This comparison simply includes all savings accounts.
Basic Current Account
Why we like it: Tiered interest: £1 to £10,000 – 1.10% Gross/AER, £10,001 to £50,000 – 1.33% Gross/AER, £50,001 to £500,000 – 1.38% Gross/AER. Unlimited payments and withdrawals. Interest paid annually. Open in a single or a joint name. Maximum deposit £500,000. Open and manage account online. FSCS Protected. Must be UK resident. Must be aged 16 or older
Why we like it: Interest paid annually. Open in a single or a joint name. Maximum deposit £250,000. FSCS Protected. Winner of Platinum Feefo Trusted Service Award in 2021. Must be UK resident and be aged 18 or older. No withdrawals permitted
Why we like it: Interest paid on maturity. Automatic repayment to your linked account. Maximum deposit £250,000. FSCS Protected. Must have a UK residential address and be aged 18 or older. No withdrawals permitted. Can’t have held an Investec Online Flexi Saver or Fixed Rate Saver in the last 12 months
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)
Why we like it: SPECIAL OFFER - Get £150 when you switch to a First Direct 1st Account, or if you're not ready to switch £20 welcome when you open a current account. You also get access to a 3.5% AER/gross fixed for 12 months Regular Saver Account if saving between £25 and £300 a month (up to £3,600 per year). £250 interest-free overdraft (subject to status). No minimum monthly funding and no monthly account fee. Mobile banking app. UK based contact centre. For the £150 switching cash offer you need to open a 1st Account, switch your everyday banking to us using the Current Account Switch Service and pay in at least £1,000 within three months of opening the account. To get the £20 welcome cash offer you need to open a 1st Account and log into our app / online banking within three months of opening the account. This offer can’t be added to any other joiner or switcher offer
Why we like it: Earn 0.75% AER (variable) interest on balances up to a maximum of £20,000. Up to 3% cashback on household bills - 1% on council tax bills, Mobile and home phone bills, broadband and paid-for TV packages, and Santander monthly mortgage payments. 2% on Gas and electricity bills, Santander Home Insurance premiums and Santander Life Insurance premiums, and 3% on water bills. Monthly fee of £4. Cashback capped at £5 for each cashback tier each month. Must pay in £500 pm. Bank is registered with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so any money you keep will be fully protected, up to £85,000.
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. Voted best British Bank and Best Current Account 2018 - 2021 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
Why we like it: Save from £5,000 to £500,000. No additional deposits or withdrawals permitted. FSCS Protected
Why we like it: Instant access to your savings. Unlimited deposits and withdrawals. Interest paid monthly, either to a linked current account, or adding it to your Online Flexi Saver account. Easy application process, you just need a UK mobile phone and UK driving licence or passport. Manage account online. Maximum balance £250,000. Must be aged 18 or older and have a UK address. Must have a linked UK current account. Your eligible deposits with Investec Bank are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
Why we like it: Unlimited payments and withdrawals. Interest paid annually. Open in a single or a joint name. Maximum deposit £250,000. FSCS Protected. Winner of Platinum Feefo Trusted Service Award in 2021. Must be UK resident and be aged 18 or older
Why we like it: Register for a free Raisin UK Account to apply for product and receive a £25 cash bonus for deposits of £10,000 or more. Interest paid monthly. Maximum deposit £85,000. FSCS Protected. Must be UK resident and aged 18 or older.
Why we like it: Unlimited payments and withdrawals. Interest paid annually. Open in a single or a joint name. Maximum deposit £500,000. Open and manage account online. FSCS Protected. Must be UK resident. Must be aged 16 or older
Basic Current Account
Every major bank will offer some form of basic account but often don't advertise them.
They’re a great option if you need a standard account that does everything you would expect.
The Advantages of Basic Current Accounts
Basic bank accounts are open to almost everyone and therefore, are a great option for anyone who has had credit problems in the past or people who have been turned down for a standard current account.
They are also very useful for people who just want a standard bank account which does the bare minimum. They are a convenient way to manage your money as you can pay Direct Debits; cash and cheques in to your account and receive any kind of payment, such as your salary or benefits.
You have a complete control over your account as you can only withdraw or spend what you actually have. This is great for people on a strict budget or who have been bitten by charges in the past. As basic bank accounts do not normally charge fees, they are a perfect way to avoid this.
What are the Disadvantages?
The main disadvantage of these types of accounts are the lack of options. It really is just a standard account, so if you’re looking for overdraft facilities, high interest or even a cheque book, you won’t find them here. Some basic accounts also don’t let you set up standing orders.
Some of the best basic accounts currently on offer include:
Barclays Basic Current Account
A basic account that offers free, no-frills banking for customers who may not be able to open a regular current account. You can qualify for this account if you don't qualify for one of their other accounts and/or you have no existing bank current account in the UK.
With this account you can:
- Choose between a Barclays Visa debit card or a cash card for ATM withdrawals only
- Make payments from your Barclays Basic Current Account by Direct Debit or standing order
- Withdraw up to £300 a day
- Manage your account online, by phone or in branch
- Manage your account online by registering for Barclays Online Banking
Co-operative Cashminder Account
A Cashminder is a basic account for people who may not qualify for other kinds of current account. You cannot open a Cashminder if you already hold a Co-operative Bank or Smile current account, unless you are in financial difficulty.
- No overdraft facility, cheque book or monthly charge
- Available as a joint account.
- Visa Debit Card provided
- Full internet and mobile banking facilities
Virgin Money Essential Current Account
A basic account designed to be managed through Virgin Money Stores and at any Post Office. They offer:
- No overdraft facility (helping you to avoid overspending)
- Free withdrawals at almost all UK high street cash machines
- An opportunity to earn interest on your account (a rare thing for basic accounts)
- Online Banking
- All the perks of being a Virgin Money customer.
Seven other banks currently offer these types of account, but the above three are known for proactively helping customers to get some form of account with them and will not reject you from these accounts provided you meet their criteria and can provide ID.
As it is not financially viable for banks to provide these basic accounts to customers, many institutions will not automatically offer them to applicant who are rejected for a Current Account. Always make sure you ask or browse a bank's website for other options if you are rejected for your preferred option.
Are there any alternatives to a basic bank account?
If you’ve been turned down for a basic bank account because of bad credit, or if you just want an account with more facilities and services, you could try a bad credit account. These accounts are specifically designed for people who are looking to rebuild their credit.