Chase vs Starling

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

There are lots of similarities between Starling and Chase: they’re both app-based banks that offer current accounts that are loaded with perks.

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
Finder score4.2
★★★★★
4.7
★★★★★
Customer satisfaction survey4.9
★★★★★
4.9
★★★★★
Free spending abroad
Overdraft rateNo overdrafts15%, 25% or 35% EAR
Interest when you're in credit1%3.25%
Branch access
FSCS protected
Sign-up bonus
AmountN/AN/A
Product image
Link

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 deposit money into your account at Post Office counters, which isn’t possible with Chase. While Starling lets you cash cheques using the app, Chase doesn’t. Both banks let you withdraw money from ATMs.

Chase pays 1% AER on current account balances and offers a linked savings account paying 5.1% AER. Starling has a rate of 3.24% AER interest on balances up to £5,000.

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 2024 Banking Customer Satisfaction Awards, both Chase and Starling were winners, with 100% of customer saying they would recommend them to a friend.

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
Separate savings accounts
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
Link

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” and you can multiply the spare change you save by 2, 5 or 10. While Starling doesn’t pay interest on its round-up account, Chase does, paying interest of 5% AER. Each year, Chase will move your round-up funds to your current account.

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 withdrawalsUp to £500 per dayUnlimited
Link

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, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

However, Chase customers can earn 1% cashback on card spending (up to £15 per month). To get the maximum cashback, you would need to spend £1,500 a month. Chase also introduced a new rule on 1 March 2024 so that customers now need to deposit a minimum of £1,500 a month in order to earn any cashback at all.

There’s no cashback offered with Starling. Both Chase and Starling offer free ATM withdrawals in the UK, with daily limits in place.

  • Winner: Chase. It’s so close but we’ve given it to Chase purely because you can earn cashback on your spending.

Round 3: Using the card abroad

ChaseStarling Bank
Free foreign transactionsUnlimitedUnlimited
Free foreign ATM withdrawalsUp to £1,500 per monthUnlimited
Link

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.

Unlike Starling which lets you send money abroad through the banking app, Chase accounts can’t be used to make international payments.

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

If you don’t think you will qualify for Chase’s cashback offer then we think Starling stands out as the winner, but there’s also no harm in trying out both banks”

Katherine Denham, award-winning personal finance expert

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
Link

Both Chase and Starling only offer the one personal current account which has no monthly maintenance fee. With Chase you can have up to 20 accounts open at once and a maximum of 10 saver accounts.

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
Link
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. Chase says you should also receive your card within 5-7 days.

  • 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.

While Chase offers up to £15 a month in cashback, you now have to pay in at least £1,500 a month to qualify for any cashback at all.

If we had to pick one, we’d say Starling takes the top spot. As well as being able to pay in cash at the Post Office and apply for an overdraft, the Starling app is more advanced.

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. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.
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Written by

Rachel Wait

Rachel Wait is a freelance journalist and has been writing about personal finance for more than a decade, covering everything from insurance to mortgages. She has written for a range of personal finance websites and national newspapers, including The Observer, The Mail on Sunday, The Sun and the Evening Standard. Rachel is a keen baker in her spare time. See full profile

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    BuddyFebruary 3, 2023

    do any of the digital banks allow deposits and exchange in crypto currency?

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