Can I have more than one bank account?
What are the rules around multiple current accounts and what are the benefits and pitfalls? Our guide explains everything you need to know.
Different current accounts can have varying features and benefits, from those paying interest on your balance, for example, to those paying cashback, That’s why it can be a bonus to have more than one. But even if there’s nothing to stop us from opening multiple current accounts, there could be limitations to consider.
Can I have more than one current account?
Yes. There are no official rules on how many current accounts you can have. With so many different bonuses and features on offer, it might make sense to open a new account alongside your existing one.
Practically it might be more difficult though. For example, some accounts demand a minimum amount to be paid in each month or several direct debits leaving the account. This might not be possible if you have more than one bank account.
Can I have more than one account with the same bank?
It might be possible to have more than one account with the same bank, but it will depend on the bank’s individual criteria.
For example, you might be able to hold an individual current account and a joint account with your partner.
You can also often have different types of accounts with the same banks, such as a current account and a savings account or a regular saver and a fixed-rate ISA.
What are the advantages of having more than one bank account?
There are a few reasons why you might want to have more than one bank account. These include:
Perks and rewards: Banks often look to draw in new customers by offering incentives when opening a current account such as cash bonuses or high interest on in-credit balances. There can also be rewards such as cashback on bills or travel insurance as part of the package.
Easier budgeting: A separate account or a joint account with your partner for everyday bills and expenses could help you budget more easily rather than having all your income and outgoings in one account.
Building a savings pot: You could use a secondary account as a place to keep spare money you’re planning to save for a holiday, home improvements, or an emergency savings pot. However, an easy access or regular saver account might be a better option as you’re more likely to earn interest on your money.
Keeping business separate: If you run your own business or you’re self-employed , having a separate business bank account for your business income and expenditure will help with accounting.
A useful back-up: If your main account is frozen for card theft or suspected fraud, or the bank has a tech failure and you’re locked out, having an option to access your money in a back-up current account can be handy.
Financial protection: The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects the first £85,000 of your money in any financial institution. If you have more than this, it won’t be covered if the bank goes bust. It’s a good idea to open another account with a different banking group to take advantage of further FSCS protection. Remember some bank brands are owned by the same company – so always check your money is with different banks if you need to split your funds to stay within the FSCS limit.
Spending abroad: If you frequently travel overseas then setting up a foreign currency account, which you can transfer money into from your current account, can help you avoid fees when withdrawing money or making transactions abroad.
Trying another bank: If you’re fed up with your existing bank, having a second account elsewhere lets you test the service levels and systems of a new bank before deciding whether to move entirely.
What are the disadvantages of multiple accounts?
There are also some downsides to consider before opening more than one bank account.
Keeping track of your money: If you spread your money over different current accounts it could be harder to keep track of.
Higher risk of fraud: Every extra account gives fraudsters one more avenue to target.
Could affect your credit score: Multiple account applications in a short space of time could mean a temporary dip in your credit score. If you go overdrawn on different current accounts that could also negatively affect your score.
Paying multiple fees. Some bank accounts, such as packaged accounts, charge a monthly or annual fee. This isn’t a problem if you can justify this fee through the rewards the account gives you. But the thinner you spread your finances through current accounts, the less income or spending will happen in each. This tends to reduce the rewards you can gain, but you’ll still pay the monthly fee.
Will having two or more current accounts damage my credit score?
Having two or more current accounts won’t necessarily damage your credit score, but it could have a negative impact if you start dipping into multiple overdrafts – making it look as if your finances are becoming stretched.
When applying for a new current account with an overdraft, the bank will also run a credit check on you. Too many checks in a short period of time can knock your credit score temporarily.
Is it easy to open multiple current accounts?
It’s straightforward to apply for multiple current accounts, but you should always read the terms and conditions to make sure you are meeting the individual account provider’s criteria.
This might include paying in a minimum amount each month or having at least two direct debits coming out of the account. If you can’t meet the requirements, you may not be able to get the account up and running.
Can I have two current accounts if I have bad credit?
Having bad credit can make it more difficult to open more than one current account, especially if you are looking for an overdraft.
Each account provider has its own criteria and your credit score will be checked before you’re accepted. The better your credit score the more chance of being accepted. Our guide gives you simple tips on how to improve your credit score.
Our expert says...
"The current account market is extremely competitive with providers trying their hardest to attract and retain new customers. This means it’s possible to get a wide-range of rewards when you sign up to a new current account, from cash freebies to access to exclusive savings accounts. It can be a big benefit to have more than one current account, giving you access to cashback, rewards or interest paid on in-credit balances. But before you apply for a new account, it’s well worth researching how much you need the new account, if it will actually save you money, if there are any fees to pay, and if you’ll meet the requirements for the account in the first place."
Other useful guides
We have a range of guides to give you more information on current accounts. These include:
Compare current accounts with MoneySuperMarket
You can find a new current account quickly and simply with MoneySuperMarket. We work with some of the UK’s leading banks to show you the best options from across the market. You can sort bank accounts by overdraft limit, introductory offers, or even customer satisfaction – so you can be sure you’re choosing the right account for you.