Starling Bank Current Account Review – Forbes Advisor UK

With interest earned at 0.05% AER on credit balances up to £85,000, no monthly charges to maintain the account and no additional overdraft charges on top of interest, this checking account from Starling is worth considering.

Representative example

The representative APR example gives you an estimate of how much it might cost if you borrowed a certain amount of money. This helps you compare products and provides a guide to the cost of carrying a sale. Your personal offer may vary from the representative APR example.

If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged a representative rate of 15% APR (variable).


  • 0.05% interest on credit balances up to £85,000
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum monthly deposit

The inconvenients

  • Interest from 15% to 35% EAR (variable) on arranged overdrafts
  • No cash exchange offer
  • No cashback, perks or discounts


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Main characteristics

  • 0.05% interest on credit balances up to £85,000
  • No monthly fees
  • Arranged overdraft facility charged at 15% to 35%
  • Free purchases and withdrawals abroad
  • Online and in-app banking
  • Recycled plastic debit card

Will I be eligible?

To qualify for a Starling Current Account, you must be over 16 and live at a UK address. You do not need to be a UK tax resident. This means you are not required to spend at least 183 days in the UK outside the tax year. Applications from people of all nationalities are considered.

To apply, you must download Starling from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or Huawei AppGallery, depending on your device.

What more do I need to know?

You can open a second current account with Starling for a fee of £2 per month, or a joint account, free of charge.

To apply for an arranged overdraft, you must be over 18 years old. You will be charged 15%, 25% or 35% EAR (variable) depending on your financial situation including your credit history. Interest charges of less than 10 pence for the month are waived.

Starling allows you to create virtual “Spaces” where you can compartmentalize your main account money.

For account holders with children between the ages of 6 and 16, it offers the Starling Kite feature. This allows you to assign a “Space” to your child which you can top up with money. Your child can access the “Space” using a debit card.

You can adjust the daily spending limit on your child’s “Space”, choose whether they can withdraw money or shop online, and receive notifications when they spend.

If you need someone else, such as a relative, friend, neighbor or childminder to shop for you, Starling can provide them with a “connected card”. This will give them access to a designated “Space” separate from your main account. It will be capped at a maximum balance of £200.

Is a Starling current account right for me?

Interest is paid at 0.05% AER on credit balances up to £85,000. In addition, there are no fees to manage this account, nor any additional fees applied in addition to interest on arranged overdrafts. If you go over your agreed overdraft limit, you won’t have to pay any additional charges, although the bank may block payments. Overall, this makes the account a competitive proposition under the right circumstances.

What are my alternatives?

Unlike Starling, some other current account providers currently offer cash transfer incentives.

First Direct’s first account and Santander’s current 1|2|3 account pay £175. The latter also offers up to 3% cashback on household bills and 1% interest on credit balances, but the account has a fee of £4 per month.

For £2 a month, the Santander 1|2|3 Lite current account also offers the £175 switching incentive and the same redemption rates as the 1|2|3 account. However, he does not pay credit interest. You will only get dematerialized statements if you have this account.

Nationwide Current Accounts offer a £200 switching incentive. Its FlexDirect current account also offers 1.5% interest on credit balances up to £1,500.

While Virgin Money’s M Plus account doesn’t pay a switch incentive, you get 25% cashback for two months on fuel and supermarket purchases (up to £160).

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