Compare current accounts

Make the most of your money by comparing current accounts with Financial Services Ltd[1]

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Why should I compare current accounts?

Your current account is perhaps your most essential financial product - it’s used to receive your salary, pay your bills and carry out everyday spending.

But when was the last time you switched your account, or thought about whether you could be getting a better deal elsewhere?

You could be missing out on rewards for switching and more favourable interest rates by sticking with your current account and not comparing your options.

Switching your current account is really easy too, thanks to the Current Account Switch Guarantee. You can expect to be with your new account provider within seven working days.

Your new bank or building society handles the switchover, so you don’t have to contact your previous provider and all your incoming and outgoing payments will automatically be moved over.

It’s hassle free.

Types of current accounts

There are a few different types of account to choose from - you just need to pick the right one for you.

Basic bank accounts

These can be a great option if you have a poor credit score and just like your bank accounts without all the bells and whistles.

You’ll have all the standard features of a current account - for example, you can pay in money in cash or cheque form and set up direct debits, but you won’t have access to an overdraft and you may not be given a debit card.

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Packaged bank accounts

These are current accounts with extra benefits like travel insurance, breakdown cover or mobile phone insurance included. You could even get discounts at chosen restaurants.

You’ll be charged a monthly fee and you’ll want to check whether you actually have any of the perks already so you’re not doubling up on insurance – if that’s the case, you’ll be paying for nothing.

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High-interest current accounts

Look out for a high annual equivalent rate (AER), which is the interest you’ll earn on your bank balance.

In a bid to attract customers, banks and building societies are offering current accounts with appealing interest rates, in some cases they could even be higher than easy-access savings accounts.

They could have strict criteria for you to follow, like paying in a minimum amount each month, so read the terms and conditions carefully.

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Business bank accounts

If you have your own company, you may want to think about a business bank account which allows you to keep track of your business expenditures. Some will give access to an overdraft facility too which could help with cash flow.

However, it’s likely that you’ll be charged a monthly fee and perhaps even a transaction fee.

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Cashback current accounts

How your cashback current account works will depend which one you choose. Some offer it in the form of a percentage reimbursement (around 1-2%) on your household bill payments. Others will give money back when you spend in certain shops.

You may be charged a monthly fee for the privilege though which could outweigh the benefit of any cashback.

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Student bank accounts

Heading off to university is an expensive time and the right student current account can really help, especially if it has an overdraft with a long 0% interest period.

Some may even have freebies to tempt you, but it’s important to make sure it has the key features you need. Stay out of the red to avoid being charged unplanned overdraft fees.

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Over 498,000 current accounts were switched in the first half of 2018

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According to Bacs in July 2018[†]

What’s an overdraft?

An overdraft is when you go overdrawn on your account, so basically when your balance dips below zero. There are two types of overdraft, authorised and unauthorised.

  • Authorised overdraft

    This is arranged with your bank and will have a predetermined limit - you’ll have to pass a credit check before being accepted. You may be charged a small fee for going into your authorised overdraft but be careful not to go over the limit as you’ll face steep charges.

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  • Unauthorised overdraft

    This type of overdraft is when you go overdrawn without having an authorised overdraft in place and it’s a bad idea.

    You’ll be charged for going into the red and it can get expensive, really quickly. There may be a cap on charges, but you should steer clear of doing this at all costs.

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Check out accounts that offer rewards for switching bank or building society

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Choosing the best current account for your needs

With so much choice on the market, you need to find the account that’s going to make a difference to your finances. Look out for:

  1. Account fees

    Accounts that give you extra, like packaged and cashback current accounts, could charge you a monthly fee

  2. Overdrafts

    Would it be useful to have an authorised overdraft? If so, consider the options available and whether you’ll have to pay a fee for going overdrawn

  3. Cashback

    Consider whether the monthly fee will wipe out any cashback you would receive

  4. Travel insurance

    Some packaged current accounts offer travel insurance policies as a perk. Make sure it provides the cover you need before travelling though

  5. Breakdown cover

    If your account includes breakdown cover, take a look at the terms and conditions to see if it includes everything you need

  6. Mobile phone insurance

    Avoid doubling up on insurance by checking if you already have mobile phone cover from your bank account before buying a separate policy

  7. Home emergency cover

    You could have access to 24/7 home emergency cover from your bank if an unexpected disaster strikes, like your pipes bursting

  8. Switching rewards

    There may be a switching reward or a refer a friend scheme for opening an account with a different provider

  9. Eligibility criteria

    Some accounts will require you to meet certain criteria to open an account with them, for instance, paying in a certain amount each month

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Frequently asked questions

  • Can I get a joint bank account?

    Yes, you can open a current account in two or more people’s names which makes it more convenient if you have shared bills. It’s important that you trust the other joint account holders as they’ll have access to your money and could affect your credit rating.

  • What is midata?

    Midata lets you see the right current account for you based on your previous bank usage.

    When you compare bank accounts with GoCompare, you can choose the option to access your midata file and then you’ll be shown the options that best fit your spending habits.

  • Do I need to pay a certain amount into my current account?

    Some bank accounts will require you to deposit a set amount each month, as well as having a set number of direct debits. This could be the case if you’ve chosen an account with an attractive interest rate.

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Current account guides

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