Portugal 🇵🇹

Does anyone have any experiences to share with regards to travelling to Portugal, be it Starling, Monzo or (at a push) Revolut?

OT: This is exactly the kind of stuff that was a valuable asset of the Starling forum.

At the risk of doing what I said I didn’t want to do (talking about Monzo), this does prove one of my points…

There is a big thread on the M forum about using the card in Portugal.

Aha. A good point. Why waste all that valuable customer feedback?

Well played @anon63276888.

Indeed there is and I’ll be checking it out but there’s a lot of old pre-paid stuff in there that is no longer relevant, so I was looking for anyone who’d got any recent experience of using one or the other or a combination of all of them to find the best solution.

Yeah, I saw you posted there back in June.

There still seems to be a fair amount of info after you posted - Probably more than anyone here will be able to offer.

This is the stand out for me:

I am in Portugal and I can say that I haven’t been very successful with my Monzo card:

From “Oh we don’t accept foreign cards” to the payment terminals not recognising the card, it’s been a bit painful and I was pretty much forced to take money out of the ATM, which thankfully works.

I’ve been paying attention to the terminals that work and the ones that don’t. In Portugal, a lot of businesses rent/buy terminals from local banks.
So far, the ones that haven’t worked at all were terminals that were rented by the following banks:

* Millennium BCP (Contacts )
* Banco BPI (Contacts )
* Novo Banco (Contacts )

I know for a fact that at least one of these banks (Millennium) have their own Mastercard cards, so I don’t understand why their own payment terminals are declining a Mastercard - I’m assuming they’re declining “foreign” cards.

I think Monzo’s payment team should have a word with these banks…
I’m more than willing to help out in any way I can, be it with going somewhere to try a payment (I’ll be here until the 5th of July), speaking/translating Portuguese, etc

Update : I will be doing an in-depth post about my experiences here after I get back to the UK. Hopefully, that’ll be of help to Monzo so it can actually improve service abroad.

Update 2 : Been busy with work and life, so I haven’t had time to properly do this. In hindsight, I actually think what I’ve written already is pretty spot on, though. With this said, if someone needs more info, I can give it

Bringing this topic from the dead, because it can be helpful to others in the future.

In Portugal there is a local payments system called Multibanco (owned by SIBS, a company that is owned by the Portuguese banks).

This system is one of the most advanced payment systems in the world, because it offers a lot of services that can be done on an ATM (being the pioneer in some) and on an app called MB Way, that most traditional and neo banks in the Europe don’t offer.

And guess what, it’s almost all free. Portuguese Law forced the banks, SIBS/Multibanco, not to collected any kind of fees.

Returning to the main subject, a good number of POS/payment terminals used in Portugal is only connected to the local payment system, Multibanco (owned by the Portuguese banks).

Even if the Portuguese bank cards, have the Visa (most cards) or Mastercard or American Express (very rare) or Maestro (even more rare) logo, these cards are first Multibanco system cards that can be used in any ATM and POS in Portugal, and have a secondary payment system that is the international networks, so the Portuguese cards can be used outside Portugal.

Being all this said, if someone don’t have a Multibanco card in Portugal, there is a risk that some POS don’t recognize the international networks cards. It could happen in same small shops or older ones or in not so touristic places. In the more touristic or urban places, the shops already have POS that accept both Multibanco and the other international payment systems. For example, the major supermarkets/hypermarkets and shopping mall shops accept all kinds of payment cards.