Score
9.1
Key Features
  • A free Euro account in the UK
  • No monthly fees

Starling Bank Review

UK-based Starling Bank, founded in 2014 offers personal and business banking via a mobile app. The company delivers the services of a classic bank, but with no physical branches and with lower fees.

The Starling personal account works as a regular current account, enabling users to set up direct debits and standing orders. Starling Bank offers overdrafts of up to £5,000 with 15% EAR but no additional fees. The amount of overdraft one receives, however, depends on a credit check.

Setting up a Starling Bank account takes minutes, the process is paperless, and a debit card is sent via post within 2-3 business days.

Debit Card
Starling Bank Debit Card
Languages
  • EN
Plans
  • Free Account
  • International transfer fees apply
TrustPilot

Banking Features

Starling Free EUR Account

Free EUR account

In addition to a GBP account, as a secure and fast way to send and receive euros on a regular basis.It is a great feature for those who live in the UK, but get paid in EUR, or whose who want to send pounds to other European countries.

Starling Personal Loans

Personal loans

Thanks to the Starling’s partnership with “Defaqto”, the users can apply for a Starling Bank loan in a few minutes with a few taps in the app. No actual paperwork is needed, and as soon as the loan is approved, the money becomes available in the app. Users need a Starling Bank current account to apply for a personal loan.

Starling Bank Current Account Switch Service (CASS)

Current Account Switch Service (CASS)

Seamless switch from an old current bank account to Starling. Starling deals with the whole transition including all your incoming and outgoing payments, direct debits and standing orders. It will also transfer all the money over to Starling and close your old account for you. Only works with UK current bank accounts.

Starling Bank Spending

Spending

Get a record of your spending, categorized by the type of transaction (e.g. shopping, restaurants).

Starling Bank Goals

Goals

Users can set financial goals and put money away either manually or automatically, in order to keep saving and reach the goal faster.

Starling Bank In App Card Control

In-App Card Control.

A Starling Bank card can be activated and manually deactivated from within the app, if it gets lost or stolen.

Starling Bank Marketplace

Starling Bank Marketplace

An interesting feature that lets users use a number of third-party partners’ service from within the Starling App. Starling has partnerships with services, such as mortgage broker Habito, mobile insurance “ So-Sure”, travel insurance provider “Kasko”, pension provider “PensionBee”, digital investing services “Wealthsimple” and “Wealthify”, life insurance provider “Anorak”.

Starling Bank Joint Accounts

Joint accounts

Joint accounts to use with your family or close friends.

Starling Bank Split Payments

Split payments

Split payments with other Starling users.

Starling Bank Apple Pay & Google Pay

Apple Pay & Google Pay

Apple Pay & Google Pay can be connected with a Starling Account and used for payments, as well as Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay.

Deposits

There is no maximum deposit limit to how much you can pay in. (For anyone who joined after August 2018). Starling works as a regular current bank account, which means you can top up the money in lots of ways, including direct debits of a salary, ATM’s, Post Office cash deposits, or inbound wire transfers.

Smart savings

Round up your spendings and store the excess amounts as savings.

In other aspects it lacks some features that are common for its competitors:

  • No monthly budgets setting is available.
  • 3D Secure online payments are being rolled out but have not been announced as a standard feature yet.

Starling Account Types

Starling currently offers a personal current account and Starling Business accounts.

Starling Current AccountStarling Business
Price per month£0.00£0.00
Free ATM withdrawals (£)A maximum total withdrawal per day of £300A maximum total withdrawal per day of £300
Free payments
Google Pay & Apple Pay
Free withdrawals worldwideA maximum total withdrawal per day of £300 + Mastercard currency exchange rateA maximum total withdrawal per day of £300 + Mastercard currency exchange rate
Dedicated Customer Support
Saving Pots
Xero, FreeAgent & Quickbooks toolsX
Categorized spending
Organized expenses
International payments0.4% fee0.4% fee
Priority delivery with SWIFT£5.50£5.50
Payments with a link
Starling Current Account
Price per month
£0.00
Free ATM withdrawals (£)
A maximum total withdrawal per day of £300
Free payments
checkmark
Google Pay & Apple Pay
checkmark
Free withdrawals worldwide
A maximum total withdrawal per day of £300 + Mastercard currency exchange rate
Dedicated Customer Support
checkmark
Saving Pots
checkmark
Xero, FreeAgent & Quickbooks tools
minus
Categorised spending
checkmark
International payments
0.4% fee
Priority delivery with SWIFT
£5.50
Payments with a link
checkmark
Starling Business
Price per month
£0.00
Free ATM withdrawals (£)
A maximum total withdrawal per day of £300.
Free payments
checkmark
Google Pay & Apple Pay
checkmark
Free withdrawals worldwide
A maximum total withdrawal per day of £300 + Mastercard currency exchange rate
Dedicated Customer Support
checkmark
Saving Pots
checkmark
Xero, FreeAgent & Quickbooks tools
checkmark
Categorised spending
checkmark
International payments
0.4% fee
Priority delivery with SWIFT
£5.50
Payments with a link
checkmark

