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Compare our best current accounts

Find a new current account and you could earn a cash bonus of up to £175*

See if you could find a better current account by comparing features, fees, sign-up bonuses and interest rates

Current Accounts

Change current accounts or get a new one with the features you want
SantanderChaseMonzoTSBfirst directBarclaysNatWestSantanderChaseMonzoTSBfirst directBarclaysNatWest
*Switching terms my vary depending on the provider. T&Cs apply.
Last updated
July 10th, 2024

Current account deals

12 results found, sorted by switching incentive. How we order our comparisons.
Get £175 when you switch to a first direct 1st Account current account. T&Cs apply.

first direct 1st Account

Account fee & requirements
No monthly fee
Arranged overdraft
£250 interest free, then 39.9% EAR variable
Interest rate
0% AER
Joint account available
Yes
Complete a full switch using the Current Account Switch Service, including at least 2 Direct Debits or standing orders. Then deposit £1,000, make 5+ debit card payments, and log on to digital banking, within 30 days of your account opening. New customers only, who haven’t previously held a first direct product. T&Cs apply.
More Information
Rate Tiers
Gross rateGross rateAER rateAER rate
Excluding bonusIncluding bonusExcluding bonusIncluding bonus
£10%0%0%0%
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident
Get £175 when you switch in the app and join Barclays Blue Rewards.*

Barclays Bank Account

Account fee & requirements
No monthly fee
Arranged overdraft
35% EAR variable
Interest rate
0% AER
Joint account available
Yes
*To be eligible you must (1) open a sole current account, (2) initiate a full switch and (3) join Barclays Blue Rewards (Eligibility and a £5 monthly fee apply) all via the app by 30/08/2024. T&Cs and eligibility apply. New customers, 18+ & UK only.
More Information
Rate Tiers
Gross rateGross rateAER rateAER rate
Excluding bonusIncluding bonusExcluding bonusIncluding bonus
£10%0%0%0%
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident

Monzo Current Account

Account fee & requirements
No monthly fee
Arranged overdraft
39% EAR variable
Interest rate
0% AER
Joint account available
Yes
Instant Access Savings Pots 4.10% (variable). No minimum deposit & maximum deposit £100k. You must have a Monzo account to get an Instant Access Savings Pot. T&Cs apply. Interest Paid Monthly. Spend abroad with no fees.
We pass Mastercard’s exchange rate directly onto you with no extra charges.
More Information
Rate Tiers
Gross rateGross rateAER rateAER rate
Excluding bonusIncluding bonusExcluding bonusIncluding bonus
£10%0%0%0%
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident

TSB Spend & Save Plus

Account fee & requirements
£3 per month
Arranged overdraft
£100 interest free, then 39.9% EAR variable
Interest rate
0% AER
Joint account available
Yes
UK 18+ only
More Information
Rate Tiers
Gross rateGross rateAER rateAER rate
Excluding bonusIncluding bonusExcluding bonusIncluding bonus
£10%0%0%0%
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident

Santander Edge

Account fee & requirements
£3 per month, pay in £500+ per month
Arranged overdraft
39.94% EAR variable
Interest rate
0% AER
Joint account available
Yes
More Information
Rate Tiers
Gross rateGross rateAER rateAER rate
Excluding bonusIncluding bonusExcluding bonusIncluding bonus
£10%0%0%0%
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Minimum Monthly Credit£500

Santander Everyday Current Account

Account fee & requirements
No monthly fee
Arranged overdraft
39.94% EAR variable
Interest rate
0% AER
Joint account available
Yes
To say thanks for saving, Santander are giving the chance to win £50,000. To enter, you need to have a Santander current account plus £50 or more in a Santander savings account on August 31st. Entry is open to UK residents, aged 18+. T&Cs apply.
More Information
Rate Tiers
Gross rateGross rateAER rateAER rate
Excluding bonusIncluding bonusExcluding bonusIncluding bonus
£10%0%0%0%
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum Investment£2,000,000
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident

Santander Edge Up

Account fee & requirements
£5 per month, pay in £1,500+ per month
Arranged overdraft
39.94% EAR variable
Interest rate
3.5% AER (on up to £25,000)
Joint account available
Yes
To say thanks for saving, Santander are giving the chance to win £50,000. To enter, you need to have a Santander current account plus £50 or more in a Santander savings account on August 31st. Entry is open to UK residents, aged 18+. T&Cs apply.
More Information
Rate Tiers
Gross rateGross rateAER rateAER rate
Excluding bonusIncluding bonusExcluding bonusIncluding bonus
£13.45%3.45%3.5%3.5%
£25,0010%0%0%0%
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Minimum Monthly Credit£1,500
Permanent UK Resident

