I have had a Monzo account for about 18 months but also set up a Starling account a few months ago, and I thought it might be useful to explain why I did so, given that they are very similar offerings, and why I think that Monzo needs to up its game a bit to compete.
- Interest: 0.5% on Starling cash, not much, but better than 0% on Monzo
- Forex: Equal pegging, both give good rates. However, I have frequently had Monzo refused overseas.
- Top-ups: I get begging messages from Monzo asking me not to do this, but not from Starling
- Overdrafts: Not eligible for an overdraft from Monzo. Starling gave me £250 on Day 1 without my asking. As I have over 25K credit lines on other cards and zero end month balances on them, Monzo is hamstringing itself here since banks only really make money from loans and in my case at least its algorithms have in my opinion produced a dumb answer.
- Credit rating: Monzo only shares rating info with CallCredit, which is a small player. Starling goes wider. So a Monzo account will do nothing much that is useful for your credit rating as the account is invisible to the major credit rating agencies.
- Apps: Level pegging. Both have adequate breakdowns. Note that both have lost the advantage of instant app sight of spending as all my other cards now do this.
- Statements: Starling wins here as it will email proper monthly statements.
- Setting up: Instant for Starling, wait list for Monzo.
- Main account: I am probably old-fashioned but I would not be interested in using any app bank as my main account
I’d be interested to hear from others why they feel that from an objective point of view Monzo would be a better choice than Starling.