Revolut vs Monzo (June 2021): Which Online Bank’s Best?

The Battle of The Banks

Revolut and Monzo are two innovative financial services that offer various personal and business accounts to suit multiple needs. They both provide a range of services designed for busy people that can be conveniently accessed via their mobile banking apps.

With Revolut and Monzo providing such similar services, this begs the question, how do they differ? What account plans do they offer? What features do they provide? We'll answer all these questions below to help you decide on the right digital bank for you.

Let’s get started!

Revolut vs Monzo: Their Plans and Fees

Both Revolut and Monzo offer several plans, with differing fees. Both provide a freemium package that in itself offers plenty of perks and services. Neither company charges you for opening or holding a standard account, and both allow you to send money internationally.

let’s compare both banks' standard, free plan side by side:
Monzo Current Account Revolut Standard Account
The fee to open/monthly fee £0 £0/€0
Card delivery fee £0 £4.99/€5.50
Customizable card No Coming soon
ATM cash withdrawals

0% on the first £200

every 30 days, 3% thereafter

0% on the first €200

per month, 2% thereafter

International money transfers 0.35%-2.85% depending on the foreign currency

0-2% on the first

€6,000, 2% thereafter

What If Your Card Is Stolen?

If your card has been stolen, it’s expired, or you're a victim of fraud, Monzo will replace your card for free. For any other reason, Monzo requires a replacement fee of £5.

Revolut charge £5 or the equivalent currency fee if you need a replacement card. You also have to pay the delivery cost on top of that.

Revolut vs Monzo: Overall Digital Banking Service

As Monzo and Revolut are online banks, it's no surprise both provide great mobile apps (Android and iOS). From here, you can access many features to help track your spending and budgeting. Some of these features include financial planning, budgeting, and multi-currency summaries.

Revolut offers both Mastercard and Visa cards- these are assigned based on location, and as such, you can't choose which card you get. You can use both Revolut's Mastercard and Visa cards online and in-person worldwide. Revolut also offers international money transfer, as well as the ability to trade using cryptocurrencies.

In contrast, Monzo is a Mastercard debit card, which again can be used online or in-person. Monzo has teamed up with Transferwise to offer international money transfers from within their app. You can also use your debit card overseas without being charged commission, and Monzo also works with platforms like Coinbase to make trading Cryptocurrency possible.

Revolut vs Monzo: International Banking

Using Your Debit Card Abroad

Monzo has the edge when it comes to using their debit card overseas. They don’t charge any commission for FX services if you pay with your Monzo card abroad. Revolut, on the other hand, if you go over $6,000 in a month, you're charged two percent on your transactions.

International Money Transfers

Monzo provides a transparent currency exchange service via its TransferWise integration. This is a highly regarded way of sending money abroad, as it boasts superb exchange rates and low fees. Depending on the currency, you'll pay between 0.35% to 2.85% of the amount you’re transferring.

With Monzo, you can only hold one currency in your bank account. However, you won’t be charged a markup on exchange when you use your card abroad. Instead, Monzo ensures you pay a wholesale rate that works out as cheap as possible.

Revolut's pricing is more complicated. It depends not only on the currency but also on trade volume and whether you’re exchanging during or outside market hours. For example, Revolut’s currency exchange service is usually more expensive over weekends. That said, we like that Revolut allows you to hold up to 24 different currencies and that money can be exchanged instantly between them.

Revolut vs Monzo: Your Card- Receiving It and Its Features

When it comes to getting your debit card, Monzo wins, hands down. They don’t charge you for sending their debit card. It can take up to two weeks to receive, but many customers report getting it within days.

Revolut, on the other hand, provides a card within nine days and charges £4.99 or €5.50 for delivery. If you’re in a rush, Revolut provides an express delivery option that will get your card to you within three to four days. Still, you’ll have to pay €19.99 for the privilege.

The features of Revolut's and Monzo's standard cards are pretty much identical. They both offer contactless payments and the ability to pay using Google Pay and Apple Pay. You can also block and unblock your debit card if it goes missing from their apps' convenience.