TSB Spend & Save

Account fee & requirements
No monthly fee
Arranged overdraft
39.9% EAR variable
Interest rate
0% AER
Joint account available
Yes
UK 18+ only
More Information
Rate Tiers
Gross rateGross rateAER rateAER rate
Excluding bonusIncluding bonusExcluding bonusIncluding bonus
£10%0%0%0%
Eligibility
Maximum AgeUnlimited
Maximum InvestmentUnlimited
Minimum Age18 years
Permanent UK Resident

We are classed as a credit broker for consumer credit, not a lender. Our services are provided at no cost to you. We may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to, but this does not affect what you will pay for the product you choose.

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What is a current account?

Almost every adult in the UK has a right to a bank account, but not all accounts are equal. The best current accounts offer features like interest-free overdrafts, free use abroad, cashback on bills, high interest on positive balances and some will even pay you to switch. But all current accounts - even basic ones - let you carry out everyday banking transactions. These include:

  • Having your salary or other income paid in

  • Withdrawing cash

  • Making payments in shops and online

  • Setting up direct debits

  • Setting up standing orders

  • Transferring cash to and from friends

Outside those essentials, the current account features you can get are based on how much you can pay in each month and your credit history. You should also think about which features you value the most when choosing a current account.

What protection do you get with a current account?

It's completely normal to worry about your money, but the good news is that most banks and building societies are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This is an independent services that covers up to £85,000 (per person and per institution) if your bank goes bust.

If you have more than this amount in one account, then it's worth spreading the money to another account to ensure you are protected.

To make sure your money is covered by the scheme, use FSCS' protection checker.

A bank account gives you independence and allows you to organise your money easily."

Features you can get with a current account

If you're looking for free cash

If you're looking for free cash

Some banks and building societies offer big upfront cash bonuses for switching accounts to theirs from a different provider. These bonuses mean you can earn up to £200 if a bank is particularly keen to attract new customers.

If you're looking for interest

If you're looking for interest

While most current accounts pay little interest on positive balances, there are some options out there for people who would like to earn something on their current account balance. Other accounts come with linked savings accounts that are only available to current account holders.

If you need an overdraft facility

If you need an overdraft facility

Sometimes, when money is tight, you may need to dip into an overdraft. While a lot of bank accounts charge close to 40% interest on overdrafts, not all do. There are far cheaper options out there if you know where to look, while other accounts offer an interest-free buffer up to a couple of hundred pounds. You absolutely can still switch accounts while overdrawn too.

If you want ongoing rewards

If you want ongoing rewards

As well as a one-off bonus for switching, you can find bank accounts that pay ongoing rewards for staying with them. These range from cashback on bills, discounts at certain shops or even something as simple as £5 a month added to your account. Many of these also have a monthly fee, however, so make sure you're getting value out of them.

If you want to save on fees abroad

If you want to save on fees abroad

Most standard current accounts charge you a fee to use your debit card outside the UK – whether that’s in a shop, in an ATM to withdraw cash or even on some overseas websites - but not all of them do. Finding an account with no foreign transaction fees can save you serious money if you're a frequent traveller.

Features you can get with a current account

If you're looking for free cash

If you're looking for free cash

Some banks and building societies offer big upfront cash bonuses for switching accounts to theirs from a different provider. These bonuses mean you can earn up to £200 if a bank is particularly keen to attract new customers.

If you're looking for interest

If you're looking for interest

While most current accounts pay little interest on positive balances, there are some options out there for people who would like to earn something on their current account balance. Other accounts come with linked savings accounts that are only available to current account holders.

If you need an overdraft facility

If you need an overdraft facility

Sometimes, when money is tight, you may need to dip into an overdraft. While a lot of bank accounts charge close to 40% interest on overdrafts, not all do. There are far cheaper options out there if you know where to look, while other accounts offer an interest-free buffer up to a couple of hundred pounds. You absolutely can still switch accounts while overdrawn too.

If you want ongoing rewards

If you want ongoing rewards

As well as a one-off bonus for switching, you can find bank accounts that pay ongoing rewards for staying with them. These range from cashback on bills, discounts at certain shops or even something as simple as £5 a month added to your account. Many of these also have a monthly fee, however, so make sure you're getting value out of them.

