🇵🇹 Monzo in Portugal [Wiki]

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 Portugal 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!

Safe travels! :wave: :airplane:


Currency

The official currency is the Euro (€)

Card usage

Card acceptance is widespread with chip & pin working flawlessly. Contactless also works fine and has been tested in stores such as Pingo Doce and Jumbo (supermarkets).
A small minority of terminals do not accept Mastercard.
A small number of stores claim to be ‘local card only’ and will tell you they don’t accept Visa or Mastercard but cannot justify it. Be aware of this and if you’re not looking for hassle, bringing a small amount of cash with you (making use of the free ATMs) is a good idea.
A few places are cash only.

ATMs

You should have no issues withdrawing cash from most ATMs with very few charging any fees at all. Please keep in mind this is at the major banks in Portugal and not the smaller ATMs available in malls and stores. Multibanco - a chain of ATMs similar to the likes of LINK have no fees across their network!

Payment and withdrawal limits

All Monzo cards have some payment and withdrawal limits. To check yours before you leave, go to your Profile section of the app and tap on Limits.

Crowdsourced merchant data

Data will most likely be scant so please try and contribute relevant feedback about transactions :slight_smile:

Miscellaneous

Public transport ticket machines require Magstripe withdrawals to be enabled.

The Lisboa Metro Network has 3G accessibility throughout and free wifi on platforms and stations so you should receive notifications instantly almost everywhere! :sunglasses:

Interesting fact courtesy of @anon44204028

Portugal has the highest proportion of cash machines in Western Europe with 1,516 machines per one million residents.

  • Dec 2016

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Portugal has its own card scheme (just like Visa or MasterCard) called Multibanco. A small number of merchants will only accept Multibanco cards, that’s what they mean by saying they only accept local cards. Some merchants will also have two terminals, one for Visa/MasterCard and another for Multibanco, so make sure to say your card doesn’t have Multibanco if you face issues paying as they may be trying with the wrong terminal.

Be aware that even if you see people paying with MasterCard or Visa branded cards in places where your card is not accepted, all Portuguese cards are dual scheme with Multibanco and one of Maestro, MC or Visa, so in situations where only Multibanco is accepted, they automatically default to that while your card will not be accepted because it lacks the Multibanco support

When it comes to ATMs, by law debit card withdrawals are always free when it comes to ATM provider fees (your bank may still charge, but that’s up to you to know :wink:). Credit cards are exempt from this and fees can be charged.

Multibanco, which is the ATM network you’ll find everywhere and which takes any kind of card, not just those running on the Multibanco scheme, doesn’t charge fees for credit card withdrawals either. Euronet does charge for credit card withdrawals and there are reports of them charging for debit cards, allegedly, according to them, by mistake. There are few Euronet ATMs, 100 vs 11000 for Multibanco, so you’re better off avoiding them altogether.

Multibanco ATMs are the same everywhere, so there’s no difference between using a Multibanco ATM at a bank branch or in a store/shopping mall, provided it says Multibanco or has the “MB” logo they’re all the exact same.

Multibanco ATMs have all kinds of different functionality which you may see advertised, like paying utility bills or buying show tickets or withdrawing cash without inserting any card, but anything beyond withdrawing cash with a card, the old fashioned way, is only available to Portuguese cards running on the Multibanco card scheme

1 Like

Hi guys im portuguese and i have an advice for you. Please avoid the small euronet atm you can find in the streets.
I read here that they claim they charge fees on debit cards by mistake. That’s a lie because even my Portuguese multibanco that is a debit card if I make a withdrawal it will charge fees anyway. So be carefull with that.
All the regular atm belonging to the national Banks you can make withdrawals with no fees attached…
Please enjoy my country and have fun using Monzo

2 Likes

Euronet doesn’t support Multibanco :wink:. And while I avoid them like any sane person would, I’ve use them 3 or 4 times and no fees where ever charged. There are however multiple reports of fees charged, which they claim to be mistakes and which are illegal as by law all debit operations have to be free. They can charge for credit cards however