Earn up to 5% AER on your cash!

Some of the best rates of interest you will get on cash currently are on current accounts. E.g Nationwide offer 5%  AER fixed (4.89% gross pa) in credit interest on balances up to £2,500 for the first 12 months

You can also benefit from switching your account. A number of banks now offer switch incentives. HSBC are currently offering £150 if you switch your current account to them. The good news is that switching is a lot easier than it used to be – basically the new bank account provider will do all the work in setting up your direct debits and standing orders etc.

For students looking for a good account Santander UK are offering a free railcard for 4 years as long as you are 18 and are in or are about to enter into full time further education.

Nationwide FlexDirect Account

Earn 5% AER Fixed Interest

  • On balances up to £2,500
  • Interest paid for first 12 months
  • No account fees
  • Easy online account management

Nationwide FlexDirect Account »

Offers
Account
Nationwide FlexDirect Current Account
Interest Rate
5.00%
AER fixed on balanced up to £2,500
Funding Required
£1,000 per month
Overdraft rate
0% for 12 months
Account
Nationwide FlexPlus Current Account
Interest Rate
3.00%
AER fixed on balanced up to £2,500
Funding Required
No minimum
Overdraft rate
0% for first £250
Account
Santander 1|2|3 Current Account
Interest Rate
1.50%
AER fixed on balances up to £20,000
Funding Required
£500 per month
Overdraft rate
Up to £3 per day
Special Offers
Up to 3% cashback on household bills
Account
Santander 1|2|3 Student Current Account
Funding Required
£500 per term
Overdraft
£1,500 Interest Free increasing to £2,000
Details

A free 4-year Santander 16-25 Railcard which could save you 1/3 off rail travel in Great Britain

Account
Santander 1|2|3 Current Account
Interest Rate
1.50%
AER fixed on balances up to £20,000
Funding Required
£500 per month
Overdraft rate
Up to £3 per day
Special Offers
Up to 3% cashback on household bills
Account
NatWest Reward Platinum Current Account
Special Offer
2% in Rewards on 7 types of household bills. Family worldwide travel,mobile phone insurance, car breakdown cover and up to 40% off cinema tickets
Funding Required
£1,500 to qualify
Account fee
£20 per month
Account
NatWest Reward Silver Current Account
Special Offer
2% in Rewards on 7 types of household bills. Personal European travel, mobile phone insurance, up to 40% off cinema tickets
Funding Required
£1,500 to qualify
Account fee
£10 per month
Account
NatWest Reward Current Account
Special Offer
2% in Rewards on 7 types of household bills
Funding Required
£1,500 to qualify
Account fee
£2 per month
Account
Card One Banking Current Account
Adverse Credit
Details
No credit checks - open to everyone with guaranteed acceptance. Help manage your money. Account comprises of a Billing Account for money in and to pay your bills from, plus a Debit Mastercard for your every day spending
Cashback
Account
Santander 1|2|3 Student Current Account
Funding Required
£500 per term
Overdraft
£1,500 Interest Free increasing to £2,000
Details

A free 4-year Santander 16-25 Railcard which could save you 1/3 off rail travel in Great Britain

Account
Nationwide FlexAccount Current Account
Funding Required
No minimum
Overdraft rate
0% for first 3 months
Account fee
No fee
Account
NatWest Select Current Account
Account fee
No fee
Funding Required
£1,500 (for switch offer)
Switch Reward
£125
for switching into account
Account
Santander 1|2|3 Student Current Account
Funding Required
£500 per term
Overdraft
£1,500 Interest Free increasing to £2,000
Details

A free 4-year Santander 16-25 Railcard which could save you 1/3 off rail travel in Great Britain

Account
Cash Plus Gold Deluxe Bank Account
Adverse Credit
Details
No credit checks to open an account. Free withdrawals. Direct Debits and Online Banking. Option to borrow up to £250. Add 'Creditbuilder' to improve your credit rating at no extra cost
Option to borrow money
Account
Card One Banking Current Account
Adverse Credit
Details
No credit checks - open to everyone with guaranteed acceptance. Help manage your money. Account comprises of a Billing Account for money in and to pay your bills from, plus a Debit Mastercard for your every day spending
Cashback

