Best Current Accounts in the UK
Looking for the best current accounts in the UK?
Are you in the market to open a new current account or to switch to a new provider?
With just over 65 million active current accounts in the UK, it’s a necessity that you have one, and you don’t want to open it with the wrong bank.
We’ve done all the hard work for you by analysing current accounts to bring you the top products in the UK.
As experts in our field, we discuss the following in this article:
Our team of economic fundis at EveryInvestor are always on the lookout for the latest financial market offerings so we can bring you the newest information from top providers.
How to Find the Best Current Account For You
To find the best current account for you, it’s a great idea to read articles like this that bring you the latest information on the best current accounts on the market.
In this article, we go through all the main features you need to look out for based on your bank and what kind of options you need.
Let’s look at some of the best accounts based on your needs.
Are You Usually in Credit?
If you’re usually in credit and have additional money in your current account, then the best option for you would be a current account that pays you interest on your savings balance.
Some banks also offer rewards based on your spending, that way; you can get cash back on your regular monthly expenses, such as household bills.
Most of these accounts charge a fee, so you need to make sure you use the rewards to earn enough cash back to cover the cost.
But wait, let me tell you something
Some accounts come as a packaged plan that offers you travel insurance as well as breakdown assistance cover, which is helpful if you travel often.
Are You Often Overdrawn?
If you’re often overdrawn, then you would need to consider a current account from a provider that has an option to transfer overdraft debt to a cheaper credit product like a personal loan.
It’s also advisable to look for an account that offers an arranged overdraft facility which is usually much more cost-effective than an unarranged overdraft.
Some providers even offer a 12-month interest-free overdraft facility of up to £1,500, which will be revisited after 12 months; what’s more, if you pay £1,000 monthly, you get 2% interest.
Do You Want to Be Able to Go Into a Branch?
If you’re a client who prefers to go into a branch to bank, you need to ensure that the account you choose offers this option, as some accounts don’t accommodate this.
If branch banking is not one of your needs, you can easily consider an online bank for your current account.
Top 5 Current Accounts for Credit Interest
Let’s take you through the top 5 current accounts for credit interest.
- Virgin Money’s1 M Plus– A current account that has no monthly fee, a 5% interest rate for balances of up to £1,000, you get a 3% interest bonus in year 1 and a gift card valued at £100 if you switch and deposit £1,000.
- Bank of Scotland2, Classic with Vantage – This current account option offers you 0.6% on all balances from £1 to £3,999 and 1.5% interest on balances between £4,000 and £5,000; it’s fee-free; you must deposit £1,000 monthly and stay in credit you also get 15% cashback from selected retailers.
- Nationwide Building Society’s3 FlexDirect – Current account plan that offers 2% on any balance up to £1,500; it has no fees and provides a 0% interest overdraft for the first 12 months. You must deposit £1000 a month.
- Lloyds Bank, Lloyds Club – The current account from Lloyds offers 0.6% on balances from £1 to £3,999 and 1.5% interest on balances between £4,000 and £5,000. You must deposit £1,500 monthly to be fee-free; otherwise, it’s £3 a month. You can also earn 15% cashback from retailers.
- Santander, 123 – This current account gives you 0.5% interest on balances up to £20,000; it costs £4 monthly with a minimum deposit value of £500 monthly. You can earn 3% cashback on some bills and 15% from selected retailers.
Top 5 Current Accounts for Overdrafts
Here we take you through the top 5 current accounts for overdrafts.
- TBS, Spend & Save Plus – The overdraft rate on this current account is 0% up to £100 and thereafter 39.9%. It costs £3 and offers £5 in cashback if you do 30 debit card transactions a month.
- First Direct, 1st Account – The interest rate on this account overdraft is 0% for up to £100 and then 39.9%; it has a zero monthly fee and costs £150 to switch to.
- Starling Bank – The overdraft interest rate starts from 15% and will depend on your credit score; it has no monthly fee and pays 0.05% interest on any credit balance up to £85,000.
- Triodos Bank – this current account charges 18% on an overdraft facility; it comes at £3 per month. If you refer a friend to open an account, you get a £25 donation to a charity you choose, and your friend will receive a £60 voucher or charity contribution.
- Nationwide Building Society’s FlexDirect – You’ll receive an interest-free overdraft for the first year, and after that, it’ll attract 39.9% interest. You must deposit a minimum of £1000. It offers 2% on any balance up to £1,500 and costs £125 to switch to.
