Monzo vs Starling

Originally published at: Monzo vs Starling | GoVisaFree

At this age, where physical bank branches are a thing of the past, and online banking comes to the fore, the important thing is an easy-to-use and understandable banking application. At this point, there are two big banks: Starling and Monzo.

These two rival banks are, in fact, closely linked. Monzo Bank was founded by several former senior executives of Starling Bank. So it is clear that these two banks have similar visions.

So, which would be a better choice, Monzo or Starling? In this blog, we will cover the main features of these banks in detail: Starling Bank vs Monzo, the decision is yours.

Let’s start with a quick comparison table that shows the main features of the both:

Starling Bank Monzo 
  • No monthly fees
  • Quick and easy application
  • BBA chooses the Best Current Account Provider
  • No ATM fees in the UK and abroad
  • Overdraft and loans
  • 15%, 25%, and 35% variable interest rates in overdraft accounts
  • Euro, business, joint, youth, personal, and child account options
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Free and unlimited currency exchange
  • International delivery fee and 0.4% transfer fee
  • No monthly fees
  • Quick and easy application
  • No ATM fees in the UK
  • Overdraft and loans
  • 39% variable interest rate on overdraft accounts
  • Business, personal, joint, and 16-17 account options
  • Bill splitting
  • Energy switching
  • Free and unlimited currency exchange
  • International transfer via Wise
  • Free ATM withdrawals of up to £200 abroad followed by 3%

As you can see, both banks offer good features. Starling Bank charges a £5.50 delivery fee and a 0.4 percent transfer fee when transacting via SWIFT for international transfers.

On the other hand, Monzo handles international transfers by TransferWise through Wise. Depending on the fast and low-cost international transfer type, a fee of 0.35 percent to 0.65 percent is charged. You can also withdraw up to £200 abroad with Monzo for free. You have to pay a three percent fee when you exceed this limit. As a result, Starling or Monzo offer similar opportunities for international transfer and loan deposits.

Starling Bank vs Monzo: Traveling

Starling Bank Monzo 
No ATM fees No ATM fees up to £250 in the EEA and up to £200 abroad, then 3%
Mastercard exchange rate Mastercard exchange rate
No fees to spend money No fees to spend money

It can be said that there are no ATM fees in both banks, except for the Mastercard exchange 

rate. You only have to pay a three percent fee if you exceed the withdrawal limit at Monzo Bank based on your region. On the other hand, Starling Bank has no boundaries and does not charge any extra fees. At this point, we can say that Starling is more advantageous.

In addition, if you use a Monzo Premium account, you can take advantage of worldwide travel insurance and discounted airport lounges for £15 per month. 

Starling Bank vs Monzo: Savings

Starling Monzo
  • Earn 0.05% AER on your balance up to £85,000
  • Saving Spaces
  • No interest rate for free accounts
  • Earn up to 1.5% AER on paid accounts
  • Saving Pots

Monzo has Pots for you to save. In this way, you can collect your regular or one-time payments and even your extra coins here. However, Monzo does not charge any interest rate on this free savings account.

On the other hand, you can open an account as a Saving Spaces instead of Pots in Starling. You can also make your savings account more personal by adding a photo and a name. Your money in the Saving Spaces is always available, and there is no limit to keeping the money in the account. You can also save on autopilot by adding cash to the Saving Spaces from the main account or converting your transactions to the nearest pound.

As a result, Monzo charges no interest rate on the savings account, while Starling charges 0.05 percent. Thus, Starling can be preferable because of this difference.

Starling Bank vs Monzo: Security

Application security is one of the essential things in digital banking. When it comes to safety, Starling or Monzo is pretty good. For example, Face ID, Touch ID, PIN code, or fingerprint are used for logging in to the application. In addition, when you take any action from your account, instant notifications come from the application. You can also provide card control for card transactions. You can choose contactless, chip, or pin payments as you wish. You can also decide on online payments, every ATM and mobile wallet transaction, and disable any transactions you don’t want. If the card is lost or stolen, you can instantly freeze or cancel it. Monzo or Starling banks are UK-regulated banks where you can be sure your account and money are safe.

Alongside their safeguards, Monzo or Starling are also registered with the government’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This way, the money in your account is insured for up to £85,000. The reason is to prevent customers from being harmed up to a certain amount in case of bankruptcy. In addition, FSCS protection is up to £170,000 if your savings or overdraft account is a joint account. You don’t have to pay any fees to protect the joint account. It’s automatic.

