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Current Accounts

"At least Dick Turpin wore a mask" said one respondent to our Annual Banking and Credit Card survey, when talking about bank charges. Another said of the highest rated bank, "I can’t believe how much easier my life has become since I changed banks."

There's a World of difference in the customer service that different banks offer to their customers. Yet far too many of us stick with our original choice, soldier on, and then moan about them.

If you think that the definition of a banker is someone who is happy to lend you an umbrella, but wants it back when it starts to rain, then change banks and change your life.

The moving process is now all streamlined and a lot easier than it ever has been.

If you know your credit rating, select it by hovering your mouse over the panel to the right and clicking on the appropriate rating. If you don’t know your credit rating, click the button to calculate it for free. This will match up your rating with lender appetite to give you the best chance of success with your application.

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Santander 123 Current Account - 1.5% AER

APPLY TODAY
Find out more & apply online now
  • Bank in branch or using the internet
  • UK Call Centres
  • 1.5% EAR typical overdraft. No usage fees on arranged overdrafts for 4 months from when you open the account (new customers only).
  • £10 returned direct debit charge
  • £6 unapproved borrowing charge
  • Recommended by 83% of customers surveyed

Santander’s customers are attracted by the interest rates it offers on current balances – which are tiered depending on how much you keep on account – and are comparable to the best savings account rates around. After a £5 per month fee, it also offers cashback on direct debit payments – 3% on mobile phone bills, TV subscriptions and broadband, 2% on gas and electricity bills, and 1% on water and council tax bills (and on Santander mortgage payments too). This is a market leading reward package - see terms for full details. In our most recent Annual Banking and Credit Card Survey Santander moved up fast, close behind First Direct. Its online service is good and its overall offer now makes First Direct look stale and dated. Santander is a good choice for those wanting to make their money work for them and earn decent returns.

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First Direct Current Account - 0% AER

APPLY TODAY
Find out more & apply online now
  • Bank online, no branch banking
  • UK Call Centres
  • Automatic £250 interest-free overdraft
  • £10 returned direct debit charge
  • £25 unapproved borrowing charge
  • Recommended by 83% of customers surveyed

The no 1 reason for moving to First Direct is the outstanding customer service it provides from its UK call centre. First Direct is rated no 1 for customer service in our Annual Banking and Credit Card Survey and has achieved that position every year bar one. You’ll also get £100 for transferring your account across. So what’s not to like? Their online banking system is antiquated and basic – NatWest is miles ahead here. The built-in overdraft facility of £250 is set very low indeed. Getting an increase in the overdraft limit puts you through the third degree – you’ll understand why payday lenders have become so popular if you put yourself through this. There’s no interest paid on credit balances and no cashback or reward schemes – Santander knocks First Direct out with that side of things. Indeed Santander's current offer makes First Direct look very dated. But if you just want a basic, online only bank account with great customer service, First Direct is a good choice.

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Royal Bank of Scotland Select Current Account - 0% AER

APPLY TODAY
Find out more & apply online now
  • Bank in branch or using the internet
  • UK Call Centres
  • Overdraft subject to acceptance, 19.89% EAR
  • £6 returned direct debit charge
  • £6 unapproved borrowing charge
  • Recommended by 46% of customers surveyed

RBS and NatWest are the same company. So every good thing - and bad thing - we say about NatWest applies to RBS in terms of their current account offering. Respondents to our Annual Banking and Credit Card Survey rate RBS very low for customer service – at the very bottom of the table. Customer service is just not as stellar as say First Direct or Santander, and the rewards scheme from the Cashback plus option is quite different and generally not as good as Santander. Customers bank with RBS because of the strength of their branch network and the power and panache of their online banking service. Unplanned Overdraft Fee £6.00 / Daily. Charged on unarranged overdrafts greater than £10 (maximum of £72 in any charging period). Monthly maximum charge for all unarranged fees: £80.

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NatWest Reward Current Account - 0% AER

APPLY TODAY
Find out more & apply online now
  • Bank in branch or using the internet
  • UK Call Centres
  • Overdraft subject to acceptance, 19.89% EAR
  • £6 returned direct debit charge
  • £6 unapproved borrowing charge
  • Recommended by 80% of customers surveyed

The NatWest Rewards current account costs £2 a month to hold but gives a range of benefits that, used in the right way, could earn you money. If your household bills are taken out of the account by direct debit you'll earn 2pc on them, potentially giving you hundreds of pounds a year in cashback. You'll also receive 1pc cashback on their Reward retail partners, as well as 1pc on contactless payment up until the end of this year. NatWest also have a Reward credit card - if you are a Reward current account holder the annual fee will be refunded, thus potentially earning you even more on your shopping.

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