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  • FIRST POST
    • Skippy13
    • By Skippy13 13th Apr 19, 2:22 PM
    • 162Posts
    • 62Thanks
    Skippy13
    Monzo in the US
    • #1
    • 13th Apr 19, 2:22 PM
    Monzo in the US 13th Apr 19 at 2:22 PM
    I'm going to the US for 3 weeks next month and, rather than using a credit card for my shopping, I was looking at the Monzo account and keep the credit card for emergencies. Am I right that there are no fees to use the Monzo debit card abroad? Has anyone used it and been happy with it?

    Thanks in advance
Page 1
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 13th Apr 19, 3:02 PM
    • 1,131 Posts
    • 1,110 Thanks
    jonnygee2
    • #2
    • 13th Apr 19, 3:02 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Apr 19, 3:02 PM
    There are no fees for using the card at point of sale. There's a fee for withdrawing cash beyond £200, but in the US you probably won't need much cash.

    I'd recommend getting a second fee-free card, like Starling, as a backup. Otherwise, if you lose the Monzo card, you could end up paying a lot of fees!
    • pochisoldi
    • By pochisoldi 13th Apr 19, 3:32 PM
    • 166 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    pochisoldi
    • #3
    • 13th Apr 19, 3:32 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Apr 19, 3:32 PM
    There are no fees for using the card at point of sale. There's a fee for withdrawing cash beyond £200, but in the US you probably won't need much cash.

    I'd recommend getting a second fee-free card, like Starling, as a backup. Otherwise, if you lose the Monzo card, you could end up paying a lot of fees!
    Originally posted by jonnygee2
    In my experience of all the countries I've visited in the western world, the US is the furthest away from being a cash free society.

    Chip and PIN in the US is about 15 years behind the UK.
    Many unattended terminals are "mag strip+ZIP code", many stores are "swipe and make a random mark" because nobody checks the signature strip, I lost count of the number of terminals with gaffer taped chip+pin slots, and the number of times when I put my card in the slot and the cashier said "Ooh your card's got a chip" like I was on the bleeding edge of technology)
    Contactless in the US is where the UK was 10 years ago, pending the deployment of chip and pin capable terminals with contactless from day 1.

    It's getting better, but only this time last year I had to walk to the cashier at a gas station, hand over a $20 bill, walk back to my car, fill up with regular, then walk back to the cashier and get my change.

    Meanwhile someone with a US issued card could have shoved it in the gas pump, entered their ZIP code, filled up, picked up their receipt and been down the road, before I even left lifted the nozzle.

    Just the kind of delay you don't want when you're running late for a flight and you've still got to hand the hire car back.

    In the US I'd make alternate arrangements for cash, and use Monzo for the last $300 of my cash spend.

    PochiSoldi
    • Skippy13
    • By Skippy13 13th Apr 19, 6:57 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Skippy13
    • #4
    • 13th Apr 19, 6:57 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Apr 19, 6:57 PM
    Thanks both. I've always used a credit card in the States in the past but I want to control my spending better this time. I've opened the Monzo account (didn't like the selfie bit!) and I'm going to see how I get on with it. I like the idea of the pots for saving, so I'll probably use it for that even if I don't use it in the US.
    • stevenhp1987
    • By stevenhp1987 13th Apr 19, 10:39 PM
    • 817 Posts
    • 634 Thanks
    stevenhp1987
    • #5
    • 13th Apr 19, 10:39 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Apr 19, 10:39 PM
    It's getting better, but only this time last year I had to walk to the cashier at a gas station, hand over a $20 bill, walk back to my car, fill up with regular, then walk back to the cashier and get my change.

    Meanwhile someone with a US issued card could have shoved it in the gas pump, entered their ZIP code, filled up, picked up their receipt and been down the road, before I even left lifted the nozzle.
    Originally posted by pochisoldi
    I've found that entering the numbers of your postcode, followed by 0's work.

    E.g. AA12 3AA, enter 12300.

    I have a few foreign spend cards, only one this doesn't work on!

    Additionally, cashiers in the US are always amazed when I tap my card because they're generally only used there for Apple/Google pay...
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 15th Apr 19, 11:21 AM
    • 4,692 Posts
    • 1,524 Thanks
    Heng Leng
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:21 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:21 AM
    I've found that entering the numbers of your postcode, followed by 0's work.

    E.g. AA12 3AA, enter 12300.

    I have a few foreign spend cards, only one this doesn't work on!

    Additionally, cashiers in the US are always amazed when I tap my card because they're generally only used there for Apple/Google pay...
    Originally posted by stevenhp1987
    Entering five zeros / nines usually works just as well.

