Starling saves the day with currency exchange rate


Just spent a hectic couple of hours in the shops and online trying to find one of the items on my 4 year old’s Christmas list. Obviously left it too late for that “must have” toy - couldn’t find in store or online with any major UK retailer.

Managed to find on Amazon.Com coming from the USA - and feels great not having to pay any Forex fees to pay on the site in USD with the Starling card. They offered me Dynamic conversion in GBP - which I declined - and I was happy to see the amount quoted by Starling was almost a pound cheaper when paying in USD.

Thanks Starling - Christmas is saved!

MasterCard Conversion Rate - 👍

We all love Starling


I just purchased an item from Amazon Germany. With my previous bank I always had to pay in GBP to avoid an additional 2.5% fee. Like @Simon_Harrison I declined to pay in GBP and paid in Euros, Starling converted the payment at £1.79 cheaper. Thanks Starling.


I have also found Starling to be cheaper at the exchange rate conversion with purchases. Also if I was to purchase anything with my legacy bank they would also apply a fee in addition.


I’m curious to find out how Starling would compare agains Revolut

Which one is the cheapest to use when making overseas purchases ?


Normally Starling during the week, definately Starling at weekends when Revolut penalise their customers with less favourable terms.


Penalise over the weekends. Is this due to the transfer rates not being updated during the weekend or simply anticipated traffic ?


they claim the exchange rates may alter between the initial presentment and the final settlement so they increase their cut to make sure they don’t lose out. But that is a con as rates go both ways and any rates moving one way may offset rates moving the other way.

I assume the reason is they don’t use Mastercard wholesale rate but some notional (fictitious) mid range interbank rate which won’t exist when banks shut or not trading at the weekend


Seems like a tactic from a legacy bank to fleece customers as much as possible.


Weekend rates apart, Revolut have recently increased their portfolio of currencies and being able to lock-in a rate and store multiple currencies is a useful tool to have in your wallet.


That’s exactly what I have now discovered

Have also been buying and selling bitcoins today, making a slight profit after exchanging


Tempted but rather wary. Still can’t work out how it’s ‘mined’. :thinking:


Just tried 3 crypto transactions on Revolut - 2 x Bitcoin and 1 x Ethereum. Both failed and “reverted” instantly. Revolut in app support says this might happen on “rare” occasions. Pointed out 3 times in 10 minutes is not really “rare”. Gave up and transferred the funds back to good old Starling.


That’s unfortunate
I have had no issue whatsoever today and so have been quite successfull

Just waiting for the right moment to buy some more


Unless you have a powerful computer that you are prepared to leave running I wouldn’t worry to much about mining

I am just treating this as buying and selling stock market stocks


Oh absolutely - I’m not looking to do any of the mining. I just don’t get the process.


First time I’ve used the conversion from USD using the MasterCard rate. Saved £1.11 vs taking the PayPal conversion on a $50 purchase. Great!


Yes it is a good rate. Kids have been getting $1.30 when loading Caxton card. When I use my starling it’s been showing $1.34 rate while purchases are pending but then drops down to $1.33 once completed. I previously asked the question, what happens if your account balance is zero, when all the transactions complete, but didn’t get an answer.


In response to your question, the transaction has already been authorised at the (then) exchange rate. If there is a currency fluctuation between authorisation and settlement the transaction will still be posted to your account at the settlement value. If this happens to create an overdrawn balance on your account, then that is what will happen. You’ll be obligated to repay that overdraft - whether intentional or otherwise.

Inadvertent overdrafts can occur for a number of reasons, and while technology will try to prevent this there is a risk this will happen. Offline contactless transactions are a case in point, as are Transport for London charges on the underground and bus network (due to the way TfL charge your bank account - the day after the day of travel).


Thanks for the response Rob