Don't Monzo and other banks get live Mastercard/Visa rates any more?

I have started my drive through Europe. I thought I’d check on Chase and Monzo in terms of rates and usability abroad, so I made a few transactions today in France.

The Mastercard rate was 1.18 (as per Mastercard’s page), but both banks gave me 1.168 or so, which is considerably worse.

I also tried Starling, which gave me 1.163 (!) and I even tried my Nationwide credit card which gave me the same! I thought the latter had always given me pretty much the mid market rate…

Don’t these banks get live rates any more (or did they ever)? I seem to remember it was better with e.g. Curve in the past.

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How are you checking? Are you checking by converting the GBP amount BACK into EUR and then working out the rate there? Or from EUR back into GBP?

There are a lot of things that can impact it, based on when the transaction is finalised etc. :man_shrugging: Monzo do give you the Mastercard rate, it just might not be the rate at the time of purchase, and when it settles instead.


All those banks except Nationwide show the rate of conversion in every transaction. I checked this matches the EUR / GBP amounts too.

You have a point about settlement, I will wait until they settle and check again.


The Monzo transaction and a couple of the Chase transactions have now settled at the rate they had when pending, so 1.168, which is a far cry from the 1.18 that Mastercard had at the time of the transactions.

Right now the MC rate is 1.184 and the cards are giving me 1.179.

Is there supposed to be a delay or a discrepancy like that? And shouldn’t Monzo be clear and up front about it?
The current wording essentially implies we get the MC rate as is at the time of transaction.

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Currency changes all through the day so maybe the rate you see online vs the rate you get that point in time is the reality of fluctuation?

What was the time of the transaction & when did it settle? Got a screenshot?

It sounds like you are getting the Mastercard rate for EUR to GBP, while you’ve been checking the GBP to EUR rate. They are not the same.

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With Visa and MC at least, they have their figure for the day. The day the transaction actually settles will determine the days rate in which it should settle in.

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Weird as I’ve always every checked and got the one mid-market rate with cards in the past.

Does Visa also have two rates? I used my Revolut today (bought in EUR, paid from GBP balance) and it charged me within 0.005 of the GBP-to-EUR mid-market rate.

Yes, everyone has different rates depending on the transaction direction.

The difference between the two is called spread.

Also pending transaction rates are just an estimate indication. When transaction settles it can update, so best to compare transactions that are similar in nature, in terms of authorization and settlement timings.

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Also I can’t remember if starling uses currency cloud
like revolut, instead of MasterCard rates.