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  • FIRST POST
    • Bluebird Sailor
    • By Bluebird Sailor 14th Jan 20, 3:06 PM
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    Bluebird Sailor
    Is Starling Best For USA Trip?
    • #1
    • 14th Jan 20, 3:06 PM
    Is Starling Best For USA Trip? 14th Jan 20 at 3:06 PM
    Hi Guys - not asked a question here before so please be gentle with me! Off to USA in May. Looking for a card to get cash out whilst there. Considering opening a Starling personal account and putting funds in it so I can withdraw cash via ATMs as well as use it for purchases. But a bit concerned that Starling say they send a notification every time I use the card - surely that'll cost me lots of roaming charges? Any thoughts/suggestions you can give me really appreciated.
Page 1
    • jimbo26
    • By jimbo26 14th Jan 20, 3:22 PM
    • 738 Posts
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    jimbo26
    • #2
    • 14th Jan 20, 3:22 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Jan 20, 3:22 PM
    Surely you will only get a notification if you have data switched on, or are connected to Wi-Fi? If you don't have data switched on whilst in the US you won't get notifications. If the notifications are via SMS then you won't be charged in any case.
    • MallyGirl
    • By MallyGirl 14th Jan 20, 3:27 PM
    • 4,132 Posts
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    MallyGirl
    • #3
    • 14th Jan 20, 3:27 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Jan 20, 3:27 PM
    Moved to the general Credit Card board as it wasn't about stoozing
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-free Wannabe, Loans & Credit Cards boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
    • Malkytheheed
    • By Malkytheheed 14th Jan 20, 4:09 PM
    • 43 Posts
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    Malkytheheed
    • #4
    • 14th Jan 20, 4:09 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Jan 20, 4:09 PM
    Gets three sim for USA. No roaming charges
    • sazaccount
    • By sazaccount 14th Jan 20, 4:40 PM
    • 463 Posts
    • 416 Thanks
    sazaccount
    • #5
    • 14th Jan 20, 4:40 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Jan 20, 4:40 PM
    Does it say if it is a text message or app notification (I'm sure that they are app notifications but I don't use Starling)? I have Revoult and it is an app notification that only comes though if I am connected to data or wifi. When I was in Japan I didn't have a local sim so the notifications would pop up when I got somewhere with wifi.
    Thanks to money saving tips and debt repayments/becoming debt free I have been able to work and travel for the last 4 years visiting 12 countries and working within 3 of them. Currently living and working in Canada
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 14th Jan 20, 5:19 PM
    • 35,622 Posts
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    DCFC79
    • #6
    • 14th Jan 20, 5:19 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Jan 20, 5:19 PM
    The notifications are done via the app and not a text message, you would see this is the case on google, I can do it on Android but cant speak for iOS though.

    Just don't have your mobile data on.

    You can even turn the notifications off.
    Last edited by DCFC79; 14-01-2020 at 5:21 PM.
    • NoodleDoodleMan
    • By NoodleDoodleMan 15th Jan 20, 5:13 PM
    • 1,272 Posts
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    NoodleDoodleMan
    • #7
    • 15th Jan 20, 5:13 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Jan 20, 5:13 PM
    Remember a Starling card will almost certainly incur ATM usage fees in the USA.

    Not from the card company - but from the ATM owners bank.

    I'm not up to speed on specifics, but as a general rule it's a fixed amount per transaction, so better to make a larger withdrawal than a series of smaller ones.

    A top rated "user friendly" credit card is recommended for North America - one that does't apply foreign currency fees for goods and services - Halifax Clarity and Santander Zero come to mind.

    Settle as many purchases as possible with such plastic, rather than greenbacks.
    • Madmaxmillian
    • By Madmaxmillian 15th Jan 20, 6:35 PM
    • 1 Posts
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    Madmaxmillian
    • #8
    • 15th Jan 20, 6:35 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Jan 20, 6:35 PM
    We traveled the USA with a Starling card.

    We found that even though it is a debit card, it’s classed as a credit card in the USA, when trying to withdraw cash (it was confusing but didn’t affect any prices).

    Only snag, if you hire a car, you can’t pay at the pump with the card (albeit, non of our UK cards worked).
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 15th Jan 20, 7:08 PM
    • 1,230 Posts
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    Gerry1
    • #9
    • 15th Jan 20, 7:08 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Jan 20, 7:08 PM
    Only snag, if you hire a car, you canít pay at the pump with the card (albeit, non of our UK cards worked).
    Originally posted by Madmaxmillian
    You should be able to. Try entering 99999 or the zip code of your hotel. If that doesn't work, just prepay at the till.
    • sausage_time
    • By sausage_time 15th Jan 20, 7:32 PM
    • 252 Posts
    • 91 Thanks
    sausage_time
    For pay at the pump, enter digits from your UK card address postcode, padding with enough zeros at the end to make 5 digits. So SW1A 2AA would become 12000.
    • Nuadha
    • By Nuadha 16th Jan 20, 10:32 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Nuadha
    My experience in the US is that Starling works well. However, as already has been mentioned, US banks charge a fee for each ATM withdrawal from their ATM. The lowest I've seen is $1.75, the most has been over $4, but the average at most ATMs seems to about $2.50 - $3.00. It's a bit of a shock since most of our ATMs are free here. So, as advised, if you are taking cash out, do so in as few transactions as you can. It would be better if you just used the debit card to pay for things, rather than take the cash out. For tips I usually order a certain amount of $1 and $5 notes from a bureau de change or the post office before I go. I figure even though they're slightly more expensive, I'm not having to make unnecessary small purchases just to break 10s or 20s. Also keep in mind that if you use your debit (or a credit) card to pay in a restaurant, you can usually add the tip on to the bill, so you don't have to have a lot of tipping money.

