Using Monzo Flex to Withdraw Cash Abroad?

I have only ever deposited small amounts of cash for withdrawal in the UK before and the last time was a few years ago. I have a free Monzo account that’s empty at present and never been used for making payments (meals, shops, etc.) or at an ATM abroad. I’m going on holiday in September and intend loading it up to use it then. Can I also withdraw fee-free cash using the Monzo Flex card that I was sent or can I only get cash via the ordinary Monzo account’s card? Are they both charged at 3% if over £250 or is the Monzo Flex charged more? This limit would probably suffice as we’re only away for 7 days. Thanks.

Can’t do it, you can take money out via your normal card subject to allowances etc.

Generally speaking, it’s not advisable to withdraw cash from a credit card, as it can incur high fees


You mean add funds to your bank account, from your other bank account.

You can’t withdraw funds from a cash point with Flex, only your monzo bank card.


And it can impact your eligibility for future credit because it is visible to other lenders and can be seen as bad management of credit or desperation.

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Even abroad? Cash withdrawals on credit card always seem to be discouraged except in occasions when you’re abroad, where Martin Lewis even makes it seems like it’s okay to do that.

Heck, no fess on overseas withdrawals is a perk of the Barclaycard Rewards card. Card payments aren’t as commonly available in shops in some countries.


Interesting… not sure what would make cash withdrawals abroad any different to at home.

I expect you’re not judged negatively on it because of:

But it’s just a guess, and I don’t know any more than you. Just always strikes me odd that credit card discussions always come with a big disclaimer to never withdraw on them unless you’re desperate, but then omit that disclaimer and actually recommend doing so on certain cards abroad.

I’m sure there will be an answer on MSE somewhere.

Cash withdrawals from a credit card show on credit reports? Since when? And how do they show up/where? Never heard that before.

I have withdrawn cash from a credit card once or twice, never remember seeing anything off on my credit reports.

It is crazy, I think a Barclaycard offered free cash withdrawals, but Martin Lewis and credit reference agencies view it as negative and can be seen as bad money management, as well as majority of the time expensive (interest being charged from day 1, plus %).

Really? I didn’t actually know that. Not that I ever get cash out but definitely wouldn’t do that now

Anecdote, but in Greece it’s now law to have to accept payments by card I believe. Everywhere, even the little side stores, had a card machine when we went to Corfu. They’ve been pretty hardline about it too.

Spain on the other hand…

I made a purchase with my Barclaycard last year which they classified as a cash withdrawal for some reason. One or more of the CRAs lowered my score because I’d made a cash withdrawal on a credit card in the past 3 months. Barclaycard didn’t charge anything extra for the transaction, though.

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They don’t explicitly show for the customer but lenders can see it when they view your credit file. There’s a whooooooole lot of information on there you’re not privy to, like estimated income, types of transactions and rates on your credit card (so they can tell the difference between a balance of £2,500 at 39.9% APR vs £20,000 at 0% APR) and so on


They show as an “Insight” in ClearScore.

  • Keep your credit use low
  • No accounts in arrears
  • No recent hard searches
  • No credit card cash withdrawals
  • Stay on the electoral roll
  • Keep paying on time
  • No debt collector searches
  • Keep unsecured loans low
  • No defaults or repossessions
  • No recent legal action

I’ve never really understood why you shouldn’t be able to/be penalised for withdrawing from a credit card.

It’s not really different to withdrawing from an overdraft.

Seems a silly quirk.

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Overdraft usage is also reported, so I suppose banks would argue that they do record this - in a way.

The point is that good management of credit cards is not seen as inherently bad (it’s actually seen as good as it proves you are responsible) whereas using an overdraft, at all, counts as poor money management - so it is seen negatively by lenders whether you are overdrawn due to cash withdrawals or other transactions and therefore there is “no difference” from a credit risk analysis perspective.

Withdrawing cash from a credit card, though, is always seen as a bad sign - so it is recorded separately to flag this up.

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And it generally tanks your credit rating as well, for quite some time.

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I am assuming - with zero evidence - that a variety of banks and credit reference agencies - profiled people who withdrew money on credit cards - and discovered they were mostly ‘sub prime’. So, working backwards from there by their logic, all people getting cash advances from Credit Cards must be wastrels.

There was - as I recall - a credit card from Santander (Zero?) that didn’t charge you for cash withdrawals directly but did treat it as a cash advance internally so you paid interest from the minute you withdrew cash. Sometimes this would already have accrued by the evening or next day when you ‘paid it back’.

This inevitably led to the question as to whether or not it tanked your credit rating and there was no definite answer as I recall. I don’t think cards like this exist anymore - unless you know different.

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Huh, did not know this.
I have never until this moment thought of making a GDPR request for all my info from a CRA or a bank… now I am really wanting to do it!

I believe Barclaycard still have some cards which behave like this, although they are intended for travelling (like Santander Zero) so I don’t know if they behave the same way in the UK - is it only abroad where this is possible?

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They (Barclaycard) only advertise as a travelling perk for use abroad.

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