first direct current accounts October 2019

If you're looking for reliable customer service and a nice switching incentive, consider a current account with first direct.

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First Direct
We say
★★★★★
Finder expert rating
You say
★★★★★
Customer satisfaction
  • Great customer service and digital experience
  • No physical branches - you have to go to HSBC

first direct has no physical branches but it’s well known for its 24/7 call centre where you can always find actual human beings answering the phone, no matter how late in the night it is.

It only offers one current account option, but the account comes with an enticing £100 switching incentive and access to a 5% regular savings account.

The benefits of banking with first direct

  • Switching incentive. If you’re unhappy with your bank, don’t hesitate to switch. These days you can easily get the equivalent of a couple of free dinners for two in cash as an incentive, and not only with first direct.
  • Multiple ways to bank. As we said, there are no physical branches, but you can bank on the phone, online or via the app. And if you need to pay cash or a cheque into your account, you can do it at one of HSBC’s branches or at the post office.
  • Access to a high-interest savings account. first direct’s Regular Saver Account allows you to pay in up to £300 a month for a year, and it pays a 5% AER (Annual Equivalent Rate), which makes it one of the top-paying accounts in the market.
  • Mobile banking app. first direct’s app is very easy to use, although it doesn’t offer loads of functionalities – no budgeting tools or categorisation of your spending here, sorry.
  • Global acceptance. first direct’s cards are either Mastercard or Visa, so you can shop pretty much anywhere in the world without having to worry about acceptance.
  • A wide range of related products. first direct also offers mortgages, loans, credit cards, insurance and savings accounts.
  • Round-the-clock assistance. You can give first direct a call at 3am and there will still be someone there to answer your call and help you out with whatever problem you’re having.

Opening an account with first direct

To open an account with first direct, you’ll have to provide the following information:

  • How much you expect to pay in each month
  • Your salary details and any assets you have
  • Your nationality/citizenship
  • Your residence status/tax residence status
  • Proof of identity (passport, UK driving license)
  • Proof of address (bank statement, utility bill)

You can open a first direct account online and send the documents online or by post.

Why should I compare current accounts anyway?

Different people have different banking needs. Depending on how you like to manage your finances (online, in person) and what you want to get out of your account (perks, rewards, an interest rate), there will be current accounts out there that are more or less suitable for you.

Also, banks often offer some kind of switching incentive to try and lure as many new customers as possible. If your bank isn’t treating you well, it’s worth checking what the competition has to offer.

What about digital banking?

Challengers such as Monzo, Starling and Revolut have been trying to change the traditional approach to banking by offering fee-free online accounts and smart mobile apps with a lot of techie features. You can check out the latest deals just below or head to our digital banking section to learn more.

Updated October 21st, 2019
Name Product UK ATM withdrawals Foreign ATM withdrawals Ratings
N26
Free
1.7% of amount drawn
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
£200 free monthly
£200 free monthly
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Free
Free
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
£200 free monthly
£200 free monthly
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app
Free
£200 free monthly
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
Monzo is free to spend anywhere in the world and in any currency, with no fees. All money is exchanged using the MasterCard rate.

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