Can you have more than one current account?

There are many reasons why you might need more than one current account. Find out all you need to know in our guide.

Applying for more than one current account can offer a range of benefits, but is there a limit to the number you can have? We take a look.

Can I have more than one current account?

Contrary to what some people believe, you can open as many current accounts as you like with different providers – there is no limit.

In some cases, you can even open several accounts with the same bank, though this will depend on the bank’s criteria. For example, you might be able to open more than one account with the same bank so long as they are different types of current accounts. Or you might be able to open 2 of the same account with the same bank, providing one is a sole account and one is a joint account.

Why it can be a good idea to have more than one current account

There are many reasons why you might want to have more than one current account. We’ve outlined some of them below:

  • You might want a joint account as well as an individual account. Joint accounts can help you manage household bills and other expenses with a partner or housemate.
  • You might want both a personal account and a business account to keep your business expenses separate from your own.
  • Some current accounts pay competitive interest rates, so you might choose to keep some of your savings in a high interest account.
  • Different accounts can help you to budget better. For example, you might have a current account for your mortgage or rent and other bills and another for everyday spending.
  • If you regularly send money abroad or travel overseas, you might want an additional current account that holds multiple currencies or an account that offers fee-free transactions abroad.
  • If you hold a lot of money in your current account – more than the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) limit of £85,000 – it is best to spread it across more than one account to guarantee protection. Remember that some banks share the same banking licence, such as HSBC and First Direct, so the £85,000 limit will apply across both brands. (Joint accounts are protected up to £170,000.)
  • You might want to take advantage of the perks and rewards offered by some current accounts, such as cashback or travel insurance.
  • More than one account means you’ll always have access to money – even if a bank has a tech failure or your card is frozen due to fraud or loss.

Does opening another current account affect your credit score?

Opening a bank account could lower your credit score temporarily, but this is only likely to be a problem if you open several accounts in a short space of time.

Each time you apply for a current account, a credit search will be carried out. If you make a number of applications close together, lenders will see multiple searches on your credit report and this could indicate you’re desperate for credit. As a result, they may be less willing to accept your application. To reduce the risk of this happening, try to space out your applications by around 6 months.

How to open another current account

Opening a second or third current account can be done in the same way as opening your first. You simply choose which account you want to open and fill in the application form. Depending on the bank, you can do this in branch, over the phone or online. You can compare current accounts here.

You’ll usually need to provide proof of ID and proof of address, along with your address history and income details. If you’re opening a second account with the same bank, you may not need to provide all of this information.

Just remember that it’s important to check the eligibility criteria carefully. Many current accounts – particularly those that offer rewards – require a certain amount to be paid in each month or a set number of direct debits to be paid out of the account on a monthly basis. Be sure you can meet these criteria before applying.

How to manage your multiple accounts

If you want to have multiple bank accounts, it’s crucial that you’re organised. You will need to be able to keep track of your finances across the different accounts and understand what’s being paid in or out at what point.

To give you a helping hand, it’s worth setting up standing orders to ensure your money ends up where it should. Once your salary is paid into an account, for example, you might want to set up standing orders that direct money to your different accounts for different purposes.

There are also apps you can use that will aggregate all of your balances onto one screen so you can easily keep track of what’s going where.

Pros and cons of having more than one current account

Pros

  • You can have different current accounts for different purposes.
  • You may be able to take advantage of different rewards and perks.
  • You’ll always have access to funds in the event something goes wrong at one of your banks.

Cons

  • Multiple current accounts can be harder to manage.
  • Your credit score could be affected if you open too many accounts at once.
  • Different account fees can be hard to keep on top of.

Bottom line

Holding multiple current accounts can provide a range of benefits, whether you’re looking to get better at budgeting, take advantage of current account rewards or want a separate account for foreign transactions. However, it’s important to ensure you’ll be able to meet the qualifying criteria for each account, remember to space out your applications and check you’ll be able to keep on top of all transactions.

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