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Compare current accounts

Get a current account that's right for you

Whether you’re looking to earn a high interest rate, cash back on your spending, or add-on benefits we can help you find the best current account for you.

Compare current accounts

We compare current accounts from leading providers
Last updated
January 11, 2024

Current account deals

17 results found, sorted by switching incentive.
£200 offer when you switch to Royal Bank. T&Cs apply.

Royal Bank Select Account

Overdraft interest rate
39.49%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
No
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.49% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Switch your current account held elsewhere to Royal Bank of Scotland using the Current Account Switch Service to get the £200 offer.
  • Offer terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Offer may be withdrawn or amended at any time.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland could pay £200 into your open Royal Bank of Scotland account within 7 days of meeting criteria.
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident
£200 offer when you switch to NatWest. T&Cs apply

NatWest Select Account

Overdraft interest rate
39.49%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
No
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.49% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Switch your current account held elsewhere to NatWest using the Current Account Switch Service to get the £200 offer.
  • Offer terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Offer may be withdrawn or amended at any time.
  • NatWest could pay £200 into your open NatWest account within 7 days of meeting criteria
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident
£200 offer when you switch to NatWest. T&Cs apply

NatWest Reward

Overdraft interest rate
39.49%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
£2
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.49% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Switch your current account held elsewhere to NatWest using the Current Account Switch Service to get the £200 offer.
  • Offer terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Offer may be withdrawn or amended at any time.
  • NatWest could pay £200 into your open NatWest account within 7 days of meeting criteria.
  • Earn from 1% in Rewards when you spend with selected partners + up to £5pm in Rewards (£4 with 2x +£2 Direct Debits set up & £1 for monthly app log in). You need to also pay in £1,250 to an eligible NatWest account every month.
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident
£200 offer when you switch to Royal Bank. T&Cs apply.

Royal Bank Reward Account

Overdraft interest rate
39.49%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
£2
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.49% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Switch your current account held elsewhere to Royal Bank using the Current Account Switch Service to get the £200 offer.
  • Offer terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Offer may be withdrawn or amended at any time.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland could pay £200 into your open Royal Bank of Scotland account within 7 days of meeting criteria.
  • Earn from 1% in Rewards when you spend with selected partners + £5pm in Rewards (£4 with 2x +£2 Direct Debits set up & £1 for monthly app log in). You need to also pay in £1,200 to an eligible Royal Bank of Scotland account every month.
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident

TSB Spend & Save

Overdraft interest rate
39.9%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
No
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.9% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Eligible for Cashback if you open a new Spend & Save account, including changing from an existing TSB current account, other than from a Classic.
  • Earn 2.92% AER variable interest on your Savings Pots too. Includes a bonus of 1.52% AER for the first year.
  • Access to a Monthly Saver paying 6.00% Gross/AER fixed for a year. Save £25 to £250 per month by standing order from your TSB current account. Interest is paid on maturity.
  • UK residents only, 18+.
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident
Which? Banking Brand of the Year 2023

Starling Bank Current Account

Overdraft interest rate
15%EAR
AER
3.25%
Monthly fee
No
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 15% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident

Chase Current Account

Overdraft interest rate
-
AER
1.00%
Monthly fee
No
Joint account
No
Representative example:
N/A - no credit facility offered.
More Information
Additional information
  • 1% cashback on everyday debit card spending. Available for your first 12 months as a new customer. Max £15 per month. Cashback exceptions apply.
  • No fees at home or abroad from Chase.
  • Linked to an instant access saving account (£25,000 daily external transfer limit)
  • Access to round-up account with 5% AER (4.89% gross) variable interest rate, paid monthly. Round-up balance transfers to elected Chase account on anniversary of account opening. T&Cs apply.
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident

first direct 1st Account

Overdraft interest rate
39.9%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
No
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
£250 interest and fee free overdraft, subject to status. If you then use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.9% EAR variable. Representative APR: 30.5%. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • First £250 of overdraft interest free, then 39.9% EAR variable and access to 7.00% AER/gross Regular Saver Account
  • This offer is only available to new first direct customers, or HSBC customers who haven't opened an account since 1 January 2020
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident

Barclays Bank Account

Overdraft interest rate
35%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
No
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you will be charged 35.0% EAR (variable). Representative APR: 35.0% (variable). Subject to application, financial circumstance and borrowing history. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Optional arranged overdrafts. Subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history.
  • Manage your money with the Barclays app, Online Banking and more. You must be 18 or over to access this product in the app. T&Cs apply.
  • Get more from your everyday banking with Barclays Blue Rewards, with member deals and saving rates. (Eligibility, conditions and a £5 monthly fee apply).
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident

Santander Everyday Current Account

Overdraft interest rate
39.94%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
No
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.94% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Get cashback, vouchers, prize draws and other offers personalised to you when you use Santander Boosts. To be eligible for Santander Boosts, you must have a personal Santander debit or credit card, be 18 years or over and be registered for Online and Mobile Banking.
  • It's easy to manage online or on our mobile app.
  • No minimum monthly funding or monthly fee to maintain the account
  • Arranged Overdraft facility (subject to status) - If you use an arranged overdraft you’ll be charged an interest rate of 39.94% APR / EAR (variable)
  • Stress-free account switching in 7 days with the Current Account Switch Service
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum Investment£2,000,000
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident
Eligibility: £75K income p.a. or £100K saved/invested

Barclays Premier Current Account + Avios Rewards

Overdraft interest rate
35%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
No
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
0% interest (variable) payable on arranged overdrafts up to £500. If you use an arranged overdraft above this amount the annual rate of interest is 35.0% (variable). 19.5% APR Representative (variable), based on £1,200 overdraft balance. Overdrafts, including free amounts, are subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Join Premier Banking by opening a Premier Current Account. You also need a gross annual income of at least £75,000 paid into the account, or a total balance of at least £100,000 in savings with us, in Barclays UK Investments, or in a mix of savings and investments.
  • Access to a dedicated team of Premier Financial Guides and get UK-based support whenever you need it from your Premier Telephone Banking team.
  • Access Barclays Rewards for £12 a month and collect Avios to put towards your next trip with British Airways. You’ll also receive 25,000 bonus Avios if you’re opening your first account with Barclays, you join Avios Rewards, and complete a full switch using the Current Account Switch Service within 3 months of signing up for Barclays Avios Rewards. Eligibility and conditions apply.
  • Exclusive account benefits, including a black debit card with up to £2,000 daily cash machine withdrawals (subject to status and available funds. Individual cash machine limits may apply.)
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Minimum Income£75,000
Permanent UK Resident
Banking made easy + 4.00% AER (variable) included in Instant Access Savings Pots

Monzo Current Account

Overdraft interest rate
39%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
No
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Instant Access Savings Pots 4.10% AER (variable). No minimum deposit & maximum deposit £100k. You must have a Monzo account to get an Instant Access Savings Pots. T&Cs apply.
  • Overdraft limit up to £2000. You must be over 18 to get an arranged overdraft. Credit subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. Monzo Bank Limited Address: Broadwalk House, 5 Appold St, London EC2A 2AG.
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident

TSB Spend & Save Plus

Overdraft interest rate
39.9%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
£3
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
£100 interest and fee free overdraft, subject to financial status. If you then use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.9% EAR variable. Representative APR: 40.1%. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Eligible for cashback if you open a new Spend & Save Plus account, including changing from an existing TSB current account.
  • Zero TSB card changes abroad. ATM operators/foreign banks may charge & sellers may apply a currency conversion fee on purchases.
  • Set up Savings Pot and earn 2.92% AER variable.
  • Interest-free overdraft up to £100. Subject to approval. UK 18+
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident
Access to Santander Edge Saver with 7.00% AER / 6.78% gross (variable) interest on balances up to £4,000

Santander Edge

Overdraft interest rate
39.94%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
£3
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.94% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Access to Santander Edge Saver with 7.00% AER / 6.78% gross (variable) interest on balances up to £4,000. (includes 2.50% AER / 2.47% gross (variable) bonus rate for the first 12 months from opening.
  • 1% cashback (up to £10 a month) on selected household bills when you pay by Direct Debit.
  • 1% cashback (up to £10 a month) at supermarkets and on travel costs when you use your debit card (exclusions apply).
  • We won't charge you to use your Santander Edge up debit card outside the UK – learn more in the ‘Travel’ section.
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Minimum Monthly Credit£500
Permanent UK Resident

Santander Edge Up

Overdraft interest rate
39.94%EAR
AER
3.50%
Monthly fee
£5
Joint account
Yes
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.94% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • 1% cashback (up to £15 a month) on selected household bills when you pay by Direct Debit
  • It’s free to use your Santander Edge Up debit card outside the UK – learn more in the ‘Travel’ section below
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Minimum Monthly Credit£1,500
Permanent UK Resident
See your other bank accounts and credit cards in one place