    Don't worry about notifications, that's only if you have data on - and again, as someone said 3 is the best. I got an estimation coming back from the States one year that my estimated bill would have been £75,000 if I hadn't been on a Go Roam tarriff (was £17, now £15). Mind you I had used 11.5GB over the course of the month and loads of calls back home.

    If you have time and the means, what I would do is get a credit card. The Halifax Clarity is the best card now that Barclaycard have stopped offering theirs. This way you avoid the cash withdrawal fee, and credit cards are even more widely accepted in the US than the UK. They seem to work a bit better than debit cards, though I've only encountered problems with my starling in one regional chain of fast food restaurants. I have had really hit and miss with using credit and debit cards for Pay-at-the-pump, the Barclaycard was the only one I got to work, and yes I tried zip code 00000 / 99999, the digits from my postcode, etc. But I always just paid inside instead (after stubbornly trying half a dozen times).
    • hollie.weimeraner
    • By hollie.weimeraner 16th Jan 20, 10:41 AM
    • 1,891 Posts
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    hollie.weimeraner
    Whenever we go we use our Clarity Card with a cash withdrawal at the airport for as much as we think we'll use and then use the card (or Nationwide Credit Card) in shops as much as possible.

    I'd make sure you have at least 2 fee free cards to use with 1 for backup.

    There's free wifi in most places so I always paid off the cash withdrawal as soon as it appeared on my credit card account.
    3.975 KW Solar PV. 15 Canadian Black 265w panels with Sunny Boy 3600tl Inverter. SSE facing with 30 degree pitch. In occasionally sunny Sheffield.
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    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 16th Jan 20, 10:45 AM
    • 1,230 Posts
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    Gerry1
    There's free wifi in most places so I always paid off the cash withdrawal as soon as it appeared on my credit card account.
    Originally posted by hollie.weimeraner
    If you access your bank acount via unencrypted public wifi, ATM fees and foreign loading may be the least of your worries...
    • hollie.weimeraner
    • By hollie.weimeraner 16th Jan 20, 10:58 AM
    • 1,891 Posts
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    hollie.weimeraner
    If you access your bank acount via unencrypted public wifi, ATM fees and foreign loading may be the least of your worries...
    Originally posted by Gerry1
    On my phone with fingerprint authentication?
    3.975 KW Solar PV. 15 Canadian Black 265w panels with Sunny Boy 3600tl Inverter. SSE facing with 30 degree pitch. In occasionally sunny Sheffield.
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    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 16th Jan 20, 11:11 AM
    • 1,230 Posts
    • 787 Thanks
    Gerry1
    On my phone with fingerprint authentication?
    Originally posted by hollie.weimeraner
    How does unlocking your phone by fingerprint authentication then go on to provide secure public wifi?
    • oli356
    • By oli356 21st Jan 20, 9:00 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    oli356
    I bought a 12 day sim from Amazon (search "Mostsim") when I was in the US last year, cost £23 or something, so roaming shouldn't be a concern. Of course there is wifi everywhere, but I typically don't use public Wi-Fi. Don't see it as any safer than using 4G... which arguably could be more secure.
    • djp64
    • By djp64 21st Jan 20, 9:17 PM
    • 134 Posts
    • 167 Thanks
    djp64
    ATM Withdrawals at WAWA petrol stations in the USA are free : ) Used my Starling card in September of 2019 and confirmed this.


    Debbie
    • Gerry1
    • By Gerry1 21st Jan 20, 9:38 PM
    • 1,230 Posts
    • 787 Thanks
    Gerry1
    It's a few years ago, but there was no fee for using a UK £ Citi debit card in a Citi ATM. Most 7-11 stores had one. The Citi rate was also very good.
    • Grumpygit
    • By Grumpygit 21st Jan 20, 9:46 PM
    • 356 Posts
    • 507 Thanks
    Grumpygit
    We used (almost exclusively) my Starling card in the US last May.


    The only ATM's to charge fees were banks - the ones found in shops, bars etc didn't charge at all.


    Like others, none of our cards, Starling or other CC worked in the pumps even when putting in the zip code of our hotel - so we just either prepaid or I hung around the shop until hubby had finished and I paid then.


    the notifications only came through when data is on or you're in wifi so no roaming charges or text charges.



    We added up the amount of non stg transaction fees from an earlier US trip and had paid over £300 in fees on our cc, whereas this time with the Starling card we paid under £10 - a no brainer for us.


    The only thing we had issues with was funding it from Lloyds - they wanted all sorts of confirmation on the transaction, whereas HSBC - no problem in sending money to there - probably looked dodgy - sending money from Lloyds to HSBC to Starling but that's what we had to do.
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