    Many US payment terminals accept chip and pin but retailer often deactivates the feature. UK cards don't really like this as they have to be swiped. Not sure how Monzo deal with it tbh.
    • gt94sss2
    • By gt94sss2 15th Apr 19, 6:42 PM
    • 4,235 Posts
    • 2,001 Thanks
    gt94sss2
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 19, 6:42 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 19, 6:42 PM
    Not sure how Monzo deal with it tbh.
    Originally posted by Heng Leng
    https://community.monzo.com/t/us-monzo-in-the-usa-wiki/4533

    https://community.monzo.com/t/us-monzo-in-the-usa-discussion/12806
    • username
    • By username 17th Apr 19, 5:42 AM
    • 434 Posts
    • 151 Thanks
    username
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 19, 5:42 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 19, 5:42 AM
    In my experience of all the countries I've visited in the western world, the US is the furthest away from being a cash free society.

    Chip and PIN in the US is about 15 years behind the UK.
    Many unattended terminals are "mag strip+ZIP code", many stores are "swipe and make a random mark" because nobody checks the signature strip, I lost count of the number of terminals with gaffer taped chip+pin slots, and the number of times when I put my card in the slot and the cashier said "Ooh your card's got a chip" like I was on the bleeding edge of technology)
    Contactless in the US is where the UK was 10 years ago, pending the deployment of chip and pin capable terminals with contactless from day 1.

    It's getting better, but only this time last year I had to walk to the cashier at a gas station, hand over a $20 bill, walk back to my car, fill up with regular, then walk back to the cashier and get my change.

    Meanwhile someone with a US issued card could have shoved it in the gas pump, entered their ZIP code, filled up, picked up their receipt and been down the road, before I even left lifted the nozzle.

    Just the kind of delay you don't want when you're running late for a flight and you've still got to hand the hire car back.

    In the US I'd make alternate arrangements for cash, and use Monzo for the last $300 of my cash spend.

    PochiSoldi
    Originally posted by pochisoldi
    I found that was the opposite, most places seemed to accept card payment even mom/pop type stores, with only some places strictly cash only.

    Much of this issue comes with the somewhat botched implementation of chip and pin.

    Whereas in the UK we are very lucky and can tap and go by default in most places, it is like stepping back into 2003 when c&p came into being in the UK, the system is very slow, both hardware response and just general wait. Swipe and sign, albeit not particularly secure, was quick and easy.

    I am surprised that large big box stores like Walmart and Target do not support contactless/Apple pay. The hardware looks capable but for whatever reason the feature is disabled.

    The postcode numerics plus zeros to pad it out seemed to work for me at gas stations for most, sometimes it didn't work and you needed to see the guy at the counter to prepay.

    You might as well use your card to make a payment in gas stations at the counter - you have to prepay X amount but some do this as a preauth and if you do not use all (say you wanted to put on $50 of gas but only drew $35 worth) it will either get corrected to the amount you drew and debit cleanly, or they will charge the $50 as a transaction and then refund the difference as a refund to the card. Saves all of the faff with having to collect your change for a second time.
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 17th Apr 19, 6:50 PM
    • 4,692 Posts
    • 1,524 Thanks
    Heng Leng
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 19, 6:50 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 19, 6:50 PM
    Thanks but I was aware of the forum and it's not entirely clear if 'pink coral' is as versatile as a UK credit card.

    I use Clarity (in the US) without a single rejection.
    • Duckyduck
    • By Duckyduck 17th Apr 19, 7:16 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 192 Thanks
    Duckyduck
    Thanks but I was aware of the forum and it's not entirely clear if 'pink coral' is as versatile as a UK credit card.

    I use Clarity (in the US) without a single rejection.
    Originally posted by Heng Leng
    Why wouldn’t it be? It’s a Mastercard product just like the Clarity. The potential issue would be holds for car/hotel where credit cards are usually recommended as many people have more available credit on a credit card than debit and so not impacted by the pending authorisation.

    To echo what someone else said, my experience of the US is it is far from being a cash economy, yes the security technology is years behind here, but cards are accepted everywhere.
    Save £12k in 2019 #36
    • Skippy13
    • By Skippy13 18th Apr 19, 8:59 AM
    • 162 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Skippy13
    I think the only time I've used cash in the US is for tips!



    I've also opened a Starling account as it seems more user friendly if I want to take out cash. I'll obviously have credit cards for hotels and for back up but I would rather know I'm spending my 'own' money!
    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 18th Apr 19, 5:20 PM
    • 4,692 Posts
    • 1,524 Thanks
    Heng Leng
    Why wouldn’t it be? It’s a Mastercard product just like the Clarity. The potential issue would be holds for car/hotel where credit cards are usually recommended as many people have more available credit on a credit card than debit and so not impacted by the pending authorisation.
    Originally posted by Duckyduck

    On the surface, all Mastercards might appear equal but you don't know what you are talking about... a non-credit checked debit card (from a tech startup) will not be as versatile as credit card (from an established player) for a number of reasons.
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