🇧🇷 Monzo in Brazil [Discussion]

IMG_20190519_201816 These terminals didn’t work for me in Rio. Some places have other types of terminals that work but quite a few only had these and left us stuck. The cash machines all charge about £5 to get cash out too.

I confirm Monzo card doesn’t work with getnet card readers. It’s quite strange because it used to work with no problem - then it stopped around a month ago. I used it in many shops and now need to withdraw cash in order to make purchases in the same places.

Also withdrawal works only in Bradesco.

I’ve been in Brazil a few months now and am describing my experiences with Monzo card in my blog if anyone needs it: Using Monzo Card in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

In Buenos Aires (Argentina) had problems too because most of shops use archaic magstripe and even though I enabled it in my Monzo app - my card didn’t work. I only found maybe two shops that had other card readers and accepted my card. It was quite stressful because I had to rely on changing cash (fortunately had some euros and pounds) because cash machines charge some ripping £8 or so for single withdrawal. However I didn’t have problems paying by card in restaurants.


I am in Rio at the moment and I have had major problems with monzo. I figured not carrying cash was a good option and would use my card to pay for things. At Rio airport I bought coffee but when I tried to pay the card got rejected, we tried both credit and debit but it failed, my friend paid on his card for me, I have never had a problem with monzo in Europe or the US so figured it must be the machine, I didn’t think anything of it. On the first night I went to a floating restaurant for a meal, at the end of the meal I tried to pay and the card was rejected. We tried for a good half an hour with all different credit and debit options and vários different machines but nothing worked. The staff were getting frustrated and at this point we were running out of options. They eventually sent a waiter with me in a taxi to go to an ATM, the whole situation was very embarrassing. I got to the machine and I prayed that it would give me money. Thankfully in this instance it did so I paid the man plus tip, plus Uber fare back to the restaurant. I have no idea what I would have done if the machine rejected it too (which also seems to happen). Since then I have now started to carry cash (not ideal) and costs me £5 each time to withdraw and I’m well over the £200 limit for free withdrawals. The cash machines I have been using are now telling me they cannot communicate with my bank. I’m now stuck in Rio with no access to funds, I feel like I cannot do all the things I want to do for fear of getting there and not being able to pay. I’m spending my day trying to find an ATM that works and then I’m going to have to carry a large amount of cash because I cannot rely on monzo at all. I have lost all faith in monzo, my advice is don’t rely on monzo here, use another provider or bring another card because this for me has been a total nightmare.

Sounds like a horrible situation. Seems like you’re having issues with multiple cards would you mind sharing which institutions to assist with anyone else going to Brazil in the future?

I often spend a lot of time in Brazil (usually months at a time) and always use Monzo here so I’ll share my experiences.

I find if you select ‘credit’ the card works in almost every machine, the only exception to this I have found are the Getnet machines mentioned above which never work. For ATMs they all work but you will need to enable Magstripe ATMs in the app first (apart from Bradesco which support chip and pin).

I never carry cash here, I have Monzo as my primary payment method and carry my Lloyd’s bank card as a backup (this has never not worked).

1 Like

Hi, I’m there next month again so ill update to see if anything has changed. But unfortunatley Getnet seem to be common machines so having just monzo is not an option.

Hi I am currently in South America travelling. I have had some issues using monzo so I thought I would share.

Mostly I have managed with just my monzo card but I did have issues on 2 occasions. Trying to book a hotel in Brazil wouldn’t work so I had to use my bank of Scotland MasterCard which worked fine.

The another occasion I was getting some Patagonia lager (muy lindo!) from a bodega in Paraguay. The card would not go through despite trying both credit/debit. The machine asked for an AUTH CODE which I didn’t understand and ended up entering my pin. Not sure what happened but I ended up getting the beer for free!!! The seller thought the payment went through however it didnt, and I was long gone!

I also had issues withdrawing money in quite a few locations and had to find other ATMs. I’m not sure if it was an issue with certain banks.

Anyway, hope this helps


I’m back in Brazil and have some good news, GetNet machines now seem to work with Monzo! :blush:

Can confirm, I am in Brazil at the moment and GetNet seem fine, not had a single issue :slight_smile:

Does anyone know if you can activate a UK Monzo card in Brazil? I lost my card whilst travelling and my sister brought me my replacement card.


Yes, you just activate it in the app

So, let me understand I am going back to Brasil this week (15/03/2020), I can use my monzo card anywhere I go, but one question…when we use it, is the discount money in reais or pounds? As I am reading here I can also withdraw money as I could read just in Bradesco, right? And the bank it doesn’t charge any fees??? But every transaction it charges €5 … And above €200 free of charges?!? Is that correct?


That’s good to know. I lived in Brazil until 2018 before moving to the UK, and those getnet machines were terrible. They would often reject even my debit cards from national bank accounts. That’s one of the reasons I would ALWAYS carry some cash with me. It would also happen that sometimes their “system” was down, and card payments would not work at all. If I visited Brazil today, I’d still not rely on having just a debit card; having cash for these cases is always a good idea.

The Getnet machines also offer the choice of paying in the local currency or in US dollars when using a Canadian card. Apparently whatever bank that programmed the machines aren’t aware Canada has its own currency…

A bit late to answer now, but it’s called Elo.
Obviously, if a merchant only accepts Elo cards, they won’t accept Monzo.

They may also assume that you mean an Elo card if you say “debit card”. Just tell them Monzo is a credit card, it doesn’t matter.