Keeping Monzo as Main Account Moving Overseas

Hi guys,

I’ve been with Monzo since it was a prepaid card and have gotten countless friends to get an account as well. The Monzo experience is so good almost every other bank is unbearable.

I just finished uni in the UK and I moved back to the UAE. The banks here are so trash that I don’t want to use one. I do have a local account with a bank called Liv but I plan on closing it. Apart from all the apps being terribly designed and coded, there are also dumb practices with banks here like requiring a minimum of 5,000 AED (£1000) in the account and not going below it, or having a minimum salary of a similar amount to avoid penalties from the bank. I can pretty easily get by without having a local account here, but there’s a couple things I wanted to know about using Monzo while living overseas.

  1. If I spend on my Monzo card while in Dubai, will I build my credit score in the UK? I’m not fussed about my score here, but I’d like to keep my UK score high. If not, in what ways can I build it up? Would a savings pot help?

  2. Are there any restrictions on using Monzo as my only bank while overseas? In terms of UK restrictions. UAE only has a bit of VAT so tax doesn’t confuse things from this side.

Also I’m welcoming any tips for using Monzo while abroad.

Thanks for the help!

I would advise against using Monzo if you permanently move abroad for several reasons:

  1. It is against their T&Cs; you need to be a UK resident to hold an account with them
  2. If you lose/damage your card or it expires, you will be charged £30 for a replacement and might then have your account closed if Monzo discover you haven’t been transacting in the UK at all in month/years
  3. Monzo aren’t really the ideal bank for international transfers into/out of your account

I’d say try exploring if there are any neobanks there or if you can sign up to Revolut or TransferWise Borderless there. Not ideal but better than an account you could lose any time. Keep in mind Revolut and TransferWise aren’t banks and therefore your money isn’t protected the same way

Holding an UK account also won’t help you build your credit score - balances and savings aren’t reported. It would increase your average account age but that is a tiny, tiny part of your credit score and not sure how many lenders nowadays consider it. Active credit is what really helps build up your profile as a responsible borrower - but for that you need to be in the UK too

None of this is meant to be financial advice and I can’t advise how to manage your finances, just things I’d be wary of


A post was merged into an existing topic: Removed Posts October 2020

This isn’t true. Whilst they’re not visible to you on your credit report, Monzo reports balances and how much money goes in and out of your account every month.

When you apply for things they’ll use this data to guess what your salary is etc. when running affordability checks.

Do you have a source for that? Anywhere I looked said income isn’t reported and even Experian’s own website says they don’t collect income info so lenders will ask you directly

It would be quite difficult to do anyway because how do they determine what is a salary and what is your mate Pete paying you back for a pint?


For the benefit of the OP, @ndrw‘s substantive advice is key, and the credit record secondary.

Seems to be good advice.

Though I would be moving overseas, I still have a home in the UK that I’d often return to and use as my billing address. I’d still use the card with UK business though mainly online. All my services I subscribe and most entertainment I buy (Apple Music, Playstation Plus & games, Stadia, Express VPN) are all billed to my Monzo as British accounts (if that makes a difference). Plus, when returning to the UK every year for a month and a bit I’d use my Monzo for everything.

I’ll look into the other banks you have mentioned though, they may be the best option forward in this case.


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