Planning & Budgeting

13 ways you can benefit from your Starling account on your travels

If you’re thinking about going abroad, you may be wondering what’s the best way to pay for things when overseas. Starling Bank could be an option for you - here, we look at why.

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13 ways you can benefit from your Starling account on your travels
  • Starling Bank’s app offers many features that support money management at home and abroad.
  • Customers often like the split-the-bill and nearby payments feature, which is great when abroad with friends.
  • Exchange rates are competitive so your money stretches further during holidays.
  • If your card gets stolen or lost when abroad, you can freeze it through your app, offering peace of mind.

FAQs – Travelling abroad with Starling Bank

  • Does Starling Bank have a travel card?

    The Starling Bank debit card can be used for travel purposes. That’s because it has fee-free international transactions, has competitive exchange rates, and provides convenient access to cash through ATMs. So, it is a suitable option for travellers who want a dedicated card for their travel expenses, but it also still provides access to all the other features of a Starling Bank account.

  • Does the Starling Bank account have a credit card I can use abroad?

    Starling Bank does not offer a credit card. However, Starling’s debit card can be used for international transactions and ATM withdrawals without fees so it is an alternative option as it provides convenient and cost-effective access to your money when overseas. Before you go, it’s a good idea to check with Starling Bank directly for the most up-to-date information on their products, including any changes or additions to their card options.

  • Where can I deposit money with Starling Bank?

    With Starling Bank, you can make cash deposits through the Post Office network. You can deposit cash into your account using your Starling Bank debit card at local Post Office branches. If you want to pay in cheques, you can use the mobile banking app to capture an image of the cheque up to £1,000 or by sending it via mail to their designated address for higher amounts.

  • Does everyone accept the Starling card abroad?

    While the Starling Bank debit card is widely accepted abroad, acceptance ultimately depends on the specific merchant or establishment. The Starling card is a Mastercard, which is generally accepted worldwide. However, there may be rare instances where a particular merchant or location may not accept Mastercard or may have limitations on card acceptance. Having a backup payment method when travelling abroad is always a good idea to ensure alternative options are available if needed.

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As you embark on your travels, having a Starling account could support your money management abroad. With its innovative features and traveller-friendly benefits, Starling offers a seamless banking experience designed to make your journey stress-free - whether you have a joint account, a business account or simply want travel money from your current account.

In this article, we round up 13 ways you can maximise the advantages of your Starling account during your adventures - whether they are in countries in Europe, places in Asia such as Thailand or anywhere else in the world!

1. Fee-free international transactions

With a Starling account, you can bid farewell to excessive transaction fees on international payments. Whether paying for accommodation, dining out, or shopping, enjoy fee-free foreign currency transactions that help you save money and avoid hidden charges, thanks to Starling’s zero fees. However, you might still get charged by the ATMs if you withdraw money, which is outside of Starling’s control.

2. Competitive exchange rates

Starling provides competitive exchange rates, ensuring you get more value for your money when converting currencies and don’t pay a huge markup. Instead, it only passes on the Mastercard exchange rate - its card provider. That is excellent news for travellers as you can stretch your travel budget and make the most of your escapades.

3. Instant transaction notifications

You can stay informed about your finances and account balance while travelling with Starling’s instant transaction notifications. So, whenever you use your Starling card for card payments, you'll receive instant alerts showing how much you spent in GBP and the local currency. It means you keep updated on your spending and are more aware of your financial status on the go.

4. Budgeting tools

Plan and manage your travel expenses effectively with Starling's budgeting tools. Categorise transactions, track your outlays effortlessly through the Starling app, and set up virtual cards. This feature lets you stay within your budget and avoid overspending, giving you peace of mind to just relax during your holidays.

5. Travel goals and Spaces

You can use Starling Spaces to prepare ahead for your travels financially, as these tools help you set targets and allocate funds accordingly. It can make all the difference in making your travel dreams a reality. Plus, you can use the round-up feature to help you reach your goal. It makes every single penny count.

6. Contactless payments

You can make contactless payments with your Starling card, so you complete your transactions quickly and hassle-free. You can easily pay for souvenirs or a quick meal by simply tapping your card or using your mobile device for secure payment.

7. Mobile wallet integration

You may want to make use of integrating your Starling account with mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. It’s a quick added convenience and you can make payments swiftly and securely using your smartphone or smartwatch. Plus, virtual cards allow you to spend directly from a Space through your digital wallet.

8. Instant card lock

Misplacing your card while travelling can be a real nightmare. With Starling, you can instantly lock and unlock your card through the app, providing peace of mind. Plus, it protects your finances in case of loss or theft.

9. International ATM withdrawals

You can access your money easily wherever you are by withdrawing cash from ATMs abroad - Starling allows fee-free international cash withdrawals. No fees save you from unnecessary charges when you are to access the local currency you need. To get the best rate, reject the ATM’s conversion option to get Mastercard’s instead. Remember to check your current daily withdrawal limit before you go. As of August 2023, it is six withdrawals per day, with a daily limit of £300. You might still be charged by the ATM, which is outside of Starling’s control.

10. Spending insights 

Take advantage of Starling's spending insights to clearly understand your travel expenses. Identify patterns, track your spending habits and money transfers, and make informed decisions to optimise your financial management while exploring new destinations.

11. Split the bill

When travelling with friends or family, splitting bills can become cumbersome. Starling's "Split the Bill" feature simplifies this process by allowing you to split expenses directly within the app, making settling shared costs easy.

12. Enhanced security features

Starling prioritises your account's security with features like biometric login, two-factor authentication, and real-time fraud prevention - keeping your online banking safe as it can be. So you can rest assured that your finances are protected as you explore new destinations and enjoy a worry-free holiday .

13. Customer support

Should you encounter any issues or have questions during your travels, Starling Bank provides dedicated 24/7 human customer support through various channels. Get assistance quickly and efficiently, ensuring a smooth banking experience regardless of your location.

What countries can I use my Starling Bank card in?

You can use your Starling Bank card in most countries around the world. Starling Bank supports global card acceptance, allowing you to purchase and withdraw cash internationally. The card operates on the Mastercard network, which is widely accepted worldwide. Whether travelling to popular or more remote locations, you should be able to use your Starling Bank card.

Remember that while Starling Bank provides fee-free international transactions, certain ATM operators or merchants may charge their own fees, which are beyond Starling Bank's control.

Is it safe to bank with Starling?

Starling Bank prioritises financial safety for its customers through several measures. Firstly, they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and hold a full UK banking license, ensuring compliance with rigorous regulatory standards and protecting customers.

Starling Bank is a Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) member. The FSCS is a UK statutory compensation scheme that protects eligible deposits in the event that a bank or financial institution fails. As a member of the FSCS, deposits held with Starling Bank are covered up to £85,000 per person, per banking institution. In practice, that means providing customers with an additional layer of security for their funds.

If a customer ever loses their card or has it stolen, they can instantly lock or unlock their card through the Starling Bank app - so it prevents unauthorised use. 

Lastly, should any issues or concerns arise, Starling Bank offers customer support through multiple channels, ensuring that customers receive prompt assistance and guidance.

Should I open a Starling Bank current account?

Travelling with a Starling account offers numerous advantages that can help you enjoy your holidays with no worries. From fee-free spending abroad to budgeting tools and comprehensive security features, Starling empowers you to manage your finances while on the go.

Maximise the benefits of your Starling Bank account and make the most of your travels with ease, convenience, and peace of mind.

Image Credit: Pixabay at Pexels

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