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Chase vs Starling

Is it better to bank with Chase or Starling? We take a look at both bank accounts to help you decide.

Chase is a relatively new player in the UK market, having only launched in 2021. The digital banking brand is owned by global finance giant JPMorgan and currently serves more than 56 million customers in the US.

In comparison, digital bank Starling was founded in 2014 and its app-based current account has become a popular option for UK consumers.

So, how do you choose between these 2 rivals? We take a look at some of their similarities and differences to help you decide.

Vital statistics

ChaseStarling Bank
Ratings
Finder
score
★★★★★
User
survey
★★★★★
Free spending abroad
Overdraft rateNo overdrafts15%, 25% or 35% EAR
Interest when you're in credit0%0.05%
Branch access
FSCS protected
Sign-up bonus
AmountN/AN/A
Product image
More InfoGo to site
More Info

With Chase’s free (and only) current account, you’ll get a blue numberless debit card, with your details stored on the app so only you can see them. Starling Bank’s free (and only) current account comes with a teal-coloured vertical card.

Neither bank has branches (Chase only has branches in the US), but Starling lets you withdraw or deposit money into your account at Post Office counters. This isn’t possible with Chase, but you can withdraw money from an ATM. Chase does not pay interest on balances, but it does offer a linked savings account paying 1.5% AER. Starling pays a small amount of interest (0.05%) on balances up to £85,000.

Starling has a UK banking licence and Chase is a subsidiary of JPMorgan which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the FCA and the PRA. In both cases, this means that your money will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which covers deposits of up to £85,000 per person.

There’s no overdraft available on the Chase current account, but you can apply for one with Starling. The interest you’re offered will depend on your personal circumstances and credit score, although Starling’s overdraft interest rate scale starts at 15% EAR.

In Finder’s 2022 Banking Customer Satisfaction Awards, Starling was highly commended. It came second in our customer satisfaction survey, where it scored 5 out of 5 stars, and 87% of its current account customers said they would recommend the brand to a friend. Chase was too new to feature in our awards so we are unable to compare ratings.

Round 1: App features

ChaseStarling Bank
Visual breakdown of spending
Spending categoriesN/A53
Set spending budgets
Set up direct debits in the app
Top up via bank transfer
Have salary paid in
Savings goals or pots
Round-ups
Customer service via the app
Customer service via a telephone line
Cheque scanning
Freeze/unfreeze card in app
Send money abroad
Fee for sending money abroadInternational payments unavailableLocal network fee + 0.4% Starling fee
More InfoGo to site
More Info

You’ll find some similarities between the Chase and Starling mobile banking apps, but Starling’s has a little more to offer. Both give you a visual breakdown of spending, but with Starling your transactions will be automatically placed into pre-set categories such as eating out and groceries. This then generates daily, weekly to monthly spending insights so you’ll have a clearer idea of what you’re spending where and be able to set budgets.

Both apps also offer a round-up feature, where your spare change from transactions will automatically be rounded up and saved. Starling moves your money to a “Savings Space”, while Chase will move it to a round-up account paying interest of 5% AER.

Your salary can be paid into either your Chase or Starling account, and you can set up direct debits. In addition, you can freeze and unfreeze your card in the apps, and contact the customer service teams through in-app chats. With Starling, you can also make international payments, but this is not possible with Chase.

  • Winner: Starling. Its app offers a wider range of features, including spending categorisation and international payments.

Round 2: Spending in the UK

ChaseStarling Bank
Free card transactions in the UK
Contactless card limit£100£100
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Samsung Pay
Free ATM withdrawalsUnlimitedUnlimited
More InfoGo to site
More Info

It’s free to spend on both the Chase and Starling cards in the UK and both cards have the standard contactless limit of £100.

You can also add your Chase or Starling card to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Starling supports Samsung Pay, but Chase doesn’t.

Both Chase and Starling also offer unlimited free ATM withdrawals in the UK.

  • Winner: Starling. It’s so close but we’ve given it to Starling purely because it supports Samsung Pay too.

Round 3: Using the card abroad

ChaseStarling Bank
Free foreign transactionsUnlimitedUnlimited
Free foreign ATM withdrawalsUp to £1,500 per monthUnlimited
More InfoGo to site
More Info

Both Chase and Starling use the Mastercard exchange rate for foreign transactions and neither card charges a fee.

Foreign ATM withdrawals are also free for both, but there are limits. Chase has a limit of £1,500 per calendar month and you will not be able to withdraw anything over this. There’s also a daily withdrawal limit of £500 per day.

There’s no monthly limit with Starling, but the daily limit for cash withdrawals is lower at £300.

  • Winner: Starling. Again, it’s unbelievably close but Starling wins due to having no monthly limit on cash withdrawals.

Round 4: Account types

ChaseStarling Bank
Free account
Premium account
Joint account
Teen account (for 16 and 17 year olds)
Kids' account or card
Business account
More InfoGo to site
More Info

Both Chase and Starling only offer the one personal current account which has no monthly maintenance fee.

However, Starling also offers a joint account, business account and teen account, as well as a kids’ card called Starling Kite which is managed through the parent’s Starling account. Chase only offers a savings account.

  • Winner: Starling, for offering a wider range of accounts.

Round 5: Signing up

ChaseStarling Bank
Apply through the app
Quick application
Credit check
Card delivery feeFreeFree
Card delivery timescale5-7 working days3-5 working days
More InfoGo to site
More Info
You can apply for both the Chase and Starling accounts through their respective mobile apps in just a few minutes. Both only conduct “soft” credit searches (rather than a “hard” credit check) which will not affect your credit score.

With Starling, once you’ve opened your account you’ll need to order your contactless Mastercard debit card via the app which should arrive within 5–7 days. With Chase, you might experience some delays due to the new influx of customers.

  • Winner: Tie. The opening process is similar for both accounts.

Overall winner: Is Chase better than Starling?

Both the Chase and Starling bank accounts have a lot to offer, which means this isn’t an easy decision to make. Both accounts offer streamlined apps to help you budget and save, fee-free transactions abroad and FSCS protection.

However, if we had to pick one, we’d say Starling takes the top spot. As well as being able to pay in and withdraw cash at the Post Office and apply for an overdraft, the Starling app is more advanced and also enables you to make international payments.

But what works for one person might not work for another, so if you’re not sure, you could always try both options to see which one works best for you.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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