How does spending abroad exactly work? Monzo's help is unclear

I am travelling to Turkey in a few days and I’ve read a couple threads here and looked at the help articles but haven’t found clear answers.

So far what I think is true is that paying with card/nfc should be seamless and I should not incur any fees.
For ATMs I am using standard Monzo so I am aware of my free withdrawal limit. However I am very confused at Monzo as they claim:

" We’ll remind you that you could save money by paying in the local currency
If you pay in pounds while you’re abroad, we’ll let you know that you could save money by paying in the local currency.
This isn’t always possible, as it depends on the information we get about your transaction. But when we can, we’ll send you a reminder along with your transaction."

What’s the point of this message if Monzo also state you cannot convert your balance to another currency so I am quite confused.

The guidance is merely recommending that, when you spend on your Monzo card abroad, you make sure that the card terminal is displaying the transaction in the local currency and NOT in Sterling GBP.

If the merchant does the conversion prior to you authorising payment, they will use their own exchange rate which will not be as favourable as the Mastercard Exchange Rate.

You do not need to convert any currency on your account yourself.


I had an option in Spain in Aldi, to pay my €12.60 bill in Euro’s (which cost me £10.78, iirc) or pay in £, which Aldi wanted £11.08

always pay in local currency if possible

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