If you’re looking to change your bank account, or even get one or two more in your name, then these current accounts are my latest top picks.
I’ve got 18 different personal current accounts right now. Yes, that’s far too many for most people, but trying them all out really helps me recommend to you the good from the bad.
You could just switch your existing account to get a better deal, or you could open a handful to take advantage of the different offers. Personally I’d look to have at least two accounts just in case of tech failures stopping you from getting access to your cash.
But there are other reasons to look around, from improved banking experiences to rewards to cashback to interest on savings.
To help you decide I’ve shared below my top picks of the best current accounts (click here for a full list of the latest offers).
You can watch my video round up of the top offers, or keep reading
Best bank account for day to day banking
Banking apps are improving all the time and the best have features such as freezing your card if it’s lost and features to help you save.
Winners: Monzo or Starling
These two digital banks are the ones I’d choose for everyday banking. Which one is best for you depends largely on personal preference.
If you want one to help with budgeting and saving, I’d look at Monzo. The features to help you track your expenditure and to separate money into “pots” are great innovations for managing your money. And connections such as IFTTT can help you boost your savings with little effort.
Starling on the other hand makes banking easier. Alongside similar budgeting features, you can use it on both app and desktop, you can pay in cheques with your phone, you can deposit cash at Post Offices and more.
Best bank account for spending
I’d normally suggest using a specialist credit card for your spending so you’re earning a little cashback with every purchase and also one that won’t charge you for spending abroad – but there’s now a current account that does both of these.
Winner: Chase Bank
You can make 1% back on spending for the first 12 months you have with Chase Bank. I wouldn’t use it as a main account, partly because there are no Direct Debits right now, so you’ll need to transfer money over from another account.
That’s no bad thing as it helps you control your spending! There’s also 5% interest on roundup payments. It’s also fee free to use abroad. Here’s my full Chase Bank UK review.
Runner up: Starling or Virgin Money (Overseas spending)
There are a few accounts that won’t charge you to spend or take out cash abroad, so if you don’t have a Chase account it’s worth having one from either Starling or Virgin Money.
Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.
Best bank account for your bills
These are also great options for joint accounts as you can pay those shared expenses from one place.
Winner: Santander 123 Lite
Only Santander will give you money back each month on your bills, but it’s best to avoid the full 123 account, and go instead for the 123 Lite version.
You’ll pay £2 a month but get up to 3% back on household bills such as Council Tax, energy and broadband. Here’s my comparison of the two Santander accounts.
Runner up: Starling or Monzo
If you don’t want to use a separate account for bills, then Monzo and Starling have a great feature that lets you pay Direct Debits out of sectioned parts of your account (known as Pots or Spaces respectively).
So you could have a “bills” pot and move all of this committed spending into there when you get paid. This ringfences the amount so there’s always enough when your bills are due.
Best bank accounts with rewards
Some accounts will pay you each month, either in cash to your account or with a freebie. You often have to pay a monthly fee and meet other criteria.
Winner: Halifax Rewards
It’s a tough call between this and the runner-up. I’ve gone for Halifax as though it takes a little more effort you’ll get a better return.
You can get either £5 a month, 12 cinema tickets or 24 movie rentals as long as you jump through a few hoops. The main one to watch is spending at least £500 on a debit card each month. Here’s my full Halifax Rewards analysis.
Runner up: Club Lloyds
You’ll get less each month from Club Lloyds – either 6 cinema tickets or 12 movie rentals – but once you’ve set up standing orders you can just leave the account alone. Here’s my full Club Lloyds review.
Best bank account for savings
Current accounts often give you higher rates than elsewhere, though with limits. Here’s my look at the best savings accounts.
Winner: Virgin Money
The highest interest rate at the moment is from Virgin Money, giving you 2.02% on £1,000. It’s a variable rate so could change. Here’s my review.
Runner up: Club Lloyds
As well as the monthly rewards mentioned above, Club Lloyds has an extra bonus if you have savings as you get access to a top-paying regular saver account. You can also earn in-credit interest at 0.6% up to £4,000 and 1.5% on the next grand.
If you have the full £5,000 in there it’s an average rate of 0.78%, beating most other easy-access accounts right now. You do need two Direct Debits every month though.
Best bank account with an overdraft
If you use an overdraft you’re probably paying around 40% in interest – far more than it’d cost to borrow elsewhere. So they’re best avoided. But if you are overdrawn then it makes sense to reduce that cost ASAP.
Winner: Nationwide FlexDirect
The best account for a 0% overdraft is Nationwide’s Flex Direct. If you’ve not had the account before you can ask for an overdraft when you apply (you can check what you’d get beforehand), and if successful you’ll get the buffer for 12 months.
Here’s my review of the full account.
Runner up: First Direct
If you’ve had the Nationwide FlexDirect before then you can get a £250 0% buffer from First Direct.
Best ethical bank account
This account tops the charts on Ethical Consumer’s list of ethical current accounts and it’s hard to beat. However it does come with a £3 a month fee and the app is limited. Here’s my full review.
Runner Up: Nationwide, Starling or Co-op
These banks also score well. As it’s a building society, Nationwide is committed to putting the bulk of its lending towards mortgages so it can’t invest heavily in non-ethical practices. It also has positive policies in place to avoid this.
Starling has the edge over its challenger bank rival Monzo, while Co-op is the top-ranked from the other high-street banks.