🇺🇸 Monzo in the USA [Discussion]


Everything’s going well with my card in the middle of nowhere, Alaska thus far; I’ll be crossing the border into the Yukon Territories later today, so we’ll see how Canada handles it too! The tech is actually surprisingly modern up here; every card reader I’ve seen in shops has been a chip and pin (the salespeople always point this out like it’s something unexpected and important to mention, sometimes with added instructions on how to use it), with even one contactless-enabled machine. And yes, it is an absolute blast to see people’s reactions here to a contactless card being used - my local friend wanted me to do it again to show her it really worked, but I felt that buying 1 kilo of cherries was quite enough for one day.

In light of other people’s posts on gas stations and restaurants, I’ve stuck to cash for tips and fuel over here, but I might try paying for a tank of gas with the card in Canada to see if it’s any different.

The one thing I’m not so thrilled about is that even though I’ve enabled data roaming on my phone plan, data in particular seems very very unreliable up here, even when I have a perfectly good signal; the only time I can get the app notifications from Monzo is at the end of the day when I’m somewhere with wifi. It’s not a huge concern - certainly still more than I’d have had available five years ago - but I’m about to set off on a roadtrip for a week and I’m going to miss being able to keep a proper eye on my balance. It’d be nice if there was some way to… I don’t know, temporarily redirect alerts to a friend’s phone? Have a way to log into a very limited functionality version of the app on their phone? I’m just throwing ideas out off the top of my head, and I’d honestly be a bit surprised if this is a situation enough people find themselves in to make it worth spending any time or resources on finding a solution to the issue, but it’s annoying enough to me that I thought I may as well mention it.

Oh, sidenote: I’m so glad I got this card for my trip. I’d initially planned on just getting out cash before coming over for much of what I’d need to buy, and as chance would have it, the pound to dollar exchange rate improved significantly (+$0.06/£1) the very same day I arrived. It’s not a huge deal with the amounts I’m spending, sure, but I’d have been very annoyed to have lost out on the better rate, nonetheless.


Just tried to use Monzo to buy some baseball tickets (from the UK using US website) from TickPick. Declined the transaction though its currently pending on the app and says will take a few days to settle. Nevermind.

Used my clarity card instead. Shame though.


Tried to buy something in NYC from a store (The Container Store) that declined both my Monzo card and my debit card; turns out the problem was the card reader being a “contactless magstripe” which I guess UK cards don’t get along with. Had another place here (Trader Joe’s) not work when I tried to pay contactless, but do fine with chip and pin.


I got a rejection today from the metro trying to top my metro card up.

(Alex Sherwood) #22

One of the good things about the debit cards is they will work with contactless magstripe :boom:

(Jolin) #23

You presumably have one of the ‘old’ current account debit cards (that look like the prepaid cards)?

As Alex says, this is one of the things that the chip in the new debit cards addresses. If you have a new card (with the new MasterCard logo :arrow_down: ), then it’s probably worth posting about this issue here, and reporting it as a bug to the CA in-app support.



Sorry, no, when I said my debit card didn’t work I meant my regular bank
debit card, which made it fairly obvious that the problem was on the
retailer’s side rather than with my accounts. I don’t yet have a Monzo
card besides the prepaid.


Had one issue using my monzo card in a nightclub in Miami. They said because my name wasn’t on it they couldn’t accept it. I’m sure this rule does apply to other vendors but they’ve just turned a blind eye. So got a bit lucky.

Also I can only use my card as a credit card which is frustrating because I can’t make use of the cheaper fuel options at gas stations which you get if you have a debit card.

Also can’t pay for things online on American websites e.g. subway, tickets for events.

Finally still confused about the added tipping process with the card. I’m worried my tips are not being added to my bills.

Overall though I get better rate than my mate using a caxton card, he is also limited to 6 transactions a day on that card and also has experienced other transaction issues. Monzo definitely way forward but a bit of work still required for perfection.


Hello, I was wondering if any of you can help. I’m in the US trying to withdraw money with my monzo card, but the exchange rate is showing up as a lot lower then the master card exchange rate, theres no option to pay with GBP? What am I doing wrong, how can I withdraw using the master card exchange rate?
Thank you

(Mark Shepherdson) #27

The card works great, the only problem i have had is trying to use it on the monorail ticket machine, just comes up with an error on the screen, but every thing else has been fine

(Jolin) #28

When you withdraw, there should be and option to be charged in dollars. It might be hidden, and you’ll probably be asked to confirm a couple of times (with confusing wording pushing you to opt for being charged in pounds). If the machine doesn’t offer an option to have your account debited in dollars, then use a different ATM. Most will have this option.


What sort of ATM was it? A major bank or a Corner store type one?

(Marta) #30

@Godfather I just completed my guide about DCC, it’s what @jzw95 mentioned, just with more details:


Just an update. Card working very well but had two rejections in last two days.

One in cafe in Rockefeller.

One in dunkin donuts for a coffee.

Other than that… been good.

(Sarah) #32

I’ve just returned from New York. Only had one issue using my Monzo prepaid card and that was using the MTA self serve machines to try and buy an unlimited 7 day pass. I had to select ‘credit’ (not debit, an error message ‘you must select credit’ was displayed) and I did not enter a zip code when asked (I just pressed enter). It said ‘DECLINED invalid zip code’ and beeped. It didn’t print a ticket or a receipt so I tried again and same happened. Unfortunately for me it still charged me twice! I had to file a claim via the MTA website (make sure you record the machine number displayed on the front) and the amount of $66 was refunded a week later. I have since spoken to a colleague that the MTA machine DID work for him when he entered five zeros (00000) as the zip code.
Apart from that I had no other issues using my Monzo card in New York! Super happy and so much more convenient than carrying cash! I used a cash machine (Chase) and the fee was $3

I am going to the USA any help would be greatly appreciated
I am going to the USA any help would be greatly appreciated
Card declined reporting

When using ATM’s in the states there should be a clear instruction on the screen stating how much the transaction will cost.

Has anybody tried to use Santander machines in NYC or Boston ?

I didn’t get charged a transaction fee when using their machines previously using a Visa Debit Card.

As for DCC an airport tried to charge me 20% extra for withdrawing cash #ripoff


Hi, could you tell me if you load say pounds in the UK and then travel to the States, does your card just automatically convert to dollars when using it?


( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #35

you will always (at present) load Sterling onto your Monzo card - when you are abroad and use the card you will get the MasterCard rate at the time of withdrawal / usage in POS terminal

(Joshua Dawson) #36

Anyone had any experience with the ATMs in Vegas casinos? Don’t want to get there and have a nightmare getting play money out!


In April, on a FairFX card I was withdrawing the max daily amount ($500) the casino cash machines were charging an $8.99 ($6.99 ATM fee and $2 FairFX fee) total fee for each of these transactions.

It all depends on how much you will be spending but make sure you take multiple cards, know your available limits before you go.

Unfortunately the Monzo card limits are £250 per day and no more than £1,000 in a rolling 30 day period. I will be using it as a backup card when I go in October.