Best Reward Current Accounts

Read on to discover the best reward current accounts.

Updated: May 18, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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What do you use your current account for? Most people will receive their salary in their current account and pay bills from their account via direct debit.

But, did you know you could also earn rewards just by using your current account?

Reward current accounts are used in the same way as standard current bank accounts yet you can earn cashback and discounts on purchases. 

In this article, we'll highlight the best reward current accounts available in the UK.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Santander★★★★★Click Here
2. NatWest★★★★★Click Here
3. Barclays★★★★★Click Here
4. Nationwide★★★★Click Here
5. The Co-operative Bank★★★★Click Here
6. First Direct★★★★★Click Here
7. Halifax★★★★★Click Here

What Is a Reward Current Account?

A reward current account is a current bank account that gives you rewards just for using it. 

Some reward accounts charge the user a monthly fee to maintain the bank account, and you might need to meet eligibility criteria. 

However, once you open your new reward account or switch bank accounts you will begin to experience the benefits immediately. You could receive rewards such as cashback, loyalty points or discounts each time you use your account for a transaction or even pay a utility bill.

Typically, most reward current accounts will offer incentives to attract the individual and entice them into opening an account. This could include a sum of money to switch your bank account to the new provider. 

Best Reward Current Accounts in 2024

We have reviewed the best reward current accounts so you can choose the best option for your circumstances:

Current AccountMonthly FeeKey Benefits
Santander Edge Up Current Account£5Cashback of up to £15 a month on direct debits
NatWest Reward Account£5Earn up to £5 monthly, 1% cashback with partners
Barclays Avios Reward£121,500 Avios monthly, bonuses, airport lounge access
Nationwide FlexPlus£13Free insurance (travel, mobile, vehicle), no debit card fees abroad
Co-operative Everyday Extra£15£125 referral reward, free insurances, breakdown cover
First Direct Current£0£175 welcome reward, prize draw, free overdraft
Halifax Reward Current£3 (£0 if conditions met)Select rewards, cashback options, no fee with conditions

1. Santander Edge Up Current Account — Best Overall Reward Account

Requirements

  • Fee: £5 per month
  • Minimum deposit: £1,500 per month
  • Must have two active Direct Debits 
  • Must be at least 18 years old and a permanent UK resident

Benefits

  • Up to £15 cashback each month on utility bills paid by Direct Debit
  • Up to £15 cashback per month on debit card supermarket and travel purchases
  • Overdraft available
  • Zero charges for using the Edge Up debit card abroad
  • Santander Boosts offer discounts and offers for popular brands

The Santander Edge Up is our favourite reward account, offering numerous benefits and rewards that you can enjoy on a monthly basis.

You can earn up to £15 cashback each month when paying your utility bills by Direct Debit. An additional cashback amount of £15 can also be earned when you use your debit card to pay for your supermarket shopping as well as travel expenses. 

Most people will pay their electricity bill with a Direct Debit anyway, along with paying for the supermarket shop with their debit card. Therefore, cashback of up to £30 per month can be easily obtained with the Santander Edge Up account.

Further rewards of the Santander Edge Up account include interest of 3.50% per month on the money in your account. You could also apply for an overdraft, although overdrafts are subject to eligibility and status. Furthermore, you can use your Santander Edge Up debit card abroad at no extra cost.

Santander offers the comprehensive Santander Boost program for additional rewards and discounts, helping you to save money on everyday purchases as well as one-off luxury buys.

To apply for a Santander Edge Up account, you must be a permanent UK resident and you must be aged 18 years old or over.  There is a £5 per month fee required to open and maintain this reward account along with a minimum deposit of £1,500 per month. 

In addition, you must ensure that at least 2 active Direct Debits are connected to your reward account.

2. NatWest Reward Bank Account — Best for Simplicity

Requirements

  • Fee: £2 per month
  • Minimum deposit: £1,250 per month
  • Must be at least 18 years old and a permanent UK resident
  • Can hold one reward account singularly and one in a joint account

Benefits

  • Earn £4 per month when two active Direct Debits are connected to your account
  • Earn £1 per month by using the mobile banking app
  • Receive 1% back from purchases made at partner retailers
  • Rewards can be turned into cash or e-gift codes

The NatWest Reward Bank Account is so simple to use to get the most out of your rewards. Simply by connecting two Direct Debits to your reward account, you can earn £4 per month. Each Direct Debit must total more than £2 in value, however. 

You can also earn £1 each month by using the mobile banking app, which is an easy £5 reward each month for completing normal tasks.

Further rewards can be gained by receiving 1% cashback on purchases made with partner retailers. You can save your rewards and then either turn the rewards into cash or turn them into e-gift codes. You could use the e-gift codes yourself or gift them to a friend or family member. You could even donate your rewards to charity.

