How to Travel With Monzo

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“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”
- Anonymous

We’ve all been there: in a foreign country, card blocked because of suspected fraud. Now you have to wait 7-10 days to have a replacement card sent to you. But wait… the icing on the cake is that they will only send the replacement card to your home address. Now what? A dodgy wire transfer from family or friends is your only real hope of enjoying the rest of your trip.

At Mondo, we love to travel and hate to play games with our banks while we are away.

As a member of the Customer Operations team, working on the front line of customer service, I get asked a lot of questions about traveling with your Mondo card. Here are our answers to the most common travel questions.

Traveling with Mondo
Using Mondo on my recent trip to Miami 😎

Do I have to tell you when I’m going abroad?

This is the last thing we want you to worry about when planning a trip, whether it’s a spontaneous city break or the honeymoon you’ve been planning for years. You do not need to call us when you are going abroad and we will not automatically block your card once we see an international transaction.

What fees should I expect traveling abroad?

You'll be pleased to hear we don't charge any fees for using your card abroad, neither at points of sale nor at ATMs. 🎉 (A 3% fee for withdrawals over £200 applies for countries outside of the European Economic Area - this limit resets monthly.)

We pass the MasterCard exchange rate directly onto you and you can find details of the current rates here. Since we use this rate, you may notice a small fluctuation between when you make the transaction and when the charge is finalised with MasterCard (normally one or two days later).

You can see these exchange rates in the Mondo app, right next to the transaction in GBP.

Will my card work without phone or internet connection?

Yes! You do not need an internet connection to use your card, but you will need one to use the app. Push notifications will come through and your app will update balances once you are connected to Wifi.

Why have I been charged twice by this restaurant?

This is mostly an issue with restaurants in the USA. The way American restaurants add the tip to a transaction makes it look like you have been charged twice. A card is swiped once for the payment and again once the tip has been added. When this happens, the first swipe is authorised, but never presented, which means the money is not actually taken out of your account. That first transaction will be automatically reversed in 10 days' time.

If you ever find yourself strapped for cash in Times Square we can always manually reverse the first transaction from our end. 💸

I tried to withdraw money from an ATM and my transaction was declined. What happened?

There are a few reasons why this might have happened. One of the most common is that you are trying to withdraw more than the daily limit. Currently, our maximum daily ATM transaction is set at £250 on a rolling 24 hour basis (you can read more about limits in section 17 of our T&Cs).

Another reason the transaction may have been declined is because you tried to withdraw from a magnetic stripe ATM rather than a Chip and Pin ATM. This comes up most often in the US and Southeast Asia as Chip and Pin cards are not as common. We are working with our issuer to try and find a solution to this issue. It is a bit difficult to differentiate between the two types of ATMs, but we are crowdsourcing a list of ATMs that do work abroad. Check out the list and contribute on our forum.

One final reason that a card may have been declined is because you have not yet passed our identity checks. This prevents you from withdrawing cash abroad or receiving peer to peer payments. You will also have lower daily limits on your card. If you suspect that this might apply to you, let us know and we can run a manual check.

Safe travels!

One of the most exciting parts of my job is to see how well traveled our users are as they test our cards in the far corners of the earth. While we’re in Beta, there may be issues like the ones listed above and so you should always bring a backup bank card with you.

We’re excited to see our users test their cards all over the globe. We won’t know of issues unless you get out there and try the card, so go ahead and pack your bags for your next adventure with Mondo by your side! 🛫

We recently updated our name to Monzo! Read more about it here.