Fees

There’s no monthly fee, card payments and ATM withdrawals come for free both in the UK and abroad. However, fees may apply to some of the services.

For example, users may be charged £60 for a replacement card, £20 if they need Starling Bank to certify any documents related to your account.

While Starling does not impose any withdrawal charges on customers, ATM providers in your country of destination may charge their own fee. The cost of withdrawing from ATMs differs in different countries and locations. You have a maximum daily withdrawal limit of £300.

Transferring money in the same currency as your Starling account is free, however, sending money abroad with Starling costs money: transfers imply £0.30-5.50 fee, depending on if its local or international, and the transfer method used.

Starling also applies a 0.4% currency exchange fee for international transfers.

ServiceFee
Starling foreign ATM cash withdrawalsFree
(With a maximum total withdrawal per day of £300)
Starling transfer fee£0.30-5.50
Currency exchange fee for international transfers0.4%

Security

Starling is regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority, UK) and covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), meaning users’ money is completely safe and refundable up to £85,000.

Starling Bank Notifications

Instant Notifications

The app will send instant payment notifications to keep an eye on a real-time balance.

  • The app itself uses up-to-date methods of data encryption, storing technologies, and users’ verification.
  • If a card is lost or stolen, the owner can immediately block it right from the app and then unblock if it is found.
  • Users get to set & manage which operations are available for your card, for instance, whether your card can make ATM payments or specific transactions.

Using the Starling Bank app abroad

First and foremost, Starling has a built-in Euro account, in addition to a local GBP on. It is a great feature for those who live in the UK, but get paid in EUR, or whose who want to send pounds to other European countries. Users can switch between your pound and euro accounts and convert currency between them for a 0.4% fee (from 1st September 2019), all in one app.

On both, GBP or EUR accounts, there’s no monthly fee, card payments and ATM withdrawals come for free both in the UK and abroad.

Transferring money in the same currency as your Starling account is free, however, sending money abroad with conversion costs money: transfers imply £0.30-5.50 fee, depending on if its local or international, and the transfer method used.

Starling Bank Support

Starling Customer service is available 24/7 via an in-app live chat service.

You can also contact Starling Customer Support via Phone within the UK business hours.

Pros
  • 20 minutes to create and activate the account
  • Starling “Marketplace” with services from other Fintech companies
  • Fully licensed by the FCA and PRA
Cons
  • Limited range of services
  • Only available to legal UK residents.
  • Starling is available in only one currency, GBP, contrary to other digital banks.

Conclusion

Starling seems like a decent option for UK-based youngsters, who want to experience more streamlined and efficient banking. Completely paperless, no branches, a regulated bank via a mobile app: all the elements of a modern mobile bank’s standard. The service and its features are pretty similar to those of Monese, Monzo, and others, but Monese is the only service in this list that fits for non-UK residents.

The interesting feature is a marketplace, giving the Starling users access to other handy and lucrative Fintech services, without leaving the mobile app.

However, those a third-party companies, and you will have to pay every one of them separately, while N26, another European mobile bank outsources their own features to the corresponding Fintech expert companies, and offers it all as a complete all-included package.

1/
5/5
reviewSource
By Elaine

Excellent, so easy to use online service, instantly lets you know if money has been deposited or spent.

5/5
reviewSource
By Samantha

Love the app and the whole banking style. Instant notifications of payments and spending (and declined payments) meaning if someone skims your card you know right away.

5/5
reviewSource
By dataryx

After being with the same bank for over 20 years I’ve recently found Starling Bank. I’ve been a customer for just over 6 weeks and now realise how poor my previous banking experience had been. Definitely worth a look if you want a better banking experience.