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Starling Bank opinions...

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
27 replies 8.3K views
Sun88Sun88 Forumite
2 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
Hi everyone,

New member to MSE, though I have read posts via Google many times in the past.

Anyway, I recently signed up to Starling Bank as I love going on holiday as often as possible and have been seduced by their fee free usage abroad. This has really excited me and I’m looking forward to receiving my card. However...

This evening I’ve been sitting reading reviews for Starling on Facebook and Trust Pilot etc, and there are countless negative reviews stating that they have had their accounts frozen and don’t have access to their money. I’m just wondering if any of you have experienced this??

I have a trip to Paris coming up in a few weeks and have saved a nice wedge to enjoy myself over there - obviously I’m wanting to transfer this money over to Starling and take advantage of their amazing fee free usage abroad. Reading all of these negative reviews has filled me with fear, as I really don’t want to lose access to my holiday spending money - or any money for that matter!

Can anyone share their Starling experiences please?


  • Westie983Westie983 Forumite, Board Guide
    4.9K posts
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    Hi Sun88,

    Lots of posts on here about starling if you use the search button you can narrow down.

    I have starling and Monzo accounts and haven't had any issues with either to be honest I like having the app access for easy transfer and seeing what the conversion is before my statement like other banks do.

    Any questions please ask

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  • Sun88Sun88 Forumite
    2 posts
    Thanks, I’m glad you’ve had a good experience with them.

    I had run a search before this, but nothing came up which seemed to address the issues like I mentioned.
  • SystemSystem
    177.8K posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I've posted before about how I am not keen on running my bank account only through an app and also I really dislike how they post pending transactions as if they were cleared. The latter drove me mad when I was trying to reconcile my account. I much prefer a bank which shows pending transactions in a different list.
  • PrismPrism Forumite
    1.8K posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I use Starling for my business and also have a personal account I use for holidays for the no fee exchange rates. I have had no problems at all with the service and have used my personal account on two holidays without issue. You get a notification immediately of how much in pounds you have spent when you make another currency transaction or withdraw money.
    As an aside, it seems that the cash machines are getting even more insistent that they do the money conversion for you rather than your bank. I had to press 'no' at least 4 times on a cash machine while Spain last month.
  • DCFC79DCFC79 Forumite
    39.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Ive got both and had no issues like you describe OP but I havent used them abroad yet but will be.

    Id take a second or even third means of payment if there is an issue with Starling.
  • penners324penners324 Forumite
    495 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
    About 99.99% of negative reviews on trustpilot and elsewhere are from money launderers. So Starling bank have rightly frozen their accounts.

    I've used Starling to go to Sri Lanka and didn't have a problem.
    If you're that concerned only transfer over what you need for a day or 2, then transfer again a day or 2 later.
  • grumiofoundationgrumiofoundation Forumite
    735 posts
    500 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Have never had any issues with starling when using (abroad or UK). Agree with the above poster you have to watch out for cash machines trying to do the conversion for you (Spain as well...!)

    If you are worried about losing access to the money make sure you have another account with accessible money, whether debit or credit card.

    P. S. Don't forget generally no-one bothers to review their bank until something goes wrong.
    1.6K posts
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    I find with review sites that Trust Pilot that they are swamped with negative reviews for everything - people are more than happy to complain when things go wrong, but there isn't really a reason to praise them when things go right. That said, I've been using Starling for a while now and I haven't had any issues with them. Granted I don't use them for my day to day banking, but the one time I've had to dispute transaction they were very quick to sort it out.
  • VortigernVortigern Forumite
    3K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    I've had no problems with Starling. Used it in Singapore and Australia for cash withdrawals.
  • sal_IIIsal_III Forumite
    2K posts
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary
    Can't comment on TrustPilot reviews, as I don't bother checking anything on that platform, that is swamped with paid for reviews so essentially useless for forming an opinion.

    I put my trust in MSE and I can't recall anyone complaining about frozen account with Starling, while posts for frozen accounts with high street banks are daily occurrences.

    No matter if it's Starling or other bank personally I don't like to put all my eggs in one basket, so I have a Halifax clarity CC as a backup and for car hire depots etc. in addition to the Starling debit card for holidays.
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