What is a standard current account?
Standard current accounts are bank accounts designed for everyday use, depositing pay, spending on card, withdrawing cash, making and receiving direct debits and transfers. You will need one to be paid a salary or make payments.
How should I choose a current account?
You need to think about what’s important to you.
For starters not all banks are created equal and some have better reputations than others when it comes to customer service.
If you’re regularly running into the red you might want to get a standard current account with a free overdraft. Or, if you use your account for much of your day to day spending then having cashback could be beneficial.
Examine all the small print and consider the benefits carefully before you apply to decide if this is the account you want.
How can I apply for a current account?
Once you hit apply on our site you will be taken to the bank’s website and given more detailed information about applying for the current account. You will need to have documents to prove your identity and address to successfully apply for a current account.
If you want to make this account your main account you should ask about whether the bank offers the ‘Switch Guarantee’ (or simply look for the distinctive black and white logo).
This means when you switch accounts your bank should handle automatically moving all your direct debits, payments and transfers to your new account. If any payments are missed, the bank is held liable and you will be due compensation for any arrears or charges you have faced. The whole process should take no more than seven days from you agreeing to switch.
What is an overdraft?
An overdraft is money you can borrow through your current account. If it is authorised you will pay interest on the borrowed balance, if it is unauthorised you will pay fees in addition to interest, and you may also pay a higher rate of interest.
Many accounts offer overdrafts as standard, with others you will have to apply for one. In either case you should double check with your bank that your overdraft has been authorised to avoid being stung by any fees and charges.
Some accounts offer overdrafts that charge no interest, however this will usually only be available up to a lower limit than your total overdraft.
Current accounts vary in how they charge you for using your overdraft, some charge a flat fee per day you are overdrawn, whereas others levy an interest rate charge. As a rule, overdrafts with interest rates are cheaper, unless you are going to be overdrawn by several thousands over a long time period.
What is interest?
Interest is the money you pay for borrowing from your bank, or are paid for depositing your money with the bank.
The interest you are paid is expressed as AER. The interest you pay on money you owe is expressed as EAR.
As a rule you’ll likely want to try and pick an account with the highest possible AER and lowest possible EAR, so you’ll get more money for your savings and pay less for your overdraft.
Is a standard account the same as a premium account?
A standard account is likely to have fewer bells and whistles like high rates of cashback, access to dedicated relationship managers, insurance and other perks. In exchange for less benefits, they usually do not have a monthly account keeping fee.
Premium bank accounts generally offer more perks though they may also charge an account keeping in exchanage for this.
What does 'most popular' mean?
When we use the term ‘most popular’ on Uswitch in reference to bank accounts, these accounts are ranked by the number of clicks they have received on the site in the past 48 hours.
The most clicked on accounts are at the top, with the least at the bottom. This reflects how popular they are with visitors to Uswitch.com. Consequently this is a good table to look at if you’re interested in seeing which bank accounts most people think are worth getting.
Which banks does Uswitch's comparison include?
We compare current accounts from a wide range of high street banks and newer challenger banks. Compare our current account providers to check which ones we include.