Monzo Flex Review: Is It The Best Way To Buy Now, Pay Later

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In recent years, the concept of “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) has gained immense popularity, allowing consumers to purchase goods and services without paying the full amount upfront. Among the numerous BNPL providers, Monzo Flex is a unique offering from the UK-based digital bank, Monzo.

Launched in 2021, Monzo Flex allows customers to spread the cost of their purchase over 3, 6, or 12 months, with the option to pay interest-free or with a variable interest rate of 29% APR. But is Monzo Flex the best way to buy now and pay later? In this review, we’ll explain the key features, fees, and benefits of Monzo Flex to help you decide.

Features and Fees

Monzo Flex is available to Monzo bank account holders. As long as they have enough credit, they can use the service on most transactions. The service works similarly to other BNPL providers, such as Klarna, allowing customers to divide the cost of purchases into instalments.

With Monzo Flex, customers can choose to pay in 3 monthly instalments without incurring any interest or opt for 6 or 12-month payment plans with interest charged at 29% APR variable. There are no charges for making repayments before time, and customers can also choose to move from 3 to 6 or 12 instalments if they are struggling to make payments.

How to apply for Monzo Flex

To apply for Monzo Flex, you will need to have a Monzo account and follow these steps:

Download and open the Monzo app on your mobile device.

You can check your eligibility for Monzo Flex by using the app’s eligibility checker. This will give you an instant decision without affecting your credit score.

You can apply for Monzo Flex directly in the app if you are eligible. You must provide some personal and financial information, including your ID and proof of address.

Once you have applied, you will be given a credit limit for Monzo Flex. You can use this credit limit to make purchases and split them into instalments.

You will receive a virtual Monzo Flex card, which you can use to purchase online or in-store. You can also use Apple/Google Pay or contactless payments.

When you make a purchase, you can pay in full or split the cost into instalments. You can also select a payment plan that suits you, with options for interest-free payments or longer-term loans at a fixed rate.

Make your payments on time to avoid late fees or penalties. The Monzo app allows you to manage your payments and view your account balance.

How it Works ?

To use Monzo Flex, customers must first apply for the service, which involves an eligibility check to see if they are likely to be approved. This soft search on their credit file won’t harm their credit rating or be visible to other lenders.

Customers can also move any payment from the previous two weeks onto a Flex payment plan, with the initial payment beind made and the remaining instalments refunded back to their account.

Pros and cons of Monzo Flex

Look at the pros and cons of Monzo Flex:

  • Flexibility: Monzo Flex allows you to split your purchases into monthly payments, giving you more flexibility in your budgeting and financial planning.
  • Interest-free instalments: You can pay for your purchases in 3 interest-free monthly instalments, making it a more affordable option.
  • Variable repayment terms: You can pay your purchases over 6 or 12 instalments at a variable interest rate of 29% APR.
  • Virtual card: Monzo Flex comes with a virtual card for online transactions, allowing you to make purchases without carrying a physical card.
  • Contactless payments: You can use your virtual card for contactless payments, making it convenient to make purchases without entering your card details.
  • Easy to manage: You can manage your Monzo Flex payments through the Monzo app, making it easy to keep track of your payments and make changes as needed.
  • No late fees: Monzo Flex does not charge late fees, making it a more affordable option for those who struggle to make payments on time.

Cons of Monzo Flex:

  • Interest charges: If you choose to pay over 6 or 12 instalments, you will be charged interest at a variable rate of 29% APR.
  • Credit check: Monzo Flex requires a credit check, which may affect your credit score if you are not approved.
  • Credit limit: The maximum credit limit for Monzo Flex is £3000, which may not be sufficient for larger purchases.
  • Late payment fees: While Monzo Flex does not charge late fees, missing payments can still affect your credit score and may result in additional fees from the retailer.
  • Not suitable for everyone: Monzo Flex is not suitable for everyone, particularly those who struggle to make payments on time or have poor credit history.
  • Limited retailers: Monzo Flex is only available for purchases from selected retailers, which may limit its use.

Alternatives

Monzo Flex is a buy now, pay later (BNPL) product offered by Monzo, a digital bank in the UK. It allows customers to spread the cost of purchases over 3, 6, or 12 months, with the option to pay interest-free or with a variable interest rate of 29% APR. If you are not satisfied with Monzo Flex, here are some alternatives:

Virgin Money Slyce: This BNPL service allows you to pay in instalments over 3, 6, 9, or 12 months, with no interest charges if you pay within the agreed timeframe. You do not need a Virgin Money account to use Slyce but a UK bank account.

