Virgin Money is one of the newer UK banks, occupying a space between the traditional high street banks and digital-only challengers. It has developed a comprehensive current account offering, which includes interest on your balance and free overseas card use. We’ve rounded up its benefits and drawbacks, so you can find out more about whether this current account is what you’re looking for.
Compare Virgin Money’s current accounts
What types of bank account does Virgin Money offer?
Virgin Money has been around since 1995 (when it was know as Virgin Direct) and is now part of a wider banking group that includes Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank.
Virgin Money started out specialising in savings accounts, ISAs and mortgages, but it now also offers a basic bank account, a packaged account and a full personal current account, the latter of which we focus on here.
The packaged account, Club M, offers travel insuance, roadside breakdown cover and mobile phone insurance for a monthly fee. You can learn more about its features in our review.
The benefits of banking with a Virgin Money current account
- No monthly fees. There are no charges for having this account.
- Managed digitally. You can view and manage your account both online and through a mobile banking app.
- Secure sign-in. Use your face, fingerprint or passcode to log in.
- Contactless debit card. It’s free to make purchases in the UK and abroad, and free to withdraw money at ATMs in the UK and overseas.
- Spending categorisation. View and sort your daily spending by category.
- Spending pots. Create savings pots to set money aside for any financial goals or luxury items you’re saving up for.
- It pays interest. You can earn 2.02% (AER), paid monthly on current account balances of up to £1,000.
- Linked savings account. You can earn interest of 2.52% (AER), paid quarterly on your savings balance.
- Overdraft available. You have the option to apply for an arranged overdraft.
- Telephone banking. Lines are open 7am-9pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday.
- Access to Virgin Money “stores” on the high street. These are more like lounges rather than bank branches – and there aren’t many of them around. But you can enjoy a comfy seat, a drink and some free Wi-Fi, as well as talk to in-store staff about your banking products (although notably, you can’t carry out physical banking transactions in all stores).
Can I pay cash and cheques into a Virgin Money current account?
Yes you can, although not at all of its high street stores (use Virgin Money’s store finder to check). If you can’t get to a store that does let you pay in cash, you can instead head to your local Post Office, where you can pay money into your Virgin Money current account for free.
For cheques, you can pay in those worth up to £500 via your banking app, where you can deposit it by taking a photo of it. Once you’re logged in, go to “More”, select ‘Account Services’, then ‘Deposit a cheque’ and follow the on-screen instructions. Alternatively, you can post your cheque to Virgin Money or pay the cheque in at your local Post Office using a paying in slip.
How can I open a current account with Virgin Money?
To open one of these current accounts, Virgin Money says:
- You must be aged over 18
- You should have a reasonably good credit history
- You can apply online or over the phone
- You’ll need to supply your name and address
- You’ll need a form of ID such as a passport or driving licence
How safe is a Virgin Money current account?
Virgin Money is a fully licensed UK bank, which means that as well as being regulated by the PRA and FCA, any customer deposits up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Virgin Money customer reviews
Virgin Money was ranked eleventh out of 18 current account providers in our independent 2023 customer satisfaction survey. Its users gave the brand 4.5 out of 5 stars and 75% said they’d recommend the current account service. Users highlighted the bank’s competitive in-credit interest rates and its user-friendly mobile app. Here’s what some of those Virgin Money customers had to say in our survey:
“Virgin Money has a great app. Very good interest rates. Staff are very helpful.”
“Good reliable app, can do everything I need to online.”
“It’s a modern bank and constantly evolves.”
On the Apple App Store, Virgin Money’s mobile banking app scored 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on a total of 94,000 user reviews. On the Google Play Store, it scores just 3.4 out of 5 stars, based on just over 500,000 reviews (last updated, February 2023).
Pros and cons of a Virgin Money current account
- Can apply for and manage the account digitally
- Pays interest on balances of up to £1,000
- Fee free spending and cash withdrawals in the UK and abroad
- Online, mobile and telephone banking available
- Post Offices and Virgin Money stores for some in-person banking
- Option to apply for an overdraft
- The stores are good lounge spaces but you can’t carry out all your physical banking transactions there
Virgin Money has a really decent current account offering. It’s one of the few current accounts to pay any notable interest (albeit only on balances of up to £1,000) as well as offer fee-free card spending and ATM withdrawals both in the UK and abroad.
The stores, which act more as lounges, are also a nice touch (if there’s one near you). You can kick back with a free magazine or latte, or even meet up with a guest there. But it’s not a traditional bank branch – so if you’re looking for a big branch network option, where you can cary out any transaction, one of the bigger high street players might be better for you.
That said, you can still use online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking and Post Office counter services with a Virgin Money current account, so there’s still plenty of ways to manage your finances. The spending categorisation features and savings pots should also help with your day-day-day budgeting.
If Virgin Money’s current accounts are not for you, you can also compare other current accounts here.
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