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This comparison simply includes all savings accounts.

Santander
Everyday Current Account Santander
Open With £1
Account Type Current Account
Features Fee FREE Account Earn up to 15% cashback

Why we like it: No minimum monthly funding or monthly fee to maintain the account. Earn up to 15% cashback with Retailer Offers. Stress-free account switching in 7 days with the Current Account Switch Service. £300 ATM withdrawal per day, Arranged Overdraft facility (subject to status). Online and Mobile Banking with text and email alerts. Must be 18 or older and live in the UK permanently. 39.94% EAR overdraft charge. Bank is registered with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so any money you keep will be fully protected, up to £85,000

Starling Bank
Mobile App Bank Account Starling Bank
Open With £0
Account Type Mobile Bank Account
Features Fee FREE Account Pays 0.05% AER

Why we like it: Free current account. Pays 0.05% AER interest on balances up to £85,000. Get set up in minutes. Send money abroad: Fast and secure money transfers to bank accounts in 38 countries worldwide. No fees when you pay with your card abroad or withdraw money. Get a spotlight on your spending: See what you’ve spent instantly with real-time payment notifications. 3 month interest holiday on the first £500 of an arranged overdraft. Best British Bank and Best Current Account in 2020 at the British Bank Awards. Awarded 5 stars by Defaqto. Bank is registered with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so any money you keep will be fully protected, up to £85,000

Cashplus
Personal Current Account Cashplus
Open With £0
Account Type Current Account
Features No Credit Checks Online App

Why we like it: A bank account that can build credit history. No credit check during sign up. Apply straight from your mobile. Instant online decision. Get your Contactless Debit Mastercard within 3-5 working days. Add Creditbuilder onto your account and it could help build your credit rating at no extra cost. Deposit cash into your account at any Post Office UK branch. Money is available in your account immediately. Manage your account 24/7 from any device with the banking app - get real time balance information, statements, add payees send payments and apply for extras. Automatic payment alerts. UK based Customer Services Team. Your money is protected up to £85,000 by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme)

Santander
123 Mini Current Account Santander
Open With £0
Account Type Childrens Current Account
Features Children 18 or under 3% AER Interest (T&Cs)

Why we like it: Can be opened by or on behalf of any child up to the age of 18. Debit or cash card available for those aged between 13 and 18. Monthly interest. No monthly fee. For children under age 13, the account must be opened in trust and managed by an adult (trustee). If you’re aged between 13 and 18 years old and live permanently in the UK you can apply online by telephone or in branch. No overdraft facility. 1% interest on the entire balance once the balance is £100, 2.00% AER/1.98% gross (variable) on the entire balance once the balance is £1,500, 3.00% AER/2.96% gross (variable) on the entire balance once the balance is £1,500 or over (up to a maximum of £2,000). Bank is registered with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so any money you keep will be fully protected, up to £85,000

Charter Savings Bank
Fixed Rate Bond Charter Savings Bank
Min deposit £1000
Term 1 Year
Interest AER 0.61%

Why we like it: Register for a free Raisin UK Account to apply for product. Interest paid on maturity. Maximum deposit £85,000. FSCS Protected. Must be UK resident and aged 18 or older. No withdrawals permitted

FCMB
Fixed Rate Bond FCMB
Min deposit £1000
Term 2 Years
Interest AER 0.88%

Why we like it: Register for a free Raisin UK Account to apply for product. Interest paid on maturity. Maximum deposit £85,000. FSCS Protected. Must be UK resident and aged 18 or older. No withdrawals permitted

FCMB
Fixed Rate Bond FCMB
Min deposit £1000
Term 3 Years
Interest AER 1.00%

Why we like it: Register for a free Raisin UK Account to apply for product. Interest paid on maturity. Maximum deposit £85,000. FSCS Protected. Must be UK resident and aged 18 or older. No withdrawals permitted

RCI Bank
Freedom Savings Account RCI Bank
Min deposit £100
Term Instant Access
Interest AER 0.4%

Why we like it: Which? Recommended Savings Provider. No notice period. Deposit from £100. Interest paid monthly or annually. Apply in minutes. Your eligible deposits with RCI Bank UK Limited are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services. Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

RCI Bank
Fixed Rate Bond RCI Bank
Min deposit £1000
Term 4 Years
Interest AER 0.9%

Why we like it: Which? Recommended Savings Provider. Save from £1,000 to £1,000,000. No withdrawals before the end of the term. Your eligible deposits with RCI Bank UK Limited are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

RCI Bank
Fixed Rate Bond RCI Bank
Min deposit £1000
Term 5 Years
Interest AER 0.95%

Why we like it: Which? Recommended Savings Provider. Save from £1,000 to £1,000,000. No withdrawals before the end of the term. Your eligible deposits with RCI Bank UK Limited are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

RCI Bank
Freedom Savings Account RCI Bank
Min deposit £100
Term Instant Access
Interest AER 0.4%

Why we like it: Which? Recommended Savings Provider. No notice period. Deposit from £100. Interest paid monthly or annually. Apply in minutes. Your eligible deposits with RCI Bank UK Limited are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services. Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

Aldermore
Easy Access Account Aldermore
Min deposit £1000
Term Easy Access
Interest AER 0.3%

Why we like it: Market Leading. Balances from £1,000 to £1 million. Unlimited withdrawals without restriction or loss of interest. Eligible deposits covered by UK FSCS.

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Can you get a bank account if you have bad credit?

If you have a poor credit history, you may be left wondering if it will be possible to open a current account. Thankfully, there are options available to you even if you are struggling with bad credit. No matter how bad your credit history is, you should be able to open at least a basic bank account that lets you store and manage your money.

Will the bank run a credit check when I try to open an account?

Most banks do run credit checks when you apply for accounts with them. The reason for this is that many accounts come with overdraft facilities. If you apply for an account with an arranged overdraft, the bank will need to see if you are a suitable candidate for credit.

However, if you’re applying for a basic bank account with no credit facilities, it’s unlikely that a credit check will be run. This is because the bank won’t be lending you any money. Even if a check is run and a poor credit history is detected, you’ll normally be permitted to open a basic account. Unemployment shouldn’t usually stop you from opening a basic account either.

Why do I need a bank account?

Today, the vast majority of people get their wages paid into bank accounts. Contactless transactions are on the rise too, and you need a bank account to buy products and services without physical cash. You will normally need a bank account if you want to wish to purchase products and services online. Life without a bank account would be very challenging in 2021.

Are basic bank accounts widely available?

Most banks and credit unions in the UK offer basic accounts. You don’t normally need to pay a monthly fee to open a basic bank account, and you’ll be given a debit card so you can make purchases both online and offline. You’ll usually get access to online and mobile banking facilities too so you can manage your money, set up direct debits and check your balance.

Could my application be refused?

If your application for a basic bank account is refused, this won’t normally be due to bad credit. You’re more likely to be declined if you don’t have satisfactory ID including proof of address or if you fail a fraud check. Make sure the documents you use to open your account are valid and not out-of-date to gain approval.

What can I do with a basic bank account?

Though you can’t get an overdraft with a basic bank account, you can still use it to carry out many financial transactions. These include paying bills via direct debits and standing orders and buying products and services with your debit card. You can check your balance through online banking, at a cash machine and in a branch if the bank has a physical presence. You can also withdraw cash at post offices and cash machines.

Can a basic bank account improve my credit rating?

If you pay your bills on time and don’t miss direct debits, a basic account may help you build your credit score back up and gain access to more financial services. Keeping your contact details up to date with the bank can also help.

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