One card for all accounts
Personal banking has experienced a huge shake-up in the UK in recent years.
A number of challenger banks have formed to try and remove the stranglehold of the “big six” banks – and they are doing a great job.
These challenger banks are allowing Brits to open and manage current accounts, loans and mortgages using their smartphone.
In many cases, the smartphone apps offered by these challenger banks allow you to manage your money far better than any software on offer from the traditional banks.
What’s more, since they don’t have the large overheads that come with running UK branches, they can offer market-leading rates on their products.
To find the best online bank, you need to consider what factors are most important to you. Here are some of the main advantages that these banks offer over traditional banks.
Below, you’ll discover the main perks offered by the most popular online-only banks. This information should help you to decide which online bank is best for you.
These four online banks are the most responsible for the banking shake-up in the UK.
Starling Bank launched in 2014 and has expanded to offer an impressive range of financial products.
Here are some of the highlights:
Revolut launched in 2015 with a primary focus on providing fee-free international spending and money transfers.
It offered a prepaid card service upon launching, but has since gained a full banking licence.
Here are the highlights of Revolut’s current offering:
Monzo launched in 2015 as Mondo. It originally only offered a prepaid card with unlimited fee-free overseas spending and ATM withdrawals. The in-app spending analysis was revolutionary for its time.
The bank phased out prepaid cards in 2018, as it now has a full banking licence.
Here are the highlights of what the bank has to offer:
Monese has provided smartphone-based banking since 2015. Notably, you don’t need a UK address, credit history or regular income to create an account.
It offers a fee-free account or two choices of premium accounts that come with extra features and higher limits on fee-free overseas usage. These accounts have a monthly fee of £5.95 and £14.95 respectively.
Here’s what’s on offer:
In July 2019, we ran a customer satisfaction survey on current accounts in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 1,000 people answered and told us how happy they are with their current account provider. Below we have listed the scores for banks that have no high street presence. Learn more about the full results here.
|Customers recommend||Current account||Review|
|88%||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, which comes with a bright “coral” (pinkish) debit card.||Read our review|
|87%||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|
|87%||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.||Read our review|
|73%||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.||Read our review|
These online banks are all similar in many ways. We’ve linked to our full reviews of each of them above. The only real downside is that there are no branches where you can speak face to face with staff.
If you decide that one of these banks offers more than your existing current account provider, it couldn’t be easier to switch. All of these banks have signed up to the Current Account Switch Service, meaning they will handle the switch for you in seven working days.
Learn more about how prepaid business cards can be used to spend money with any retailer that accepts debit or credit cards.
It’s common to have a few different bank accounts that each have a different purpose. Here’s how you may benefit from having multiple bank accounts and the traps to avoid.
Discover the key differences between the Tide and Monzo business bank accounts and which might suit you better.
Learn more about the key differences between the Tide and Revolut business bank accounts and which is likely to suit you better.
Discover key the differences between Mettle and Starling business bank accounts and what is likely to be best for you.
Discover our list of the best business banking apps and how to find the best app for you.
Discover the best bank for a mortgage in the UK using real customer reviews from our customer satisfaction survey.
We’ve taken a look at some of the best trading apps in the UK and explained who they’re best suited to. Our table compares fees and services too.
Currently over a quarter of Brits (27%) say they have at least one bank account with a digital-only bank. This is a percentage increase of 16% from last year when 23% of Brits said they had an account with a digital bank. It is also over 3 times the amount of Brits who had one in January 2019 (9%).
We’ve put together some tips and information on how to open a business bank account in the UK as a non-resident.
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