Just as the name suggests basic bank accounts are a completely no frills version of the standard current accounts on offer in the UK.
These basic accounts fundamentally offer users an account in a bank to store money and an ATM card which you can use to draw money from a cashpoint.
While some accounts offer debit cards that can be used to pay for goods online and in shops, this is by no means the case for all. However, a basic bank account with debit card will allow you to pay online and make life a lot so it is an option worth looking for.
As an alternative, some basic bank accounts do come with a prepaid card that can be used in a similar way providing you have sufficient funds loaded onto it to cover any purchase. This is a good option if you are just looking for a basic but are also looking for the flexibility of being able to spend on a card without the worry of overspending.
It is also possible to get a basic bank account with cheque book in some banks if you feel the need.
Direct debits are another banking facility that's offered by some, but not all basic bank account so if it's a facility you will use you should make sure you look for it when you compare basic bank accounts.
However, basic accounts don't pay any interest on credit and don't come with an overdraft facility. For this reason they are generally offered to people with bad credit ratings.
The basics on the basic bank account
You'll find that banks rarely mention or advertise their basic current account; this is because banks fail to make much money from such accounts so it's in their interest to keep their existence quite.
So, when looking for the best deal on a basic account you won't usually get one in a bank unless you ask directly and explain yourself thoroughly.
The exception of course is if you use our basic bank account comparison that lists, and enables you to apply for all the basic bank accounts on offer in the UK. However, just because banks don't make much money from these accounts it doesn't mean they are completely free.
While many do not charge a monthly usage fee, some do (although these generally come with a prepaid card) and you'll need to take this into consideration when you're choosing the best account for your circumstances.
There are also likely to be large charges on unauthorised transactions, such as if a direct debit payment comes out of your account and you don't have the funds to cover it. This means that such accounts have to be managed stringently to ensure no such issues come about.
People, who have been bankrupt, have been subject to County Court Judgements or serious defaults generally struggle to get accepted for standard financial products.
In this instance a poor credit rating may leave you with a basic bank account as your only option.
You must also have to have some form of photo ID and proof of address to get one of these basic accounts, but most banks allow you to open a basic bank account online.
Most accounts can also be accessed online, over the phone or through a branch.
Though these accounts aren't as versatile as normal current accounts they are still excellent for people in certain situations and with a little online comparison you will find the best basic bank accounts in the UK to suit your needs.