Using Monzo without mobile data

Is it possible to use your Monzo card abroad without having mobile data roaming turned on? Vodafone want to charge me £5 a day for the privilege of using my own phone in the US and Canada! I’ll have wifi in the hotels and a GPRS signal just no data! Grateful for any advice - many thanks! :+1:t2:

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WiFi will be data just not mobile data. While you are connected to WiFi it will work (I use it in Essex on WiFi where there is no mobile signal)

The card should always work, with or without data. The bits which require data are the spending notifications and using the app.


but that data connection can be over wifi it need not be mobile data via roaming


Thanks guys, much appreciated. Was a bit confused as I’d read that the system checks your phone GPS location and compares it to the merchant location and wasn’t sure if GPS worked without mobile data on.

It doesn’t use GPS location:

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Actually, GPS or not, the Monzo servers would still have to talk to your phone to find out if its location changed, so without a data connection your transactions might get declined if you’ve got Location based security turned on.

Not if the way that I think this feature works is correct & all it does is compare your phone’s location with the location of your transaction.

In that case, if Monzo can’t pick up your phone’s location (because your phone’s switched off) it would be illogical to block the transaction, just because Monzo don’t know where you are. Instead, I assume that Monzo’s other fraud detection rules (which are active regardless of whether location sharing is switched on) will kick in.

I explained my theory (I could be wrong about this) in more detail here -

If I was wrong though, I expect we’d have seen posts / tweets about transactions randomly being declined by now, from users already who’ve been caught out by this issue, as obviously people’s phone’s run out of battery quite a lot…


Your Monzo card will still work as normal when abroad, even if you have location-base security enabled, and forget to take your phone with you :airplane:

My partner left her phone switched off at home on a recent trip to Bruges, and her card still worked flawlessly wherever we went
She obviously was not able to see any notifications or top up her card via the app until we returned home

Based on that, id say you will be fine, and have the added benefit that when in a wifi zone, you will pick up any notifications in the app and be able to top up etc :slight_smile:


Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated! :grin:


Suggestion: order a free pay as you go SIM card from Three (and get your phone unlocked, if need be), then top up with their £20 add-on. 30 days, 12 GB data plus… some amount of calls and texts back to the UK, and so long as you’ve bought one of the add-ons, it all comes out of that allowance without additional roaming charges, for a lot of countries. The US is one of them, but Canada isn’t.

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