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Search the market to find the best current account for your needs, including any cash incentives to switch
A current account is a bank or building society account used for everyday spending. Your salary or pension can be paid in, and you can set up automated electronic payments – such as direct debits and standing orders – to pay regular bills.
Current accounts come with a debit card which can be used to withdraw cash from a cash machine, or to make payments, including contactless payments in shops and purchases online. You have immediate access to the money in your current account.
These accounts pay higher-than-average interest on balances in credit. In some cases interest rates are much better than many of the best savings accounts available, though interest is only paid up to a specific cap
Looking for cashback or rewards to switch your account or rewards for paying your bills? Many current accounts offer kickbacks when you spend, but check account-opening criteria, as there may be a minimum monthly deposit
Manage your current account from your phone or tablet anytime, anywhere. Online banking gives you control over your account to make payments and move money whenever you need - often from an app
If you want added perks such as travel insurance, breakdown cover and low loan rates, a packaged account offers a range of bolt-on extras. Make sure the benefits suit your needs as you’ll pay a monthly fee
A business current account enables you to receiving payments and pay out money in your company name. Most accounts offer an overdraft facility but there can be monthly fees attached to the account
College and university students usually set up a current account for the first time when they leave home - to manage student loans and day-to-day spending. Student accounts tend to offer the best deals on overdrafts
If you want to combine finances with a partner or housemate, a joint current account helps to keep track of what’s coming in and payments out. Most providers will set up any of their current accounts on a joint basis
A basic or bad credit bank account offers many of the features of a standard current account, but not usually an overdraft. These accounts are offered to people with a low credit score or who have struggled to get a bank account
Switching to a new current account is quick and easy and with the Current Account Switch Guarantee you know that your old and new bank will work together to take care of the switch. Under the Guarantee:
You may want to consider an online or app-based bank where you can see your balance and manage your transactions at any time 24/7. Banking and access to cash is free and convenient. You might also be able to choose an account with a competitive overdraft interest rate - if you know you will need to use an overdraft.
If you know you don’t usually go overdrawn and instead your current account is typically in credit you may want to get an account that pays interest on your balance. Some current accounts pay better rates of interest than savings accounts although there is usually a cap on the balance that can earn interest each month.
If you’re always in credit an account that pays cashback or rewards could be appealing. Some accounts offer cashback when you pay bills or make transactions, for example. Some providers offer a cash perk when you switch and open a new current account so look out for any offers available before you move.
If you have a low credit score due to debt problems or if you’ve not had a bank account or credit card before, a basic bank account or account for bad credit can help you rebuild your score. You won’t have access to an overdraft, but setting up direct debits to pay bills on time through your account can improve your credit score.
Search the market to find the best current account for your needs, including any cash incentives to switch
Use our handy filters to narrow down your options based on the type of current account you need, such as high interest or student accounts
When you find the deal you’re after, click straight to the provider to complete your application. Sit back while your new bank takes care of the switch
Most providers will only need you to be over 18 to open a bank account, but some banks might have additional requirements for certain types of accounts. This could mean a minimum credit score, especially if the account comes with perks or benefits.
If you want to close your account, you’ll normally be able to do this by contacting your bank either by phone or post, or by meeting face to face and letting them know.
Switching current accounts is a great way to save money, as you might be able to find a provider that offers better interest rates or more useful incentives as part of the account. There are also numerous financial incentives on offer for switching accounts.
The process also only takes a maximum of seven working days, thanks to the Current Account Switch Service, so you’ll be ready to bank in no time.
You don’t need to tell your bank when you switch current accounts. When you’ve completed the Current Account Switch Agreement form, the bank you are switching to will take care of the rest.
Any payments in and out of your old account are automatically switched thanks to the Current Account Switch Service, and your new bank will contact the person sending the payment or the person due to receive the payment to let them know your new account details. They’ll also contact you if there are any problems.
If you created any regular payments using your old account’s debit card then you might need to manually change them.
