How prevalent are card rejections?


Hi all, I was hoping to get some real-world feedback on something that I hope Starling have addressed over the last year or so.

I opened an account around this time last year and used it here and there to see what it was like. I was/am impressed with the quality of the app but I was one of the people who experienced an alarming number of card rejections in a range of places: the Costa Coffee at the university I worked at; the Tesco Express down the road; the ASDA petrol station I fill up at. There was also a period where Starling would tweet that there were issues with card payments and the outage would last maybe an hour or so. All in all, I figured the bank showed promise but it wasn’t stable enough to use full-time and I absolutely was not prepared to keep going red-faced when my card got rejected for a £2 sandwich.

I’ve been out of the country for a while and when I return I’m getting a new job, moving to a new area etc. and it felt like a good opportunity to try Starling again. I wanted to know if it’s any more stable now as a quick browse of the forum suggests a number of people are still having the odd issue here and there and the general consensus seems to be “carry another card” for those occasions, which kind of defeats the purpose of switching. I currently bank with Lloyds and never have any issues, but their app leaves a LOT to be desired. I’d rather have a working card than a fancy app, though.

Thanks in advance for any insights!


I’ve been using Starling as my main account since November and can’t remember the last time I hard a card issue, apart from Domino’s website.

Disclaimer: I always use Google Pay if possible as it’s more convenient to use my watch than dig my card out of my pocket.


I’ve had no rejections this year, I don’t use it as my main but do use in different places, including Tesco Express, Costa, Greggs etc.

Petrol stations there is still an issue with them being rejected sometimes at automated pumps but working fine inside the petrol station.


I’ve never experienced a card decline - But most of my spend is online.

Genrally, I find that any reported decline these days, is down to the vendor, not the card (petrol stations for example).


The only time my card has been rejected is when waiting for my physical card to arrive at home - I forgot to unlock the card before using Apple Pay. Oops…


Starling is not my main bank but it is my spending account. I don’t remember the last card outage I experienced. I seen the odd contactless rejection but it soon works on second time but that might more the machine rather than Starling.


I’ve been using it since October and haven’t had a single card rejection. I do use it as my main bank also. I don’t use automated pumps because I don’t like waiting for transaction information. That’s one of the main reasons I started on Starling. So I tend to use Tesco+ and see a cashier. No problems there either.


Not had a rejection yet. Did get rejected at an ATM this weekend. It wasn’t until it got rejected that I realised it was Link only!


I dabbled with Starling as a spending account since November last year and switched to make it my main bank in May. I haven’t had a single rejection, either online or in person :+1:t2:


I’ve never had my card declined. Santander is switching from visa to MasterCard debit so that should reassure people more now that a big bank is going down the same road.


This - plus, TSB urrgh) is switching to MasterCard as well, if I remember correctly.


TSB starting the switch at the beginning of the year, they are gradually changing cards over to Mastercard


I’ve had mine decline the odd time for regular payments made through PayPal such as Netflix or Spotify. I also had it decline at the weekend at maccies :persevere:


Just used Apple Pay with watch at McDonald’s for breakfast no issues. Never had a decline yet. Tell a lie it failed at Amazon as I had switched on online transactions block by accident.


In which case it was a success rather than a fail :smile:


yed @danmullen you are correct a win not fail :wink:


Did any of them tell you why?


Unfortunately it doesn’t give a reason


I used mine as a second/pocket money account from Jun to Oct last year and had one rejection - unfortunately it was while I was in France.

Been using Starling as my main bank since October and haven’t experienced any issues that I can remember with ATMs/outages.


I’ve been using starling as my main account for about 8/9 months now and in that time it has failed 3 times where it’s Starling’s issue (as starling card worked there previously and another card worked immediately after). It’s not a big amount to worry about and although it shouldn’t happen I’m happy to stay until it’s sorted for the other features