To open or switch to the NatWest Reward Bank Account, you will need to pay £5 per month and ensure that at least £1,250 per month is deposited into your account. You will also need to be at least 18 years old and be a permanent UK resident.

You can only have one reward account with NatWest in your sole name, however, although you can have a reward account in joint names.

3. Barclays Avios Reward Account — Best for Travel Rewards

Requirements

  • Fee: £12 per month
  • Must be a Premier customer or hold a Personal Wealth current account
  • Must be a UK resident and registered to the Barclays mobile banking app
  • Have a British Airways Executive Club membership
  • Must choose either Avios Rewards or Barclays Blue Rewards

Benefits

  • Earn 1,500 Avios every month
  • Receive a bonus reward when you join
  • Enjoy an anniversary bonus reward
  • Use your Airport Lounge Membership

The Barclays Avios Reward Account is a superb reward account for frequent travellers. You could enjoy 1,500 Avios rewards points every month which are uploaded straight to your British Airways Executive Club membership account.

Under the scheme, 20,500 Avios points are required to purchase a peak return flight on a British Airways economy flight from the UK to Nice. 

Saving your 1,500 Avios points each month will mean that a free return flight could be yours in just over one year since your Barclays Avios Reward Account opened.

Receive your free flight sooner with 2,500 bonus rewards points when you join the scheme in addition to a 7,000 Avios points reward on the anniversary of your account opening.

You will also receive Airport Lounge Membership to enjoy discounted access to worldwide airport lounges, helping you relax and escape the crowds.

To join the Barclays Avios Rewards Account, you will need to pay £12 per month and be a UK resident. You must be a Premier customer or you must hold a Personal Wealth current account. Furthermore, you must be registered to the Barclays mobile banking app.

Additionally, to open the Barclays Avios Reward Account, you must have British Airways Executive Club membership.

Barclays offers a different reward scheme called the Barclays Blue Rewards. However, Barclays requests that customers choose one reward scheme they want to join so it is not possible to enjoy both rewards plans.

4. Nationwide FlexPlus Current Account — Best for Extras

Requirements

  • Fee: £13 per month
  • Hold no more than four Nationwide current accounts
  • Must be at least 18 years old and a permanent UK resident

Benefits

  • Free worldwide travel insurance for your family
  • Free mobile phone insurance for your family
  • Free vehicle breakdown cover for Europe
  • Zero charges to use your debit card abroad

The Nationwide FlexPlus Current Account is the perfect reward account if you are looking for extras. You can obtain a range of free products when opening a FlexPlus account, or switching from another provider.

You will receive free travel insurance for your whole family, providing global coverage. Furthermore, your family will also receive free mobile phone insurance.

If that is not enough free extras, you will also receive free vehicle breakdown cover for the whole of Europe, covering your vehicle whether you are home or away. Additionally, when you are abroad, there is no charge to use your debit card in any country.

To apply for the Nationwide FlexPlus Current Account, you must be at least 18 years old and be a permanent UK resident. There is a fee of £13 to pay each month, and you are prohibited from holding more than four single or joint Nationwide current accounts.

5. The Co-operative Bank Everyday Extra Account — Best for a Referral Incentive

Requirements

  • Fee: £15 per month
  • Must be a UK resident and aged between 18 and 79 years old

Benefits

  • Free AXA worldwide travel insurance 
  • Free LSG mobile phone insurance for your family
  • Free RAC UK & European vehicle breakdown cover
  • £125 referral reward for you and your friend

The Co-operative Everyday Extra Account is the best reward account for a referral incentive. If you are an existing customer with The Co-operative, you can receive £125 when recommending an Everyday Extra Account to a friend. Your friend will also receive £125 once the switch is complete.

Additional rewards and benefits of this reward account include free AXA worldwide travel insurance with zero excess to pay on claims. Your cover includes UK holiday cover as well as replacement of lost luggage and winter sports cover.

You will also receive RAC UK & European breakdown cover for your vehicle, including electric vehicles. This cover includes three days’ car hire and alternative transport or accommodation.

Additionally, LSG worldwide mobile phone insurance is included in your reward and benefit package. You will be covered for loss, theft and accidental damage up to the value of £1,500 as well as cover for your accessories up to a limit of £350. There is an excess of £75 per claim, however.

To apply for the Co-operative Everyday Extra Account, you must pay a fee of £15 per month. You also must be a UK resident and be aged between the ages of 18 and 79 years old.

