24 July 2017 : 


 

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Bank Accounts

Bank accounts facilitate everyday financial transactions while keeping deposits safe. They form the backbone of UK personal finance and affect our lives on a daily basis, so getting the right bank account is essential for good financial wellbeing. There are a wide range of bank accounts currently available in the UK, each offering a unique combination of features and associated benefits.

Compare bank accounts using our comparison table or read on (below) to learn more about your banking options.




Interest
AER
Set-up
Fee
Monthly
Fee
Min. Monthly
Funding
Overdraft
Rate

   


Barclays Bank Account Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0
per month
£0
per month
Daily Fees
Apply
  Barclays Bank Account
FSCS Logo
  • Add a personal touch to your debit card with a favourite photo
  • Earn cashback when you shop online and in-store through Barclays with over 150 retailers
  • Stay in control of your bank accounts with free Text Alerts
  • Cancel stolen cards in seconds with Barclays Mobile Banking app & get same day debit card replacement
     Barclays Bank Account - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: Up to £5000 (subject to application and status). If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you will be charged £1.50 per day when you use it.  
 




NatWest Reward Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£2
per month
£0
per month
19.89%
EAR (variable)
  NatWest Reward
FSCS Logo
  • 2% back in Rewards on 7 types of household bills if paid by Direct Debit (including, but not limited to, Council Tax, telephone, water, gas, electricity, TV)
  • On average NatWest customers earn £83 Rewards per year. Based on monthly bills of £345 excluding the monthly £2 fee
  • Earn at least 1% on qualifying purchases at NatWest Reward partners
  • ApplePay enabled payments
  • £2 monthly fee
     NatWest Reward - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an overdraft limit of £100 a 19.89% EAR (variable) charge will apply   
 




TSB Classic Plus Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
3%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0
per month
£500
per month
19.84%
EAR (variable)
  TSB Classic Plus
FSCS Logo
  • 3% AER interest on balances up to £1,500. Must pay in £500 a month, register for internet banking and paperless statements and correspondence
  • Up to £10 cashback every month (£5 cashback every month just for regularly spending with your debit card (minimum of 20 debit card payments) and £5 cashback every month just for paying two direct debits). Offer is valid from 1st March 2017, ends 30th June 2018 (T&Cs apply)
  • If you have a Plus account, earn up to £5 a month cashback with our selected TSB credit cards. Representative 18.9% APR (variable). T&Cs apply. Ends June 2018.
  • ApplePay enabled payments
     TSB Classic Plus - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an overdraft limit of £1,200 the interest rate charged will be 19.84% EAR (Variable)  
 




NatWest Select Account Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0
per month
£0
per month
19.89%
EAR (variable)
  NatWest Select Account
FSCS Logo
  • 24-hour telephone, online & mobile banking
  • Specialist switching team to transfer your account
  • Emergency cash withdrawal if you lose your card (Min. £25 in credit balance required)
  • ApplePay & contactless payments
     NatWest Select Account - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an overdraft limit of £100 a 19.89% EAR (variable) charge will apply   
 




Nationwide FlexAccount Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0
per month
£750
per month
18.9%
EAR (variable)
  Nationwide FlexAccount
FSCS Logo
  • Access to discounts on high street brands via Simply Rewards
  • Dedicated switching service to personally manage your account opening
  • 3 month interest free overdraft (subject to approval and over 18 years old)
  • ApplePay enabled payments
     Nationwide FlexAccount - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 the interest rate Nationwide will charge you is 18.9% EAR (variable).  
 




Santander 123 Lite Current Account  Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£1
per month
£500
per month
£1
per day
  Santander 123 Lite Current Account
FSCS Logo
  • 1% Cashback on water, council tax and Santander mortgage payments (up to maximum monthly mortgage payments of £1,000)
  • 2% Cashback on gas and electricity bills and Santander home insurance premiums (policies administered and underwritten by Aviva Insurance Limited)
  • 3% Cashback on mobile, home phone, broadband and paid-for TV packages
  • For a limited time, earn 5% cashback on 1|2|3 Lite debt card purchases made using Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. Offer ends 30 September 2017
  • Access to 123 World Offers, including preferential rates and special deals on other Santander products
  • £1 monthly fee
     Santander 123 Lite Current Account - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: 0% EAR (variable) Arranged Overdraft. Arranged Overdraft Usage Fee of £1 per day. If you are switching to Santander then there will be no Arranged Overdraft Usage Fee for the first 4 months. Assumed Arranged Overdraft credit limit: £1,200. Actual credit limit may differ. Arranged Overdraft Usage Fee depends on the amount of overdraft you are using   
 