However, Monzo doesn’t offer a virtual card on its standard account, whereas Revolut does. In contrast, Revolut doesn’t provide interest for savings, whereas Monzo offers saving accounts at a rate of up to 1.63 %. You can also set up an overdraft with Monzo at the cost of 50p per day. On top of that, Monzo's part of the “Current Account Switching Service,” making it easy to move your existing account to them. Revolut isn’t currently part of this scheme.

Revolut doesn’t offer overdrafts but does provide other services such as automatic donations, rounding up transactions, and trading cryptocurrencies. Monzo also lets you round up your transactions to put aside in a coin jar, but it doesn’t automatically donate this money. As we’ve already touched on, Monzo also doesn’t have a native way to trade cryptocurrency, but you can do so via its Coinbase integration.

Revolut vs Monzo: Topping Up Your Account

With Monzo, you can top up your account via cash, cheque, and bank transfers. As with other banks, you can get your salary paid straight into your account, and you can also set up standing orders.

If you pay cash into your account via a PayPoint, Monzo charges £1 for every deposit you make. So, if you put in £150, they’ll put £149 into your account. This is because PayPoint charges Monzo for the service. You can also only pay between £5-300 in one go and deposit a maximum of £1,000 every six months via a PayPoint.

In contrast, Revolut allows you to top up your account via bank transfer, linked accounts, debit, or credit card. However, they charge a fee if you top up using a card. This only applies if you add money with a card issued within the EEA or a commercial card. However, it’s a small fee intended to cover Revolut’s costs. You’ll be notified how much this fee is before completing the transaction. Unlike Monzo, you can't add money into your account via cheque or cash deposits.

Revolut vs Monzo: Protecting Your Money

As stated above, you can block and unblock your card if it goes missing via their handy apps. This is a peace-of-mind feature that many will be grateful for.

Monzo offers full protection up to £85,000 via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). In contrast, Revolut doesn’t provide such protection and states that they offer “safeguarding” to customers instead.

Revolut bases how they safeguard your money according to the Revolut entity you’re registered to. For example, suppose you’re registered with the Revolut LTD entity. In that case, you’re registered with an electronic money institution, and they safeguard your money by depositing it into a client money bank account. These accounts are used to reimburse you should Revolut ever become insolvent.

What Happens If They Go Insolvent?

As stated above, eligible deposits in your Monzo account are protected by the FSCS up to £85,000. This means if Monzo goes insolvent, your deposits will be reimbursed (if eligible) within 20 working days.

The FSCS doesn’t guarantee Revolut in the UK. Still, it's regulated by FCA in the UK as an authorized Electronic Money Institution. Revolt safeguards your money by keeping it separate from its own funds. This means that if Revolut becomes insolvent, you should be able to claim a full refund.

What Happens If You Lose Your Phone?

With Revolut, your card will still work even without your smartphone. However, downloading the Revolut app is recommended as soon as you get a new smartphone. Just enter your phone number and select “I haven’t received a code yet”- you'll need a validation SMS. This will lead you to speak with a support agent. This is the only way customers can manage their account if they lose their phone, as unlike Monzo, Revolut doesn’t provide users with a web app.

With Monzo, if you lose your phone, you’re able to use their website to seek help. Go to “Emergencies,” log into your account and freeze your card. From their website, you’re also able to track your transactions to see if there’s any suspicious activity going on. If this is the case, contact Monzo over the phone or email for help.

Revolut vs Monzo: Their Premium Account Features

Revolut vs Monzo

If you want something more than Revolut’s or Monzo’s Standard plans, consider their Premium packages. It may be interesting to note that Monzo’s premium account is a reasonably recent adventure for the bank, released in 2020, while Revolut’s Premium has had a few years’ head start.

Revolut’s Premium Account Features

  • £6.99 per month
  • The card is shipped to over 180 countries within 1-3 business days.
  • You benefit from Revolut’s exclusive Premium card design.
  • You can order a spare card for free.

