Starling Euro Account Review: Fees, Features and Alternatives 2023
Starling is a popular digital bank which lets personal customers open accounts in both GBP and EUR. You’ll need to hold a personal GBP account to get your Starling euro account up and running, and can then hold, send, receive and spend in euros conveniently, with low fees (or even no fees) and a decent exchange rate.
Read on for all about the Starling euro account - plus a couple of alternatives for comparison, from specialist providers Wise and Revolut, and Barclays as a more traditional UK bank. More on that later.
What is the Starling euro account?
Starling personal customers can open a euro account to hold and manage euro payments, and to spend their euro balance with their existing Starling debit card. There’s no monthly fee for the account, and no charges from Starling for most services, including sending and receiving euro payments and making ATM withdrawals. However, it’s worth noting other fees and limits may apply - including charges levied by ATM operators, and other banks involved in processing payments. We’ll walk through all you need to know in more detail in this guide.
Pros and cons of Starling euro account
First, a quick overview of the key pros and cons of the Starling euro account, to help you see if it’s right for you.
No extra monthly fees for the euro account
Most transactions don’t have a fee from Starling
Currency exchange uses the mid-market rate with a transparent 0.4% markup
You must already hold a GBP account with Starling to apply
Some transaction fees can apply - including third party fees
You can only send SEPA and Target2 payments
Starling foreign currency account alternatives
The Starling euro account does have some great advantages, but it’s not necessarily the most flexible multi-currency account out there - and some of the transaction fees can be fairly low (we’ll cover the Starling euro account limits in detail later).
To help you decide if the Starling euro account is right for you, let’s look at a few other popular options for comparison:
Like Starling, you’ll be able to manage your Wise account online, with low transaction fees and a great exchange rate. Where Wise stands out is for the range of supported currencies, 50+, and the options to receive payments to your account fee free from 30+ countries. You’ll also be able to apply for a linked debit card to spend and withdraw in 170+ countries around the world.
Foreign Currencies: 50+
Fees & Exchange Rates: Mid-market exchange rate, low transaction fees
International Transfers: From 0.41% fee
Debit Card: Available
Revolut could be a good Starling alternative if you’re looking for fee free currency exchange and don’t mind paying a monthly fee to unlock this and a range of other travel perks. Revolut does also have fee free standard accounts, although they have some limits on the amount of currency you can exchange before fees apply - plus linked debit cards for easy spending and withdrawals.
Foreign Currencies: 30+
Fees & Exchange Rates: Mid-market exchange rate to plan limits, low transaction fees based on account type
International Transfers: 0.3% - 2% fee, some accounts offer discounted transfer fees
Debit Card: Available
Barclays Euro Account
If you’re looking for an account you can use to deposit cash and cheques, or get a face to face service, then a digital provider won’t meet your needs. Check out Barclays as a traditional bank which offers foreign currency accounts in euros and a range of other currencies. You can deposit euros in cash with no fee, but there’s no debit card which makes this less convenient for day to day spending.
Foreign Currencies: Euro
Fees & Exchange Rates: No monthly fee, exchange rates include a markup
International Transfers: No fee for payments made online
Debit Card: Not available
Here’s a summary of Starling vs Wise and Revolut, for euro and multi-currency account options:
|Monthly fees||No fee||No fee||0 GBP - 12.99 GBP/month depending on account tier|
|Currencies you can hold and exchange||Euros||50+||30+|
|Exchange rates||Mid-market exchange rate + 0.4%||Mid-market exchange rate||Mid-market exchange rate to plan limits|
|Debit Card and ATM fees|
No Starling fees for debit card spending or withdrawals
Third party fees may apply
Get a debit card for 7 GBP
2 withdrawals to 200 in value per month for free - 0.5 GBP + 1.75% after that
Debit card is free to order, but delivery fees may apply
ATM withdrawals fee free to plan limits (200 GBP/month for standard plans)
|International payment fees|
SEPA and Target2 payments are free
SWIFT payments are not available, so you can only transfer from this account in EUR
|From 0.41%||0.3% - 2% for most payments (paid account plans may offer some discount on fees)|
How does the Starling euro account compare?
Starling is known for low fees and an easy to use customer interface - but how does the Staling euro account measure up against alternative options from specialist services and high street banks?
Here’s a comparison of Starling’s features versus those available from specialist providers Wise and Revolut, and UK banking giant Barclays. We’ll look at these providers in a little more detail later to help you decide which account might suit your needs best.
|Availability||UK customers with a Starling GBP account||Available to customers in most countries around the world||Available to customers in the UK, EEA, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan, and the US||UK customers with a Barclays GBP account|
No monthly fee
Currency conversion from 0.4%
SEPA and Target2 payments available, with no Starling fee to pay
No monthly fee
Currency conversion and international payments from 0.41%
0 - 12.99 GBP monthly fee depending on plan
Currency conversion with no markups to plan limits
International payments from 0.3% - 2%
No monthly fee
Currency conversion includes a markup
Some international fees apply, including a 6 GBP fee for receiving payments worth over 100 GBP
|Linked Debit Card||Available||Available||Available||Not available|
Different foreign currency accounts have their own features to appeal to different customer needs - so which one is best for you might simply come down to the sort of transactions you need to make.
The Starling euro account can be convenient if you’re already a Starling customer, as there are no monthly fees, and you can spend your EUR balance with your existing debit card. However, if you want to hold and exchange a range of different currencies, you might find a specialist service from a provider like Wise and Revolut can offer a more flexible account with low fees and great rates.
Want to compare more options? Check out our full guide to the best foreign and multi-currency accounts in the UK
What is the eligibility for a Starling euro account?
