Managing spending across multiple cards

Hey everyone! :wave: hope you’re all doing well.

Would love to get your thoughts on something. Right now the team are doing a lot of thinking about spend management, to see what we can learn from how people spread their spending across different accounts. We’d love you all to weigh in on this and understand your experiences, so I’d be really keen to hear your thoughts on the following:

Think about all the cards you have in your wallet (digital or otherwise) that you use for day-to-day spending or one-off purchases:

  • How many of these do you have? Do you use more than one?
  • What do you use them all for?
  • Are there certain retailers or types of purchases that you associate with one card over another?

All answers are helpful! Thanks everyone :heart:


Monzo personal - for all my spending
Monzo joint - for house spending
Lloyds credit card - just in case
Starling - My mums card if I do any shopping for her


I only really use three cards.

Monzo Debit: Most things
Monzo Flex: Expensive things
Tesco Credit: Wife and I both get groceries and petrol on it for the clubcard points, and with the amount of petrol I buy it’s a substantial wedge of points


Monzo Joint- for bills
Amex- For everyday purchases
Tesco Credit Card- places that don’t accept amex


Two cards

First Direct: Day to Day Spend
Barclays: Bills and big purchases

Set a total amount for the day to day spend at the beginning of the month, aim to keep the number as high as possible for as long as possible. Do check per category but only at month end


I have:

  • Monzo main #TeamYello (used for day-to-day stuff in-person)
  • Monzo Virtual (no pot) for occasional online purchases
  • Monzo Flex for larger purchases I want to pay off over a few months
  • Starling for car stuff (insurance, tax, servicing)
  • Starling Virtual (linked to space) for petrol
  • Various credit cards for larger purchases I want to pay off in full

I also have other accounts which are “in flux” at the moment whilst I work out what to do with them.

  • Amex: all personal and household spend
  • Barclaycard: for travel and where Amex isn’t accepted
  • RBS credit card: big purchases over 24 months
  • Starling: for when Barclaycard fails abroad :upside_down_face:
  • RBS debit: to pay off credit cards (I like the manual control of how much and when)

Monzo for virtually everything
I have a bunch of cards in Google pay for emergencies mostly, NatWest revolut etc.

Revolut when I buy for someone else and expect to be paid back, keep the stats separate, sometimes use Barclays for this too.

Curve if I need to put fee free on my Barclays but haven’t used curve in a long while.

And a Business card too.

When I carry my wallet it’s Monzo, Revolut and Barclays.


Hi @Layla

Accounts / cards as follows:-

  • First Direct - Landing account for salary, monies disbursed on payday to Monzo Personal, Monzo Joint, Starling Joint, HSBC account and a few other monthly commitments. I don’t need to pay much attention to this. The free £250 overdraft is a comfort although it never gets used.

  • Monzo Personal - My personal spending account. I really want to analyse balance, spending and have category budgets on this account so I can control my spending.

  • Monzo Virtual - 5 virtual cards linked to personal pots for specific purchases

  • Monzo Flex - used for larger purchases split over 3 months interest free

  • Monzo Joint - Household account that pays bills, mortgage ad-hoc household purchases and travel costs. Most of these payments are pretty static other than travel costs which are variable. We have several pots set aside for quarterly bills and small emergencies.

  • Starling Joint - used for household groceries only; both online groceries paid for by Halifax CC and in store purchases via Starling card.

  • AMEX - Used for car rental / hotel reservations / large purchases that attract cashback

  • Halifax Credit Card - Used weekly grocery spend, and instances when AMEX is not accepted

For me, tracking spend makes most sense at an account level. some categories such as groceries / bills / etc will be spread over one or more accounts/cards, but I don’t budget for those categories as a whole I budget within an account. This is the main reason for having separate accounts; Separation of funds is very important to me/us. In a perfect world Monzo would allow multiple personal and joint current accounts, but hey ho!

Having a global view of spending / budgets is okay to get an overall feeling , but it’s not what I look at to plan my budgets.

Hope this helps…


Amex - for everything as long as it’s accepted (UK only because of the fees)
Nationwide credit - anywhere I can’t use Amex
Starling - travel card
Revolut - FX and for paying and receiving money between my friends.

  • Monzo - For everything that I don’t use my other cards for :sweat_smile:
  • Monzo Virtual Card - I have one of these for subscriptions like Spotify, Graze…
  • Nationwide Credit Card - I use this now and then for (mostly) small online purchases, like a takeaway. I don’t like to spend too much on it but I have it so I can ‘build’ my credit score.

Then I have a Starling card for my business account’s spending (since I do some freelance work in the evenings/weekends).

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Monzo Personal - My salary is paid into this and bills and DDs go out from here. Most spending done on here.
Monzo Flex - Recently used the 6month interest free offer on two purchases.
AmEx - Fuel & Large food shop for cash back / points
BarclayCard Platinum - For large purchases and holidays (has a very large credit limit)
Barclays Premier Debit - Transfer money into here to take advantage of ISAs and the personal banking features - use for travel (underground)

  • Monzo: Get paid here and all primary spending
  • Santander CC: Fuel & expenses for some jobs that I get paid back

monzo for every thing

vanquis cc occasionally for fuel and emergencies

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Monzo: current account - paying property fees, mortgage, insurance

Creation IHG premium credit card (please could you consider linking up with Monzo??) - Hotel costs and business expenses

Amex: Other travel and big ticket spends

Tesco credit card: Grocery shopping

Starling: Main current account, so income, DDs, SOs, FPs.

Amex: Day-to-day spending and larger purchases (0.5% cashback)

Barclaycard: Wherever Amex isn’t accepted and for purchases in other currencies (no FX fee and 0.25% cashback)

Virgin Slyce: For paying things like Vehicle Tax, insurances, etc. over 6 months interest-free.

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  • AmEx Credit for all U.K. personal spending.
  • Nationwide Credit for foreign spending and places where Amex isn’t accepted.
  • Nationwide Debit for cash withdrawals.
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So, I have / use:

  • Amex for my day-to-day spending;
  • Standard Monzo for when Amex isn’t accepted;
  • Monzo Flex for big things I want to spread out over more than one month’s pay;
  • Monzo Virtual x3 for paying: bills from a pot; credit card bills from a pot I can fill up over the month as I make purchases; pre-orders so I can put money in a pot even if payment won’t be taken for a while;
  • Monzo Joint for household bills with partner;
  • Barclaycard for credit card purchases when Amex isn’t accepted (e.g. a hold / reservation) and separately for buying travel/accommodation/tickets for a group of friends so I am not out of pocket whilst waiting to be paid back and also keep it clearly delineated from my day-to-day Amex spending.

Any clues as to what you’re working on? :innocent:



  • Monzo personal for my wages and spending
  • Monzo joint for household spending and joint purchases
  • Monzo Flex for larger purchases
  • Monzo virtual cards for specific spending linked to pots
  • Nationwide Flex current account for bills
  • NatWest current account for property income and expenses
  • Sainsbury’s credit card for Sainsbury’s shopping
  • Tesco credit card for Tesco shopping
  • NatWest interest free credit card for holidays and big spending

Hope that helps

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