Monzo Plus

Overdraft interest rate
39%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
£5
Joint account
No
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Instant Access Savings Pots 4.6% AER (variable). No minimum deposit & maximum deposit £100k. You must have a Monzo account to get an Instant Access Savings Pots. T&Cs apply.
  • Overdraft limit up to £2000. You must be over 18 to get an arranged overdraft. Credit subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. Monzo Bank Limited Address: Broadwalk House, 5 Appold St, London EC2A 2AG.
  • Access to offers from a range of brands. Offers may change without notice, T&Cs vary by vendor.
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Contract Term3 months
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident
Exclusive metal card + phone insurance (exclusions apply)

Monzo Premium

Overdraft interest rate
39%EAR
AER
0.00%
Monthly fee
£15
Joint account
No
Representative example:
If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39% APR Representative/EAR variable. Subject to financial status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
More Information
Additional information
  • Instant Access Savings Pots 4.6% AER (variable). No minimum deposit & maximum deposit £100k. You must have a Monzo account to get an Instant Access Savings Pots. T&Cs apply.
  • Overdraft limit up to £2000. You must be over 18 to get an arranged overdraft. Credit subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. Monzo Bank Limited Address: Broadwalk House, 5 Appold St, London EC2A 2AG.
  • Access to offers from a range of brands. Offers may change without notice, T&Cs vary by vendor.
Eligibility
Maximum Age69 years
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Contract Term6 months
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident
Uswitch Limited is a credit broker, not a lender, for consumer credit.
Our services are provided at no cost to you. We may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to, but this does not affect what you will pay for the product you choose.

How do current accounts work?

A current account is place to keep your money before spending it or moving it somewhere else. It's where your salary or government benefits are generally deposited, and where bills are paid from.

Most current accounts don't charge you a fee, unless they come with linked benefits - such as an attached savings account - or add-on benefits like travel and mobile phone insurance.

Most providers offer several different types of currents accounts so that people can choose the features and benefits that suit their circumstances.

Adults in the UK have a right to at least a free basic current account - no matter how bad their credit scores. However, these basic bank accounts come without overdrafts and almost no extra features.

Depending on your credit score and circumstances, you may be able to set up an overdraft facility with a current account too.

How overdrafts work

When you take out more money from your bank account than you have in it, you're "overdrawing" on your account, or "going into your overdraft". It's form of short term borrowing, and you are charged interest on the amount you borrow on a daily basis.

Interest rates on overdrafts are typically high, ranging from 19% up to 40%. This is why it might be ok to overdraw occasionally, but it's not something you should get into the habit of. If you find yourself going into your overdraft regularly, you're likely spending more than you have coming in, and it would be a good idea to do find ways to cut down on your spending.

Why do you need a current account?

A current account can do much more than just provide you with a place to keep your money. Many features have become things we often rely on day-to-day, and with most banks now offering banking apps to help manage your account, setting up and using your account's features can be straightforward.

Paying in and receiving money

Your employer, clients or the government if you receive benefits can pay money into your current account by using your sort code and account number. The same goes for friends and family. You can deposit cash into your account too, typically in your bank's branch

Direct debits

Direct debits allow you to set up a regular payment from your account to someone else such as your mobile phone provider or utilities provider. The direct debit is usually set up with the company you need to pay and avoids the need to remember to make manual payments

Standing orders

A standing order is like a direct debit, only you set up the amount to be paid and frequency yourself. You can usually do this on your banking app, or on the phone or in branch. It can be a helpful way to pay out regular amounts to someone such as your landlord or a family member

Debit cards

A debit card allows you to spend money from your current account. It can be used for purchases in shops or online either by using your PIN or tapping it on a card reader to use contactless

Overdrafts

An overdraft is a form of credit, so not all accounts offer them and not all account holders with be able to get one. They can be a useful short-term credit option, allowing you to spend beyond the money available in your account within an arranged limit. There's usually a charge for using it and it can be expensive if relied on frequently

Types of current accounts

Basic bank accounts

Many people who have poor credit histories, or don't have a consistent home address, have historically been unable to open regular bank accounts.

But because pensions and other public benefits are now sent directly into bank accounts, the government introduced rules requiring major banks to offer a product anyone could open to stop people from being excluded from benefits they are due.

Basic bank accounts come with debit cards and let you carry out basic everyday transactions, but offer no other features such as overdrafts or interest on your balance.

Student accounts

Student bank accounts are only available to full time students. To get one, you need to prove you’re a student. This could be with an acceptance letter from a university, your four digit UCAS code confirming your place on a course, or your UCAS offer letter.

They generally come with interest-free overdrafts and often a sign-up perk such as a railcard or Amazon Prime membership.

Cashback accounts

Cashback current accounts are bank accounts that reward you with cash on your spending. You could get cashback from paying in a set amount of money each month, or for using the account to pay your utility bills.

