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.
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 (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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.