The best way to pick a current account is to work out what you need from it first.

The above comparison includes all the current accounts available in the UK. Once you have decided what you need, use it to find bank accounts that fit your requirements.

You can then apply for the account online, in a branch, by phone or by post. You can also switch your existing account to a new one, and some deals even offer a cash reward for this.

You can pick features like:

An overdraft

Overdrafts let you borrow money using your current account. When you spend more money than you have in your account, you use your overdraft and have a negative balance until you pay it back.

They can come with expensive fees and interest, but an agreed overdraft on your account could be cheaper than getting a loan, or even free in some cases.

If you need an overdraft, picking the cheapest one could save you more money than any other account features.

Interest or rewards

You can get:

  • Interest on some current accounts, which is paid monthly or annually onto your balance

  • Rewards like cashback when you use your debit card or pay your bills from the account

You only earn interest when you have money in your account. If you use your overdraft, the fees could come to much more than you earn in rewards or interest.

This means these accounts are usually only suitable if you have enough money in your account to earn interest or rewards.

Extras packaged with your account

Packaged current accounts include extra features like insurance or breakdown cover, but they charge a monthly or annual fee too.

Here is what you can get with a packaged account and how to work out if getting one is worth the cost for you.

Accounts for your circumstances

Some bank accounts are designed for you if:

You have bad credit

Your credit record could stop banks accepting you if you have:

  • Missed repayments on loans, credit cards, mortgages or other financial products

  • Gone over your overdraft limit or the credit limit on a credit card

  • Had debt problems like bankruptcy

However, banks offer basic current accounts without running a credit check as long as you are over 16 and can prove your identity. They come without overdrafts but let you pay money in, pay your bills and make payments by card.

You are a student

Student bank accounts usually come with an interest free overdraft that lets you borrow money over several years.

They also come with other benefits like Railcards and discount cards. Here is how to work out which account is best.

You are under 18

Some bank accounts can only be opened by adults, but you could get one without an overdraft if you are under 18.

They let you pay money in, make payments in person or online by card or set up automatic payments for regular bills like your mobile phone.

You run a charity or business

You can open a bank account for a charity or a company if you look after its finances. These accounts can stay separate from your own money and sometimes offer extra features to help you keep track of spending.

Current account FAQs

Q

Can I have more than one current account?

A

Yes, although many banks only let you hold one current account with them. Too many accounts could also harm your credit record

Q

What happens if I spend more than I have in my account?

A

You will owe money on your overdraft until you pay it back, and you may be charged a fee. If you have no overdraft, the payment will not go through.

Q

Should I get a savings or current account?

A

If you need to pay bills and make card payments, you usually need a current account. If you want to earn interest, here is how to decide which is best.

Q

What type of debit card will I get with my current account?

A

Most bank accounts come with a MasterCard, Visa or American Express debit card, but some prepaid accounts come with a prepaid card instead.

Q

Could I get an account with no fees?

A

Yes, some current accounts come with no monthly fees or minimum deposit, but they may still charge for other things like using an overdraft.

About our current accounts comparison

Q

Who do we include in this comparison?

A

We include every personal current account in the UK, except for student and children's accounts. We also include prepaid and private bank accounts from our panel. They are all regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here is more information about how our website works.

Q

How do we make money from our comparison?

A

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.