Just back from 17 days in Universal, Orlando. Used my Starling Card at the hotel and charged most park purchases and restaurant bills back to the room.
The hotel initially puts a hold on an agreed amount. This showed as a ‘Pending’ transaction in-app. But each day, as I charged to the room, either additional funds were held (pending), or pending transactions were released. Different transaction notifications on my phone greeted me each morning.
When I checked out the hotel on Tuesday, I cleared the room charges with my Starling Card. What’s slightly worrying, is that I still have almost £300 worth of Pending transactions waiting to be released back to my account. One of which is now 7 days old.
In all the restaurants where I used my Starling Card, the payments were taken with just a swipe. Not chip and pin.
Used without issue at Walmart, Publix, Alamo and for Lyft. Also used in the airport shops in both Orlando and Dublin. Came home with $0 in cash which is a good thing.
Applepay declined in Starbucks at Cabana Bay, at Wawa petrol station and a food outlet in Universal Studios. I did contact in-app support when it was declined at Starbucks (support experience was fantastic). But no record of the transaction attempts were showing on my account. So I assumed the issue was at that particular store.
Applepay worked ok in McDonald’s and Dublin airport.
With the Wawa petrol station, pay at the pump requires a ZIP code or your PIN. On the one time it asked for my PIN, the card was declined. Even in-store it was declined selecting both the Credit or Checking card types. I had to resort to cash at Wawa.
I also used my card in a store in one of the outlets for a couple of t-shirts. The card was initially declined, but the sales staff said they were having card issues that day and she had to phone the transaction in. This she did and the amount notification popped up on my phone. Strange thing is, about 5 days later, the transaction was reversed and the amount re-credited to my account.
I managed to leave my card behind in a restaurant on CityWalk one evening, so locked the card as soon as I realised. The next morning we returned to the restaurant and thankfully, I got my card back. The staff member was quite impressed that I was able to lock the card using my phone.
Although locking the card is reassuring, the ability to disable the magnetic strip as well would be even better. Revolut has this feature which I’ve used in the past.
Having to wait until the end of the month for a full statement is a bit of a pain, but understand this has already been highlighted.
Overall, my Starling Card