14 December 2017 : 


 

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Best Current Account Comparison

Current accounts are the most common form of UK bank account and are used by most people for day-to-day banking. They are popular because they are typically 'free', they keep customers deposits safe and enable basic financial transactions - online banking, debit card payments, and automated Direct Debits/Standing Order payments.

Despite being critical to our finances, historically UK customers rarely switched their current account. Switching was fraught with difficulty; direct-debits would go awry, standing orders would go unprocessed, and payment cards would stop working at crucial moments. All-in-all, switching was more trouble than it was worth. The seven-day 'Switch Guarantee' has changed all that. Switchers can now swap their current account with confidence, in a similar manner that they might change a mobile phone contract.

Banks have responded with innovative reward, premium, and even basic current account deals. Many have even created specific 'switching offers' to tempt customers to change, so compare the best UK online current accounts below, and find your perfect account.



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

   


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   
 




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
  • 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   
 




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   
 




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)   
 




Nationwide FlexPlus Logo


Switch Guarantee Logo
3%
AER
£0
set-up fee
£13
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 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   
 




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   
 


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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 are Current Accounts?

Current accounts are the most common type of bank account in the UK and are essential to most people’s personal finance arrangements. Although they are all different in terms of charges and features, they all offer some basic advantages and functionality.

Historically, a current account's primary benefit was that it enabled a holder to store their money in a safe environment, away from the danger of theft or damage. Today they still offer that same protection (if not more so, since the introduction of the FSCS), but they also give us the tools and functionality (like debit cards, Direct Debit, Standing Orders etc) that form the infrastructure which enables us to seamlessly transact and automate our personal finances.

What features do Current Accounts offer?

Most current accounts offer a breadth of tools and services, like a chequebook, a debit card, Direct Debit and Standing Order functionality, BACS payments (Bankers Automated Clearing Service - for payments in and out of your account), and overdraft facilities (subject to your status/credit score). Some current accounts also pay high levels of interest on balances, albeit these interest payments are typically capped to a certain balance level.

There are also packaged current accounts that offer additional extras, such as travel insurance, mobile insurance and car breakdown cover, for a monthly fee. All packaged accounts offer different benefits and functionality, but some can save people a considerable amount if all the benefits are elements they would normally purchase anyway (e.g. mobile phone insurance, travel insurance etc). Please visit our packaged current account comparison table to identify the best offers available for you.

Who can get a current account?

The minimum age required to open a current account is 16 years old, although most banks have raised that to 18 years old. You might be able to open a current account if you are below the age of 18 with the help of your parents (or guardian).

Some current accounts require that a minimum amount be paid into the account on a monthly basis (salary, benefits, pension etc). What you then do with the money is up to you, but it must go into the bank to start with.

Often current account providers will require that an individual is 'creditworthy' before they are offered an account. Individuals who have a poor credit score should look to basic bank account options for their banking needs – although they are unlikely to get an overdraft with these products.

How do I apply for a current account?

The process of applying for a current account is very similar to that of applying for many financial products. Usually, the application consists of a form that you need to fill in along with some paperwork for proof of identification and address.

Most accounts offer you the option to open it either alone or with somebody else (a joint account) - keep in mind that if you open a joint account you will be linked financially with that person and you are going to be co-scored.

What does it cost to have a current account?

Most current accounts don't charge you for account services, as long as there is money in the account. However, if you have opted for a packaged current account then you have to pay the monthly fee.

It is important to note that although no other charges or fees are associated with maintaining a current account, there are some types of transactions that will incur additional fees; for example your bank might charge you if a Direct Debit was returned due to insufficient funds, or an overdraft fee might be charged if you spend more than your balance. In order to find out all the charges and fees you might incur, see the terms and conditions of your bank.

Can you switch your current account while in your overdraft?

The short answer is yes. It is generally assumed that if your current account is in the red then you are tied to your bank and unable to switch. Because you are in your overdraft you won’t necessarily have numerous choices as to whom you can switch to, but if you have a reasonable credit history and a good history of overdraft repayment and management (i.e. having stayed within your limits) you will have options.

How is the overdraft balance cleared?

You will need to settle any outstanding balance (debt) with the organisation you hold your old account with before the account can be closed. This is handled by your new bank as part of the switching process. Supposing you have been deemed eligible to switch under your new bank's criteria and they have agreed to shift your overdraft debt to your new bank account, then your new bank will make the payment to the old account (similar to balance transfer) to assume responsibility for your debt.

This will happen on the last day of the switching process and effectively confirms the switch. Once the transaction has taken place, your old account is closed and your overdraft is active on your new account, meaning the account is officially open.

Be sure to read all print associated with your account. Ensure you are aware of any charges and fees that a switch may incur, as well as comparing interest rates to get the best deal. You should, however, acknowledge that overdrafts are supposed to be used for short-term borrowing and tend to have interest rates which reflect this.



Further Reading

Current Account Switch Service (Official) - Simpler World

Getting a Bank Account - Citizens Advice

Guide to Current Accounts - compareandsave.com

Product Offers
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