Can You Get a Starling Credit Card?

Find out if Starling offers a credit card, and discover the challenger banks out there that allow you to build your credit score.

Updated: June 12, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

Mark Tovey

Edited By

Mark Tovey

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Choosing the right credit card is important, especially considering the high fees many banks charge for basic transactions like withdrawals and deposits.

Digital banks such as Starling Bank have gained popularity due to their straightforward signup process and convenience, yet there's often some confusion about whether these banks offer physical credit cards, given their lack of traditional branches.

In 2019, Starling announced plans to launch credit cards and expand their lending services, but as of 2024, they have not released a credit card. This has left some customers disappointed, particularly those looking forward to benefits like purchase protection under Section 75 and the chance to build their credit history. Despite earlier rumours, Starling Bank currently does not offer a credit card.

But don’t despair! This article will introduce you to six alternative digital banks that do offer a credit card (or, in the case of Monese, a chance to build your credit history through a different route) so you can weigh up your options.

1. Revolut★★★★★Click Here
2. Monese★★★★★Click Here
3. Monzo★★★★★Click Here

Best Alternatives to Starling Bank Accounts

Starling Bank is undoubtedly a strong choice for those seeking an affordable digital banking solution for both personal and business accounts.

However, if you're still exploring options to better suit your specific needs, particularly if you require a credit card or want to build your credit history, it's worth considering other alternatives.

In the following section, we will explore three digital banks that offer either a credit card option or innovative ways to help you build a credit history. Each of these banks brings unique tools and features to simplify and enhance your financial life, ensuring you find a service that aligns with your financial goals.

Type of ProductCredit CardCredit BuilderCredit Card
Credit LimitUp to £10,000Not applicable (credit builder program)Up to £3,000
Interest Rate0% for 3 months on purchases and balance transfers0% (it's a credit builder, not a credit card)0% on repayments within 3 months, then up to 29% APR variable
Cashback1% for the first three months on all purchasesNoneNone
User BaseOver 30 million globallyPopular among those without traditional credit accessVersatile, caters to a wide range of customers including young adults
Monthly FeeNo specific fee mentioned (depends on account type)£2.50 for the Credit Builder programFree, Plus (£5/month), Premium (£15/month)

1. Revolut — £10,000 Credit Limit and 1% Cashback for Three Months

Kicking things off with Revolut, a top alternative to Starling Bank, which notably offers a credit card unlike Starling. While not a traditional bank in the UK, Revolut operates as a digital financial platform, providing extensive financial management features.

It’s particularly appealing for small business owners and freelancers needing to separate personal and business finances.

Revolut boasts over 30 million users globally, thanks to its broad array of services accessible via its mobile app, from managing current accounts to trading in crypto and forex markets. Crucially, Revolut offers a physical credit card that integrates seamlessly with mobile wallets for contactless payments.

For those interested in additional perks, Revolut’s credit card offers attractive benefits such as 1% cashback on all purchases for the first three months and up to €10,000 credit limit. The card can be used immediately through a virtual version, and there’s also a three-month interest-free period on purchases and balance transfers.

Revolut stands out by combining comprehensive financial tools with the convenience of a physical credit card, positioning itself as a robust alternative for digital banking users.

2. Monese — A Novel Way to Build Your Credit History

Moving on, let’s discuss Monese, another excellent alternative for digital banking, especially for those who don't have access to a traditional credit card but are looking to build their credit.

While Monese doesn’t offer a standard credit card, it provides a unique ‘Credit Builder' feature which is a standout service not offered by Starling Bank.

Monese serves both personal and business finance needs and allows you to get started quickly with just a selfie and some ID, streamlining the account setup process. It's particularly useful if you’re looking to open joint accounts alongside standard current accounts.

The Monese Credit Builder is designed to help improve your credit score affordably for just £2.50 a month. It works by setting up 12 monthly payments that you choose the amount for. When you pay on time, Monese reports this to the credit agencies, boosting your credit score. Plus, you get all your payments back at the end of the term, essentially saving while you build credit.

For those without a strong credit history or looking to improve their score, Monese’s Credit Builder provides a practical solution without the need for a high-interest credit card. This makes Monese an attractive option for anyone looking to enhance their financial health responsibly.

3. Monzo — Credit Limit Up to £3,000 With 0% Interest Options

Next, let's explore Monzo, arguably one of the best UK-based digital banking options. Monzo stands out due to its versatility and ability to cater to a wide range of customer needs, from personal to business accounts, joint accounts, and even specialised accounts for 16 and 17-year-olds. Monzo also offers access to loans and has various account tiers including a free package, Monzo Plus (£5 per month), and Monzo Premium (£15 per month).

Monzo isn't just about diverse account options; it also offers the Monzo Flex, an award-winning credit card that enhances the Monzo experience. This credit card offers a starting credit limit of up to £3,000 and features 0% interest options that reset with each full repayment on your next payment date or over three monthly instalments. For longer-term financing, the card offers terms up to 24 months at a representative 29% APR (variable), with missed payments potentially affecting the 0% rate.

What sets the Monzo Flex apart is its travel-friendly benefits, allowing fee-free transactions in any currency without mark-ups on the Mastercard exchange rate. Additionally, the card offers instant notifications, real-time balance updates, and the ability to freeze and unfreeze your card via the app. Importantly, purchases between £100 and £30,000 are protected under Section 75, ensuring that Monzo users can shop and travel with confidence and financial protection.

Related Guides:


How Do Digital Banks Ensure Compliance With Regulatory Bodies in the United Kingdom?

Can I Open Accounts With Multiple Digital Banks?

Can I Get Personalised Financial Advice From a Digital Bank?

How Do Digital Banks Handle Cryptocurrency?

Are Digital Banks Affected by Traditional Banking Crises?

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