22 January 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

   


NatWest Reward Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£3
per month
£0
per month
19.89%
EAR (variable)
  NatWest Reward
FSCS Logo
  • Earn 3% Rewards on selected household bills (including, but not limited to, Council Tax, telephone, water, gas, electricity, TV)
  • Top 20% of NatWest Reward customers earn, on average, £217 in Rewards per year. Based on their average Dec ‘15/Jan’16 Direct Debit amounts. Excludes monthly £3 fee
  • Earn at least 1% on qualifying purchases at NatWest Reward partners
  • ApplePay enabled payments
  • £3 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   
 




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
  • 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.  
 




TSB Classic Plus Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
3%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0
per month
£500
per month
19.94%
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
  • Plus 5% Cashback on your first £100 Contactless payments every month. Contactless subject to eligibility. Ends Sept 2017 (T&Cs apply)
  • If you have a Plus account, earn up to £5 a month cashback with our selected TSB credit cards. T&Cs apply. Ends Sept 2017.
  • 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 19.94% 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
  • Free European travel insurance
  • Access to discounts on high street brands via Simply Rewards
  • Dedicated switching service to personally manage your account opening
  • 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).  
 




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)   
 




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  
 




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  
 




Nationwide FlexPlus Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
3%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£10
per month
£0
per month
0.50p
per day
  Nationwide FlexPlus
FSCS Logo
  • Earn 3.00% AER in-credit interest for balances up to £2,500
  • Worldwide family mobile phone insurance
  • Commission-free cash withdrawals when abroad
  • ApplePay enabled payments
     Nationwide FlexPlus - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 the amount we will charge you is 50p per day (variable)   
 




Santander 123 Account  Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
1.5%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£5
per month
£500
per month
£1
per day
  Santander 123 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*
  • 3% Cashback on mobile, home phone, broadband and paid-for TV packages
  • 1.50% AER/1.49% gross (variable) Interest on your entire balance up to £20,000
  • £5 monthly fee
     Santander 123 Account - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: A daily arranged overdraft fee of £1 per day capped at 20 days each monthly statement period applies. Assumed arranged overdraft credit limit: £1,200. Actual amount may differ   
 




TSB Classic Account  Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0
per month
£0
per month
19.94%
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 19.94% EAR (Variable)  
 




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
  • Users also earn cashback through an enhanced 'SmartSpend' offering, with up to 7% cashback at Expedia
     Barclays Bank Account with Blue Rewards - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: If you use an overdraft limit up to £5,000 a 19.3% interest p.a. (variable) will apply  
 




Santander Everyday Account Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
0%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£0
per month
£0
per month
£1
per day
  Santander Everyday Account
FSCS Logo
  • Easy Access to your account 24 hours a day
  • Free text message and email alert services
  • Free arranged overdraft for 4 months when you switch using the Santander Switcher Service (depending on your circumstances)
  • ApplePay enabled payments
     Santander Everyday Account - Full Product Details

  Representative Example: 0% EAR (variable) Arranged Overdraft. No Daily Arranged Overdraft Fee for the first 4 months. Then £1 per day capped at 20 days each monthly statement period applies thereafter. Assumed Arranged Overdraft credit limit: £1,200.   
 




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   
 




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
  • Earn 3% Rewards on selected household bills (including, but not limited to, Council Tax, telephone, water, gas, electricity, TV)
  • Plus unlimited Rewards on the household bills if paid by direct debit
  • Worldwide travel insurance, mobile phone insurance, Ticket Booking Service, and Tastecard membership all included
  • 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
£18
per month
£0
per month
19.89%
EAR (variable)
  NatWest Reward Platinum
FSCS Logo
  • Earn 3% Rewards on selected household bills (including, but not limited to, Council Tax, telephone, water, gas, electricity, TV)
  • Plus unlimited Rewards on the household bills if paid by direct debit
  • UK Car Breakdown Cover, worldwide travel insurance, mobile phone insurance, National Trust family day passes and Tastecard membership all included
  • ApplePay enabled payments
  • £18 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 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 couple 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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