Home // Banking // Revolut vs Starling Bank – A Comparison

Revolut vs Starling Bank – A Comparison

Within the UK banking space, Starling Bank and Revolut are amongst the leaders of the app based ‘challenger’ bank pack, and are battling to pick up customers who want to have a simpler, technology focused way to manage their banking and finances. Both offer wide-ranging and flexible services, but which one would suit you? And which one will win the wiseabout.money head to head?

Contents

Starling Bank vs Revolut – Plans, Costs & Fees:

Revolut

Revolut have 4 different account levels:

Revolut StandardFree
Revolut Plus£2.99 per month
Revolut Premium£6.99 per month
Revolut Metal£12.99 per month

Along with the monthly costs, Revolut also have other costs for certain functions:

Each account level has a certain monthly allowance of fee-free ATM withdrawals. On the Free tier, this is £200 per month. Above that level, customers are charged 2% of the amount withdrawn, with a minimum of £1.

Starling Bank

Starling Bank keep it simple; they only have one account tier, which is free. There is no monthly paid option, and every account feature is available on the free plan.

Starling Bank do not charge for ATM withdrawals.

Cash can be paid into your Starling Bank account via the Post Office, and there is no charge for this.

/ Verdict /

Starling Bank offer a straightforward banking solution, with very low costs, and few frills. Revolut have a similar offering on their free tier, whilst you can access more extras if you pay for the monthly paid tiers. Based on comparing the free version of Revolut with Starling Bank’s standard account, which is free, it is very close, but Starling take it due to their unlimited fee free ATM withdrawals.

Revolut vs Starling Bank – Features:

Revolut

Mobile App

Mobile App: The Revolut app provides an easy and intuitive front-end for your financial life.

Analytics

Utilise budget and analysis tools like goal setting and notifications to help you achieve your financial goals. Within Analytics you can set customer categories to help you separate your spending.

Pockets

Within your account, create separate spaces called Pockets, which allow you to separate out your money for bills, entertainment or any other regular spending area.

Vaults

Similar to Pockets, but built for saving rather than everyday spending, Vaults allow you to create areas within your account to save for multiple things.

Starling Bank

Mobile App

The Starling Bank app is simple to use for all banking requirements.

Instant Notifications

Receive instant alerts for any activity on your Starling Bank account.

Savings Spaces

Create separate spaces that are within your account, but separate to your everyday funds, so you can save.

Categorised Spending Insights

All payments made from your account can be categorised, so you can see exactly what you are spending on each area. Categories cannot be created but rather selected from a list.

Round Ups

Starling will round up any payments to the nearest £, and send the change to a saving space that you create. They call them ‘virtual piggy banks’.

Desktop Access

Use your Starling Bank account from your computer as well as via the app.

/ Verdict /

In terms of everyday banking, Starling Bank have a very simple and transparent system that can easily replace your current bank. With Revolut, they do have similar functions but Starling’s are a little more comprehensive, so we give them this round.

Starling Bank vs Revolut – Debit Card:

Revolut

  • All customers get a Mastercard debit card. Subscribers to the Metal tier get a metal card.
  • Card payments are free across all tiers.
  • ATM withdrawals – withdraw £200/month on the Free & Plus plans, £400/month on the Premium plan and £800/month on the Metal plan. Above these limits 2% is charged.
  • Connect Apple Pay and Google Pay to your account. Samsung Pay is not supported currently.

Starling Bank

  • All customers get a Mastercard debit card.
  • All card payments within the UK and abroad are free.
  • Customers get unlimited, fee-free ATM withdrawals within the UK.
  • Connect your card to Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay so you can pay with your phone.

/ Verdict /

The debit card offerings are close, but we give it to Starling Bank due to the unlimited fee-free ATM withdrawals.

Revolut vs Starling Bank – Safety/Security:

Revolut

Revolut are not currently a licensed UK bank (although they are in the process of applying for a licence). This means that customer deposits are not currently protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). They are regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Revolut state that all customer deposits would be safe in the unlikely event that they were to go out of business, as all funds are kept completely separate.

Starling Bank

Starling are a licensed UK bank, and as such, customer deposits are insured up to £85,000 per customer under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

In 2021 they received the highest score out of all banks in the UK in a study by consumer group Which? that looked at banking security.

Your debit card can be instantly frozen and unfrozen via your app.

/ Verdict /

Starling Bank clearly take this round, with their status as a licensed bank, and strong security measures, propelling them above Revolut.

Starling Bank vs Revolut – Travelling/Other Currencies:

Revolut

Payments with your debit card whilst abroad are free.

Every account holder across all tiers gets a free EUR account with IBAN, as well as the main GBP account.

Currency Exchange: customers can transfer between 28+ currencies within the app at interbank rate. If on the Free or Plus account, you can transfer up to £1000 per month fee-free. Above that amount, a charge of 0.4% of the amount converted is levied. Premium or Metal tier customers have unlimited fee-free transfers.

ATM withdrawals – customers can withdraw £200/month on the Free & Plus plans, £400/month on the Premium plan and £800/month on the Metal plan. Above these limits a charge of 2% is levied.

Starling Bank

When overseas, payment with the debit card is free.

ATM withdrawals when out of the UK are fee-free, with no maximum withdrawal limit.

For currency Transfers, Starling convert at the interbank rate, with a fee of 0.4% of the amount converted.

/ Verdict /

Starling Bank do have a simple, cheap and transparent solution for travellers, with their free ATM withdrawals and set fee for currency transfers. However, they cannot really compete with Revolut’s myriad offerings in this area; a free EUR account as standard, hold and exchange many currencies at interbank rate. Revolut excel here and take this round.

Revolut vs Starling Bank – Extras:

Revolut

With Revolut, extras are in some ways what their business model is based on. They have 3 tiers that you can sign up for for a monthly fee, from Plus at £2.99, to Metal at £12.99. Some of their extras are:

Hold & Exchange 28+ Currencies within your account, and transfer between them at interbank rate.

Free EUR Account with IBAN for every customer across every account tier.

Insurances: Travel insurance and purchase protection at various levels via the paid tiers.

Stocks & Crypto: Access to trade via the app.

Metal Debit Card: Available to all customers on the Metal tier.

Starling Bank

Starling Bank do not offer much in regard to extras. There is the Starling Marketplace, which amalgamates various different products offered by 3rd party providers. As these are not part of the Starling Bank offer, then we are not going to include them here.

/ Verdict /

Really we can only choose Revolut as the winner here. Starling Bank’s product is not really built to offer extras, whereas Revolut is based around them. If you want more stuff, then Revolut is the one for you, but be prepared to pay a monthly fee!

Revolut vs Starling Bank – Verdict:

A fair comparison would be to compare the Free tier of Revolut with the main Starling Bank offering. On that basis, we find that Starling is our preference as they have the more comprehensive product that could easily replace your current bank. They also have the extra benefit of FSCS deposit protection. However, Revolut shines when it comes to extras such as metal cards, insurances, holding and transferring currencies, and access to further financial services such as investments and crypto, so if you want more than just a standard account, then Revolut is definitely worth a look.