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Monzo launches new premium account with a £5 monthly fee – but is it worth it?

App-based bank Monzo has relaunched its premium 'Monzo Plus' account with a £5 monthly fee. The account offers new features including 1% interest on up to £2,000 and extra fee-free cash withdrawals abroad – but is it worth it?

Monzo originally launched an account called Monzo Plus in April 2019 before scrapping it in September of the same year following poor customer feedback.

It's now relaunched the account with new perks, but at £5 a month it's unlikely to be worth it for most, as many of the features it offers are available for free elsewhere.

What does Monzo Plus offer and is it worth it?

The new Monzo Plus costs £5/mth, and offers several features that the fee-free Monzo account doesn't. Many will like it, but you can easily match or beat many of its features for free...

  • 1% AER interest on up to £2,000. For comparison, the top easy-access savings account at the moment, from NS&I, pays 1.16% AER on £500 up to £1 million. Fee-free bank accounts pay up to 2.02% on £1,000.

  • Increased fee-free ATM withdrawal limits while abroad. You'll be able to withdraw £400 from ATMs each month while abroad, double Monzo's standard allowance of £200/mth. However, this doesn't match our top-pick overseas debit card from Starling, which offers unlimited fee-free spending and withdrawals worldwide as part of its free account.

  • The ability to view and move money around different bank and credit card accounts within the Monzo app. This is an Open Banking feature, and you can add Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Nationwide accounts among others. However, many other banks also now offer the ability for you to see bank account and credit card info from other providers in their apps, though only a few so far let you move money between accounts.

  • Monthly credit score updates. This gives you your credit score from TransUnion. However, you can get your TransUnion credit score and credit report for free elsewhere. Full details of how to check your credit reports for free, including through MSE's own Credit Club.

Other features of Monzo Plus include:

  • Up to five virtual cards. Each has its own unique details. These are available with other fintechs, but tend to only be available at a cost, or on other accounts that have a monthly fee.

  • More budgeting features including custom categories. Monzo says this was the number one feature requested by its users. Many apps now automatically sort your spending into categories (and let you recategorise spending), but few have the ability to add your own custom categories.

  • Offers and discounts. The initial offers available include 15% off Patch plants orders over £50, and 25% off FiiT home workout membership. Some of these discounts are available online or from other companies.

  • A holographic blue card. As pictured above.

While the features don't seems worth paying £60 a year for to us, what Monzo fans love is its tech, and this new account does have bespoke features like virtual debit cards and custom budgeting, which many will rate. Plus, Monzo's top of the table for customer service in our last poll, with 93% of its customers rating it 'great'.

Still want Monzo Plus? Some key info

If you do think it's worth it, you can open a Monzo Plus account from today (Thursday 16 July), and you've 14 days to change your mind fee-free. But if you go beyond a fortnight, you're committed for a minimum of three months (costing £15).

If you already have a Monzo account, you'll need to upgrade it if you want Monzo Plus – you can't have both. However, you can't upgrade a joint account as the Plus account is currently only available as an individual account.

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