Best Current Accounts

Open a current account that suits your needs, in this review.

Updated: May 27, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

|
Rachel Wait

Edited By

Rachel Wait

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Staying loyal to your bank rarely pays, and if you haven't switched your current account in a while, you could be missing out.

Some banks are currently offering up to £200 in cash if you switch to a current account with them. Others offer rewards such as cashback or even interest on your balance.

So if you've had enough of your current bank, now's the time to get switching to a new one.

In this guide I'll compare the best current accounts available in the UK.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Staling Bank★★★★★Learn more
2. Cashplus★★★★★Learn more
3. Revolut★★★★★Learn more
4. Nationwide★★★★Learn more
5. Royal Bank of Scotland★★★★Learn more
6. Santander★★★★Learn more
7. HSBC★★★★Learn more
8. TSB★★★★★Learn more
9. Barclays★★★★★Learn more
10. NatWest★★★★★Learn more

What Is a Current Account?

A current account is an everyday bank account that allows you to make deposits and withdrawals and pay bills.

You can have your salary paid into your account and you can use the funds in the account to transfer money to other people and companies. You can also set up direct debits and standing orders to help pay household bills.

Current accounts usually come with a debit card that you can use to pay for items instore or online as well as withdraw cash at an ATM.

How to Choose the Right Current Account

There's no one-size-fits-all solution. The right current account for someone else won't necessarily be the right account for you.

When comparing accounts and choosing the right one for you, it's important to think about the following:

  • Do you regularly dip into your overdraft? If so, the most important factor is to look for an account that charges a low rate of interest on overdrafts. If you don't need an overdraft, it's worth looking for an account that pays interest on your in-credit balance.
  • Are you happy to pay a fee each month? If you are, it could be worth looking at packaged accounts to see whether any of the benefits on offer work for you.
  • Do you regularly travel abroad? If the answer's yes, why not look for a current account that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees on debit card spending abroad?
  • How do you prefer to manage your account? If you're happy to bank online or by app, there are plenty of options available. But if you'd prefer to pop into a branch, you'll need to look for an account with a high street bank.
  • Do you qualify? Always check the eligibility criteria carefully before applying.

Best Current Accounts in 2024

If you're looking at opening a new bank account or simply want to switch your existing one then there are plenty of options.

BankStand Out Features
Starling BankFast account opening, fee-free card usage abroad, interest on in-credit balances, and round-up savings feature.
Cashplus AccountCredit building feature with a unique Activeplus service to improve credit score.
Revolut Standard AccountExcelling in international payments, offering currency conversion and international transfers without extra fees.
Nationwide FlexDirect£200 cash bonus for switching, 5% interest on balances, and no monthly fee.
Royal Bank of ScotlandNo-frills account offering basic banking with the option for an overdraft.
Santander EdgeRewards for direct debits, supermarket and travel spending, plus interest on balances.
HSBC Advance Bank AccountNo monthly fee, £25 interest-free overdraft, global banking features with the Global Money account.
TSB Spend & SaveRewards for making debit card payments, savings pots, and ‘Save the Pennies' feature.
Barclays Bank AccountCashback and interest through Barclays Blue Rewards, spending insights and flexible security controls in the app.
NatWest Reward Bank AccountMonthly rewards, cashback at partner retailers, and additional rewards for app usage and direct debits.

We've put together a list of the best current accounts based on our own research, factoring in fees, customer service, ease of opening, functionality and fees.

Account NameMonthly FeeInterest Rate (AER)AccessFSCS Protection
1. Staling Bank Personal Current Account£03.25% AER / 3.19% Gross (variable) interest on balances up to £5,000Online/AppYes
2. Cashplus Activeplus Account£5.95N/AOnline/AppYes
3. Revolut Standard Account£02.29% AER/Gross (variable)AppNo (safeguarded instead)
4. Nationwide FlexDirect Account£05% AER (4.89% gross a year) in-credit interest fixed for 12 months on balances up to £1,500Online/AppYes
5. Royal Bank of Scotland Select Account£0N/AOnline/AppYes
6. Santander Edge Current Account£3An optional savings account with 7.00% AER / 6.78% gross (variable) interest on balances up to £4,000 (includes 2.50% AER / 2.47% gross (variable) bonus rate for the first 12 months from opening) Online/AppYes
7. HSBC Advance Bank Account£0Access to 5.00% AER / gross Regular SaverOnline/AppYes
8. TSB Spend & Save Current Account£0Put money aside in Savings Pots, Earn 2.89% Gross / 2.92% AER VariableOnline/AppYes
9. Barclays Blue Rewards£55.12% AER/5% gross per year on balances of £1 to £5,000 and 1.15% gross per year variable for balances over £5,000Online/AppYes
10. NatWest Reward Bank Account£2RewardsOnline/AppYes

1. Starling Bank Personal Current Account – (Best Overall in 2024)

Starling Bank is a “challenger bank” and you'll need to manage your account via the mobile app. Opening an account can be completed in minutes.

