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Starling Bank

Discussion in 'Money Matters' started by Alexnew, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. Alexnew
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    Alexnew Active Member

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to let you know that I recently opened an account with Starling Bank (Internet only) specifically for traveling.

    The reason for this is that they do not charge for using your card or withdrawing cash abroad. Just tested it here in Philippines for both card payment and atm withdrawal.

    I can honestly say I'm impressed so far. I will not be making it my primary account, just keeping it for traveling. I'm aware there are other banks doing the same, I just tried this company.

    Cheers
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. oss
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    oss Not Here Staff Member

    I've looked at these guys before and been thinking about getting an account, I already have a credit card that has no fees whatsoever but it would be good to a debit card that worked the same.

    Was the sign up process as easy as they say it is, that is something that has been criticised by some in the past.
  3. Alexnew
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    Alexnew Active Member

    The sign up process was very easy. I did it during the Christmas holidays, took maybe 20 minutes. Took photo of passport (maybe other docs, I can't remember) and upload, then do a quick video of yourself and upload.

    I tried to use the card for the first time yesterday and it didn't work, accessed the app to check pin but didn't remember my password to verify it. I sent a quick video to them stating what it told me onscreen and had an email with a link to reset my password about 2-3 hours later.

    I then used my card to pay a bar bill and it worked fine. This morning I withdrew cash. I'm useless at posting pictures here, but the bill was P507.37 and I received an immediate text confirming payment and the deduction in sterling from my account.

    Checked this against a currency converter app and was impressed.

    Any more questions, feel free to ask
  4. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    How much cash did you withdraw?

    Somewhat confused, there must be a charge somewhere, I have never heard of an ATM dispensing 507.37 peso before, that's just over seven quid.

    What about the charge from the Philippine ATM, 200 peso or whatever it is these days.
  5. Alexnew
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    Alexnew Active Member

    Hi Dave

    The 507 peso payment was a standard card payment in a bar, no atm involved

    The atm charged 250 peso on top of the 10000 I withdrew. But I didn't get my normal bank charge.

    Hope this clears things up?
  6. Alexnew
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    Alexnew Active Member

  7. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    The 250 peso local ATM charge is the big problem, that is £3.60 for every cashpoint withdrawal.

    Incidentally the maximum withdrawal amount on my UK cards seemed to reduce from 20,000 peso to 10,000 peso just after the fixed charge was introduced.
  8. oss
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    oss Not Here Staff Member

    For cash I transfer money to her ATM card via WorldRemit or I send the money to myself for pickup at a Cebuana, don't like picking up large amounts of cash in public though.

    The excessive ATM fees came in at the same time as the 10,000 withdrawal limit that must have been about 2009 as that's the last time I remember being able to withdraw 20,000 peso, it was clearly a very cynical move on the part of the local banks.

    Saying that many UK banks were charging you 3% transaction fees and a currency conversion fee plus up to a £3 fixed ATM charge on foreign withdrawals.
  9. oss
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    oss Not Here Staff Member

    When you were signing up did they offer an overdraft facility and if they did was it something you could turn down, I don't want them doing credit checks beyond a basic identity check as I'm still rebuilding my credit history as a result of financial disasters 10 years ago, I'm almost back at a 'good' rating.
  10. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    I use a Revolut payment card, easy to sign up for (as described above for the Starling account), and very good exchange rates, without the baggage of a current account.

    There is no charge for using the payment card and the first £200 equiv of ATM withdrawals per calendar month are free of charge, after which there is 2%.

    Loading the card is easy, I just click a button in the app, confirm the amount, and money is credited from my Citibank UK account.