Yorkshire Bank Current Account Plus Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0.00
per month
£0
per month
18.85%
EAR (variable)
  Yorkshire Bank Current Account Plus
FSCS Logo
  • Exclusive access to the Savings Account Plus instant access account
  • 24 hour account access with telephone, mobile and internet banking
  • Withdraw up to £500 cash a day with your MasterCard contactless debit card
     Yorkshire Bank Current Account Plus - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an overdraft limit of £1,200 a 18.85% EAR (variable) charge will apply  
 




Royal Bank of Scotland Select Account Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0
per month
£0
per month
19.89%
EAR (variable)
  Royal Bank of Scotland Select Account
FSCS Logo
  • 24-hour telephone, online & mobile banking
  • Specialist switching team to transfer your account
  • Emergency cash withdrawal if you lose your card (Min. £25 in credit balance required)
  • ApplePay & contactless payments
     Royal Bank of Scotland Select Account - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an overdraft limit of £100 a 19.89% EAR (variable) charge will apply   
 




Clydesdale Bank Current Account Plus Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0.00
per month
£0
per month
18.85%
EAR (variable)
  Clydesdale Bank Current Account Plus
FSCS Logo
  • Exclusive access to the Savings Account Plus instant access account
  • 24 hour account access with telephone, mobile and internet banking
  • Withdraw up to £500 cash a day with your MasterCard contactless debit card
     Clydesdale Bank Current Account Plus - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an overdraft limit of £1,200 a 18.85% EAR (variable) charge will apply  
 




First Direct Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0*
per month
£1,000
per month
15.90%
EAR (variable)
  First Direct
FSCS Logo
  • £100 Switching incentive + First Direct satisfaction guarantee**
  • Mobile banking on the go with our app for iPhone, Android and iPad
  • Telephone banking with real people answering calls 24/7
  • £250 free of overdraft interest
  • * Pay £1,000 or more into your account each month & First Direct waive the £10 monthly fee
    ** Satisfaction guarantee - if you're not happy First Direct give you £100
     First Direct - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an overdraft limit of £1,200 the interest rate charged will be 15.9% EAR (variable)   
 




Santander 123 Current Account  Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
1.5%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£5
per month
£500
per month
£1
per day
  Santander 123 Current Account
FSCS Logo
  • 1% cashback on water and council tax bills and the first £1,000 you pay towards your Santander monthly residential mortgage payment
  • 2% cashback on gas and electricity bills and Santander home insurance premiums (policies administered and underwritten by Aviva Insurance Limited)
  • 3% cashback on mobile, home phone, broadband and paid-for TV packages
  • Monthly interest of 1.50% AER/1.49% gross (variable) payable on your entire balance up to £20,000
  • £5 monthly account fee
     Santander 123 Current Account - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: 0% EAR (variable) Arranged Overdraft. Arranged Overdraft Usage Fee of £1 per day. If you are switching to Santander then there will be no Arranged Overdraft Usage Fee for the first 4 months. Assumed Arranged Overdraft credit limit: £1,200. Actual credit limit may differ. Arranged Overdraft Usage Fee depends on the amount of overdraft you are using   
 




TSB Classic Account  Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0
per month
£0
per month
19.84%
EAR (variable)
  TSB Classic Account
FSCS Logo
  • Free banking - no charge for everyday transactions if you’re in credit
  • 24/7 Money management through Internet, Telephone & Mobile Banking
  • £25 interest & fee-free overdraft (Subject to application & approval)
  • ApplePay enabled payments
     TSB Classic Account - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an overdraft limit of £1,200 the interest rate charged will be 19.84% EAR (Variable)  
 




Santander Everyday Current Account Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0
per month
£0
per month
£1
per day
  Santander Everyday Current Account
FSCS Logo
  • 24/7 access to your account using Online, Mobile and Telephone Banking
  • Access nationwide via our branch network
  • Free text and email alerts about your account
  • You could get a 4 month fee-free Arranged Overdraft when you switch to Santander (overdrafts are offered depending on your circumstances)
  • Apple Pay enabled payments
     Santander Everyday Current Account - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: 0% EAR (variable) Arranged Overdraft. Arranged Overdraft Usage Fee of £1 per day. If you are switching to Santander then there will be no Arranged Overdraft Usage Fee for the first 4 months. Assumed Arranged Overdraft credit limit: £1,200. Actual credit limit may differ. Arranged Overdraft Usage Fee depends on the amount of overdraft you are using   
 




Barclays Bank Account with Blue Rewards  Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£3
per month
£800
per month
Daily Fees
Apply
  Barclays Bank Account with Blue Rewards
FSCS Logo
  • Earn rewards of up to £180 a year (subject to eligibility)
    Made up of up to £7 loyalty reward, £5 mortgage loyalty reward & £3 home insurance loyalty reward per month
  • Customers can also earn an enhanced cashback when they shop online and in-store through Barclays with over 150 retailers
     Barclays Bank Account with Blue Rewards - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: Up to £5,000 (Subject to application and status). If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged £1.50 per day when you use it  
 




