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Advantages of current accounts

Ella Jukwey
Written by  Ella Jukwey
Jonathan Leggett
Reviewed by  Jonathan Leggett
5 min read
Updated: 15 Mar 2024

You need a current account to carry out day-to-day banking. In this guide, MoneySuperMarket explains the advantages of having one.

What is a current account?  

A current account is a bank account that gives you immediate access to your money. Think of your current account as holding the money you currently have. With your current account, you’re not borrowing money from a credit card provider – rather, it stores the funds readily available to you. Your debit card is linked to your current account which you can use for everyday spending and contactless payments.  

current accounts

What are the benefits of having a current account? 

Using a current account can come with many advantages, including: 

Quick access to money  

Current accounts are most suited to day-to-day spending as you’re able to withdraw from the account whenever you please. Some savings accounts, for example a notice account, will require you to lock your money for a set period of time. Whereas, you will be penalised for dipping into your regular savings account before the fixed term is over. Your current account provider won’t charge you for using your debit card for cash withdrawals. The convenience of current accounts makes them a necessity for banking on the go. 

Receiving payments 

You’ll need a current account to be paid your salary by your employer. A current account is also necessary when you want people to send you money, e.g., your friend needs to pay you back and they need your current account details to transfer you the funds. 

Making payments 

You’ll also need a current account to set up regular payments such as direct debits and standing orders. If you need to send someone money, then you’ll have to do it from your bank account. 

Help credit score 

If you make sure to stay in credit with your current account and avoid slipping into your overdraft, you could gradually build up a strong credit history. Try to not go over your arranged overdraft limit, as doing so can hurt your credit score. You can also  use direct debits from your bank account as a way to keep up with your credit card payments, which will help boost your credit rating. 

Protection 

Current accounts with banks and building societies are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Meaning, if anything happens to your bank, then you will be covered for up to £85,000 or £170,000 for joint accounts

Are there any fees associated with current accounts? 

You could face the following charges with your current account: 

Monthly and annual fees: If you have a standard current account, it’s unlikely you’ll be charged to use it. However, you can expect monthly and annual fees with packaged bank accounts, high-interest and reward current accounts.  

Foreign transaction fees: If you use your debit card overseas you could be charged for doing so.  However, challenger banks are noted for offering fee-free debit card spending abroad.  

Overdraft: You can be charged a fee for using your overdraft, this is usually a daily flat fee until your account is back in credit.  

What are the advantages of having online banking with a current account?

Online banking comes with several benefits, such as: 

Money management: Many online banking apps come with budgeting tools to help you take control of your finances.  

Sending money: You can easily send money to others through online banking. 

Full picture of your finances: You can check your bank balance anytime with your online banking app. 

Other useful guides 

Looking to understand more about current accounts, we’ve got you covered. Check out our guides: 

Choosing the best current account   

Multiple bank accounts 

Opening  a bank account 

Compare current accounts