Looking for a second challenger bank account

I’ve got a monzo account, and I’m very pleased with it.
I’ve dropped my legacy bank but i need a second account that I can top up, from where bills come out of (at least until Monzo support this sort of thing).

So far I’ve looked at:

Monese: £5 a month is too much for the little use I want
Tandem: Credit Card only? Not launched?
Revolut: Forums full of unhappy people
Pockit: Not a bank, too many fees
Loot: Not a bank, no API
Starling: Can’t see anything bad about it yet.
Atom: I don’t understand them, over engineered?

I’m sort of leaning towards Loot (no API but they do have a webapp) or Starling (API, no fees)

Does anyone have any experience with using any of the above, or have an opinion on the above?

you could look at their new free account option

Having used many the only ones I would consider are Monese and Starling


I have all of these except Tandem - waiting for an invite to the credit card.

Personally, I would go Monese or Starling. Monese have just launched a free version, but you pay for a debit card, cash withdrawals or international payments. They have good customer support, and their tech seems solid. You can get a separate euro debit card, which is nice for avoiding dynamic currency conversion in the euro zone.

Starling’s app is constantly improving, and I’ve not had any issues with them. They are my main bank account now. They are the most bank-like of the fintechs I’ve used. They’ve had a few problems with their debit card processor, but they seem to have improved on this recently.

The others I’d steer clear of for serious banking. Loot does have a web app, which is nice, but their tech is so buggy it barely qualifies as a beta. Revolut have a really nice app, but customer support is slow, and not very helpful. They also appear to be quite trigger happy with freezing accounts (though I haven’t experienced this). Neither support direct debits, which may be an issue for paying bills.

Pockit have good cash back (6-10%) at some places, but little else to recommend them. Support for direct debits is coming.

Atom are ok for term deposits, but nothing else.


Starling is definitely good - the only downside I see is they’re using an unreliable card processor at the moment, but this isn’t a big deal for a secondary account :+1:t2:


I’d also go with Starling - very solid app.
Plus they are part of the Current Account Switching Service.

I’ve only heard good things about Monese. However, they are not an actual bank per se, and their accounts are powered by Barclays if I’m not mistaken.


Depends what you want. If you want just a GBP account and no SEPA payments then Starling is OK. However Monese offer GBP and EUR accounts and SEPA payments if you want a more complete banking experience.

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I use both Starling and Monzo together, so I’d say go with Starling. They have a great app, great account, and the customer service is fantastic.

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I’m not sure I understand, you can pay bills with Monzo :+1:

But you can’t pay bills from pots. So if you want to separate your ‘spending’ money from your ‘bills’ money, and have your bill payments come out of the ‘bills’ pot, Monzo doesn’t support that.


Although SEPA payments with Starling are imminent.


Another recommendation for Starling here. I’d recommend not using Loot


Any reasons why? Haven’t used them ever but wondering why as their UX seems to be quite good.

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I’m not sure I understand, you can pay bills with Monzo

But you can’t pay bills from pots. So if you want to separate your ‘spending’ money from your ‘bills’ money, and have your bill payments come out of the ‘bills’ pot, Monzo doesn’t support that.

yes that’s exactly it.
I need somewhere I can put money where only bills come out, and somewhere I can put money that I can reduce to zero without worrying about a bill payment being declined

Can you elaborate? I quite liked the idea of using Loot as a throw-away account until Monzo supports what I’m trying to achieve


I had an account with Loot. Made a relatively large (about £2k) transfer into the account and they froze it.

They asked for proof of where the money came from, which was fine, but once I’d sent it they just completely ignored me. Literally wouldn’t reply to messages or emails, and their phone number just rings out.

Had to threaten them with legal action and they finally unblocked my account after 3 weeks!!


Just my opinion and it’s been since November when I tried them so maybe things have changed

  • Bank transfers slower than my legacy bank
  • I wasn’t impressed by the app UX and it seemed like it was just displaying me a paper statement on my phone
  • I’ve read a couple bad support experiences

I didn’t try it out very much though so maybe it works better for card transactions etc. I just don’t see why I’d use that when Starling is just better in every way that matters to me. After Starling if I needed another thing I’d use Revolut. There’s just so many options :joy:

Edit: just opened app up to remind myself. It requires me to log in every time. It wants me to log in with a password. These are both experiences I don’t want on my phone personally

And the android UX seems to have improved since when I signed up so it doesn’t look so bad


Starling it is then.

Thank you all for your help and feedback

Anyone with a referral code for Starling?

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My referral link: https://www.starlingbank.com/referral/?token=P422XZFR

Although I don’t think it actually does anything for either of us, as Starling has no queue… Apparenly I get ‘starling hearts’, whatever that means.


Here you go

Starling referral code: 91B749WF


Thank you very much Geoff