Travelling abroad with Starling Bank


If you’re planning a holiday abroad, you’ll want a debit card that goes the distance. Find out all the reasons why Starling Bank is great for overseas travel.

Or read the blog for first-hand experience from one of our seasoned travellers, Jess.


Going to the US next week, haven’t renewed my FairFX card this time and am only taking $50 in cash. I will be using my Starling card for pretty much everything.

I used a similar card last year, and it worked well. Can I say the M word here? I won’t be using that this year though :rofl:


M word? No idea what that might be. :wink:


I reckon he’s talking about a Map? :+1:


Shall hope that my starling problems are fixed by the time I fly out then! :frowning:


Have used mine so far in North Carolina and Newark (US), and looking forward to using it in Ireland and Germany over the next couple of months…

It worked with no issues at all both in Hotels and Retail, as well as in an ATM… :slight_smile:


Not going to have the opportunity to use abroad until September but if it’s anything like m**** then I look forward to it!


One thing of note is the different Contactless limits abroad.

Some may be similar e.g. €25-€30 but others lower such as €10 in Estonia!

The other thing is how you use your card in different countries.

In the UK we are used to:
*contactless without pin
*chip and pin
*and for some with disabilities chip and signature

However in some countries they have other methods:
*chip and dip - insert and remove card without pin for low value transactions
*signature after pin
*card read for preauthorization prior to shopping being scanned and pin authorization at end once total known

Updated info

I might be taking it to Berlin.

Wish I had a flag feature to use


Mike, sorry to hear your having some trouble. If you haven’t done so already, please reach our to our customer service team via the app and we’ll try to get things sorted.


I’d love to use a Starling card abroad, but I’m semi old school and take cash when I go. My missus is very old school and doesn’t trust cards abroad. I’d love to prove her wrong, but if it goes wrong and spoil her holiday I’ll never hear the end of it. Just how easy is it to find a fee free ATM when abroad? I went to Portugal recently and literally nowhere took cards, so would have needed to use an ATM. Now I’m going to Santorini so I’ll look there. It’s hard to just trust a card!!


I’m quite surprised you are using a Beta bank account if you are that old-school :grinning:

Even if you are unable to locate a fee-free ATM, just take out a few days worth at a time so the fee isn’t too big a percentage. You’ll still probably be ahead vs getting currency here.

Obviously using your card instead of cash is better, but as you say, that depends on being in an area where most places take cards in the first place.


I’m semi old school, my wife is definitely old school.

I’m quite embracing of new ideas and I see Starling as just that. I’d be quite happy to chance it and see if I could use the card abroad and draw cash if needed, but I couldn’t stand the other half nagging me if anything happened!!!

Portugal (Algarve) I was surprised how few places accepted cards. I’ll convert her yet.

The exchange rate to the Euro is currently dreadful and the wholesale rate is marginally better and we would save money. If I equate it to how many bottles of wine she could drink I might win!!

I’m happy with Starling as I can see the potential and how forward thinking it seems to be. I’m happy to be in at the start. I’ll try this holiday and see how I get on.


It should be quite better over there. Bank-branded ATMs shouldn’t charge any fees.
Also, thanks to new legislation (should be taken with a grain of salt - as with any other legislation in Greece) POS are compulsory for most merchants. Still, have some cash of you cause I don’t expect them to accept cards when renting a sun lounger or a beverage at the beach. You should be fine paying your hotel, getting groceries, dinner and the like.


Thanks for the heads up. I’ll keep a look out and try and convince the wife of the benefits.


Used my Starling card for the first time in Tokyo. Only tested one transaction (signature purchase) but had no issues at all - also receiving notification instantly.


First morning in the gold old USA - 100% success rate over 4 transactions so far, happy days.

What a difference it makes immediately seeing the number of pounds you’ve just spent. Haven’t yet decided if that’s a good thing or a bad thing :joy:


Not sure if you have already gone to Greece. I’m off to mainland in 3 weeks. ATMs avoid the blue and yellow think there called Euronet. As said previously main banks are usually fine and effortless. They do have a habit of spitting out €50 notes.
POS in my past experience has been hit and very much a miss.
Fingers crossed this year is better.


Hi, yes in Santorini now (super hot, 31 Celsius and 11.30pm!). Seen plenty of the Euronet ATM’s around, they look like your fee charging ones in the UK. Have seen a Pireus Bank around and will be trying that, hopefully fee free. I’m in Perissa which is quite beachy and hippy chic, but mainland you should find plenty I’m sure.


Just back from Canada. Went with no cash and my Starling card!
Had trouble withdrawing from Scotiabank ATM but no problems with the other banks. Although I found in Canada that if you weren’t a customer of that bank they charged you a $3 fee. Unless Starling partners with a Canadian bank this will be hard to avoid.