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Nationwide FlexOne current account review

Opening a current account for your child can help them to establish good money habits early on. Learn more about what the Nationwide FlexOne account has to offer.

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Account nameFlexOne
ProviderNationwide BS
Account fee£0
Interest (AER)2%
ATM withdrawal limit£300
Debit networkVisa
Card typeDebit
Minimum eligibility age11 Years
Minimum operating balance£1
Minimum opening balance£1
Direct debits
Current account switch guarantee
Cheque Book

Nationwide is a building society, or mutual, owned by its members. Anyone who banks with Nationwide automatically becomes a member and can have their say on how it’s run.

If you are considering Nationwide for your child’s bank account, this page gives an overview of its FlexOne account, looking at the features available and how to apply.

What is the Nationwide FlexOne current account?

The Nationwide FlexOne current account is designed for 11- to 17-year-olds. There are no fees for maintaining the account and you’ll be able to choose between a cash card and a Visa debit card. Once your child turns 18, they’ll automatically be switched to a debit card if they don’t already have one.

The FlexOne account can be managed online, via the app, in branch or over the phone. Your child can keep the account until they turn 23 when it will be moved to a FlexAccount or FlexDirect account.

How does it work?

The Nationwide FlexOne account offers the following key features:

  • No monthly fee. There’s no monthly fee for maintaining the account or for anything else.
  • No foreign transaction fees. There are no fees for using your Nationwide card for purchases or cash withdrawals overseas.
  • A choice of a cash card or debit card. Cash cards can only be used to get money from cash machines and print mini statements, while debit cards can be used to pay for items in shops and online. Contactless payments on the debit card are limited to £45 instead of the usual £100.
  • Interest on balances. A small amount of interest is paid on balances up to £1,000. This is 2% AER (variable) as of May 2023.

Who is it for?

The Nationwide FlexOne account is for UK residents aged between 11 and 17. It’s designed to help them learn how to manage their money and start to become more independent.

What are the benefits?

One of the main benefits of this account is that there are no monthly account maintenance fees and no fees for using your card abroad. The fact that it offers 2 types of card also makes it attractive – you might prefer to give a younger child a cash card, for example, while the debit card could be more suitable for older kids.

How to apply

FlexOne accounts for 11- and 12-year-olds can only be opened over the phone or at certain branches with a tablet. You’ll need to contact your local branch to set up an appointment and find out what options are available.

Older children can apply for the account online and will need to provide their address history for the past 3 years, as well as a valid UK passport or driving licence (if they’re old enough) or an original birth or adoption certificate. If they don’t have a passport or driving licence they may need to come into the branch with their ID.

If your child is 16 or 17 and is employed, they will also need to provide their employer’s address.

Is it safe?

Yes, Nationwide is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the PRA. As a result, eligible deposits will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000 per person.

Overdrafts are not available for under-18s, so you don’t need to worry about debt.

Pros and cons of the Nationwide FlexOne account


  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • No fees for card transactions abroad
  • FSCS protection
  • Choice of cash card or debit card
  • Small amount of interest paid on balances


  • Interest only paid on balances up to £1,000
  • 11- and 12-year-olds cannot open account online
  • Must be at least 11 to apply

Our verdict

If you’re looking to open a bank account for your child, the Nationwide FlexOne account is a solid option, as long as your child is at least 11 years old. It wins points for offering the choice of either a debit card or a cash card, which means you can choose to have more control over what your child spends and where if that’s something you’re more comfortable with. It also stands out through its lack of foreign transaction fees, making it a good choice for those who regularly travel abroad.

However, as always, compare other options first to make sure you’re completely happy with your choice.

Frequently asked questions

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