Free bank accounts have become more common in the past 20 years, with nearly eight million accounts now open*. It's free to use these accounts, but they can charge fees for other services such as using your overdraft.

Since 2016, lots of major banks in the UK are legally obliged to offer free bank accounts. That means it's easier than ever to find one that suits you.

Using our comparison, you can find almost every free bank account available in the UK. Although these accounts are free to use for everyday banking, you will have to pay to use services such as an overdraft, spending abroad or a failed direct debit.

Look for the best free bank account by comparing the benefits they offer.

Find the right features for your free bank account

The best free current account is one that meets your needs. Some features you should look for in your current account include:

  • Online and mobile banking to transfer money or set up payments

  • A debit card you can use to buy goods or withdraw cash

  • A nearby branch if you need to pay in cheques or cash

You can also look for accounts that offer:

An overdraft

If you choose a free online bank account with an overdraft, you can use it to borrow money in the short term or as an emergency buffer for unexpected costs.

This comparison shows what bank accounts offer an overdraft and details:

  • Limits

  • If it offers a free overdraft

  • Interest rate

  • Daily or monthly fees

Pays you interest

Some free bank accounts pay interest when you have money in your account. If you keep a large amount in your account, choosing one with a higher interest rate will make you more money.

How to open a free bank account

Opening a free bank account is easy and can be done quickly in a branch or with an online application.

Typically, you'll have to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of ID: Your passport or driving licence

  • Proof of address: A recent utility bill, council tax bill, or rental agreement

Some banks may also ask for additional details, including your occupation, income and expenses. This is not legally required but many banks often use this information to provide you with offers about other products in the future, such as credit cards.

Check the account requirements

Many banks have minimum requirements you have to fulfill to open your free bank account, such as:

  • Paying out a minimum number of direct debits or standing orders each month

  • Paying in a minimum amount each month, e.g. your earnings

  • If you do not meet the account's conditions, you could lose benefits, such as interest, or be charged a fee.

Free bank accounts FAQs

Q

Do these accounts come with any fees?

A

Yes, they can charge you for several things like using your overdraft or duplicate statements. However, they come without monthly fees.

Q

How do I switch to a free bank account?

A

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

Q

Do free bank accounts offer overdrafts?

A

Yes, some come with an overdraft. You can check which accounts offer them, their fees and their limits in this comparison.

Q

Do free bank accounts pay interest?

A

Yes, some accounts pay interest when you have a positive balance. You can check which accounts pay interest and their rates with this comparison.

Q

Can I get a free bank account for my business?

A

Yes, some banks offer business current accounts that come with no annual or monthly fees, but they may charge for some transactions or services.

About our current accounts comparison

Q

Who do we include in this comparison?

A

We include every personal & premium current account that does not charge a monthly or annual fee in the UK, except for student and children's accounts. 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.

*According to HM Treasury 2017 statistics.