Many banks will let you add another name to your current account – you’ll normally both have to go into a branch and show ID to do this, as well as fill out some forms.
However, some accounts might only be limited to one account holder, and others could say the additional person needs to be a certain age. They may even need to make a payment into the account to be added – read more with our guide to joint bank accounts.
If you want to change the personal details on your account you’ll normally be able to do this by filling out a form or going into a branch. You’ll need to bring in some sort of proof of your new personal details, for example a marriage certificate if you’re changing your name for marriage, an amended birth certificate or another form of identification – you can ask your bank or check online to see what they need you to do.
If your bank goes out of business your money is safe up to a threshold of £85,000 due to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which gives you government protection when you bank. It includes digital and challenger banks, building societies and credit unions.
AER stands for Annual Equivalent Rate, and it shows you how much interest you’re earning on the balance of your savings account. APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate, which refers to the interest rate you’ll pay on any loan or credit card repayments.
There are two types of interest: simple and compound interest. Simple interest is paid in regular increments as a percentage of the original sum.
Compound interest works the same way, but each new payment is calculated including the previous interest payment, so your savings grow at a faster rate than with simple interest.
Most banks use compound interest to calculate their payments.
There are no rules on how many current accounts you can have. You can open as many accounts as you like – provided your bank or building society lets you. But some current accounts have eligibility criteria, such as a minimum amount you must pay into the account each month, for example. It can be beneficial to have an additional current account with a partner or housemate if, for example, you need to share payment of rent, mortgage and other bills. You could also open a second current account to earn higher interest on some savings, and still want to keep another account for day-to-day spending. Be aware that if you use an overdraft on more than one current account this could negatively impact your credit score and affect your ability to get loans and credit. Your credit score could also dip if you apply for a lot of new current accounts in a short space of time.
There are no rules on how many current accounts you can have. You can open as many accounts as you like – provided your bank or building society lets you. But some current accounts have eligibility criteria, such as a minimum amount you must pay into the account each month, for example.
It can be beneficial to have an additional current account with a partner or housemate if, for example, you need to share payment of rent, mortgage and other bills. You could also open a second current account to earn higher interest on some savings, and still want to keep another account for day-to-day spending.
Be aware that if you use an overdraft on more than one current account this could negatively impact your credit score and affect your ability to get loans and credit. Your credit score could also dip if you apply for a lot of new current accounts in a short space of time.
There are no limits or rules on how many current accounts you can have – or where. Many banks will allow you to have two current accounts, provided you meet any account opening or eligibility criteria.
Be aware that if you use a number of overdrafts on different current accounts, or if you apply for or open a lot of accounts in a short space of time this could negatively affect your credit score.
A current account is a bank or building society account that lets you manage your day-to-day spending.
You can have your salary paid into it, set up direct debits and standing orders, and negotiate an overdraft. Some accounts also pay interest on balances and offer cashback on spending.
There are lots of types of current account to suit all sorts of personal situations. These include:
Some current accounts come with extra benefits for the account holder, like a cash bonus for signing up, better interest rates or even breakdown cover. The accounts might only be available to certain customers, like those with high credit ratings.
Some current accounts include fees if you use them in a certain way – some banks might charge you for resending a printed account statement or for accessing your account abroad. You may even be charged a fee for going into your overdraft without telling your bank beforehand.
The traditional idea of banking is being changed by digital or challenger banks, who provide most of their services through the internet or a mobile app rather than in branch or over the phone. Many are designed to be more open and transparent with customers and less focused on banking products.
It’s more attractive than ever to compare current accounts: healthy competition means there are a number of incentives available for those willing to switch. But if you don’t compare current accounts, you could be missing out on a great deal – and some free cash!
Switching current accounts is simple because most of the legwork is done for you and, at the end of it, you can benefit from an account that’s much better for your pocket and lifestyle.