To open a Starling euro account you’ll need to confirm the following:
You are 16 or older
You live in the UK
You have a Starling GBP account already
You’ll only hold 1 Starling euro account, which can be used for personal transactions only
Who is it good for?
Starling euro accounts are designed for UK residents who need to send or receive euro payments, and people who may want to hold a euro balance to spend when they travel. You can move your money from a Starling GBP account to your euro account with the real exchange rate plus a 0.4% markup, or have someone send you a payment in euros and then spend from your euro account when you’re away.
When is a multi-currency account needed?
Foreign currency accounts like the Starling euro account are good for customers who primarily send, spend and receive one single foreign currency. That may include people who travel frequently to euro countries for work, customers with second homes in the euro area, or freelancers getting paid in EUR for example.
On the other hand, multi-currency accounts are designed to hold EUR alongside a range of other currencies and can be handy for customers who travel to different countries - or shop in a range of currencies online - and need flexibility to hold, spend and receive euros alongside other foreign currencies.
Here’s a quick overview of the Starling euro account set against the providers we looked at earlier, and who they may suit:
Starling - strong option for anyone sending and receiving SEPA payments, or looking to spend with a EUR debit card when travelling
Wise - helpful for people who travel a lot or shop online, with 50+ supported currencies and a linked debit card for spending → Read Wise Review
Revolut - good account for day to day spending when you travel, with a linked card and some fee free currency conversion, even for free account tiers → Read Revolut Review
Barclays - handy if you need to deposit cash or cheques, as you can do this in a Barclays branch. Over the counter euro withdrawals are also available
How to open a euro account with Starling
If you’re already a Starling customer with a GBP account - and you fulfil the other eligibility criteria - you’ll see the option to open a euro account in your online or mobile banking. Just log in and follow the prompts to get your Starling euro account all set up.
What documents you'll need
To open a bank account you’ll need to complete a legal verification step, which will usually mean uploading images of:
Proof of ID, like a passport
Proof of address, such as a utility bill in your name
If you’ve already got your Starling GBP account you may not need to supply these documents again - you’ll be able to follow the in-app prompts to complete any required verification steps, based on your situation.
Here are the key fees you’ll pay with your Starling euro account:
|Service||Starling euro account fee|
|Monthly fee||No fee|
|ATM withdrawal in euros|
No Starling fee
Charges may be levied by the ATM operator
|Receive payments in euros||No Starling fee|
|Send money internationally|
No Starling fee to send euro payments
Only SEPA and Target2 EUR payments are available from the Starling euro account - you can’t send money in other currencies from this account
Starling exchange rate
If you want to switch from euros to pounds or vice versa, you’ll get the Starling rate which is based on the mid-market rate with a 0.4% conversion fee. This fee covers the costs of switching currencies - and is much lower than that commonly applied by other high street banks.
If you want to send to any currency other than euros, you’ll need to arrange your payment from your Starling GBP account instead of your euro account. International payments from the Starling GBP account can be set up online, where you’ll see the exchange rate which applies to your transfer. Typically this is also set to include a 0.4% conversion charge, plus a delivery fee which varies based on your transfer type.
How to use the Starling euro account
As a digital provider, you’ll be used to using Starling to manage your money and arrange payments online and in the Starling app. From the Starling euro account you can only send money in euros through SEPA and Target2. If you want to send in any other currency, or to send euros to a country not served by these payment networks, you’ll have to arrange it from your Starling GBP account instead.
Here’s the basic process to send a payment with Starling from your euro account:
Log into your online or mobile banking service
Look for the option for International Payments
Follow the prompts to add the recipient’s information and details of the transfer
Complete any required security or verification steps
You can deposit money into your Starling euro account by receiving a payment in euros from an account held in your name, or from someone else, or by switching funds from your GBP account to EUR in the Starling app.
You can send payments from your Starling euro account through the SEPA and Target2 networks, or make cash withdrawals at an ATM. SEPA and Target2 payments can only be made to eligible EUR accounts in participating countries - you can’t send from euros to any other currencies at present.
How to use the Starling euro account abroad
To spend your EUR balance with your Starling card you’ll simply need to toggle the option within the Starling app, to set payments to come from your euro account instead of your regular GBP account. You can also log into your online and mobile banking to get an overview of your account and payments, and check over transactions.
Starling euro account limits
Starling foreign currency accounts have limits on some transaction types, including:
Total ATM withdrawals across all Starling accounts can not exceed 300 GBP (or the currency equivalent) daily
Total card spending can not exceed 10,000 GBP (or the currency equivalent) daily
You can send payments from your euro account valued at up to 250,000 EUR each - with a maximum of 500,000 EUR per day
Are Starling multi-currency accounts safe?
Yes. Starling is a licensed provider, which participates in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and offers full euro current accounts with secure features.
The Starling euro account can be a handy addition if you already bank with Starling for your regular UK spending. Get paid from others in EUR, or switch from your GBP account to euros with a good rate, and spend with your card when you’re away. The main drawbacks with the Starling euro account are that you can’t send payments in any currency other than euros, and the account does not have any multi-currency functionality.
Compare Starling’s euro account against a few alternatives to make sure you’re picking the right one for your needs. Online and digital services like Wise and Revolut offer low fees and good exchange rates, and can be used to hold and exchange dozens of currencies in the same place.
Yes. If you have a Starling GBP account you can also open a euro account online or in the Starling app.
You can also receive euro bank transfers to your account or switch a balance from your Starling GBP account over to your euro account with a good exchange rate.
Starling doesn’t charge fees for euro services, aside from a low conversion fee of 0.4% when you switch from pounds to euros. However, third party fees may apply when you send to banks in the EEA.
You can access your Starling account via online and mobile banking when you travel, spend with your Starling card, and make cash withdrawals at ATMs in euros.