This is a wiki crowdsourced by the Monzo Community to help you travel with Monzo.
Just like Wikipedia, anyone can edit it to help out others. If you have any tips or feedback for visiting Germany with Monzo, please feel free to edit this guide. You can also add a comment or question below — someone will then incorporate your comment into the main text below and then delete your comment. To create your own “Monzo in …” guide if one doesn’t already exist, just copy this template into a new post and write away!
Euro, €, EUR
For historical and cultural reasons, Germany is still a largely cash society. Card usage is on the increase, but is still a bit hit-and-miss. You’ll probably be fine in most supermarkets (e.g. Rewe, Rewe City), but not all Penny (discount supermarket) stores. Most restaurants, particularly in tourist areas, will take card, but most cafes / ice cream shops will not. Most tourist souvenir stores that accept cards will require customers to spend a minimum amount before cards can be used. The post office now requires cash payment for post stamps.
A very small number of stores might only accept “electronic cash” cards (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_cash) but not Mastercard debit cards.
DB (Deutsche Bahn) terminals accept Monzo, but regional train/underground services vary - Hamburg and Frankfurt only accept local EC cards, but Munich’s terminals are fine. NB: there’s a surcharge if you use a manned ticket sales window.
Edit 25/7/19: Frankfurt’s transport system had no issues with a Monzo card
Beware that, much like in the USA, your card might be scanned as contactless (for transactions of all values) and then be prompted for a PIN. Don’t walk off thinking you’ve done a contactless payment, you’ll get chased by the store staff in German! You are unlikely to be asked if you want to pay in GBP or EUR (but if you are, remember to select EUR to get Monzo’s rate), but the card machine often recognises the card is from the UK and switches to using English language.
Anywhere outside of the cities in small shops and restaurants it’s always good to keep cash on hand just in case.
German residents are used to charges on ATMs for withdrawals unless with their own or a partner bank, so you may see signs on the ATM about charges. Generally there is no charge by the ATM for withdrawals on your Monzo card on major banks’ ATMs, but this may not be the case in some more independent and out-of-the-way ATMs (as in the UK). If unsure, try to use a big bank (Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank), and change the ATM to English mode.
Payment and withdrawal limits
All Monzo cards have some payment and withdrawal limits. To check yours before you leave, tap “Account” under the picture of your card and then “Spending and card limits”.
Crowdsourced merchant data
Merchant data is hit-and-miss in Germany, so please use the in-app features to correct incorrect merchant data.
As a travel tip, everywhere in Berlin wants you to pay in cash. It’s just a cultural thing.
Card acceptance is really good in Munich and Stuttgart but some restaurants only accept cash, even in touristy areas like the main street.
For drivers, ‘pay at pump’ is mostly non existent, take at least a little emergency cash for fuel.
Tips of up to 10% at restaurants are normal, but you should tell the server what you want to pay, rather than them get you change and leaving some behind.
Transport tickets purchased often have to be validated before travel and on the first journey you have to “punch in” the time you start at the machines on the tram/platform (more common in Munich than in other cities). Check to see if the ticket machine has selected ‘immediate validation’ (i.e. the machine will stamp it for you), or if there are validation points on the platforms/top of escalators. The DB app supports e-ticket purchase from local public transport operators. Foreign cards can be used for such purchases.
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