Can I really upgrade and still use Monzo the same way?

I just received an email from Monzo asking me to upgrade to a Monzo current account this is included:

If you’re thinking “I really like my card as it is”, don’t fear. You can upgrade and then continue to use your Monzo account in exactly the same way. There are no hidden fees and no overdraft if you don’t want it, so nothing needs to change at all.

The message here seems to go in a different direction than these threads and blog post:

It feels like Monzo is pushing this message strongly:

Monzo is much better if you get your salary paid directly into your account.

What has prevented me from upgrading yet is that I am not ready to have my salary paid into my Monzo account. I use (or at least try to use) my Monzo card for everything, but I top up my card regularly using the in-app Apple Pay topup option.
I understand that toptups are costly for current accounts, that’s why I’ve been hesitant to upgrade so far.

Will I really be able to use my Monzo card in the same way without extra fees if I upgrade? What should I trust? The email you sent me or the community threads and the blogpost?

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Yes for now you can top up like you did with the PP card. Monzo are looking into the costs of top ups and encouraging people to use bank transfers instead but as of this moment there are no fees for topping up via debit/apple pay

Upgrade with no fear. Put your new :monzo: Monzo account number and sort code into your existing legacy bank account and use bank transfers to fund your new Monzo account. Enjoy!

Yes, at the moment, you can use the CA card in exactly the same way as pre-paid.

In addition, you get a basic current account with standing orders, direct debits etc. You also have any funds protected up to £85, 000.

Another small advantage to upgrading is that from 18 December, the prepaid card allows one free withdrawal of up to £200 at a non UK ATM. The current account allows multiple withdrawals totalling up to £200 in a rolling 30 days.

Totally appreciate that this is the case for many people at this early stage!

Now that top ups have been reintroduced on the current account, you can use the current account exactly as you would have your pre paid account if you’d like.

There are currently no fees for topping up, although the discussion around introducing top-up fees is ongoing, and we’ll be sure to keep the community updated once a conclusive decision has been made :slightly_smiling_face:

@SamanthaD’s post is a good place to check for updates. Whatever decision we come to, i think it’s really important to remember


I do understand your concerns here but realistically I’m not sure you’re actually achieving anything by refusing to move for this reason. This is because Monzo aren’t likely to rush into immediately turning on a fee for top-ups and in any case they’re going to completely shut down the prepaid scheme

Ultimately you may have to make the choice to slightly (top up via bank transfer) or significantly (pay your salary in) change they way you use Monzo. Either that or stop using it entirely, totally up to you :slight_smile:

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I was hesitant myself, admittedly topping up via bank transfer is slightly more effort than via Android/Apple Pay (open Santander app, login, navigate to transfer etc) but it’s not that much effort and the money is on my Monzo card instantly (faster payments).

That said, with the introduction of pots, I am now much more willing to get paid into my Monzo current account, divide my money in-app and then transfer what I need to the card.

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Is there any way Monzo can implement a personal direct debit request within the app?

I.e. set up a direct debit with external bank account, request amount from own account within the Monzo app (to avoid having to open a third party banking app) and then the funds transfer aka card top-up style?

  1. Is this possible?
  2. Would this be cheaper for Monzo?
  3. Would the transfers still be instant (faster payment)?
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I don’t topup Monzo or pay my salary into it yet (waiting until any future budgeting features have been implemented). I have instead a standing order set up from my legacy account to Monzo weekly. It helps me budget too. Once I run out of Money in Monzo, I wait until my next weekly ‘pay day’. If I really need money I will log into my legacy bank app and manually do it. Essentially, my legacy account is a salary/bills account and Monzo is my day-to-day spending account.


I’m hoping that something like Oyster auto top up will be possible next year under the new Open Banking rules.

So when current account A drops below £x then £y is transferred from current account B.

I imagine once the Open Banking protocols are in place and all working, you’ll be able to authorise a transfer from, say, NatWest within the Monzo app and all the wibbling about ‘topping up’ will go away.

I wonder whether Monzo will want to charge us for it :wink:

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You could set up GoCardless to do exactly this. There would be a small fee, …but it is very small and you’re totally in control of it.

That said, a standing order might be a better (and free) way of achieving an automated transfer.

I used to use a standing order, but the problem is these were quite slow and Santander wouldn’t fulfill the transfer on weekends.

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