To find out which is the best current account for you, first, work out what you need from it

You may then want to consider the types of current account providers available and the different features they offer.

You can get a current account from a high street bank or building society, or from newer online only or app based banks.

You may be familiar with banks and building societies but new challenger banks offering online banking only, are still relatively new to the market and changing very quickly.

Here are some of the features of the different types which will help you compare:

App based banks

  • Mobile app banking. App based banks offer easily accessible banking with a digital first approach. This means they do not offer a face to face service but often means they have 24 hour support

  • Zero monthly account fees. Most online only banks will offer a fee free current account. This means that you will not have to pay any fees for using the account, as long as you stay in credit

  • Instant account set up. Since everything is done online, you can set up your account from wherever you are based

  • No minimum monthly pay-in. If you want to try some of the benefits of an app only account, this means you can open a new current account without changing how you use your existing one

Traditional banks and building societies

  • Local branches. Most if not all traditional banks will offer online banking so that you can manage your account online. But if you want to speak to someone in person, you can find a high street bank locally to you

  • Minimum monthly payment. You will usually have to pay a set amount of money into your account each month. This may come from your salary or a pension

  • In credit interest. Many traditional banks will offer ongoing benefits such as interest on your current account when you are in credit

  • Account rewards. For an extra fee, some banks will offer current account benefits such as insurance and breakdown cover

The above comparison includes all the current accounts available in the UK. Once you have decided what you are looking for, use it to compare the features important to you and then choose the best bank account for your needs.

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.

How to switch your current account online

If you already have a current account and are thinking of switching, you can manage this whole process online.

The Current Account Switch Service is something that banks subscribe to and makes switching easy and free for anyone with a UK bank account.

Banks who participate in this scheme will take care of the whole process of switching for you:

  • Closing your old account

  • Moving your balance

  • Switching your payments

It is backed by the Current Account Switch Guarantee which means that if anything goes wrong, you will be refunded any interest and charges on your old and new accounts.

To switch bank accounts online, you will need to do the following:

  • Choose the best current account for you and follow their online application process

  • Choose a switching day that works for you and continue using your current account as usual until then

  • Ask your new bank or building society to move your old account using the Current Account Switch Service

  • Agree to the Current Account Switch Agreement and a Current Account Closure Instruction, provided by your new bank or building society

  • Start using your new account!

How long does it take to switch?

The Current Account Switch Guarantee is provided by your new bank or building society when you switch bank accounts.

Under the Current Account Switch Guarantee, your new bank will guarantee a complete switch in 7 working days.

The guarantee offers the following:

  • A free Current Account Switch Service

  • A simple way to switch from one bank or building society to another

  • A choice of switch date

  • A complete switch of all incoming and outgoing payments like your salary and direct debits

  • A complete transfer of all money from old bank account into your new current account

  • A redirection of all payments accidentally made to your old account, into your new account

  • A guarantee that your new current account provider will contact you before the switch date if there are any issues making the switch

  • A refund of any interest and charges made on either your old or new current account if anything goes wrong with the switch

Switching banks to find the best current account for you can be beneficial:

  • You get a new account: You may have had the same current account for years, with the same bank. Switching will allow you to see if your bank is still meeting your needs i.e. one with better interest rates or lower overdraft fees

  • You get rewards: Most banks will offer incentives including money for switching, free cinema tickets and offers for your favourite shops

What kind of current account features do you need?

You can pick features like:

If you use an unauthorised overdraft or go over your overdraft limit, the fees could come to much more than you earn in rewards or interest.

Find current 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.

You are a couple

You can get a joint current account to help you share expenses or bills with your partner, housemate or a family member. You can have a joint current account with two or more people and if there is a card offered with the account, you will get one each.

Here is how joint accounts work

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 & premium 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.