Travel features:

  • Worldwide travel insurance: This covers you for worldwide emergency medical and dental treatment. It also offers Revolut Travel Ltd’s travel insurance, discounted device insurance, and compensation for delayed flights and luggage.
  • Smart delay: If your flight is delayed by more than one hour, Revolut will send you free airport passes for you and one friend.
  • Money transfers: You can transfer money around the world using the interbank rate. Your money should arrive within 1-2 business days.
  • Unlimited foreign exchange: You can spend, transfer and exchange endless amounts of money using the interbank exchange rate
  • ATM Withdrawals: You can withdraw up to £400 per month for free using ATMs worldwide. After this, you’re charged a 2% fee.
  • Theft insurance: If your phone’s stolen, you’re able to claim for it through Revolut.

Other features:

  • Reimbursements for events: If something unexpected happens that’s out of your control, and you miss an event, Revulot will reimburse your ticket up to £1,000.
  • Savings and interest: Though Revolut doesn’t offer a savings account per se, they have something called Vaults. These Vaults are basically savings accounts. If you save £11,100, you’ll earn £75 in interest per year. You can take your money out whenever- whether that be the next day or far into the future.
  • Disposable virtual cards: Here, the details are automatically cleared after every online transaction, and new details automatically generated. This is excellent protection against fraud.
  • Up to £2,500 a year covered: This is for purchases that are stolen or accidentally damaged.
  • Cracked screen?: You’ll get refunded with Revolut’ss accident protection cover.
  • 90-day cover window: If retailers don’t take back your items, Revolut will refund items between £50 and £300.

Monzo’s Premium Account Features

Revolut vs Monzo

  • £15 per month
  • A 6-month minimum contract
  • You must be aged 18-69 to apply.
  • Access to Monzo’s white metal card design

Insurance features:

  • Electronics: Monzo offers phone insurance, provided by Assurant. This covers loss, accidental damage, cracked screens, and theft. It also includes phone coverage of up to £2,000 and accessories up to £300 (chargers, headphones, for example). The excess is £75.
  • Worldwide family travel: Provided by AXA, this insurance covers cancellation costs up to £5,000, medical bills up to £10m, lost valuables up to £750, and more. This extends to your partner and family, and the excess is £50.

Other features:

  • Interest: Earn 1.50%/1.49% AER/Gross (variable) interest on up to £2,000 in your account balance and regular Pots (excludes Savings Pots).
  • See your finances: You can connect your other bank accounts and credit cards to Monzo so you can view your finances from one centralized place.
  • Discount airport lounge access: Get a discount on over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide for you and your friends.
  • £600 fee-free withdrawals abroad: You can take up to £600 for free abroad every 30 days. (This is about three times more than a standard Monzo account).
  • Advanced roundups: You can opt for Monzo to automatically put aside 2, 5, or 10 times as much spare change every time you spend.

Revolut vs Monzo: Their Other Paid-For Accounts

After covering Revolut and Monzo’s free and Premium accounts, let’s take a quick look at the other accounts these banks offer, starting with Revolut.

Revolut Plus:

In-between Revolut’s Free, Standard plan and their £6.99 Premium plan is Revolut Plus. This costs £2.99 per month and offers the following features:

  • Theft insurance
  • 90-day window
  • Cracked screen
  • Event reimbursement
  • When you save £10,000 in your Savings Vault, you get £30 in interest per year.

Revolut Metal:

If you want a plan that offers more than Revolut’s Premium plan, consider the Metal package.

For £12.99 per month, you’ll get a contactless, metal card (hence the name) made from a single sheet of reinforced steel. You can order a spare one for free.

You get everything in Revolut’s lower-tier plans, plus:

  • Cashback: Earn up to 1% cashback in any currency, including cryptocurrencies.
  • ATM withdrawal: Withdraw up to £800 per month from ATMs worldwide for free. After that, you’re charged a 2% transaction fee.
  • Savings and interest: When you save £18,500 each year in your Savings Vault, you’ll get £120 in interest per year.
  • Coverage: You get up to £10,000 with insurance for the whole year on purchases that have been stolen or accidentally damaged.

Vaults

Revolut vs Monzo

As we’ve already hinted at, Revolut’s “Savings Vaults” are Revolut’s equivalent of a savings account. You can set up an individual vault or a “Group Vault.” Revolut’s “Group Vault” is the closest thing it offers to a joint account. This is basically a savings account for family, friends, coworkers, etc., that share the same financial goal. For example, if you and your mates want to go on holiday together, you could create a group vault to save up together.

