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Joint bank accounts

Compare our best joint bank accounts

  • Better manage your finances with a joint account

  • Open a joint account with a partner, family member or friend

  • Your money is protected up to £85,000 per person

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What is a joint bank account?

A joint account is a way of sharing a bank account between two or more people. This will usually be yourself and your partner or others you live with.

It can be a convenient way to manage your finances with someone else, especially if you have shared outgoings like rent, utility bills, or mortgage payments. 

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Who can I have a joint account with?

A joint account can be opened with whoever you like provided they are aged 18 or over and a UK resident. Some options include:

  • Husband, wife or partner

    You’re already sharing your lives, so sharing an account could make the day-to-day finances easier 

  • Family

    Siblings looking to buy a first property together might find a joint account useful for dealing with cashflow

  • Housemate

    Having a joint account for a housemate could help with paying utility bills and other regular overheads

  • Friend

    You might be saving together for a vacation of a lifetime and also want to build up a pool of spending money

How does bank switching work with a joint account?

Switching banks with a joint account follows the same process as with an individual account, but all account holders must consent to the switch. Here’s how it works

  • Agree with your fellow account holder that you want to switch

  • Choose your new provider apply for a joint current account

  • Your new bank will switch your direct debits and standing orders to your new account

  • Your old bank will take care of closing your old account

As part of the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) guarantee, the whole process should be completed in seven days. You should also be compensated financially for any lost interest if there are any mistakes made.

What are the features of a joint bank account?

  • Shared ownership

    Joint accounts are shared by two or more individuals who collectively own and manage the account

  • Equal access

    All account holders have equal access to the account management, allowing for shared financial responsibility

  • Deposits and withdrawals

    Each account holder can make deposits and withdrawals, enabling contributions from all parties

  • Responsibility

    Joint account holders share financial responsibility for overdrafts or debts incurred through the account

  • Direct debits

    Joint accounts can set up direct debits and standing orders for shared expenses, such as rent or utilities

What are the pros and cons of a joint bank account?

Not sure if a joint account is the right option for you? Here are some potential advantages and disadvantages of joint bank accounts:

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    Pros

    • Easy-to-manage household finances  

    • If you decide on a joint packaged account, you’ll get extra benefits and only pay one account fee  

    • Earn more interest, as there’s often more money in a joint account than a sole account  



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    Cons

    • Your credit history will be linked to other account holders and could be negatively affected

    • You’ll be jointly responsible for arranged overdraft debt even if you didn’t spend it 

    • Must be able to trust the other account holder with your money

Why compare joint bank accounts with MoneySuperMarket?

  • A great choice

    We find joint current accounts from a wide range of leading providers and we’ll show you the results instantly 

  • It's clear

    We highlight the joint current account’s key features upfront, such as overdraft, interest rates, bonuses and switching incentives

  • It's fast

    As soon as you’ve found the current account you want, you just need to click through to the provider and apply in minutes

How to choose the best joint bank account

The best joint account for you will depend on your personal circumstances and financial goals. So before you apply, decide what account features are most important to you. Here are some of the key factors to consider:

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    Access and convenience

    Most banks will let you access your joint current account through online banking or their mobile banking app

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    Rewards on your banking

    If you never go overdrawn, a joint account that pays cashback or rewards could suit you best. Some banks offer a cash incentive to switch

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    To earn interest on your balance

    If your account is typically in credit, look for a joint account that pays interest on your credit balance.

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    To gain extra benefits

    You may prefer to open a joint account that comes with extra benefits, like travel and mobile phone insurance. This is called a packaged account.

     



Legal ownership of a joint bank account is shared equally among all account holders. 

This allows all account holders to have equal access and control over the funds, as well as the ability to make deposits, withdrawals, and transactions. 

In the event of one account holder's death, the account usually passes to the surviving account holder without the need for probate.

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Emma Lunn

Our expert says

"

Joint bank accounts can be a great way for couples to manage their finances together. Some people will only have a joint account for the mortgage or rent and household bills (housemates might do this too), while other couples might combine all their finances. Either way, it’s vital to trust anyone you have a joint account with as you’ll be jointly and severally liable for any overdraft and your credit records will become linked.

"
- Emma Lunn, Personal finance expert

How to compare joint bank accounts with MoneySuperMarket

We can take the hard work out of finding a joint current account to suit you.

  • Browse our providers

    Click through to search the market to find the best joint current account for your needs, including any cash incentives to switch

  • Filter and sort

    Make your choice easier by using our handy filters to narrow down your options based on the type of current account you need 

  • Click through to provider

    Find the deal you want and click through to the provider to complete your application. Sit back while your new bank takes care of the switch

You don’t need to be married to open a joint bank account. You can open a joint account with any other person, from a partner to a housemate. However, both of you have to beat least 18 years old and live full-time in the UK.

With a joint account, the money in the account belongs to both joint-account holders. This means both account holders have the right to make withdrawals, transfer, or deposit money into the account. Bear in mind that they don’t need the permission of the other account holder to do this.

If the relationship breaks down or your housemates decide to go their separate ways, you may want to close the joint account. You can then divide the money between you, but the bank will need all account holders to agree – usually in writing. Alternatively, you could also change the account into one name only. Again, the bank would usually need the written permission of all parties.

If it’s a joint account with a partner and you’re struggling to communicate, either one of you can cancel the mandate. The account is then frozen so no one can use it, including you. The bank will only close the account when everyone agrees how to split the money. If you can’t reach an agreement, you may need to go to court for an agreement to be reached.

If an account holder passes away, the money in the joint account generally goes to the surviving person. In fact, many banks and lenders include a ‘rule of survivorship’ within their agreement, which states that the surviving owner has the right to take over the account. Bear in mind that the bank may ask for the death certificate before transferring the money to the surviving account holder.

In Scotland, things are slightly different. When a person dies, their share of funds won’t pass automatically to the surviving account owner. That said, when notified, the bank may still agree to let them continue to use and operate the account.

Yes, couples don’t have to be married to share a joint bank account. However, it is important to make sure that you know what your responsibilities are as a pair.

Be aware that if one of you overspends, you’ll both be accountable for the debt or any potential charges.

Yes, you’re free to have your own personal bank account, regardless of whether you have a joint one with somebody else. A personal bank account may be useful to keep your earnings separate, whereas a joint account can be handy for shared financial matters. You can set up a separate account with your current bank or pick another provider.

If you decide to use the same bank, you’ll be able to easily transfer money from your personal account to your joint one. However, you can’t automatically move funds from your joint account to your personal one, as the bank would need authorisation from the other owner first.

How much the joint account holders will be able to withdraw will depend on their provider. Some providers may have withdrawal limits. So, it's important to read the terms and conditions for the account you wish to sign up for.

If either of you withdraw more money than what’s in your joint current account and go into a negative balance, you’ll enter an arranged overdraft.  

Money in a joint account in the UK is protected up to £85,000 per individual account holder under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), providing a total protection of up to £170,000 for joint accounts held by two people.

A joint current account can affect your credit score as it links your financial status with the other account holder. If they have a poor credit history, it may negatively influence your credit score and ability to access credit.

Yes, you can typically open a joint account online in the UK. Many banks offer online application processes for joint accounts, allowing you and your co-account holder to apply, provide necessary documentation, and set up the account without visiting a physical branch.

Check with the specific bank you choose for their online account opening procedures and requirements.

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