NatWest Reward Silver Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£12
per month
£0
per month
19.89%
EAR (variable)
  NatWest Reward Silver
FSCS Logo
  • 2% back in Rewards on 7 types of household bills if paid by Direct Debit (including, but not limited to, Council Tax, telephone, water, gas, electricity, TV)
  • On average NatWest customers earn £83 per year. Based on monthly bills of £345 excluding the monthly £12 fee
  • Includes many lifestyle benefits such as European multi trip travel insurance, preferential rates on travel money, mobile phone insurance & tastecard membership. Account terms & conditions apply
  • Ticket booking service, receive 25% cashback on tickets for theatre, dance, opera, concerts and more
  • ApplePay enabled payments
  • £12 monthly fee
     NatWest Reward Silver - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an overdraft limit of £100 a 19.89% EAR (variable) charge will apply   
 




NatWest Reward Platinum Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£19
per month
£0
per month
19.89%
EAR (variable)
  NatWest Reward Platinum
FSCS Logo
  • 2% back in Rewards on 7 types of household bills if paid by Direct Debit (including, but not limited to, Council Tax, telephone, water, gas, electricity, TV)
  • On average NatWest customers earn £83 per year. Based on monthly bills of £345 excluding the monthly £19 fee
  • Includes many lifestyle benefits such as Worldwide multi trip travel insurance, UK car breakdown cover, mobile phone insurance & tastecard membership. Account terms & conditions apply
  • ApplePay enabled payments
  • £19 monthly fee
     NatWest Reward Platinum - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an overdraft limit of £100 a 19.89% EAR (variable) charge will apply   
 


compareandsave.com is a comparison website, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We provide a personal finance, insurance and utility comparison service free to the user, but we may receive commissions from the companies we refer users to. This table comprises a range of popular products. Other tables may feature other products which may be better suited to your needs. Please ensure you have thoroughly investigated all available options before applying for products.


What is a ‘Bank Account’?

Green Piggy Bank

Banking, in one form or another, has evolved alongside mankind. Indeed, we can trace the early origins of banking back 9,000 years, and what we would consider modern banking (based on currency and undertaking modern banking functions, like accepting deposits, offering loans) has been with us for over 300 years.

Banking has been an integral, if not essential, part of the modern world and most people in the UK will have, or will have had a bank account.

In their simplest form, bank accounts are just a running total of the assets or liabilities an individual (or business) has with a particular institution. Beyond that, each different account is run based on pre-defined rules. These rules might include the interest rates payable on balances and debts, the methods by which accounts can be managed (cheque, debit card, direct debit etc) and other elements that make the account more or less attractive to people wanting particular functionality. The way these rules/elements are combined define what category a particular bank account is seen as being part of.

However, despite the fact that in their widest sense savings, loans, credit cards etc are all bank accounts, it is widely accepted bank accounts refers, in general parlance, to the most ubiquitous form of account; the current account.

Who can get a UK Bank Account?

Any UK resident over the age of 16 (for some banks 18) can open a bank account; however based on individual circumstances not everybody will be eligible for all types of accounts.

Some bank accounts have minimum monthly deposit requirements that customers are required to make to hold the account. Applicants are usually subject to credit checking and if you have a poor credit score, you might find you are not eligible to open certain accounts. In this instance, basic bank accounts or prepaid bank accounts can offer a reasonable alternative.

Which organisations offer Bank Accounts?

Traditionally UK consumers could use either a bank or a building society for their current account, but other alternatives are also now available. Some credit unions and a number of prepaid card products offer much of the functionality you might expect from a bank account (with the notable exception of a cheque book).

What types of Bank Accounts are available?

There are several different types of bank account available in the UK which, depending on the purpose of the account and your personal financial circumstances, you might choose to open.

Current Accounts

Current accounts are the most popular types of bank account used by people in the UK. Their exact functionality varies from bank to bank and within each account, but broadly customers can expect their account to enable them to:

  • Receive regular payments as benefits, salary, pension into the account
  • Make payments with a debit card and undertake additional pre-agreed financial transactions using direct debits and standing orders
  • Transfer funds to other bank accounts
  • Conduct online banking via a secure portal or banking app

Packaged Accounts

Packaged Accounts tend to be enhanced versions of standard current accounts that offer additional features for a monthly fee. The benefits offered vary by provider and account, but common features included with packaged current accounts include:

  • Insurance policies
  • Motor breakdown cover
  • Home emergency cover
  • Enhanced rates of interest on balances
  • Foreign currency exchange with (reduced) or no commission fees
  • Discounted rates on other financial products offered by the account supplier

Joint Accounts

Joint bank accounts are bank accounts that are held in the name of more than one person. Most current accounts offered by high street banks can be used as joint accounts, although the specifics will vary by account.

