ATM Fees Abroad: Asking the Monzo Community to decide pricing


It is a real shame if instead of going for a fair option of 1% Europe and 2% Rest of World to cover the approx 1% and 2% costs Tom said you have, instead you go for a poll which may result in someone incurring 1% cost to Monzo but being charged more possibly subsidizing others.

that would be sufficient cause for me to use Starling as my primary account and relegate Monzo to a spare account…shame.

(Simon B) #786

As mentioned, then you’d consider the 3% to also be subsidising the £200 free buffer that you’ve had. Therefore it really comes down to how much you withdraw. If you withdrew £300, then you’d be charged a 3% fee on that extra £100 only, so £3 for £300, which brings it back down to 1%.

I don’t think it’s worth bringing competitors into this discussion unless they are already at a size where they’ve had to tackle this problem. I doubt that Starling, or anyone else, plan on eating up these fees themselves once they reach 250k+ users. If they plan on doing that long term, with hundreds of thousands of customers, then I’ll tip my hat to them! The most likely scenario there is that they’ll come to a decision, just like we are going to have to do… and whatever that decision is, some people will be happy with it, and others won’t be.

(Lue Cuttiford) #787

For me personally, I don’t think a £200 allowance would be of use…I like to travel for long periods and go to different places, so this allowance would make withdrawals really expensive. I like to be as cashless as possible, but it’s really not an option in some places. However, I recognise my needs are not necessarily the needs of the group! I still think an annual allowance would be more suitable for a lot of people as I do think that most people go on holiday once or twice a year with more than £200 to spend.

A possibility could be a low rate for a larger allowance, say 0.5% on £2500/year, and then an increased rate afterwards, maybe 3-4% so only the bigger spenders are paying back more. A system where the better off help out the worse off. Imagine! :wink:

(Santiago De Silva) #788

I’ve gone with option 1. This is a call the Monzo leadership will have to make based on the direction they want to take things in. Some of your customers are UK based and travel occasionally; others are regular or even permanent travellers. It will be quite hard to create a fee structure that caters to all groups in a way that is objectively fair.

My suggestion is to create different options. I would be happy to pay a monthly fee for unlimited ATM withdrawals worldwide. I’m sure there are others who would be happy to fit within certain parameters in order to avoid fees. I hope this is a workable suggestion.

On a side note, if you do create some kind of premium option that involves a monthly fee, I’d also suggest raising some of the current limits. The max single card payment and ATM withdrawal limits are currently woeful.


Yep. Don’t like the monetary buffer either. Due the way charges are calculated it would be better to be based on the number of withdrawals rather than an amount and perhaps allow a certain number of withdrawals per month rather than a set amount. It is my understanding that it would cost Monzo more if a user withdraws £10 equivalent 20 times than £200 on one occassion, the proposed formula does not take that into account

(Simon B) #790

We don’t need to create a premium account to improve the limit system, this will happen with the full current account launch anyway. The only reason the limits are quite rigid right now is because we work with different partners on the prepaid scheme and they have to be agreed to in advance. We anticipate flexibility in the future :slight_smile:

Monzo cannot replace my other bank, £3,000 Annual ATM limit?
(Jack) #791

To be honest my initial reason for getting a Monzo card was just to reduce my ATM costs for a recent holiday in Greece, the main attraction being the fair exchange rate. I also used it a few times for purchases during the same holiday. To be fair I wasn’t planning to use it after the holiday, but now find that I am using it regularly for online transactions in dollars as the exchange rate beats Paypal every time. I am sure I will use it more and more often for UK purchases too as my confidence in it grows.

If you can find a way to charge the user the exact ATM fee when abroad, that would be fair for everyone as everyone already gains over other cards due to the attractive exchange rate and no usage group would be subsidising another.

However if you decide on option three, I would suggest a YEARLY free limit of say £500 and ramping fees after that. With that option the heavy ATM user would pay their fair share without causing the low end foreign ATM user to quit Monzo.

(Santiago De Silva) #792

Thanks for clarifying, Simon. I’m very eager to have a current account ASAP in that case. I’ve already put my request in to have the beta version now.

As to the ATM issue, I still would favour any measure that could provide unlimited ATM withdrawals worldwide for a monthly fee.

In terms of an immediate solution based on the options provided, I have changed my response to the poll to option 3 provided that this can be converted into a £2400 annual limit rather than a £200 monthly limit (as has been suggested by some others already).

(Fabrizia Rossano) #793

totally agree. i’d rather pay 20£ once a year and then use the card with no fee. It could be offered as a Premium option, where people willing to pay would have the feature and the rest will go with option 3


To be honest, I think this poll needs more than those 3 options.
Like why didn’t you ask for ideas and then put the ideas for vote? Because I unless a new poll is started all the ideas will be useless.

If there was an option 4, my option would be a simple one:
For those who use the Current Account like a proper account, ie Salary in and use it day to day in the UK. they get the perks of Monzo which include the free ATM withdrawals aboard for travel.

To ensure no abuse, there must be a salary threshold (say £1,000) a month at least in the UK before the perk is available, and it’s limited up to a number of transactions (say 10 Withdrawals a year MAX or something). Once threshold for usage is hit, charge them the costs like normal. For those who don’t hit the salary threshold also just charge them base costs.

Rest assured I know there may be some use cases where people can’t hit a Salary of £1,000 a month, and they properly wouldnt be going aboard with that level of income UNLESS they are students in which case just allow a valid Student Card to automatically qualify them (ie Student Account for X years).

