🇩🇪 Monzo in Germany [Discussion]


Yeah, it’s really weird over there. I remember there were a few years when Aldi and Lidl would only accept cash in Germany. Even when they finally reinstated card payments they would only accept “ec cards” - no Visa or MasterCard (I think they accept them now, but I’m not too sure).

When I was in Germany last year I went to a very large Edeka (which is one of Germany’s largest supermarket chains) in a fairly large city, and they would not accept Master or Visa cards (although Edeka is usually run on a franchise model, so plenty of other Edekas will accept those card). In general card payments are in my experience at least frowned upon for payments under 5-10 EUR, and often refused altogether. All of this just goes to show: Your experience will differ widely, but Germans are in general very much a cash loving people.

(Eve) #50

I thought I would have to rely on cash my whole trip there, but I was pleasantly surprised! Small cafés and bakeries took card too and there wasn’t that whole confusion with visa/mastercard being regarded as “credit” even though you may be using prepaid/debit cards that I got in Amsterdam. I used card for all my payments (mostly chip & pin).


I’ve found the card to mostly work ok. As others have said, far fewer places accept card payment than in the UK so you will need cash.
Main issue I’ve had is that the cash machines at Sparkasse do not accept the card. Thankfully there was a Deutsche Bank next door and it worked fine there.


I’m off to Berlin this week. Was hoping to use Monzo for transactions. (but not for withdrawing cash)


Well, I withdrew cash at an ATM overseas for first time ever. ATM offered to do the conversion €200 costing £199. I declined conversion and it’s come through from Monzo at £177ish. So that is good.

I had success in a coffee shop paying with Monzo Contactless. Other places were cash only.


No problem paying with Monzo Current Account card on EasyJet.

Random chap next to me paid with Monzo Prepaid Beta. No issues.

Flying with easyJet
Flying with easyJet
(Adam) #55

Surely the prepaid cards will not work on board an aeroplane? I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t allow offline transactions.


I’m not sure what to say. You appear to be saying I’m incorrect in what I said despite seeing it work. :neutral_face:

(Bob) #57

It’s explained here:


I have flown regularly and noticed they changed card readers on my RyanAir flight. With a regular bank card the old ones would take up to a week to appear on a legacy bank account instead of just a few days but the new readers mean transactions appear the next few days instead of a week. i have a Mæstro card that never worked on board before but now does. It is highly possible the Monzo card does too.


This is mildly amusing:

(Adam) #60

I’m just shocked that a prepaid card would work for an offline transaction that could likely be in the hundreds of pounds.

I wasn’t saying you were wrong! :slight_smile:

Even more shocked that my CA Monzo was repeatedly refused on Ryanair and I didn’t even try my PP card! The CA card worked fine on easyJet though.


(Paul Swarbrick) #61

Second trip with the card, found it again really useful. Did end up with a -£1.51 balance but believe exchange went from 1.14 to 1.13 when it became finalised. Used cashpoints at Nuremberg airport and Underground train station. Also used card for adhoc purchases (petrol station near hotel). Found screen identifying bank taking over rate, but decline to harness power of card.

Again a pleasure to use and I think up against my bank of Ireland post office that uses more decimal places to convert. A better rate at times with rounding.

(Mike) #62

I have recently come back from Germany, I was visiting my girlfriends family, she is from a small area in the black forest, where I tried to use my card, I had no problems at all cash machines also worked fine for me.

Cash is much more commonly used, contactless is also used in Germany.


Hi. I never heard anything about monzo until last week. I received my monzo card today but I’m not sure about how this works. I’m going to berlin next month and I’m looking forward to use this card instead of my normal barclays card.
How does the currency works between pounds and euros when I top up my monzo card? Does it convert automatically or do i need to do anything else? Do I pay any fees for that conversion?
How it works using the contactless in germany? Do I pay any fees paying by card or using the contactless?
Is there any limitations in berlin using a monzo card comparing to a normal bank card?
Many thanks.


Short answer: No.

Slightly longer: In general Monzo’s mastercard should be as widely accepted as any other mastercard. However, Germany is generally much more cash based than the UK, so you may need some cash, although that’s getting better as this thread shows, particularly in big cities such as Berlin. Either way, there really shouldn’t be any difference between your Barclays and your Monzo card in this regard, although the former is most likely Visa, while Monzo is mastercard, but in Germany I have never encountered a shop that accepts the one but not the other.

It converts automatically. Nothing else for you to do.

  • You do not pay any fees for purchases.
  • You do not pay for cash withdrawals abroad up to £200 in any 30 day period.
  • For any cash withdrawals above that you pay a 3% fee.

Do you think you’ll need more than £200 in cash during that time? Then consider Starling, as they have no fees at all.

There are no fees for contactless payments (just like there are no fees for contact payments). However, contactless payments aren’t really a thing in Germany, as far as I know (I don’t usually even try, so again that may have changed, but when my parents saw me pay for something contactless a couple of years ago in the UK they were like “What magic is this?!”).

One more thing: In Germany it’s still fairly common to hand your card to the cashier, so that they then insert the card into the machine. Freaks me out these days…

Finally ALWAYS insist on being billed to your card in Euros. Don’t let the ATM/card reader do the conversion for you. If the ATM/card reader do the conversion for you, you essentially pay a fee to them (not Monzo).

(Allie) #65

One important note to avoid fees when paying is to always ensure you pay in EUR (or whatever the local currency is when you go to other countries). Some shops will ‘kindly’ offer to let you pay in GBP. Their kindness will kill your wallet! The exchange rate (including fees) they give is awful. Always ensure you select local currency if offered.

Thankfully, in Germany your choice will likely be honoured. Some countries it’s common for your choice to be ignored.

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #66

Did you get stung by DCC by any chance? That’s where the machine does the exchange.

(Roy Cleary) #67

Dont think so.
Just the usual pin code in money out.
Did it at two seperate places.
I expected them to be roughly the same as the I went to Slovenia.
Exactly the same…

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #68

Did it turn up in your spending as a Euro amount converted to Sterling, or as a Sterling amount?