Keep/Increase Allowances confusion

I keep getting messages saying my allowances will change. I suppose that should be “have changed” as the date referred to on the latest message mentions the 16th of February. I clicked on “keep allowances” before, and now I’m clicking on “increase allowances” but it’s the same; it tells me to have 2 free car deliveries per year and no fees on cash withdrawals I need to pay in some money every 35 days and set up a direct debit. Well, I have a direct debit, and I pay in money probably more frequently than that. Is their allowance system not working, or do I have to set up a second direct debit? And pay in more money each month?

Do you pay in more than £500 each month?

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It will also only charge you if you take out more than £250 in cash each month.

You need to pay in £500pm and have one active direct debit in order to have the enhanced fee free allowances. Or pay for Plus/Premium.

If you feel that the fees might cause you hardship, you can contact Monzo to make your case.

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Ah. No. And I didn’t realise that the “Add money every 35 days” was a button which took me to a page which explained that. (Nothing on the Direct Debit link tells me that I’ve satisfied that part of the requirement - I have a monthly and an annual Direct Debit).

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Thanks. I can’t imagine ever paying for a current account; at least, not while there’s a million banks with free ones.

Not paying in enough or not having a direct debit doesn’t cost you directly.

You’ll have to pay a fee if you keep losing cards or you cake out more than £250 a month in cash. But if you’re not putting £500, you’re unlikely to take that amount out again in cash.


I switched jobs recently and there is one month where I haven’t received a salary, so I suddenly started getting this message about keeping my fee-free allowances. I’ve been using Monzo as my bank for years, but take a few weeks off work and you immediately get treated like you’re some kind of freeloader!

I was in the fortunate position that I could afford a bit of time off between jobs, but for someone who finds themselves without work unexpectedly this attitude from Monzo would surely just add to their anxiety? Not so great from a bank which has in the past talked so supportively about mental health.

I am unlikely to invoke any fees before I next get paid, but I do think the messaging and the timeframes on this are really harsh for long-standing customers. I have several direct debits set up - surely that should be a strong enough sign that I rely on Monzo for my day-to-day banking? Banks make money from direct debits, and as long as I have enough money to cover them it really shouldn’t matter to Monzo how often I’m receiving income.


This isn’t true. Direct debits actually cost Monzo money.

I do understand the frustration of the notification that you could be charged, but where would you draw the line? You saw you’re a long standing customer, if you only apply it to people who have had an account for x months, there will always be people that fall the other side of that.

And if you are unfortunate enough to lose your job, you’re probably not worried about a fee for taking out large sums of cash.

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If you get in a similar situation again, Monzo ask that you message them and they can waiver fees.

As mentioned above, it’s because they can’t make a rule that covers every possible scenario and situation so they’re aware that some will fall either side.


Do you take out more than £250 in cash a month via an ATM?

If not then it didn’t affect you anyways.

If you lose your card you can always explain to them that you’ve just moved jobs and in-between paydays.

Suddenly fell foul of this last week!

Mrs_necessiter & I both got a notification on 30/04/2021 (notably exactly 6 months to the day since the fees for allowances were implemented) effectively giving 7 days advance notice of reduced allowances.

Referencing the criteria for this, we realised that we had always failed the first one (none of the other three applied to us) because of the way we use Monzo as our main bank.

We both have regular income > £500 per month into our personal accounts but neither of us had a DD setup on those - all of our DDs have always been setup to debit our Joint account. This suits the way we have always run our finances (including as we did previously on first direct for nearly 30 years)

This was quickly resolved via in-app chat :+1:t2:

“I’m afraid the automated system has picked up the P2P (person to person) payments as incoming into the joint account” - whatever that means?!

Anyway it’s been manually extended for another year, but we still don’t meet the qualifying criteria as per the Ts&Cs - so presumably this will reoccur same time next year unless the criteria change?

Also I remain curious about (and forgot to ask why) it took 6 months for Monzo to realise and notify us. Perhaps a recent change to “the automated system”?

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Do you regularly withdraw big lumps in cash?

No, hardly use any cash at all. Never from Joint a/c. £30 in total between 20/03/2020 and today from my personal a/c. Nil from OH’s a/c.

We’re unlikely to need the bigger allowances, Monzo agree (having looked at our a/cs) that we are using them as our main bank, so it’s more about the criteria than the cost, if you get my drift.

As a “systems” person, I like to understand how things work and how they can be improved so what’s gone wrong (& why) when they don’t is usually something that attracts my interest!

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To understand what the limits are, why they did this and how they came to settling on these thresholds you can read about it in the below blog post :slight_smile:


You are on it today, fancy my job? :pray:


Who, me?? Nah I’ve done my bit & served my time in IT systems and software development for British industry! “Always thinking” though…

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