Joint Accounts - Happy couple

Joint account holders are able to deposit money, pay bills, withdraw cash (in some cases more than one account holder will need to approve) and complete any necessary financial transactions. Joint accounts are predominately used by married couples, civil partners, or couples living together, and by housemates who share expenses.

It is important to note that once you open a joint account with someone you become directly financially linked to him. Both parties are equally responsible for the repayment of debts and the credit score of each one is affected by the credit rating of the other account holder.

 

Basic Bank Accounts

The simplest type of bank account available from banks and building societies tend to be referred to as a ‘basic bank account’. They tend to offer very basic banking functionality, hence the name, but can be ideal if:

  • You don’t want access to credit facilities (an overdraft) through your bank account
  • Your credit score is poor, making more prestigious accounts unavailable
  • You don’t want/require the additional benefits offered with some current accounts

Many people use basic accounts as de facto poor credit bank accounts and therefore a stepping stone to getting a standard current account at some future point.

Prepaid Bank Accounts

Consumers who are not eligible for a basic or current account, like individuals who have just arrived in the country, foreign students or consumers with a very poor credit score, often find prepaid bank account cards can be a useful alternative to a bank account, especially since practically anyone who is a UK resident and over the age of 18 is almost guaranteed to be accepted.

Many prepaid cards now offer some bank account like facilities (direct debits, debit cards, online account management etc). Some also offer customers the ability to build/rebuild their credit score. However, prepaid bank accounts cards come with a varying range of fees and charges, so customers should be careful to understand exactly what they are agreeing to prior to application.

Business Accounts

Business bank accounts are similar to personal accounts and effectively work in the same way – albeit they tend to charge for transactions. Business accounts have slightly different benefits and some additional services for account holders in order to fulfil the increased financial needs of businesses.

There are several different business bank account products to account for the different types and sizes of companies. A very basic business account will have a cheque book and a pay-in book at the very least.

The process for applying for a business account is a bit more complicated and requires several documents including proof of your identity, details of your company, a business plan, and a Certificate of Incorporation (for a limited company). Unfortunately if you have a bad credit history, you might find it hard to open a business account. People in this position sometimes find prepaid business card is a suitable alternative for running a small business.

How do I get the best bank account?

Best Bank Account

Of course, there is no such thing as the ‘best bank account’, as all bank accounts are designed for different circumstances and needs. What you need to do is find the account that is best suited to your overall needs. To do this you should look at your past behaviour and think about what you need and how you are going to use the new account.

Answering the following questions should help you identify which bank account type is the best for you:

  • Do you often find yourself in credit?
  • How often do you use your overdraft facilities?
  • Are you currently paying a fee for your bank account?
  • Would you be willing to pay a fee for your bank account in return for additional benefits?
  • Are you a high earner?
  • Do you have any savings?
  • Are you currently a student or have graduated recently?

How do I apply for a bank account?

With most bank accounts, the application process is pretty straightforward (remember, they do want your business!). Applicants simply complete an online form and provide certain documentation proving their identity and address.

Remember though, banks can refuse applications for a number of reasons and providing the required documentation does not guarantee acceptance.

How long does it take to switch bank account?

Although people are famously more likely to get divorced than switch bank account, the process for switching is actually now very quick and painless, taking just 7 days. Of course, this was not always the case. Before the 7 day switch guarantee the process of switching bank account provider was fraught with difficulty. Direct debits would regularly go awry leaving customers at the mercy of businesses chasing them for non-payment of debts.

7 day switch guarantee logo

Of course much of this was the fault of the recipients of direct debts, who were under no pressure to update customers banking details until they actually missed payments. This created a great deal of inertia in the banking sector as customers were too worried to switch.

To help remedy the situation the government forced action on the part of the banks in the form of the seven day switch. This acts as a giant database which matches customers old bank account numbers to their new ones, and ensure that direct debts and other payments are seamless.

With switching inertia reduced the banks have had to improve their service and improve their product offering. This has resulted in switching incentives, enhanced rewards and an increased choice of accounts. Arguably, there has never been a better time to switch bank account.

Product Offers
Please ensure that you fully read the terms & conditions of any product or policy before you decide to proceed and are fully aware of the total costs and the benefits and any exclusions or limitations applicable to the product or plan.

Please note that the product links will take you direct to the Issuer or Insurer's site direct and we cannot be held responsible for the information which they provide within their own sites. On some comparison tables we use a star rating which rates products by visitor popularity.
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