In conclusion, we can say that both banks have taken high-level security measures in their online banking application.

Starling Bank vs Monzo: Transfer

Starling Bank Monzo
Single limit £250,000 £10,000
Daily limit £250,000 £10,000
Early payday X 4 p.m. the day before due

With digital banking, you can easily create recipients and transfer money because you do your transactions through the application. It provides great convenience when compared to traditional banking.

At this point, Starling Bank is more advantageous as it offers the opportunity to transfer up to £250,000.

Monzo, on the other hand, has a much lower transfer limit. With the early payment feature, if your salary is paid through BAC, you can get it the day before. 

An Alternative: N26

If you’re into digital banking, make sure you check out N26. It’s one of the pioneers in the industry and offers a transparent banking experience. N26 makes it simple to save, spend, and manage your money.

See how N26 works

Starling Bank vs Monzo: Budget & Tracking

Both banking applications are limited in money management and budgeting because Monzo and Starling’s online banking does not offer the ability to filter money in and out through the application.

The Monzo application makes it possible to set a budget through the main account, and this feature is applied to all categories. In this way, you can view all accounts on one screen.

On the other hand, Starling is less developed in terms of budgeting and tracking features. There is no budget feature in the application, and transactions can only be searched on the home page. It also doesn’t have an expense tab.

Starling Bank Monzo
Categories Set Set
Set budget No Yes
Search transactions Yes, but in transactions

not spending

Analyze spending Limited Limited
Filter in/out transactions No No
Download statements CSV and PDF QIF, CSV and PDF

Monzo vs Starling: Account Options

Starling or Monzo have various account options, both paid and free. Let’s see the options in the table below.

Starling Bank Monzo
Free account
Paid accounts X Pro & Premium
Child 6-16 & 16-17-year-olds 16-17-year-olds
Other currencies Euro X

Starling vs Monzo: Business Account 

Starling Monzo
  • No monthly fees
  • FSCS deposit protection
  • Check deposit in-app and cash
  • Connecting to FreeAgent, QuickBooks, Xero
  • Deposit £20,000 at the Post Office for £3
  • Loans and overdrafts
  • Free payments in the UK and internationally
  • Multiple admin access
  • Current Account Switch Service
  • Used by over 300,000 businesses
  • No monthly fees
  •  FSCS deposit protection
  •  Up to 3 weeks cash and check deposit
  • £1.000 cash deposit available every 6 months
  •  No fees abroad
  •  Instant and free UK bank transfers
  •  Web and mobile access
  •  Used by over 75,000 businesses

Starling Bank has many advantages with free transactions in business accounts. It has a zero-fee policy, cash and check deposits, free international and local transfers, and access to multiple managers. It offers an advanced business account with a digital receipt and payment analytics.

Besides the table above, Starling offers the Business Toolkit feature for £7 per month to manage invoices, VAT, and taxes on business accounts.

Monzo, on the other hand, has paid and free business accounts. It has slightly less functionality than Starling’s business account features. For example, credit and overdraft accounts, which are a feature you can expect from digital banking today, are not available in Monzo. Also, there is no in-app check deposit, and only checks are processed by mail. You can only deposit £1,000 cash into Monzo’s business account every six months. This may be insufficient for large-scale businesses.

So, we can say that Starling has a business account with more advanced features and functions, while Monzo has fewer. Starling is more suitable for big businesses, while Monzo may appeal more to small businesses.

Starling vs Monzo: Junior Accounts

Starling Bank offers accounts for children and teenagers. Parents can open accounts for their children aged 6-16 under their accounts. 16-17-year-olds can apply with a smartphone and passport for youth accounts. It includes all the features that adult accounts have. In this way, children and young people can develop good spending habits early. 

On the other hand, Monzo offers personal accounts only for 16-17-year-olds. 

Starling stands out in terms of account diversity.

Starling vs Monzo: Joint Account

Monzo or Starling have a joint account opening feature.

Opening a joint account with Monzo is quite easy. Two people who have a Monzo account can open a joint account by following the instructions in the accounts tab. Using the Current Account Switching Service, you can also switch your joint account from another bank under the Transition Guarantee.

Joint account holders have separate debit cards. You can also set a budget for expenses through the application and control where the money is spent.

Likewise, if both people have Starling accounts, they can easily open a joint account.

The Bottom Line

There you have it. Hope this article will help you decide which bank to use and how to compare them. 

Have you ever used Monzo or Starling? Let us know…