Current Accounts

Competition in the current account market has gone from strength to strength and there’s now a wide range of options to choose from. So whether you’re looking for a current account that pays a high rate of interest or one that offers cashback, or you’re simply after a competitive overdraft rate, here are some of the best options on the market – and how to get the most out them. Always make sure you compare all of your options to get the right deal for you.

Great for high in-credit balances

If you’ve got savings of £3,000 or more, a conventional savings account may not be the best way to get the most out of your money. Instead, you could earn a higher rate of interest by keeping your cash in a current account that pays a competitive return on high balances. 

Some accounts, for example, offer rates as high as 3.00% AER on balances of up to £20,000, and you may also be able to earn cashback on some of your household bills. 

Many of these accounts require you to pay in a minimum amount every month, and some also come with monthly fees, so make sure you consider this when comparing accounts.

Great for high in-credit balances – Ordered by AER

    • Provider/Product name 123 Current Account

      123 Current Account

    • Customer Service Rating
      Great
      80%
      OK
      17%
      Poor
      3%
    • Overdraft Rate (EAR) 0% 1st 4 months if you switch
    • Interest Rate (AER) 3.00% on balances between £3000 and £20000
    • Go to site

      Phone

      More details

    2015 SUPERS

    Winner of the best overall current account provider

    Great for
    Cashback on your household bills
    But be aware that
    £2 monthly account fee
    Minimum monthly funding of £500

Great for balances below £3,000

If you tend to keep a healthy balance in your account, and you don’t slip into the red, you could get rewarded for your efforts with a high-interest current account. In fact, you could earn as much as 5.00% AER on balances of up to £2,500, so long as you pay in the minimum required amount every month.

Just be aware that the interest rates on some accounts are only available for a fixed introductory period, and will drop after this.

Great for smaller in-credit balances – Ordered by AER

    • Provider/Product name FlexDirect

      FlexDirect

    • Customer Service Rating
      Great
      74%
      OK
      21%
      Poor
      5%
    • Overdraft Rate (EAR) 0% 1st 12 months
    • Interest Rate (AER) 5.00% on balances between £1 and £2500
    • Go to site

      Phone

      More details

    Market leading

    This is the best rate for balances up to £2,500

    Great for
    In credit interest of 5% AER on balances from £1 to £2,500. Conditions apply
    Dedicated switching service to personally manage your account opening
    But be aware that
    Minimum monthly funding of £1,000
    After 12 months the interest rate lowers to 1% AER
    • Provider/Product name Classic Plus

      Classic Plus

    • Customer Service Rating
      Great
      58%
      OK
      34%
      Poor
      8%
    • Overdraft Rate (EAR) 19.94%
    • Interest Rate (AER) 5.00% on balances up to £2000
    • Go to site

      Phone

      More details

    Great for
    In credit interest of 5% AER for balances from £0 - £2,000. T&Cs apply
    No monthly fee
    But be aware that
    Subject to application and approval
    To earn 5% AER you must credit your account with £500 each month, register for internet banking, paperless statements and paperless correspondence
  1. Great for
    Earn up to 4% AER / 3.93% Gross variable interest on your balance up to £5,000
    Get exclusive access to a range of great banking offers
    But be aware that
    For the monthly £5 fee to be waived, a minimum of £1,500 must be paid into your account each month
    To qualify for credit interest you need to pay two different Direct Debits from your Club Lloyds current account each calendar month

    Representative Example:

    Up to £100 interest and fee free overdraft, subject to application and approval. If you use a Planned Overdraft of £1,200 on the Club Lloyds Account the overdraft interest rate Lloyds charge on the first £100 will be 0% EAR variable. The overdraft interest rate on the next £1,100 will be 19.94% EAR variable and a Monthly Overdraft Usage Fee of £6 will apply. You will not pay any fees or interest on an unplanned overdraft if you are overdrawn by £10 or less. EAR is the Equivalent Annual Rate. This is the actual annual rate of an overdraft. It doesn't take into account other fees and charges.

Top for customer service

If you’re fed up with getting poor customer service from your bank, switch your current account to a provider that’s known for looking after its customers. 

As well as making your life easier, some of these accounts offer extra benefits such as competitive overdrafts or cashback for switching. 

Many current account providers require you to pay in a minimum amount every month, so make sure you can manage this.

