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 22 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).
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You can watch my video round up of the top offers, or keep reading
Best bank account app
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.
This digital bank is the one I’d choose for everyday banking. It makes everything easier. The features to help you track spending and manage your card have been copied elsewhere, but I think Starling does it best.
Alongside these 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. Here’s my Starling review.
Runner up: Chase Bank
Chase has more similarities with Starling than the big high street banks, and I like its clean look and the ability to create additional accounts with sort codes and account numbers within the app, then choose before paying which one you’ll connect your debit card to.
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 – and there’s 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, which is as good as it gets right now (unless you opt for the stoozing method of spending and saving).
There are still a few drawbacks with Chase, so I tend to transfer money across rather than use it as my main bank. That’s no bad thing as it helps you control your spending!
There’s also 5% interest on roundup payments and it’s 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. Here’s more on spending abroad.
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Best bank account for your bills
Winner: Santander 123
Only Santander will give you money back each month on your bills – but sadly the better paying Santander 123 Lite account was closed to new customers in late 2022 (if you’ve already got it, then keep using it).
Instead you can choose between the Edge and 123 accounts, and it’s the latter that will probably earn you more cashback each year,
You’ll pay £4 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.
Both are also great options for joint accounts as you can pay those shared expenses from one place.
Runner up: Chase
You can also get cashback on some bills via Chase Bank’s debit card, and also use this to earn money back on other regular subscriptions such as TV and music streaming.
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 Reward
Though it takes a little more effort than the runner up, I’ve gone for Halifax as 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, though there’s a hack to get around this. Plus you can have three of these accounts!
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.
The highest interest rate at the moment is from Barclays. You need to add on the Blue Rewards extra (which requires you to deposit £800 a month and have two direct debits), and you can then access a 5.12% paying Rainy Day saver on savings of up to £5,000. Here’s my analysis of Blue Rewards.
Runner up: First Direct
For ongoing savings the highest paying account is from First Direct at 7% AER. You can only add up to £300 a month into this regular saver.
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 & HSBC
You can currently get a boosted £500 0% buffer from First Direct, which will drop to £250 after a year. HSBC is also offering the same amount, but it’ll be cut to zero after 12 months.
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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.
Best overall bank
Though it doesn’t have any rewards or high-paying interest rates, I’m going to pick Starling simply because it’s the easiest app to use and scores pretty well ethically.
Runner up: Halifax
As an alternative, and if you’re keen to get a high street bank account as your main account, then I think Halifax is worth a shot. The app is pretty decent, and the £60 a year Reward each to gain. Plus there’s a decent (though not best buy) monthly saver at 4.5% and regular switching deals worth £125 to £175. Here’s my full review.
- Halifax Reward account review: Is it any good?
- Club Lloyds review
- Chase Bank UK review
- Santander 123 vs Santander 123 Lite review: Cashback current accounts compared
- Barclays Blue Rewards review
- Virgin Money M Plus current account: Is it any good?
- Nationwide FlexDirect current account review
- Monzo bank review
- Starling bank review
- The best bank switching, cashback, interest & overdraft offers
10 thoughts on “Best Current Accounts 2023”
What about Scottish banks that you seem not to have looked at – Bank of Scotland; Royal Bank of Scotland; Clydesdale Bank?
On the Halifax Rewards – does it count if you send yourself a payment request from Starling and then use your debit card from Halifax to essentially do a transfer?
Hmm, nice idea… but I think it’d count as a money transfer to another account which is mentioned in the Ts&Cs as not eligible https://www.halifax.co.uk/bankaccounts/reward-extras/nmi-reward-account-changes.html
I use Monese to pull in the required £500 from the saved Halifax debit card. Easy to do and then transfer out as needed.
You can pay into certain savings accounts by direct debit and this does qualify for the Halifax scheme. Some NS & I accounts for example. Probably a loophole, but it works.
Sorry, meant debit card, not direct debit. It does work.
Great, thanks Mal
Best ethical current account Nationwide? I researched very carefully when I wanted something more ethical and it was clear Triodos was easily the most ethical bank. It managed top spot in an Ethical Consumer review of current accounts. Nationwide is good, but was further down the list. The Co-operative Bank came even further down – it has issues with its owners who are hedge-funders and not ethical at all and it’s up for sale, so who knows who will buy it. It has already been approached by Cerberus, a company which buys failing companies cheap to make a quick buck.
I bank with Triodos and my previous account was switched over in seven days. Their current account is like any other and provides the same services – apart from Apple and Google Pay. For this I got a free Curve card which works with Apple and Google Pay, added my Triodos debit card and can now shop using my phone. My Triodos account is debited immediately when I make a purchase.
Thanks for this Phillip.
Yes, Triodos has the top score for an ethical bank with EC, but I’m at all the different aspects of banking, including the cost of the account. I know most people aren’t going to pay £3 a month so Nationwide is my top pick.
You’re right about the lower score for Co-op, but if you take a look at the full article in Ethical Consumer, Co-op bank is still one of it’s recommended accounts – partly because it has “a crystal clear ethical stance across a number of issues”.
Hi Philip – how did you manage to set up Triodos on Curve? I bank with Triodos but the Curve app won’t accept the Triodos card…