Current Accounts for the Unemployed

If you are unemployed and you want to open a current account you may find that you are limited as to the type of account you are legally allowed to open. To open some types of current account you are required to provide a regular income – usually on a monthly basis at a minimum specified level. It is unlikely that you will be able to open a current account with bonus features, such as:

  • Rewards
  • Interest-free overdrafts
  • High interest rates

You will be able to open a standard current account and receive a debit card, with telephone and online banking services. You will also be able to set up direct debits and standing orders if you need to. If you wish to use your debit card while abroad you should specifically ask for a VISA type card, rather than SOLO, Maestro or Cirrus.

Even though your options may be more limited, comparing different current account deals is still the best way to make sure your needs are adequately catered for.

Jobseekers’ Allowance

If you are claiming or have applied for jobseekers’ allowance you will need to open a current account to receive your benefits. You must, however, prove to the job centre that you are looking for employment; else you may lose your entitlement to jobseekers’ allowance.

Opening a current account may well be the first step you make towards finding employment. It is important to recognise the importance in having a current account because your prospective employer may require your bank details to pay you.

Compare Current Accounts

You should always compare a range of current accounts from a variety of banks and building societies before you open any current account. It is wise to be sure of your choice prior to agreeing to a bank or building society’s terms and conditions. If you do change your mind, it is easy to switch but this process can take up to ten days.

You should use our comparison tables to find a banking organisation that offers you the type of account that meets your personal needs.

Your new bank is responsible for contacting you before the switch date if there are any hitches with transferring your standing orders and direct debits – and incoming payments.

And the switching service is covered by a guarantee: the new bank must refund you if there are any charges because payments didn’t go through on time.  But you have to ask them for this.

Yes – you can use the partial switch service and keep your old account open, transferring all or some of your payments. But the process isn’t covered by the service guarantee so it can take longer: possibly up to 20 working days. And there isn’t an automatic-redirect for the three years after you switch. A partial switch may not qualify for the incentives offered for switching (though that shouldn’t be the only reason why you change accounts).

Not all your regular bill payments may be made by direct debits or standing orders. Some service providers (such as telecoms services, online subscriptions, gym membership and payday loans) get you to set up a “recurring payment” or “continuous payment authority” which is linked to your debit or credit card

Because they’re linked to a card rather than directly to your bank account, they’re not included in the switching service (or covered by the guarantee).

It’s not always clear which are your continuous payment authorities: you won’t find them listed on your online banking portal. When you set them up you were asked for you card details (“please read me the long card number”) rather than your bank account and sort code numbers.

You’ll need to check your monthly card statements: any regular payments going out each month that are not marked as DD (direct debit) or SO (standing order) are likely to be continuous payment authorities.

If you want to keep paying for this service (or loan) in this way, you’ll need to contact each provider and tell them your new card details as soon as you have them.

This may sound like a lot of bother, but it is useful to check periodically what’s going out of your account regularly: there may be services you’re not using (such as fast delivery, or additional online data storage) that you want to cancel.

If you can remember the family members or friends who occasionally transfer money directly to your bank, you can send them your new account details and ask them to set them you up as a new Payee.

It’s probably not a good idea to just email all your Contacts with your new account details. If you’re concerned about email security, the most secure way of sending bank account details to specific people is via WhatsApp.

And if any payments are accidentally made to your old account, for 36 months (three years) after you’ve switched, your new bank or building society will arrange for any payments to be automatically redirected to your new account. They will also contact the sender and give them your new account details.

You can pick any convenient day in the month, so long as it’s more than a week away, and not a weekend or a bank holiday.

If all your regular payments tend to go out of your account around the same time it’s best to choose a time of the month when your bank account isn’t so busy.

No Credit Check Prepaid Card

Nationwide FlexDirect Account

Earn 5% AER Fixed Interest

  • On balances up to £2,500
  • Interest paid for first 12 months
  • No account fees
  • Easy online account management

Nationwide FlexDirect Account »

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Offers