Best bank accounts

Not all banks are born equal. Uncover the best bank accounts for you plus smart ways to make the most of your money.

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Best bank accounts by customer satisfaction

In July 2019, we ran a customer satisfaction survey on current accounts. 1,000 people answered and told us how happy they are with their current account provider. We’ve turned their answers into a rating of one to five. Here’s the full list of providers we’ve considered, and how they’ve scored.

Star ratings Current account Review
5 Starling Starling’s mobile-only current account is easy to open and manage and the app is packed with features. Starling’s customers expressed the highest levels of satisfaction, only rivalled by Monzo’s. Visit Starling
5 Monzo Monzo is by far the most popular digital-only bank in the UK – apparently for a good reason. New features are constantly being added to its app-based current account, that comes with a bright “coral” (pinkish) debit card. Read our review
4.5 Revolut Revolut’s multicurrency digital account is great for travelling and even better for sending money abroad. You can exchange and hold 29 different currencies for free and also use it as a standard UK account. Visit Revolut
4 Nationwide The last building society that does banking on a national level, Nationwide offers a good range of current accounts that come with great incentives and perks, from a switching bonus to interest paid on your balance to insurance options. Read our review
4 Santander Santander comes with all the advantages of a big bank and offers a wide range of current accounts. Among its top-selling points is the option of earning cashback on your bills. Read our review
4 Barclays Barclay’s current accounts aren’t half bad. They come with the option of earning rewards at selected retailers. Plus, it’s Barclays – for people who like sticking with the big brands, it doesn’t get much better than that. Read our review
4 First Direct Known for providing great customer service on the phone 24/7, First Direct only offers one current account option, but it’s a very solid one. And there’s also a switching incentive to make it more appealing. Read our review
4 Lloyds Bank Another big bank that got a solid score in our survey. Lloyds’s bank accounts suit a wide range of needs, the banking app is not too bad for a traditional bank and there’s also the opportunity to earn interest on your balance. Read our review
4 Metro Bank One of the few challenger banks that also has a good network of branches, Metro Bank offers only offers one current account, whose top feature is that it doesn’t charge you for using the card or withdrawing cash in Europe. Read our review
4 N26 Still fairly new to the UK market, German challenger N26 offers a pretty straightforward mobile-only current account with a slick app. It’s also working on bringing its most advanced features, such as overdrafts, to the UK. Visit N26 Bank
3.5 NatWest NatWest has one of the top switching incentive on the market, and you can choose between free and rewards accounts. If that sounds appealing but you’re still unsure, you’ll be glad to hear that it also got a decent score in our survey. Read our review
3.5 HSBC HSBC also offers a great switching incentive, a good range of current accounts and all the benefits of a big bank, including 24/7 support and access to a regular savings account with a top rate. Read our review
3 Bank of Scotland Bank of Scotland doesn’t feature a huge range of accounts nor are they particularly exciting, but there’s a very solid package account option available that comes with loads of insurance benefits. Read our review
3 Halifax The most notable features of Halifax’s current accounts are a few good reward and insurance options, plus a fee-free overdraft option when you join. Read our review
3 Monese Another straightforward digital-only account that’s especially good for travellers or people who often have to change country, Monese lets you open a euro account side by side with your UK one, for free. Visit Monese
3 RBS Royal Bank of Scotland is Natwest’s Scottish little sister. Just like its sibling, it also offers a competitive switching incentive and a very solid selection of rewards accounts featuring cashback on your bills. Read our review
3 TSB TSB’s current accounts are solid and it’s one of the few remaining banks offering an interest rate on its standard current account. Plus, you only need to pay in £500 a month to qualify for it. Read our review

So, are these the best current accounts available on the market?

Well, yes and no. These are the current accounts its customers are most satisfied with. Our customer satisfaction survey asked account holders whether they would recommend their account to a friend and how they would rate it from one to five.

So, a good result on the survey does mean that many people think a certain account provider does a good job. What it does not mean is that that same account provider is good for everyone.

For example, challenger banks Monzo and Starling top the survey, but if you like going to a branch and discussing your banking options in person, or having loads of different current accounts to choose among, you’ll be disappointed. It’s all about figuring out your banking style and ultimately choosing the account that’s best for you, not for anyone.

