Starling Review 2019

Apr 2019

What is Starling?

Starling logo

Starling is a digital bank started in 2013. It is one of the oldest of the digital banks established in Berlin and now also available in the UK.

Starling is a great option if you live in the UK. It could easily replace your old bank. Also ideal for UK based travelers.

Starling-review-bank-card

Starling Review 2019
Starling fees

Account opening and maintenance fee

At Starling, account opening is free and maintaining your account is also free. There is no monthly cost to that.

Card fees

Cost of Starling bank card with delivery is also free.

ATM fees

Withdrawing money with Starling from any ATM is free.

Transfer fee

Transferring money in the same currency as your Starling account is free. The international transfer has a £0.30-5.50 fee.

Currency exchange fee

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

Starling Review 2019
Starling pros and cons

Pros

  • Has a banking license (deposit guarantee, direct debits and standing orders)

  • No limit on foreign ATM withdrawals

Cons

  • Only available to UK residents

  • Took 4 interactions with customer support until they could solve a non-standard problem

Starling Review 2019
Starling vs. Monzo

  Starling

Monzo

Multicurrency account

No

No

ATM withdrawal fees (standard account)

Free

Free in the UK

£200/month free abroad

3% after

International transfer fee £0.30-5.50 €0.5-3

International transfer exchange rate

0.4%

0.35-2%

Compare other digital banks

Starling Review 2019
Starling account opening

Opening an account at Starling is super easy: it takes only a couple of minutes to do it via your phone and receive your physical card also takes only a couple of days.

Starling countries

Starling is available only in the UK.

Starling currencies

Starling is available in only one currency, GBP, contrary to other digital banks.

Starling cards overview

Starling cards are available from Mastercard. There is no premium account.

Starling top up methods

At Starling, you can use a lot of top-up methods:

  • Bank transfer

  • Credit/debit cards

  • Cheques

  • Cash

Starling Review 2019
Starling banking features

Starling offers an array of features just like your high street bank:

  • You can see your spending categorised by the type of transaction (e.g. shopping, restaurants).

  • You can send money to other Starling users for free and instantly. You can also send a money request to another user.

  • Smart savings are also available where Starling will round up your spendings and store the excess amounts as savings.

  • These savings can also be stored separately for easier overview and management.

  • You can earn interest after your savings.

  • Setting up or cancelling direct debits is quick and easy with Starling.
  • Overdrafts are possible.

  • Joint accounts are available.
  • You can set up Apple Pay or Google Pay.

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

  • You cannot set monthly budgets.

  • 3D Secure online payments are being rolled out but have not been announced as a standard feature yet

Starling Review 2019
Starling additional features

While you can only use Starling through your mobile app and it is not available on a desktop computer as a website, you can use several other additional features:

  • Personal loans

  • Travel insurance

Would you like to invest your savings on the stock exchange? Opening an online brokerage account is just as quick and easy as opening a digital bank account. Find a cheap and reliable online broker via our broker recommendation tool.

Find your online broker

Starling Review 2019
Starling customer service

You can contact Starling via:

  • Live chat: Available on the web. We experienced 5-15 min wait time. The agent were helpful but couldn't solve our problem. 

  • Phone: When we tested, we experienced 5-10 min wait time. The system hung up three out of five times as there were no available agents

Customer service is available 24/7.

AUTHOR

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager
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