More and more people are moving away from traditional banking in favour of digital-only options that allow you to manage your finances via an app. These new and improved banks are particularly popular with young people. Boasting features like fee-free spending abroad, smart budgeting tools and instant saving pots, it’s not hard to see why high street banks are losing customers to this slicker way of banking. But with so many app-based banks available, it can be confusing to understand how they’re all different and which one is best. This comparison takes a look at features such as loans, overdrafts and account accessibility so you can decide whether Revolut or Monzo is best for you.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Monzo and Revolut both function in slightly different ways. Monzo exists as a fully-featured bank whereas Revolut functions as a prepaid debit card that allows you to make payments in multiple currencies but also offers additional financial services.
19%, 29% or 39% EAR variable, depending on your credit rating
Overdraft not available
Unable to accept cash
Any store with PayPoint
Unable to accept cheques
Post cheques to Monzo using Freepost
Foreign ATM withdrawals
£200 free monthly, 2% charge thereafter
£200 free monthly
Foreign transaction fees
Access to account online
Revolut vs Monzo: Account plans and fees
Monzo and Revolut both offer a free, basic everyday account that comes with great services and benefits. The main features of both accounts include:
Revolut Standard Account
Free UK current account
Spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate
Fee-free ATM withdrawals up to £200 per month
Generous top brand discounts with Perks Plus
Instant access to 5 cryptocurrencies
1 free cross border transfer each month, £0.50 thereafter
Exchange in 30 flat currencies up to £1,000 per month with no hidden fees
Instant spending notifications
Monzo Free Account
Free UK current account
Ability to save, borrow and add an overdraft
Fee-free UK bank transfers
Pots for separating money
Instant spending notifications
Apply Pay and Google Pay available
Money protected by the FSCS
There’s no fees for opening or maintaining the free accounts, however, Revolut does charge for delivery of your card. Both accounts boast fantastic features that high street banks don’t currently offer but due to the card delivery fee, Monzo has the edge on this one.
Monzo wins for plans and fees!
Revolut vs Monzo: Safety of money kept in the account
One of the most important questions you need to consider when comparing app-based banks is how safe is my money? Most UK banks are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The FSCS covers up to £85,000 of your money in the event of the bank going bust. Money kept in a Monzo account is protected by the FSCS, however, Revolut does not have this level of protection currently. But that’s not to say your money isn’t safe in a Revolut account.
Revolut safeguard your money by holding it in a ring-fenced account with a large global bank. Essentially, this means that neither Revolut nor their partner bank lend out or invest your money.
Monzo wins for safety of money kept in the account!
Revolut vs Monzo: App security
Revolut’s smartphone app is protected by either a password, fingerprint ID or face ID. So someone would have a hard time trying to hack into your account. You can immediately freeze or unfreeze your card in the app if your card is lost or stolen. You can also further protect your account by turning online, ATM and contactless payments on or off.
Monzo doesn’t use passwords because they can be hard for you to remember and easy for fraudsters to guess. Passwords can also make customers vulnerable to phishing, a type of fraud where someone tricks you into telling them your password. When you log into the Monzo app, you’ll receive a magic link via email that lets you log into the app with one click. This keeps your app secure, especially if you have two-factor authentication on your email.
For added protection, Monzo also requires you to enter your PIN whenever you want to move money in the app. Whenever you use your Monzo account to make payments or even order a new debit card, you’ll be asked to enter your PIN or use face or fingerprint ID. If you forget your PIN, you’ll need to submit another selfie video to verify your identity before they issue you a new one.
Online payments are also super safe. Monzo uses 3D Secure to protect payments made online. This is the same experience you go through when you buy something online with your traditional bank. A pop up will appear in your browser asking you to enter a passcode to complete the payment. However, because Monzo doesn’t require you to set up a password, Monzo built 3D Secure their own way. Rather than entering a passcode, you have to verify your online purchases in-app or by text instead. This lets Monzo know that you have access to your phone, your app, your card details and confirms that it’s genuinely you making the payment.
Monzo wins for app security!
Revolut vs Monzo: Topping up your account
How to top up your Monzo account
There are many different ways to top up your Monzo account. You can make Monzo your main bank account and get your salary paid straight into it. Making Monzo your main bank account means that you can earn interest on your savings and you can even get paid your salary a day early for no extra charge. If you use Monzo as a secondary account, you can top it up via bank transfer from your main account. You can also set up a standing order if you want to add money to your Monzo account on a more regular basis.
Despite Monzo not having a branch that you can visit, you even have the option of adding cash to your account. You can pay in cash at any of the 28,000 stored around the UK that has a PayPoint. You can deposit between £5-£300 in one go but Monzo deducts £1 for each deposit you make. You can also pay cheques into your account using Freepost.
How to up your Revolut account
Revolut doesn’t offer as many options for topping up your account as Monzo. You can’t pay in cash or cheques but you can have your salary paid into your account and top up your account via bank transfer in the app. You can also top up your account using a credit card, but you may be charged a fee.
Monzo wins for topping up your account!
