Free current account banking offers a straightforward way of managing your money - there are no monthly fees or charges, but then the account itself tends to offer only basic banking features rather than insurance bundles and perks.
This means they can be ideal if you want a simple account for managing your money, but you still need to shop around to get the best option.
First, you can use our free current accounts UK comparison to prioritise their features based on your specific income, circumstances and spending habits; then, compare those accounts to choose a free current bank account that works for you.
You'll need to consider:
What is the minimum monthly credit?
Find out what the minimum monthly credit is for each free account, and its terms. You should exclude any free bank accounts where you can't afford at least their minimum credit, lest you forfeit account perks or even incur penalties.
Most providers require your salary to be paid directly into their account, so the basic check is whether your monthly wage packet meets the minimum threshold. However, it can also be worth finding out which banks count additional deposits made as you may be able to do a little 'jiggery pokery' and transfer money out of your account and back in again to meet the minimum monthly credit limit (you will need to be especially careful when doing this though).
What sort of overdraft do you need?
Once you've found which accounts you can afford, decide what sort of overdraft facility you need. Work out how you use your current overdraft and what a typical month would cost you with each account to find the best fee free current account overdraft.
First, compare the limits of any interest free overdrafts to see if they offer you a large enough facility. Alternatively, low daily charges can be best if you only briefly dip into your overdraft each month; or lower interest rates can prove cheapest if you spend most of the month just inside it.
What else should you consider?
Being able to use your account effectively is just as important as actually getting the right features. Consider whether you prefer to manage your money in-branch, online or over the phone; a free online bank account isn't going to be useful if your internet connection isn't reliable enough.
Hand in hand with this, you'll need to assess how you can open each account. Most providers offer a complete switching service that automatically moves across your salary and direct debits, whether you open a free bank account online or in your local branch.
Finally, if you compare free current accounts to see which option would give you the best combination of an affordable overdraft and ease of use, you can ensure that the account you choose gives you the flexibility and service that you need.