Monzo Plus launches with new virtual cards

Monzo Plus
(Image credit: Monzo)

Monzo, the London-based challenger bank is having another stab at launching a new service with Monzo Plus, a premium edition of its already popular current account. Costing £5 per month, the account comes with a number of benefits including third-party bank account aggregation and virtual debit cards.

Monzo Plus will have numerous power tools for account holders, such as custom transaction categories and the ability to export spreadsheets and credit score updates. More conventional features include discounts when shopping at partner merchants along with a practical feature that allows £400 of fee-free withdrawals every 30 days if you’re abroad.

With savings currently taking a pounding from poor rates, account holders will receive interest of 1.00% AER/Gross (variable) on balances up to £2,000.

This isn’t the first time the company has released Monzo Plus. There was an earlier incarnation, which first appeared last year but the account was withdrawn five months later. Coronavirus subsequently put paid to the re-release for Monzo Plus earlier this year.

Monzo Plus virtual cards

Monzo is taking a bit of a gamble on the paid-for bank account, but thinks the extra features add value. Its virtual card system is seen as a way of protecting your physical card due to its unique details.

The cards, which operate independently from Monzo’s physical plastic, can be used to update subscriptions and other accounts that are held online. Account holders can have up to five virtual cards, in a variety of colours, at any time.

Subscribers to the fiver-a-month service can consolidate their financial activity in one location by adding their other bank accounts and credits cards, so that they're all visible in the Monzo app.

From launch Monzo will support adding payment accounts and credit cards from Lloyds, Barclays, Barclaycard, HSBC, NatWest, Santander, Halifax, Nationwide, RBS, Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Capital One and MBNA. The bank estimates this covers over 85% of Monzo customer’s other accounts. However, American Express is not currently supported.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.