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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.

Monese Avios partnership

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

Click to enlarge the image below which outlines the benefits of each plan:

New Monese pricing plans

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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  2. 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.

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

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

    • 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.

  5. 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)

    • 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).

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