If you want to save on fees abroad

If you want to save on fees abroad

Most standard current accounts charge you a fee to use your debit card outside the UK – whether that’s in a shop, in an ATM to withdraw cash or even on some overseas websites - but not all of them do. Finding an account with no foreign transaction fees can save you serious money if you're a frequent traveller.

A current account should be treated as the hub for your personal finance. Remember, it's a secure and convenient way to manage your money - from regular transactions to bill payments.

What is the difference between a high interest current account and savings account?

A high interest current account works in the same way as a regular current account, but you have the opportunity to earn some interest on your money. This is why people might ask whether it’s worth getting a high interest current account over a savings account?

However, the interest on current accounts does have its restrictions, which means if you have bigger savings goals in mind, it’s still worth comparing savings accounts to make sure your money is working as hard as it can. 

High interest current accounts are also only replacements for easy-access accounts - with bigger rates available elsewhere for people prepared to lock their money away.

But for a large number of people - especially anyone with money sitting on 0% interest - there’s very little downside to moving to a current account that pays you to bank with it instead.


201 current accounts have interest at[1]
0%
The maximum interest rate on current accounts vs savings accounts

Data from Defaqto and Money.co.uk. Updated January 16, 2024.

Our best current account switching offer

Our editors have picked out our top current account for earning a switching bonus.

Editor’s pick

First Direct is offering new customers a £175* welcome bonus when they switch current accounts. The 1st Account also comes with access to a competitive 7% regular saver account and there's no debit card fees when spending abroad, so it's great for future holidays!

Author image
savings expert
Card
first direct 1st Account
Account fees & requirements
No monthly fee
Interest rate
0% AER

Representative example: £250 interest and fee free overdraft, subject to status. If you then use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.9% EAR variable. Representative APR: 30.5%. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.

Show Details
Eligibility
Maximum Investment
Unlimited
Minimum Age
18 years
Editor’s pick
Card
first direct 1st Account
Account fees & requirements
No monthly fee
Interest rate
0% AER

Representative example: £250 interest and fee free overdraft, subject to status. If you then use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you will be charged 39.9% EAR variable. Representative APR: 30.5%. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.

Show Details
Eligibility
Maximum Investment
Unlimited
Minimum Age
18 years

First Direct is offering new customers a £175* welcome bonus when they switch current accounts. The 1st Account also comes with access to a competitive 7% regular saver account and there's no debit card fees when spending abroad, so it's great for future holidays!

Author image
savings expert

We are classed as a credit broker for consumer credit, not a lender. Our services are provided at no cost to you. We may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to, but this does not affect what you will pay for the product you choose.

Our best current accounts with rewards

Our editors have picked out our top current account for rewards.

Editor’s pick

Chase has 1% cashback on everyday spending for a whole year (up to £15 each month). This is an attractive reward for customers as the cashback balance will soon add up throughout the year. You’ll also get access to its competitive easy-access savings account.

Author image
savings expert
Card
Chase Current Account
Account fees & requirements
No monthly fee
Interest rate
1% AER

Representative example: N/A - no credit facility offered.

Show Details
Eligibility
Maximum Age
Unlimited
Maximum Investment
Unlimited
Minimum Age
18 years
Editor’s pick
Card
Chase Current Account
Account fees & requirements
No monthly fee
Interest rate
1% AER

Representative example: N/A - no credit facility offered.

Show Details
Eligibility
Maximum Age
Unlimited
Maximum Investment
Unlimited
Minimum Age
18 years

Chase has 1% cashback on everyday spending for a whole year (up to £15 each month). This is an attractive reward for customers as the cashback balance will soon add up throughout the year. You’ll also get access to its competitive easy-access savings account.

Author image
savings expert

We are classed as a credit broker for consumer credit, not a lender. Our services are provided at no cost to you. We may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to, but this does not affect what you will pay for the product you choose.

How to compare bank accounts

Decide what features matter most to you

Different bank accounts offer different benefits. Before you start looking, decide on the key features for you, as choosing an account with one feature could mean you have to go without another. For example, do you want to earn credit interest or need an overdraft, or do you want to be able to earn rewards or use it abroad for free?