6. First Direct Current Account — Best for Zero Monthly Fee

Requirements

  • Zero monthly fee
  • Minimum deposit: £1,000 over the first 3 months
  • Must be at least 18 years old and a permanent UK resident

Benefits

  • Receive £175 as a welcome reward
  • Be entered into a prize draw to win £12,500
  • Access a £250 interest-free overdraft
  • Zero fees when using your debit card abroad
  • Gain eligibility to the 7% AER/gross Regular Saver Account

The First Direct Current Account does not require that you pay a monthly fee to access its rewards and benefits. The only stipulation is that you must deposit at least £1,000 into your bank account during the first three months of opening. 

You will receive a reward gift of £175 and you will be entered into a prize draw to win £12,500. Furthermore, you can be assured that when you travel abroad, you will never be charged to use your First Direct debit card in a different country.

Additional benefits include access to an interest-free overdraft worth £250, subject to status, as well as gaining access to the Regular Saver Account, offering 7% AER/gross.

To apply for the first Direct Current Account, you must be at least 18 years old and you must be a permanent UK resident.

7. Halifax Reward Current Account — Best for Tailored Rewards

Requirements

  • Monthly fee: £3
  • Minimum deposit: £1,500 per month 
  • Spend £500 on your debit card each month
  • Stay in credit and do not get overdrawn
  • Must be at least 18 years old and a permanent UK resident

Benefits

  • No monthly fee to pay if you deposit £1,500 per month
  • Choose your own reward from cashback, a cinema ticket, or digital magazines
  • Receive savings account offers
  • Earn cashback extras at 15% from some retailers

The Halifax Reward Current Account is a great choice if you want to choose your own rewards. If you meet the criteria, you could choose £5 cashback, or a cinema ticket, or three digital magazines.

You can also save on your monthly account fee if you deposit £1,500 per month into your account. The account fee is usually £3 per month but you will pay zero if eligible.

Additional benefits include receiving access to savings accounts such as the Reward Bonus Saver or the ISA Reward Bonus Saver. You could also earn 15% cashback when you spend money at certain retailers with your Halifax Reward Current Account.

To apply for this reward account, you must be at least 18 years old or over and a permanent UK resident. You must pay a monthly fee of £3, unless you deposit £1,500 per month into the account and then you pay nothing.

Furthermore, you must spend at least £500 on your debit card each month and you must also stay in credit and ensure that your account never becomes overdrawn.

Are Reward Current Accounts Worth It?

Reward accounts from your bank are worth it as long as you use the rewards and benefits you receive. So, if your reward account provides you with free travel insurance yet you rarely travel abroad, you are not receiving any benefit from this reward.

Reward accounts will cost you money each month to maintain, although the cost of maintaining a reward account can be nominal. 

For example, the NatWest Reward Account charges you a fee of £2 per month whereas the Halifax Reward Current Account requires a £3 monthly fee. These amounts are typical fees that you will find across many providers for most reward accounts.

However, the more rewards provided through a reward account usually means a higher fee. One of the most expensive rewards accounts is the RBS Reward Platinum which will cost you £20 per month. In return, you will receive discounts on eating out and visiting the cinema as well as free family travel insurance, UK breakdown cover, and mobile phone insurance.

What Type of Rewards Can I Expect From Reward Accounts?

The main types of rewards distributed by reward accounts include cashback, discounts, loyalty points, high interest, free travel insurance, or a discount railcard.

Cashback

Receiving cashback will always be an attractive reward for a consumer. For example, the Santander Edge Up current account will offer you £15 cashback each month when you pay utility bills from your reward account. 

You can also receive £15 cashback per month when making travel and supermarket purchases through the Santander Edge Up account. 

Additional cashback can be accumulated with the account, including £150 cashback when you take out a BUPA PMI health insurance policy or £150 cashback when taking out an Aviva life insurance policy.

In total, cashback incentives can provide you with a lucrative reward just by paying bills and other purchases through your reward account.

Discounts

You could access exclusive discounts from big-name brands through your reward current account, for both purchases and services. This could include discounts on cinema tickets and daily purchases or discounts on gym membership and travelling.

Loyalty Points

Some reward current accounts link with popular loyalty schemes, such as Sainsbury’s Nectar Points. This entices the customer to spend money through their reward account to boost their Nectar Points, eventually saving enough points to spend on free purchases.

High Interest

You could secure a high interest rate when signing up to a rewards account, gaining interest on the money in your account. For example, Barclays offers Blue Rewards where you could obtain 5.12% on £5,000, earning you around £250.

Travel Insurance

Your reward account could provide you with free travel insurance. The NatWest Silver Account comes with free European travel insurance, for example, covering the account holder. 

However, NatWest’s Platinum and Black Accounts include free worldwide travel insurance for your entire family. This reward could save you a substantial amount of cash, particularly if you travel abroad several times per year.