When setting up an individual vault, you can set your own financial goals and deadlines and round up your spare change to fund your savings.

Revolut’s Junior Account

Revolut vs Monzo

This is a brilliant feature and something that sets it apart from Monzo. Here, you can open an account for your children but still retain full control. It’s explicitly designed to encourage children to develop healthy financial habits. With the app, children can save, track and spend money.

With Revolut’s Junior account, you get (when you take out the Standard plan):

  • An account, card, and app for your child
  • Custom controls over your child’s contactless and online spending.
  • Card blocks on most age-restricted merchants.
  • You can freeze and unfreeze your child’s card, to manage their spending.
  • Children can choose their own cards from Revolut’s range.
  • A number is put on the back to protect their account privacy as much as possible.

Features on the Junior account when you upgrade to one of Revolut’s paid plans:

  • You can set goals and tasks. This comes in handy if you want to motivate your children to earn money by assigning them chores.
  • Plus, and Premium account holders unlock two Junior accounts, and Metal unlocks five.

Your child can use this account without a smartphone. However, to use all the account’s features, it’s recommended they have the app.

Monzo Plus

Now, for an overview of the other plans that Monzo offers.

Like Revolut, Monzo has a Plus account that sits between their Current account and their Premium account. This costs £5 per month, you’re contracted to three months minimum, and you must be over 18.

It offers the following features:

  • Full financial visibility over all your bank accounts
  • Virtual cards:
  • Online subscription management.
  • You can personalize up to five cards by giving them names and picking from a range of colors.
  • You can create custom categories to group your spending and personalize your spending breakdown.
  • Earn 1.00% AER/Gross (variable) interest on up to £2,000 in your account balance and regular Pots (excluding Savings Pots).
  • £400 fee-free withdrawals abroad
  • Advanced roundups: the same as Monzo Premium.
  • You can track your credit score via the Monzo app.
  • You get access to offers exclusive to Monzo Plus customers: Treat yourself by making the most of the following offers from Monzo Plus partners: Patch; Hello Fresh; Naked Wines; Babylon Health; Fiit; Busuu.

Monzo Joint Account

Unlike Revolut, Monzo provides a joint account.

Some of its features include:

  • A joint account card for both of you
  • The ability to easily keep track of who’s paying for what and where your money is going
  • You can set spending budgets together and get instant notifications in real-time if you’re spending too much too fast.
  • Get a summary of your bills, an overview of your account, and other “committed spending” separately so you can quickly see how much you’ve got left.

Monzo 16-17 Accounts

Revolut vs Monzo

Unlike Revolut, Monzo doesn’t offer a kids account, but they provide a 16-17 account. This comes with pretty much everything Monzo’s standard account offers. However, in line with the age range, Monzo has blocked spending money on things illegal for under 18s, such as gambling.

Also, if you want to pay cash into this account via PayPoint, the limit is lower than the 18+ current account. You can only deposit a maximum of £500 every six months.

Revolut vs Monzo: Which is Better?

Both Revolut and Monzo provide exceptional features and a welcome alternative to traditional banks.

As we’ve seen, Revolut offers Junior accounts and group vaults. However, they don’t provide an actual Joint account like Monzo. Revolut also presents more account plans at a lower cost- their top plan, Metal, is cheaper than Monzo’s most expensive package-, but you may actually pay a little less with Monzo overall, as Revolut’s fee structure is a bit more complicated.

Monzo is currently only available in the UK, whereas Revolut has much wider availability. That said, both offer comparable and competitive international rates and excellent customer service. Though Monzo has the slight edge here, it’s easier to access help via their website and app.

Monzo also wins when it comes to customer protection, as the FSCS protection protects them.

The decision is a difficult one and ultimately down to you. Hopefully, this article has helped you see what each company can offer you, and whether it suits your needs or not. Or, are you considering other challenger banks like Starling bank? Let us know in the comments box below what you decide!

Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist who specializes in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to e-commerce platforms, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, G2, and Judicious Inc. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.