New to the UK? Open a bank account in minutes with Monzo

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New to the UK? Open a bank account in minutes with Monzo

If you've moved to the UK or you're thinking of moving, you'll probably be looking to get a new bank account. 

A bank account is essential to starting your life in the UK. It makes it easier to receive your salary and pay taxes, and it can help you avoid charges for using a non-UK card here. But getting a bank account when you’re new to the country isn’t always easy and can often be a complicated process.

Some high street banks need you to go into a local branch and ask you for proof of address, which can be difficult if you haven't found a place to live yet.

Opening a bank account with Monzo takes minutes. You can sign up from your phone and we won’t ask you for proof of address (we verify your date of birth instead).

Like all banks, Monzo is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

You can still keep your bank accounts back home if you open a Monzo account in the UK. Whether you’re back home or in the UK, with a bank account in the UK and at home, you can always be spending in the local currency!

Get started with opening a bank account

Just download the Monzo app and follow the instructions to sign up.

To confirm your identity, we’ll ask you to take a picture of your ID and a short video of yourself.

You’ll need one of the following forms of ID:

  • Passport

  • Driving licence (you can use a provisional licence)

  • National ID card

  • Other government issued photo ID

We’ll ask for a UK address where we can send your debit card and it’ll arrive there in a few working days. 

You can use your work address or a friend’s address (just make sure you’ve asked their permission!).

You can sign up without providing proof of address

You usually need to prove you have a bank account to rent a home or pay your bills. But to get a bank account at most banks, you usually need to provide proof of your address.

At Monzo, we don’t ask you to prove your address because we verify your birthday instead. This can be useful for non-residents of the UK.

When you sign up for a Monzo bank account, we’re legally required to verify your identity. 

There are two ways we can do that: by verifying your name and address, or your name and date of birth. We do the latter when we check your ID during signup.

Read more about getting Monzo without a fixed address here.

How much does opening a new bank account cost?

Opening a Monzo account and using it day-to-day is free. If you have an overdraft, we’ll charge you when you use it. Find out more about using Monzo’s overdraft here.

You can set up a basic account with no monthly costs from most banks. A basic account is usually enough for your everyday spending. Keep in mind that a lot of banks (including Monzo!) have accounts that offer things like overdrafts. Banks will often charge money or fees for these features.

Most banks offer free cash withdrawals, but some ATM machines charge you for transactions and so it's important to check the machine before you make a cash withdrawal.

If you’re using Monzo abroad, we’ll only charge you the Mastercard exchange rate, without any other fees. Withdrawals from an ATM are fee-free in the European Economic Area (EEA). If you use Monzo in other countries, you can take out £200 for free every 30 days. After that, we’ll charge you 3%. You can see a full list of EEA countries here.

When you're taking money out of a foreign ATM, make sure you choose to be charged in the local currency. This makes sure you'll be charged the local exchange rate and no extra fees! 

Here’s how to avoid paying more when you get cash out on holiday. 

Which type of bank account should you get?

There are four main types of bank accounts: current accounts, savings accounts, basic bank accounts and joint accounts. We've outlined a bit about each one below.

Current Account

A current account is the most common bank account which is used for everyday needs such as paying bills, receiving your salary and everyday shopping. They often come with a contactless debit card and your bank might give you an arranged overdraft, sometimes with an overdraft limit.

Find out more about opening a current account with Monzo!💰

Basic Account

A basic account is a free account for people who are struggling to open a current account. A basic account can be useful if your credit score is low because they're designed for people without good credit histories. You won’t have access to an overdraft or cheque book. But there are no fees and you don’t need to deposit money to open one.

Savings Account

Savings accounts can help you put away money for the future. This can be something big like a car or a holiday, or you could be creating a rainy-day fund for emergencies. A savings account pays interest on the money you put away, so over time you’ll see your savings grow. The interest rates, fees and how you access your money vary, depending on which kind of savings account you choose and the bank or building society you're with.

Find out more about opening a savings account with Monzo!💰

Joint bank accounts

These are useful for people who want to share their finances, like couples, families and even housemates. A joint account can be in multiple people’s names, meaning each of them can add and use the money.

Find out more about opening a joint account with Monzo!💰

Other helpful everyday things to know

Moving to a new place that you don't know very well can often be overwhelming. Setting up a new bank account can often be the best way to get started with your move, before you start sorting out other everyday things.

If you're looking for a place to live, it can be a good idea to work out which areas will work best for you and for your family.

It can be helpful to look at things like:

  • Nearby shops and facilities

  • Transport connections and your commute to work

  • School catchment areas

  • The local environment.

Whether you're looking to rent a house or buy, try this calculator to see where in the UK suits your finances best. 

Keep in mind that there will be extra costs like Council Tax and National Insurance.

You usually have to pay Council Tax if you're 18 or over and own or rent a home in the UK. Here's some more information on how much you might have to pay.

You pay National Insurance to get certain benefits and the State Pension. You pay National Insurance if you’re 16 or over, and:

  • An employee earning above £166 per week, or

  • Self-employed, and making a profit of £6,365 or more a year

If you’re looking for a guide on moving to the UK, here's some more helpful information and tips! And the only thing left to say is… welcome to the UK!

Open a UK bank account with Monzo in minutes from your phone!