Monzo in Colombia 🇨🇴

(Alex Sherwood) #1

Has anyone used Monzo in Columbia so far? If so, please share your advice here!

Using my Monzo card around the world
Travelling with Monzo: The Americas
Current/Checking/Savings Account when taking money out of ATM
(Ben Green) #2

Maybe either withdraw from an ATM over there, provided your banks conversion charges aren’t too extortionate, or convert some of your GBP to COP.

(Brice) #3

Monzo worked like a charmed on my last 3 weeks trip to Colombia.
Things to keep in mind:
BBVA doesn’t seem to work for withdrawing money at the atm. I used Bancolombia or Diviendo (i think that s the name of it, or similar).
Colombia does have an issue with paying with credit card where 50% of the time they ask for ID, as you don’t have your name on the card it is kind of useless. I always chatted my way out of it though, explain that’s a foreign card and you will enter your pin and they will go through with it.
The rate was great and no fees. A life saver!

(Danny Martinez) #4

Used for 2 weeks in 3 different cities. No issues, was asked for ID, but as soon as I explained it asked for a pin they seemed to be ok with it.

When withdrawing cash, Davivienda seemed to work without any charges – actually used the opportunity to get a few more monzonauts on board when I showed a few relatives (who also live in London) that I saved £20 on a £190 cash withdrawal simply by letting Monzo take care of the exchange rate instead of the ATM!

One caveat is that for one withdrawal the ATM said there were no available funds, yet still took the money from my account. Thankfully it was ~£5, but even after submitting the form for the claims process (after using the in app chat to get advice from Monzo), I still don’t seem to have had an update a few weeks after. This could be because this is a process that takes time though – one bit of feedback is the claims process is very manual (you have to enter a lot of details that Monzo already has), so definitely opportunity to streamline the process :slight_smile:

(Joshua Greenhalgh) #5

Which bank did you have the issue with getting no cash?

(Danny Martinez) #6

Think it was less about the bank, more about the specific ATM machine (this was a Davivienda ATM which I subsequently used for all my other withdrawals)

(Jose) #7

That’s right, when you withdraw Colombian Pesos from an ATM in Colombia, it will give you the option to be charged either in Pounds or in Colombian Pesos.

Always choose to be charged in Colombian Pesos to make sure you get Monzo’s exchange rate, which is a lot better than the exchange rate you would get from the ATM if you choose to be charged in Pounds.

Same thing at the shops: some shops will give you the choice of Pesos or Pounds. Again always choose Pesos.

Both Davivienda and Bancolombia ATMs worked well for me.

I never had an issue when paying at the shops for having a card with no name. They always ask for ID and ask you to sign the card payment slip to compare that the signature at the back of the card matches the one on your ID.

(John R) #8

Just come back from 32 days in various cities in Colombia and wanted to thank Monzo for an excellent product.
I found that ATM from Bancolombia did not charge any fee of the withdrawal. The max daily withdrawal appears to be 600000 pesos.
Other banks I tried but did not use wanted to charge 12000 pesos.
Since I had Celular Data, the Monzo app was instant in notifying me of the withdrawal.
Thanks Monzo, and now I’m back sorry to hear your considering charging a fee in the future.
John R

(Hugh) #9

Not considering, they will be. Foreign ATMs are costing Monzo huge amounts of money and they intend to pass that cost on at price to the user.

(Laura Parker) #10

Hey. Currently travelling in Colombia for a month.

Monzo has worked in every town/city I have been in.

Reiterate other replies that Davivienda (the logo is a weird cartoon house/face) and BanColombia (three stripe logo of the Colombian flag) both do not charge extra fees so for the time being are free to get cash.

BBVA never works.

Remember to turn on your magistripe when you want to get cash out as many ATMs use this and may not work otherwise.

If the shop/restaurant ect take card (many outside the main cities do not) I normally use the Monzo card and it works although there are sometimes issues and you have to try a few times. I think this may be that the internet connection is too poor to connect to verify the card but not sure.

Enjoy Colombia!


Hi guys.
Thanks for the tips here.
I just tried Bancocolombia (in the South) yesterday and it charged me 12.000 Pesos.
There is no way to find out the fee before you click confirm all they say is that there will be a charge.
We used Banco Bogota at airport and they charged 10.000 pesos.
Will try Davidvienda next time and keep you posted!!

(Dawid) #12

Bancolombia charges 12 000, but you can find out the charge if at the last point you select “Show charges information”. The last option is Davivienda indeed

(james malvern) #13

i’m off to Colombia next week for a few weeks. I’ve read the comments above from the last year or two in Colombia. What’s the consensus on ATMs? Any tips on how to avoid big charges (not avoid charges totally) and anything else? I’ll be in Bogota, Medellin, then briefly Cartagena

thanks in advance

(Dawid) #14

Davivienda is the only one that doesn’t charge extra fees as far as I know - I tried it yesterday. They will ask you if you want their exchange rate and the info looks like if you choose “no” it will cancel the whole transaction but in reality it is cancelling only their exchange rate, which of course is a bit lower than Monzo’s.

I think (my assumption) in the past not all banks/operators/atms showed the information about the fee. But I tried 6 different banks and at the very end they always ask to display information about charges (perhaps they’re required to do that now?) and they still very from 10,000 to 12,600. That’s why I’m assuming Davivienda is still without fees as there was no information about possible charges.

Also when the charge is applied it is not “hidden” in the exchange rate or anything. If you take 100,000 and charge is 10,000 Monzo feed will indeed show 110,00.

I took 200,000 from Davivienda yesterday. They wanted to give my exchange rate of 3785, Monzo’s (not settled yet) - 3973.27

This is all based on Medellin where I’ve been for the last 3 weeks

(james malvern) #15

cheers Dawid!

(Alex) #16

Hey, as far as I am concerned Davivienda also charges fees, which are not charged separately but included in the total amount you withdraw. The only remaining free of charge bank that I know of is called Banco Pichincha (black and yellow colors; I think it is an Ecuadorian bank). There are very few ATMs in general, but there are some in Medellín, Pereira…).

(Dawid) #17

Are you sure? I know it’s just an assumption but based on all the banks in all the countries I have visited it looks like they have to display information about the fees if they occur?

(Alex) #18

I saw them make the transition from no fee at all to bumped up amount withdrawn with no breakdown available, just a total sum on your Monzo card

(Dawid) #19

hmm I don’t think that’s how it is. If I take 220000 COP, there’s no information about transaction fee, and I decline their rate (which is bad and that’s probably where they make the profit), then in Monzo I see 220 000 COP taken (and I get the same in cash) with Mozno-provided exchange rate

(Dawid) #20

Just an update after two months. Davivienda still doesn’t charge for ATM Withdrawals. Also their rate is awful.

I took 520 000 pesos today and Davivienda wanted to charge me 143.45 GBP, Monzo (after exchange rate has settled) 136.89 GBP that’s 6.56 quid, which is almost one month GitHub premium, or 3 vegan chai lattes here in Medellin