Compare deals

Once you know what you want, compare deals to find good options, such as those with the best current account interest rates. Remember, banks have to display their customer service score by law, so you can get a flavour of how they deal with their customers as well as see their account features. And if you're not fussy you can always just pick the one offering the biggest cash incentive.

Check the requirements

Bank accounts often come with requirements, such as a certain amount paid in each month or a minimum number of Direct Debits set up to be paid out, before they offer you their perks. Check that you will be able to meet those requirements before applying.

Check any fees are worth it

The best perks - such as cashback on bills, included travel insurance and high in-credit interest - are often attached to accounts that come with monthly fees. Make sure the benefits outweigh the costs if you're considering paying for a packaged bank account.

Apply or start the switching process

If you're switching bank account, make sure you go through the proper channels. The Current Account Switch Service not only guarantees all your payments in and out are carried across, but, in many cases, also needs to be used to bag your switching bonus. If you're simply opening a new account, then you can just apply to your chosen provider.

How to apply for a new current account - and what documents you'll need

Applying for a new current account is simple. You just have to provide documents to prove your identity and address.

You can apply for a current account at a bank or building society online, in a branch, by phone or by post.

You can also use the Current Account Switch Service to swap over to a new bank account at the same time as you close your existing account. Some deals even give you a cash reward for doing this.

Here are some of the documents you can use:

  • Proof of identity - a passport or driving licence

  • Proof of address - a council tax or utility bill, a bank statement or a tenancy agreement

  • Proof of immigration status - if you are not a UK citizen, you may also be required to show your visa status and a letter from your university or employer

Can a bank reject your application?

Opening a current account is not for everyone, as a bank or building society can reject an application. For example, if you have a record of fraud or you're bankrupt, this could mean you can't open a bank account.

Your credit rating is also important, as this can impact your ability to open a current account. However, some banks might allow you to open a basic bank account instead. If you would like to improve your credit score, our guides can help.

How the Current Account Switching Service (CASS) works

Nearly 50 UK banks and building societies are signed up to the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).

Importantly, a lot of banks make any signing-up bonus conditional on you using the service.

The good news is it's simple to use and guarantees your payments will be switched and your balance will be transferred. You'll be reimbursed if you end up paying any charges or interest if anything goes wrong or there’s a delay.

Your new account's provider takes care of the switching process for you. This includes:

  • Opening a new current account

  • Moving your balance or overdraft across

  • Switching Direct Debits and standing orders

  • Making sure any payments into your account - such as wages, pension or benefits – are moved across

Your existing provider takes care of closing your old current account.

The Current Account Switch Guarantee means that if anything goes wrong, you'll be refunded any interest and charges on both accounts.

Not quite everyone is signed up yet, but you can see a list of banks and building societies on the Current Account Switch Service here.

Current accounts switched since September 2013[2]
9.6million

Jargon buster

AER

The annual equivalent rate, or AER, is the rate at which you earn interest on the balance of your current account.

You’ll also be given a separate interest rate that applies to the interest you’ll be charged if you overdraw on your account – the APR (annual percentage rate).

Basic bank accounts

Basic bank accounts are designed for people with poor credit ratings and offer only basic features. This includes allowing deposits and withdrawals, and the use of a debit card to make purchases.

They might not offer features like overdrafts, interest on your balance, or add-ons such as travel insurance.

Credit score

Your credit score is calculated based on your credit history. Each credit reference agency has its own method of calculating this.

Your credit score will go up for things like making payments on time and down for things like being late or defaulting on a loan. Typically, the higher your score, the more likely you are to be offered a lower rate of interest or higher credit limit.

There is no absolute pass or fail mark attached to a credit score, with each lender making its own decision on what it considers acceptable.

Credit report

Your credit report is your history of borrowing and paying bills over the past few years. Lenders send this information to one or more of the three credit reference agencies, which compile reports on UK residents.

Before deciding whether to let someone borrow, lenders check your report from one or more of the agencies. You can request a copy of your credit reports to ensure there are no mistakes on your file, request changes if you spot one and add notes explaining any missed payments.

Current Account Switch Service

The Current Accounts Switch Service (CASS) helps you close your old account and move your balance, incoming payments and Direct Debits and standing orders to your new bank account.

It works with almost every current account in the UK and usually takes just seven working days to complete the switch.

The switching service is free, although you still have to pay any fees that come with your new account. Your bank has to pay you back if anything goes wrong and you lose out on interest or are charged fees during the switch.

