From the latest MSE email:
In our two recent banking-app polls, Starling and Monzo were in the top positions both times. They’re app-only banks with debit cards but no branches, and their apps offer the usual features (eg, transferring cash) with added gizmos. Plus they have good perks - as does our polls’ next best, NatWest. So if your bank’s app-alling, and a good mobile experience matters, here are the accounts with top apps and hot perks. If you don’t care about apps, you can get bigger bonuses on traditional accounts, as stated below. And as we always say, switching’s easy.
- Top-rated apps - incl no fees abroad. A huge 70%-ish rated Starling’s and Monzo’s apps (for Apple and Android) ‘great, with lots of features’ in Nov and Jun’s polls. Starling won one, Monzo the other, with little between them. Both offer gizmos such as spending notifications, letting you freeze lost cards and ring-fencing cash into pots for savings etc. But Starling wins on perks:
Fee-free abroad + 0.5% interest. Starling* has no spending or ATM fees abroad - most others charge 3%. Plus you get 0.5% AER variable interest on up to £2k, 0.25% on £2k-£85k. Cards come in 3-5 working days and you can pay in cash at NatWest, and cheques by post.
Fee-free spending abroad but with a big cash restriction. Monzo* has no overseas spending fees but is only fee-free on up to £200 per 30 days at ATMs abroad (then 3%). Cards take roughly 3 working days to arrive and you can pay in cheques by post, but annoyingly you CAN’T pay in cash.
There aren’t lots of conditions to get these perks (eg, min pay-ins) like traditional bank switch bonuses. You can open, then dump it if not for you - plus there’s no hard credit check if you choose no overdraft.