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The current account market offers some great deals for those willing to switch providers. Switching 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.

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 the amount of cashback/reward
 

M&S

Current Account

Customer service rating

Great (68%) Ok (19%) Poor (13%)

Customer service ratings provided by users of

Overdraft rate (EAR)

Interest rate (AER)

on balances between and

on balances up to

  • Overdraft Facility
  • Direct Debits
  • Switching Service
  • Online Banking
Great for
  • Get a £50 M&S gift card when you use the switching service to switch to this current account, plus £5 per month gift card top up for up to 24 months. T&Cs apply
  • You can also open an M&S Monthly Saver account and earn 5% AER
  • Get a £100 interest-free overdraft, with a £50 buffer if you go over your agreed limit, subject to status
But be aware that
  • You must be at least 18 years old to open this account
  • To get the £50 gift card, you must use the current account switch service, and you must have at least two active direct debits from the account
  • To get the £5 monthly top up, you must pay in at last £1,000 every month, and you must have at least two active direct debits from the account
Switching Gift Card!

Earn up to £170 on an M&S gift card! Receive £50 when you switch and up to £120 when you stay! Conditions apply, see T&Cs

first direct

1st Account

Customer service rating

Great (90%) Ok (7%) Poor (3%)

Customer service ratings provided by users of

Overdraft rate (EAR)

Interest rate (AER)

on balances between and

on balances up to

  • Cashback
  • Online Banking
  • Mobile App
  • Standing Orders
Great for
  • Get £100 cashback when you use the switching service to switch to this current account, for new customers only
  • You can also open a regular savings account and earn 5% AER
  • Get a £250 interest-free overdraft, subject to status
But be aware that
  • You must be at least 18 years old to open this account
  • You must pay in at least £1,000 every month
Cashback

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


See more cashback paying accounts 

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
 

NatWest

Reward Account

Customer service rating

Great (46%) Ok (36%) Poor (18%)

Customer service ratings provided by users of

Overdraft rate (EAR)

Interest rate (AER)

on balances between and

on balances up to

  • Cashback
  • Mobile App
  • Overdraft Facility
  • Online Banking
Great for
  • 3% back on seven household bills with unlimited rewards if paid by Direct Debit. On average NatWest customers earn, £120 in Rewards per year. Based on average monthly Direct Debit amount of £333. Excludes monthly £3 fee
  • 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
  • From 26th June 2017, the cashback on household bills will be reduced to 2%, and the account fee will fall to £2 per month
Rewards

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

Barclays

Bank Account with Blue Rewards

Customer service rating

Great (41%) Ok (40%) Poor (19%)

Customer service ratings provided by users of

Overdraft rate (EAR)

Interest rate (AER)

on balances between and

on balances up to

  • Overdraft Facility
  • Mobile App
  • Direct Debits
  • Standing Orders
Great for
  • Earn cashback at over 100 online retailers and Expedia when you shop through SmartSpend
  • Earn up to £16 a month in loyalty rewards
But be aware that
  • You must be at least 18 years old to open this account
  • You'll have to pay a £3 monthly fee


See more reward accounts 

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
 

TSB

Classic Plus Account

Customer service rating

Great (63%) Ok (30%) Poor (7%)

Customer service ratings provided by users of

Overdraft rate (EAR)

Interest rate (AER)

on balances between and

on balances up to

  • Cashback
  • Direct Debits
  • Mobile App
  • Online Banking
Great for
  • Earn 3% AER on your balance up to £1,500
  • Earn £5 cashback every month for having two direct debit
  • Earn another £5 cashback every month if you spend at least 20 times a month on your debit card, including Apple and Android Pay
But be aware that
  • To earn interest on your balance, you must pay in at least £500 every month, and register for internet banking and paperless statements and correspondence
  • You can only get the monthly cashback if you opened your account on or after 1st March 2017, and if you register for internet banking. T&Cs apply. Offer ends 30th June 2018
  • You must be at least 18 years old to open this account
2016 SUPERS

Best Overall provider


See more interest paying accounts 

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 of 1.5% 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
 

Santander

123 Current Account

Customer service rating

Great (65%) Ok (29%) Poor (6%)

Customer service ratings provided by users of

Overdraft rate (EAR)

Interest rate (AER)

on balances between and

on balances up to

  • Mobile App
  • Switching Service
  • Overdraft Facility
  • Cashback
Great for
  • Earn interest of 1.5% AER (variable) on your balance up to £20,000
  • Earn cashback on selected household bills, as long as you pay by direct debit
But be aware that
  • You'll have to pay a £5 monthly fee
  • You must pay in at least £500 every month
  • You must have at least two active direct debits from this account
2016 SUPERS

Winner of the Best 'Loyalty’ Current Account Provider


See more interest paying accounts 

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
 

first direct

1st Account

Customer service rating

Great (90%) Ok (7%) Poor (3%)

Customer service ratings provided by users of

Overdraft rate (EAR)

Interest rate (AER)

on balances between and

on balances up to

  • Cashback
  • Online Banking
  • Mobile App
  • Standing Orders
Great for
  • Get £100 cashback when you use the switching service to switch to this current account, for new customers only
  • You can also open a regular savings account and earn 5% AER
  • Get a £250 interest-free overdraft, subject to status
But be aware that
  • You must be at least 18 years old to open this account
  • You must pay in at least £1,000 every month
Cashback

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

Santander

123 Current Account

Customer service rating

Great (65%) Ok (29%) Poor (6%)

Customer service ratings provided by users of

Overdraft rate (EAR)

Interest rate (AER)

on balances between and

on balances up to

  • Mobile App
  • Switching Service
  • Overdraft Facility
  • Cashback
Great for
  • Earn interest of 1.5% AER (variable) on your balance up to £20,000
  • Earn cashback on selected household bills, as long as you pay by direct debit
But be aware that
  • You'll have to pay a £5 monthly fee
  • You must pay in at least £500 every month
  • You must have at least two active direct debits from this account
2016 SUPERS

Winner of the Best 'Loyalty’ Current Account Provider


See more leading customer service accounts 


See more current accounts 

Current accounts. Trust us to explain them simply

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The procedure was very straight forward, I made the enquiry for what I wanted and the reply came back straightaway, hence I was able to save quite a bit of money with the quotes I received.

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What is a current account?

A current account is a bank or building society account that allows you to 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.

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 we work

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.