Sometimes they may charge a fee, so in that case they only make sense if the amount of cashback you earn is more than the fee you pay for the account.

High interest current accounts

Some current accounts offer a higher rate of interest than standard accounts. This often depends on the size of your balance or the amount you can pay in every month.

There may be a cap on how much of the balance the bank pays interest on. For example the account may pay interest on balances up to £1,500. So if you have £2,000 in your account, you'll only earn interest on £1,500 of that.

Packaged bank accounts

These accounts often come with a monthly fee. This is because they offer extra benefits such as travel insurance, breakdown cover or mobile phone insurance.

While it might seem like a waste of money to be paying for an account fee each month, the benefits you could receive for an account like this could be outweigh the cost of the account keeping fee.

But make sure you don't already have insurance policies that you're paying for.

Types of current accounts

Basic bank accounts

Many people who have poor credit histories, or don't have a consistent home address, have historically been unable to open regular bank accounts.

But because pensions and other public benefits are now sent directly into bank accounts, the government introduced rules requiring major banks to offer a product anyone could open to stop people from being excluded from benefits they are due.

Basic bank accounts come with debit cards and let you carry out basic everyday transactions, but offer no other features such as overdrafts or interest on your balance.

Student accounts

Student bank accounts are only available to full time students. To get one, you need to prove you’re a student. This could be with an acceptance letter from a university, your four digit UCAS code confirming your place on a course, or your UCAS offer letter.

They generally come with interest-free overdrafts and often a sign-up perk such as a railcard or Amazon Prime membership.

Cashback accounts

Cashback current accounts are bank accounts that reward you with cash on your spending. You could get cashback from paying in a set amount of money each month, or for using the account to pay your utility bills.

Sometimes they may charge a fee, so in that case they only make sense if the amount of cashback you earn is more than the fee you pay for the account.

High interest current accounts

Some current accounts offer a higher rate of interest than standard accounts. This often depends on the size of your balance or the amount you can pay in every month.

There may be a cap on how much of the balance the bank pays interest on. For example the account may pay interest on balances up to £1,500. So if you have £2,000 in your account, you'll only earn interest on £1,500 of that.

Packaged bank accounts

These accounts often come with a monthly fee. This is because they offer extra benefits such as travel insurance, breakdown cover or mobile phone insurance.

While it might seem like a waste of money to be paying for an account fee each month, the benefits you could receive for an account like this could be outweigh the cost of the account keeping fee.

But make sure you don't already have insurance policies that you're paying for.

Requirements to open a current account

AgeFor most current accounts you'll need to be over 18, though some may accept people aged 16 and over. There are alternatives too, such as children's bank accounts.
ResidenceYou'll most likely need to be a UK resident in order to open a current account in the UK.
Proof of identityBanks will likely ask you to provide proof of identity such as a driver's licence or passport.
Proof of addressYou can provide documentation such as a utility or phone bill, tenancy agreement or a council tax bill to prove your address.
Best banks for customer service
How the leading UK banks rate for customer service, according to their customers.

Source: UK Bank customer service rankings, February 2023 results

Customers with personal current accounts were asked how likely they would be to recommend their provider, their provider’s online and mobile banking services, services in branches and overdraft services to friends and family.

How to switch your current account

Switching bank accounts is simple, especially with the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).

But before you switch, think about why you want to switch. Is it because you're unhappy with your current provider? Are you looking for specific features? Or are trying to take advantage of a switch incentive that's on offer?

All of these questions will help you choose the provider and type of account you want to switch to. So when looking for your next account, it's a good idea to compare current accounts available on the market and any incentives or features that are on offer.

Once you've chosen a deal you like, go ahead and apply. You'll need to supply some basic ID and contact documents, after that your new bank will then start the process of switching your account.

The best part is the CASS guarantees that your balance, direct debits and standing orders will be transferred to your new account. And if anything goes wrong in the process, you'll be refunded for any losses.

Make sure not to close your old account until your new one is set up to your satisfaction.

Top tips to take advantage of switching offers

Tip 1: Earn money by switching

Many bank's will offer a cash incentive for you to switch your current account to them. This could range from £100-£200 and there's no limit on how many times you can switch accounts. Just remember that if the account comes with an overdraft then the bank will likely run a credit search which will appear on your credit file. While this isn't necessarily a problem, frequent applications for credit can make it difficult to obtain credit.

Tip 2: Save money on overdraft fees

Some banks may offer a fee-free overdraft up to a certain amount. If you find that you're often in your overdraft and paying a lot in fees and charges as a result, then you could save money by switching.

