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Is it worth upgrading to Monzo Plus?


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Monzo's first version of Monzo Plus was launched in May 2019 but it was scrapped the following September. The latest version was launched in July 2020 with 11 additional/enhanced features compared to the standard account – but is it worth £60 a year?

Conclusion

I wouldn't normally have the conclusion at the beginning of an article but it seems right for Monzo Plus. The answer as to whether it is worth upgrading to Monzo Plus depends on whether you looking for value for money or convenience. If you are looking for value for money, the answer is no. If you are looking for convenience, the answer is yes.

Value for money

Of the 11 features, at least six are available for free from other banks or providers. For the other features (like the holographic card), you would need to decide what value you put on them.

Convenience

If you:

— then Monzo Plus is for you.

The rest of this article has more information on Monzo Plus and its features.

Features

  1. Other accounts in Monzo
  2. Interest on balance and regular pots
  3. Custom categories
  4. Holographic card
  5. Virtual cards
  6. Advanced roundups
  7. Credit Tracker
  8. Offers
  9. Auto-export transactions
  10. One free cash deposit a month
  11. Fee-free cash withdrawals

Other accounts in Monzo

Using open banking technology, Monzo Plus will allows you to see your spending from the majority of other bank and credit card accounts. Many other banks also offer this feature.

Interest on balance and regular pots

You’ll earn 1% AER on balances of up to £2,000 held in a Monzo Plus account and the regular — not savings — pots. It's a good interest rate but because it is capped at £2,000, the maximum you can earn is £20 a year so you won't earn nearly enough to pay your monthly fee. Santander's 1|2|3 account has a lower rate of 0.6% but you'll earn interest on balances of up to £20,000.

Custom categories

With the standard Monzo account, you can categorise your spending into 13 categories such as bills, transport, charity and personal care. With Monzo Plus, you can create your own customised categories.

You can also split your spending within each transaction – so, if you spend £60 on a supermarket shop, you can select multiple categories (say Groceries and Drinks) for the £60 spend. If you set the Groceries spend to £40, the app will automatically set the Drinks spend to £20.

Holographic card

Part of the Monzo brand is its distinctive hot coral-coloured card. Monzo Plus has a shiny 'holographic' blue card.

Virtual cards

You’ll also be able to set up a maximum of five 'virtual cards' to use online — each with its unique details. You can give each card a name and a colour so that you can categorise your online spending.

If you've had to freeze or cancel your main card — payments associated with that card would usually be cancelled, so you might miss out on a subscription you’ve signed up to — or you could be fined for missing a payment. However, your virtual cards would continue to be valid.

You can cancel your virtual cards whenever you like, which could be an advantage from a security point of view.

Revolut offers one free virtual card with their standard account and, unlike Monzo Plus, it can also be added to Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Advanced roundups

In the standard Monzo account, you have the option of rounding up a payment to the next pound and transferring it into a pot. With Monzo Plus, you can choose to increase this amount by 2, 5 or 10 times.

Credit Tracker

You can see your credit score in the app and how it changes each month. There are also guides on how credit scores work and tips for improving yours. The data is provided by TransUnion — one of the three credit score providers.

Offers

Monzo has teamed up with some popular brands to give money off when you spend with a Monzo Plus card:

Monzo is not the only company to have teamed up with other companies to provide offers and sometimes these offers are available online from the companies themselves.

Auto-export transactions

You can opt to have your transactions exported to Google Sheets as they happen. This has the normal features that you would expect from a spreadsheet with a list of your transactions. Auto-export transactions would be more useful if it were available in a more data processing-friendly format like CSV (comma separated variables) so the data could be filtered to produce more relevant data.

One free cash deposit a month

If you want to make a cash deposit with the Monzo standard account, you can do this at shops that have teamed up with PayPoint. There's a £1 fee every time you use this service. Monzo Plus allows you to make one fee-free deposit a month.

High Street banks make no charge for depositing cash at their branches. Many banks, including the Starling online bank, also allow you to make fee-free deposits at Post Office branches.

Fee-free cash withdrawals

In the UK and EEA there are no fees for withdrawing money from an ATM, but there are limits - £400 in 24 hours or £5,500 in 30 days. Outside the EEA, there's no fee up to £400 - 3% thereafter.

Monzo Forum's opinion

Monzo Forum members ranked Monzo Plus's features as follows:

  1. Virtual cards
  2. Other accounts in Monzo
  3. Custom categories
  4. Interest on balance and regular pots
  5. Auto-export transactions
  6. Holographic card
  7. Fee-free cash withdrawals
  8. Advanced roundups
  9. Credit Tracker
  10. One free cash deposit a month
  11. Offers

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