Other Best Current Accounts of 2022
Now to explore the other best current accounts of 2022 by what they offer.
Best for Switching Bonus
The best current accounts for earning a switching bonus are the following:
- HSBC Advance – You get £170 paid within 30 days when you open this account and switch within 30 days; you’ll need to add at least 2 direct debit or standing orders and deposit £1,500 in the first 60 days.
- There’s no minimum pay in.
- Arranged and unarranged overdrafts attract 39.9% interest but are interest-free for the first £25.
- First Direct 1st Account – There are 2 offers, a £20 and £150 switching bonus. To get the £20 bonus within 4 months, you must open an account and then use mobile or online banking within 3 months. To earn the £150 bonus, you need to open an account and complete a switch from another account within 3 months, which can’t be a First Direct or HSBC account, then you need to deposit £1,500. Your bonus will then be paid within 28 days.
- There’s no minimum pay in.
- Arranged overdrafts of £250 attract 0% interest; anything over £250 attracts 39.9%, and unarranged overdrafts attract 39.9% interest.
- Nationwide Flex Direct – If you switch or open a new account, get up to £125. To qualify, you can’t have received this bonus before; you need to add 2 direct debits and complete the switch within 30 days. If you complete the switch, you get paid your bonus within 10 days.
- There‘s no minimum monthly pay in except to receive the bonus.
- Interest on a credit balance is 2% for the first year and 0.25% after that.
- Arranged overdrafts are free in year one and then attract 39.9% interest after that.
- Unarranged overdrafts aren’t available.
Best Packaged Account
The best-packaged account in the UK currently is Nationwide’s Flex Plus; it offers the following:
- There’s no minimum pay in.
- It costs £13 monthly.
- Your money is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, covering you for up to £85,000.
- You get cover for all your family’s mobile devices and travel insurance for the whole family that covers you globally.
- It also includes the UK and European breakdown insurance.
Best for App
The best app current account is the personal current account offered by Starling Bank.
It has the following features:
- There are no fees when you travel overseas.
- The overdraft interest rates they offer are lower than the market average and range from 15% to 35%, depending on your credit rating.
- You get interest on your credit balance of up to 0.5% for balances up to £85,000.
- Unarranged overdrafts don’t attract any added fees.
- It’s an app-based bank, so branch banking is not offered.
Best for Overseas Use
Metro Bank’s current account is best for overseas use.
Let’s look at its features.
- You won’t pay transaction or cash withdrawal fees in Europe.
- The account is also fee-free to run monthly.
- If you travel outside of Europe, the fee is 2.99% and £1.50.
Best for Basic Banking
The best for basic banking current account is Cash Minder from Co-operative.
- You can open an account from 16 years of age.
- You don’t have to pass a credit check, so you can have been bankrupt and still open an account.
- It charges no monthly fees.
- You can use it from your smartphone.
- It integrates with most smartphone pay systems, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
What Should I Look For in a Current Account?
You should look for specific features in a current account, such as:
- Does it come with a freeze and un-freeze option online?
- Are there anti-fraud security measures like payee confirmation?
- Is there an option to cash up your change from transactions and pay it into your savings pot?
Which Bank Accounts Pay the Most Interest?
The bank accounts that pay the most interest are few and far between nowadays.
- Virgin Money offers the highest interest on a positive balance at 2% on the first £1,000 in your current account.
- Flex Direct from Nationwide offers you 2% on balances of up to £1,500 but will only fix this rate for the first year, and then it drops to a variable of 0.25% AER.
How Do I Choose the Best Current Account?
To choose the best current account to fit your needs, you can read this article or use a comparison site that shows you the different pros and cons of each account.
Can I Have More Than One Current Account?
You can open more than one current account; it’s advisable not to open them all simultaneously as the multiple credit checks will affect your credit score.
Choosing a current account is not as straightforward as it seems, and there are many factors that you need to take into account when you decide on the provider and account for you.
Make sure you read this review in detail to assist you in making your current account choice.
You may want to speak to your financial adviser if you have a certain set of concerns and need some expert assistance when choosing the best current account in the UK for you.
Editorial Note: This content has been independently collected by the EveryInvestor team and is offered on a non-advised basis. EveryInvestor may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. Learn more about our editorial guidelines.