Banking noob nervous about switching to Monzo

Hi everyone,

I am 22 years old and a bit of a noob when it comes to banking. I’ve got a HSBC account and currently use that as my main bank for everything money related, but got the prepaid and now the Monzo current account card as I liked what I saw and heard about the company and it seems to be a great new banking enterprise for the modern day. I don’t know much or understand much about banking and all things money related (e.g. interest rates, their acronyms and how they work, mortgages, how money transfers abroad work and why there’s a fee, insurances, what credit is etc), and literally have to google all these things when I come across them to help me understand them - so now you lot know how much of a ‘noob’ I truly am.

I have been thinking about switching over from hsbc as my main bank to Monzo since it seems THAT good (with the idea to then close the hsbc one) but am nervous about doing so. What am I losing by switching to Monzo? What are the big differences between the highstreet, established banks and Monzo? What do I gain from Monzo that I don’t get from HSBC? Obviously the big banks are well established, cover pretty much everything you want a bank to cover, and due to their many years of experience are very good at doing these things with lots of security and certainty (I presume?). Whereas Monzo is much smaller, less experienced, and not so established, so should this be a legitimate concern? Do you think it would be wise to keep the HSBC account just in case I need to do things which Monzo don’t cover (e.g. Mortgage?) or do I not need to worry and could fully transfer to Monzo?

I realise this is quite a lot of big questions, so would appreciate anyone who takes the time to answer them!

P.s. Another thing, I have a HSBC credit card and use this for online payments because I was told it’s safer to do this than use a debit card. This is one example of the things which causes me to hesitate fully switching, because Monzo don’t do Credit cards and so would it not be more risky for me to start paying for everything online with my Monzo debit card? Thanks again!


With regard to switching banks, why not use Monzo as your main account but also keep your HSBC account as a backup. That’s what I do and then you get the best of both worlds.


I was just about to suggest the same thing. I haven’t closed down my HSBC account (because I feel like there is no need to) but i’ve just moved my salary and DDs over to Monzo and using that as my main account.

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A similar discussion was here yesterday…

And you might find some replies useful here;


The main thing you lose is access to branches, so paying in cash is tricky at the moment. There have been discussions about possibly being able to do this as Post Offices but nothing is confirmed yet. Cheques can be posted, and from next year all banks will let you submit cheques by taking a photo of them too so that’ll help. But in terms of customer service, you can chat via the Monzo app or call them and they’re very efficient (more so than the legacy banks).

You can still use your HSBC card and pay that off from your Monzo account.

You don’t need to get a mortgage from the same company you bank with, and using Monzo won’t have any effect here.

In terms of advantages, it’s really the fact the app is so much better than any legacy bank has ever been able to produce, instant notifications, budgeting tools, Pots is really useful to set money aside for goals, and the Marketplace will be super useful when it’s rolled out, letting you move money immediately into savings accounts or savings products like ISAs, and maybe even mortgage providers.

I keep saying this in threads, but you do not have to move your every day banking to Monzo when you get the current account. It seems a lot of people think you can only operate one current account. It’s fine to keep your HSBC account open, and use it or not use it. You can just transfer your spending over to Monzo and see how you feel about it, before moving standing orders and direct debits over later - again, only if you want to, you’re not obligated.


If you need (right now):
Paying in by cash
A card that supports 3Dsecure
An overdraft
A credit card
A savings account that offers interest
A branch that you can walk into
A bank with no daily transaction/ATM limits
An account with IBAN

Then don’t use Monzo as your main account

If you value:
Instant nofitications
Amazing customer service
Fee-free payments abroad
Being part of something new

By all means, switch

Paying in cheques - @Dunsford proved you can do this


Switch to Monzo as your main account but keep HSBC open. Use Monzo for regular card payments in UK such as groceries or coffee but use your credit card when buying big items like latest smartphone or a car. Use the credit card when buying expensive items online or items from outside EU. Wisely use both accounts and your debit and credit card, don’t close your old accounts down. Also if any systems problems with one bank you can still shop with another card. Finally your HSBC card is better online due to MasterCard SecureCode or Verified by Visa, and if you want to send a SWIFT or SEPA payment abroad you can do so from an HSBC account but not Monzo

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To be fair, the following are nothing unique to Current Accounts and can easily be held at another bank while CA banking is with Monzo:

A card that supports 3Dsecure

A credit card

A savings account that offers interest

There’s no rule tying you to one bank for everything financial.

If you want to broaden it out, then keeping the ‘old’ account in parallel can give you most of the others potentially (although an overdraft away from your main account may be pushing things a bit).

Agreed, OPs comment was referring ‘switching’ to Monzo, if you want to keep multiple accounts open (as I’d advocate) a lot of these issues are voided anyway.

My comment was playing devils advocate.


Cheers dude, post edited

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These two are not things you should probably even have with your main long term bank account anyway! They tend to reward newer customers and shaft existing ones so you’ll get the best deals shopping around

Your question about the credit card suggests you might think you have to have a HSBC current account to use a HSBC credit card.

This isn’t the case - you can continue to spend on your credit card and then pay your credit card bill (either as Direct Debit or a bill payment) from your Monzo account.

Apologies if you already knew this but you mentioned you’re a noob so this might prove useful! :grinning:

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Though you may want to move to another provider since their options aren’t generally that competitive and their Internet banking support for credit cards is absolutely dreadful!

Thanks for the helpful reply, what does SWIFT and SEPA stand for and what do they do? Thanks

That was useful to know thanks!

Thanks for the reply. From what I’ve read I think I will do that. I guess I’m thinking what am I getting from the hsbc current account that i’m not with Monzo? Just branches to walk into, the ability to deposit cash directly into the account, and overdrafts? (Although even Monzo plan on bringing this about, do we know when?). IS there anything else?

Thank you, very relevant and helpful to me!

tbh I wouldn’t worry about it, only a small portion of Monzo users use those services & there’s a reason you haven’t heard of them before! Basically they’re for sending / receiving money from abroad. You can just keep your HSBC account as a backup on the off-chance that you need that sort of thing, although there’s a TransferWise integration on the way too.

Overdrafts are being rolled out now :smiley:


I am thinking of working and living abroad in Spain in about 6 months, and could be out there for a while. Do you think the Monzo card, with it’s fee free £200/month withdrawal feature, and fee-free payments whilst abroad, would do the job fine? Are there charges transferring money from Spain to the UK (or is it that what you meant when you say ‘fee-free payments’?)? What about getting money getting paid into my Monzo CA whilst in Spain (which will be in Euros)? Basically, will It function fine as a normal, everyday CA but just in Spain…no catches? Thanks