Barclays Instalments: This service is available on Amazon and allows you to spread the cost of purchases over 3-48 months. Interest rates apply, but there may be special promotions with interest-free periods.

Other alternatives: If you are looking for more options, you can consider the following:

  • Fi: A digital bank offering various financial services, including a BNPL product.
  • Varo: A mobile banking app that offers a BNPL service with no interest charges or fees.
  • Bobby App: A digital bank that offers a BNPL service with flexible repayment terms.

Other digital banks with similar services: Some other digital banks in the UK offer similar services, such as:

  • Starling Bank: A digital bank that offers a BNPL service with flexible repayment terms.
  • Monese: A digital bank that offers a BNPL service with low fees and flexible repayment terms.

Does Monzo Flex affect your credit score?

Monzo Flex can affect your credit score. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Some users on Reddit mentioned that using Monzo Flex can cause a mild hit to their credit score if they exceed 30% of their credit limit or have a high credit utilisation ratio. However, their credit score will soon be restored if they maintain a good payment record.
  • Another user mentioned that Monzo has been reporting Flex usage to credit agencies for a while now, which can affect credit scores.
  • A user on the MoneySavingExpert Forum mentioned that Monzo Flex is okay as long as you pay it off within the specified time frame and do not miss any monthly payments. However, another user warned that using Monzo Flex regularly can affect your credit score.
  • A review of Monzo Flex mentioned that your credit score can be affected depending on how well you manage your repayments. If you split your payments over 6 or 12 months, the interest rate charged is fairly high, making your purchase expensive.
  • Monzo’s own help center states that decreasing your credit limit or increasing it will not impact your credit score, but if you’re not eligible for a higher limit, a soft search will be run, which won’t affect your credit score.

Who is Monzo Flex suitable for?

Monzo Flex may be a good option for:

  • Individuals who need to make large purchases but do not have the funds available upfront.
  • Those who want to spread the cost of a purchase over time.
  • People who are looking to build their credit score and manage their finances responsibly.

Who may want to avoid Monzo Flex?

Monzo Flex may not be suitable for:

  • Those who struggle with overspending or have a history of missed payments.
  • Individuals who are not comfortable with credit or have a poor credit history.
  • Those who need a higher credit limit or more flexible repayment terms.

Is Monzo Flex safe?

Monzo Flex is a credit product that allows users to split purchases into monthly instalments. Here are some key points to consider regarding the safety of Monzo Flex:

  • Credit Score Impact: Using Monzo Flex will be reported to the main credit reference agencies, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, which means it can impact your credit score. This can be positive if you use it responsibly and make timely payments, but negative if you do not.
  • Interest Rates: Monzo Flex offers 0% interest for 3-month instalments but 29% APR (variable) for 6- or 12-month instalments. You should be mindful of your credit limit and make timely payments to avoid interest charges.
  • Missed Payments: If you miss a payment, you have 7 days to make one. If you do not, Monzo will try to take a smaller amount and switch you to a longer instalment plan. This highlights the importance of making timely payments to avoid potential negative impacts on your credit score.
  • Credit Limit: You will have a set credit limit, which may vary depending on your credit score. Be cautious not to exceed this limit to avoid potential financial difficulties.
  • Security: Monzo Flex is a credit product offered by Monzo, a reputable financial institution. As with any credit product, it is essential to understand the terms and conditions, including the fees and interest rates, before using it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Monzo Flex is a unique BNPL offering that provides customers with flexibility and convenience when purchasing. While it has its benefits, such as no late fees and the option to make repayments early, it is essential to consider the potential impact on credit ratings and the variable interest rate. 

If you are considering using Monzo Flex, make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully and use the service responsibly to avoid any negative consequences.

Some Questions

Is Monzo Flex available to all Monzo customers?

No, Monzo Flex is only available to Monzo bank account holders.

How do I apply for Monzo Flex?

If approved, you can apply for Monzo Flex through the Monzo app. This process involves an eligibility check and a full credit check.

Can I use Monzo Flex on all transactions?

No, Monzo Flex is available on most transactions as long as you have enough credit.

Are there any late fees for missed payments?

No late fees for missed payments, but interest will be charged at a 29% APR variable.

Can I use Monzo Flex to build my credit score?

Yes, using Monzo Flex responsibly and making timely payments can help build your credit score.

Are there any alternative BNPL providers available in the UK?

Yes, several alternative BNPL providers are available in the UK, including Virgin Money Slyce and Barclays Instalments.

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