LINK ATMs Card Declined


The other evening i tried to withdraw cash from a Co-Op ATM in Bristol and was told there was an issue with my card and I needed to contact the issuer.

I assume this was because they dont recongnise Starling as a real bank yet?

It worked everywhere else that night.


First hurdle tripped

Co-op cash machines are generally Visa/Link only.

They actually don’t cover Mastercard (I was caught out by this myself).

I think that’s the only ATM I’ve come across which doesn’t accept ‘pure’ Mastercard.


Possibly the machine doesn’t use the MasterCard network. If it’s a LINK only machine, I think this could be the issue.


I have used my Starling card successfully at various East of England Co-op stores half a dozen times in their ATMs which are branded CashZone and all show the MasterCard logo.

Do you mean Co-op Bank rather than the Co-op?


My local premier store has a ATM where you can actually hear it using dial up and that also says there is an issue with my card, but it also does the same to my mums old Virgin Current Account (also MasterCard) - So seems it’s a VISA only machine.


Experienced the first chip in Starling’s gloss today; I guess it was always going to be painful after the joy of the ‘on-boarding’ experience. I needed some cash for the first time in a month, so toddled along to the nearest bank (a Co-operative Bank branch) and made the necessary request.

‘Card not recognised’ it spat. Checking that I hadn’t tried my library card, I shuffled off empty handed. Checked Starling’s main website for cash withdrawal info - all it says is that I can have up to 300GBP per day.

Look at my card - it doesn’t say ‘debit card’ on it. Maybe I got it wrong and it’s a credit card?!? Still should have worked though.

So I call up Starling CS via the app. I think they’ve got someone new started who used to work for Barclays, because to say that they were deliberately as unhelpful as possible really doesn’t even begin to describe their responses. Thoughts such as ‘terrible mistake switching’ started to run through my mind.

And, post-chat, I’m still none the wiser. Starling should be properly up-front with new customers, and tell them that their ‘challenger’ card won’t work in Link ATMs. We, the British public, have been brainwashed for the last 20-odd years into believing that only ATMs with the Link logo are to be trusted. I think a little more information and reassurance needs to be forthcoming to wean us off that.

As far as I was aware, the only non-Link ATMs were the ones in corner shops and pubs which charge you three quid to withdraw a tenner. Starling CS person said that’s not the case. But made no effort to direct me to any info or give clues to where I might find a free-to-use ATM which doesn’t involve a trip into a post-war housing estate.


  1. Today’s CS person needs re-programming; and
  2. Starling needs to be more upfront about its limitations and offer some decent information to support its customers.


my impression of Link was the opposite, for me they were the very ones I found in pubs and corner shops and they were the ones that often charged you £2.99 for a £10. I also had regular problems trying to use foreign cards in them, so always looked out for a proper ATM at a high street bank (RBS, Barclays, TSB etc) which was connected to Visa and Mastercard and not just Link.


Hi @Big_G,

Firstly sorry you haven’t had a good experience, we’ll feedback to the team here and make sure this doesn’t happen again. Hopefully we can help with the info you need.

Your Starling card is a Mastercard debit card and will be accepted at all ATMs that accept Mastercard both in the UK and abroad. Just keep an eye out for the Mastercard logo on the ATM next time.

Starling are not a member of LINK, but where the Mastercard logos appears as well you can use your card. If the machine you’re using only displays the LINK logo though you won’t be able to use your card.

If we can help by providing you with any more info on this please just let me know.


Thanks Sarah

I guess an idea might be to have a list of which of the major financial institutions (banks and building societies) offer Starling-friendly ATMs?


It may be quicker just to do a list of those that don’t, like the Coop bank.

Can anyone confirm if Metro bank ATM accept non-Link cards?, I know Lloyds, TSB, RBS, NafWest, HSBC do!


Yes I’ve used Metro to take money out from starling


thanks @Gallifreyangirl that’s good to know…particularly with banks like NatWest closing branches while Metro are opening them


I’ve used Yorkshire bank to take money out too if that helps.


so Clydesdale also likely, as they are the same group


@Big_G hope that gives you some help that quite a lot of cash points will take starling cards for cash.


even non big banks. I use the CashZone brand ATM at my local East of England Cooperative supermarket OK


Clydesdale does accept Starling cards.

Post Office is hit and miss.

Tesco Bank accept Starling cards.


I know post office cash point ive used works in Reading


I think that is because they do not have standardised ATMs. I have seen different ATM models in different Post Offices, some are definately Bank of Ireland but others may be a different operator.


Hi Sarah, any plans to join LINK?