MSE News

Monzo to ditch its prepaid card from April

Monzo prepaid card holders won't be able to use them from "early April" and will instead have to sign up for a current account, the app based bank has announced.

Update: This story is from January, but there's full info on Monzo and other app-only banks in our App-based banking guide.

Monzo first warned it was ending its prepaid card back in October, but has today said they will stop working from early April - though it hasn't given an exact date.

Existing prepaid customers who wish to continue being a Monzo customer must sign up to a current account. This can be done within the Monzo app and doesn't require a new application.

Monzo says those applying for its current account will not undergo a hard credit search unless they opt for an overdraft facility.

Prepaid customers can sign up any time between now and April and those who choose to do so will be sent a new debit card within "a day or two". Monzo says customers will still be able to use their prepaid card while they wait for the new debit card.

Anyone who chooses not to go for a current account will be given 60 days' notice in February before their account is closed.

Is the Monzo current account any good?

The Monzo current account works much in the same way as the old prepaid card, with some added advantages such as supporting direct debits and bank transfers, and having full FSCS protection.

It also gives real-time notifications when you use your debit card, plus insights into your spending - a rarity among traditional bank accounts. For more information on this see our Digital Banking guide.

Monzo previously featured in our overseas spending guide as it used to offer almost unlimited fee-free overseas spending and cash withdrawals.

In September last year, however, Monzo announced it was curbing free overseas withdrawals. Free overseas cash withdrawals are now restricted to £200 a month, before a 3% charge is applied - so it can be beaten. If you want a card to use abroad, see our guide on Travel Credit Cards.

What does Monzo say?

Monzo says on its website: "We've talked at length before about the move to Monzo current accounts and the key message is this: you can keep using an upgraded Monzo current account in exactly the same way as your prepaid card, with no extra fees or charges and no overdraft (unless you opt in).

"Over the last few months, weve been inviting customers on the prepaid programme to upgrade to a full Monzo account, and over 200,000 have already upgraded."

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