Revolut vs Monzo: Account accessibility
Monzo customers have access to Monzo for Emergencies, a website that allows you to view your account if you lose your phone or can’t get into the mobile app for any other reason. Monzo for Emergencies offers a stripped-back version of accounts
View your account balance
See your list of accounts
See your transactions
Freeze and unfreeze your card
Revolut does not currently offer this service so if your phone is lost or stolen, you have no means of accessing your account until you get a replacement phone. Revolut suggests that if you lose your phone, you log into your account using another device. The only issue with this is that in order to log into your Revolut account on an unrecognised device, a code will be sent to the number linked to your account and you must enter the SMS code to gain access to your account. But without access to your lost phone, you have no way of viewing the SMS code. So, until you have a new SIM card with the same phone number, you have no way of viewing any of your transactions. However, you can still freeze your card by calling Revolut’s automated phone line.
Monzo wins for account accessibility!
Revolut vs Monzo: Loans and overdrafts
Monzo offers loans of up to £3,000 that can be paid back over 36 months. You can also apply for an arranged overdraft of up to £3,000. Revolut offers personal loans ranging from £500 to £25,000 that can be paid back over 12 to 60 months. However, Revolut doesn’t currently allow you to add an arranged overdraft to your account. Despite the loan amount being less, Monzo has to take the crown for this one because they offer an arranged overdraft too.
Monzo wins for loans and overdrafts!
Revolut vs Monzo: Travelling
How does Revolut work abroad?
With a Revolut account, you have the ability to hold, transfer and spend money in 150 currencies without being charged any fees. When you exchange currencies, you’ll get the interbank exchange rate which is the rate that banks offer each other when exchanging currencies, it’s much more competitive than the rate offered at the bureau de change.
Using your Revolut account abroad is very similar to using your account in the UK, making it the perfect choice for people who have a global lifestyle. You can take out up to £200 per month fee-free at an ATM, once you’ve reached this limit, you’ll be charged a 2% fee. You can spend, transfer or exchange up to £1,000 a month with a standard current account. After this, a 0.5% fee is applied. If you have any money left after your holiday and you want to exchange it back, you can do this straight away for free.
The only thing that lets Revolut down is that they typically apply a markup between 0.5% and 2.5% to the interbank rate on weekends because foreign exchange markets are closed. The markup charged depends on the currency you’re exchanging.
What about Monzo?
It’s free to spend on your Monzo account anywhere in the world and in any currency with no fees. Monzo passes Mastercard’s exchange rate directly onto their customers and doesn’t apply any additional fees or charges. Every time you withdraw cash abroad from your Monzo card, Monzo is charged so there are some limits on the amount of cash you can withdraw. In the European Economic Area (EEA), withdrawals from ATM machines are fee-free. If you’re withdrawing cash in any other country, you can take out £200 for free every 30 days. After that, you’ll be charged 3%.
As soon as you arrive at your destination, Monzo will send your travel reports. They’ll let you know what the current exchange rate is, give you tips on travelling with your Monzo card in that particular country and let you automatically categorise transactions as holidays or expenses while you’re abroad.
It’s a tie!
Revolut vs Monzo: Customer support
Revolut has an automated phone line that can be used to block your card in emergencies. They also have an in-app chat for all other enquiries. The in-app chat allows you to talk to a real human being who will assist you as quickly as they can with any problems you have. Premium and Metal plan customers do get priority when using the live chat service.
Monzo also has a phone number that customers can call and an in-app chat. They have two phone numbers to choose from, one that you can call if you’re in the UK and one that you can call if you’re abroad. Monzo has the upper hand here because their phone lines aren’t automated so you can speak to a human either on the phone or via the live chat.
Monzo wins for customer support!
Revolut vs Monzo: App features and reviews
Both Revolut and Monzo offer very similar features within their apps. You have the ability to see real-time spending notifications, categorise your spending, budget your money and more. In Apple’s App Store, the Revolut app has a score of 4.9/5 and in Google Play it has a score of 4.7/5. The Monzo app is rated 4.5/5 in both Apple’s App Store and Google Play. It’s clear to see that the Revolut app is a firm favourite.
Revolut wins for app features and reviews!
Revolut vs Monzo: Customer satisfaction and reviews
Monzo and Revolut both have a rating of 4.4/5 on Trustpilot. Revolut is ranked 4.88/5 on Smart Money People whilst Monzo is ranked 4.91/5.
We collate and analyse user reviews from all third-party review platforms and rank each provider with our own rating system. We compared the top five app-based banks in the UK and Monzo came out second with a score of 9.71/10. Revolut appears in fourth place with a score of 9.56/10.
Monzo wins for customer satisfaction and reviews!
Monzo might have taken the crown for the majority of the above comparisons but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Monzo is the best choice for you. When it comes to choosing which account is right for you, you need to consider how you will use the account. Both Monzo and Revolut boast great apps that come with amazing budgeting and saving features plus real-time spending notifications. And with fee-free spending abroad, both are a great option for globetrotters.
Monzo functions like a traditional current account, the only difference is it comes packed with a host of amazing benefits that you can’t get from your traditional bank and you can’t visit a branch. It has a full banking licence and you have the ability to add an arranged overdraft to your account, Revolut doesn’t have either of these things. You also have added financial security with a Monzo account because your money is protected by the FSCS.
Revolut is a mich better option for people that want to hold, spend and transfer money in different currencies. It’s much more focused on the international side of banking and is by far the cheapest option for international money transfers.
Check out our app-based banking comparison table to see how Monzo and Revolut compare to other competitors.