🇩🇪 Monzo in Germany [Discussion]

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.

2 Likes

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).

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.

1 Like

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

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…

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

It just says ATM £9.80 for ten euros so didnt take anymore out

I think that’s DCC. If any machine overseas (ATM or POS) offers a price in £ ALWAYS reject it when using Monzo. Monzo use the MasterCard rate and will always be better than their conversion.

Thanks.
I will double check from now on 🖒🖒🖒👌

1 Like

You need to concentrate on the message; it’s not always obvious whether you need to press yes or no.

1 Like

£9,80 for 10 euros is a terrible conversion rate :thinking: I’m going to berlin this friday and I think I’m going to regret to use monzo for the first time.

You won’t, unless you choose to accept your ATM’s conversion service/scam. Always choose local currency, and let Monzo do the conversion. If an ATM offers you an exchange rate, it is the ATM provider making that conversion, not Monzo/Mastercard.

3 Likes

So if I pay and withdraw money in euros the conversion will be better? Has anyone been in germany recently that can share some example of conversion to euros?

Always reject DCC. I used my Monzo card in Germany and always requested to pay in Euros- make sure you reject the conversion rate offered by the bank at ATMs.

3 Likes

Simple answer: Yes!

Always insist on being charged in euros both by ATMs and at checkouts. Never accept any conversion service offered to you when using your Monzo card. (That applies wherever you are in the world: always insist in being charged in the country’s currency, never in GBP.)

If you allow the atm operator or checkout owner to do the conversion (this is what Eve referred to as “DCC” above) they’ll always offer you a worse rate than Monzo does.

2 Likes

have a read of this excellent advice if you haven’t already seen it :slight_smile:

6 Likes

Thank you both for your help!

Hi,
Just thought I’d share my thoughts of using Monzo in Berlin, in case it helps anyone!

  • Mastercard is accepted almost everywhere now and you shouldn’t have a problem using Monzo in most places. Apple Pay was launched there last December, so contactless is available in some chain stores. Out of a three day trip of sightseeing, only one merchant (a boat tour) was cash only.
  • All of the public transport ticket machines I used accept Mastercard. The BVG ones take contactless as well.
  • As others have said always pay in Euros to avoid DCC!

  • There are Sparkasse ATMs located at most U-Bahn Stations, these are fee free and can be used in English.

  • I’d say its a good idea to carry some small change as seemingly everywhere charges at least €0,5 to use toilets (even if you are a paying customer).

Finally, I just thought I would add that there is still very much a cash culture in Berlin- certainly paying by card isn’t as ubiquitous as in the UK, so whilst you should be able to get by with a card, it might be worth withdrawing some cash for smaller purchases just in case.

2 Likes