Once up and running, you can make purchases online or in person with the debit card that comes with the account. You can use your card both in the UK and abroad fee-free.

On top of this, the account pays interest on in-credit balances up to £5,000. You can also use the round-up service which rounds up all transactions you make on your card and transfers the difference to a savings space.

These spaces enable you to put money aside in different jars to save for bills, holidays and so on.

The app enables you to easily keep track of your spending and your money will also be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (up to £85,000 per person, per financial institution).

2. Cashplus Activeplus Account

The Cashplus account can be opened in minutes via the app or online and once opened, you'll receive a Mastercard debit card to use instore and online.

But where the account really stands out is its offer of a credit builder feature, making it ideal for those looking to rebuild their credit score.

If you sign up to the credit builder feature (Activeplus, £5.95 per month), Cashplus lends you the equivalent of 12 months in account fees that you then repay in 12 monthly payments.

Cashplus reports your payments to the credit reference agencies and as long as you meet these payments each month, your credit score should start to improve.

If you don't need the credit builder feature, you can select the free Freedom account instead.

You'll also get purchase protection on card spending and your money will be protected by the FSCS too. You can also deposit cash payments into any Post Office branch.

3. Revolut Standard Account

An alternative to conventional banking services, this mobile app and payment card is tailored to the needs of consumers who often travel internationally.

The contactless Revolut card allows users to make purchases in foreign currencies without incurring any additional costs, as long as you stay within your monthly limit and carry out transactions on a weekday.

Monthly limits will depend on the plan you've chosen — there are five, with one of them having no monthly fee.

You'll also be able to convert money in 36 currencies in the app, which can be useful if you're heading abroad and could work to your advantage if exchange rates are favourable.

The account supports over 150 different currencies and you can also use Revolut to make international money transfers. Payments sent in euros to an account inside the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) are free on weekdays.

Other transfers will usually be charged a fee and this will depend on the currency involved.

Some of the paid-for plans also include perks such as cashback, travel insurance and airport lounge access.

4. Nationwide FlexDirect Account

Head’s up: If you switch to the Nationwide FlexDirect account and meet the requirements, you could get £200 cash. To qualify, you'll need to complete your switch with 60 days and make sure the account you're switching from (which can't be with Nationwide) has two or more active direct debits set up.

On top of that, this account has a lot of competitive features. You'll earn 5% interest on in-credit balances up to £1,500 for the first 12 months and 1% after that. To qualify, you must pay in at least £1,000 a month.

Alternatively, if you are in your overdraft, switch to this account and benefit from an interest-free overdraft for 12 months — giving you time to start clearing it and get back into the black.

There's no monthly fee for the account and your money is FSCS protected.

5. Royal Bank of Scotland Select Account

This is a basic bank account and there's no monthly fee. It could work for you if you're looking for a simple, no-frills account. There's also the option to apply for an overdraft on the account.

If you manage the account via the app you'll be able to keep track of your spending, categorise transactions and even keep up to date with your credit score.

You can apply for the account online as long as you're aged 18 or over and a UK resident.

6. Santander Edge Current Account

If you want something a little extra with your current account, the Santander Edge account could be it.

With this account, you can earn 1% cashback on selected household bills when you pay by direct debit, as well as 1% cashback at supermarkets and on travel costs when you use your debit card. You'll also receive interest on balances up to £25,000.

And the benefits don't stop there. There are no charges for using your debit card overseas, and you can get cashback, vouchers and personalised offers through the Santander Boosts rewards service.

However, the catch is that there is a £3 monthly fee to pay.

7. HSBC Advance Bank Account

There is no monthly fee for the HSBC Advance Account, and it includes a £25 interest-free overdraft, discounts at retail partners, and access to a regular savings account that pays 5% AER.