Top for Customer Service – Ordered by score

    • Provider/Product name 1st Account

      1st Account

    • Customer Service Rating
      Great
      92%
      OK
      7%
      Poor
      1%
    • Overdraft Rate (EAR) Interest free on the first £250
    • Interest Rate (AER) 0.00%
    • Go to site

      Phone

      More details

    Exclusive

    £150 cashback when you switch your current account to first direct through MoneySuperMarket!

    Great for
    Receive £150 cashback when you switch to first direct through MoneySuperMarket
    Earn a market leading 6% interest from first direct's regular saver and access preferential mortgage rates - open to first direct banking customers only
    But be aware that
    Minimum monthly funding of £1,000
    No interest paid on balances in credit
    • Provider/Product name 123 Current Account

      123 Current Account

    • Customer Service Rating
      Great
      80%
      OK
      17%
      Poor
      3%
    • Overdraft Rate (EAR) 0% 1st 4 months if you switch
    • Interest Rate (AER) 3.00% on balances between £3000 and £20000
    • Go to site

      Phone

      More details

    2015 SUPERS

    Winner of the best overall current account provider

    Great for
    Cashback on your household bills
    But be aware that
    £2 monthly account fee
    Minimum monthly funding of £500
  1. Exclusive

    Receive an exclusive £10 Dine in for Two voucher in addition to the £100 M&S gift card when you switch to the M&S Current Account via MoneySuperMarket!

    Great for
    £10 Dine in for Two Voucher available exclusively to MoneySuperMarket
    Access to the 6% AER high interest rate M&S Monthly Saver account
    But be aware that
    To qualify for both offers, you must transfer 2 direct debits in addition to using the Current Account Switch Service
    Apply on or before 30th Sept 2015 through MoneySuperMarket to be eligible for the £10 Dine in for Two voucher

    Representative Example:

    0% EAR variable on the first £100. 15.9% EAR variable thereafter.

Ongoing rewards

If you tend to stay in credit and never go overdrawn, you could get rewarded regularly by your bank or building society. By switching to a rewards current account, you could get a monthly reward payment and earn cashback on your spending. Some providers will also offer a cash incentive for switching your current account to them.

Many rewards accounts have requirements such as paying in a minimum amount each month, or having a minimum number of direct debits, so make sure you can meet the criteria to get the rewards. 

Ongoing Rewards – Ordered by highest Monetary value

  1. £100 Cashback

    £100 cashback when you switch to a HSBC Advance Bank Account

    Great for
    £100 when you switch to the HSBC Advance Bank Account using the Current Account Switch Service within 30 days of account opening
    Fixed rate of 6% AER/gross on our Regular Saver for 12 months
    But be aware that
    HSBC Advance Bank Account requires minimum monthly funding of £1,750 or six-monthly funding of £10,500. Switch Offer T&Cs apply
    Minimum and maximum monthly deposit limits apply to our Regular Saver. No partial withdrawals are permitted

    Representative Example:

    assuming a formal overdraft of £1,200 on the HSBC Advance Bank Account, the overdraft rate is 17.9% EAR variable. Therefore, if you used £500 for 10 days, you would pay £2.27 in interest

    EAR is Effective Annual Rate. This takes account of the interest rate and how often interest is charged, and does not include any other fees or charges.

    Overdrafts are subject to status.

  2. Up to £160 reward

    Receive £100 reward when you switch to this account plus an additional £5 per month - see T&Cs

    Great for
    Earn up to £160 reward in the first year - made up of £100 for switching & 12x £5 reward each month you pay in £750+, pay out two different Direct Debits and stay in credit
    Your switch is covered by the Current Account Switch Guarantee
    But be aware that
    To qualify for the £100 offer you must use the Current Account Switch Service and close your account held elsewhere. If you've had cashback for switching since January 2012, we're sorry but you don't qualify
    Account terms and conditions apply

    Representative Example:

    If you use a planned overdraft of £1,200, then Halifax will charge you £1 a day when you use it. Overdrafts are subject to status.

    • Provider/Product name 123 Current Account

      123 Current Account

    • Customer Service Rating
      Great
      80%
      OK
      17%
      Poor
      3%
    • Overdraft Rate (EAR) 0% 1st 4 months if you switch
    • Interest Rate (AER) 3.00% on balances between £3000 and £20000
    • Go to site

      Phone

      More details

    2015 SUPERS

    Winner of the best overall current account provider

    Great for
    Cashback on your household bills
    But be aware that
    £2 monthly account fee
    Minimum monthly funding of £500

Great for switching cashback

Switching current accounts has never been simpler, and many providers are offering lucrative incentives for moving your account to them. 