    I am very much a cash person, the ridiculous ATM charges in the Philippines make money changers a good option.
  11. Alexnew
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    Alexnew Active Member

    I don't recall an overdraft being offered and can't see that I have one
  12. oss
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    oss Not Here Staff Member

    Thanks I will definitely get a Starling account at some point maybe not right now as I don't want any additional credit checks but possibly next year, it looks to be a very good deal.
  13. oss
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    oss Not Here Staff Member

    I use a FairFX Everywhere currency card, like the Revolut it loads easily (min £50) the fees are 1.4% of the transaction value at point of sale (anywhere abroad), but the FX rate is the interbank rate, it is also completely free to use for purchases in the UK and earns cashback from various retailers in the UK, my credit card would give me a better deal but handing over a credit card abroad to settle a bar bill or restaurant bill is a bit dodgy as your full credit limit is exposed for abuse every time you use it whereas with the likes of the FairFX or Revolut you are only really at risk up to the amount you have on the card at that moment.

    The Starling account would give me the advantages of my credit card and allow me to limit the cash available on it at any one time.
  14. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    I have the Revolut card and a CaxtonFX card.

    The Revolut cards wins hands down for fees, as it uses (close to) the interbank spot rate, has no charges whatever for POS transactions, or for the first £200 monthly ATM withdrawals.

    I used to run everything through an Excel spreadsheet to see what I was being charged and comparing that with the interbank rate, I still do on occasion, and think that everybody should.

    For the Philippines I prefer to use a money-changer due to the Philippine ATM transaction fees, I would expect to pay a maximum of about 2%. Always be aware of roughly what you should be getting from a money changer, in Tacloban recently I was offered a stupid rate, I suspect that she was confusing GBP with a different currency so I just walked away.
  15. oss
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    oss Not Here Staff Member

    Last year I used the money changer desk in terminal 3 when I saw that they were offering a rate at less than 1% off the interbank spot rate, I got 73.2 or close when the peso stood at 74 the day I arrived, I should have changed more that day (I only changed about £400) as I was being picked up by family and it would have been safe to carry a lot more.

    I might look at Revolut as well as they appear to only do a soft credit check for identity purposes.
  16. Shadscat
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    Shadscat New Member

    Starling is far cheaper than Revolut. Starling allows 20k withdrawals at BPI atms for a 250 php fee.
  17. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    The 250 PHP charge will be the same for Starling, Revolut, Lloyds, etc.

    An ATM that allows 20,000 withdrawals for one foreign bank card will most likely have the same limit for other international cards.

    Revolut only allows £200 equiv free ATM withdrawal allowance per month, above this further cash withdrawals cost 2%. This charge does not apply to card payments.

    I assume that the exchange rates used are very similar?

    Be interesting to do side by side comparisons with both cards used at the same time to see how they compare.
  18. Shadscat
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    Shadscat New Member

    I used Revolut for a couple of years until they put in the silly 200gbp monthly atm limit, then I had five cards running to avoid the limit but it was a hassle as the method incurred extra 250 php ATM fees.

    Yes the 20k limit is BPIs but most Phil banks only give you 10k. There's from memory one other bank with 20k limits but it's atm network is frequently offline so only got to use it once every 6 months or so.

    Both use identical Mastercard xchange rates. Only good thing about Revolut are the crypto options and the second Visa card option ( which I presume will use visa fx rates ).

    Revolut was good then they got greedy. Starling will probably go the same way once they become popular. N26 platinum is another option if you can justify the monthly fees for airport lounge access.


  19. oss
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    oss Not Here Staff Member

    Well I applied for the Revolut card the other day largely because there is no hard credit check, card arrives on Monday, the identity check took a bit more than the 10 minutes they said it would but then again I did apply after midnight.

    Looking forward to it as I travel soon and although my credit card would give me interbank rates I will feel a lot happier using a prepaid card with a limited amount of funds on it, and when in the UK I will use it as an alternative to my other prepaid card account which has a 6 quid a month fee, in fact if Revolut turns out to be reliable I will change my other prepaid account to the free version.

    People should always keep in mind that these prepaid accounts are not covered by the FSCS (the compensation scheme) and I think I will still apply for the Starling account next year which will be covered by the FSCS.
    • Informative Informative x 1

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