Direct Debit

A Direct Debit is when you give a company permission to take payments automatically from your bank account. It decides the amount, but you are free to cancel the arrangement. For example, you can set up a Direct Debit to pay off your credit card. This could be for the minimum amount due, a fixed sum, or the entire balance.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

The FSCS is a government-backed program that protects your money and compensates you if your bank, building society, or savings provider goes bust.

It covers up to £85,000 - or £170,000 for joint accounts - held in each official UK financial institution. It also provides cover for other sorts of financial products such as debt management, funeral plans, insurance, credit unions, investments, mortgages and pensions. 

There are several banking groups in the UK, but if you have a total of £85,000 or less with any of them, all your money will be returned to you in the event of each bank or building society in the group collapsing. Other types of institutions have different limits. You can check them all on the FSCS website.

Overdraft

An overdraft is a flexible lending facility, letting you borrow up to a set limit using your current account without asking anyone first. Interest is charged daily, and you are free to repay as little or as much as you like rather than a set amount.

Packaged current account

A packaged current account has all the usual features of a current account but with some extra benefits on top. These include things like free breakdown cover, mobile phone or travel insurance. Other popular rewards include discounts when you buy from particular shops or go to certain restaurants. In most cases, you'll be charged a fee to use these accounts.

Standing order

A standing order is a regular payment of the same amount that’s paid on a specified date. It allows the bank to take money regularly from your account to pay another account. You can use a standing order to pay family or friends, donate to charity, or simply transfer money from your current account to a savings account.

FAQs

Can I have more than one current account?

Yes, but there may be limits to how many you can hold with the same bank. It's also worth noting that frequently opening new accounts may harm your credit record.

Could I get an account with no fees?

Yes. There are accounts with no monthly fees but charges may be triggered if you use certain features, such as an overdraft. Read the terms and conditions carefully so you know what you are signing up for.

What are the different types of current account?

All current accounts have the same basic abilities - letting you deposit and withdraw money as well as make and receive payments using Direct Debits and standing orders.

However - there are a few different types designed for specialist purposes. The 4 main ones are:

  • Standard current accounts - these come with overdraft facilities and potentially other features and rewards

  • Basic current accounts - free, open to anyone no matter their credit score, no overdrafts

  • Joint current accounts - where more than one person can withdraw cash

  • Packaged current accounts - this is where you pay a monthly fee in return for included services such as travel insurance, breakdown cover and the like

How do I change to a free bank account?

You can use the Current Account Switch service to move to a new bank in just seven working days.

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

If you spend more than you have in your account, you are considered to be overdrawn. You will owe money on your overdraft until you pay it back, and you may be charged a fee. If your account does not have an overdraft facility, payments will be declined until you are back in credit.

Should I get a savings or current account?

It depends on what you need your account for. A current account is best suited for making payments by card as well as paying regular bills by Direct Debit or standing order. Savings accounts usually offer better rates of interest. Find out more about their differences and which one is best here.

Can I have a personal current account and a joint current account with the same bank?

Yes, your bank will be happy for you to have two current accounts with it - one for yourself and one joint account.

But, if you do, the bank can legally transfer money from your personal account to your joint one to cover a debt in the joint account. It can only make the transfer from a personal account to a joint one, and not from a joint account to a personal one.

It's not something that happens often - it's only likely to happen if you've repeatedly ignored contact from your bank about the outstanding debt.

It would give you 14 days' notice and can only do it if it won't put you into financial difficulty.

How can I see my current Direct Debits and standing orders?

Logging into your account online is the quickest way to check them, but your bank can also confirm them by phone or in writing.

What are packaged bank accounts?

Packaged bank accounts offer you a range of extras in return for a monthly or annual fee. These extras include perks like travel insurance, high-interest savings accounts, breakdown cover and more.

More on opening a new bank account

Our experts explain what you need to know to open a new current account
What Types of Bank Accounts Are Available?
What Types of Bank Accounts Are Available?
How To Switch Bank Accounts
How To Switch Bank Accounts
How To Pay Off Your Overdraft Fast
How To Pay Off Your Overdraft Fast

About the author

Lucinda O'Brien
Lucinda O'Brien has spent the past 10 years writing and editing content for regional and national titles. She applies her industry knowledge to ensure readers can make confident financial decisions.

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References

1. Data from Defaqto and Money.co.uk 0% interest rate on current accounts in January 2024
2. The Current Account Switch Service A free service thats manages your switch from one current account to another.