This whole conversation and poll seems to be founded on the fact that a lot of people took out a Monzo card with the sole purpose to use it for Travel and not as a Bank Account. Those users aren’t playing fairly and they know it and reading some of the comments where they threaten to leave if the charges come in, all I say is good - please do move on. The problem you now have is there was a nice Perk for us Monzo users to use when on holiday which is effectively getting taken away because a select group of people abused the system while not actually intending to be banking customers.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. People need to realise this. Monzo is NOT in the business of money travel cards but to be a bank account.
I wish there was a way you could keep the service for those who play fair, are legit banking customers and only use it occasionally.

(Martin James) #795

Some great and interesting ideas going here - option 3 for my vote but for option 4 I’d agree with others that if you use your card in the U.K. ‘regularly’ once ‘regularly’ has been defined then after the £200 limit has been reached option 1 comes into force.

Keep it up team - good work going on here.


Not just students but those on National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage, Apprenticeships, part time jobs, seasonal jobs, job shares, zero hour contracts etc…

(John J) #797

I think you need to be very careful with the introduction of ATM charges and also it is really difficult to be absolutely fair. If you introduce ATM charges I can see little advantage in having the Monzo card over Revolut. I can see that the honeymoon period of free ATM withdrawals has achieved its aim of attracting lots of new customers like me but to retain them there has to be something which will stop me jumping to another provider. Can you offer something for current account holders once that account is available? Or as others have commented a one-off annual charge? Or maybe set the limit a bit higher say £400? I love the Monzo card and the level of customer service. I have used it extensively overseas but the thought of paying out for cash withdrawals puts me back to square one.

(Howard) #798

What is the $200 per month model based on?
I assume you’ve calculated that to give an average cost of foreign atm use per user? Ie. The average user will use their monthly allowance say 4 out of the 12 months costing Monza X?.. What is monzo’s ‘sustainable’ target for X? What would an the annual withdrawal allowance equate to based on X, and is this a feasible option for the bank (as I guess fee costs to the bank may fluctuate more per month as a result of giving the user an annual allowance)?

(Paul Charlish) #799

Option 1 would be my preference. I am new to Monzo and am on a family vacation in Thailand. In the majority of places we have to pay in cash so need to be able to withdraw more that £200, we’re a family of four with three that like to shop for bargains. I fully recognise there is a cost associated with any electronic transaction and am fine with the costs suggested in option 1. What I don’t like are the excessive and often guarded charges made by the main banks and card providers. Whatever is implemented needs to be easy to understand and shown openly. I am very impressed with the Monzo model and will continue to use in the UK.

(Jen beirne) #800

I’ve selected option one but given the “option four” choice I’d definitely prefer a higher allowance that is spread annually rather than monthly. I travel a lot and the no fees was a huge pull factor for me. That said, I appreciate a business needs to grow and have a sustainable business model. If a high % fee is introduced for all transactions I will have no choice but to look to competior brands which isn’t something I would like to do. I actively use my Monzo card for card payments but definitely would pass the £200 mark each month.

Looking forawrd ronseeing the outcome and appreciate Monzo giving users the opportunity to have their say.

(James) #801

Does the interest Monzo receives from all our accumulated cash on our cards from users not offset the ATM charges?

(William Tither) #802

As you know from your findings in San Francisco, a lot of ATMs charge the customer a fee on top of their withdrawal. While in Thailand, I was charged a fee of around £4 to withdraw, while in Cambodia most ATMs charge $5 on top, which again is close to £4, Vietnam was slightly cheaper, charging me around the £1.50 mark each time. Cash is always needed, there are many situations where your card will not be accepted, so inevitably you will have to get cash out. As standings show, option 3 seems to be the most popular so far, meaning after your £200 free withdrawal, the next time you go to take £200 out from Thailand/US/Cambodia, it’s going to cost us near to £10 for withdrawals, which is extortionate!! I really don’t understand banks logic, because if a customer is getting charged $5 already, then surely the fee on top should be lower (for example 1%). And in places like Vietnam where the fee is lower, the Monzo fee should be higher (for example 2%). I just feel that Monzo seems to like the specific details in it’s company, for example the charges pop straight up, the colour of their cards, the customer service etc. But the charges are not well thought out and specific enough here. I think a variation in charges needs to be considered. It seems as though you’re giving up your great ethics to become just another bank with fees. Granted you’ve given us a picture of fees from other banks and percentages that you’re paying, but these are just one part of a business and not the overall picture, you may be putting the customers slightly in the loop but not fully. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but maybe you should find another way to make money, instead of resigning to charge us? It feels like I got sucked in to the great Monzo deal, just like many companies, once they’ve got you in, that’s it, then the fees start coming. Just an example, but if you did a monthly competition in the name of ATM charges, £1 to enter, the winner gets a cut and you take what you need to cover your charges. The ATM Monzo monthly. A great way to give back to the customer and keep the Monzo business on top. There are other ways around it, you just need to get creative. Peace out Monzo. Stay on top.


Firstly I must be honest and say that the only reason I got a Monzo card was for the free ATM withdrawals as I was doing an unusual extended trip this summer. I already had a Halifax Clarity One card which offers fee free overseas transactions.

Rather than offering a fee free amount per month it would be preferable to set a total fee free per year - that way customers can choose how they use it. It would be quite possible for me to spend £1,000 or so equivalent overseas over 2/3 weeks in the year but nothing else overseas the rest of the year. I don’t think this is abusing the nature of the card but I would feel annoyed at being charged fees for this given why I signed up for the card in the first place.


How about earning a loyalty bonus. Free withdrawals abroad, if you put your monthly pay cheque in and use it in the UK i.e. provide an incentive for customers to switch to Monzo as their main current account. Similar to what you describe in the blog post for HSBC Advantage but more aggressive, as we’d expect from a challenger bank.

The post states that the problem is caused by relatively few customers. If so, Monzo should find a way to manage their damaging behaviour without having to remove an incentive that benefits the other customers.