Railcard

Some student bank accounts offer a discounted or free rail card for students, providing a worthwhile benefit for students who use train transport daily. The Santander 123 student current account provides a free Santander 16 – 25 Railcard, applicable for 4 years.

Do Reward Accounts Offer Incentives to Switch Bank Accounts?

Some reward accounts offer incentives to switch your bank account, as well as a current account switch service so they do all of the work for you.

You could gain £175 when switching your account to First Direct, for example, or £125 when referring a friend so you both switch to the Co-operative Bank Everyday Extra Account.

Remember to do your research before switching bank accounts, however. Even if the financial incentive is attractive, consider whether the reward account will benefit you overall. 

Will you use any discounts or rewards that come with the reward account? Can you afford the monthly reward account fee? If the answer is no, then the incentive to switch to the reward account might not be in your best interests.

Is There a Minimum Deposit Required for Reward Accounts?

Almost every reward account will require a minimum deposit into your account each month. 

However, this is money that you can then go on to spend on bills and other transactions, as a reward account is typically a current account. This is different to a savings account where you cannot easily spend the money deposited into the account.

The amount of cash that should be deposited each month into a reward account will differ according to the bank and the specific reward account you have joined. 

The lowest minimum deposits required are by Santander at £500 each month for their 123 Lite Current Account and their standard 123 Current Account. The highest minimum deposit, however, is required by Halifax for their Reward Current Account, requiring £1,500 per month.

Whilst the minimum deposits required by a reward account seem high, most people will pay their salary into the account to meet the requirement. You can then allow your utility bills and other direct debits to be paid automatically out of your reward account without any effort.

At a Glance, Reward Current Accounts Pros and Cons

Are you still unsure about the benefits and limitations of opening or switching to a reward account? 

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of rewards accounts to provide you with the clear information you need to make a decision:

Pros

✔️ Easy to switch — banks want you to join them and open a bank account. Therefore, it is easy to either open a new bank account or switch your current bank account over to a new provider. They will complete the process for you using the current account switching service. 

To switch to a new bank account, find the bank account you want to switch to and apply with your new bank or building society. You will need to provide proof of your identity and proof of your address when applying and complete the necessary documents.

When switching accounts, you will agree on a switch date. Once this date arrives, the switch will be complete.

✔️ Cashback — many reward accounts offer cashback when using the account to make purchases and pay bills. You could be given a 1% cashback on purchases, for example, or a set amount paid back to you when a set of criteria has been met.

✔️ Rewards — other rewards you could acquire from a reward account include free travel insurance, UK breakdown cover, or discounts on eating out.

✔️ Incentives — many accounts will offer an incentive to join, such as £150, gift vouchers, or a free life insurance or building and contents policy. If you intend to switch to a reward account anyway, such incentives can provide you with a substantial benefit.

Cons

❌️ Monthly fee — you will need to pay a monthly fee to maintain a reward account and to use its reward features. The minimum you could pay each month for a reward account is £2, with most accounts operating a £3 or £5 monthly fee. 

However, if you want the best rewards and the most from your reward account, you might need to pay a higher fee of £10 or even £20 per month. For a higher fee, you could receive rewards such as free travel insurance and mobile phone insurance.

❌️ Minimum deposit — each month, you will need to pay a minimum deposit into your reward account to ensure you abide by all terms. 

The minimum deposit may require £500 to £1,500 to be paid into the account each month. However, you can still use this money for your bills and other purchases.

❌️ Unused rewards — if you do not use the rewards provided by your reward account, you could be wasting the benefits. For example, if you are provided with free UK breakdown cover when you do not drive a car, are you gaining the most from your reward account? 

Likewise, if you are given free gym membership by your reward account yet you also pay for a different gym membership, you are not using the rewards and benefits of the account fully.

❌️ Meeting the terms of the account — you must be fully aware of the terms of the account or else you could forfeit the rewards and propel the reward account into closure.

Our Verdict

With so many different reward accounts to choose from, there really is a superb option for everyone.

The top best reward current account is the Santander Edge Up, requiring a low monthly fee and a standard minimum deposit yet offering numerous benefits.

You could receive £30 per month in cashback through this account, totalling £360 per year. Further rewards and discounts are also accessible through the Santander Boost program where you can choose the benefits you would like.

Another top option for the best reward account is the NatWest Reward Bank Account. Requiring a small fee of £2 per month, the NatWest Reward bank Account will reward you £4 each month when two Direct Debits are connected to your account, as well as £1 each month just for using the mobile banking app.

Further rewards can be gained, receiving 1% back from purchases made at partner retailers. Your rewards can be saved and then turned into cashback or e-gift codes, tailored to your preferences.

Related Guides:

FAQs

Can anyone get a reward bank account?

Is it worthwhile opening a reward bank account?

What is a cashback current account?

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