Customers must be 18 or older to open an HSBC Advance account. While HSBC will accept applications from outside the UK, non-UK residents might not be able to access all features of the account. The Advance Account can be opened on a joint or single basis.

If you open an account, you can also apply for a Global Money account that lets you convert, hold or send money in 50 currencies across 200 countries and regions worldwide.

8. TSB Spend & Save Current Account

This is another popular account for those looking to earn rewards.

By making 20 debit card payments every calendar month (direct debits/withdrawals excluded), you'll earn £5 cashback for the first six months.

On top of this, you can put money aside into savings pots and track how your savings pots are growing.

There's also a Save the Pennies feature, where each debit card payment is rounded to the nearest pound and transferred to your savings pot or any other eligible TSB savings account.

You will also have access to a £2,000 overdraft but interest applies.

9. Barclays Blue Rewards

To qualify, you must open the account in the app and join Barclays Blue Rewards. This will enable you to earn up to 15% cashback at selected brands, as well as up to 5% interest on your savings. However, Barclays Blue Rewards has a £5 monthly fee.

The account is a fairly straightforward bank account, and you can arrange an overdraft on the account if you need one. However, interest will be charged.

In the app, you'll get spending insights to help you budget better and flexible security controls, enabling you to freeze your card if you misplace it.

10. NatWest Reward Bank Account

If you switch to the NatWest Reward current account, you can earn up to £5 in monthly rewards for only £2 per month.

With this account, you can earn £4 a month back in Rewards if you have two or more direct debits on the account. Plus, an extra £1 a month in Rewards if you log in to the mobile app at least once each month.

You'll also be able to earn from 1% in Rewards when you spend on your debit card at partner retailers. Rewards can be redeemed as money back in your account, or trade them up for gift cards or charity donations.

The account has an overdraft and can be managed via the app. There's a £2 monthly fee.

Pros & Cons of Packaged Accounts

It's worth pointing out that some current accounts on the market require you to pay a monthly fee in return for the perks you receive with the account.

These “packaged accounts” often offer extras such as travel insurance and mobile phone insurance which can be tempting.

But before you apply for one of these accounts, you should check whether you already have this cover elsewhere and consider whether you are likely to make full use of the perks to be sure the fee is worth paying.

If you're thinking about applying for one of these accounts, here's a quick look at the pros and cons:

Pros

Bundled value — Choosing a packaged account can work out to be cheaper than buying each ‘perk' separately. However, it's worth researching this first. For example, if the account includes travel insurance, phone insurance and breakdown cover, check how much it would cost you to buy each one separately and compare this to the cost of the account.

✅  Low initial cost each month — Depending on the account, the fee could be as little as £3 a month. Others might be £15 a month. Look around and compare the benefits and costs of each option before making a final choice.

Access to preferential rates — Some bank accounts offer a wider range of benefits and might give you exclusive access to better rates on other financial products such as a mortgage or a savings account.

Cons

❌️ Tricky to evaluate — The value of the service may not justify the cost. You won't always be able to select the benefits you want so you could end up paying for services you don't need. If you do not drive, for instance, you won't need breakdown cover.

❌️ Exclusions apply — If your current account includes insurance, it's important to check exactly what you'll be covered for. For example, will the travel insurance policy cover winter sports or will you need to take out additional cover? Does it apply to the whole family or just you? Read the small print carefully as you might find the product isn't suitable and therefore not worth the cost.

❌️ Not suitable for everyone  — If you regularly go overdrawn, you'll likely be far better off looking for a current account that charges a low interest rate for using your overdraft. If you end up paying for a packaged account as well as high overdraft charges, it'll be very expensive.

Methodology

To determine the best accounts, we considered:

  • FCA Regulation Compliance
  • Ease of Account Accessibility
  • Customer Reviews
  • Hands-on Testing
  • Mobile App Functionality

For a detailed explanation of our assessment criteria, please visit our methodology page.

Related Guides:

FAQs

What do I need to know to get a bank account?

Can anybody open a bank account?

How can I cancel my current account?

Why should I open a new current account?

Should I notify my old bank that I have opened a new current account?

When I move current accounts, what will happen to my recurring payments?

Could I have another person join my existing account?

Where can I find instructions on updating my profile information?

What happens if my bank fails?

APR and AER... what do they mean?

May I open several current accounts?

How secure is my money in a current account?

What are the most recent incentives for changing banks?

Does opening too many current accounts at once lower my credit score?

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