now free
  • You can now make foreign currency transfers between Monese members for free

This makes Monese more comparable with Monzo etc.

Introducing the new Avios partnership

Monese users can link their Avios account to their Monese account and track their Avios earning in the same app as their banking balance.  This includes Avios earned from flights, via the e-store and any Avios earned from credit cards.

The app currently lists your last five Avios transactions and Monese is working on increasing this.

Monese Avios

There is a menu option, although it is not fully live yet, to earn bonus Avios when spending at specific retailers with your Monese debit card.

Is it worth getting a free Monese account?

Whilst being able to track your Avios balance from within the Monese app is a cool function, Monese still lacks any ‘killer’ Avios functionality which would make it a ‘must have’ for HfP readers.

It is getting there, however, and if you are looking to try an ‘online only’ bank then Monese may be more relevant to you than Monzo, Revolut etc.  There is no need to close your existing High Street account – you can simply transfer money to and from your Monese account as you need it.

Remember that you can now spend £2,000 per month abroad without FX fees. Monese is a good card to take on holiday this Summer if you don’t have a dedicated ‘0% FX fees’ credit card.  You can easily top up your Monese account before you fly and then transfer any remaining balance to your main current account on your return.

If you are reading this on a mobile device, you can get the Monese app by clicking here.  Remember that signing up to the ‘Simple’ account is FREE and you can do it in a couple of minutes with a video selfie and a scan of some photo ID.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (64)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • James67 says:


    If I cancel my BAPP, do my avios points for this month still get transferred, or do they get cancelled when the card is cancelled?

    • Chris says:

      My parents had 16,000 transfer over about 6 weeks after they closed the card. I personally thought they would have lost them especially when the points didn’t transfer over on the usual date after they closed the card.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      BA usually break the link but SPG used to post as usual.

      If its not a significant number id risk it but not for 16k

      • Genghis says:

        Calculate how much you’d spend in fees until the next transfer date and weigh that up to the value of the points you could lose.

  • krys_k says:

    Rob – perhaps time for an article explaining how all the cards out there in a similar vein – Revolut, Curve, Monese… – help both in terms of points collecting and FX. A comparison with pros and cons would be great. Much thanks.

    • Anna says:

      +1. I still haven’t had my Lloyds letter but my cards must be working on borrowed time by now so will have to find an alternative for foreign spend soon. It kills me not to maximise my points earning, I am really going to miss the Amex. 😥

    • Harry T says:


      I would find this very helpful.

      • Rob says:

        We have done full articles on Revolut, Monzo, Starling etc if you search, albeit 12 months ago. Never done a direct comparison I admit and it is getting a little outside of our remit.

  • Harry T says:

    There appears to be a new feature in Monese to link your card and earn Avios. It seems to let you link any card, not just Monese (including Amex). Anyone else explored this feature?

    • Rob says:

      There are no company yet to use it with, except for the shop at Twickenham Stadium!

      • Harry T says:

        I knew there would be a catch – thanks.

        Do you think it works if you link your card and then use it to pay on sites that are linked to the BAEC avios store? So you could open the website without going through the BA shopping portal?

        • David says:

          That won’t happen. As someone else may well own the click and spent money acquiring it.

    • Mikeact says:

      Say that again………

    • Nick_C says:

      And if you link the same payment card to more than one loyalty scheme, you probably won’t get any benefits. For example, I have my BAPP Amex linked to VA Flying Club, so I get FC points for shopping in Waitrose with the BA card (plus avios from Amex of course). If I try linking the same credit card to Monese, or one of the host of other places that offer this type of perk, then it will probably stop working for the Waitrose/FC points.

  • Robert J says:

    Is FX Spend only free in € or in other currency too? I am off to US later in the month and need a 0% FX card to replace my Lloyds Avios.

    • PaulC says:

      Get Curve and link it to you Lloyds at least you’ll earn some Avios. I’ve just come back from Spain and used it all the time.

    • Rob says:

      I’m under the impression it is all currencies: “When you travel with your Monese debit card, you can access our wholesale currency exchange rate globally.”

    • David S says:

      Try Tandem. It’s a credit card with app only and you get cash back. Have so far used it in Portugal and in Canada without a hitch. You get fee free cash withdrawal but you need to pay off on the app immediately. Since it is a credit card, I assume you get buyer protection and some hotels certainly don’t like debit cards and curve charges for weekend transactions.
      This has replaced my Lloyds card for all non sterling transactions.

      • Yawn says:

        The Transferwise account offers everything Monese does, but with more currencies and lower fees….

      • Oh! Matron! says:

        Same here: I didn’t realise there was no charge for foreign ATM withdrawals! This is amazing news!

        I had been using my Santander cards whilst in NE USA, as there’s free withdrawals from Santander ATMs (There’s a Santander / Pret on every street corner in NE USA)

        Will be helpful next week in Ukraine / Armenia

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          Does the Santander free withdrawals in USA ATMs now work? Last time I used them in Jersey City I was charged ATM fees which are supposed to be waived for select accounts. Santander UK did refund them after I rang up though.

  • Bootlace says:

    O/T Are membership rewards the best transferrin terms of points into Etihad Guest? I also have a pile of Hilton points but the transfer rate is hideous.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, think so (unless you have HSBC Premier). Bonvoy is worse value but acceptable, Hilton and IHG are terrible.

  • Sajid Bindra says:

    Off topic –

    I have a Lloyd’s avios MasterCard and got a letter about the amex being over. If I spend another 6k on the MasterCard, will I get an upgrade voucher?

  • Mark says:

    Signed up for this in my hope to combat the transactions fees of transferring from my Spanish Bank Account to my UK account.

    I signed up for the UK account and then added a Eurozone account. Unfortunatly the Eurozone account IBAN starts with a GB meaning if I transfered from my Spanish current account I’d get charged a small fortune. Guess it’s back to transferwise.

    • Yawn says:

      Transferwise ‘s euro account is based in Germany and the IBAN starts with DE. I really like their account, in case you have only used their money transfer service.

  • Connie says:

    After reading this article for two times, I still don’t get the point that why Monese is more competitive than Revolut/Monzo…(I can use the BA rewards App to track my Avios)

    • Rob says:

      It isn’t … it is more competitive THAN IT WAS vs Revolt / Monzo. It is still behind but the gap is smaller (and arguably £2k of free FX per month is enough for most).

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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