When you switch your current account to a new bank or building society, you could get £100 or more in cashback as a reward for switching. Just make sure that you’re applying for an account that suits your needs, not just the one with the highest cashback.

Great for switching cashback– Ordered by highest cashback amount

    • Provider/Product name 1st Account

      1st Account

    • Customer Service Rating
      Great
      92%
      OK
      7%
      Poor
      1%
    • Overdraft Rate (EAR) Interest free on the first £250
    • Interest Rate (AER) 0.00%
    • Go to site

      Phone

      More details

    Exclusive

    £150 cashback when you switch your current account to first direct through MoneySuperMarket!

    Great for
    Receive £150 cashback when you switch to first direct through MoneySuperMarket
    Earn a market leading 6% interest from first direct's regular saver and access preferential mortgage rates - open to first direct banking customers only
    But be aware that
    Minimum monthly funding of £1,000
    No interest paid on balances in credit
  1. £150 Cashback

    £150 cashback when you switch using the Current Account Switching Service

    Great for
    2% AER in credit interest. Use for end of month balances or savings
    9.9% EAR Overdraft rate – great option for overdraft occasional users
    But be aware that
    Minimum monthly funding £1,000
    Account must be opened on the phone or in branch
  2. Exclusive

    Receive an exclusive £10 Dine in for Two voucher in addition to the £100 M&S gift card when you switch to the M&S Current Account via MoneySuperMarket!

    Great for
    £10 Dine in for Two Voucher available exclusively to MoneySuperMarket
    Access to the 6% AER high interest rate M&S Monthly Saver account
    But be aware that
    To qualify for both offers, you must transfer 2 direct debits in addition to using the Current Account Switch Service
    Apply on or before 30th Sept 2015 through MoneySuperMarket to be eligible for the £10 Dine in for Two voucher

    Representative Example:

    0% EAR variable on the first £100. 15.9% EAR variable thereafter.

Long-term overdrafts

If you’re struggling to climb out of your overdraft, or if you regularly go into the red, you could benefit from a current account with a competitive overdraft rate. 

Overdraft costs vary significantly, so compare accounts carefully to make sure you’re not paying more than you need to. 

  1. Great for
    Free Multi-trip travel insurance
    Dedicated switching service to personally manage your account opening
    But be aware that
    Minimum monthly funding of £750

Current accounts. Trust us to explain them simply

Guide to current accounts

Current Accounts Guide

We’re getting generally better at switching financial products and shopping around for a better deal. But changing current account provider is something that continues to elude most of us. In fact, an estimated six out of ten adults have never switched their current account.

There are 54million current accounts in the UK, making them big business for banks. And, as they know that once they’ve got your custom, they are unlikely to lose it, it can result in some uncompetitive deals and customer service.

The big four banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns NatWest – control more than 70% of the current account market even though their standard current accounts pay paltry, and in some cases no, interest. Their overdraft rates can be uncompetitive too so why do so many people stay put?

The common perception is that switching current account is a lot of hassle for little gain but this isn’t the case. Many banks now have dedicated switching teams which ensure the transfer process runs smoothly. And from September 2013, the Current Account Switch Service comes into effect. Amid other consumer guarantees, this will ensure the process takes a maximum of seven working days. So now is the time to stop being loyal to your bank and get more from your current account.

Read more

What should I look for when choosing a current account?

The assumption many people make is that current accounts are all pretty similar so it doesn’t really matter which provider you bank with. But, especially these days, that perception is a long way from the truth.

Some of the major providers are battling to attract new current account business by offering some fantastic deals, including upfront cash incentives. However, the product that is best for you will also depend on how you use your current account. So we’ve come up with some common customer profiles that should help you identify the key things to focus on when choosing a current account.

  • If your current account is usually in credit, look for a deal that pays a decent rate of interest – the choice of these is growing!
  • If you are usually overdrawn, look for the cheapest overdraft rates. Some accounts now also offer fee-free overdrafts for a certain time period.
  • Look at how you manage your bank account. Some current accounts are based only online for example so, if you prefer to transact face-to-face in a branch, these won’t be suitable.
  • If you do require branch access, and see an account that looks attractive, think about where the nearest branch of that bank or building society is as there’s little point moving your current account over if you’ll have to travel miles to get to a branch.
  • Think about whether you want to pay a monthly fee for a packaged current account which offers services such as breakdown cover and annual travel insurance.
  • Finally, if you frequently travel abroad, check out any foreign transaction fees for using your debit card as these also vary.

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