Finder Award

HSBC student accounts review

HSBC offers a current account designed to help students with their studies.

Finder rating: ★★★★★

Check out the account benefits and overdraft limits available with HSBC in our guide to opening its student account.

Types of current account for students

HSBC has one current account available for students – the HSBC Student Bank Account.

Below, you’ll learn about the benefits and incentives associated with this account.

Product NameStudent Bank Account
Card typeCash / Debit
Debit networkVisa
Minimum opening balance£0.01
Account fees£0
Interest (AER)0% AER
Funding requirementNo minimum funding requirement
Daily cash machine limit£300
At end of termAccount transferred automatically to graduate account
Maximum overdraft in year 1£1,000
Maximum overdraft in year 2£2,000
Maximum overdraft in year 3£3,000
Overseas card transactions2.75%
Overseas cash withdrawals2.75% conversion fee plus 2% cash fee
Account offerReceive £100 when opening a Student Bank Account and make a minimum of 5 transactions within 30 days of opening.


To be eligible for this account, you need to be at least 18 years old, with a confirmed place on a qualifying educational course in the United Kingdom. Undergraduate and postgraduate degrees all count as qualifying courses, as do several other qualifications.

On top of that, you’ll need to have lived in the UK for at least three years, and this must be your only student bank account.

How to open an account

You can apply for an HSBC Student Bank Account online or in-branch.

As part of your application, you’ll need to provide some basic personal details, financial details and information about your course.

Your 16-digit UCAS code will serve as proof that you’ve been accepted onto your course and you won’t be able to complete your application until you have this code.

The benefits

  • Interest-free overdraft. You’ll be given an interest-free overdraft of £1,000 when you open the account. This can increase to a maximum limit of £2,000 in your second year and £3,000 in your final year.
  • Option to apply for a credit card. HSBC also offers a student credit card. As a student current account holder with the bank, you’ll be eligible to apply.
  • Incentives for opening and using the student account. You’ll get a £100 cash reward, all you’ll need to do is make five debit card transactions within a month of opening your account. Discounts are also available at Costa Coffee, ASOS, Boohoo and more, with HSBC’s home&Away offers programme.

Pros and cons


  • An interest-free overdraft, with a limit increasing up to £3,000 in your final year.
  • Incentives for opening and using the account.


  • This account is not available to international students.
  • This account is not available to apprentices.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to get my student loan paid into this HSBC account?

No. This account comes with no regular funding requirements. See how that compares in our comparison of student accounts.

How much does it cost to use the HSBC student debit card overseas?

When you use your card overseas, you'll pay a non-sterling charge of 2.75%. For, example, if you spend the local equivalent of £250, you'll be charged £6.88.

Because it's a Visa, you'll find it's accepted pretty much anywhere that takes card payments.

Compare options for keeping costs down when spending abroad.

How much does it cost to withdraw cash overseas using the HSBC student debit card?

You'll pay a currency conversion fee of 2.75% plus a cash fee of 2%. For, example, if you take out the equivalent of £150, you'll be charged £4.13 plus the cash fee of £3.00. Withdraw 250 euros (that's around £215.15) at an ATM in Paris and it'll cost you £5.92 plus the cash fee of £4.30. Don't forget that the local cash machine provider may charge its own fee too.

Does HSBC's interest-free student overdraft limit increase over time?

Yes. While the opening interest-free overdraft limit is capped at £1,000, this increases to a maximum of £3,000 in year three. Check out our full comparison of student accounts to see the interest-free overdrafts available to UK students with a breakdown of each account's limit in each year of your course.

Our verdict

There’s an interest-free overdraft with the HSBC Student Bank Account, which grows to a substantial £3,000 in your third year. There are also some incentives for opening and using this account, which currently include a cash reward.

There are other student accounts out there which offer a large overdraft along with a range of freebies or cashback offers and retail discounts, so it’s worth comparing all the student accounts on the UK market.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.
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