🇵🇹 Monzo in Portugal [Discussion]

(Jeremy) #61

I don’t think it’s that - I warned them about the mag stripe thing actually and not a limit thing as they’ve only just arrived last night. They’ve used the in-app help and have just had a reply back on there saying they should be good now, so I reply back when they have tried it.

(David Roberts) #62

Yes 1 ATM transaction worked fine. Made 17 transactions in total only one issue was with a parking meter at the airport otherwise all have been fine including a restaurant and a store in Vilamoura yesterday.

(Jeremy) #63

Thanks, yes my wife has just confirmed they have now used their cards successfully in Vilamoura so all good now.

( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #64

any indication of what it was that was stopping use ?

(Jeremy) #65

I’ll have to wait for my wife to return and speak with her properly to answer that! All I got was as text message “last time I’m listening to you with your fancy new card, it doesn’t work - it has been declined” :slight_smile: and after a bit of back and forth to assist she said Monzo said their engineers were working on it and she was waiting for their response, which she got later, but it was a while before they went out to try.

(Hugo Vieira) #66

I am in Portugal and I can say that I haven’t been very successful with my Monzo card:

From “Oh we don’t accept foreign cards” to the payment terminals not recognising the card, it’s been a bit painful and I was pretty much forced to take money out of the ATM, which thankfully works.

I’ve been paying attention to the terminals that work and the ones that don’t. In Portugal, a lot of businesses rent/buy terminals from local banks.
So far, the ones that haven’t worked at all were terminals that were rented by the following banks:

I know for a fact that at least one of these banks (Millennium) have their own Mastercard cards, so I don’t understand why their own payment terminals are declining a Mastercard - I’m assuming they’re declining “foreign” cards.

I think Monzo’s payment team should have a word with these banks…
I’m more than willing to help out in any way I can, be it with going somewhere to try a payment (I’ll be here until the 5th of July), speaking/translating Portuguese, etc

Update: I will be doing an in-depth post about my experiences here after I get back to the UK. Hopefully, that’ll be of help to Monzo so it can actually improve service abroad.

Update 2: Been busy with work and life, so I haven’t had time to properly do this. In hindsight, I actually think what I’ve written already is pretty spot on, though. With this said, if someone needs more info, I can give it

(chrisdalziel) #67

Just got back from Portugal. Only had one problem where my Monzo card was declined at a small cafe with a Millennium BCP card machine. My HSBC card was declined too.

Interestingly, the chap at the cafe explained that the owner initially agreed a deal with Millennium where they’d only accept ‘local’ cards. He’d been trying to change it to accept international cards but has had problems with the bank in updating the machine.

Not sure how reliable the chap at the cafe is but it might add a bit of extra colour to Hugo’s great write up.

(Brandon Billingham) #68

Same thing happened in a McCafé They could only accept local cards but the McDonalds it was in could accept international cards. Sadly you couldn’t pay for the McCafé purchase in McDonalds :man_shrugging:

(Hugo Vieira) #69

I’ll add to this that I had issues both in Porto and Lisbon, and even in big establishments like McDonald’s in both cities.

Again, I still think that the issue does not lie in the businesses (apart from a special one I went to that flat out refused to accept my card because “it was foreign”) but in the banks mentioned above that seem to be doing doing dodgy things with the terminals.


Just returned from Madeira. Found that the Monzo Card worked in various shops and restaurants in Funchal. The Monzo card was also accepted on the flight by Easy Jet. I did not use the ATM to withdraw cash.

(Paul) #71

Hi…I drew €50 Euros out of an ATM in Alvor Portugal yesterday and was charged €2.95?! This was the first money I’d drawn out abroad so was under the £200 so should have been free. I selected local currency…I think it said Interbank at the top of the ATM. do I have to avoid some ATMs?

(Jamie 🏳️‍🌈) #72

Just as in the UK, some cashpoints charge their own fee when used.

(Harry) #73

The ATM itself may have fees which you need to look out for. The ATM should always tell you what the charge is before you commit.

If you used a legacy bank you would have been charged the ATM fee and the banks ATM fee which is awful imo. :tired_face:

In future, if it states it’s going to charge you on screen as you go through the steps then don’t bother and find another one. If you’re in Europe most major bank ATMs shouldn’t charge.

(MikeF) #74

As others have said, Monzo promise not to charge you for foreign withdrawals under £200. They don’t promise that foreign banks won’t charge you ATM fees for withdrawing money.

(Paul) #75

Yeah, I will try another ATM. I’ve looked at 3 in this area, all were Euronet and they were all charging €2.95. I’ll do another search today. On the plus side I’ve used my Monzo card at a couple of restaurants and no charges and good exchange rate. :slight_smile:

(#fullmonzo joint account since Aug18) #76

Heading to Lisbon tomorrow and hoping that by now everything is sweet and also expecting more reliable and tourist friendly terminals in the capitol :grimacing:

(Ian Cooper) #77

We arrived in Faro yesterday & haven’t had any problems yet other than Monzo thinks we’re in Ireland!

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #78

Haha. You’re sure you got on the right plane? Seriously, I was in Faro for a few days last year. It’s a lovely place. Enjoy!


No, the ATM cannot charge you fees in Portugal. Portuguese law is very clear that debit ATM withdrawals have to be free, ATM providers cannot charge fees, only banks but that is up to you to know what your bank’s fees are. This rule doesn’t apply to credit cards tough.

In practical terms, Multibanco never charges for withdrawals, no matter if using a debit or credit card, while Euronet “may” charge for withdrawals with credit cards. There are however documented cases where Euronet charged for debit card withdrawals, supposedly by mistake when asked by the media about it. In short, avoid Euronet like the plague and you’ll be fine.

As for card acceptance, it has nothing to do with the bank renting out the terminal or the card being foreign or not. It’s simply that some merchants only accept Multibanco, which besides being an ATM network is also its own card scheme just like Visa or MC. Virtually all Portuguese issued cards are dual scheme with Multibanco and a combination of one Maestro, MasterCard or Visa.

Since the interchange fee cap exists pretty much all new contracts with merchants include acceptance for all card schemes, only older pre 2015 contracts may only include Multibanco acceptance and not MC/Visa. As merchants update contract conditions acceptance will improve. The most notorious case of only accepting MB, McDonalds has been updating terminals in the last few months and now most locations will accept all kinds of card