Click the Monzo referral link and sign up for a Monzo account and you will receive a BONUS £5 credited to your account balance. You need to open an account and complete one transaction within 30 days to receive your bonus.
Whilst I wouldn’t consider myself to be as much of a technophobe as I perhaps once was, I would say I’m a creature of habit and if I can avoid change, I will. I know what I like and if it can be avoided, I see no reason to leave my comfort zone. It may not surprise you therefore to read that when it was suggested to me a few years back that I open a Monzo bank account rather than stay loyal to the bank with whom I’ve banked for as long as I can remember – at least half my lifetime – I nodded politely but didn’t so much as Google what a Monzo was.
A bank with no physical branches? That is run via an app? And requires only 15 minutes of my time to set up?
Besides, maybe I like being on hold for hours at a time during limited working hours to ask one simple question requiring a one-word answer…
Either way, nobody was as surprised as me when, not too long after I’d scoffed in the face of an online bank, my sister who is even more averse to change than I am, casually said she had opened a Monzo account and really liked it. And that’s all it took. You see far more than I hate change and, to an extent, technology – I hate being left out. And so I had a look into this…Monzo. And I’m very glad I did because, for me, it’s been a game-changer.
In the interest of transparency, my Monzo account isn’t my main bank account, although I suspect it will become so this year; I still get paid into and have my rent and bills go out of an account I have with a well-known high street bank, but Monzo is the account I use for making day-to-day purchases and, with this Monzo Referral link here which will give you £5 for free, I’d encourage you to consider using it for yours too. I will add that with my confidence boosted and the service I have received from Monzo I am seriously thinking about making Monzo my main account.
What is Monzo?
Monzo is an online bank which, through just one app, offers personal and business banking accounts, any of which can be opened within minutes from your smartphone. And there’s an account for pretty much everybody including for those aged 16-17 years old who will receive almost all of the same features as a full account, but with some age-restricted blocks for their safety, and a selection of premium accounts which enable customers to manage all their finances in one place for very low to no monthly fees.
There is a lot to love about Monzo. For starters, it’s easy to set up, and it doesn’t get much more complicated once you’re in. The Monzo app is incredibly user-friendly and that, remember, is coming from a recovering technophobe. It’s colourful and inviting and has a friendly, approachable vibe which one might not usually associate with banking; this is extended to being able to use a range of emojis in your payment references or to upload photos to personalise your virtual cards with. Arguably this isn’t a reason to switch banks, but it certainly makes for a far less intimidating app than other number-based ones I’ve used.
Within minutes, assuming you have at least one piece of official photograph ID to hand, your Monzo bank account will be set up, and your instantly recognisable coral coloured card, which is accepted anywhere that excepts Mastercard, will be on its way to you.
I was drawn predominantly to the simplicity of the Monzo app and to the immediate control it gives me over my bank account. When you make a purchase with your Monzo card, it pops up on your account straight away and within seconds, you can organise the expense under a range of categories including, but not limited to: bills, groceries and personal care. As a freelancer this, and the ability to filter the categories and understand how your spending trends have changed from month to month, is incredibly useful come the end of the tax year.
Beyond this, Monzo allows you to freeze your account – and then unfreeze it soon after. This is incredibly useful if you’ve (probably) misplaced your card and saves having to call a bank to cancel it before waiting days for a replacement card to arrive when you find it hours later. Indeed, it is worth noting however that Monzo doesn’t have a customer phone line. Their customer service is efficient and friendly but solely available via chat or FAQs which I appreciate isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but with almost every business going this way nowadays, for me it isn’t a deal breaker.
One of my favourite things about Monzo is how easy it is to use alongside friends and fellow users. It’s incredibly easy to open a joint account if that’s something you’re interested in doing with say, a partner or flatmate, and you’ll be kept notified if the person you’re sharing with withdraws so much as a penny. Monzo also boasts a Split Bill feature which – well, it splits bills. The feature which runs entirely through the app, does the maths for you, whether your group needs a bill split equally or per item, and then enables you to request what is owed to you. The app will even notify you when everybody has paid their share. Monzo even lets you include people in a Split Bill group who don’t use the Monzo service although hopefully, you won’t know too many people in that boat after letting them know about our special offer! Sign up for FREE and use the Monzo referral link and you’ll receive £5 FREE when you open your account and complete one card transaction within 30 days.
But even this isn’t my favourite thing about Monzo. That is reserved for pots. Ever since I started earning my own money in my teens, I’ve been committed to saving spare change which at the end of the year can be to put towards a ‘fun’ purchase (a want rather than a need). I’d use the round-up technique whereby if I had bought something for £3.50 with a £5 note I’d put the remaining £1.50 in a (literal, physical) pot. Of course, perhaps accelerated by the Covid19 pandemic, we tend to use cash much less now, with many businesses not even accepting it. Whilst I perhaps thought little of it at first a few years ago I noticed I had saved a lot less than in previous years. I’m thrilled therefore that Monzo has what is essentially an online version of the round-up technique and it’s the key reason I’ve started using it as my day-to-day account more and more.
I’ve now saved a little chunk of ‘fun’ money which I’ve decided to keep for when I next go on holiday, during which I’ll be making good use of my Monzo card. If you travel a lot for whether that be for work or pleasure, you might be pleased to know that Monzo can be used abroad with no extra fees whilst honouring the best possible exchange rate at the time, and this includes free cash withdrawals up to £200 every 30 days (a 3% fee is charged thereafter). Find out more here about fees when using Monzo abroad.
So, I am a big fan of Monzo’s pot, not least because it’s led to me using other ways to save. Take the often drawn upon example of the daily coffee; my go to order is a black Americano, surely one of the cheaper options on most coffee shop menus, but with the cost-of-living crisis causing prices to soar, after rounding up, I was easily spending £4 on one coffee. The pot is a great thing for saving a few pounds, but also for bringing your attention to an even more efficient way of saving, which is not spending the money in the first place!
Switch to Monzo today to get saving for FREE. Use our Monzo Referral Link to receive £5 FREE cash added to your balance.