What is the best current account for me?
Different people want different functions from their current account depending on their needs and preferences.
Deciding which is best for you is an important part of choosing a bank.
Whether you are a tech native who would feel totally at home using an app-only banking service or prefer a more traditional bricks-and-mortar bank, there is so many accounts to choose from.
We are here to help with this breakdown of the best current account for different purposes, so you can figure out which one is your ideal account.
Best Banks for… Tech Savvy Security
Focusing on security is really a key consideration for the vastly expanding advent of digital banking. You want to know your money is safe and have the ability to make sure it stays safe.
Both apps boast strong protected login features (e.g. use of thumbprint security on mobile devices) and good use of encryption. Many users rate the use of the apps in terms of ease, which makes it easy to spot when there is an issue. They are tied for Which?’s top choice for online security in banking app.
Best Banks for…Interest Rates
The amount of money you can gain in interest in a current account directly correlates to how much money you have in that account and are regularly paying in.
Currently, the best accounts for large interest gains are:
For the first twelve months, FlexDirect pays a 5% fixed AER interest rate of up to £2,500 each month. So if you are putting in £2,500 each month, you can expect to be gaining £125 each month in interest. This adds up to a healthy £1,500 each year, so it’s definitely worth opening this account if you can put in the minimum amount.
These accounts offer a monthly interest rate of 1% AER on balances up to £20,000. This is calculated on the gross rather than a monthly minimum. So if you have £20,000 in your bank account, you could be looking at £200 each month. You have to pay in £500 into your account each month and have two active direct debits from the account.
Best Banks for… Bill Paying
Depending on how disciplined you are with paying your bills, different bank functions will ensure your bills can be paid automatically. You can set up digital automation within some baking apps, which will enable you to ensure your bills are paid.
This is a new app based banking service specifically designed to ensure that your bills will be paid automatically. The app stores money separately based on specified purposes by the user. By earmarking this money, the ease of paying the bills means you will never fall behind.
You might instead be looking for cashback on paying your bills.
NatWest themselves claim that their average Rewards current account holder earns £83 per years. They offer 2% unlimited cashback on household bills like council tax, landline/broadband, TVs and utilities such as water, gas and electricity.
Santander 1|2|3 current account offers a range of 1% – 3% cashback for various bills – eg regular bills such as mobile, landline and council tax bills. This account does have a £5 monthly fee, though, so this deal only works for those who regularly pay larger amounts in bills. You should also note that cashback will be capped monthly at £5 from May 2020.
Best Banks for… Cash Rewards
If you want to optimise the amount of cashback you get from putting your money into a current account.
The Co-Operative Bank
If you pay in a minimum of £800 each month into a Co-op Everyday Rewards scheme current account, you can be rewarded up to £5.50 each month.
This is broken down into £4 for every month you meet the qualifications. If you use your debit card for this account, this can add up to an extra £1.50 cashback.
These benefits are dependent you paying in to this account of £800 each month.
Round-up functions, while technically is not a cashback but the “save while you spend” round-up function is a useful way to optimise what you have – it means you can save without strictly noticing, to be used at a later date.
If you are regularly in the black and make use of this function a lot,
First Direct 1st Account
First Direct offer a minimum overdraft of £500, so if you are looking for just a little bit of cushioning, then this could be for you – but if you do exceed this, then the charge is 15.9% EAR.
This online banking service is becoming increasingly popular and offers an arranged overdraft service. On an assumed overdraft of about £1,200, Starling are offering 15% EAR.
M&S Monthly Saver Account
This account has many benefits, like an interest rate of 2.75% on money in the bank, but they also over a minimum overdraft of £500 with the first £100 interest-free. Once you exceed this, the interest rate is 15.9%.
These features and services were accurate January 2020. But banks are very aware of customer demands: features may change or be extended.