If you’re looking for the best current account, you’ll benefit from a wide range of products to choose from. Many of the best current accounts offer:
The best current account is different for each person, as it depends on your spending habits and level of savings.
Switching current accounts has never been simpler, and many providers offer lucrative incentives for moving your account to them.
The Current Account Switch Guarantee makes switching current accounts very easy indeed, and your bank will do most of the legwork for you, including transferring money, direct debits and standing orders, and informing your employer.
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.
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 eachmonth, or having a minimum number of direct debits, so make sure you can meet the criteria to get the rewards.
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.
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.
If you’re wondering whether a credit card is the right option for you, it might not always be a straightforward decision. They can offer some benefits depending on how you use them, but like any kind of borrowing they also present a risk if you can’t pay back what you owe.
We’ve set out the basic advantages and disadvantages to using credit cards, so you can make an informed decision on whether or not you should apply for one.
As long as you use them properly, credit cards can have a number of advantages over debit cards and cash payments. These include:
When you use a credit card you should be mindful of the following risks:
To make sure you’re getting the best from your credit card, consider the following:
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards, should help you decide what kind of credit card you would like.
Example questions to ask yourself include: Do I want to…
Answering these questions first will help when you look at the different features a credit card offers.
Credit cards tend to be labelled as purchase cards, balance transfer cards, rewards and cashback cards and credit builder cards – and some cards offer a combination of features to attract you. You can find out more about choosing the right card.
Finding the right credit card is easier when you compare your options on MoneySuperMarket. All you need to do is tell us a little about yourself and your finances, including details about your employment, income, and what you’ll use the new card for.
You’ll be given a list of credit cards that match your needs, and you’ll even get to see which cards you’re most likely to be accepted for if you apply with our credit card eligibility checker. This way you can minimise the risk of applying for a card and help keep your credit rating healthier.
Once you’ve found the card you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your application. If your provider accepts your application, they’ll tell you what your credit limit and interest rate will be set at. As soon as it comes through the post you just need to activate it – then it will be ready to use.
MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker not a lender. You must be 18 or over and a UK resident.
It’s a good idea to check your account statements regularly, because this could stop you going into your overdraft without knowing. It can also be a good way to double check whether there are any transactions you don’t recognise.
Look for a provider with good customer service, because you never know when you’ll need to call them up or go into a branch to fix an issue.
Remember to be careful with your PIN and account details; you should keep this information safe and protected. Remember, your bank will never ask you to reveal details like your PIN, either on the phone, in person or through an email.
Your bank will almost certainly have an app that lets you manage your account online, and some may even be based on their app. This is excellent for quick and easy money management.
Each bank has different ways of transferring money. Some require you to use a card reader when transferring any sum of money, while others only use it for transactions over a set amount.
Other banks do not use card readers at all, so if money transfers are something you might be doing a lot of, it’s worth checking the policy details to see how easy it is to make payments on the go.
If your current account comes with benefits such as air miles, you might want to check whether you really need them. For example, if you’re not a frequent flyer, is an air miles bonus worth the extra cost?
Switching current accounts is easy with MoneySuperMarket, and it could mean you get to take advantage of better interest rates and cashback rewards, vouchers and other incentives.
The process of switching will take a maximum of seven working days with the Current Account Switch Service – all your direct debits should be switched over automatically, and everything should be taken care of by your new account provider.
You can compare current accounts with MoneySuperMarket, and when you're ready to make the swtich, all you need to do is give your chosen new bank a few details such as your name, address and date of birth. You will also have to supply some documentation to confirm your identity and address.
You’ll be able to look at a number of important factors, like the interest rates they’ll pay, the overdraft rates they’ll charge, any rewards they provide, and any costs involved in holding an account.
MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little. So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from. We currently provide access to six partner companies, covering 30% of the market, though you may have other questions. For instance, do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another? We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.
MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.
So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.
We currently provide access to six partner companies, covering 30% of the market, though you may have other questions. For instance, do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?
We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.