Current accounts

Current accounts are designed for your day-to-day income and spending. Current accounts generally offer:

  • Easy access to your money
  • A debit card so you can make easy withdrawals and payments
  • A lower rate of interest than a savings account

Many current accounts also offer other incentives and/or charge a monthly fee.

Interest and overdraft limits

Some accounts will offer an overdraft facility, occasionally free of charge. However, the majority of accounts will charge you if you go overdrawn. Overdraft limits and charges will vary between accounts.

Current account features and incentives

Other incentives, charges and other features will vary too.

Most current accounts now offer online and telephone banking services so that you can check in on and manage your money and some accounts also offer text alerts.

Some banks will offer incentives such as travel insurance and even free subscriptions to various products and services. Whatever the incentive you should make sure the terms of the account suit you. Check:

  • The interest rate offered on deposits
  • Whether there’s a monthly fee and whether the features offered are worth the cost
  • Whether there are any restrictions on access to your money

You should choose an account because it will be useful to you in the long term, not just because you'll get a free gift!

Switching current accounts

If you decide to switch your current account you can do so at any time.

The current account switching service makes switching between most high street banks quick and easy, though not all banks offer this service.

If you’re switching using the current account switching service, here are the steps you need to take:

  • Check that your new bank participates in the service.
  • Approach the new bank and follow the usual account opening procedure.
  • Fill in a Current Account Switch Agreement and a Current Account Information form, and choose a date that you want to make the switch and start using the new account.

Once you’ve done this:

  • Account balance and any direct debits will be automatically switched over to the new account for you, and any payments made to your old account will be redirected into your new account.
  • Your old account will be closed and you will receive confirmation when this is done.

The current account switching service is designed to help consumers find and access the best deals on the market. There's no need to stick with an account that isn't working for you!

If your bank isn't signed up to the current account switching service, you can still switch. The process could take between 18-30 days and you may need to switch over your direct debits yourself, but this could still be worth it for the right current account.

Last updated: 29 May 2015