Tip 3: Pay less and enjoy more

If you don't already have insurance for things like a mobile phone, travel or breakdown then you could save money by switching to a packaged account. Many packaged accounts provide these kinds of benefits for a flat monthly fee and it could work out cheaper than paying for them individually. Just make sure you don't already have cover, otherwise you could end up paying twice for the same thing.

Tip 4: Hassle-free

The Current Account Switch Service (CASS) takes the hassle out of switching your account. When going through the application process for a new account, you'll usually be asked if you're switching. CASS will then take care of the switch for you - moving any money, standing orders and direct debits across to your new account and arranging the closure of your old account. Your new bank should also pay for any charges in the event of an error caused as a result of the switch.

Tip 5: Keep money aside and you could keep switching

Many switch incentives require you to pay in an initial sum to qualify for the cash bonus. If you keep an amount to one side, you can use it as the required deposit each time in order to meet the threshold and get the switch bonus. It's worth looking at all of the requirements of an individual offer though, as you may also need to earn a certain amount to qualify too.

Switching your current account might seem like a lot of work, but the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) takes away the hassle. That means you can benefit from potential cash switching bonuses or additional perks of a new account without the stress

FAQs

Do I have to pay for a current account?

You don't have to. Most providers typically offer standard accounts which you don't pay a fee for. They offer you basic services such as a debit card, cheques, and the ability to set up direct debits and standing orders.

What is a monthly or annual account fee?

Some banks charge you a monthly or annual fee to have a particular account. Not all accounts have a fee. It is usually the accounts with exclusive perks, additional benefits or cashback that charge a fee.

Don't let fees put you off. Consider whether you’re going to use the account to take full advantage of the perks and you could end up saving more money than the fees cost you.

What are the incentives to switch bank accounts?

Banks sometimes offer perks or incentives to encourage you switch your current account to them. These could be in the form of a cash bonus, vouchers or an item like new headphones.

You may have to stay with the bank for a set amount of time to qualify for and keep the bonus. You’ll probably have to get your salary paid into the account and set up one or more standing orders or direct debits.

Are there any penalties for switching current accounts?

No. In fact, even if you're a regular or 'serial' switcher, it should have no impact on your finances or your chances of being accepted by a new bank or building society.

How do I choose the best current account?

The best current account is the bank account that offers the perks or deals that suit your lifestyle.

If you often dip into the red, you might want to compare bank accounts that offer fee-free overdrafts. Recent legislation means arranged and unarranged overdrafts are practically the same thing now, but banks have started to charge up to 40% interest on your debt.

If you have a large bank balance of around £2,000 or more, and are always in credit, you might consider looking for an account that will pay you the most interest.

Or if don't mind paying a fee for your account, you could opt for packaged account that may offer add-on benefits such as travel insurance, mobile phone insurance, or breakdown cover. But it only makes sense if you don't already have the benefits elsewhere.

Can you get a current account with bad credit?

Yes. If you have bad credit, you should still be able to get a basic current account. The UK government has introduced rules requiring all major banks and account providers to offer products that anyone would be eligible for, regardless of their credit score or financial circumstances.

Can I open multiple current accounts?

There aren't any specific limitations on opening multiple current accounts. You may decide to open one with a partner, housemate or family member if you share bills for example. It's worth remembering that if the current account comes with an overdraft, then a credit check will be carried out. If your credit file suddenly reports several applications for credit in a short period of time, that may impact your ability to get credit.

What about overdrafts on current accounts?

Some accounts allow you an interest free overdraft. This translates to letting you borrow a set amount of money for free. Not all accounts do this.

The interest free amount is often less than the full overdraft limit. Be careful not to confuse the two.

For example, you may have an agreed interest free overdraft of £250. But your full overdraft limit might be £1,000. You would owe interest on anything in your overdraft between £250.01 and £1,000.

What are the new rules on overdraft fees?

The rules on overdrafts changed in April 2020. Under new government rules banks are no longer able to charge high fees to customers who drop into their overdraft. This applies to both arranged and unarranged overdrafts.

Banks can now only charge overdraft users a simple annual interest rate. It's important to speak to your bank or building society if you are unsure about your overdraft fees.

Current account guides

Find out more about how current accounts work with our in-depth guides
How to Easily Switch your Current Account
How to Easily Switch your Current Account
Are there any risks in opening a joint account?
Are there any risks in opening a joint account?
Online Banking Explained
Online Banking Explained

About the author

Salman Haqqi
Salman Haqqi has over a decade of experience as a journalist in several countries around the world. In recent years, he has turned his focus to helping people make confident financial decisions and regularly comments in the media about personal finance.

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