Learn more about our customer satisfaction survey

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Who can get a current account?

To be eligible to open a current account, you must be a legal UK resident, and at least sixteen years old. Some banks may stipulate that you must be eighteen if you don’t have parental approval. You may also need to be credit checked – this is because many current accounts will come with an overdraft that may be reduced if you have a poor credit history.

Which bank account should I choose?

Before you answer this question, you should ask “what do I need from my bank account?”

  • Are you looking to put a bit of money away each month?
  • Do you want to put some money away and restrict access to it?
  • Are you after rewards or hoping to maximise interest?

Work out what you need before comparing the options.

4 key bank account features to compare

Sifting through small print can take forever. For those of you with better things to do, finder.com/uk have put together tables, lists and guides which allow you to make the right decision quickly. Here are a few of the main things to look out for when comparing bank accounts:

1. Interest rates

  • This one is important. Getting the highest interest rate will mean your money will work harder for you.

2. Small fees (preferably none)

  • Most banks nowadays don’t charge a monthly fee for maintaining accounts. But you should check. If you’re currently paying a monthly fee, then you need to assess whether the account is worth it.
  • This also applies to penalty fees. If you think you’re likely to end up in your overdraft, then pick an account which will allow that. Don’t end up stuck in account which penalises you every time you dip into the overdraft.

3. Access to your cash

  • This depends on your preferences and personal savings goals. While many savings account allow you almost instant access, some require that you plan ahead and give advance notice of withdrawals.

4. Rewards

  • Some accounts offer rewards and benefits in the form of shopping vouchers, exclusive rates or products. If this sounds up your street then take a look at the accounts which offer these sort of extras.

Who are the ‘big four’ banks in the UK?

Barclays

Barclays is a multinational banking and financial services based in London. It is a universal bank with operations in retail, wholesale and investment banking – as well as wealth management, mortgage lending and credit cards. Barclays has operations in more than 50 countries and territories with around 48 million customers.

HSBC

HSBC is another multinational banking and financial services company also headquartered in London. It is the world’s sixth largest bank by total assets and the largest in Europe.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Bank is a retail and commercial bank with branches across England and Wales. The bank was founded in Birmingham in 1765. It expanded during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and took over a number of smaller banking companies.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), is one of the retail banking subsidiaries of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, together with NatWest and Ulster Bank. The Royal Bank of Scotland has around 700 branches, mainly in Scotland though there are branches in many larger towns and cities throughout England and Wales.

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Just some of the financial institutions we compare

HSBC
Barclays
RBS
NatWest
Cooperative Bank
Lloyds
Nationwide
Santander
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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AshleyDecember 22, 2018

    Which bank should I switch to for Brexit?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Ashley,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      As a comparison website, we are not permitted to provide specific recommendations or personalised advice. However, what I can advise is for you to find a bank that best fits your needs, preference, and budget. On this page, we have provided some guides and tips for you to remember when finding a new bank. Please review them before making a decision.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  2. Default Gravatar
    DavidNovember 10, 2018

    I am moving back to UK from USA in late Jauary 2019.
    I am a British Citizen born in UK and wish to open a checking & debit card a/c to have my US & UK pension transferred to. How best to arrange this?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaNovember 22, 2018Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Yes, it is possible that you are able to transfer your money from the US to UK. However, you would need to directly get in touch with your chosen bank to know the exact step on how to do it.

      Moreover, please note that regularly doing a bank to bank money transfer can be costly. You may want to consider other faster and cheaper options here.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    CustomerMarch 21, 2018

    hello. yea so i want to open a new bank account and i dont know which i should chose i want to save money but again to pay small fees and get some bonus % of my saving money and i want to use my card for shopping online or to take something from like vodafone or to take or to take loan and pay monthly which bank is the best and has good reputation and i will not loose my money> Thank you

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMarch 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Customer,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Depending on the type of savings account you need, you can compare your options on this page. These savings accounts are offered by reputable banks and let you earn standard and bonus interest rates. Whenever you need to access your account for whatever purpose or reason, you can also withdraw your funds anytime. Please review the details and T&Cs of the accounts first before you consider it’s the right product for you.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

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