Will Monzo show my balance abroad in the local currency?


I am going to the States in 4 weeks time and I have just gotten my monzo card but I am a little hesitant on trusting it abroad.

I am just curious as I live in the UK and I am just wondering will my balance show me what it is worth in the local currency while abroad?

The bank is still £ that doesn’t change.

You’ll see transactions appear either as £ or $ depending on how you pay.

If you pay $ it’ll show the £ once resolved.



Your balance will show as £GBP. It’s an interesting idea for your balance to show its current value in the the country you are in though.

Transactions made in the USA will show in both $USD and £GBP (pending) at the MasterCard exchange rate at the time of purchase but this will change slightly as the payment settles. The MasterCard rate is generally considered a very good option.

MasterCard is widely accepted in America.

Always make sure you pay in local currency when abroad. So, make sure the card terminal/ ATM shows $USD and decline the offer for it to convert it into £GBP for you.

Although Monzo doesn’t charge you for any ATM withdrawal abroad for the first £200 withdrawn, ATMs in the US will often have their own fees. You will also need to enable the magstrip on your card before you use it in a US ATM - this is in your app settings.

Bringing a spare card with you is always sensible advice though.

Anymore questions? Hope you have a great trip!


How do you choose to pay in local currency? Is this option needed just for ATMs!

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It’s for ATMs and in shops etc.

When you pay in a shop / restaurant etc using Chip and PIN or Swiping your card (as this is still common in USA) - you will often be given an option on the screen to pay in Pounds or Dollars - you should always choose Dollars as the exchange rate offered in store will not be very good.

ATMs may also offer you the chance to convert into pounds - again you should decline this as the Monzo / MasterCard rate will be better.

I was in the US earlier this year and had no problems using my Monzo card. It was accepted everywhere I tried. As an earlier poster mentioned you will need to enable “Mag Stripe” transactions in the Monzo app before you use an ATM as many are not chip enabled yet in US but other than that you should be fine :slight_smile:

Have a nice trip!


Damn. I opted for the GBP at the cashpoints in Austria :joy: - good to know though for future!

Aside from that the beauty of it was having the app notify me when I got back to the UK of my full holiday spending breakdown :heart_eyes:


Yup, that’s one thing you should never do when abroad with any card Monzo or not as you’ll be at the mercy of the ATM’s exchange rate. And especially if you’re in a touristy area, they’re often designed to rip you off.


When I raise children it will be the first thing I teach them.

(Baby learning to speak)
“Never allow the ATM to dictate the exchange rate whilst abroad”

#MonzoBaby :rocket:


Interestingly I had a couple of places in Poland last year where there was no choice but to pay in GBP. In fact, it didn’t even show until the receipt was printed! This is against MasterCard rules, and you can ask for a full refund through the bank :wink:


It’s not just ATMs/abroad either literally any situation you are presented with a payment in a foreign amount be it in a restaurant or paying with PayPal online never let them do the currency conversion to £, always pay in the foreign currency.


Should take a backup in case Monzo doesn’t work, not saying it won’t but take at least 1 other means of payment.


Also worth noting that if you “export transactions” via your summary - you get a full time series of transactions in local and base currency (GBP).

I choose Revolut as a backup. I store some local currency just in case then of course the conversion has been done and you’re good to go.

Certainly useful if you’re in doubt. And based on the experience in this thread, I’d most certainly do that in Poland. :hushed:

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