Exchange rates for foreign ATM withdrawals


When I make a withdrawal abroad, is the exchange rate determined by Starling (Mastercard rate) or the ATM provider? Sorry if this has been asked before but I can’t seem to find the answer :confounded:



By default the withdrawal would be processed in the native currency of the ATM, and since Starling doesn’t charge any fees abroad you’d get the MasterCard exchange rate which is excellent.

However, some ATMs (especially at airports and some touristic areas) offer what’s called DCC or dynamic currency conversion - basically a scam where the ATM instead processes the withdrawal in your card’s native currency (in this case GBP) and does the conversion according to its own exchange rate - often even claiming zero commission (but the real “commission” is the awful rate you’re getting).

Check out Dynamic Currency Conversion with examples - guide for travellers on how not to get scammed. :wink:


Thanks for clearing that up, much appreciated :smiley:


Beware of Starling Bank misleading information!

Just transfered to the company EUR and lost £800 due to the awful exchange rate GBP/EUR 1.16 comparing to official and advertised mastercard rate of 1.13.

Starling promotes no fees, but actually the fees are huge!

So dissapointed! Customer service is awful!


Hi @Justinas_Brikys,

The current rate we use for international transfers in Euros sent to a Starling account are a Starling daily rate, and when sent in GBP there is no exchange used at all.

We only use the Mastercard Foreign exchange rate with card transactions and withdrawals.

We can see the team has sent you a message regarding this matter, and we’re sorry this isn’t the outcome you expected.

We are working on multi-currency accounts, and how we handle international payments, so please keep an eye out for updates in this space.


Hi Robin,

so please then explicitly state what is the Starling daily rate, where it is used and when it is used, rather than being proud and saying everywhere there are no fees and only mastercard rate is applicable.

To me it is unfair and misguiding.

And what is most plainful, that this lead to a loss of £800 and you can no how revert or cancel the transaction! I just can not understand, why the customer must suffer from this. Why it is me who should loose in this case and nothing could be amended.

Yes, the team sent the message, but it is just self justifying. What about the loss of £800?

Again, repeating the same melody - multi-currency account …, keeep an eye! First of all, you have to start from a fair dialogue with the customers. Only by being fair and transparent things can move to something.

I have searched in all the FAQ, blogs, community forms and nowhere found a Starling daily rate, nor what exactly is this Starling rate. And apparently it is not just a daily rate, but with a fee of +2.5% attached!

Finally, i was referred to the hidden place where i could find what it is and it is still very strange how all things are written in the pricing policy:
“Adding money to your account
It’s free to add money to your account in the following ways:
• Debit card payments from Starling app
• Transfer from a UK bank account
• Cheque deposits
• Cash deposits
For transfers from overseas accounts, the originator of the payment may have instructed their bank to deduct fees from the transferred amount or charge you an additional fee. For transfers which you receive in Euros, generally we will convert your money into £ sterling at Starling’s daily conversion rate.
We will not charge you a fee for Starling’s services.”

(1) I did transfer from UK bank and was still charged!

(2) what does it mean the word “generally”? This is a very unclear meaning to me.

(3) Starling rate - no reference, no saying that is +2.5% fee/margin to the mastercard rate, nothing. So how should i or someone else assume of normal rate here?

I would say this is misleading.

And worst of, can not be cancelled despite immediate request to cancel the operation due to misunderstanding!

Very painful and disappointing to loose £800!


Thanks for sharing your experience.

We will get an FAQ up explaining this. If you want to know the Starling rate, you can get in touch with us via your app.


I did get in touch and didnt get the response, because your colleague didnt know such rate!

that tells a lot!

why not first of all compensate the losses for micommunication and misguidance and then change the FAQ.

Why should customer loose £800 because of lack of information?


Thank you for your feedback. If you want to get in touch with us via your app, we can check the comms we sent you.


Hi @skristi,
What happened to you here in the end?
Did you get the resolution you wanted?
Have Starling changed the way they do things at all?



Starling bank refused to do anyhing.

Now waiting for reply from financial authorities to estimate the issue.



what’s the plan regarding receiving USD on the GBP business account?


I ran in to problems with Starling, and found that - although Starling don’t tell you - you can escalate a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman, which might be an option for you if you think you were misled


@alejandro.mery We can look into the possibilities for the future, though for the moment we aren’t able to receive USD.



now it has been escalated and waiting for the response.



Hi - did you get any update on this?


did you get anywhere with the issue if the exchange rate?


still waiting for the Ombudsman to reply.

no news as of now.


Next time, try a transfer company or if you have an online broker allowing direct forex trades and free SEPA / Swift transfers to EU / UK accounts then even better.

Before going the Forex route, I used Transferwise for this purpose. They have UK and EU accounts where you can sent the money for free (at least for me this was the case for my German and UK accounts) and you always know the rate you are getting charged. Their fees are transparently shown and offered the rate was better than all other transfer agencies I tried, but it’ always worth comparing a few on the actual day).