Managing Foreign Currencies with Cash vs Monzo While Travelling

(Conor cook) #1

I’m heading to Paris in little over a week, and I’m just wondering if I would be better off putting all of my spending money on to my Monzo card and then withdrawing it as and when I need it in Paris?
Is it a good alternative to the high street exchange rates? I.e post office, Thomas cook…


I haven’t used exchange bureaux in well over a decade due to the convienience and security of using a card and not carrying cash, but with Monzo it really becomes a great choice with their competitive exchange rates.

(David Lynn) #3

I just am on holiday now and took a small amount of currency for travel to my accommodation and the rest I have just been withdrawing from my :mondo: card. Feels much safer and has given me much much better rates. I have taken my credit and debit card just in case though, we are in Beta after all!


Just watch the ATM withdrawal limits, other users have been caught out so try using the card where possible.

(Alex Sherwood) #5

Even “no commission” currency exchange providers will almost certainly give you a worse rate than Monzo.

Money changers claim ‘0% commission’ but charge 14% above sterling-euro spot rate

Quote from this FT article

You can check the current MasterCard conversion rate here & compare it with the other providers. I’ve never seen somewhere else offer a better rate.

The MasterCard rates are incredibly good. If you need to buy €1,000 of travel money, you could save between £10-90 compared to a travel money shop or ATM.

From this blog -

(Alex Sherwood) #6

Ben makes a good point there.

You can check how much of your limits you’ve used up in the iOS app by going to the Card tab > profile (icon in the top right) > Spending and top up limits

(Ash Kierans) #7

So just clarifying,

Am I right in saying if you use the Mastercard conversion rate site you linked above, and set the bank fee to 0% (which comes out at almost exactly the live exchange rate)

Is that the rate we would be getting using the Monzo card at a foreign ATM?

Also, does the same apply for generally using the card abroad? I know that some shops when they identify using a foreign card, the machine asks do you want to pay in your currency / local currency, and they try and add their own hiked inflation rates…

(Alex Sherwood) #8

Yes it is, obviously the ATM may charge you for the withdrawal but Monzo won’t.

Yes, in all instances. Just be aware that the FX rate may change between the time when the transaction is authorised (Monzo show’s you the live MasterCard rate in the app at this time) & when it is settled (the transaction amount is updated at that point) so it’s a good idea to leave a bit of a cushion.

Yeah, not good! Usually you can insist on making the payment in the local currency instead.