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 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

  1. Exclusive

    £150 Cashback when you switch your Current Account to the Co-operative Bank- T&Cs apply. You won't find this offer on any other comparison site until 1st August

    Great for
    Receive £150 Cashback when you switch your Current Account to the Co-operative Bank. Subject to status and qualifying criteria
    The Co-op current account and £150 switch offer are subject to status and qualifying criteria. £150 offer requires a full switch with 4+ active Direct Debits to a qualifying current account.
    But be aware that
    £150 Cashback offer excludes existing customers paying in £800+ per month from 03/02/16 to 03/05/16 and any recipients of previous switching incentives. Offer can be withdrawn at any time. Terms apply
    This account is available to UK residents aged 16 plus. Overdrafts are only available to account holders 18 or over. Subject to status.

    Representative Example:

    The advance of credit of £1,200 at an interest rate of 18.9% EAR variable per annum.

    • Provider/Product name 1st Account

      1st Account

    • Customer Service Rating
      Great
      91%
      OK
      6%
      Poor
      3%
    • Overdraft Rate (EAR) Interest free on the first £250
    • Interest Rate (AER) 0.00%
    • Go to site

      Phone

      More details

    Cashback

    Receive £100 cashback when you switch your current account to first direct- T&Cs apply

    Great for
    Receive £100 cashback and access to £250 interest free overdraft when you switch your current account to first direct – overdraft subject to status
    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

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 ongoing cashback over the first 12 month period

  1. Rewards

    Top 20% of NatWest Reward customers earn on average, £217 in Rewards per year. T&Cs apply

    Great for
    3% back on seven household bills (Council Tax, Mobile, Landline, TV Package, Water, Gas, Electricity & Broadband) with unlimited rewards if paid by Direct Debit
    Top 20% of Natwest Reward customers earn, on average, £217 in Rewards per year. Based on their average Dec'15/Jan'16 Direct Debit amounts. Excludes monthly £3 fee
    But be aware that
    £3 monthly fee
  2. Great for
    Earn up to £15/month loyalty rewards
    Earn enhanced cashback at over 100 online retailers and Expedia when you shop through SmartSpend
    But be aware that
    £3 monthly fee
    Pack fees range from £6 to £15.50 per month
  3. Exclusive

    £150 Cashback when you switch your Current Account to the Co-operative Bank- T&Cs apply. You won't find this offer on any other comparison site until 1st August

    Great for
    Receive £150 Cashback when you switch your Current Account to the Co-operative Bank. Subject to status and qualifying criteria
    The Co-op current account and £150 switch offer are subject to status and qualifying criteria. £150 offer requires a full switch with 4+ active Direct Debits to a qualifying current account.
    But be aware that
    £150 Cashback offer excludes existing customers paying in £800+ per month from 03/02/16 to 03/05/16 and any recipients of previous switching incentives. Offer can be withdrawn at any time. Terms apply
    This account is available to UK residents aged 16 plus. Overdrafts are only available to account holders 18 or over. Subject to status.

    Representative Example:

    The advance of credit of £1,200 at an interest rate of 18.9% EAR variable per annum.

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
      77%
      OK
      19%
      Poor
      4%
    • 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
  1. 2016 SUPERS

    Winner of the Best Overall Provider

    Great for
    5% AER for balances up to £2000
    With 5% Cashback on your first £100 Contactless payments every month (T&Cs apply). Subject to eligibility. Ends Sept 2017.
    But be aware that
    The Classic Plus Account is subject to application and approval
    To earn 5% AER on the Classic Plus Account credit your account with a minimum of £500 each month, register for internet banking, paperless statements and paperless correspondence

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
      77%
      OK
      19%
      Poor
      4%
    • 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

    2016 SUPERS

    Winner of the Best 'Loyalty’ Current Account Provider

    Great for
    Monthly cashback on selected household bills
    Monthly interest of 3% AER (variable) payable on your entire balance up to £20,000, when you have at least £3,000 in your account
    But be aware that
    A £5 account fee will be taken from your account each month
    You must pay in at least £500 each month 

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
      91%
      OK
      6%
      Poor
      3%
    • Overdraft Rate (EAR) Interest free on the first £250
    • Interest Rate (AER) 0.00%
    • Go to site

      Phone

      More details

    Cashback

    Receive £100 cashback when you switch your current account to first direct- T&Cs apply

    Great for
    Receive £100 cashback and access to £250 interest free overdraft when you switch your current account to first direct – overdraft subject to status
    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
      77%
      OK
      19%
      Poor
      4%
    • 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

    2016 SUPERS

    Winner of the Best 'Loyalty’ Current Account Provider

    Great for
    Monthly cashback on selected household bills
    Monthly interest of 3% AER (variable) payable on your entire balance up to £20,000, when you have at least £3,000 in your account
    But be aware that
    A £5 account fee will be taken from your account each month
    You must pay in at least £500 each month 
    • Provider/Product name FlexDirect

      FlexDirect

    • Customer Service Rating
      Great
      77%
      OK
      19%
      Poor
      4%
    • 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

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. 

    • Provider/Product name FlexDirect

      FlexDirect

    • Customer Service Rating
      Great
      77%
      OK
      19%
      Poor
      4%
    • 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

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.

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.

How our site works

  1. Tell us which type of current account you're interested in
  2. Use our simple current account search if you’re unsure of the best account type
  3. You can choose the account that suits you best and apply online through the provider

We want to show you current accounts from as many banks and building societies as possible, so that you can find the best option for you. We can't promise to have accounts from every single provider, because some don't want to be included on comparison websites. You can find out more about how we work here.

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